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Darspurs

Back from the Constellation Transatlantic

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Back from a wonderful transatlantic cruise as our first Celebrity cruise, there were certainly some great plusses on Celebrity but also some minuses compared to other cruises we have been on. I won't write a full review but just point out some of the main things, if anyone has any specific questions I will try and answer them.

 

Because we travelled from the UK to San Juan via Miami on the day of sailing (flights and connection superb) we did not board until 6pm which took less than two minutes. We had a sky suite which was very nice and quickly met our butler Wilfred who provided fantastic service throughout the cruise along with our cabin attendant Igusti.

 

On the plus side I would say that the service onboard in every single department that I came accross was by far the best I have ever experienced.

 

In addition the food in the main San Marco restaurant was 95% superb, came out hot and our waiter never got a thing wrong with the orders. We had a great table of 8 in a prime location. No one on the table ever had a problem with anything we ordered and anything we asked for (within reason) was provided. In fact during the first week we had two starters of salmon tartare and frogs legs, these both went down so well with our table that we were offered them every night thereafter in addition to those starters on the menu ;)

 

It was my wife's birthday whilst onboard and we went with the whole table to Oceanliners which I must say was as good as any restaurant I have ever eaten in and which would have cost at least £300 ($550) at the Waterside Inn (Michel Roux restaurant in the UK).

 

The sea was so calm for the whole trip including the Bay of Biscay that unless you looked out you wouldn't have known you were on a ship most of the time and the weather was great.

 

On the negative side we thought the buffet area was badly set out (certainly in comparison to Royal Carribean) and the choices and quality of food in the buffet was not as good.

 

The Entertainment in the shows was mixed to poor to have on consecutive nights a pianist, violinist and a flutist does not show very good planning and on one night the had no show just a film a 35 year old James Bond film - That I thought was actually an insult. The comedian and the musical impressionist were excellent, the pianist very good and the singers and dancers average. The acrobatic due with the singers and dancers were superb.

 

I thought the cruise director Edwin Rojas was probably the 2nd worst cruise director I have come accross and nothing was organised (that I saw) around the pool the entire cruise - especially with the 5 consecutive sea days in beautiful weather.

 

Cirque Du Soleil - We went to the 'white night' and one other evening, I am 52 and my wife 49 ( to give you an idea ) To us it was just like a trendy bar to have a drink and a chat in. I do not really believe that the characters really enhanced the fact that the bar has a nice unusual decor. Once you have seen them for a few minutes that is really that and I assume that is why many people left after a short while. I did not dislike it but I would certainly not book a cruise based on the fact that it is there. In my humble opinion Celebrity have made a mistake in investing so much money into it, but only time will tell if I am right on that one.

 

Finally the casino only managed to do a transfer of funds from myself to my wife as I couldn't win in there and she won a jackpot on one of the machines :)

 

Of course all I have said is how my wife and myself found everything on the cruise others may have different views, it was also nice to see so many people at the cruise critic get together and bump into many of them during the cruise around the ship.

 

David

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Thanks for the review. This is our first time sailing with Celebrity and your comments have helped. I hope that there will be calm waters in the Baltic for our sailing.

 

Elaine

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Darspurs....I think you hit the nail on the head with your short review. I found the ships condition, service and staff all exceeded my expecations. I have to agree that the cruise entertainment department really did a very poor job. Besides the daily speakers (who had to introduce themselves after the first day) Activities were few and far between. I agree that the Cruise Director (Edwin) who was AWOL for several days wasn't around much. Maybe he was to busy planning for the Northern Europe tours and wasn't worried about his guests already on the ship. Overall a very enjoyable two weeks.....I give this trip an 8 out of 10. Miss the ship already.

 

Michael

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My wife and I have returned from the Constellation TA and it was fantastic. This was our 14th cruise and 5th TA but our first with Celebrity. We flew to Madrid from Gatwick with British Airways and then on to San Juan with Iberia. A night in the Holiday Inn on Isle de Verde followed. The following day we boarded Constellation and from the moment we were welcomed aboard with a glass of Champagne we knew this was going to be something different. One word describes it 'Fantastic'. We were then shown via glass lifts to our cabin on deck 7 by an attendant who was dressed in white and who took our hand luggage. On opening the door of our cabin we were amazed to see a large, bright airy room in light oak with aquamarine drapes, bed cover. There was a settee, double bed and lots of hanging space in 2 wardrobes. One of the walls was all mirrored. The television was 20 inch with many channels. They all worked whilst crossing the atlantic even CNN. The bathroom contained bath robes, shampoo, soap, body lotion/ moisturising cream, cotton wool buds and balls, hairdryer. The large shower cubicle meant you didn't dance with the shower curtain. The wardrobe had complementary umbrellas and blue beach bag. The balcony had 2 comfortable chairs and glass table. The glass of the balcony was clear so that you could look out to sea whilst seated unlike some other ships. No sign of any plastic on this ship. We ordered afternoon tea, coffee, cheese and fruit platters from the inter active TV. No extra charge. Meals in the cabin, no extra charge. The meals in the restaurant were fantastic. We even had lobster on the menu. There was a Sushi bar and an Italian bar. Again all free. All the crockery is china, even in the buffet. Not a polystyrene cup in site. If you had coffee from the Cova Coffee bar the wonderful pastries were free. The ship with it's glass lifts, marble staircases and attentive staff made it a delight to travel on. Nothing was too much trouble. The Champangne bar or the Martini bar were good meeting points prior to dinner. The gym was the best I have ever seen at sea. There are 2 outside swimming pools with 4 whirl pools. During the day waiters bring out Lemon Sorbet and cold towels, again all free. The indoor pool is part of a beautiful solarium, again all free. It is these things that set this cruise line apart from the others. We were sorry to leave the ship at Dover but have vowed to return. The people on board? just like any other ship all on holiday and enjoying themselves. We met some great people, Darspurs, Eurodolphin, Swissers, Wesp, Cruising Rookie, Camping Man, Travelling Man, Tally10, Searanger and many others. The down side was the entertainment. I personally am not interested in being entertained by concert pianists, flutists and watching a 35 year old James Bond film. We thought the Cirque de Solei was a waste of time and nothing more than a themed disco. Whilst the resident group were good their song selection was limited. I don't want to hear Jamaica Farewell, The Banana Boat Song etc for a long, long time. Celebrity could actually learn a lot about onboard entertainment from people like Thomsons and other holiday companies. Will we travel Celebrity again? A big yes.

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I'd like to follow up with my friends Darspurs and Fossil1 in review of the recent Constellation transatlantic cruise. As I noted in an early reply to Eurodolphin's posting, I'd agree that the entertainment was the biggest overall weakness of this cruise. The guest artists at the evening shows appeared to be targeted to a certain audience, and that's fine, but it just was not our taste.

 

Overall, the Celebrity "experience" on Constellation was consistent with our experience three years ago on Galaxy. And that is excellent in my book! The fact that Celebrity can maintain a consistent level of customer service and brand image over three years between two ships is very impressive. Yes there were some faults to be found here and there, but the overall experience for us was wonderful.

 

One small note - if Celebrity is committed to the environment, how about a place to collect and recycle all of the daily programme inserts for Park West, the Emporium and the on-board cruise consultant?

 

Happy sailing.....

 

Wesley

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Just back from this cruise too.

 

Overall we had a great time. We had a Royal Suite which was excellent - but canopies have been put over the balconies which really restricts sunbathing. The interior of the cabin has been improved and is better than the slightly tired Royal Suites on Millennium.

 

We thought Cirque Du Soleil was excellent and really entertaining - best watched from the beds at the back of the lounge! The cocktails there were also the best on the ship.

 

Completely agree about Edwin Rojas being an exceptionally poor cruise director. Our other big disappointment was the shore excursions. As fast as we booked them they were cancelled. The shore excursion team were really unhelpful at suggesting alternatives. In St Martin we met at 8.00am for our trip only to be told at 8.15am that it was cancelled!

 

Ocean Liners was exceptional as ever - I wish we'd eaten there more. We were also delighted to see that Mihai has been promoted from a butler to assistant house keeper. A well deserved promotion.

 

Anyway, great cruise, great weather, great company.

 

Julie Jean

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