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oakrunfarm

Constellation 1/15 review from another newbie - A different perspective...

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Wow. I read the review by teegeezfun who was on this same cruise and was amazed at how different two different people's opinions and experiences could be...

 

We stayed in San Juan for the night before the cruise and plan to return. We stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan (used to be Wyndham?) and loved the newly-remodeled room. It was quiet and very nicely-furnished. Dinner was at a SUPER place called Baru - could not have been better. We really enjoyed walking around Old San Juan after dinner and the next day. Lots of history and amazing old buildings to see.

 

Embarkation was easier than expected based on the number of people in line. I can't imagine ANYONE getting help with their luggage. There were far too many people to expect any kind of individual help, the line moved quickly and people simply rolled their luggage along.

 

The welcome champagne was a nice touch, but the people handing it out could have been a bit more attentive as they were talking to each other as opposed to welcoming the arriving passengers.

 

We wandered around a bit and were impressed with the lobby and the decor as we had never been on a cruise before and some of the pictures we had seen of other cruise ships were rather shall-we-say less than tasteful. ;)

 

We knew that we would not spend a lot of time in our cabin, and we had along my husband's 70-something Aunt and Mother - who gets motion sickness - so I had selected OV cabins mid-ship on the bottom (Continental) deck to as to minimize movement. This ended up being a GREAT decision. I would get up several times during the night and sit by the window watching the ocean rushing by only a few feet below. The harbor master's boat was directly outside our window on several occasions, and it was very exciting to watch him get on and off the boat and then wave to me!

 

The sail away party with the music was a lot of fun, and watching the lights of San Juan recede into the distance was beautiful.

 

Food-wise, I am also quite picky about food quality. Eating out at better dining establishments is one of our hobbies. I thought the buffet breakfasts were better than average with some items excellent and some not so good, but overall adequate for feeding so many people. The Aqua Spa had fresh alternatives that I really enjoyed.

 

We ate lunch in port every day except for two - the welcome lunch and the at sea day - and again, the food was good to adequate. The burgers and fries were OK. I don't usually eat that kind of food, so I'm sure a burger connoisseur would be better able to critique their quality.

 

Dinner at Oceanliners was very nice. The food was delicious but the service could have been a bit better as far as refilling wine and attentiveness go. The additional fee for dining there was well worth it.

 

We had sushi four nights and found it to be good quality and very fresh. I am very picky about my pasta, and we don't eat pizza, so we did not try to pasta/pizza offerings.

 

The food and service in San Marco (main dining room) for dinner were uneven. The Hake (fish) was very good, as were all of the fish entrees we had. Salads were uninspired; soups were generally good. I agree the tenderloin was very bad, and the lamb was tough also. My lobster was very good. (Not overcooked - which is easy to do.) My husband said the salmon was excellent. I enjoyed my frog's legs and they seemed of good quality to me. The desserts were all good and the Baked Alaska parade was a bit hokey but a nice touch. Our wait staff was friendly but not particularly efficient. (Coffee and wine refills, etc.)

 

Another person in our party enjoyed the shows she saw (Broadway Review and aerialists), and we found the entertainment we saw to be good but not great. The duo in Rendevous was pretty bored-sounding with the same numbers night after night, and Onyx did play the same music over and over with very little variance - got a bit old after 7 days.

 

Perry Grant, the pianist and vocalist in Michael's is a delight. We went to see him three nights and really enjoyed his wit, humor and talent. Lots of fun to go in for a bottle of wine or champagne before the late seating and see him.

 

As far as Cirque goes, we LOVED it. We did not have reservations for the party night, but I knew some people would not "get it" and leave early, so we went at about 11 or 11:30. My husband's Aunt is a good sport and danced around with a feather pen that "drew" on a sheer curtain. (She is 70!) Most of the characters were gone, so we stayed for awhile and decided to go back the next night and check it out. We went back every night after that, and I got selected to dance with the Abyss Gardener. The characters and music were wonderful, and very innovative. I think Celebrity should forget about the Ball concept and just have the format as they do now on most evenings. There's a mini-show with each character, then the characters do a little crowd interaction and leave, and then it's a late night dance club. We were impressed with the club decor - very hip and big-city. They have spent A LOT of money on something I don't think is going to go over in the aspect they hoped it would. It's essentially a very cool club with an interesting theme. They need a new DJ. He's really bad.

