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I am an Elite CC member, and this is my 4th M Class cruise in the last 12 months. Switched to Celebrity about 8-9 years ago. However, this was my first Constellation sailing. She was dry docked in May 2007. The itinerary was 12 days to Grand Cayman, Aruba, Cartagena, Panama and Cozumel. We had perfect weather every day. 80-85 and sunny. Since I had just gotten off Infinity 90 days ago, I was shocked at all the changes on Constellation, so I felt compelled to write a review. Many of these changes went into effect January 1, 2008. CABIN - well somehow I managed to pick the worst cabin on the ship. I was in CC Class, sky deck (which I have booked before) however, this cabin 9094 was directly next to a Sky Suite and the veranda was CUT IN HALF....literally. It was fine for me, since I was traveling alone, but would not have comfortably accommodated two adults. I will never book sky deck again. For the first time, I had to deal with 5am joggers (shoot them!) overhead, which woke me every day. I will only book 7 or 8 deck. The overhang which wasn't so bad in my last sky deck cabin completely obliterated the view. The good news is they have completely updated all bedding and linens. The mattress was pillowtop and clearly new, all the linens were high thread count and soft. Yes, even the towels! They have finally discovered fabric softener on M Class. I have been complaining for years about the hard "loofah" like texture of the towels. I was on starboard, and for the first time ever, every single stop was portside...I saw nothing but ocean from my tiny veranda. I always order Isotonic pillows and one Body Pillow from the pillow menu and this time I took off all the linens to rip off the manufacturers tag. I have been trying for years to duplicate these marvelous pillows at all stores, but nothing comes close. So now I have the manufacturer and can buy my own! The cabins now have high power hair dryers (under the sink) for us ladies, so no need to bring your own. Another GREAT (why didn't they think of this years ago) thing...the shower curtain is now permanently affixed down one entire side of the shower. No more flopping shower curtains or water on the floor! All the rugs and towels were new. There were noticeably less TV and music selections, and the music was not American, but European. For example, "Pop" music is now "Euro Trance" type music. "Easy Listening" is now some kind of weird Greek stuff. I did not like this and made my feelings known. I wanted to hear something in my cabin I actually recognized. PORTS - Some of these were new to me, so I did get off (briefly) in Cartagena for a couple of souvenirs. There is a lovely park and duty free store just off the dock. Everything else was a long taxi drive and I had no interest. Cayman and Aruba I've been too. Stayed on board in Aruba and got off in Cayman only to buy some more diamond jewelry (a girl's best friend). There were 5 ships in port at Cayman, so the island was inundated and far too crowded to spend much time in. One poor woman's husband fell off the crowded sidewalk into the water, hitting his head and had to be rescued by a good Samaritan who held his head above water (he was unconscious) until the ambulance arrived. I took the rain forest excursion in Panama and was thrilled to get 3 things in one. Not only did we get to go deep into the rainforest and see holler monkeys, 3 toed sloths, macaws, toucans, killer bee hives, enormous bright blue butterflies, etc. but we also got to cross the bridge going over the Gatun locks, which meant we saw first hand a barge being lifted up and down, and the water being returned back into the locks. The bridge itself actually goes within feet of the huge locks, the closest you'll ever get to them. In addition, we stopped at an ancient fort on a mountain top with spectacular views and amazing history of pirates, etc. The guide was excellent. Cozumel I did my usual "excursion" which involves many raucous hours of drinking in the MAIN Senor Frogs downtown. Do not go to the little one on the water...go to the big one downtown. You simply cannot beat the fun and great food at Senor Frogs. It's a true experience. I've been to Senor Frogs all over the world...this one is the BEST. ENTERTAINMENT - It was far above the usual fare. This is where I saw the most changes - all great. The daily planner was far more exciting, with enrichment speakers (excellent!), star gazing excursions off Deck 12 (the Captain turned the lights off for us), continuous music (this is a HUGE improvement. There used to be large "gaps" between band music during the evening) now 3 different bands play continuously throughout the night in the Rendezvous Lounge. Michaels