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Dalmatian Delights This was our 4th cruise with Celebrity, this time on the Constellation. Cruisers seem to have an affection for the Connie and it rubbed off on us. Although older than Eclipse, Reflection, the Connie was a really friendly ship with a great crew. The ship is being painted whilst in port and little chips of paint appear on the balcony from time to time. We asked our steward to clean it up and he did, washing the balcony floor. Our cabin, forward on deck 8 near the lifts, was very comfortable, with 2 US 110V sockets and 2 – 2 pin Euro sockets at the built-in vanity unit. No sockets are installed in the bathroom, which has a quite roomy shower, even if still fitted with a curtain. Whilst our cabin was convenient for the theatre on deck 5 it was quite a walk to the restaurants at the rear of the ship. Good exercise to work up an appetite for those delicious meals! Baggage drop and check-in at Venice was smooth and only took 30 minutes so we were on board and sipping prosecco by 11.30am. Sailaway was delayed by demonstrators swimming in the canal protesting about the large ships destroying the Venice lagoon environment but once under way the view of St Marks Square and surrounding palaces is stupendous, especially when seen from 90 feet above the lagoon! Koper, Slovenia, was our first port of call where we had booked a private tour through Cruise Critic Roll Call, meeting up with two other cruisers to make up a party of 6. We spent a great day, driving to Lake Bled, a gem set in the Julian Alps, and then to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, with a quaint Old Town. Our trip took all day as it’s 150km from Koper to Lake Bled. Zadar came next. This is another historical town with Roman relics – it’s not large and we walked around to see the important sights, drink local beer and eat the local cevapi, spicy sausages. The perhaps most important attraction is the Sea Organ, at the edge of the promenade, where the sound of the waves is amplified to sound like an organ. We took a taxi in and out for €30 for 4 of us for the round trip. Split, next day, was much busier, with large tourist numbers. The Diocletian Palace is something to behold, with some 200 buildings incorporated inside its walls. It was just a 10 minute walk from the mooring to the town, but some cruise ships have to anchor and use tenders. We expected Dubrovnik to be crowded as there were 4 cruise ships in port when we called. We contacted a local tour operator, found through our Cruise Critic Roll Call and were taken to the vantage points above the city before the coaches arrived. Our trip included a drive to a very pleasant seaside resort, Cavtat, for coffee, before a guided tour of Dubrovnik and its crowded streets. Kotor, Montenegro, is yet another historic town, with city walls climbing up the mountain, a strenuous walk in the heat of summer. Here we were tendered to port, a journey of 15 minutes. We explored the town on our own, taking refreshment when we felt like it. One day at sea and we were in Naples. Here we took a taxi to the National Archaeological Museum, which has an impressive collection of Roman sculptures. We ate pizza, washed down by beer/wine at a typical Neapolitan restaurant – great atmosphere! Our last guided tour was at Catania, where we used Trip Advisor to select a tour operator to visit Taormina and Mt Etna. Our day was wonderful! We spent a couple of hours in Taormina, strolling along the famed Corso Umberto to the Greek Ampitheatre. The ampitheatre was heaving and the line for tickets was huge so we passed on that and returned to our guide and car to continue to Mt Etna. This is a huge area, much larger that we had anticipated, with lava flows from as recent as 2002. We drove up to 2000m, at the base of the cable car, which would have taken us to 2800m and then it’s still 500m to the top. We were in crater-land and very interesting, too, giving a great view all around, surrounded by old craters, but you can’t see the summit, even from here and our tour didn’t include that. Our driver piloted our MPV in usual Sicilian fashion – only stop for stop signs and pedestrian crossings if no-one is in your way, and never, ever give way to anyone else on the road! That way, we were back in plenty of time at the ship. The last port of call was Ravenna, famous for its mosaics. We took a taxi for 4 of us for €20 to the town centre and visited the 5 buildings around town with beautiful mosaics dating back centuries but look like they were crafted only recently. On board we had pre-paid our gratuities so had select dining in the Main Restaurant, named San Marco, very appropriate for our cruise. The food was excellent, as usual. There used to be 4 courses for dinner but now only 3 – however, there is still soup on each starter menu so you can still order both soup and starter, even more if you want. Nothing was too much trouble for the waiting staff. Our companions had New York Strip Sirloin which was not tender and it was replaced with Aged Prime Rib without demur and followed up by the Maitre D’ to check that all was well with the replacement. We could not fault the service we received. Only one bone of contention is the price of drinks – they seem to creep up every year and now the gratuity added automatically is 18%, up from 15% last time we sailed. Beer is $9 plus 18% - save your money and drink ashore! Also, unless you have a Drink Package (at $65 per day plus 18%) don’t buy water, at $4.75 plus 18% when you can buy it on shore for €0.25 in Italy supermarkets! Still, we did have $600 on board spend per cabin, so we could drink without much fear of overspend. We have usually enjoyed the entertainment on board Celebrity ships and the Constellation shows were even better! The musical productions were very professional with talented performers. The guest entertainers were also very good, although we did not go to the shows which focussed on singers. To summarise; the scenic ports of call, really professional entertainment, quality food, and the happy atmosphere on board made this a cruise to remember.

