First time with Celebrity: Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by rmgjg

Celebrity Constellation 5
Member Since 2011
42 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

First time with Celebrity

Sail Date: July 2012
Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation: Amsterdam
We flew out of Toronto direct to Amsterdam, arriving at 7:00am. The cruise and flight was booked with Transat Holidays, and since they guarantee having passengers at the port in time for departure, or make arrangements to the next port of call, we decided to arrive the day of departure. It took very little time to clear customs and retrieve our luggage. After some confusion we caught the train from Schipol Airport to Central Station. Since it was too early to go to the port, we walked a few blocks, dodged many bicycles, and had breakfast at Carla Cafe. After walking back to Central Station, we found the location of Tram 26 to take us to the port.
Embarkation: We arrived at the cruise terminal at 10:30am, had our luggage taken from us,were given a health questionnaire to complete regarding any stomach flu or cold symptoms, and a #7 check-in card. We proceeded upstairs and sat around until they started registration @ 11:15am. We had completed our X-press Pass online months ago and More found registration was very quick and efficient and were directed to the Seaside Cafe for lunch by 11:45am. The buffet has 5 duplicate areas of cheese,fruit,gourmet salads,hot entrees,vegetables,roast beef,pizzas,breads,& desserts. Since we were early there was no problem finding a table. The area was clean, & bright. The waiters were readily available to help with trays and efficiently cleaned the tables as they became vacant. After lunch we found comfortable padded wooden lounges on Deck 10 and relaxed until we could go to our cabins. It was sunny, but windy & cool and the wool blankets that were provided were appreciated.
Cabin: At 1:00pm it was announced that the cabins were ready.We chose an inside on Continental Deck 2. It was small but well laid out. The wall of mirror behind the bed made it look larger, and it had lots of closet space,& good lighting in both the cabin & bathroom. The shower was larger than anticipated, and there was a clothesline and nightlight. Sally our room attendant checked to see if we were satisfied and promptly delivered the extension cord & distilled water we requested. Our luggage arrived @ 2:15pm, and we were almost unpacked before the emergency drill at 3:45pm. Our muster station was in the casino-it all went very smoothly, and most passengers paid close attention to the crew explaining the procedures.
Dining: We chose early dining,6:00pm,San Marco Restaurant and had a table for 6. Our waiter(Bob-Indonesia) and assistant(Carlos-Honduras) were excellent. The left side of the menu was the same for the entire cruise:shrimp cocktail,escargot,French onion soup,Caesar salad,steak,chicken,salmon,creme brulee. The Menu du Jour was different for each of the 12 nights, and featured a delicious selection of appetizers,salads,fish,meats,poultry & desserts. We were told that we could mix & match from both sides, and this is what was often done. We all found the food at the very least good and more often very good to excellent, and therefore none of us felt the need to try the specialty restaurants. Of note was the perfectly cooked fish,& tender lamb, and variety of sorbets.
On the first formal night (there were 3), 2 male passengers arrived in the main dining room dressed very casually. They were followed by the head waiter carrying jackets which they were required to put on.
We had all but one of our breakfasts in the Seaside Cafe, and were pleased with the variety and freshness of the ingredients. We especially liked the made to order omelettes and waffles. There was a large variety of teas, and the coffee was good.
Entertainment: There were two guest speakers onboard. Victoria Tennant, and Dr. Ed Lynch. They were both excellent and gave different perspectives of the Baltic/Russian region.
We enjoyed the large musical productions starring the Celebrity Constellation Production Singers and Dancers,as well as guest entertainers:Nick Page who had starred as Jean Valjean in London's West End Les Mis.,Brooks Aehron, a concert pianist and wonderful entertainer who we had the pleasure of seeing twice, and Lindsay Hamilton,who put on a terrific one woman show. Each night before dinner we would have a drink at the Rendez-Vous bar and be entertained by different small bands&singers. There was always a small group of passengers who took advantage of this to do some dancing. The acapella group were very good, and many nights Michael's Club had Perry Grant entertaining. There was much more entertainment that we didn't frequent-I don't see how anyone could be bored or not find something to their taste.
Ports: Our ports of call were Amsterdam,Warnemunde,Stockholm,Helsinki,St.Petersburg(2days),Tallin,&Copenhagen. We did each port on our own, except for a private tour in St. Petersburg(Alla Tours).Each port had much to see, and the time available allowed only a brief overview of each city. Unfortunately we also had rain several times. The weather was cool,so jackets,long pants and rain ponchos were necessary.
We docked in Amsterdam at 5:00am.A form had been sent around earlier in the week asking for flight information, and the evening of our last full day a letter was left in the cabin indicating the place & time of our disembarkation. As we were staying in Amsterdam post-cruise, we didn't need to leave until 8:50am, and were allowed to take all our luggage with us, and proceed directly to the exit. The only glitch we encountered was a credit was owed to us (we had been paying our account in full in cash during the entire cruise), and we couldn't leave until guest relations refunded us the amount owing. We exited the ship @ 9:10am.
Summary:This was an excellent cruise.We loved everything about the ship, and would definately sail with Celebrity again. All the staff we met were friendly but not intrusive;there was a great variety of food items to choose from at all times, & it was well prepared & fresh;even though the ship was full, it never seemed crowded; the public bathrooms were always clean,with no offensive smell,had cloth hand towels,and often had a staff member available to open the door upon leaving;a wide variety of entertainment available for all tastes. Less