Club had a SELLOUT entertainer named Perry Grant. Apparently, some people book cruises just to see him. You simply could not get into Michael's unless you came early. Normally Michael's is BORING and dead with some lame piano or guitar player. Perry Grant ROCKED. There was an EXCELLENT comedian (sorry forgot name) and a good variety of shows, most of which I did not attend. The Senior Officer Party (for Elite Members) was held at 11:15AM - which I thought was very bizarre. It said casual....I wore shorts and a shirt...some people showed up in suits at 11AM.... SHIP - First things first. THERE ARE NO MORE POD ISSUES....I promise! Gone. Turned out the Captain (Dimitri) was an old pal of mine from Millennium years ago when he was Staff Captain. I also ran into many, many old crew pals from ships past, which is always nice. Some I hadn't seen in many years. Captain Dimitri (bless his heart) kept the engines running at all times while docked in port, so instead of weak AC, we had full power the entire time we were docked. To me, that's a big deal. Since I stay on board frequently, I don't appreciate the AC being cut down to where I'm hot in my cabin. The artwork was FABULOUS on board. It usually is, but the Constellation has some killer art pieces in all the public rooms. They now have a brand new officer position, "Marketing Manager" and boy, do they market now!! They have clever and new gimmicks to get you to buy on board (I was just happy to see new techniques) but now they hard sell you on bottled water (yeeesh!) at dinner. There were no takers as far as I could see. But they are bringing their marketing techniques into the new world of cruising, which was interesting to see. FOOD! - Okay, admit it, that's why we all cruise ? The first thing everyone noticed immediately was that portion size in all venues (including room service) is far smaller...in a good way. No longer do they load your plate and waste food. Now they give you a normal portion and you can always ask for more. I think this is a sensible and pragmatic move for RCCL. The main dining room continued to exceed expectations with 5 star cuisine. My experience in the specialty restaurant was disappointing. The service and presentation were 5+ star, but I found the food to be of the same quality as the main restaurant. I only booked it to get a chocolate soufflE, which they no longer serve anywhere BUT the specialty restaurant. It was delightful and sinfully good. Some new things!! My beloved pasta station is now open until 11pm (instead of 10pm) the sushi bar has been totally revamped, tons of high end selections and a companion stir fry bar. FAR better quality sushi!! I loved it. And they too, changed their hours and location to the front of the food area and are open only from 6pm to 9:30pm. PASSENGERS - This was where I saw the most changes...strange changes. Usually when the ship leaves from Port Everglades, you get 30% Floridians, and the rest mostly American. This cruise has a very eclectic mix. There were only 25% Americans (from all over) 40% Canadian and 35% European (German, UK, Italian, French, Irish). The dress code went WAY UP with this crowd. There were designer gowns on each formal night, tuxes galore. Informal nights were fancy cocktail dresses and tuxes or black suits. Casual nights were even dressy. I never saw such a well heeled crowd. No "boxed wine" brought aboard on this ship! Consequently, there wasn't much early evening action as most Europeans are a late crowd. Average age was younger than usual - between 40-65, although I saw many young couples, children and older adults. INTERNET - YAHOO!!!! They just finished when we boarded installing a brand new main frame, and the connection are now DSL speed. No, I'm NOT kidding! So, with your 20% more internet time coupon, you can actually cruise the internet, check your stocks and do e-mail without the excruciating wait for a page to load. And I checked on the live cam situation, they do not see them coming back anytime in the near future. SECURITY - Wowsa....we were on code Orange when we left, but I never saw such tight security. There were K9 units sniffing not just the main food shipments, but each individual box that came on board....my handbag was checked 3 times. Not sure if this was an Everglades issue, or all around tight security, but I never saw it so tight. There are no tour any longer of the bridge or even the galley for security reasons. You now must fill out a health questionnaire and sign a certificate that you agree you can be confined to cabin if you show signs of illness. If you do not REPORT a fellow passenger who is ill, you can be fined or disciplined. All the bags were very late, which I presume was due to the heightened security.

