Constellation Reviews

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50 User Reviews of Constellation Cruise Ship

Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: March 26, 2006

This was our second cruise on Celebrity, travelling from NY to San Juan and back. The ship was great, the dining was really excellent, and so were the shows. The drinks are really expensive, I see no reason for this and so the bar bill really mounts up by the end of the trip even for very moderate drinking like a wine at the table and a G&T before dinner. The staff are totally excellent.

I would hesitate to travel from NY again as the ship was very cold until we reached the Caribbean. Ladies were wearing sweaters and outdoor clothes inside and by the end of the trip a lot of people had sore throats and colds. Even in the San Marco restaurant sweaters and cardigans were the norm, which is a shame.

The ports were all great, although we did not go on any specific trips, we prefer to find our own way around and to support the locals.

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Constellation
Publication Date: March 18, 2006

Recently returned from Constellation reposition from San Juan PR to Cape Liberty NJ. Had stateroom Concierge class on Panorama deck midship. So many pleasurable moments experienced by our family during cruise, thanks to wonderful staff and crew.

Embarkation in San Juan total time 10 minutes a breeze A+. Stateroom and sevice A+. Dining at San Marcos Restaurant service,food quality, and presentation A+.

I know now why Celebrity Cruise line especially Constellation has won the Conde Nast Traveler award as best ships in the world. Ports of call A. Everything from the moment we boarded to our disembarkation in New Jeresy could only be described as just right with impeccable service and attention that could certainly spoil anyone.

I could not complete this review without mentioning just a few of so many who orchestrated this unforgetable experience. Marta Arriaza stateroom attendant and her assistant. Santos Gomez-Head waiter San Marco Restaurant and his assistant, Bravo!. Lana from Words. Ronel Philander-Concierge. Christine-Aqua Spa. Gary and Bennett ship's security during port calls. Melissa-Customer Service Corporate. Senor Ramon Santos-Corporate. Many thanks to all of the Constellation. Looking forward to cruising again with Celebrity in the near future.

Thank-you

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Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: February 25, 2006

Itinerary: San Juan, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas

Cruise History: 2003 - 3 Day Carnival Cruise (Fantasy) out of Port Canaveral 2004 - 4 Day Carnival Cruise (Celebration) out of Jacksonville, Florida 2005 - 4 Day Carnival Cruise (Celebration) out of Jacksonville, Florida

Choosing Cruise: Work schedule finally allowed taking a week long cruise instead of the 3-4 days cruises. Wanted to take a cruise with another cruise line besides Carnival. Did extensive research on-line looking trying to determine which cruise to take.

Research showed 3 cruise lines going out of San Juan on week long cruises; Princess, RCL and Celebrity. T he reviews I read were not as good for Princess as RCL & Celebrity so decision came down to RCL & Celebrity. The cruise prices for RCL seems to be a lot higher than Celebrity. From all I read on Celebrity and the Constellation, it was highly rated, so I made my decision to go with Celebrity.

Purchasing Tickets. I was prepared to purchase through one of the cruise on-line retailers when discovered if you have a Discover Credit Card and make arrangement through their recommended travel agency, you receive a

5% rebate on the ticket price (before taxes). I gave them a call and was quite satisfied with the finial ticket prices. Was cheaper than what my research showed from the on-line sites and in addition will get the 5% rebate.

In researching cruises also determine it was more cost effective and flight schedules were better to fly out of Orlando Airport instead of Jacksonville Florida or Savannah Georgia. Finally decided that could combine a visit to Disney World for one day, then fly out of Orlando airport to San Juan. Only 4 hour drive from residence in GA to Orlando.

Orlando Airport Parking in one of the satellite parking lots cost $7.00 a day. When checked on parking prior to trip, airport web pages show parking at $5.00 a day. Got to airport about 6 a.m. for a 8:15 flight. There were still big lines for people checking in baggage and going through security, but for the most part things went pretty smoothly.

San Juan Airport: Arrive at airport around 11:00 a.m. Claimed baggage and headed for ground transportation. When arriving at ground transportation, they have someone who will ask you where your going, how many people are traveling with you, and how many bags. They will then Fill out a sheet with the total cost which you will give to driver. For 3 people and 6 bags, we were charged $23.50. Trip to cruise port lasted around 30 minutes.