Published 09/09/12
Helpful? Thank rmgjg

Cabin review: 112075 Inside Stateroom 11

inside cabin,2075,continental deck 2,category 11.This cabin is beside an employee walk-through. There was only 1 other cabin abutting it. It was very quiet,and much more spacious than expected.The bathroom had a clothesline in the shower, and a nightlight.Lots of closet,and storage space.Good lighting.Felt very little movement of the ship.

Read All Inside Stateroom 11 (11) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Stayed at Boogaard's B&B for 4 days after the cruise-excellent choice.Lots of walking along the canals. Visited Anne Frank House (purchase tickets online before leaving home so you can enter immediately-lineups are 1 1/2hr long all day). Took WW 11 Walking Tour which was excellent. This must be booked online prior to arrival. Went by bus to Zaanse Schans, a re-created 17th Century Dutch village with working windmills-a good side trip. The self directed tour of the Church of Our Lord in the Attic was very interesting,as was the stroll through the bloomenmarkt, and the Red Light District. All very different, but what you'd expect to see in Amsterdam.A visit to Noodermarkt on a Saturday is a must-it's huge and has everything! Fresh cut flowers,plants,antiques,flea market items(new&Used),clothing,fish,meat,fruit,vegetables,linens. It's very busy & fun.There's also the Cheese Museum,Delft Museum and Tulip Museum. A boat tour of the canals is a good way to see all the different architecture and gables of the houses in Amsterdam. Although we had 4 days we didn't see all that we wanted to. It's a lovely, interesting city with much history.

Took the Step On Step Off Bus (eu 25).Paid an extra eu 5 to include the harbour boat tour.The canal is lovely with sidewalk cafes, many boats and coloured houses seen in travel brochures. The harbour tour was excellent-1 1/2 hours and good commentary.Took the bus to the Little Mermaid. Took many photos and walked back to the ship along the harbour front. Many shops along the pier-very expensive.

Picked up a map at guest relations, and purchased transfer (eu10/$12USD)to the main square once we were off the ship. The operator of "Helsinki Sightseeing" met us as we got off the transfer bus, and we purchased tickets for a 2 hour city tour (eu 25 each) aboard a double decker bus with live commentary. Had a 10 min. photo shoot @ Olympic Stadium, 10 min. @ Sibelius Monument, and 20 min. @ Church in the Rock,as well as commentary as we drove around the city. We got off at Senate Square and walked around the lovely market.There were many vendors selling fish to snack on at tables provided,and many booths with handicrafts of fur,wood & leather. There was also a smaller area with fresh fruits & vegetables. It was a 10min. walk back to our shuttle area.
Read 637 Helsinki Reviews

Walked to "Pier 7" a gift shop/restaurant to get info on Rostock and train tickets. This took about 30min. as there were many other passengers doing the same thing and only 2 servers. Walked to the train station, and arrived in Rostock @ 11:00am.Visited Marienkirche(St.Mary's Church)-very beautiful,& ornate with an elaborate alter & pipe organ. There is a small room off to the side that has photos of the holocost. We walked around Rostock-cobblestone streets,old buildings. Quaint, but it seemed very commercial with many brand name stores. Took the train back to Warnemunde and discovered it's a lovely seaside town.There were many vendors selling dry goods,souveniers & food. Climbed the 100 step lighthouse and had a wonderful view of the whole area. A large sandy beach available as well as a small amusement park.

