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Celebrity Constellation – Sailing date 19th October 2018 Having booked several Celebrity cruises over last 4 years we decided we will never cruise with Celebrity again. Let me explain why. The good Without a shadow of a doubt, the best thing about Celebrity (with a few exceptions) is its very hardworking and dedicated staff. The bad (1) The food on Celebrity used to be oh so good – a real dining experience in the evenings and a good range of choice in the buffet. The food in the dining room is still reasonable but the menus have not changed in years, anybody with a half decent memory will remember what they are going to be fed for dinner without any need to go and have a look at the menu. Costs have been cut and apart from the gala evenings the evening meal is no longer an event to look forward to. (2) The food in buffet restaurant has gone downhill dramatically. It was never of the standard found on Princess, but now resembles canteen food. You will be offered an array of cheap cream based cakes that are full of sugar but have no taste. If you like refried beans and chilli, you will be laughing as they are on the buffet every day. The choice of dishes is in fact, almost the same every day. The so called themed buffets lack any imagination or quality. Breakfast is also exactly the same every day. The “eggs benedict” is tasteless with the sauce cooked en masse. The choice of cold cuts is limited to the cheapest of the cheap, the kind you would find in a two star hotel. Five star modern luxury – yeah right. (3) The entertainment is extremely poor with the same old tired acts that you have seen on all your previous cruises. The on board musical acts are dreadfully dull and stuck in the past. The music played in the buffet is depressingly dull (4) Onboard activities are all based on extracting as many dollars as possible out of the pockets of their customers The ugly We experienced some very bad weather on the last three days of our cruise and the way Celebrity handled the situation was inexcusable. Be very clear that unless you have booked your flights and hotel through Celebrity, you are on your own. We were scheduled to visit Portofino and Florence , however due to impending bad weather the decision had been taken by the captain to sail instead to La Spezia to ensure the safety and well being ??? of its customers and crew. Be very clear that when this decision was taken, waters were still calm and relocating to calmer waters should have been a clear possibility ( an issue we raised with Celebrity but one they did not address) By sailing to La Spezia it enabled Celebrity (by their own admission) to go ahead with the numerous overpriced shore excursions many of their customers had paid for, ensuring this corporation did not lose what would have amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars. However those of us that wanted to make individual arrangements were left with a TOTAL OF NOTHING. No transport was laid on to take us to our original ports of call - when enquiring at customer relations desk staff became unpleasant, confrontational and plain dismissive. The weather in La Spezia became so bad that the town got flooded and was closed, making it impossible for the independent passenger to go anywhere. The mooring ropes on the ship broke, resulting in us drifting away from the pier and colliding with another cruise liner. The ship eventually left La Spezia many hours late as the prevailing weather conditions were so bad that it was impossible to leave at the scheduled time or for many hours after, a fact that Celebrity should surely have been aware of. We arrived back in Rome at 3pm – nine hours late. During this time the level of communication from Celebrity was shamefully poor ranging on non existent. When the Captain did eventually come on the public address system to explain the situation, the ships entertainments officer came on the public address system immediately afterwards and repeated word for word exactly what the captain had said, I will leave you to draw your own conclusions on that. Many, many people missed their flights home and as previously stated unless you booked your flight through Celebrity themselves you were on your own with very limited access to wifi to try to get flights re-booked, hotels booked etc. This review has been delayed as we wrote to Celebrity seeking answers twice and twice waited an eternity to receive what resembled in our opinion a “copy and paste job”, notably with spelling mistakes - please do not think me petty but this shows, in my opinion, how little Celebrity think of us, mugs that pay into their profit when the chips are down. We asked why we had effectively been taken into the eye of a viscous storm instead of being sailed out to calmer waters in Spain. Their response was “they acted in the best interests of the passengers and crew” We believe as a group that their main interest was in the money they would have lost had they had to refund the cost of all those pre booked excursions. The response from their customer service team was most unhelpful, refusing to answer many of the issues we raised. In our communications with celebrity we asked that our concerns be passed on to and responded to by a Senior Manager – this request was ignored. We asked about compensation for our lost three days and were told that their senior management team had taken the decision not to pay any customer compensation. In short, they had badly let down their customers and appointed themselves judge and jury on whether compensation would be paid. Is there no independent body that rules whether compensation will be paid, based on a situation like this? Perhaps somebody out there can enlighten me ? Needless to say we will never cruise with Celebrity again. The standard of the food has slipped alarmingly, the entertainment lacks any real imagination or flair. Onboard activities are all about extracting your hard earned cash. However the most unforgivable thing is that they had a clear opportunity to do the right thing in a difficult situation and treat everybody equally not just those who could afford their overpriced tours or had booked their flights and hotels through them, but based on all the evidence to hand, decided instead to chase the dollar and their own corporate interests. Finally and very importantly the shambles that was the disembarkation in Rome, having arrived there so late. Passengers were understandably looking to leave the ship as quickly as possible, many in a last ditch attempt to make their flights home. The organisation from Celebrity was woeful. There was not even a semblance of any kind of crowd control. People were pushing and shoving and multiple different queues were forming. Celebrity placed the blame for the further delay in disembarking, after docking, squarely on the shoulders of the Italian authorities. As passengers continued to wait and wait to disembark, tempers became frayed, but not only among passengers but staff members who were doing such a poor job of organising the disembarkation also started to become rude when asked how much longer the commencement of disembarkation would take. Based on this experience, one could not help but reflect on what might happen if there were a real emergency on board this ship, making the decision never to travel with Celebrity again a very straightforward one. One would imagine that Celebrity held an in depth investigation into the events of last few days of this sailing. Perhaps they should share the lessons learned with all those passengers who lost money and suffered unnecessary stress as a result of their extremely poor handling of the whole situation. It is quite astonishing that so few people have reviewed this debacle of a cruise but maybe after reading this fact based review more people might feel compelled to add their thoughts. Perhaps Celebrity take the view that people live busy lives and the majority of dissatisfied customers never quite find the time to write that critical review?

