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mathgeek1978

Cruise Review: Celebrity Constellation, Dec 15 - 19, 2012

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I really wasn’t going to write a review. This has been a very exhausting Christmas season, and I still have to take care of a lot of issues at the office. I am very tired and I really don’t want to write a review.

 

But after reading all the negative posts and reviews on the Connie, I think it’s only fair to the crew, to the readers on this forum, and to all the future Connie cruisers that I also share my experience.

 

MDR

 

There have been maybe one or two issues with the food. The shrimp cocktail was indeed tiny and served warm, which I complained about on my LIVE thread here:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1751998

 

The salmon I had on the last night wasn’t quite good. The escargots are much smaller than the ones we’ve had before. But other than that, the food in the MDR has been very good. We’ve had the NY steak and filet mignon and they were cooked medium rare just as requested. The duck was actually very good – the skin was crispy and the meat was moist and tender – just the way it should be. The beef Carpaccio was fresh and tasty. Overall, while there are some disappointments, we are happy with the food in the MDR.

 

The service have been outstanding! We had select dining and have made reservations online weeks ahead. We were seated almost immediately every night at a table for two. A couple of times, when they could accommodate my request, we had a table for two away from the crowd, against a wall or the railings where we could have more privacy.

 

Except for one night, we have had different servers, all of them have been excellent. One night I couldn’t decide what to order and my server suggested the duck, which turned out to be fantastic. Another night we were hungry and we finished all the bread very quickly. A fresh basket was brought to us without having to ask.

 

The sommeliers have been some of the most friendly – not pushy like some other ones. They helped us select wines that we liked and suited our taste, not pushing for the higher priced ones. When we returned to the MDR, our bottles of wine were always brought to our table promptly, without having to ask.

 

GRADE: Food B; Servers A; Sommeliers A Plus.

 

 

OCEANVIEW CAFÉ

 

The breakfast buffet has everything that you can ask for – eggs, egg benedict, sausage, bacon, hash brown, fried potatoes, corn beef, grilled tomatoes, selections of fruits, cereal, pastries, etc. The items available are too numerous to mention.

 

We only had lunch there on sea days and the selection is indeed limited. The roast beef on the first day was overcooked and dry. The fish wasn’t quite good either.

 

Snacks, however, have been very good. The pizza was quite good although service was a bit indifferent. The afternoon goodies on sea days were good. The nightly sushi was excellent – although the portion is now a lot smaller. Nevertheless, the quality of the fish was very good.

 

GRADE: B (Overall)

 

 

Sushi_1_Connie_zps1df7f710.jpg

 

 

CABIN:

 

We had a Concierge Class cabin. The cabin has been updated and the CC balcony is a bit larger than the regular balconies. All the bed sheets, blankets, and pillows were very comfortable. The basket of fruits were fresh and so were the flowers, which were changed almost daily. The bathroom, however, had a bad smell throughout the cruise, which was the only (but substantial) negative experience as far as our cabin is concerned.

 

GRADE: B

 

CABIN ATTENDANTS

 

The cabin attendant and his assistant have been very good. Our room was always cleaned properly. We dine on the balcony a lot, and every day the balcony table was thoroughly cleaned. Plenty of fresh towels were supplied each morning. A couple of times we requested more clean towels when we returned from port and they were delivered promptly.

 

GRADE: A

 

ROOM SERVICE ATTENDANT

 

The attendant who impressed me the most is our room service attendant. Shortly after embarkation, he came by and introduced himself that he is our food service attendant. He greeted us with a broad smile from ear to ear and exuded much enthusiasm. Each day, our room service order was delivered correctly and on time. One day we wanted our breakfast very early and it was delivered right at 6AM, even before the sun rises.

 

GRADE: A Plus

 

 

Breakfast is served before sunrise:

 

 

 

Breakfast_Sunrise_Connie_zpsd9ed7131.jpg

 

 

BARTENDERS

 

The Connie has some of the most courteous and friendliest bartenders we’ve met. From Michael’s Club to the Sunset Bar, from the Reflection to the Casino bar, I was always greeted with a warm welcome. By the second day they all remember my drink and called me by name.

