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eurodolphin

we're back from the Connie, so fire away !

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Just got back yesterday from our 2 weeks TA on the Constellation from San Juan, puerto rico to Dover, UK and we loved every minute of it !!!:D Everyone on these boards has been so helpfull before we left, especially since this was our first cruise, so now I will be glad to answer any and all of your questions.

I'll also post a review and our pictures on a later date.

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Whats the entertainment like on the Connie this year ?

We were on her last year and thought it could do with some more variety.

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Did you feel pampered? Nickeld and dimed? Like a true guest or just another paying customer? I'm wondering what the vibe was on the ship?

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Anne Marie, if by entertainment, you mean the shows, I cannot really comment on that. We're not much into that so I only visited a show once, and thought it quite nice but not really amazing. We did go to the Cirque DS experience and loved it, although I know alot of people disagree, it was something new and special and,...well you just have to see for yourself, I guess :)

 

Schplinky, we most certainly felt pampered, service was amazing, so many little

things that really make you feel special, honestly, we felt as if we were royalty !

We did not feel nickled and dimed, there indeed are a lot of things that you can pay extra for if you want to, like spa treatments or alcoholic drinks, or... these are available but not ever are you pushed to buy them. And we felt you wouldn't miss out on anything if you "only" enjoyed all of the complementary stuff.

 

Gitte, bedankt ! Review is on it's way :)

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(Eurodolphin - hope you won't mind if I chime in here.) ;)

 

SHOWS

DW and I attended most of the evening shows. There were four production shows with the Celebrity Singers and Dancers. We also were entertained by a comedian, violinist, female vocalist, flutist, pianist, and a vocal impressionist. We did not care for Helen Jayne the vocalist - she appeared to have "never met a song she couldn't scream", and Dominique Ava the violinist was just too "showy". We did not attend the "variety show" evening where these two performed together. Elliot Finkel, the pianist was excellent. In addition to his planned evening show with the orchestra, he performed a solo concert of classical pieces on Saturday afternoon. The flutist was good. The comedian was, well, a cruise ship comedian with the usual jokes about the suction on the toilet, the shower curtain, and the small stateroom. Paul Boland, the impressionist was very funny.

 

The production shows were all good, especially when you consider that they only perform each show every 7-10 days, and have to stay rehearsed for vocals and dance steps. The "Celebrate the World" show was very good - one of the male Celebrity Singers really brought the house down in the opera/Italian section.

 

The best highlight of the live shows was the Celebrity Orchestra - these guys were really hot!

 

EVENING ACTIVITIES

Other than the shows, there were several house bands/artists that performed in the lounges each evening: The pool band was in the Rendezvous lounge, except formal nights when the orchestra played bid band music, there was a jazz guitarist in the aft lounge, and a string quartet in the Cova Cafe. The string quartet was quite lively, playing waltzes, polkas, several Hungarian rhapsodies, and some show tunes. We enjoyed listening to the quartet while we played cards or Scrabble in the adjacent Card Room.

 

POOL GAMES

There were no pool games. We were poolside when the activities director made a plea for "just a few more people" to play a pool game and nothing happened after the announcement...that was the end of pool games that we could see.

 

NICKEL - DIME STUFF

The spa was very over priced at $125 plus 10% charge for a 50 minute massage. The assistant waiter tried to sell us bottled water and sparkling water on the first two nights at dinner. On the other hand, once the bar waiter and sommelier learned that we we not interested in purchasing drinks at dinner, they left us alone after about the third night.

 

PAMPERED

We felt well cared-for by the staff and crew. All requests were handled promptly.

 

Overall our experience was very consistent with our experience on the Galaxy three years ago. We were happy with that then and we were satisfied again with our Celebrity experience on this cruise.

 

Wesley

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Thanks, Wesley. I appreciate the time you took to write this. I was afraid that the evening entertainment would be dull, since most of the guidebooks say that it is X's weak suit. I'm glad that there seems to be enough variety.