The good the bad and the ugly

Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review by Theodore C

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Celebrity Constellation – Sailing date 19th October 2018

Having booked several Celebrity cruises over last 4 years we decided we will never cruise with Celebrity again. Let me explain why.

The good

Without a shadow of a doubt, the best thing about Celebrity (with a few exceptions) is its very hardworking and dedicated staff.

The bad

(1) The food on Celebrity used to be oh so good – a real dining experience in the evenings and a good range of choice in the buffet. The food in the dining room is still reasonable but the menus have not changed in years, anybody with a half decent memory will remember what they are going to be fed for dinner without any need to go and have a look at the menu. Costs have been cut and apart from the gala evenings the evening meal is no longer an event to look forward to.

(2) The food in buffet restaurant has gone downhill dramatically. It was never of the standard found on Princess, but now resembles canteen food. You will be offered an array of cheap cream based cakes that are full of sugar but have no taste. If you like refried beans and chilli, you will be laughing as they are on the buffet every day. The choice of dishes is in fact, almost the same every day. The so called themed buffets lack any imagination or quality. Breakfast is also exactly the same every day. The “eggs benedict” is tasteless with the sauce cooked en masse. The choice of cold cuts is limited to the cheapest of the cheap, the kind you would find in a two star hotel. Five star modern luxury – yeah right.

(3) The entertainment is extremely poor with the same old tired acts that you have seen on all your previous cruises. The on board musical acts are dreadfully dull and stuck in the past. The music played in the buffet is depressingly dull

(4) Onboard activities are all based on extracting as many dollars as possible out of the pockets of their customers

