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'Live' on Constellation 9 night French Riviera and Dalmatian Coast


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Thank you so much for this live blog! We will be aboard in just over a month with a very similar itinerary. Our CCRC is the quietest one I have ever seen, so I'm guessing there is one or more very large group booked. This blog is letting me get a nice picture of the Constellation.
Enjoy!
It could be. Our CCRC was really quiet too. We have one large(ish) group booking and a couple of smaller ones but vast majority are individual bookings, so I don't know why ours was so quiet. I am sure you will love the trip, we are sad to see ours almost come to an end.

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46 minutes ago, mirnsd said:

Taxis only are permitted along the street. We made the mistake of not realising this on the way to the hotel and had booked a small minibus transfer. We had to get dropped off near Ramblas (not ideal as we looked like typical tourists with all our cases). We made sure to get a taxi pick up, which came straight to the door. When we do our September Reflection sailing, we will stay here again but will make sure to arrive by taxi.

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Thanks. We are looking at the hotel along with another couple of choices for October. 

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Thanks for your postings. We love the Connie. Glad you have found her in good condition since we will be sailing her again in October and we were concerned about the negative reviews too.

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So our evening in Corfu took a slight turn for the worse after my last update. Sadly as we sat down to dinner I started to feel quite unwell. I had to excuse myself and make for the cabin. All turned out well I hasten to add but I did have some nasty stomach cramps, which made for an uncomfortable nights sleep. So nothing to report on from Blu that night. I slept through the show and didn't see any of the ship that night.

Yesterday in Kotor, Montenegro was happily a different story. We got off the ship after a leisurely start to the day. I didn't fancy rushing about after the previous nights escapades. The tender into Kotor was the most beautiful I've ever been on. It was around 20 mins surrounded by high, lush green and grey hills. We had a good walk around the old town but didn't fancy the 1hr 30 min hike up the hill, which I hear was fantastic. Kotor is like no place I've ever been to before. Well worth a visit.

Back on the ship, I thought I would chance a beer, since my stomach had robbed me of the opportunity the previous day. Washed down with some food from the pool grill, it was a sure sign I was feeling better. We were treated to some traditional Montenegran dancing and singing just before sail away. Just as the dancers had finished, the heavens opened and most people rushed inside, although some who had helipad invites braved the weather.

We watched the most scenic sailaway we have had in 4 cruises from the comfort of the Reflections Lounge. It was truly beautiful, even in the rain. If you enjoy a dramatic sailaway, I can highly recommend Kotor.

We got ready for evening chic and decided to swing past the Future Cruise team. Within 20 mins we had put a hold on a 2020 September sailing of the new ship Apex! We booked one of the much talked about Infinity Verandas. I have to say that I don't really get the negativity around them but time will tell in 458 days time. Not that I am counting.

Off to dinner we went with our exciting news. Dinner was brilliant. We got a lovely window table in Blu and could watch the remainder of Montenegro pass by with totally flat sea conditions. We both had the Lobster for main and shared crab cakes and goats cheese in breadcrumbs to start. The Lobster was great, as was the crab but the cheese was lacking. Two out of three ain't bad! We spoke to a lovely Norwegian couple over dinner and reminded ourselves how great some of the people you meet at sea are.

We did the late show - The Fly Boys from the UK. They essentially take modern songs and make them swing. If anyone has heard Paul Anka 'Rock Swings' album, it is this personified. We thoroughly enjoyed the show and the singers were very comedic and had excellent voices. Before retiring we took in some karaoke. It was a hoot. Some on key, some not so much!

With the knowledge that we now have 3 cruises on the horizon (2 Celebrity, 1 Norwegian), our end of cruise blues were well and truly banished.c5bcce3897e783f5481073c98fea75c9.jpg7e7666b1df6f5c83f1297137b58b8b7a.jpgae45b91f62d5d4a4267adaac1365bf77.jpg1f41c5473654c126c579522f49be1489.jpgcc9925c4c50c00c045dbaa62218ae650.jpg4e59bb1c587fc6c4348662fccf04be53.jpg8385ba7f77aababf9e93dc159c3e61e8.jpg

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4 hours ago, mirnsd said:

Vlada Filippova is her name. I understand she should be here when you sail

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Thanks for finding out we have met her a few times before! Dianne

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Must agree with your opinion of Kotor it is a beautiful sail in and out! You seem to have had a great cruise, just over a week and we will be leaving for lovely Venice to join Connie! Have enjoyed your blog so much. Dianne

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I was planning to update you all before sailaway yesterday but then we got the news that our flight today is cancelled! Cancellations all over Italy because of an air traffic control strike and sadly we are one of them. I suddenly went into rebooking mode!

I'll give you an update on our last day and disembark when we get settled in our hotel in Venice. Not a phrase I was planning to use today. Luckily I have an understanding boss and will return to work on Thursday and mum is retired. It could be a lot worse. I just hope the disruption today doesn't have a knock on effect tomorrow.

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Sadly as this also has implications on flights into Venice today, it could mean some people missing the ship today and having to join at the next port. I know the early morning BA flights from London were grounded

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Sorry the end of your journey is a mess. Hope you were able to have some happy and fun times in Venice. Our cruise ends in Venice and we plan to stay 3-4 days before flying back to the USA. Maybe you could give us nice but kind of inexpensive hotel recommendations? And where the locals like to eat?  Will be our 2nd time there, but our first was with all 3 of our kids. Want something nice and fun for just the 2 of us newly retired folks (as of May 2020). We won't be there till the last part of May and beginning of June - 2020)

 

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10 minutes ago, wishuponasea said:

Sorry the end of your journey is a mess. Hope you were able to have some happy and fun times in Venice. Our cruise ends in Venice and we plan to stay 3-4 days before flying back to the USA. Maybe you could give us nice but kind of inexpensive hotel recommendations? And where the locals like to eat?  Will be our 2nd time there, but our first was with all 3 of our kids. Want something nice and fun for just the 2 of us newly retired folks (as of May 2020). We won't be there till the last part of May and beginning of June - 2020)

 

I don't think that inexpensive exists in Venice. The food gets cheaper the further you get away from St Mark's Square. Ignore the ones that have signs saying two courses for x as by the time they add in euros for bread, tips etc you pay twice what you think you signed up for.

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We will be sailing on the Constellation on the 9th June and can’t wait. I’m so glad to read such a positive blog. We have always had wonderful cruises on various Celebrity ships over the years including the Connie and I’m now even more excited. Thank you 😊 

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14 hours ago, CHAMPAGNELASS said:

We will be sailing on the Constellation on the 9th June and can’t wait. I’m so glad to read such a positive blog. We have always had wonderful cruises on various Celebrity ships over the years including the Connie and I’m now even more excited. Thank you 😊 

We will be on the 9th of June and the one before,😀getting packed now!Dianne

 

14 hours ago, CHAMPAGNELASS said:

We will be sailing on the Constellation on the 9th June and can’t wait. I’m so glad to read such a positive blog. We have always had wonderful cruises on various Celebrity ships over the years including the Connie and I’m now even more excited. Thank you 😊 

 

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Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us. 

 

We will be staying at Casa Camper in Barcelona in just a few weeks; happy to hear you were happy with this hotel.  We'll be sure to take a taxi from the airport to the hotel - I was on the fence between a taxi and scheduling a private driver but it sounds like a taxi will be our best bet with the road situation.

 

Also happy to hear your embarkation in Barcelona was quick and seamless - may I ask around what time you left the hotel and arrived at the port? We may try and mirror your schedule...

 

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Sorry for the delay in finishing off this blog. The slight hiccup at the end of our trip really through me off! It did not ruin our trip but there was a considerable amount of stress sorting out new flights and somewhere to stay.

 

Disembarking was a breeze. By the time they called our number, we had our bags and were in our private transfer within 6 minutes. What a luxury.

 

Our transfer was supposed to take us to Marco Polo Airport but because our flight was now a day later, we got him to drop us at our Hotel instead. This worked out better for him as it was half the distance to the Hilton Garden Inn. I expect he got an extra pick up in the time he saved by not taking us out to the airport.

British Airways put us up at the Hilton and we could have stayed in central Venice if we wanted but as we had a 7.50 am flight, we opted to be closer to the airport. The hotel was ideal. I'd say equally handy for the city and for the airport. They operate a transfer to the airport and have a bus stop right outside the hotel for central Venice. A day pass on the bus and water taxi was 20 euro.

 

We arrived home around 20 or so hours after we should have. A minor inconvenience and a bit of stress but a night in Venice at the airlines expense. I'll update either tonight or tomorrow morning with our overall thoughts on Constellation- good and bad

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On 5/24/2019 at 3:31 PM, cricketgirl said:

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us. 

 

We will be staying at Casa Camper in Barcelona in just a few weeks; happy to hear you were happy with this hotel.  We'll be sure to take a taxi from the airport to the hotel - I was on the fence between a taxi and scheduling a private driver but it sounds like a taxi will be our best bet with the road situation.

 

Also happy to hear your embarkation in Barcelona was quick and seamless - may I ask around what time you left the hotel and arrived at the port? We may try and mirror your schedule...

 

Yes go for a taxi if you want to get right to the door. We told Celebrity we would arrive at 11 am so arranged pick up for 10.45. With a little bit of traffic at the port we arrived in the terminal for 11.10 am. It may even have been earlier.

 

We just ordered our taxi to the port during breakfast at the reception. They are very efficient and manage all the guests leaving in taxis really well.

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On 5/26/2019 at 3:25 PM, m&mcruises said:

Thanks for the trip review.  We are on a similar itinerary in  2020.  Would you mind sharing your stateroom as we will also be on the Constellation?

 

We were in stateroom 9038. Pictures on one of my first posts. Let me know if I can answer any further questions for you.

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Thanks for sticking with the review folks. We have now been back over a week and I wanted to give a final round up of all the things we loved and the few things which could be better on board Constellation. 

 

Firstly, let me say that some of the reviews had me truly worried about our decision to go on this sailing. A lot of reviews were mentioning that the service was bad, that the ship was very tired and that standards were slipping all over the place. I will go into some of these in more detail later but I can honestly say that none of these things ring true from our experience on board the ship for our 9 night sailing.

 

Service - By and large the service from staff around the ship was great. Our cabin attendant Dewi was brilliant. She worked super hard and always made sure the room was clean and she worked around us very well. The servers at the bars were again very efficient but we did notice a few grumpy faces here and there. Nothing that really concerns me - I understand they all work long shifts but I would say that the normal level of service we saw from previous Celebrity sailings was probably higher than on this sailing. Again, nothing that really caused me any troubles. There were always servers around the pool taking drinks orders and they were always very happy and cheery. I know that some people have noted that the number of servers going round the lido deck has reduced in recent years on Celebrity but I have to say I didn't find this to be the case on this particular sailing. Lastly, our team in Blu were brilliant - from Maître d' , sommelier and waiting staff, they were all super efficient. We sat in broadly the same area every night and were normally placed at a window table or one back from the window. This made for some super views whilst enjoying dinner.

 

Food -  On this sailing we didn't do any speciality dining because we were eager to try Blu for the first time. We ate in Blu every evening and did a few breakfasts there too. We aren't super early risers on holiday so I have to admit that we didn't always make the breakfasts in the morning. When we did do breakfast in Blu, the food was always tasty and served very efficiently. On the mornings where we did breakfast in the Oceanview, I have to say we were hugely disappointed. The food was never more than tepid. Eggs, sausages, hash browns - nothing was ever hot for some reason. This is despite it being under heat lamps and in a bain-marie. I've worked in hospitality and I am not sure how you even make that happen. On the few occasions we did try Oceanview for lunch, I have to say that the problem persisted. This led me to either avoid the buffet altogether or to go for cold options when we did eat there. The food was largely flavoursome enough but the temperature issues put me off the whole time. Blu on the other hand was a different kettle of fish. The food was always hot and very tasty. I loved the slightly smaller portions as I get put off by mounds of food on a plate. It was ideal because you could always order another dish if you were still feeling like it afterwards.

 

Entertainment -  We thought the entertainment offerings on board the ship were by and large very good. The evening shows were of a higher quality and less baffling than some we have seen on Celebrity. Even the cast productions were better than on some previous sailings. The Celebrity Life activities were also very good but not always well attended. Bizarrely you could go from Trivia with 15 teams one night to 3 teams the next! The interactive game shows were always well attended and I think they benefit from being on the slightly smaller ship. Sometimes we felt that these events got lost on the Solstice class ships because there are simply too many public rooms to choose from in the evening. Because people tended to migrate towards the Martini bar and the Rendezvous Lounge of an evening, these events tended to get a better turnout. Karaoke and Silent Disco were always a blast, well attended too and the addition of Bandaoke was nice too. We did feel that they sometimes cut the Silent Disco a bit too short. I got the impression that a lot of people were up for some late night dancing on the ship but because of the lack of a night club space, they seemed to edge people back to their staterooms by winding down the music earlier than some would have liked.

 

Bars and public spaces -  We spent less time at the Martini Bar on this ship than we have on any other. Not for any big reason - just that we actually enjoyed Cellar Masters, Rendezvous and the Reflections Lounge. My only grumble about one of these spaces was Reflections - the room sometimes had a very strong waste water smell in the centre of the room. We have no idea what could be causing this but it was very pungent on occasion. We actually left early one evening because it was so strong. We discovered that if you sat slightly off to one side of the room, you could barely smell it. I hope they are able to get to the bottom of it. 

We are not gamblers but did walk through the casino most nights. The bar in there was always busy and the casino seemed to be very popular, with most tables in use and busy every evening. 

Café al Bacio was great and the cakes never failed to disappoint. We made a point of stopping in most days. 

I noticed some people in reviews saying that the furnishings were tired in some places but I can't say that I really agree too much. Yes, there are occasional carpet stains in some public areas. In some spots the decor could do with an update but I guess that's why they have a dry dock scheduled. The slight marks here or there did not put us off and at no point did we feel the ship was dirty or unhygienic. Cleaning crews were evident almost everywhere you turned.

Yes, you can tell the ship is not new but again, she sails with over 2,000 passengers on board every week of the year - the ship isn't going to look like a new build. The places where I felt you could tell her age the most was in the ships windows and some rust spots to some outer decks. Some of the glass is breaking down and the window washing regime clearly wasn't as efficient as on the Solstice class ships. Again, not really that big a deal in the bigger picture but I am sure if these are dealt with in dry dock, they ship will take on a new lease of life.

 

I am hoping I have covered most things. I will post one final review with our thoughts on this ship Vs Solstice class ships and then that will be all from me until we sail again in 4 months on Reflection. 


Thanks again for following along! 

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On 5/21/2019 at 4:59 PM, wishuponasea said:

I guess "inexpensive" was the wrong word. We just want to stay in a nice, but more moderately priced place.  And eat more local than tourist... We like to explore where we go, if we can.

We visit Venice quite often and we are sailing on the Constellation from there in August.

 

This time we have booked an apartment just off Piazzale Roma for ease of embarkation. However, we have stayed in a lot of hotels in Venice over the years and would recommend the following:  Hotel American Dinesen, Hotel Abbazia, Hotel Olympia, Pensione Wildner, Hotel Columbina. All of them are lovely but in different parts of Venice, it really depends on where you want to stay.

 

For ease of getting to the port with luggage, the Olympia ( which is close to our apartment) is best placed as you can get a shuttle bus, taxi or use the people mover from the square behind the hotel.

 

For restaurants where the locals eat I would get a copy of Chow Venice from Amazon as it has some great ideas. Hope this helps.

 

Great ship review thanks mirnsd

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Hello, just a question.

I saw that your cruise was going to stop in Zadar. Did you?

We are doing that stop later(August) and I'd like to know if celebrity provided a shuttle or not and what was the costs.

Thanks for the magnificient review!

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Have to say I’ve loved reading your blog on your time onboard the constellation, we board her on Friday, this will be our first time cruising with celebrity and we are beyond excited, this was a last minute booking (booked last week) last minute surprise for my wife, so we will be onboard for our wedding anniversary.. but again thank you for sharing your experience. 

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Thank you so much for your detailed review. We board Connie for the first time mid August for our first b2b.We have done Solstice 4 times and love the ship so we are really looking forward to being on Connie. 

Your blog has ampted up the excitement level. 

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