Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by alexbear
- Sail Date: March 2009
- Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
The embarkation process was fast and efficient. We arrived at 12:00pm and were on the ship within 40 minutes with a glass of champagne in our hands.
The ship: The Constellation is beautiful. It is well laid out and has diagrams at every elevator which makes it easy to find your way. Staff were always cleaning and maintaining the ship to pristine standards. The artwork was a little bizarre for my taste. I prefer a more classic decor. The music in the main dining room during supper hours was also a little odd. It was a mix of European techno and modernized Gregorian chanting. The main theatre was spacious and we never had a problem finding a seat. Deck 4 has wonderful shaded lounge chairs where you read a book and look for dolphins. We saw to schools of dolphins,many flying fish (they are very small about the size of sardines) and a shark. THe library is on 2 floors but the selection of books is small.
Stateroom: We had a balcony room. It was functional, clean, but not luxurious. It compared favorably with other cruiselines. The bed was a bit on the firm side but comfortable. The balcony was wonderful. I often had my coffee there in the mornings. By the way, they tell you in the information in your stateroom to order your breakfast the evening before. I found this inconvenient as I do not sleep to a schedule. I had no problem calling in my order upon waking. The shower was on the small side but I would often have my shower in the spa area. Much nicer. Our housekeeper was not overly friendly or talkative but got the job done.
Dining: The food was good to excellent. Breakfast: Try the Cova cafe for warm almond or chocolate croissants. The main buffet was well laid out. The waffle station at the back was excellent with outdoor seating available. The non-smoking section was on the left. We never had a problem finding a seat at the buffet. The coffee is not always the hottest. I solved this problem by asking one of the staff for some hot, fresh coffee. They would go to the kitchen and get a fresh pot. Also, they often wander around offering refills. This coffee is also hot and fresh. Lunch: We ate our lunch at the buffet. Great selection. Pasta station is alot of fun. Dinner: The selection was generally very good with 1 of each category of food being offered (vegetarian, pasta, fish, chicken, beef). The appetizers were varied and could be hit or miss. You can order as much as you want so don't be afraid to try something. If you don't like it, order something else. We had the late sitting because we found out on previous cruises that we were rarely hungry at 6:30pm. Portions were adequate and well presented. Quality was excellent. There are three other options for dinner. The specialty restaurant costs $30 and is definitely worth the experience. You can go to the buffet and eat pasta, pizza, salad, sushi, and dessert. Very informal. The third option is to make a reservation for alternate dining. This is an area of the buffet which is converted to table service. The menu options are more limited but you have a dedicated chef which prepare everything fresh. You also have smaller tables with ocean view. Worth a try.
Entertainment: The shows were good for the most part. The acrobats were very talented. Perry Grant in Michael's lounge is a character. He sings older songs and encourages audience participation. His style reminds me of Liberace. Great singing voice. We had a blast. There were enrichment lectures on our ports of call that were educational and fun. A small movie theater played movies during the day but I found that most of the movies were very obscure and you had to wonder who chose them. The accapella singers were talented and performed in different venues.
Spa/Pool: The two swimming pools in the middle of the ship are salt water and not heated. The thalassotherapy pool was very relaxing and free of charge. We considered getting a pass to the persian gardens for $99 each but we decided that the thalassotherapy pool combined with the free oceanview saunas in the changeroom was sufficient. Never a problem using the fitness equipment.
Service: What can I say. It's a cruise ship. You can't find better service anywhere (at least in my income bracket). The staff were friendly and appreciative of their position on the cruise ship. Many of them have dreams of retiring on their own farm or starting a restaurant back home. On the way to the ship, my Panama hat blew off of my head and went over the pier into the ocean (I had just bought it). A staff member actually ran after it. At dinner that night, our assistant waiter told me that the someone had called a harbor boat to retrieve my hat. Our waiter who had been working on the dock that day had recognized me and the hat was waiting for me at customer relations. All this for an $8 hat. Need I say more.
Ports of call: Grand Cayman: We walked off the boat and walked to a snorkeling site. Free and fantastic snorkeling. Columbia: Beautiful city. Walked off the boat and got a wonderful city tour for $25 each. Panama: Purchased the monkey tour on ship. Great tour. Saw sloths, monkeys, boat tour of Lake Gatun which is part of the canal. Costa rica: Did the boat,train,bus excursion from the ship. It was OK. Cozumel: Took a cab to a snorkeling spot. Lots of options available at the port. No need to book on the ship. I would recommend that you use the ship excursions for Panama and Costa Rica as the choices available on shore are limited and many of the excursions are lengthy and require long bus rides.
Overall a great cruise and would highly recommend it.
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