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My Review of Our First and Likely Only Celebrity Cruise on board the Constellation -

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I've gone back and forth on whether or not to post a review of my latest cruise on board the Celebrity Constellation. While I may be going against my better judgment, I do enjoy writing. So, with that I have decided to go ahead and review our March 26 4-day Bahamas cruise that went to Nassau and Key West. I've only reviewed one previous cruise on Cruise Critic. If you've read it, you likely noticed it was photo intensive. I apologize ahead of time because this one isn't going to have many photos. We took pictures, but I currently don't have a computer where I can upload the photos and post them here.

 

When I'm writing a review about something, I always like to start off with a disclaimer. So, before I begin.... We are all different. Some things that bother me won't bother someone else, some things that bother others won't bother me. If I say things that are critical about Celebrity, the ports or the Constellation, it's because of my own tastes.

 

Here's a little background about us. I'm 31 years old and live in Pittsburgh, PA. My boyfriend, Philip is 27 and he lives about 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh. We've been together for almost five months and one of our passions that we share is traveling. Sailing on the Constellation was my fourth cruise, and Philip's first. We booked this cruise about a month ahead of time directly through Celebrity. We both knew we were ready to take our first vacation together, and since I love cruises (and I get what I want...jk), we decided to go on a cruise. We both worked in healthcare, and with this being our busy season, we worked an enormous amount of overtime. I was also laid off shortly before we left, so getting away was exactly what we needed.

 

Some of you may have seen that I was charged $100 more than what I should have been, and I kept getting the runaround with Celebrity. Celebrity contacted me on here to try and remedy the situation, but nothing ever came from that and I ended up escalating my problem to Celebrity's corporate office. I had previously been given $100 in onboard credit to mitigate my losses. A few days before we set sail, I was contacted by a very nice woman in Celebrity's corporate office. She gave us a bottle of wine and a complimentary dinner at one of the speciality restaurants, which satisfied me.

 

We traveled to Ft. Lauderdale the Wednesday prior to our cruise. Philip thought that was sort of odd, but as our plane was delayed by two hours, he realized why it's better to travel at least one day in advance. We stayed at the Galt Villa Motel for the night. I snagged a pretty good deal online and I had a $25 coupon which allowed us to stay there for just over $93.00 including taxes and fees. There was a sign at the reception desk stating there was a $20 deposit for the motel key, but I was never asked to pay it. The motel room was nice, quiet and clean with two double beds. It was also in a good location. The motel did not provide any shuttles, so we took a taxi from the airport to the hotel.

 

After checking in and getting situated, Philip and I headed out to get dinner at Rosie's Bar and Grill in Wilton Manor. Instead of getting a taxi, we used Uber to get there. I had a coupon for this, and was able to get there without spending a dime. While Rosie's caters to the LGBTQ community, everyone is welcome. The ambiance of the restaurant was nice with paper lanterns on their back patio. It was a nice evening and a nice break from the Pittsburgh cold, so we chose to sit back there. I guess everyone else there had the same idea. Many Yelp users recommended the mahi mahi as it was fresh, so thats exactly what I ordered and I wasn't disappointed. Philip got a blackened fish sandwich, which he also enjoyed. Our meals were pretty good, and our waiter was nice, but we had to wait a while to place our orders and get our check. We weren't in a hurry, so that didn't bother us too much. When I'm in the area in the future, I'd likely go there to eat again. I heard they have a great Sunday brunch.

 

After dinner, we walked a few blocks down the road to Hunter's Nightclub, which also caters to gay clientele. This bar had two sides to it. There was a more intimate bar, which was practically dead except for one or two people. The other side had a guy singing live. He was pretty good. There were quite a few people enjoying his music. The bartenders were nice, but the drinks were a little pricey. We both drank long islands. After the guy was done singing, the bar died down considerably. When we were done with our drinks, we went over to Alibi, another gay bar that was suggested by one of Philip's friends. Leaving Hunters was a big mistake as Alibi only had two other patrons in there and our drinks were disgusting because they tasted like pure liquor. Neither of us even drank 1/8 of our drinks before hailing another Uber driver to head back to the motel. Alibi will always stick out in my mind though, as Philip and I decided to take our relationship to the next level while we were there. We plan to move in together this summer. We paid about $12 to get to the motel, which was really reasonable. It was after two by the time we got back.

 

I like to break up my posts, so you don't get lost in an endless wall of text. I'll leave my review at this for now, but I will probably get day one on board the Constellation done soon.

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Following your review! We were on the sailing before you, Mar 21-26.

 

 

 

Marie

Following also. We were on Connie back in Jan. Curious if you had the same experience with Connie was we did.

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Well, now I'm curious as to why you struggled with whether or not to post your review. :)

 

Hehe, things just didn't go right, and I'm sure our experience wasn't common practice, so it's not indicative of how most people's experiences are with Celebrity.

 

 

 

Will we be getting to the "onboard the constellation part soon?"

 

 

Yes, I will :) I'm about to post it. I just want to edit it one more time. I actually finished it last night, but was too tired to begin editing it.

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I suffer from insomnia, which really impacts my ability to fall asleep. I'm sure my insomnia mixed with the excitement of boarding the Constellation made it difficult for me to sleep that night. I only got a couple of hours before we had to get up and check out of our motel room. We had to be out by 10:00AM.

 

We had another coupon for a free ride on Uber, so we hailed one to pick us up and take us to the cruise port. I just have to say that I have trust issues with taxis, and while it is slightly awkward riding in a private citizen's car, I trust Uber far more than a taxi. A really nice and personable guy picked us up and took us to terminal 4 where the Constellation was boarding. It was after 11:30AM by the time we got to the terminal, so we were able to board without much of a wait. The terminal wasn't very busy either, which was a nice surprise. I was happy that Philip and I were able to set up our own credit cards to our own sea passes. I was afraid we wouldn't be able to do that being in the same stateroom. We went through security, got our passes, our security pictures taken and the obligatory picture in front of the Constellation picture. Within 15-20 minutes of getting to the terminal we were on the ship.

 

As we were walking up the gangway, I asked Philip if he believed we were going on the cruise now. He had previously made jokes that we weren't really going. We boarded on deck 3 which was also the deck our stateroom was on. We got our complimentary glasses of champagne and walked around the different tables they had set up for the various amenities available on the ship. Philip is all for massages, but after he saw their costs, he decided he would not be getting one... He didn't seem to believe me when I had previously warned him they are costly on cruises.

 

Since our staterooms were not available yet, we decided to head up to Deck 10 where we could check out the pools and get a bite to eat. While there's no doubt that the Constellation was a beautiful and a well taken care of ship, Philip and I were both underwhelmed at the grand foyer. We both expected something more "grand." I had imagined a promenade like the one I remember on the Majesty of the Seas.

 

As soon as we got up the staircase to deck 10, we were asked by multiple staff members if we had their drink packages. We were asked at least five times by five different people within 10 minutes of being on the deck, which seemed pushy. I read previous posts on Cruise a Critic about this prior to our trip, and at the time, I dismissed this as people over exaggerating. In fact, they were not.

 

After looking at the pools, we went into the Oceanview Cafe for lunch. We found a table to sit at. I sat down while Philip got his plate of food. While Philip was gone, two more people came up asking if I wanted a drink package. I ordered a mojito from one of them. After seeing the receipt for $9.10, I started thinking that maybe getting a drink package was economical for me. One more guy asked if we were interested in the package and we told him we'd think about it. He came back twice more before we decided to go for it. I am a lightweight at 110lbs and 5'9", so I went for the classic, while Philip splurged on the premium package.

 

Our lunches were good for the most part, but nothing really stood out for me, except for Philip's salad. He got a salad with his favorite kind of dressing, bleu cheese. He did not like the taste of the dressing. Bleu cheese is disgusting to me, so I wasn't even going to go there. We finished our lunches, found a couple of loungers by the pool and just hung out for a little bit. My insomnia often causes me to sleep late into the day, so my parents are always worried I'll miss my cruise. I called them to let them know we had made it. Shortly after, there was an announcement that our staterooms were available. I'd say it was a little after 1:30 by this point.

 

Philip and I headed down to our room on deck 3. By the time we got there, Philip's suitcase was already waiting for us, which was very quick from what I have previously experienced on cruises. I received mine a couple of hours later, which was still pretty quick. We had Oceanview room number 3059. The room was clean and a good size. The window was far larger than the only previous Oceanview stateroom I have had, which was on the Big Red Boat. The room was just about what I expected it to be. The complimentary bottle of wine was waiting for us in the room. Our room steward Ronnie knocked on our door and introduced himself letting us know to contact him if we needed anything. We took a few photos of our room and changed into our bathing suits. I looked at the gap between the edge of the wall to our room and the window. I jokingly told Philip that if we got into a fight, I would sleep there. I wish I could show you all the picture of me laying in the window sill. Luckily I didn't have to resort to sleeping there on our trip :).

 

I'm an advocate of using the steps on the ship, so we walked up the stairs to deck 4 where Philip ordered a martini at the martini bar. I felt kind of left out since I wasn't aware of which martini I could order under my package, and I didn't want to ask. While Philip got a martini, I scoped out our muster drill station, which was A4 and in the theater. Once I found it, I met Philip back at the martini bar. He was slightly agitated and I asked him what was wrong. He said the bartenders were refusing to give him a water. Since I had researched things previously, I told him he can only get one drink at a bar at a time with the drinking package. He calmed down quickly and we went on our way. I understand why they have that in place, but it may have been better if they would have offered him a glass of water instead of telling him he couldn't have a premium water.

 

We went back up to Deck 10 to hang out by the pool again. I ordered another mojito at the poolside bar. Philip jumped in one of the pools, and I dangled my feet in the water. I'm not much of a swimmer in public pools. I was spoiled as a kid with my own pool in our backyard. Philip went to order another drink at the poolside bar, but was turned away because it was getting close to the time for the muster drill. He was irritated, but as a seasoned cruiser, I was well aware of this as this is usual practice on every cruise I've been on. There was an announcement that our muster drill would commence in 15 minutes and promptly at 3:30PM, so we headed down to Deck 4. There were crew members stationed at every floor asking to see our sea pass cards. I was getting aggravated because I knew where we were going and just wanted them to let me be. As we went further down, a crew member on one level told us to go to the other stairwell on the other side of the ship. We walked through the corridor where a room steward stopped us and asked where we were going. He told us to turn around and go back to where we just were. Honestly, I can be a pushover at times and I hate confrontation, but I was irritated. I told him we were told to go that way and we were not turning around. He let us proceed to the forward staircase. I think this would have gone much smoother if they would have only stopped people that had questions and didn't know where they were going rather than stopping everyone.

 

We finally made it to our muster station in the theater. The process was quick and painless. I will say the crew members had a difficult time getting passengers to stay quiet and listen to the directions, which was distracting. The captain made a few announcements and told us about the dress code and how it was a strict policy that everyone must adhere to. It seemed like there was a laundry list of rules we had to adhere to. While I knew and understood the dress code, I thought that I was on a vacation to relax and not worry about rules. Dressing up also doesn't bother me. It's actually something I enjoy. I actually wanted to rent tuxes, but it just wasn't in our budgets. Others besides Philip and I concurred that announcing the rules was annoying.

 

After the drill, we headed up to the Oceanview bar, where others from our very small Cruise Critic roll call had planned to meet for the sail away. We agreed to wear bead necklaces so that it would be easy to identify each other. As I was packing for our trip, my beads broke, so I ended up not being able to wear mine. Philip and I grabbed a couple of seats at the bar and ordered a couple of piña coladas. I noticed two people sitting next to us wearing beads. I assumed they were with Cruise Critic, but I was far too shy to ask them. We're both very shy. Philip and I grabbed a table near the back of the ship, snapped a few photos and anticipated our departure. We finished our piña coladas. I ordered another one from a waiter and Philip ordered a strawberry daiquiri.

 

I checked my phone and noticed I had a missed call. I checked my voicemail, and it was from the Ultimate Bahamas Adventure. Philip was dead set on snorkeling in Nassau and I absolutely hate snorkeling with a passion. I had found an excursion through a third party that would allow me to kayak while Philip snorkeled on the same trip. The man on the voicemail said that I was on a waiting list for the kayak and since no one had canceled, I would not be able to kayak. I was never informed I was on a waiting list, so I was not too happy. When I'm angry, my release is to get emotional. I wanted to cry, but fought off the urge. Philip could tell I was really agitated and just wanted to be left alone. He went inside and grabbed a couple of slices of pizza in the a Oceanview Cafe. I had calmed down quite a bit by the time Philip got back, and it was finally time for the long awaited sail away. Cruisergirlgina must have recognized me from my photo on here. She came up and asked if I was Zach and introduced me to her mom and a solo traveler from CC. I wasn't in the best of moods and I was waiting for my piña colada, so I told them I'd come over and talk once I got my drink. They were gone by the time I got my piña colada. So, sorry for those that I missed!

