1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Celebrity Constellation
Having been on quite a few Royal Caribbean cruises and reached Diamond Plus, our objective was to take a cruise with Celebrity and see if the theoretically-equivalent Elite level actually is equivalent. We booked a 4-day cruise on Celebrity Constellation out of Ft Lauderdale in January 2016. Constellation was built in 2002 and renovated in 2013. Passenger load is slightly over 2,000 people. Constellation is a Millennium Class ship (Solstice Class is the other Celebrity class with passenger loads around 3500). We originally booked an interior room, but about 2 weeks prior to the cruise, Celebrity called with an offer to upgrade to a Concierge Class room for $150 or an Aqua Class room for $200 (for both of us). We elected Aqua Class, and it was a great choice. Aqua Class rooms are 192 ft2 with a decent sized balcony, plus access to their own dining room, Blu (which, not surprisingly, has a modern, blue-colored theme). The shower in the Aqua room was the best we have ever had in any category of room, including suites. It was rectangle-shaped, had two full-height glass doors with ample room inside, a bar upon which the ladies can place their feet for leg-shaving purposes, and six water jets that will spray the body, vice just using the single normal overhead shower head (which is adjustable to fit humans of any height). Aqua Class also includes free and unlimited access to the Persian Garden, a spa within the main spa that has its own showers, three saunas (one dry and two steam) and a heated sitting/relaxing bench. This is a very nice amenity. Each afternoon they also delivered to our room a plate of canapes (tapas). One day the Captain’s Club manager sent a rose with a nice card. These amenities could have been because of Elite or the Aqua Class room; we’re not sure. Back to the ship: embarkation was very fast and smooth. From parking at Terminal 4 at 11:10 to being physically aboard the ship took less than 15 minutes. Upon entering the ship, we were handed a glass of champagne. Lunch was already being served in the Oceanview Café on deck 10. It had a nice range of choices and there was always plenty of international food available (Indian and Asian). Although we only ate there a couple of times, the Oceanview Café never felt crowded. Tables were spaced well, and the ambience was light and airy. Rooms were opened at 1:06. Bags came quickly (perhaps because we were in Aqua Class, or perhaps because they are just good at delivering bags). We checked the specialty dining rooms right away and took advantage of a first night 30% off opportunity to eat in Ocean Liners, the ship’s most upscale restaurant. Normally $50, the meal was $35 each, and well worth it. The lobster was the best ever, even having eaten quite a few in Maine. We tried the Blu restaurant the first morning and were hooked. Ate dinner there each night the rest of the cruise. Menu was very good; better than the main dining room, and that we discovered that if you want something that’s not on the menu, just ask (for example, they made us eggs benedict for breakfast and a grand mariner soufflé for desert). The Blu staff quickly learned our names, and made sure to greet us by name when we walked in. There was always plenty of staff in this dining room. Blu is a class act, and is one of the main reasons we again booked an Aqua class room for our next Celebrity cruise. The Elite (and higher) lounge does not open the first night at sea so we had to buy drinks a la carte at a bar. They are pricier than on Royal Caribbean. With the included tip, bar drinks were $9 and house wine was $10 or $11, depending on choice. After the first night, the Elite lounge has free drinks from 5 – 7 PM with an ample list of choices. Some small hors d’oeuvres were served but not enough to hurt your appetite. The lounge on Constellation used for Elite (Reflections) is located on the top deck facing the bow with a nice view when entering or leaving port. It is a large space with a dance floor and plenty of tables. On our short cruise, the Elite members didn’t remotely fill it, but we were told that on crossings and on longer cruises that attract more Elite members, the room does get full. We were also told that, like Royal Caribbean, the rolls of Elite members are growing faster than the space available for the Elite evening event on some of the longer cruises, and that they will likely have to begin issuing vouchers for drinks at any bar on the ship (which will likely turn into the three-drinks-on-your-seapass-card deal that Royal now uses). The ship has the usual array of bars. One very popular one that was always crowded was the martini bar. Casino is 100% no-smoking. Constellation was immaculate everywhere. Only noticed a handful of rust spots on the exterior rails (far fewer than on other ships, even newly renovated ones). Everything worked. The public restrooms have cloth towels to dry hands. The crew was friendlier than on other ships; everyone makes eye contact, smiles and greets you. The Captain on this ship has a real presence. It’s likely just his personality vice a Celebrity policy, but he’s out-and-about, he participates in crew vs guest games like water volleyball, he gives an interesting PowerPoint presentation on building of the first Solstice class ship, etc. Great personality on the announcing system, too. The three-level theater was adequately sized, and the rows had enough room between them for servers squeeze by and deliver drinks to those seated in the interior. Between each pair of seats is a small stationary table just large enough to place your drinks. This is a great idea that other ships should emulate. The production shows were excellent; we had 15 singers and dancers on our short cruise. The entertainers (comedian and singer) were well above average for short cruises. The computer lounge had about 20 PCs, all new Apples. Two computer guys were always available to help. Not sure about wi-fi speed. Other amenities: - Welcome packet in the room with slippers (to keep), a logo shoulder bag and a smaller bag that clips inside the larger one (again, this could be an Aqua class benefit or an Elite benefit) - Nice robes (ditto about which benefit) - Iced towels provided on the pier when returning to the ship. Great way to wipe the sweat off. - Iced, flavored water available inside security after re-boarding. - Extensive variety of Sushi available from 5:30 – 9:30 in the Oceanview Cafe. When we finally figured this out, we took plates of sushi to the Elite lounge to eat with our drinks. - Towels for the pools and spa do not have to be checked out with your Seapass card. Plenty of towels were always available. There were four people manning the future cruise sales office, and for good reason. Celebrity offers deals differently than Royal Caribbean, but they still have some excellent deals. For the 11-day cruise we booked, we got $300 toward gratuities, $300 in onboard credit and $200 off the cruise price (whereas Royal generally gives half off the second fare). Bottom Line: based on this experience, Celebrity is our new favorite cruise line, although I’m sure we’ll go back and forth between Royal Caribbean and Celebrity.

