We chose the cruise based on itinerary as it was amazing value for the ports we were visiting and neither of us had even been to Asia. However, I will admit to booking onto Constellation with a little trepidation having previously cruised on larger & newer ships (P&O Britannia and MSV Divina).
We arranged our own flights and hotel pre-cruise taking advantage of New Year sales and flew to Singapore on British Airways arriving the day before embarkation and stayed in The Scarlett in Chinatown which was a superb base. We then spent the day sightseeing around Marina Bay on electric scooters (a must do!), including a cheeky charge up and down the F1 pitlane, before taking an Uber to the Cruise Terminal.
Embarkation at Singapore was straightforward with no queues, although we were a little disappointed that the photo opportunities had already been packed up having pre-paid for the photo package. However, that disappointment aside, we were through check-in and on ship within about 20 minutes.
Once aboard we headed to the Atrium and took advantage of waitress service and our drinks package to order our first cocktail, a Singapore Sling of course! :D
Constellation departed on-time and we watched the sail-away from the Sunset Bar at the aft.
All our pre-cruise doubts about sailing on Constellation were immediately dispelled once we took a hour or so to explore her. We found her to be extremely well maintained and decorated, and despite being nearly 50% smaller that previous ships we'd sailed on, if anything there was a feeling of more space.
Our initial cabin was an inside on deck 9 forward (9015) which was a fantastic quiet location, only spoiled by a problem with our toilet which eventually led to us having to move to an Ocean View on deck 3 (3126). Whilst being a fabulous cabin in a great position midship, benefitting from a massive window as it used to be part of the conference centre, there was a low rumbling noise which we found disturbing for the first couple of night having come from such a quiet location.
We had traditional dining at the later sitting of 8:30pm and were sat on a table of eight with some other British couples. Both the company and service was great and we did not have any complaints regarding the food which was excellent throughout. We never ate main meals in the Ocean View Café buffet restaurant however breakfasts and lunches there were all excellent always with fresh food available.
We also ate in the specialty restaurant Qsine twice, once complimentary as a result of our cabin move, and once paying, and found it to be an excellent innovative experience with simply stunning food that you wanted to eat too much of! We can’t wait to go back!
Entertainment would be the only minor point of gripe, with shows that were not really of the same standard to those on previous cruises. However, we did find that the Silent Disco Celebrity put on at the Martini Bar on selected nights was excellent and really they should do it somewhere every night!! Our other issue was towards the end of the cruise when the main late-night venue Reflections was closed for a staff party all night forcing us to move to the much more sedate and earlier closing Rendezvous Lounge. Credit to Celebrity though as after a little discussion, a DJ was put on after the House Band finished and the bar kept open until 1am for us.
We found the Shore Excursions provided via Celebrity to be of a very good standard and well organised and would certainly use them again.
Disembarkation in Abu Dhabi took a little longer than previous experiences and luggage collection in the terminal building was more haphazard. However it was completed without incident and we had a great day hiring a car and visiting Ferrari World before heading to the airport for our return flight to the UK that evening.
Overall it was a great cruise on a fabulous ship, which left us with a very positive impression of both Celebrity and Constellation. So much so that we have another cruise booked in May aboard “Connie” in the Mediterranean!
Standard Celebrity cabins are well appointed and comfortable. This Ocean View, along with the others in this section, have very large floor to ceiling windows as a result of previously being part of the conference centre and are therefore recommended.