This was the 9th Celebrity cruise for me; the 2nd on the Constellation. My first experience with cruising was with Celebrity on a Mediterranean with my mother in September 2004. I was so impressed with the level of service, food quality/presentation and the entertainment that I encouraged my husband to go with me on a Eastern Caribbean with Celebrity on the Millennium in 2007. He was hooked! We tried another cruise line and realized Celebrity was the line for us! We have always booked Concierge Class and once was upgraded to a suite free of charge ! We are also Elite Captain Club members which includes quite a few nice extra amenities…..that is until this latest cruise!
First time (and last) cruising out of Tampa was a nightmare. We received one email the night before the cruise stating due to fog the ship may be delayed and we would be updated at 9 am the morning of the sail date. By 11am, having no update, I called the cruise line provided. After a 75 minute hold, I was told they had no update. I was then put on hold and promptly disconnected. When I called back the wait time was over 2 hours. We decided to track the ship. We finally arrive at the port and are allowed to check in around 8:30 pm (was scheduled for 1 pm)to chaos. The attendants seemed to be as confused as the travelers. After arriving to our stateroom, as we had missed our dining time, we ate at the watered down buffet (meaning only 3/4 of the buffet was filled). The buffet stayed that way throughout the cruise with the same foods day after day.
It only went downhill from here. The level of service was very disappointing in the main dining room to the point that the waiters didn’t know what the ingredients were in the dishes or how they were prepared; the men were served before the women;you were not allowed any special requests; 5 courses had been reduced to 3 courses and the food was lukewarm at best. Room service which had always been included was now $9.95 with limited hours and very menu. Beverages in room fridge were not included in your beverage package as before but were full bar price with 20% gratuity added. The normal training is 3 months for the waitstaff; we were told many had just been pulled from their other positions the day before with no training and promoted to waitstaff. This was obvious. Several dishes were repeated.