Constellation - January 28, 2008 Sailing

Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by jerseygirl13

Trip Details
I am an Elite CC member, and this is my 4th M Class cruise in the last 12 months. Switched to Celebrity about 8-9 years ago. However, this was my first Constellation sailing. She was dry docked in May 2007.
The itinerary was 12 days to Grand Cayman, Aruba, Cartagena, Panama and Cozumel. We had perfect weather every day. 80-85 and sunny.
Since I had just gotten off Infinity 90 days ago, I was shocked at all the changes on Constellation, so I felt compelled to write a review. Many of these changes went into effect January 1, 2008.
CABIN - well somehow I managed to pick the worst cabin on the ship. I was in CC Class, sky deck (which I have booked before) however, this cabin 9094 was directly next to a Sky Suite and the veranda was CUT IN HALF....literally. It was fine for me, since I was traveling alone, but would not have comfortably accommodated two adults. I will never book sky deck again. For the first time, I had to deal with 5am joggers (shoot them!) overhead, which woke me every day. I will only book 7 or 8 deck. The overhang which wasn't so bad in my last sky deck cabin completely obliterated the view. The good news is they have completely updated all bedding and linens. The mattress was pillowtop and clearly new, all the linens were high thread count and soft. Yes, even the towels! They have finally discovered fabric softener on M Class. I have been complaining for years about the hard "loofah" like texture of the towels. I was on starboard, and for the first time ever, every single stop was portside...I saw nothing but ocean from my tiny veranda. I always order Isotonic pillows and one Body Pillow from the pillow menu and this time I took off all the linens to rip off the manufacturers tag. I have been trying for years to duplicate these marvelous pillows at all stores, but nothing comes close. So now I have the manufacturer and can buy my own! The cabins now have high power hair dryers (under the sink) for us ladies, so no need to bring your own. Another GREAT (why didn't they think of this years ago) thing...the shower curtain is now permanently affixed down one entire side of the shower. No more flopping shower curtains or water on the floor! All the rugs and towels were new. There were noticeably less TV and music selections, and the music was not American, but European. For example, "Pop" music is now "Euro Trance" type music. "Easy Listening" is now some kind of weird Greek stuff. I did not like this and made my feelings known. I wanted to hear something in my cabin I actually recognized.
PORTS - Some of these were new to me, so I did get off (briefly) in Cartagena for a couple of souvenirs. There is a lovely park and duty free store just off the dock. Everything else was a long taxi drive and I had no interest. Cayman and Aruba I've been too. Stayed on board in Aruba and got off in Cayman only to buy some more diamond jewelry (a girl's best friend). There were 5 ships in port at Cayman, so the island was inundated and far too crowded to spend much time in. One poor woman's husband fell off the crowded sidewalk into the water, hitting his head and had to be rescued by a good Samaritan who held his head above water (he was unconscious) until the ambulance arrived. I took the rain forest excursion in Panama and was thrilled to get 3 things in one. Not only did we get to go deep into the rainforest and see holler monkeys, 3 toed sloths, macaws, toucans, killer bee hives, enormous bright blue butterflies, etc. but we also got to cross the bridge going over the Gatun locks, which meant we saw first hand a barge being lifted up and down, and the water being returned back into the locks. The bridge itself actually goes within feet of the huge locks, the closest you'll ever get to them. In addition, we stopped at an ancient fort on a mountain top with spectacular views and amazing history of pirates, etc. The guide was excellent. Cozumel I did my usual "excursion" which involves many raucous hours of drinking in the MAIN Senor Frogs downtown. Do not go to the little one on the water...go to the big one downtown. You simply cannot beat the fun and great food at Senor Frogs. It's a true experience. I've been to Senor Frogs all over the world...this one is the BEST.