 

GRADE: A Plus

 

ENTERTAINMENT

 

The comedian, James Stephens III, was fantastic and had me laughing till my stomach hurt. I would highly recommend him and this show is a must see! (Caution: If you are the easily-offended type, then this show may not be for you.)

 

The party band, Top Notch, was good, but not really “top-notch” as the name suggests. (However, I may be biased as I think Sipra form the Solstice back about 2 years ago was the best party band ever, and I don’t think anyone can top them.) Nevertheless, they had a great performance on “Sizzle”, the Latin-themed deck party on the evening of the sailaway from Grand Cayman.

 

Perry Grant gave his final performance on the 4th night. Although he said he was sick and has lost his voice, he gave a less than emotional finale on his last night on the Connie.

 

There were many other performers and we caught bits and pieces of them throughout the cruise. While nothing was really “top-notch”, they all did a wonderful job and we had a great time!

 

GRADE: B Plus

 

CASINO:

 

The only table game that I played was 3-card poker and throughout the cruise I’ve had some of the friendliest dealers. I had been on a losing streak and I didn’t tip much, but they still dealt the cards with smiles on their faces. The slot machines have been updated and some are similar to those found in upscale Indian casinos. Overall I enjoyed my time spent in the casino. I have 2 minor complaints: 1. The cocktail waitresses don’t circulate the casino often enough and most time I’ll have to “hunt down” a waitress to get a drink. 2. There are time when they really need 2 or more cashiers in the cage but they only had one.

 

GRADE: B Plus

 

CONCLUSION:

 

No matter what other reviews say, we had a great time and we would definitely sail on the Connie again.

 

OVERALL EXPERIENCE: A MINUS (An enjoyable cruise with minor disappointments)

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Thank you for your review. We will be on the Connie in 12 more days and after reading all the negative remarks I was starting to second guess my decision. I find it amazing how people can be on the same ship, yet have totally different experiences. We too booked CC ...may I ask what deck or cabin you were in?

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Hi Mathgeek,

 

Thanks for your review, and photos. I'm happy to hear you had a great time on Constellation. Welcome Home !

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It seem the ships that sail shorter cruises always get more negative reviews, a shame considering this Ships great reputation as being one of the most popular ships for celebrity repeat passengers!

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Thank you for your review especially since you've been so busy. We will be on the Connie in 8 days and are looking forward to our cruise. I've been following our post and thankful for all the info you have posted here. I wonder if those who had a negative experience would have posted if they had a positive one?

 

Can't wait to step foot on Connie, thanks again.

 

Katie

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Thank you mathgeek for your review. I feel so much better now about my cruise on Connie in Feb.

Minnie

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Another thank you mathgeek. We will be embarking on January 7th and were really concerned with the recent negative comments about this ship. Our dining choice is also Select and hope we have the same service you did.

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Thank you for your review especially since you've been so busy. We will be on the Connie in 8 days and are looking forward to our cruise. I've been following our post and thankful for all the info you have posted here. I wonder if those who had a negative experience would have posted if they had a positive one?

 

Can't wait to step foot on Connie, thanks again.

 

Katie

 

Yes, I would have posted. I responded to the OP who made some negative comments about the Dec. 20 Constellation cruise and agreed with him-or-her on many points. I did not write a full review, however, on that cruise as I believe it was not representative of the Celebrity experience. I DID write full, very positive reviews of our recent cruises on the Eclipse and the Millenium, though.

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I'll echo my thanks and as a few have already implied, your review has helped calm my fears. Hubby and I will be on the Jan. 7th sailing in a CC room. His first cruise and I want a good experience for him. I'll share your review with him. Happy New Year!

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Thanks, Mathgeek! I was getting a little bummed about all the negative comments too. Glad to hear plenty of good with the not-so-good.

 

Someone said on another thread that they shouldn't use Constellation for the short cruises and they should use Century instead. I disagree. My husband and I love to go on short cruises but all we ever get to see are the oldest ships. We're booked on the 2-day cruise next month and are looking forward to something newer and nicer.

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Mathgeek1978: Thanks for posting the dailies. And the review! I didn't see where they offered the great brunch on the connie. Is that correct?

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I am the OP of the Connie review from the 12/20 cruise and yes I would have posted if it had been a positive review.