The ugly

We experienced some very bad weather on the last three days of our cruise and the way Celebrity handled the situation was inexcusable. Be very clear that unless you have booked your flights and hotel through Celebrity, you are on your own. We were scheduled to visit Portofino and Florence , however due to impending bad weather the decision had been taken by the captain to sail instead to La Spezia to ensure the safety and well being ??? of its customers and crew. Be very clear that when this decision was taken, waters were still calm and relocating to calmer waters should have been a clear possibility ( an issue we raised with Celebrity but one they did not address) By sailing to La Spezia it enabled Celebrity (by their own admission) to go ahead with the numerous overpriced shore excursions many of their customers had paid for, ensuring this corporation did not lose what would have amounted to hundreds of thousands of dollars. However those of us that wanted to make individual arrangements were left with a TOTAL OF NOTHING. No transport was laid on to take us to our original ports of call - when enquiring at customer relations desk staff became unpleasant, confrontational and plain dismissive. The weather in La Spezia became so bad that the town got flooded and was closed, making it impossible for the independent passenger to go anywhere. The mooring ropes on the ship broke, resulting in us drifting away from the pier and colliding with another cruise liner. The ship eventually left La Spezia many hours late as the prevailing weather conditions were so bad that it was impossible to leave at the scheduled time or for many hours after, a fact that Celebrity should surely have been aware of. We arrived back in Rome at 3pm – nine hours late. During this time the level of communication from Celebrity was shamefully poor ranging on non existent. When the Captain did eventually come on the public address system to explain the situation, the ships entertainments officer came on the public address system immediately afterwards and repeated word for word exactly what the captain had said, I will leave you to draw your own conclusions on that. Many, many people missed their flights home and as previously stated unless you booked your flight through Celebrity themselves you were on your own with very limited access to wifi to try to get flights re-booked, hotels booked etc.

This review has been delayed as we wrote to Celebrity seeking answers twice and twice waited an eternity to receive what resembled in our opinion a “copy and paste job”, notably with spelling mistakes - please do not think me petty but this shows, in my opinion, how little Celebrity think of us, mugs that pay into their profit when the chips are down. We asked why we had effectively been taken into the eye of a viscous storm instead of being sailed out to calmer waters in Spain. Their response was “they acted in the best interests of the passengers and crew” We believe as a group that their main interest was in the money they would have lost had they had to refund the cost of all those pre booked excursions. The response from their customer service team was most unhelpful, refusing to answer many of the issues we raised. In our communications with celebrity we asked that our concerns be passed on to and responded to by a Senior Manager – this request was ignored. We asked about compensation for our lost three days and were told that their senior management team had taken the decision not to pay any customer compensation. In short, they had badly let down their customers and appointed themselves judge and jury on whether compensation would be paid. Is there no independent body that rules whether compensation will be paid, based on a situation like this? Perhaps somebody out there can enlighten me ?

Needless to say we will never cruise with Celebrity again. The standard of the food has slipped alarmingly, the entertainment lacks any real imagination or flair. Onboard activities are all about extracting your hard earned cash. However the most unforgivable thing is that they had a clear opportunity to do the right thing in a difficult situation and treat everybody equally not just those who could afford their overpriced tours or had booked their flights and hotels through them, but based on all the evidence to hand, decided instead to chase the dollar and their own corporate interests.

Finally and very importantly the shambles that was the disembarkation in Rome, having arrived there so late. Passengers were understandably looking to leave the ship as quickly as possible, many in a last ditch attempt to make their flights home. The organisation from Celebrity was woeful. There was not even a semblance of any kind of crowd control. People were pushing and shoving and multiple different queues were forming. Celebrity placed the blame for the further delay in disembarking, after docking, squarely on the shoulders of the Italian authorities. As passengers continued to wait and wait to disembark, tempers became frayed, but not only among passengers but staff members who were doing such a poor job of organising the disembarkation also started to become rude when asked how much longer the commencement of disembarkation would take. Based on this experience, one could not help but reflect on what might happen if there were a real emergency on board this ship, making the decision never to travel with Celebrity again a very straightforward one.

One would imagine that Celebrity held an in depth investigation into the events of last few days of this sailing. Perhaps they should share the lessons learned with all those passengers who lost money and suffered unnecessary stress as a result of their extremely poor handling of the whole situation.

It is quite astonishing that so few people have reviewed this debacle of a cruise but maybe after reading this fact based review more people might feel compelled to add their thoughts. Perhaps Celebrity take the view that people live busy lives and the majority of dissatisfied customers never quite find the time to write that critical review?
Theodore C’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Ocean View 7
Cabin 07 07-2119
Cabin was adequate
Deck 2 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins