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Constellation - When two nights just isn't enough

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I'm just back from a very quick jaunt from Amsterdam back to Southampton on Constellation and wanted to share a few thoughts.

 

It's March 2011 since I was on M-Class and stepping aboard became immediately aware of how much I like the size and layout of these ships. It's hard to put ones finger on it, but for me it's more like being on a ship than the S-Class. You feel closer to the water with views from inside as well as out. There are more nooks and crannies to hang out in and quiet spots if you want them.

 

We had excellent food on both nights. The first we ate in Tuscan. I have written a few times on this board of my previous experiences in Tuscan and that it isn't a favourite. I have to say I enjoyed it immensely on this trip. The food was excellent and combined with my discipline in not stuffing the focaccia and antipasto at the start made for a much more enjoyable meal. Gone are the Kobe meatballs in the slightly revised menu and I didn't miss them. The MDR on the second night was surprisingly good. Chateaubriand as an entree and very nice indeed.

 

We went to the Martini Bar and I must make comment about the music there because I have been critical in the past. It was fine, mainly because it was at the right volume. Good background, but not intrusive and much better than I have experienced before from time to time. I didn't notice much of the piped music either, but then I was only on the ship two days.

 

The service was great and I'm sure the bar servers were very busy. Lots of drinks packages sold for this short cruise and a party atmosphere that never became too much. Everyone looked like they were having a good time.

 

Perry Grant was there in Michael's and in good form. I watched him for a bit last night, but he isn't really my cup of tea. He's an entertainer though and a couple of his quick witted replies were very funny.

 

A couple of observations. I felt the ship inside and certainly my cabin was spotless. However I must make comment about the state of the metal and woodwork on my balcony. It really looked a bit sad. I was in FV 7199 and there was quite a lot of rust and a very rough wooden handrail with a of the varnish either peeling or gone. I was sorry to see this and hopefully they will put it right very soon after perhaps a tough season in Northern Europe.

 

If I were to have the final decision I would leave the structural alterations to Constellation at next dry dock. Forget adding that block of AQ cabins and preserve the jogging track and view from above the aft bar. The fun factory does look a bit lost up there. It would be so nice to have another bar area. I know it's all about maximising revenue, but walking that area of Constellation it seems a pity to get rid of it.

 

BTW, there was a question here about whether an iPad fits on the docking stations in the suites. It did, certainly on the model on Constellation and charged it up to. They were the same as those on Eclipse.

 

So overall I had such a great time with wonderful friends. A shame it was over so quickly.

 

Phil

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I'm just back from a very quick jaunt from Amsterdam back to Southampton on Constellation and wanted to share a few thoughts.

 

It's March 2011 since I was on M-Class and stepping aboard became immediately aware of how much I like the size and layout of these ships. It's hard to put ones finger on it, but for me it's more like being on a ship than the S-Class. You feel closer to the water with views from inside as well as out. There are more nooks and crannies to hang out in and quiet spots if you want them.

 

We had excellent food on both nights. The first we ate in Tuscan. I have written a few times on this board of my previous experiences in Tuscan and that it isn't a favourite. I have to say I enjoyed it immensely on this trip. The food was excellent and combined with my discipline in not stuffing the focaccia and antipasto at the start made for a much more enjoyable meal. Gone are the Kobe meatballs in the slightly revised menu and I didn't miss them. The MDR on the second night was surprisingly good. Chateaubriand as an entree and very nice indeed.

 

We went to the Martini Bar and I must make comment about the music there because I have been critical in the past. It was fine, mainly because it was at the right volume. Good background, but not intrusive and much better than I have experienced before from time to time. I didn't notice much of the piped music either, but then I was only on the ship two days.

 

The service was great and I'm sure the bar servers were very busy. Lots of drinks packages sold for this short cruise and a party atmosphere that never became too much. Everyone looked like they were having a good time.

 

Perry Grant was there in Michael's and in good form. I watched him for a bit last night, but he isn't really my cup of tea. He's an entertainer though and a couple of his quick witted replies were very funny.

 

A couple of observations. I felt the ship inside and certainly my cabin was spotless. However I must make comment about the state of the metal and woodwork on my balcony. It really looked a bit sad. I was in FV 7199 and there was quite a lot of rust and a very rough wooden handrail with a of the varnish either peeling or gone. I was sorry to see this and hopefully they will put it right very soon after perhaps a tough season in Northern Europe.

 

If I were to have the final decision I would leave the structural alterations to Constellation at next dry dock. Forget adding that block of AQ cabins and preserve the jogging track and view from above the aft bar. The fun factory does look a bit lost up there. It would be so nice to have another bar area. I know it's all about maximising revenue, but walking that area of Constellation it seems a pity to get rid of it.

 

BTW, there was a question here about whether an iPad fits on the docking stations in the suites. It did, certainly on the model on Constellation and charged it up to. They were the same as those on Eclipse.