Embarkation: Went very smoothly especially if you have done the pre-check on-line and printed out your pass. We were checked in and on-board within 30 minutes.

THE CRUISE: Knew it was going to be a good cruise and had made the right decision to choose Celebrity when you a greeted on the ship with a glass of champagne and they assign someone to show you to your cabin.

FOOD: Food was great! Good variety. On lobster night, they bring a large lobster tail to you and they even remove it from the shell right at the table for you. We decided to make reservations for the OceanLiners restaurant. Glad we did. The meal was fantastic. After 2 hours of choreographed dining we could hardly get up. Seemed to be a 10 course meal to me and it was good. I did though make the mistake of accepting a glass of champagne at the start of our meal, thinking it was included in the extra $30.00 per person charge to dine in OceanLiners. Found out later the champagne was not included when saw a charge of $18.00 for a glass of champagne on my bill. All in all would highly recommend going to the OceanLiners Restaurant if you have not been before.

Staff. All the staff was great. Everyone greets you when you pass them in the halls, leave the dining areas. Our serving staff could not have been better. Our table # was 450. Waiterâ?Ts name was Michael (From India) and his assistant was Chavez. The Asst Maitreâ?~d was fabulous and really made the dining experiences a delight. His name is Lorenzo and if you are on the Constellation I would highly recommend asking to be seated in his area. He had a wonderful personality and always came by for a chat during the evening meals. He told us he had been with Celebrity for 10 years and had started out as a busboy.

PORTS:

Dominican Republic. Took the Eco Water Tour. Road in some high speed boat to a mangrove swamp and boarded a dug out canoe and cruised around the mangroves. Was quite peaceful

Grenada. Took the Spice tour which lasted around 8 hours, including lunch. Spent a lot of time in bus climbing the narrow winding roads. More than once I though our bus would not make it up the steep inclines but they did without problems. Went to a Run Distillery which was real interesting. They have a waterwheel they use to cruse the sugar cane to make the rum. They even let you try a sip of 150 proof rum. A sip is about all you can handle. Said the proof is so high, it cannot be exported off of Granada. Barbados. Took a tour of bird sanctuary that had been set up to preserve one of the last mangrove sanctuaries in Barbados. Was really enjoyable.

St Kitts. We were scheduled to take the small gauge railroad tour of St. Kitts. Our tour was scheduled to leave at 1:15 pm. around 1:00 pm we were notified that they were experiencing some mechanical problem with the trains and we would be delayed around 15-30 minutes. An hour later they started to board the buses. We sat on the hot buses for it seems another 30 minutes when they came an told us we were ready to go, but in order to make sure we got back in time for the ships departure, they would take us half way around the island on the train, then we would get back on the buses for the other half. When we were told this, half of the folks on the bus including us decided to skip the tour and get refunds which Celebrity credited to our bill.

St. Thomas. We took the Blackbeard Castle tour. Once we made it up to the castle, we were informed that Black Beard really didnâ?Tt have any association with the structure. It had been rename this long ago to take advantage of tourism. Did have a nice walk down from the castle and view some of the other structures that had been built by the Europeans when they first came to the island. The end of the tour ended in the main shopping district and we were told we were on our own to get back to the ship. Taxies are everywhere though and cost $4.00 per trip. Since we were able to view the cruise ship from the shopping areas thought it would be a nice walk back. It was nice walking along the water front but a lot longer that it looks. Wish had taken the taxi, but made it back ok otherwise.

On-Ship Entertainment. The singers and dancers on the Celebrity were the best we have ever seen. Really did enjoy the Cirque du Soleil show. The female lead singer for the show was one of the best singers I have heard in a long time. Just a wonderful voice.

End of cruise. Our last night in the dining room our tablemates had brought one of their friends with them. While we were introducing ourselves, come to find out their friend was the female lead singer from the Cirque du Soleil show! We started to talk and I mentioned how much I enjoyed her singing and wish she had a CD out. To my surprise she said she did have one out and they were being sold in the Cirque du Soleil store on the ship. This was a CD she had personally made and all the songs were sung in Spanish. (Sheâ?Ts from Canada) Here name is: Francine Poitras. After diner, I went and purchased her CD. Later on that evening, we saw her in one of the lounges and mentioned we had purchased her CD. She asked if we would like for her to sign they CD which she did and even wrote a very nice note to us. That really was a nice way to end a fabulous cruise.

Embarkation. We were off the ship by 9:30 am and picked up bags and through Customs in 45 minutes. Taxies are readily available and made it to the airport without any problems.

Final Thoughts. Just a great cruise. Celebrity and the Constellation are first class. Lorenzo our Asst Maitre'd was fantasic. Noticed next cruising season, the Constellation with be embarking from Fort Lauderdale, Florida so may have to take advantage of this. Really want to take the Baltic cruise out of London on the Constellation though.

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Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: February 11, 2006

Our vacation on the Celebrity Constellation was the best! We had booked this trip in October 2005. Our travel agent, Melissa, from American Express was wonderful! We highly suggest booking your trip with her (800-297-5627 x4318). This was my 4th cruise and my husband’s 3rd cruise. Our flight on Continental to San Juan, Puerto Rico was great! We took a taxi to the Pan American pier (we didn’t have a transfer to the ship) – this took about 15 - 20 minutes. We were in awe to see the ship for the first time. What a spectacular view! Getting on the ship was no problem at all. There were minimal lines which moved very quickly. The whole embarkation process was extremely organized.

As soon as we boarded the ship, we were greeted with champagne and taken to our stateroom. A lunch buffet was awaiting us on the 10th floor deck. We had a midship cabin (#8098) with a balcony. What a clean and beautiful room! Melissa had suggested an 8th floor cabin which was insulated from the noise on the 10th floor (where the pool entertainment was). She definitely made the

right decision. Our cabin was bright and well appointed with plenty of storage. The mattress was extremely comfortable. We were even able to leave the sliding door open when the air conditioning was on. The CC class extras were just as they stated and made all the difference (padded deck chairs, fresh fruit, appetizers at 5 PM daily, terrycloth bathrobes, fresh flowers and more were extra touches that we thoroughly enjoyed). The port views were great from the side of the ship we were on. We loved to sit on the balcony and watch us pull into the new ports each day. We also enjoyed the mail in the door slot each day telling us of daily activities. Our cabin steward, Caetano, was excellent! He attended to our every need.

The ship was immaculate! We enjoyed the layout of this ship much better than the Celebrity Galaxy. We also enjoyed the art throughout the ship. My husband enjoyed the Seaside Grill at the back of the ship. It was cigar friendly in the evenings. We enjoyed the internet café greatly – we loved to be able to communicate with our family and friends. The conservatory is beautiful and peaceful. I loved the jogging track on the 11th deck – I walked a few mornings and loved the views! The glass elevators were the best we ever experienced. They were super quiet and fast and the views were wonderful! We never felt like there were over 2,000 people on this ship.

The food on the ship was excellent. We loved the breakfast and lunch buffets in the Seaside Café. The aqua spa cuisine was unbelievable! We had the early seating in the dining room for dinner. The food was great! Our waiter, Marcin, and assistant waiter, Antonio, were great! James, our bar maid, always had a smile on his face! We didn’t get to try the Ocean Liners restaurant but we heard that the food is very good.

We did not do any of the excursions. We visited the Southern Caribbean. Our 1st stop was in the Dominican Republic. We took the free shuttle to the marina. We basically just walked around – since it was a Sunday, everything was closed. Our next day we were at sea. Our 2nd stop was in Grenada. We walked off the ship into a poor village and got right back on the ship. Our 3rd stop was in Barbados. We took a taxi with 2 other women to a public beach and swam for a few hours. Our 4th stop was in St. Kitts. We took a taxi to a public beach and again swam for a few hours. Our last stop was in St. Thomas. We ended up taking a taxi to the Red Hook ferry which brought us to St. John. This was our favorite stop. We took an open taxi to Trunk Bay and I cannot tell you how unbelievable this beach is.

The pools on the ship were very nice. They never seemed overcrowded. There were lots of padded lounge chairs and towels for the guests. There were 4 freshwater whirlpools – my husband loved the whirlpools! Even on the sea day, the pools and whirlpools never seemed overcrowded.

The entertainment on the ship was top notch! Perry Grant (the lounge pianist) was great! Very entertaining! The violinists in the Cova Café were superb! The shows in the theater were great too!

We loved the entire experience for the week. The staff and itinerary made us feel special. It was relaxing, interesting and just the right feeling of being pampered. We loved Julie the librarian. Everyone was so helpful! On our day at sea, we were given a bridge tour (we had asked about this) and found it to be very enjoyable. The captain and his staff did a great job with explaining the behind the scenes experience especially with the state of the art engines that have almost 0 percent emissions. The ship also has a soda package – you pay $40 for the week for unlimited soda which was a great idea.

We think you would be hard pressed to find any criticisms with any aspect of your week on the Constellation. It was a great trip! We spoke to people on the Princess lines at some of the ports and found out they had many criticisms with their ships (ex: the Princess cruises weren’t given pool towels). Many small details on the Constellation contributed to a very good trip. I credit Celebrity and the Constellation staff for this. Our experience on this ship make it difficult for us to choose another ship or another cruise line in fear that it won’t be just as good.

On the last night of our trip, we placed our luggage in the hallway by midnight. We had received papers telling us about what to expect for disembarkation in the morning and where we needed to gather. On our last morning, we got up early and left our cabin by 8:30 AM. We had a wonderful buffet breakfast and loved the view next to the window. We had to meet in an assigned public area (we were in the theater) – this was based on flight times. They called the “grey” group (which was us) and then we disembarked the ship. Taxis were awaiting you as you leave the ship (but we had a transfer back to the airport). The whole process took very little time and was extremely organized!

We are looking forward to our next cruise in January 2007 which will be sailing in the Western Caribbean. We are very excited to be sailing on this wonderful ship once again!