Celebrity Elite vs Royal Caribbean D+

Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by Marty48

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2016
  • Destination: Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Aqua Class Balcony
Having been on quite a few Royal Caribbean cruises and reached Diamond Plus, our objective was to take a cruise with Celebrity and see if the theoretically-equivalent Elite level actually is equivalent. We booked a 4-day cruise on Celebrity Constellation out of Ft Lauderdale in January 2016. Constellation was built in 2002 and renovated in 2013. Passenger load is slightly over 2,000 people. Constellation is a Millennium Class ship (Solstice Class is the other Celebrity class with passenger loads around 3500).

We originally booked an interior room, but about 2 weeks prior to the cruise, Celebrity called with an offer to upgrade to a Concierge Class room for $150 or an Aqua Class room for $200 (for both of us). We elected Aqua Class, and it was a great choice. Aqua Class rooms are 192 ft2 with a decent sized balcony, plus access to their own dining room, Blu (which, not surprisingly, has a modern, blue-colored theme). The shower in the Aqua room was the best we have ever had in any category of room, including suites. It was rectangle-shaped, had two full-height glass doors with ample room inside, a bar upon which the ladies can place their feet for leg-shaving purposes, and six water jets that will spray the body, vice just using the single normal overhead shower head (which is adjustable to fit humans of any height).

Aqua Class also includes free and unlimited access to the Persian Garden, a spa within the main spa that has its own showers, three saunas (one dry and two steam) and a heated sitting/relaxing bench. This is a very nice amenity.

Each afternoon they also delivered to our room a plate of canapes (tapas). One day the Captain’s Club manager sent a rose with a nice card. These amenities could have been because of Elite or the Aqua Class room; we’re not sure.

Back to the ship: embarkation was very fast and smooth. From parking at Terminal 4 at 11:10 to being physically aboard the ship took less than 15 minutes. Upon entering the ship, we were handed a glass of champagne. Lunch was already being served in the Oceanview Café on deck 10. It had a nice range of choices and there was always plenty of international food available (Indian and Asian). Although we only ate there a couple of times, the Oceanview Café never felt crowded. Tables were spaced well, and the ambience was light and airy.

Rooms were opened at 1:06. Bags came quickly (perhaps because we were in Aqua Class, or perhaps because they are just good at delivering bags).

We checked the specialty dining rooms right away and took advantage of a first night 30% off opportunity to eat in Ocean Liners, the ship’s most upscale restaurant. Normally $50, the meal was $35 each, and well worth it. The lobster was the best ever, even having eaten quite a few in Maine.

We tried the Blu restaurant the first morning and were hooked. Ate dinner there each night the rest of the cruise. Menu was very good; better than the main dining room, and that we discovered that if you want something that’s not on the menu, just ask (for example, they made us eggs benedict for breakfast and a grand mariner soufflé for desert). The Blu staff quickly learned our names, and made sure to greet us by name when we walked in. There was always plenty of staff in this dining room. Blu is a class act, and is one of the main reasons we again booked an Aqua class room for our next Celebrity cruise.