 

The pool area was nice, the bar staff in all of the bars (we hit them all at some point in time) was excellent, and the common areas were all clean and the decor was interesting.

 

We travel frequently to the Caribbean, but stay on island. This was nice for a change and we had a great time and felt very welcomed. We will definitely cruise again at some point in time and will most likely choose Celebrity.

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Oakrunfarm,

 

I am catching up on my cruise boards today and this is the third Connie review I found - wow - thanks so much for posting. I hope someone on board is taking note because I find some definite patterns in what people are saying.

 

Overall, your experience resonates with my own. Since you are a wine drinker, as I am, you can appreciate that the dinner experience, in order to rate high, must include an attentive server, and this is an area that was a bit of a problem for us. But it stands out only because it has never been an issue before, and now you are the third or fourth reviewer, besides myself, to note it on the Connie - and in Ocean Liners, it just shouldn't be - period.

 

Loved the Cova Cafe and music there. (I learned if wine service is a problem in the dining room, one way around it is to order a bottle at the Cova Cafe before dinner, and the wine will be brought to your table inside the dining room.)

 

Loved Cirque DS - the ship needs high energy entertainment after a lethargic calorie consuming day.

 

Nancy

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Nancy,

 

I appreciate your giving me feedback on my review.

 

I spent a lot of time on it, and I guess I did not get much response because I did not include anything "controversial" in it.

 

I guess since we go out to eat so often, I was expecting better service in the specialty restaurant than what we received.

 

They were not at all busy that evening - it was the second night out - so I was perplexed that they were not more attentive to our needs.

 

Any time I am looking longingly at the wine bottle across my empty glass, that's not a good thing.

 

Plus, I asked where the restroom was, and someone was supposed to "escort" me to it from Oceanliners. A clearly disinterested person was assigned this task, and once we reached the door, he pointed in the general direction of the ladies room and took off. My husband's aunt and I wandered around looking for it until I finally asked someone in guest relations to point it out, and it was on the other side of where we had been directed.

 

Not a big deal I know, but not a good reflection on service levels.

 

I really wish we had been able to get to Cova, but neither of the other ladies are coffee drinkers, and so we did not get to go at all. I will definitely make it a point to go though should we return.

 

As I mentioned, we also really loved C du S. So much so that I imagine they were very tired of seeing us in there just about every night.

 

What I found interesting was that on most nights that we were in there, a few men in suits were hovering around who looked as though they might be upper level exectives gauging crowd reaction, etc.

 

I was amazed that they did not take advantage of the fact that we were in there regularly over the course of the entire cruise to ask us our impressions and input. Oh well, maybe they have made decisions on how they want to move forward.

 

I could tell some of the other people just didn't "get it" but I hope they keep it in place to appeal to those of us who want edgier entertainment.

 

Again, thanks for your words, and I appreciated hearing your thoughts as well.

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Nancy,

 

Thanks for the review. It is always nice to hear a new voice on the reviews. :)

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Dear OAKRUNFARM and Nancy,

Please do not ever think your reviews are not appreciated! This is our first cruise and all information is a great help. My husband and I think it is great that you take the time to do reviews and we get a lot out of them for future planning.

THANKS!

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Read your review of Connie, which I just loved, was Derek the CD? He was loads of fun on our cruise last Sept.

 

On Infinity in December, our waiter was a magician/funnyman, who took a piece of paper & made a hopping frog that jumped the table when I ordered frog legs. Another night he balanced spoons off toothpicks that he inserted in the the bun atop my head with my long blonde hair wrapped in. So I was walking with 10 spoons dangling from my head. One night we & our tablemates couldn't decide on the desert, so he brought them all out.