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Eastern Caribbean
Publication Date: November 10, 2005
  This was our 14th Celebrity Cruise.  I have elite status with Celebrity and booked  CC  cabin 7189 in January 2005.  Right after I made my final payment Celebrity had a Happy Hour sale and was selling suites for this cruise for what I paid for a CC cabin.  I wrote Celebrity on this and they wrote me back saying Happy Hour prices applied to new bookings only and offered me nothing.  This is just a caution to those who might book this cruise early next year.  I booked my air through Celebrity and flew on the day of the cruise with non-stop flights both way using my Complementary Custom Air-kudos’ for this.    Picked up bags in Newark, and searched for a Celebrity representative for over 30 minute before I found one.  I was on a mini bus to the dock within two hours after arrival. Embarkation: My elite status, my CC cabin which is supposed to have Priority Check-in and Expresspass saved me no time as all were ignored and they put us all in a long check in line with a 45 minute wait with first timers. Also got no help on ship finding my cabin. Cabins: The cabin 7189 (cat. CC) was attractively decorated and good sized for the price. The balcony offered  privacy and had padded chairs. The shower was large with a hose and wand arrangement that I like. Cabin service was efficient and unobtrusive.  Enjoyed breakfast in room several times.  I also enjoyed the better bathrobes and canapés on several times.  Suite upgrades were a Bingo prize given away during this cruise. Public Areas: The public areas are nice and never feel crowded. They had good shows on board and the comedians and dancers were great. The bars had a buy 5, pay for four Heineken beer special on the Open deck bars, which I got this all cruise long and put them in the cabin fridge. There was bottle opener in the bathroom. All beers foreign and domestic are at least $4.50 on this ship, which is higher than other cruise line.  I missed some shows that were at 11 PM, due to being in second seating and being tired.  There were plenty of activities to keep you busy all day including lectures and classes of all kinds.  I went to and enjoyed several parties for elite members, but did not get invited to several events for elite members like the complimentary wine tasting.  They had a Priest on board and daily mass- kudos’ to Celebrity for this.   Dining: I requested 2nd seating dining when I booked and I got some of the best tablemates at table 100, next to the Captain’s table, that I ever had and a good waiter too. We ate all our evening meals here. All of us at this table had elite status and were in CC cabins.  One of the so-called elite perks is an invite to the Captain’s or Officers table, which did not happen. We ate breakfast and lunch in the main dining room most days.  We did try the waffles with blue berries in the lido for breakfast on several occasions.  We had lunch in the lido on Italian day and several other times when the main dining room was closed while the ship was in port.  We had pizza, hot dogs and burgers several times for a snack. The afternoon tea in Lido had some nice snacks and ice cream daily.  All the restaurants were nicely decorated and the food in all the Dining rooms was up to Celebrity standards.  The food in the Lido was also good. Tours: We passed on any tours as we had been at all these ports before.  I was looking forward the Charleston as a port but they deleted it and changed the port to Grand Bahama.  I would have done tours in Charleston. We did walk around and shop in port. Disembarkation: We had an invite for the Elite Continental Departure Breakfast in the Specialty restaurant, but were turned away due to having Gray luggage tags. Getting off the ship went slow, out bags were loaded on trucks and it was a mess getting our bags at the airport and getting onto the plane.  The flight back was a non-stop flight and was fine. Overall, this cruise was a “true departure” from our previous Celebrity cruises and I will be very reluctant in the future to book a Celebrity cruise early.  The letter I received from Celebrity prior to sailing will also bear on my future plans along with how we were treated from the time we got there till we left. Had I booked 60 days out I could have had the same category cabin for $400 per person less than I paid. I will consider Celebrity during a Happy Hour sale in the future as I retire at the end of 2006 and can be flexible.
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New England
Publication Date: October 5, 2005
Booked directly with Celebrity, our contact Leon was extremely helpful and patient from our initial phone inquiry through the completion of our cruise. Since it was our first cruise, we cannot compare it to any others, but we have no complaints and would highly recommend the Constellation.  We were on board with minimum delay in line, met with a glass of champagne, taken to our stateroom, and a lovely array of food was waiting on deck 10. Our luggage was brought to our room by the time we returned from exploring the ship and having something to eat. Ship interior and exterior were spotless and kept that way for the entire cruise. Stateroom w/verandah, midship, had ample room for the overload of items I packed. The cabin location was great for a starting point to any other spot on the ship. Food variety and presentation was great. Food was always well cooked and served hot. Not always to my particular taste, but we did not go hungry. No matter what your choice of food there was something to keep your stomach happy. All staff/crew members were genuinely happy to help in any way possible. After a couple of days of ordering a tea pot late in the afternoon, it was in our stateroom waiting for us both late day and late evening the remainder of the cruise. All crew members were exceptional no matter what time of the day or evening, no matter what their particular job/duty was. We had booked a shore excursion in Bar Harbor for Acadia/Cadillac Mountain and were grateful it was a Celebrity booking when the tour bus broke down and we were late getting back. In general the shore excursions were a little pricey but worth the cost, especially for the Montmorency Falls/St Anne’s excursion in Quebec. Disembarkation and luggage pick up process was amazingly well thought out. >From gangplank to our waiting car was maybe ½ hour total. We have booked another cruise next fall with Celebrity. Mary & John Pennsylvania
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Baltic Sea
Publication Date: June 4, 2005

We just returned from the Constellation's Baltic cruise, and it was outstanding. We booked over a year in advance, so we had plenty of time to plan, generate expectations and something to look forward too, of which we were not disappointed. The weather was almost perfect, just a little cool the first couple of days, but no rain for two weeks. We selected June to get ahead of the summer tourist season and for the weather, and could not have been more pleased. We arrived in Dover a day early to allow for the time adjustment and to avoid any possible flight issues, which needs to be considered when long distances to take a cruise. We stayed at the Castle Guest House (http://castle-guesthouse.co.uk/#), a delightful B&B owned and operated by Liz & Rod. We traveled to and from Dover from London with Steve Knibbs Dover Airport transfers (nibbs@airport-transfers.fsnet.co.uk), which proved to be very reliable and we very much enjoyed his service and conversations. We also spent the better part of our day touring Dover and had a great time, especially at the castle.

Boarding the Constellation was a breeze. We arrived at

the ship at 10:30, after just ten minutes in the terminal and we were on board. Celebrity seems to have this process down to perfection.