Edited by fgc15527

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Thanks for the review. It sounds as good as my November cruise, and that's impressive given there was a significant staff turnover on Nov 30 (before the TA). My headwaiter, sommelier, and favourite bartender all left then, amongst over 100 staff whose contracts were up.

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I was also on the 12/20 cruise and made some negative comments. I wrote a very full and extremely positive review of our experience on Equinox last June. I intend to write a more complete review of our 12/20 cruise later this week. It wasn't all bad....some of it was better than Equinox (e.g. the entertainment) but the lack of friendly service was the thing that struck us most.

 

Mathgeek: your live postings and this review were very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to post.

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I also noted some of my opinions about the Constellation Dec. 20 cruise. We had a good time, definitely, but it was not our typical Celebrity service experience.

 

What I feel most people fail to remember is that people are only posting there OPINIONS. I try not to let things that are so suggestive, such as food, determine how I think a cruise will be.

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We were on the same Dec 15 Connie cruise. I've read the negative remarks, and have to agree with the OP on their great review. It was my husband's first cruise and my first in about 12 yrs. It was our first Celebrity cruise. We stayed in a sky suite with a really large slanted balcony.

 

We were both impressed with the service from the stateroom attendants to the butler to most other areas of the ship. My fave spot was Al Bacio, bc it smelled so good and the mood was so inviting. I thought the staff there were superb. The spa was amazing, as were the staff there. We loved the T pool.

 

The food at the buffet was what we expected. We only had bfast there. It was sufficient. It's a buffet! The food at the MDR was also what I expected. It wAs fine, not stellar, but just fine. The service was sufficient, but impersonal. The sommelier was the same. I've definitely had better service, but they got the job done. It was better than what I can remember from a cruise on the "party boat" years ago. We ate at Ocean Liners. That I can honestly say was epic. The goat cheese soufflé was one of the best things I've ever eaten. We also ate at Tuscan Grille, and that, too was amazing. The food and service were exceptional.

 

I had a couple conversations with staff that mentioned their delight to see a more youthful crowd on these shorter cruises. They seemed quite happy.

 

For our first Celebrity cruise, we both came away nothing but happy. I would completely recommend Connie to anyone.

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Thank you for your review. We will be on the Connie in 12 more days and after reading all the negative remarks I was starting to second guess my decision. I find it amazing how people can be on the same ship, yet have totally different experiences. We too booked CC ...may I ask what deck or cabin you were in?

 

We were on deck 9 and I regretted it due to the large overhang. We did not get much sun during the day, and it was almost impossible to shoot a good video from the balcony. Next time we'll book deck 8.

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Another thank you mathgeek. We will be embarking on January 7th and were really concerned with the recent negative comments about this ship. Our dining choice is also Select and hope we have the same service you did.

 

Making reservations online prior to the cruise may help as they now have 2 lines -- those with reservation and those without. When a table becomes available the party with reservation gets priority.

 

Have a great cruise!

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Thanks, Mathgeek! I was getting a little bummed about all the negative comments too. Glad to hear plenty of good with the not-so-good.

 

Someone said on another thread that they shouldn't use Constellation for the short cruises and they should use Century instead. I disagree. My husband and I love to go on short cruises but all we ever get to see are the oldest ships. We're booked on the 2-day cruise next month and are looking forward to something newer and nicer.

 

For those of us who are still working (ie, not retired) short cruises are sometimes all we can get. I would love to be on a 12-day cruise, but I just don't see this happening in the forseeable future.

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Mathgeek1978: Thanks for posting the dailies. And the review! I didn't see where they offered the great brunch on the connie. Is that correct?

No, we didn't have brunch on this itinerary. At least it was not mentioned in the dailies. Maybe it's because of the shorter itinerary.

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Making reservations online prior to the cruise may help as they now have 2 lines -- those with reservation and those without. When a table becomes available the party with reservation gets priority.

 

Have a great cruise!

 

Thank you.

 

Trust me I have tried and tried to make reservations online and the website has a glitch preventing me for doing so.

 

Just curious, what time did dine you eat? We usually go on the later side 8-8:15. This time worked great for us on Millie.

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