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  #41  
Old May 29th, 2010, 02:02 PM
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Default beds

How are the beds, Dan? I really don't care what they look like, what I want to know is are they comfortable? Were they replaced as part of the refurb?
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Celebrity Century Eastern Caribbean February 2014
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Celebrity Eclipse Exotic Southern Caribbean Nov/Dec 2012 (Woo Hoo III)
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Celebrity Eclipse Baltic May/June 2011
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  #42  
Old May 29th, 2010, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcross2 View Post
Hi Dan, hope you are enjoying your embarkation day .... I guess we passed you on the way out, as we disembarked this morning!

Sue, re; the Martini Bar, although there wasn't a lot of table seating right around the bar area, there is plenty of seating at the bar itself, as well as just past the nearby ice bar and across the atrium. We tended to sit at the bar itself, as we enjoyed the icy surface and watching the bartenders' "show."

I did wish they had different music, though ... it was very techno/modern stuff ... and that the volume had been a little lower. But maybe I am just getting old, sniff.

Regards,
Jan
This is one of our very few negatives (Other than size) of the S class. They sure didn't need to do that. We tipped the bartender on the Solstice to turn it down

Thanks for the very informative thread DAN..enjoy your cruise.

Looking forward to returning to the Infinity when completed.
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  #43  
Old May 29th, 2010, 06:42 PM
Dan Askin Dan Askin is offline
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Default Constellation Sea Day: Food, Lectures, Wine Tasting, Noro Protocols

As sea days go for the mega-ship lines, Celebrity Constellation's first of four was certainly low-key. Obviously, I don't expect the hairy chest contest, Calypso music or 70's style pool games on a 12-night Baltic cruise, but here on Constellation, most passengers seemed happy napping, reading (mummified reader with glass of wine on the promenade deck pictured below), attending a slideshow lecture on Berlin, and twirling, sniffing and sipping during a wine tasting in the San Marco main dining room ($20 per person). One funny quote from the Berlin lecture: Khrushchev to Mao ... "Berlin is the testicle of the West. When I want the West to scream, I squeeze Berlin." The lecturer didn't even acknowledge the quote -- just left it up there for those who were paying attention.








Or they were in the buffet, which was packed during the lunch crunch. Speaking of the (newly styled) Constellation buffet, options included English (shepherd's pie, mushy peas, chips and the like), Asian (tasty mini-samosas, curried chicken), made-to-order sandwiches, pizza, a salad setup, etc. Again, as part of the gastro-prevention protocol, all food -- as well as all drinks -- was served by the crew. Made for a bit more congestion I'm sure, no one seemed particularly perturbed. The hotel director said that while there were over 100 (not 50 as I first heard) with G.I. on the previous cruise, but there is only a single case so far on this one.





The protocol -- and especially the hand sanitization enforcement -- has been bordering on comical at times. Everywhere you go, there's a smiling crew member ready to administer a dollop of alcohol-based jelly. We're talking 20-plus times in a day and extended my hand when I see a crewmember is almost Pavlovian at this point (a fine idea ... they should ring a bell every time they issue Purell). I received a squirt of sanitizer before entering the Emporium (Constellation's shopping area) on the starboard side, walked out a minute later, then decided to walk back in on the port side 10 seconds later. There was the crew informing me that I had to re-sanitize my still-shiny hands to re-enter the Emporium.
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  #44  
Old May 29th, 2010, 06:54 PM
Dan Askin Dan Askin is offline
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Default The Din of the Martini Bar, Crew Quarters

For those asking about the Martini Bar and Crush, a friendly bartender who trained for his current position on Solstice in the Caribbean, told me that the Martini Bar was much more hoppin' on Solstice's seven-day island itineraries (not a shocker, since this is less of a party friendly crowd and itinerary than you'd find in the Caribbean). On Solstice, he said that the bar was often three-deep with patrons during some evenings ... he also confirmed that people on this cruise had indeed asked him to turn down the music. So did you? "We say, sorry, we can't," he answered. "It [the loud, trendy club beats] is part of the theme of Martini Bar" ... though not sure if anyone has used LeftcoastBC's "technique" yet.

One interesting below-decks piece from the crew side of things: He told me that he preferred working on Solstice ... on Constellation, the crew and officer messes are segregated, and crew is not supposed to go into the officer mess. On Solstice, it's all one big mess, so there's more comorodary among the onboard staff. Also, every crew bunk on Solstice has a flat-screen TV with Web connectivity (crew still has to pay for Internet use).