The ship is in immaculate condition, with everything extremely clean and polished. Having been on many Celebrity ships in the past, they seem to keep their ships in top condition. We had a balcony room on deck seven mid-ship, which was quite comfortable and adequate. Having traveled with our friends before, we get rooms on the opposite sides so we can take advantage of each others balcony for viewing opportunities and evening get togethers.

The food on board was simply the best we have ever had on any cruise, it was outstanding, along with the service. You have a choice of five entrees at each meal, and it was a hard decision on which to choose, quite often we would have to get an extra selection for the four of us to sample, and the same for the desserts. We did go to the Oceanliners specialty restaurant one night, and I would highly recommend it, the food and service were outstanding. The buffet selection for breakfast and luch was also quite good, both in selection and quality. The salad bar and Pasta station was open 24 hours a day, and you also could get hamburgers, etc. from noon until late in the evening.

Entertainment on the ship was also very good. We attended the shows every night and very much enjoyed them. Nick, the Cruise Director was the best that we have experienced, we could all use a shot of his enthusiasm.

The ports of call were the main reason we selected this cruise. However, we were a little disappointed that Celebrity changed the itinerary about two months before our cruise, and reduced our port times considerably, this is our only complaint. As an example, Gdansk was added to the itinerary and we only had about six hours in port, and the city is an hours drive away, it just didn't do it justice.

I'm not going to elaborate on every port, but each one was wonderful, especially Stockholm and St. Petersburg. Don't miss the sail into Stockholm, the three hours up the fjord is prettier than the inside passage to Alaska. We made our own arrangements in each port except Gdansk, were we took a ship's tour because of the time constraints and the distance. The trip to Berlin had some issues, as you can see below, in addition it is a very long and tiring day, and is not for the weary traveler.

In St. Petersburg we used Red October for a two day tour, and it was an outstanding two days, the highlight of our trip and one that we will remember forever. We had a great tour guide, whose English was impeccable and we were also joined by three other delightful couples who we connected with through Cruise Critic before the cruise. Red October's store is also a great place for souvenirs and gifts.

While our experiences of making our own shore arrangements have served us quite well over the years of travel and cruising, just a word to the wise, you can encounter problems. We initially booked a tour of Berlin for the four of us through Berlin Stadtfuehrungen Sightseeing Tours, however after connecting with others through Cruise Critic, who also booked with the same company, we cancelled our tour several months in advance to join with the other group. After arriving in Berlin following a 2-1/2 hour bus ride, the tour company then advised me that they did not accept my cancellation, despite my four e-mails to them, of which I showed them copies. They then held our group hostage and would not return us to the ship until I paid additional funds. This put a damper on what should have been a terrific day. We're now protesting the charges through our credit card company. Be careful who you book with, unfortunately their are company's who lack integrity.

The debarkation process at the end was as good as the boarding process. We were off the ship by 7:00, luggage was easy to find, and we were quickly on our way to London for more fun.

As I said at the beginning, this was an outstanding cruise, and I would highly recommend it to all. Now, to start planning our next journey.

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Transatlantic Crossing
Publication Date: April 23, 2005

A Disappointment. After all the good reviews and ratings I had seen concerning this ship, it did not live up to expectations.

The worst aspect of the cruise was the lack of activities. There were no audience participation events or game shows in the evening - the only things to do were to eat and go to the theatre. The entertainers were OK and the shows mixed (one very good but others poor). Dancing was very limited because there was only one very small dancefloor which was in a poor condition. The only large dancefloor on the ship is in the large lounge taken over by Cirque De Soleil - this was not used at all during the day and at night became the disco - the Cirque de Soleil 'Experience' is a bit of a non-event, just 5 people in costumes trying to interact with the passengers.

Also poor was the buffet. There was only pizza and pasta in the evening, and at breakfast and lunch it was far too disorganized, resulting in a lot of waiting in line - the buffet staff were not very good either.

The cruise director

and his assistant were noticeable by their absence, adding to the overall feeling of disinterest in the passengers.

The only things above average about the cruise were the restaurant service and the Thelassotherapy pool.

Other passengers who had sailed with Celebrity before told me that this cruise was not typical, but I will think twice before cruising with them again.