Amber Room

Very beautiful, but not original as all the amber was removed by the Germans during the 2nd world war, and it was never recovered

Catherine Palace

Beautiful peaceful grounds. Gradually being restored. Very opulent, with a lot of gilt. Rooms are decorated as they were originally.

Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

very beautiful & ornate with baroque marble floors, and mosaic panels on all the walls. A very interesting history.

City Tour

Different sites pointed out to us as we drove to the main building we were to visit. Stopped at the Subway station, & had a short ride. Wonderful mosaics.

Hermitage Museum

overwhelming-so much to see in so little time.Beautiful,crowded. Our guide was excellent in explaining the little we had time for.

Neva River Cruise

different view of the city. Good commentary. Unfortunately if was raining & we stayed below deck.

Peter & Paul Fortress

The founding site of St.Petersburg. Full of marble sarcophaghi of all the Russian Tsars,emperors,empresses and their families & staff. Very interesting

Peterhof Palace

travelled by hydrofoil.Beautiful grounds,very opulent with lots of gilt. Poured rain-would be marvellous to see on a sunny day.

Private Tour

Booked the "Comfort Tour". There were only 6 of us on this tour. Our guide Natalia was a history major, and was excellent. She was passionate about conveying the history of Russia to us. We saw all the main sites of St. Petersburg as was possible is such a short time period. A recommendation would be to research Russian history before arrival as there is too much to learn & remember in such a short time frame. It was easy to book with this company online-they responded quickly to all questions, and dealt with all the paperwork needed to proceed through Russian customs. The cost was very reasonable for such an extensive tour-$270 USD including all admissions and 2 meals.It was suggested another 10% be divided between the guide & driver, and we were happy to pay a little more than that. We would highly recommend dealing with this company.

St. Isaac's Cathedral

photo op only

Purchased bus tickets for transfer from the ship at guest relations ($15 USD each)and received a map.After some searching & assistance from a young lady who seemed to work for "City Info" we found a kiosk that sold tram tickets (8 tickets for 8 Krona). We walked back to the tram stop and discovered that it was rush hour and many Swedes use public transportation. After having 3 full trams pass us by, one of the employees directed us to another area where we were able to board immediately. Our goal was the Vasa Museum.Once we found it, the lineup was long & it was 30 minutes before we entered. It was very interesting-dark, and not good for photos, but lots of information available. The last shuttle back to the ship was 3:00pm, so we felt rushed and didn't have time to see the film that explained everything about the ship. There is a souvenier shop on site with excellent postcards & books available. Instead of taking a tram on your own, it would be better to get either the Hop On Hop Off boat (100 SEK) or Hop On Hop Off bus (160 SEK) which will get you to your destination much faster, and allow you to see other sites of Stockholm as well.

Shuttle bus into town ($10 USD ea). Poured rain, so couldn't experience the beauty of this quaint town fully.The market was setting up as we arrived. Entered St. Nicholas Church-very beautiful, but it was a Sunday and a service was going on, so it wasn't possible to explore it. Walked to the bus station and bought time at the internet cafe inside Metro 24 (eu 1.60/30min). Returned to the port, and browsed a large indoor/outdoor gift shop.
Read 729 Tallinn Reviews

Compare Prices on Celebrity Constellation Baltic Sea Cruises

Compare Prices on Celebrity Constellation Baltic Sea Cruises

Member Since 2011
42 Forum Posts
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Celebrity Constellation deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Celebrity Constellation 74% Loved It

10 Night Spain, France, & Italy Cruise
See all Celebrity Constellation Deals >>