Here's a shot of the icy top of the bar, on which you can use your finger to doodle....


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  #45  
Old May 29th, 2010, 07:03 PM
Dan Askin Dan Askin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Cruiser 6143 View Post
How are the beds, Dan? I really don't care what they look like, what I want to know is are they comfortable? Were they replaced as part of the refurb?
I will certainly find out if the beds are new ... almost positive it's a yes since the cabins were completely redone (difference between before and after is pretty dramatic). I've had no issues with the bed, but then again I was seriously jet lagged the first night....
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  #46  
Old May 29th, 2010, 07:07 PM
Dan Askin Dan Askin is offline
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Default Meet & Mingle: Cruise Critic Party on Celebrity Constellation

Got a chance to meet a bunch of people from the Constellation Roll Call, which was started some seven months and almost 1,400 posts ago by Geospyder ... The "Celebrity Connections" party was held in Michael's, the clubby cigar lounge, which was smoke-free for the occasion. Allan King, the cruise director made an appearance to help raffle off a Celebrity mug, luggage tag, bell (for the ladies to ring when they want their husbands to bring them coffee, he said), etc. Sebastian, the ship's event coordinator, is also pictured. King made a few comments about the shaky start to the cruise ("Celebrity takes GI very seriously...") and mentioned that every crewmember available, even the dancers who "were schlepping bags of linens," began working at 5 a.m. to clean the ship. Here's a shot of King with the most sought after item up for raffle, a "hanger from the captain's closet" (and some Celebrity T-shirts).



Here's one of Geospyder making a decisive choice in the raffle.



There were 77 CC'ers signed up to attend the party, but only 33 ended up making it. The turn-out may have had to do with the fact that there was last-minute time change for the party, which was originally scheduled for the second sea day ... so the event coordinator, Sebastian, had to scramble to call everyone on the list. I was actually wrenched out of a nap by the bleating phone at about 11:15 a.m., just 15 minutes before the new party time.

In the best item brought to the party department, Jim brought a roll of yellow crime scene tape...
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  #47  
Old May 29th, 2010, 07:09 PM
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Default High Rollers in Constellation's Casino

One casino tidbit for the poker players out there. There's a "Pokerpro" dealer-less no limit hold 'em table that features regularly scheduled tournaments and cash games (typically during sea days, but check Celebrity's daily bulletin for specifics). Tourneys are $50 for each of the 10 seats. For the cash games, you can buy in for between $50 and $200. If you want to set up a higher stakes game, the casino manager told me he was happy to do so if passengers could form their own groups. On a previous sailing, he set up a $10 - $20 no limit game (in which players typically start with about $2,000) for a bunch of friends.
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  #48  
Old May 29th, 2010, 07:11 PM
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Default Couple More Shots from Constellation's First Sea Day



British pub food




Well-attended wine tasting class
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  #49  
Old May 29th, 2010, 07:33 PM
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Dan ~ thanks so much for your posts! I'm loving them. We sail on Connie in Feb. 2011 for two weeks. Can't wait. We loved her before and we know we'll love her again.

I don't get the loud techno beat in the Martini bar. I'm good with creating an atmosphere but when it's loud enough that you can't talk to other people (as was the case on occasion on Solstice), they really need to accommodate passengers requests. We shouldn't have to "tip" the crew to get them to turn the music down a little.

Looking forward to seeing more photos! Have a great time!
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  #50  
Old May 30th, 2010, 01:18 AM
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Dan,
Thanks for posting.
Question on Stockholm: Did the ship provide a shuttle service to the Old Town or to anywhere else? Or, would you recommend one of the ship's shore excursions in Stockholm?
Thanks,
EasyTraveler
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  #51  
Old May 30th, 2010, 02:21 AM
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Hi Dan,
great to read your posts- I was on the very last sailing on baord Connie- the TA to Hamburg. I like the changes I saw, even if I was a bit concerned before, cause I like the " old Connie" a lot. They have done a great job in bringing her up.
Did they do something about the rather shabby look of the Top - Deck- Jogging Deck??
I would love to se a redone balcony cabin.
thanks and have a great time in the Baltic Seas.
Michael
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  #52  
Old May 30th, 2010, 03:23 AM
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Good morning Dan, it's bellybutton again. I just had a glass of champagne and blew out a candle on my 60th birthday cake (the reason for the cruise in November), when I realized something.