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Transatlantic Crossing
Publication Date: April 23, 2005

What an adventure! We are both in our early 50's. On this cruise we took my wife's 90 year old father with us. We have been on 9 previous cruises. We arrived in San Juan on the day of sailing. We had purchased Celebrity transfers from the airport to the cruise terminal. This was about the smoothest embarkation that we have had.

We got right on the ship. Our bags arrived in our cabin within an hour. We had a Concierge Class cabin, 8139. They do tell you that this is part of the Concierge service. We were handed a glass of either champagne or orange juice. We headed off to the buffet area for lunch. We have been told by cruise critic members that this was one of the bestships they have sailed on.

SHIP

The ship is laid out nicely. My wife's reaction was that it was a letdown. We had sailed last year on the Jewel of the Seas in the Baltic, and she felt that the Jewel was much more elegant and "modern" looking and much more to her taste. After a few trips around, I found that

the ship was very easy to navigate. The dining room and buffet areas are in the back and the Celebrity Theatre is up front. With the Casino and shops in the middle, we were all set. We did not visit many of the bars but found the Cova Cafe to be very interesting. You could always find the captain there in the afternoon. He told us he really enjoyed their coffee. We did have a chance to go to the hospital as my father in law came down with bronchitis. The staff there was very friendly. They took great care of him. I just think he enjoyed the young nurses. Just remember that it is on a cash only basis even with

the medical insurance with the cruise line. You need to pay all the money up front, then put your claim in for a refund. In port, you will be leaving from either deck 2 or 3 or both. I was disappointed in the game room since there were few games to play. The best room was the computer room on deck 4. It was always busy, but was open 24 hours. There is also a computer classroom on Deck 6 which you could also use. They hold classes on different subjects. We took a class on downloading your digital camera. At the end ofthe cruise, they would help you load your saved pictures onto a CD. I do want to mention that the casino was not overly busy. I did ok on the craps table as I had it to myself almost every evening. They had only one ping pong table. We really enjoyed playing here after dinner or in the morning.

CABIN

This was a Concierge Class cabin. We only paid about $100USD over a regular one. It was larger and had some nice features. There were fresh flowers in the room (not changed the entire cruise) and bathroom (which were changed).

The towels are thicker compared to the Holiday Inn type towels you will get in the regular cabins. My wife felt that the rugs were getting threadbare and needed changing. She also said the mildew in the shower and bath could've been taken care of easily but wasn't. We were dissappointed with no towel animals. The cabin attendant, Luna, and her assistant George, were tremendous. They took care of everything we needed. They kept the cabin very clean. We always enjoyed talking with them although Luna was the most talkative.

She was always on top of things. Can't say enough about them. The balcony was very nice as the chairs had a nice pad on them. I didn't like the binoculars that were in the cabin. They did not work well. My father in law did not like the pull out couch. He hurt his back on it the first day. We were able to get him into another cabin the next day. It was an inside cabin. He still complained about that bed as being lumpy and slanting toward one side.

CRUISE CRITIC CONNECTIONS PARTY

It was very nice to finally meet everyone we have been writing to on the threads on Cruise Critic. We enjoyed the one on the Jewel and thought thiswould be the same. It was not. We were given an invitation to meet at Michael's Club on the first sea day in the morning. All they had for us was coffee. There was no representative from the ship talking to us. Only the cruise director was there for a very brief time. We only know this because the cruise director told us later he was there. On the Jewel we had pastries and there were drawings for prizes. I know this is not a big deal, but I felt it added to the enjoyment. We had a great turnout. I think we had over 40 show up. There was a group shot taken by the cruise photographer. When I questioned the Cruise Director why it was not a bigger celebration, he told me that it is not done that way on Celebrity.

DINING

We had a early problem in the main dining room We had asked for a window table for 4 when we booked 8 months earlier. We found our table to be in the center of the main dining room. I spoke to the assistant head waiter. He found me a window table right away on deck 5 (upper level). It was a great table. Our waiter was Ottoneil (from Guatemale)and the assistant was Made (from Bali). They were very good. Made always had a smile on his face and knew exactly what we wanted. I had bought a coke card (don't bother with this unless you buy alot of cokes). I had ordered a coke at each meal. We had one bar server always bring me two cokes at the beginning of the meal. The food at dinner we rated good to very good. I always enjoyed the different selections of soup and appetizers. We both finally settled on getting Ceasar salads every night. My father in law felt that the fish dishes were overcooked. Mine were ok. One night the steak was tuff and even the second one they sent out was worse. Other than that, the food was good. The desserts and breads were always the best. I think this was also true on the Jewel.