 

So overall I had such a great time with wonderful friends. A shame it was over so quickly.

 

Phil

 

There was a rumor on a past thread that there would actually be a "formal" night on 2 days cruises. Could you please confirm or deny?

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There was a rumor on a past thread that there would actually be a "formal" night on 2 days cruises. Could you please confirm or deny?

It was optional formal as indeed I confirmed on one of those threads. This came from a decision made by the Hotel Director that I knew of before I left. There was a mixture of attire. Some suits and jackets and a few tuxes and gowns. I wore a casual long sleeved shirt without a jacket and smart trousers and certainly didn't feel out of place. I thought the whole ambiance was very nice.

 

Phil

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I agree about the M-class ships. I've also done one sailing on Equinox when it was brand new (we were the first passenger sailing in 2009). Everyone onboard- passengers, the crew and even the pastry chef asked me what I thought about the s-class and I said that while I thought the ship had some nice features- I missed the M-class ship. I like the nautical feel of the M-class ships- with great unobstructed views of the sea. The glass elevators midship looking over the sea are one of my favorite features.

 

I have been on two more sailings on Celebrity since then and specifically chose the M-class. I did Infinity and Summit this summer. I loved both my cruises. There are pros and cons with the new and improved M-class. Firstly they added 60 new cabins. The ones on deck 3 are outsides with huge round windows. This was really wasted space prior to the refurbishment. So these 13 cabins really don't take away from the interior- however they do add an additional 26+ passengers. The ones on deck 11 now take away from the walking track which I loved and now it is shortened or you can walk up and down the steps to deck 12. The new cabins added on Deck 11 add up to 47 double occupancy cabins- adding 94 more passengers. So that is 120 total new passengers.

 

On my Alaska sailing this really wasn't an issue but on the Bermuda Summit sailing-that attracts families with children (400-500)- the pool area was packed- so much so that I never even attempted to use the pools during the day. We did use them in the evening but they would close at 8PM normally- not 9PM as posted in the newsletter. There was no rhyme or reason for the early closings- it wasn't rough seas. This was a bit maddening when we weren't able to at least use them after dinner.

 

We loved Bistro on Five. No one really uses Cellar Masters and they probably need to do something else there. We love Qsine which I don't think will be on Constellation but is on Millenium, Infinity and Summit. Fun and whimsical- one of the reasons I'm excited to go back.

 

The youth program hasn't seemed to suffer by moving it to the bow and losing some of Revelations (Summit) or Constellation Lounge (Infinity). So that was a good move.

 

I have booked again on M-class (B2B) on Millenium for next June because we had such a great overall time but the refurbished ships are not without their flaws. The price of M-class ships for standard digs is really reasonable and it serves our purposes when traveling- nice food, great service, comfortable rooms and you can't beat Alaska.

Edited by rebeccalouiseagain

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It was optional formal as indeed I confirmed on one of those threads. This came from a decision made by the Hotel Director that I knew of before I left. There was a mixture of attire. Some suits and jackets and a few tuxes and gowns. I wore a casual long sleeved shirt without a jacket and smart trousers and certainly didn't feel out of place. I thought the whole ambiance was very nice.

 

Phil

 

Thanks Phil.

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What!!:eek::eek::eek:

 

Gone are the Kobe meatballs in the slightly revised menu and I didn't miss them.

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I'm just back from a very quick jaunt from Amsterdam back to Southampton on Constellation and wanted to share a few thoughts.

 

We went to the Martini Bar and I must make comment about the music there because I have been critical in the past. It was fine, mainly because it was at the right volume. Good background, but not intrusive and much better than I have experienced before from time to time. I didn't notice much of the piped music either, but then I was only on the ship two days.

 

A couple of observations. I felt the ship inside and certainly my cabin was spotless. However I must make comment about the state of the metal and woodwork on my balcony. It really looked a bit sad. I was in FV 7199 and there was quite a lot of rust and a very rough wooden handrail with a of the varnish either peeling or gone. I was sorry to see this and hopefully they will put it right very soon after perhaps a tough season in Northern Europe.

 

If I were to have the final decision I would leave the structural alterations to Constellation at next dry dock. Forget adding that block of AQ cabins and preserve the jogging track and view from above the aft bar. The fun factory does look a bit lost up there. It would be so nice to have another bar area. I know it's all about maximising revenue, but walking that area of Constellation it seems a pity to get rid of it.

 

So overall I had such a great time with wonderful friends. A shame it was over so quickly.

 

Phil

 

With such a short cruise, it must have seemed liked you blinked your eyes and it was over. Glad it was good!

 

I agree with you about the loss of the walking track. It seems such a shame to lose that lovely area and the views you get when walking it. That's always been one of my favorite places on the Connie, and the other M-class ships.