Dalmatian Delights

Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by cruiseral70

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Dalmatian Delights

This was our 4th cruise with Celebrity, this time on the Constellation. Cruisers seem to have an affection for the Connie and it rubbed off on us. Although older than Eclipse, Reflection, the Connie was a really friendly ship with a great crew.

The ship is being painted whilst in port and little chips of paint appear on the balcony from time to time. We asked our steward to clean it up and he did, washing the balcony floor. Our cabin, forward on deck 8 near the lifts, was very comfortable, with 2 US 110V sockets and 2 – 2 pin Euro sockets at the built-in vanity unit. No sockets are installed in the bathroom, which has a quite roomy shower, even if still fitted with a curtain. Whilst our cabin was convenient for the theatre on deck 5 it was quite a walk to the restaurants at the rear of the ship. Good exercise to work up an appetite for those delicious meals!

Baggage drop and check-in at Venice was smooth and only took 30 minutes so we were on board and sipping prosecco by 11.30am.

Sailaway was delayed by demonstrators swimming in the canal protesting about the large ships destroying the Venice lagoon environment but once under way the view of St Marks Square and surrounding palaces is stupendous, especially when seen from 90 feet above the lagoon!

Koper, Slovenia, was our first port of call where we had booked a private tour through Cruise Critic Roll Call, meeting up with two other cruisers to make up a party of 6. We spent a great day, driving to Lake Bled, a gem set in the Julian Alps, and then to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, with a quaint Old Town. Our trip took all day as it’s 150km from Koper to Lake Bled.

Zadar came next. This is another historical town with Roman relics – it’s not large and we walked around to see the important sights, drink local beer and eat the local cevapi, spicy sausages. The perhaps most important attraction is the Sea Organ, at the edge of the promenade, where the sound of the waves is amplified to sound like an organ. We took a taxi in and out for €30 for 4 of us for the round trip.

Split, next day, was much busier, with large tourist numbers. The Diocletian Palace is something to behold, with some 200 buildings incorporated inside its walls. It was just a 10 minute walk from the mooring to the town, but some cruise ships have to anchor and use tenders.

We expected Dubrovnik to be crowded as there were 4 cruise ships in port when we called. We contacted a local tour operator, found through our Cruise Critic Roll Call and were taken to the vantage points above the city before the coaches arrived. Our trip included a drive to a very pleasant seaside resort, Cavtat, for coffee, before a guided tour of Dubrovnik and its crowded streets.

Kotor, Montenegro, is yet another historic town, with city walls climbing up the mountain, a strenuous walk in the heat of summer. Here we were tendered to port, a journey of 15 minutes. We explored the town on our own, taking refreshment when we felt like it.

One day at sea and we were in Naples. Here we took a taxi to the National Archaeological Museum, which has an impressive collection of Roman sculptures. We ate pizza, washed down by beer/wine at a typical Neapolitan restaurant – great atmosphere!

Our last guided tour was at Catania, where we used Trip Advisor to select a tour operator to visit Taormina and Mt Etna. Our day was wonderful! We spent a couple of hours in Taormina, strolling along the famed Corso Umberto to the Greek Ampitheatre. The ampitheatre was heaving and the line for tickets was huge so we passed on that and returned to our guide and car to continue to Mt Etna. This is a huge area, much larger that we had anticipated, with lava flows from as recent as 2002. We drove up to 2000m, at the base of the cable car, which would have taken us to 2800m and then it’s still 500m to the top. We were in crater-land and very interesting, too, giving a great view all around, surrounded by old craters, but you can’t see the summit, even from here and our tour didn’t include that.

Our driver piloted our MPV in usual Sicilian fashion – only stop for stop signs and pedestrian crossings if no-one is in your way, and never, ever give way to anyone else on the road! That way, we were back in plenty of time at the ship.

The last port of call was Ravenna, famous for its mosaics. We took a taxi for 4 of us for €20 to the town centre and visited the 5 buildings around town with beautiful mosaics dating back centuries but look like they were crafted only recently.

On board we had pre-paid our gratuities so had select dining in the Main Restaurant, named San Marco, very appropriate for our cruise. The food was excellent, as usual. There used to be 4 courses for dinner but now only 3 – however, there is still soup on each starter menu so you can still order both soup and starter, even more if you want. Nothing was too much trouble for the waiting staff. Our companions had New York Strip Sirloin which was not tender and it was replaced with Aged Prime Rib without demur and followed up by the Maitre D’ to check that all was well with the replacement. We could not fault the service we received. Only one bone of contention is the price of drinks – they seem to creep up every year and now the gratuity added automatically is 18%, up from 15% last time we sailed. Beer is $9 plus 18% - save your money and drink ashore! Also, unless you have a Drink Package (at $65 per day plus 18%) don’t buy water, at $4.75 plus 18% when you can buy it on shore for €0.25 in Italy supermarkets! Still, we did have $600 on board spend per cabin, so we could drink without much fear of overspend.

We have usually enjoyed the entertainment on board Celebrity ships and the Constellation shows were even better! The musical productions were very professional with talented performers. The guest entertainers were also very good, although we did not go to the shows which focussed on singers.

To summarise; the scenic ports of call, really professional entertainment, quality food, and the happy atmosphere on board made this a cruise to remember.
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