You probably won't be able to sneak a peek into the PH suite until the end of the cruise. And that is okay with me. I am in no real rush. In fact, if you can tell me if there is a laptop already in the cabin for our use, I'd be happy to know that too.

SO MANY QUESTIONS; SO LITTLE TIME....

I do appreciate you doing this for us.

Don't laugh, but if you could please ask the Hotel Manager if it is possible for me to bring my Tour de Champagne on board with me in November, I'd be eternally grateful. My party plans to have a different champagne at dinner every night, and I have put together quite an array of my all-time favorites. I even found a bottle of Cristal Rose' for the occasion. I am aware of corkage fees, etc.

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  #53  
Old May 30th, 2010, 06:33 AM
mrjim mrjim is online now
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Default How long will Allan King stay?

Hi Dan,

how long will Allan King be the cruise director on Constellation? Will he stay until after the Transatlantic in November?

Thank you!
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  #54  
Old May 30th, 2010, 09:20 AM
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Hi Dan:

I'm really enjoying your posts as well.
In the recent refurbishment, were more internet connections made available?
With Celebrity Online removed to make way for the Martini Bar, were additional locations added? I was really hoping for cabin access as part of the S-Class upgrade.
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  #55  
Old May 30th, 2010, 09:43 AM
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Default annoying music in Martini Bar

Thank you for all the info and photos. I'm wondering if enough people complain about the techno music to someone other than the bartender,someone in a management position,also mentioning it on their comment cards, if they'll have it lowered by January when I cruise. I really planned on spending some quality time there, but not if I have to put up with annoying music.
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  #56  
Old May 30th, 2010, 09:43 AM
Dan Askin Dan Askin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellent View Post
Hi Dan:

I'm really enjoying your posts as well.
In the recent refurbishment, were more internet connections made available?
With Celebrity Online removed to make way for the Martini Bar, were additional locations added? I was really hoping for cabin access as part of the S-Class upgrade.
Thanks Xellent, enjoying the voyage so far.

Sadly, the line didn't invest in bow-to-stern Wi-Fi on this go-around ($40 million and now full-ship Wi-Fi!), so I have no access in my cabin. As you can imagine, this can be pretty brutal for a writer on assignment. For the past two days, I've been typing furiously after dinner in my cabin (no Web) from about 11 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. ... and then running down to Deck 3's Gamma conference room, the location with the best access (says the Web guy), where I log on and do my fact checking and comment posting. Writing first before I sign on saves serious usage minutes -- the connection has been horrible so far, and the time it takes to submit the picture-posts is geological.

The Internet Cafe is on Deck 6, but I'll look into getting some info on the specific Wi-Fi access points.
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  #57  
Old May 30th, 2010, 11:18 AM
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Mr. Askin,
We are on Constellation at Christmas/New Year's, so thanks for posting.
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  #58  
Old May 30th, 2010, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Askin View Post
Thanks Xellent, enjoying the voyage so far.

Sadly, the line didn't invest in bow-to-stern Wi-Fi on this go-around ($40 million and now full-ship Wi-Fi!), so I have no access in my cabin. As you can imagine, this can be pretty brutal for a writer on assignment. For the past two days, I've been typing furiously after dinner in my cabin (no Web) from about 11 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. ... and then running down to Deck 3's Gamma conference room, the location with the best access (says the Web guy), where I log on and do my fact checking and comment posting. Writing first before I sign on saves serious usage minutes -- the connection has been horrible so far, and the time it takes to submit the picture-posts is geological.

The Internet Cafe is on Deck 6, but I'll look into getting some info on the specific Wi-Fi access points.
Hi Dan !

Thanks again for all of your great posts and photos. When I was on Constellation in March, I was told they were not adding full ship Wi-Fi due to the Cost involved. Im surprised that the upgrade could be so expensive, especially with the constantly dropping prices of technology. Maybe they should have tried pricing it at Costco instead of Cisco

If it's actually $40 million, while a bit disappointed, I can understand their decision. We are sailing Connie again in November, and cant wait to see her revitilization. Thanks again for your great posts, and have a wonderful time onboard.
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  #59  
Old May 30th, 2010, 01:57 PM
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Dan thanks for all the great information. Would you happen to remember the bartenders name at the ice bar aka Martini bar?
Thanks
Norma
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  #60  
Old May 30th, 2010, 02:15 PM
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The last time we were on the Constellation there was King Kong on one of the top decks. Is he still there? I'm quite serious. I loved that. Along with the steel man on Deck 5, who I thought was real for the longest time!!!
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