 

Now we get Summit in November & await the treats they have. Now if we can get a very cheap Millie cruise in April/May, we will have done them all. M Class is the great class of "X" cruises.

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Oakrunfarm, thank you for your review. This will be our first Celebrity cruise and I am looking forward to it. The reviews are mixed, as I expected. Not everyone expects the same from a cruise. We have cruised a few different lines and every one of them is different; even the service between ships on the same lines. We take cruises mostly for the relaxation it affords. Hubby and I usually enjoy the service onboard most ships. Did you have the same waiter every night? I find that this usually is a better way to go, as far as good service is concerned. If you have the same waiter and busboy every night they get to know you, and respond to your individual needs more readily. That usually results in a better tip (makes sense to us). With the price that the Oceanliner charges (over and above) I am sure that that is the extra tip for service. You should have expected more.I enjoyed your review and we are looking forward to the nightclub experience.

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Oakrunfarm,

 

Thanks very much for your review and comments. We have only cruised Celebrity once and then discovered RSSCL where the wine is complimentary at dinner and boy does it flow! However, we are trying Celebrity again because we like the Connie's itinerary. Did you take any shore excursions or do any thing on shore that you can share with us? Did you hear about any of the other passengers excursions? Although it sounds like you are wine consumers like us did you get to the martini bar to see Sudi? I was wondering if we can get wine there but still see the tricks?

 

Thanks again.

 

MamaQuack

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For dancing in the Cirque night club, was it to live music or just a DJ?

 

Was there any dancing to 70's through pop music to the live party band?

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We just returned from our fabulouse cruise on Connie and pretty much concur with your food review. Breakfasts were fine although the omelette lines were always so long we did not get one ever. Lunch buffets we found cheesy but the alternatives in the aqua spa always filled in nicely. We enjoyed the Sushi and the burgers. We, all four of us, found the ice cream to be awful, almost inedible, so be sure to get the frozen yogurt from the machine instead.

 

We have been on fifteen cruises and my husband thought the dinners were the worst we've ever had. The meat was tough, except for the roast beef the first night, and the food was generally disappointing. I agree that the lobster was excellent and I also enjoyed the rack of lamb. If you are a chocolate lover, bring it with you, you will be starved. We couldn't even find anything good that was chocolate at the teas. If you love custards and cream based desserts, you will be in heaven. I can't eat anything with butter or cream, so I was always disappointed. Sorbets do get tiring.

The service in the dining room was very good.

 

We ate at the Ocean liner on the last night. Although the waiter came up and appeared to be attentive to my needs, he never delivered. Here the food was good, but there was no personal service. When I told the waiter I could not eat cheese, he said he would serve me a fruit plate. However, that never happened. I ordered asparagus as my first course and they also served me asparagus as one of the extras. I sent it back. Very strange. If that happened in a high end restaurant in Boston, I think the waiter would be fired. They have a cute well rehearsed routine of sychronizing the food delivery and they also take the plates away in tandem. I think the problem is that the staff is very overworked. I felt they tried hard but could not quite do it. My cabin steward was always exhausted. She had twenty rooms and although we were CC and paid more for the service, there was no difference in the service we received.

We ordered room service twice and that was a lot of extra work for her. We did tip her $10 each time. They set a beautiful table with a table cloth on our aft balcony and our steward had to get the food. When I asked for a baked potato, she said that it was not on the menu and she could not get it for us. I knew that was bogus and I was insistent. I ended up getting what I ordered. It was her second contract on the Connie so I find it hard to believe she didn't know that she should be providing that service. I also asked for a chocolate chip cookie instead of canapes and she said she couldn't do it, I didn't argue and simply called room service when we wanted one. I could go on and on about cc but it is off the subject. Another time. Frankly, I have never met a cruise I didn't like and this one was very good also. Bon Voyage!!!

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