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Overall rating: Eight out of Ten! Booking: We booked this cruise directly through Celebrity UK on 6th Sept 2015 by paying a €330 deposit. The stateroom we booked was A1-1124 Aqua Class. The attraction of this early booking deal as advertised was second person at 50% discount (First passenger cost €3,505.33 and the Second passenger cost €1,826.33). This included Classic Drinks and Gratuities. The balance of €5,001.66 was due and paid on 16th April 2016 bringing the total to €5,331.66. Compare this with the price our friends paid to accompanies us (in Concierge) which was $3,200 for Concierge only weeks before sailing, see “Cost” section later. Embarkation: As expected the embarkation process was straightforward, short queue and immediate access to the ship where we joined our friends (who travelled Concierge Class – See later) for a special Concierge lunch. We received no notification about any similar Aqua Class lunch? Staterooms: The Staterooms in Concierge and Agua Class are similar in size and layout, our friends were in Concierge on deck 8 (Room 8132) and we were Agua Class on Deck 11 (Room 1125). The two attendants in Aqua were very pleasant and helpful. The bathroom shower was just OK but not great, it lacked power. The binoculars were not working but these were replaced. Overall no real issues with our stateroom. Food and Restaurants: A major complaint is the unreasonable opening hours of the restaurants, which Celebrity doesn’t advertise clearly on their website. Blu only opens for breakfast from 6:30 to 8:30am, which is outrageous for people on holidays. Many people on the ship were commenting negatively about this. A business hotel in any city would be open for breakfast until 10am every day. Overall, the food was very good. The Maître d’ in Blu was a very friendly, efficient and pleasant person from Vancouver Canada and the main reception girl (from Ukraine) was welcoming, professional, accommodating and pleasant (this was her last cruise after 5 years). Service: The service in the Blu restaurant (available only to Aqua Class) was just OK. At times it felt that there were not enough people to serve the guests, and the waiters were running around trying to give everybody the service level they paid for. There were many occasions where we had to wait for the wine waiter who appeared quite stressed, this included at the start of the meal where we waited for glasses and the selection of our first drink. The service at Guest Services Deck 3 was often very slow with long queues. My friend had to wait 30 minutes just to get change of a €50 note to give some tips. The ATM’s on-board are a rip-off charging either $6.50 or €6.50 per transaction. No ATM’s in countries I’ve ever visited charge additional fees on top of normal bank fees. Overall: Overall the cruise ship was good, but you could feel that it was older, but well maintained. Simply put it was like a well-established place with a lived-in look. Personally, I would prefer a newer ship, and possibly one of the larger ships – this was not a big deal. This is our third Celebrity Cruise, the first one was on Celebrity Solstice in 2012 from Barcelona and it really spoilt us! We were in Concierge class and nothing but excellent service, lovely food and fantastic ship. Our second cruise in 2014 was in the Caribbean on the Celebrity Eclipse (Aqua Class) which was also lovely although I would prefer Europe as a destination. I feel the overall level of service has declined with Celebrity since the first cruise. If our first cruise (Celebrity Solstice) was 5-star, this was 4.75-Star! Celebrity are cutting down costs and this shows in a lot of places – they will lose custom, other cruise lines are catching up! Cost: My biggest complaint is that we paid much too much for this trip. Our friends booked the exact same cruise in May 2016 (i.e. only weeks before sailing) and got Concierge class for $3,200 including $150 on-board credit, including Gratuities and Classic Drinks package. With exchange rates that is almost half the cost we paid (€5,330.66). We were punished for early booking. I did ask Celebrity to look at our cost and offer some compensation before we paid the balance. We realised at that stage the ship was full in Aqua (which is small on the Constellation – about 150 people) and Concierge class and we could therefore not rebook. All our requests for any level of “feel good” compensation (e.g. on-board credit) were totally and utterly dismissed! I did not press my case before the trip in case the cancelled my booking! Another cost related issue I have is that in three ports (advertised as being cities) the ship actually docks several miles outside the city. I realise this is a practical requirement, however Celebrity are bordering on “sharp practice” to charge for a bus to bring Celebrity passengers to Celebrity advertised locations. This charge was between $12 and $15 per person, per city. Some examples from this trip are Ravenna ($15 pp) and Dubrovnik ($12 pp). What lesson has been learnt? Do not book directly through Celebrity! Do not book early! Note the extra Celebrity charges for transport into their stated destination e.g. Ravenna and Dubrovnik! Keep an eye on falling standards on Celebrity vs. other Cruise lines!