The Elite (and higher) lounge does not open the first night at sea so we had to buy drinks a la carte at a bar. They are pricier than on Royal Caribbean. With the included tip, bar drinks were $9 and house wine was $10 or $11, depending on choice. After the first night, the Elite lounge has free drinks from 5 – 7 PM with an ample list of choices. Some small hors d’oeuvres were served but not enough to hurt your appetite. The lounge on Constellation used for Elite (Reflections) is located on the top deck facing the bow with a nice view when entering or leaving port. It is a large space with a dance floor and plenty of tables. On our short cruise, the Elite members didn’t remotely fill it, but we were told that on crossings and on longer cruises that attract more Elite members, the room does get full.

We were also told that, like Royal Caribbean, the rolls of Elite members are growing faster than the space available for the Elite evening event on some of the longer cruises, and that they will likely have to begin issuing vouchers for drinks at any bar on the ship (which will likely turn into the three-drinks-on-your-seapass-card deal that Royal now uses).

The ship has the usual array of bars. One very popular one that was always crowded was the martini bar. Casino is 100% no-smoking.

Constellation was immaculate everywhere. Only noticed a handful of rust spots on the exterior rails (far fewer than on other ships, even newly renovated ones). Everything worked. The public restrooms have cloth towels to dry hands. The crew was friendlier than on other ships; everyone makes eye contact, smiles and greets you. The Captain on this ship has a real presence. It’s likely just his personality vice a Celebrity policy, but he’s out-and-about, he participates in crew vs guest games like water volleyball, he gives an interesting PowerPoint presentation on building of the first Solstice class ship, etc. Great personality on the announcing system, too.

The three-level theater was adequately sized, and the rows had enough room between them for servers squeeze by and deliver drinks to those seated in the interior. Between each pair of seats is a small stationary table just large enough to place your drinks. This is a great idea that other ships should emulate. The production shows were excellent; we had 15 singers and dancers on our short cruise. The entertainers (comedian and singer) were well above average for short cruises.

The computer lounge had about 20 PCs, all new Apples. Two computer guys were always available to help. Not sure about wi-fi speed.

Other amenities:

- Welcome packet in the room with slippers (to keep), a logo shoulder bag and a smaller bag that clips inside the larger one (again, this could be an Aqua class benefit or an Elite benefit)

- Nice robes (ditto about which benefit)

- Iced towels provided on the pier when returning to the ship. Great way to wipe the sweat off.

- Iced, flavored water available inside security after re-boarding.

- Extensive variety of Sushi available from 5:30 – 9:30 in the Oceanview Cafe. When we finally figured this out, we took plates of sushi to the Elite lounge to eat with our drinks.

- Towels for the pools and spa do not have to be checked out with your Seapass card. Plenty of towels were always available.

There were four people manning the future cruise sales office, and for good reason. Celebrity offers deals differently than Royal Caribbean, but they still have some excellent deals. For the 11-day cruise we booked, we got $300 toward gratuities, $300 in onboard credit and $200 off the cruise price (whereas Royal generally gives half off the second fare).

Bottom Line: based on this experience, Celebrity is our new favorite cruise line, although I’m sure we’ll go back and forth between Royal Caribbean and Celebrity.
Marty48’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Celebrity Constellation price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Aqua Class Balcony
Cabin A2 9052
We originally booked an interior room, but about 2 weeks prior to the cruise, Celebrity called with an offer to upgrade to a Concierge Class room for $150 or an Aqua Class room for $200 (for both of us). We elected Aqua Class, and it was a great choice. Aqua Class rooms are 192 ft2 with a decent sized balcony, plus access to their own dining room, Blu (which, not surprisingly, has a modern, blue-colored theme). The shower in the Aqua room was the best we have ever had in any category of room, including suites. It was rectangle-shaped, had two full-height glass doors with ample room inside, a bar upon which the ladies can place their feet for leg-shaving purposes, and six water jets that will spray the body, vice just using the single normal overhead shower head (which is adjustable to fit humans of any height).

Aqua Class also includes free and unlimited access to the Persian Garden, a spa within the main spa that has its own showers, three saunas (one dry and two steam) and a heated sitting/relaxing bench. This is a very nice amenity.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews