Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by WEGL81
- Sail Date: December 2015
- Destination: Bahamas
- Cabin Type: Celebrity Suite
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.
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