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Wesp - you are so lucky! I saw Elliot Finkel on the NCL Dream in 2002 - he performed alone one night and with Pamela Blake (star of Evita on Broadway) on two other evenings. To this day I think they are some of the best on board performances I've seen.

 

Bev

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I saw Mr. Finkel on the Zenith about 5 1/2 years ago when I went to Bermuda. He did a marvelous classical concert during a sea day afternoon. I didn't know at the time that he's Fyvush's son.

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Hi Anne Marie

 

Entertainment is always a question of personal likes and dislikes. :)

 

The cast came to the Constellation only 2 weeks before our sailing and they performed on of the shows for the very first time during this cruise.

I have to admit that they did a good job.

But be advised that if you are in the balcony part of the theatre the vocals are very week. :mad: So I suggest to be seated on the main floor (Deck 4) in the middle where the sound is much better.

 

I have to disagree with wesp about Helen Jane, Dominique Ava and Elliot Finkel.

Finkel is way over the top. It’s not that he isn’t good but he likes more to show of how good he is than that he keeps playing the song. He just inserts some pieces of acrobatic piano playing in the songs so that from originally 5 Minutes his interpretation of the song goes for 7 Minutes.

Helen Jane was in my opinion very very good.

Like one of my tablemates said: She sang her heart out. She has a great voice.

Dominique Ava made a little show but Elliot Finkel was much more showy. But like I said it’s all about personal opinion.

 

Sadly the entertainment program was very weak in the afternoon hours (and that was on nearly all days)!

I saw some pool games during the first two sea days but after that there was hardly anything going on at the pool deck and even inside they only had meetings, quizzes and some musicians playing. I got bored after a couple of days in the afternoon. The mornings were much more interesting.

 

Nickel & Dime

It was not so bad like on my recent RCL sailings. :D They had all these sales in the Emporium (gift shop arcade) but that’s common on every ship.

They didn’t press to hard to buy drinks at dinner. What they really did was advertising in the Celebrity Today! They had every single day flyers in there from the Spa, the Art Gallery and the Future Sales Consultant. Plus the regular ads in the main Celebrity Today. I thought it was too much.

 

The vibe/atmosphere

I tend to compare between Constellation last year and my recent cruises on RCL.

And for this cruise I regret to have to say that the atmosphere was not amazing.

The crew at the level of seamen, waiters, and stateroom attendants is generally very friendly and eager. But my impression is that the higher you go in terms of ranking the friendliness of the crew got something like a mask.

I think that there was truly a discrepancy between officers and management and their subordinates.

I could tell you a couple of incidents where supervisors were unfriendly against their subordinates and even to some fellow passengers.

The whole customer orientation of the higher ranks is in my eyes not so impressive than that on other ships or companies.

So you were greeted as true guest from your waiter and stateroom attendant and treated as a paying client by the management.

 

I hope I will find the time to post a full review within the next 2 weeks which will provide some more detailed information about what happened during this cruise.

But don’t be afraid of booking the Constellation – you will still get a nice ship with a good day to day operation and with (in my opinion) good tasting food.

 

My expectations were in most cases just met but only in very few exceeded!

(Like their former slogan: Exceeding your expectations said)

 

Have fun & keep on cruising

G.W.

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Thank you, GW. Since my only cruise experience is with RCL mega-ships, I would be most interested in reading your review and I hope you do post one.

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Speaking of entertainment, someone please verify that Sudi is still the "Star of the Martini Bar".

 

He was the highlight of the entertainment last year.

 

Don

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Hi Don, while on our cruise I spoke to a bartender in the Martini Bar and asked him about Sudi, he told me that Sudi is at home for a few months now.....He couldn't tell me whether he would return to the Constellation or not. Sorry I can't tell you more..

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Welcome Back Sabine!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to hear how the ports of call were and what you did. So are you hooked now? Pam

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Gitte, we loved being in the Skysuite, spoiled for all cruises to come now, I guess..:D Ocean Liners was excellent, we really enjoyed the quiet atmosphere there and the food was really something ! I'll try to tell more about it in my upcoming review !

pam, hi there, I read you got my postcard from Normandy ! Talk to you soon:)

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