The buffet was a very clean enviornment. The servers all wore gloves. The buffet selections left alot to be desired. On several occasions, we could not find anything we liked. We ended up going for cheeseburgers,fries, and pizza which were good. I can tell you those were the best fries I have ever tasted on a ship. The ice cream bar was very good. Great flavors in sherbet. Room service was good, delivered when ordered. We tried it for breakfast one day and found the food was not hot. I tried the sushi bar a few nights. It was very good. Another problem I found was there was not a good selection of cereals(breakfast). Mainly bran cereals and corn flakes. A box of Cherios would've been a welcome change.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

This is where Celebrity shines. All the staff we encountered were friendly and always willing to help. Even the captain was accessible. Anytime we asked for anything, we received it. One point we didn't like was the cruise director, Ed Rojas. He was very nice when you met him, but I felt he was extremely too low key. Kudo's to the computer staff. They were always willing to help you out. Ariel was extremely knowledgeable and was always available for you. The rest of the computer staff was equally helpful and took the time to work with you if you had a problem.

SEA DAYS

Since this was our first transatlantic, we didn't realize the significance of the many sea days. I didn't like them. After day two, I was relaxed enough and was looking for some land action. I think our next cruises will be more port intensive. There were not many activities on those days. We did have guest lecturers. Marlin Fitzwater was the best. He was humorous.

The others were dry. And all of them were republicans. We would like to see some diversity in this area. I do want to let you know that during the entire voyage, the seas were very smooth or slightly rolling. We avoided any potential storms as they sailed around them. Even the Bay of Biscay was calm.

ENTERTAINMENT

Too many production shows and not enough comedians. We felt that this was a very weak area and geared to an older crowd. A few highlights were Elliot Finkel, a pianist and Paul Boland and Marlise Boland, a husband and wife team whose performance was very good. He did musical impressions and she was a singer. The Celebrity singers and dancers were very talented but how

many production shows can you see on a cruise?

DISEMBARKATION

Because we were Concierge Class, we were able to get off the ship early. We also were able to meet in the Cinema as the rest of the ship met in the Celebrity Theatre. They had danish and coffee for us there. When we got off, there were plenty of porters to help you load your luggage and bring it to the bus. It went very smoothly. The whole process took less than 30 minutes. Overall, I felt that this was a good ship with great service. While I would never do another transatlantic, I would probably sail on this ship again with a different itinerary.

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Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: February 19, 2005

My husband and I just returned from a 7-day cruise on the Constellation departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico. I want to begin by saying that the cruise ship was incredible! The service was excellent through out the ship. The staff planned everything perfectly!

The entertainment was extraordinary! Besides the fantastic dancers and singers, there was an unbelievable aerial acrobatic duet, Dominique and Clarisse. (a Cirque Du Soleil kind of performance extraordinaire!!) A fantastic string quartet played in the café most evenings and on the formal nights in the dinning room, which added to the overall elegance of the cruise. The Bar at the Edge of the Earth, which was created by Cirque Du Soleil, was a unique experience. (You must try it!!)

The staff took every measure to keep the ship as germ free as possible. The railings, walls and elevator buttons were constantly cleaned with antibacterial spray. The public bathrooms throughout the ship were impressive with fabulous fixtures, flowers and fresh rolled hand towels for drying. There was even an attendant in the public bathrooms on formal nights.

 

The food was good, very good but not excellent. However, the pastries were exceptional! The

luncheon buffet could use some improvements. (The hamburgers and pizza were over cooked) I realize that preparing food in such large quantities is difficult and this makes it hard to get the food prepared the way you would like it such as medium rare. One evening, we dined at the specialty restaurant, Ocean Liners, and it was superb!! Overall, this was a fantastic cruise experience with sophistication and elegance. I can't wait to cruise on the Constellation again!
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