 

Really, really good to hear about the music level in the Martini Bar! Thanks for letting us know... hopefully it will be a fleet wide move.

 

I also hope the rust and varnish issues get taken care of when the ship goes in. Those FV balconies are just wonderful and need to be taken care of.

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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How fun! A quick get-away for some fun and hopefully for a bit of relaxation. Thanks Phil, for your great review.

 

Karyn

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What!!:eek::eek::eek:

 

 

Yup. I liked the Kobe Meatballs very much. Sorry to read they are gone, but there's so much great food on Tuscan's menu, that I will get over it :)

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Hi Phil,

 

As always, thank you for your wonderful insights. Glad you had a great time on Connie. Welcome Home !

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I too am just back from the same cruise as Phil and he has summed it up very well indeed. Although the ship was only 80% full it felt much fuller than that. Certainly a lively party crowd onboard and one large group who at time had issues if others were in "their space" but that was not enough to detract from an excellent cruise.

 

Two night cruises are what you make them to be, certainly we noted a few lapses in service and if we had had our rather dangerous balcony rail (part missing and rough exposed rusty parts) I would have had an issue but over two nights, no big issue.

 

We sensed some of the staff knew there would be no feedback forms and as far as I can see all tips were prepaid, but others, such as our butler Singh and the waiter and sommelier in Tuscan were certainly giving their all.

 

We were blessed with glorious weather - we had our British summer yes! - and the ship was moving at about 6 knots over two days as we travelled all of 240 miles, it was a millpond.

 

The iPad docking station was a welcome addition in the room and we loved the Bulgari toiletries in our suite. The bed was very comfortable indeed.

One thing we were advised by the photographers is they no longer visit speciality restaurants except by prior request - I know some guests will welcome that, others will want photos done that night- if you do make sure you ask!

 

So a good two night trip, great company but perhaps as has been said earlier, perhaps another night would be nice

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Thanks for the update - we sail Sept, 19th for the second wine cruise and as quite excited. The last time we were on the Connie was Sept. 2008 for the transatlantic. We even met some of the previous posters on this thread!

 

Sue

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Phil, thanks for your review and for responding to my question about the docking stations. Happy to hear they will accommodate my iPad.

 

And I'm with you and Cruiser Susie in that I wish they'd just leave the Connie alone and preserve all that walking space. And I know people like those new cabins with the big windows that used to be public space, but I never felt that space was not used. Most of the chairs would be full when I would pass through that area, which I did frequently. It was a lovely, quiet area to sit and read or just enjoy the view out of those great windows.

 

And thanks for the great news that they've turned the deafening music down! Hope that applies to all ships.

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If Phil had a Concierge or higher cabin he would have received 2 cruise credits for this cruise. Take 5 of these and in just 10 days of cruising you could become Elite. I know, that's another subject but I couldn't resist. Sorry :(

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If Phil had a Concierge or higher cabin he would have received 2 cruise credits for this cruise. Take 5 of these and in just 10 days of cruising you could become Elite. I know, that's another subject but I couldn't resist. Sorry :(

 

We used the cruise to become ELITE and were again bitten by the cruise bug,so we have booked another cruise ( within a week of arriving home)

 

We did have some issues, mainly the lack of past passenger benefits promised in the daily newsletter, but they have now been sorted in our favour!

 

Here is the link to my photos of our time in Amsterdam, the cruise and after we disembarked.

 

http://travel.webshots.com/album/583374162PEwYhc

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Sounds wonderful!

 

I never knew Celebrity offered 2 night cruises from Southampton. Are any more scheduled this year?

 

Actually the cruise was a repositioning, Amsterdam- Southampton.

We were talking to someone from USA, who had booked it originally when it was an Eastern Mediterranean, but Celebrity came out of that one due to the tension in the Middle East.

So this was a change to their schedule.

I think it very unusual for repositioning in Europe, most cruise ships 'home port' for the season.

We saw it advertised when we were on Century in March, it definately wasn't in the brochure that we had.

However if you go on line & put in 2 -3 day cruises, something should come up, but it is likely that it will be in the States.

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Actually the cruise was a repositioning, Amsterdam- Southampton.

We were talking to someone from USA, who had booked it originally when it was an Eastern Mediterranean, but Celebrity came out of that one due to the tension in the Middle East.

So this was a change to their schedule.

I think it very unusual for repositioning in Europe, most cruise ships 'home port' for the season.

We saw it advertised when we were on Century in March, it definately wasn't in the brochure that we had.

However if you go on line & put in 2 -3 day cruises, something should come up, but it is likely that it will be in the States.

 

Thank you upwarduk, I have just checked with Celebrity, apparently there are no more 2 nighters in Europe on the horizon. None at all for 2013/14.

 

Wat a shame I missed this one, it sounds a perfect little break.

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