I chose this cruise because 'Celebrity Cruises' had been recommended to me by my parents who would have the same level of standards as myself. The price was inviting and some of the ports were in places I had yet to visit. I traveled with my boyfriend and my parents (my father is disabled and has to use a wheelchair) so cruises make sense as a holiday option.
We stayed in Abu Dhabi for 4 days prior to the cruise and book-ended the trip with 3 nights in Rome. These two stays were what made the holiday in all honesty, and these were booked personally.
Firstly the ship, the Constellation is an old tired ship that really needs some TLC. Yes it is spotlessly clean and the staff do their utmost to keep it so. The decks are well worn, the sunbeds were old and not very comfortable and the sun towels very faded and tatty. The Ocean View Cafe, the food was mediocre and the restaurant, again tired looking, broken ice machines, dripping coffee dispensers etc. The Poolside Cafe, burgers were good but unfortunately Alexander had a very displeasing temperament and everything was served begrudgingly. The San Marco restaurant was the only saving grace, Alistair and Jonny were great waiters and always wore a smile and a friendly greeting and the food was a much better standard than Ocean view.
The entertainment was very poor, I had been told of 'West End' worthy entertainment in the evenings but not the 'one man shows' we were shown. Obviously the better shows are for the better ships. The movies that were shown on board were firstly not vetted by anyone and sometimes not appropriate for the few kids on board but also incredibly lacking in choice, the same movie was shown more than 9 times in one week. The one opportunity I had to watch a movie I wanted to see the sound was not working with the picture and no one did anything about it.
The pool side band that played each day at about 3pm were dreadful, they played the same set each day bar one new song at the end and not only that but the lead singer could not sing, she proceeded to butcher well known songs for 15 days straight.
The excursions, as my father was wheelchair bound most of the time off the ship we had to pick tours with minimal walking for him. In Jordan, myself and my mother went to Petra, a tour that started off ok, until we stopped in the middle of nowhere at a shop to use the 'toilets' but we wasted over 30 mins, then we had lunch at the Movenpick in Petra, food was fine but our guide did not have the courage to tell people to hurry up and finish up. We did not enter into Petra until after 3pm and were told to be back at the bus at 6. You travel all the distance to see one of the 'New 7 wonders of the world' only to get 3 hours to explore it. My father and my boyfriend embarked on the Aqaba tour and Wadi Rum which involved a drive through Aqaba where a fort, a beach and a street with hotels were pointed out and that concluded the tour. They were then driven to a 'Welcome center' where they all got off the bus to pick up a ticket and told to get back on the bus again immediately and then driven to a Bedouin tent and ignored for 3 hours. This tour was supposed to be an informative tour and the tent was supposed to have someone explain the Bedouin culture etc. a complete waste of money and time. Thankfully the remainder of the tours we had booked were just transport and we did our own sightseeing, unfortunately though, the times for collection were well ahead of the ship leaving port so we could have had more time in places.
The 'boutiques' were overpriced and the 'sales' they held each day were not worth writing about. Just for example, one watch that my boyfriend was interested in was 'reduced' to $200 from $600 but is available online for £70.. hardly a saving.
One final thing to add to my review was the Suez canal was not a 'feature' to add to the list, it's a canal full of flies with not much to see either side. The restaurants, bars and even the Solarium lacking in electric fly catchers were filled with flies which were crawling all over the food for 3 days.
Although I do wish to cruise again, I will not travel on this ship, but one of the ships my parents actually traveled on as the standards seem much higher.
Cabin was very clean, our stateroom attendant was very good and very pleasant, the decor however was tired and in need of redecoration. There was a terrible creaking noise, more than one would expect on a moving ship that meant my boyfriend and I lacked sleep for several days. We did complain but were told someone had checked it out and could not hear anything. When we complained again the maintenance man came and tightened some screws on what looks like doors in our ceiling, this worked for 1 night. We eventually gave up.