 

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It's not the greatest picture of me, but I'm on the left and Philip is on the right. This was departing Ft. Lauderdale

 

Afterwards, Philip and I headed over to the Solarium to relax for a bit. Before heading in there, we went to the poolside bar. I had seen that pomegranate mojitos were the deal of the day. I ordered one, but was told that it's not included in the classic beverage package. I felt that if it's a deal of the day it should be included, even if it was usually a premium drink. I settled for a regular mojito. Despite not liking to swim. I jumped into the thalassotherapy pool and really enjoyed the water. It was a smidge on the warm side, but that was OK. I'd prefer a hot pool over a cold one. We headed over to one of the hot tubs in the Solarium that was open and relaxed in there for a bit. When we were all hot tubbed out, we vegged out in the sauna for a bit. I really loved the large porthole that allowed us to look out into the endless blue ocean as the sun began to set. We were getting hungry again, so we headed back to our cabin to freshen up for the evening festivities.

 

It was eating at me that I had to worry what was included in the classic package and what was not. I figured I'd get my money's worth if I upgraded to the premium package, so I headed over to guest relations while I waited for Philip to get ready. I waited in line at guest relations only to be told I had to go to a bar to upgrade. Annoying. I went into the casino and upgraded.

 

Philip and I went up to the martini bar for the 7:45 meeting of the LGBT Meet and Mingle. We ordered a couple of martinis and scoped out the gay people. We noticed a few guys that looked gay, but we were too shy to go up to them. We were also worried that our assumptions could be wrong and we'd offend the guys. We decided to venture over to the San Marco for dinner, instead. We had booked select dining as that was the only option available when I paid for our cruise. We entered on deck 4 where we were informed we had to go up a floor. I feel every entrance should be prepared to accept any passenger, regardless of their seating preference. We headed up to the fifth floor entrance where we were given a pager and told it would vibrate and light up when our table was ready. We sat at the large round table right inside Cellar Masters and waited, sipping on our martinis. This is where I think NCL far exceeds Celebrity. If there is a wait, you are given a complimentary glass of wine. It also would have been beneficial to know how long the wait could be. Even when there was a wait on NCL, we were seated fairly quickly.

 

As we were waiting, Philip and I got into a small squabble. He really wanted me to go snorkeling with him in Nassau and he just didn't understand how much I hated snorkeling and how boring it was for me. After a little bit, we looked around and noticed we were the only people in the bar and people that came in after us had been seated in the dining room. I was at my wits end. I had wished we had never gone on the cruise. With the customer service I received pre-cruise, the canceled excursion, arguing with Philip and now waiting almost an hour for dinner, I couldn't handle it anymore. I sat in Cellar Masters and just let it go. I was embarrassingly crying in the middle of the bar. All I really wanted do was go back to our room, but I was afraid Philip would interpret that as me being mad at him. For those that are thinking maybe the pager went off and we didn't notice it, that was impossible. It never went off. Philip went to the maitre d, who was different from the person that originally greeted us. She was shocked to learn what happened and seated us immediately. I was still slightly tearful and highly embarrassed.

 

We waited several minutes before anyone came over to us. The sommelier greeter us first, and I feel sorry she was our first contact. We still hadn't even received water. The sommelier asked if we wanted any wine. Philip told her he just wanted some water. The sommelier seemed kind of confused and didn't acknowledge his request and asked if we wanted wine again at which point Philip asked for a manager. A gentleman came over, but did not introduce himself as a manager. After Philip said he wanted a manager, the man introduced himself as such. He apologized and moved on. We were irritated, but we just let it go.

 

I ordered a spring roll appetizer and the prime rib with spinach, which was all good. Philip ordered French onion soup and a dish with salmon and steak. He couldn't finish his, so I ate all of mine and some of his. Philip ordered apple a la mode for dessert. I'm lactose intolerant, so when none of the desserts appealed to me, I decided to skip that.

 

After dinner, we went to the late show in the theater, where a comedian by the name of Steve Marzan was going to perform. Alejandro, the cruise director was having a contest with some of the passengers on the stage. I do believe we noticed Cruisegirlgina up there, although she unfortunately did not win. Steve Marzan was funny and entertaining, which was exactly what I needed. We planned to rest in our cabin for a little bit before venturing out to check out the nightlife on the ship, but it was an emotionally draining day. We ended up falling asleep and called it a night, instead.

 

Next up: Day 2 - Nassau, Bahamas

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you write well...looking forward to the next installment. So far no indication of why it will be your last cruise on Celebrity.