Celebrity - Falling standards and Rising costs

Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by conasatatu

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Overall rating:

Eight out of Ten!

Booking:

We booked this cruise directly through Celebrity UK on 6th Sept 2015 by paying a €330 deposit. The stateroom we booked was A1-1124 Aqua Class. The attraction of this early booking deal as advertised was second person at 50% discount (First passenger cost €3,505.33 and the Second passenger cost €1,826.33). This included Classic Drinks and Gratuities.

The balance of €5,001.66 was due and paid on 16th April 2016 bringing the total to €5,331.66. Compare this with the price our friends paid to accompanies us (in Concierge) which was $3,200 for Concierge only weeks before sailing, see “Cost” section later.

Embarkation:

As expected the embarkation process was straightforward, short queue and immediate access to the ship where we joined our friends (who travelled Concierge Class – See later) for a special Concierge lunch. We received no notification about any similar Aqua Class lunch?

Staterooms:

The Staterooms in Concierge and Agua Class are similar in size and layout, our friends were in Concierge on deck 8 (Room 8132) and we were Agua Class on Deck 11 (Room 1125). The two attendants in Aqua were very pleasant and helpful. The bathroom shower was just OK but not great, it lacked power. The binoculars were not working but these were replaced. Overall no real issues with our stateroom.

Food and Restaurants:

A major complaint is the unreasonable opening hours of the restaurants, which Celebrity doesn’t advertise clearly on their website. Blu only opens for breakfast from 6:30 to 8:30am, which is outrageous for people on holidays. Many people on the ship were commenting negatively about this. A business hotel in any city would be open for breakfast until 10am every day.

Overall, the food was very good. The Maître d’ in Blu was a very friendly, efficient and pleasant person from Vancouver Canada and the main reception girl (from Ukraine) was welcoming, professional, accommodating and pleasant (this was her last cruise after 5 years).

Service:

The service in the Blu restaurant (available only to Aqua Class) was just OK. At times it felt that there were not enough people to serve the guests, and the waiters were running around trying to give everybody the service level they paid for. There were many occasions where we had to wait for the wine waiter who appeared quite stressed, this included at the start of the meal where we waited for glasses and the selection of our first drink.

The service at Guest Services Deck 3 was often very slow with long queues. My friend had to wait 30 minutes just to get change of a €50 note to give some tips. The ATM’s on-board are a rip-off charging either $6.50 or €6.50 per transaction. No ATM’s in countries I’ve ever visited charge additional fees on top of normal bank fees.

Overall:

Overall the cruise ship was good, but you could feel that it was older, but well maintained. Simply put it was like a well-established place with a lived-in look. Personally, I would prefer a newer ship, and possibly one of the larger ships – this was not a big deal.

This is our third Celebrity Cruise, the first one was on Celebrity Solstice in 2012 from Barcelona and it really spoilt us! We were in Concierge class and nothing but excellent service, lovely food and fantastic ship. Our second cruise in 2014 was in the Caribbean on the Celebrity Eclipse (Aqua Class) which was also lovely although I would prefer Europe as a destination.

I feel the overall level of service has declined with Celebrity since the first cruise. If our first cruise (Celebrity Solstice) was 5-star, this was 4.75-Star! Celebrity are cutting down costs and this shows in a lot of places – they will lose custom, other cruise lines are catching up!

Cost:

My biggest complaint is that we paid much too much for this trip.

Our friends booked the exact same cruise in May 2016 (i.e. only weeks before sailing) and got Concierge class for $3,200 including $150 on-board credit, including Gratuities and Classic Drinks package. With exchange rates that is almost half the cost we paid (€5,330.66). We were punished for early booking.