ENTERTAINMENT - It was far above the usual fare. This is where I saw the most changes - all great. The daily planner was far more exciting, with enrichment speakers (excellent!), star gazing excursions off Deck 12 (the Captain turned the lights off for us), continuous music (this is a HUGE improvement. There used to be large "gaps" between band music during the evening) now 3 different bands play continuously throughout the night in the Rendezvous Lounge. Michaels Club had a SELLOUT entertainer named Perry Grant. Apparently, some people book cruises just to see him. You simply could not get into Michael's unless you came early. Normally Michael's is BORING and dead with some lame piano or guitar player. Perry Grant ROCKED. There was an EXCELLENT comedian (sorry forgot name) and a good variety of shows, most of which I did not attend. The Senior Officer Party (for Elite Members) was held at 11:15AM - which I thought was very bizarre. It said casual....I wore shorts and a shirt...some people showed up in suits at 11AM....
SHIP - First things first. THERE ARE NO MORE POD ISSUES....I promise! Gone. Turned out the Captain (Dimitri) was an old pal of mine from Millennium years ago when he was Staff Captain. I also ran into many, many old crew pals from ships past, which is always nice. Some I hadn't seen in many years. Captain Dimitri (bless his heart) kept the engines running at all times while docked in port, so instead of weak AC, we had full power the entire time we were docked. To me, that's a big deal. Since I stay on board frequently, I don't appreciate the AC being cut down to where I'm hot in my cabin. The artwork was FABULOUS on board. It usually is, but the Constellation has some killer art pieces in all the public rooms. They now have a brand new officer position, "Marketing Manager" and boy, do they market now!! They have clever and new gimmicks to get you to buy on board (I was just happy to see new techniques) but now they hard sell you on bottled water (yeeesh!) at dinner. There were no takers as far as I could see. But they are bringing their marketing techniques into the new world of cruising, which was interesting to see.
FOOD! - Okay, admit it, that's why we all cruise ? The first thing everyone noticed immediately was that portion size in all venues (including room service) is far smaller...in a good way. No longer do they load your plate and waste food. Now they give you a normal portion and you can always ask for more. I think this is a sensible and pragmatic move for RCCL. The main dining room continued to exceed expectations with 5 star cuisine. My experience in the specialty restaurant was disappointing. The service and presentation were 5+ star, but I found the food to be of the same quality as the main restaurant. I only booked it to get a chocolate soufflE, which they no longer serve anywhere BUT the specialty restaurant. It was delightful and sinfully good. Some new things!! My beloved pasta station is now open until 11pm (instead of 10pm) the sushi bar has been totally revamped, tons of high end selections and a companion stir fry bar. FAR better quality sushi!! I loved it. And they too, changed their hours and location to the front of the food area and are open only from 6pm to 9:30pm.
PASSENGERS - This was where I saw the most changes...strange changes. Usually when the ship leaves from Port Everglades, you get 30% Floridians, and the rest mostly American. This cruise has a very eclectic mix. There were only 25% Americans (from all over) 40% Canadian and 35% European (German, UK, Italian, French, Irish). The dress code went WAY UP with this crowd. There were designer gowns on each formal night, tuxes galore. Informal nights were fancy cocktail dresses and tuxes or black suits. Casual nights were even dressy. I never saw such a well heeled crowd. No "boxed wine" brought aboard on this ship! Consequently, there wasn't much early evening action as most Europeans are a late crowd. Average age was younger than usual - between 40-65, although I saw many young couples, children and older adults.
INTERNET - YAHOO!!!! They just finished when we boarded installing a brand new main frame, and the connection are now DSL speed. No, I'm NOT kidding! So, with your 20% more internet time coupon, you can actually cruise the internet, check your stocks and do e-mail without the excruciating wait for a page to load. And I checked on the live cam situation, they do not see them coming back anytime in the near future.
SECURITY - Wowsa....we were on code Orange when we left, but I never saw such tight security. There were K9 units sniffing not just the main food shipments, but each individual box that came on board....my handbag was checked 3 times. Not sure if this was an Everglades issue, or all around tight security, but I never saw it so tight. There are no tour any longer of the bridge or even the galley for security reasons. You now must fill out a health questionnaire and sign a certificate that you agree you can be confined to cabin if you show signs of illness. If you do not REPORT a fellow passenger who is ill, you can be fined or disciplined. All the bags were very late, which I presume was due to the heightened security.
jerseygirl13’s Full Rating Summary
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