The constellation was an old ship that showed her age. The entertainment was close to nothing and when the house band cannot connect or pick up on what the passengers are wanting that is a serious problem. The bands and music type were pretty much the same for all entertainers and lacked energy and fun. Really a letdown. Thank you for the Holland America entertainment experience. We were on the ship 23 days and only saw Karaoke 4 times -seriously? When we went there were plenty of passengers who wanted to participate. There was one evening where in the Reflections lounge some people were letting their children rule the dance floor. Nothing was done by parents or the cruise staff. Kids were actually throwing toy cars at each other until a parent finally stepped in. This lounge is not meant for kids - there are programs on board and people as well as ship staff should follow and enforce this.
Tours were hit or miss and the very expensive tour to the Taj Mahal was a complete disappointment. There was no briefing of the lack of sanitary conditions in India to any of the passengers, not even in the daily programs. This was a tour with an A+ price but a C- experience was delivered.
Staff was mostly disengaged to being rude, so much so that on a back to back cruise we only visited the Martini bar once. So many benefits of Aqua class seemed to have vanished - like having bottled water always available. We had to purchase our own on our package and this lead to the cabin steward mistakenly billing us for using the minibar water (which we did not). Blu restaurant was mostly a miserable experience; seemed to never understand how to properly cook pasta (way too thick and usually mushy) or poultry (duck and pheasant always tough). Also service was extremely slow in Blu - usually 20 minutes between courses. I think its because the staff was very clingy and there were times where I wanted to ask them to leave as I had already told 5 Blu employees how my day was. Additionally they would ask why we didn't dine with them the night before, which to me seems intrusive. Its not any of their business. In the past if there was a course on the main dining room restaurant that we wanted we were told that we could always have it. This time however, we saw a lamb shank dish on the other menu and asked it we could have that. We were told that it was served in the Blu a few nights ago and we could have ordered it then. Well, no we were off the ship on that very expensive and disappointing shore excursion to India and could not have had it. They did finally provide it but we should not have been shamed about wanting something that all we had to do was sit in another restaurant, order it and then be given the 5th degree about why we didn't eat at Blu the prior night. They also said they would not do this again on the cruise. This is so contrary to the experience we had at Blu on the Equinox its like night and day. It seemed like the staff truly enjoyed saying "NO" to the customer. Do you have any cottage cheese, berries or avocado on the ship? "no". Can I have a slice of pizza at the back deck bar? "no." (By the way I have never heard of that regulation on any cruise ship ever). We also wanted to do a cooking class and did not receive the confirmation until 20 minutes prior. That is not enough time to get off deck and cleaned up to attend. Additionally, all the activities my husband and I were interested in were scheduled so late that it was not even worth participating as several days as most cruisers had early tours. We did specialty dining 3 times and found that the New Year's Eve menu in Ocean Liners was very lackluster. They had 2 entrees and the beef dish was bland and tough. They had a cold lobster salad and I got a raw piece that nearly made me vomit right at the table. I understand the Constellation is going into dry dock soon which is good, unfortunately the overall experience on this trip - especially as it was back to back was really substandard. We have a cruise scheduled next month on the Infinity and we'll be in a sky suite. However if that overall impression of Celebrity does not considerably improve – (especially entertainment) we may be onto other lines.
Quiet but needed a facelift