I did ask Celebrity to look at our cost and offer some compensation before we paid the balance. We realised at that stage the ship was full in Aqua (which is small on the Constellation – about 150 people) and Concierge class and we could therefore not rebook.

All our requests for any level of “feel good” compensation (e.g. on-board credit) were totally and utterly dismissed! I did not press my case before the trip in case the cancelled my booking!

Another cost related issue I have is that in three ports (advertised as being cities) the ship actually docks several miles outside the city. I realise this is a practical requirement, however Celebrity are bordering on “sharp practice” to charge for a bus to bring Celebrity passengers to Celebrity advertised locations. This charge was between $12 and $15 per person, per city. Some examples from this trip are Ravenna ($15 pp) and Dubrovnik ($12 pp).

What lesson has been learnt?

Do not book directly through Celebrity!

Do not book early!

Note the extra Celebrity charges for transport into their stated destination e.g. Ravenna and Dubrovnik!

Keep an eye on falling standards on Celebrity vs. other Cruise lines!
conasatatu’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Aqua Class Balcony
Cabin A1 1124
Staterooms:
The Staterooms in Concierge and Agua Class are similar in size and layout, our friends were in Concierge on deck 8 (Room 8132) and we were Agua Class on Deck 11 (Room 1125). The two attendants in Aqua were very pleasant and helpful. The bathroom shower was just OK but not great, it lacked power. The binoculars were not working but these were replaced. Overall no real issues with our stateroom.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Dubrovnik
    Very good, did our own exploring - Celebrity excursions too expensive and not worth the money. Also they charge you a fee from $12 to $15 per person just to bring you by coach to the destination advertised. If Celebrity have to dock in a different place to the stated and advertised destination then they should bring you there and not force you to take a taxi or their coach transport (or be honest about their actual destination).
    View All 1,203 Dubrovnik Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Koper
    Very good, did our own exploring - Celebrity excursions too expensive and not worth the money. Also they charge you a fee from $12 to $15 per person just to bring you by coach to the destination advertised. If Celebrity have to dock in a different place to the stated and advertised destination then they should bring you there and not force you to take a taxi or their coach transport (or be honest about their actual destination).
    View All 89 Koper Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Kotor
    Very good, did our own exploring - Celebrity excursions too expensive and not worth the money. Also they charge you a fee from $12 to $15 per person just to bring you by coach to the destination advertised. If Celebrity have to dock in a different place to the stated and advertised destination then they should bring you there and not force you to take a taxi or their coach transport (or be honest about their actual destination).
    View All 726 Kotor Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Naples
    Very good, did our own exploring - Celebrity excursions too expensive and not worth the money. Also they charge you a fee from $12 to $15 per person just to bring you by coach to the destination advertised. If Celebrity have to dock in a different place to the stated and advertised destination then they should bring you there and not force you to take a taxi or their coach transport (or be honest about their actual destination).
    View All 1,418 Naples Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Split
    Very good, did our own exploring - Celebrity excursions too expensive and not worth the money. Also they charge you a fee from $12 to $15 per person just to bring you by coach to the destination advertised. If Celebrity have to dock in a different place to the stated and advertised destination then they should bring you there and not force you to take a taxi or their coach transport (or be honest about their actual destination).
    View All 401 Split Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Venice
    Very good, did our own exploring - Celebrity excursions too expensive and not worth the money. Also they charge you a fee from $12 to $15 per person just to bring you by coach to the destination advertised. If Celebrity have to dock in a different place to the stated and advertised destination then they should bring you there and not force you to take a taxi or their coach transport (or be honest about their actual destination).
    View All 1,448 Venice Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Zadar
    Very good, did our own exploring - Celebrity excursions too expensive and not worth the money. Also they charge you a fee from $12 to $15 per person just to bring you by coach to the destination advertised. If Celebrity have to dock in a different place to the stated and advertised destination then they should bring you there and not force you to take a taxi or their coach transport (or be honest about their actual destination).
    View All 104 Zadar Cruise Port Reviews
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