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There are reasons why Celebrity has decided to end cruises of less than 7 days. A 4 day "booze cruise" cannot be taken as representative of the Celebrity product. Of course they push drink packages on these cruises. I'm surprised that the OP received a bottle of wine in an OV cabin,unless it was sent by an Agent or friend. There is a line and cruise to meet everyone's needs.The trick is to find what works best for you.

Look forward to reading more.

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Well, I for one have sometimes been in a position where many admittedly small things piled up, I hit the breaking point and the tears came. I think we should lighten up, the OP is giving us an honest review of his trip, good and bad. I'm waiting to read more, and I also want to hear why this will be their last Celebrity cruise, it sounds pretty good overall so far so there must be more to this story!

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Waiting to hear why this is the last cruise on Celebrity Constellation... we did a 5 day in Jan to Cozumel and KW and had a great time...ship condition,.service, food, everything excellent...except loud DJ

Edited by hcat

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Looking forward to reading the rest of this.

 

We booked our 3 night honeymoon on this ship in January of 2016. We own a rather large business and have two young children, so I am reading up as much as possible.

 

Your writing draws me in! Keep it up.

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This reminds me of "Pillars of the Earth".:)

 

Keep it coming.

 

I think a longer cruise might fit you better. It seems to take me at least seven days to "unwind".

Edited by TomBeckCruise

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There are reasons why Celebrity has decided to end cruises of less than 7 days..

 

They have? Thank goodness they did something right. I took one 5 day cruise once out of NYC (not Celebrity) and they just aren't long enough.

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T I'm surprised that the OP received a bottle of wine in an OV cabin,unless it was sent by an Agent or friend. There is a line and cruise to meet everyone's needs.The trick is to find what works best for you.

Look forward to reading more.

 

It was sent from the corporate office since he had a problem with paying $100 more than he should have.

 

Some of you may have seen that I was charged $100 more than what I should have been, and I kept getting the runaround with Celebrity. Celebrity contacted me on here to try and remedy the situation, but nothing ever came from that and I ended up escalating my problem to Celebrity's corporate office. I had previously been given $100 in onboard credit to mitigate my losses. A few days before we set sail, I was contacted by a very nice woman in Celebrity's corporate office. She gave us a bottle of wine and a complimentary dinner at one of the speciality restaurants, which satisfied me.

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Hey everyone, thank you for all your comments and compliments. I really appreciate them. I was hoping to get my next day posted today, but I woke up late and am about to head out to a baseball game for my father's birthday... I might get it out tonight after the game, or sometime tomorrow.

Crying?? There's no crying in cruising!!

 

 

Lol, that's what I thought too, but when you have to let it go, you have to let it go. :)

 

There are reasons why Celebrity has decided to end cruises of less than 7 days. A 4 day "booze cruise" cannot be taken as representative of the Celebrity product. Of course they push drink packages on these cruises. I'm surprised that the OP received a bottle of wine in an OV cabin,unless it was sent by an Agent or friend. There is a line and cruise to meet everyone's needs.The trick is to find what works best for you.

 

Look forward to reading more.

 

 

This was my second short cruise. I think the Big Red Boat was a three day cruise. I definitely agree that anything shorter than probably at least five days is too short. We're starting to talk about our next cruise and it won't be shorter than six days. We didn't know how much time we would be able to get off of work, and I wasn't sure if Philip would enjoy the cruise.

 

And yes, as someone else pointed out, the executive customer service team provided a bottle of wine for my troubles.

 

Waiting to hear why this is the last cruise on Celebrity Constellation... we did a 5 day in Jan to Cozumel and KW and had a great time...ship condition,.service, food, everything excellent...except loud DJ

 

 

I wondered what some people thought of the DJ. While they didn't bother me, I noticed a lot of people with books leaving Deck 10 and 11 after the DJ and saxophone player started playing. I enjoyed the saxophone player.

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Looking forward to reading the rest of this.

 

We booked our 3 night honeymoon on this ship in January of 2016. We own a rather large business and have two young children, so I am reading up as much as possible.

 

Your writing draws me in! Keep it up.

 

 

That's really awesome. Congratulations. I hope you have a good time. I try to read up on everything about a cruise before I go too. Most of us here probably do...lol

This reminds me of "Pillars of the Earth".:)

 

 

 

Keep it coming.

 

 

 

I think a longer cruise might fit you better. It seems to take me at least seven days to "unwind".

 

 

I definitely agree longer cruises are the way to go. I wouldn't swing for a shorter one, I don't think.

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