Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by bhambamacruiser
- Sail Date: December 2015
- Destination: Western Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Concierge Class 1
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.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Best of CozumelWe saw the ruins at San Gervasio. Good tour guide. Very informative. Comfortable bus ride. Stopped at Mayan chocolate location. Nice people and nice location. Just a random, touristy spot. Not much to really see. Tulum was cancelled because of length of time to get to location and make it back before ship sails.View All 108 Best of Cozumel Reviews
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