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Our recent trip on Celebrity Constellation from Venice to Rome was a disappointment. The number of people, the noisy activities, the lack of basic information and the continual selling of products produced a less desirable atmosphere. Also, in many ways it was like going to a private club where one did not know the rules. Throughout the cruise we were finding out how things worked or what was or was not available, such as no access to the Reflections lounge in late afternoon unless you were a frequent passenger of Celebrity. I did not feel welcome. The company failed to provide details such as floor plans in each cabin although there was room for a 48-page catalogue of the art work that could be purchased. Basic information about the ports that we visited was not given to passengers although I discovered partway through the cruise that the concierge had some information. And sometimes there were a few maps etc. available if you knew where to look and got them before they ran out. Celebrity advertises its select Dining program as allowing “guests flexibility with evening dining. Guests select to dine between the hours of 6:00-9:30 each evening, much like a regular restaurant”. But the reality is quite different. On the first day we learned that reservations could only be made before 6 pm or after 8:30 pm and only one day in advance, not for the entire cruise. Partway through the cruise we learned that pagers were available so that you could check in earlier than 8:45 pm (the first available evening reservation) and wait to be called (usually 30-45 minutes). As part of the three-dinner specialty restaurant package, we were assigned on the first evening to the Qsine Restaurant, a restaurant that offers a “unique experience”. Here we sat on mismatched chairs and tried to order from icons on a computer tablet. It was not a relaxing environment, especially when the trendy tubes that doubled as spoons spilled melted ice-cream all over our hands. The Tuscan Restaurant was excellent. We selected this cruise because it was one of the few companies offering two days in Malta, a place with a rich history. However, there were no presentations on Malta but there was time for a talk on gemstones. I was told that it was a corporate decision about when to offer “enrichment” talks. Similarly, it was a corporate decision to put the office of the concierge in the library. Hence, the quiet atmosphere was interrupted by phone calls and visits by passengers seeking information from the concierge. In addition, the open staircase in the library led to the computer room where there were classes and other noisy activities such as selling new tablets. The emphasis on the cruise seemed to be one of selling: either new products (tablets, clothes, watches, art work) or packages for activities during the cruise (internet, beverage, dining etc.). For me, travel is an opportunity to experience new places and learn about their history; clearly, my objectives and those of Celebrity are at variance. My lesson – choose another company.

Not a happy memory

Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by reynob

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Our recent trip on Celebrity Constellation from Venice to Rome was a disappointment. The number of people, the noisy activities, the lack of basic information and the continual selling of products produced a less desirable atmosphere. Also, in many ways it was like going to a private club where one did not know the rules. Throughout the cruise we were finding out how things worked or what was or was not available, such as no access to the Reflections lounge in late afternoon unless you were a frequent passenger of Celebrity. I did not feel welcome.

The company failed to provide details such as floor plans in each cabin although there was room for a 48-page catalogue of the art work that could be purchased. Basic information about the ports that we visited was not given to passengers although I discovered partway through the cruise that the concierge had some information. And sometimes there were a few maps etc. available if you knew where to look and got them before they ran out.

Celebrity advertises its select Dining program as allowing “guests flexibility with evening dining. Guests select to dine between the hours of 6:00-9:30 each evening, much like a regular restaurant”. But the reality is quite different. On the first day we learned that reservations could only be made before 6 pm or after 8:30 pm and only one day in advance, not for the entire cruise. Partway through the cruise we learned that pagers were available so that you could check in earlier than 8:45 pm (the first available evening reservation) and wait to be called (usually 30-45 minutes). As part of the three-dinner specialty restaurant package, we were assigned on the first evening to the Qsine Restaurant, a restaurant that offers a “unique experience”. Here we sat on mismatched chairs and tried to order from icons on a computer tablet. It was not a relaxing environment, especially when the trendy tubes that doubled as spoons spilled melted ice-cream all over our hands. The Tuscan Restaurant was excellent.

We selected this cruise because it was one of the few companies offering two days in Malta, a place with a rich history. However, there were no presentations on Malta but there was time for a talk on gemstones. I was told that it was a corporate decision about when to offer “enrichment” talks. Similarly, it was a corporate decision to put the office of the concierge in the library. Hence, the quiet atmosphere was interrupted by phone calls and visits by passengers seeking information from the concierge. In addition, the open staircase in the library led to the computer room where there were classes and other noisy activities such as selling new tablets.

The emphasis on the cruise seemed to be one of selling: either new products (tablets, clothes, watches, art work) or packages for activities during the cruise (internet, beverage, dining etc.). For me, travel is an opportunity to experience new places and learn about their history; clearly, my objectives and those of Celebrity are at variance. My lesson – choose another company.
reynob’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience