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Drew358

Constellation TA Review

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Since I haven't seen anyone else post a review yet, here is my take;

 

Background: We've been on 6 cruises, this was our second on Celebrity. Our first cruise was on the Summit in 2004 and that left a great impression on us.

 

Room: We had room 6104, a Celebrity Suite and my initial impression was dissappointment. The couch was stained and ripped. The sitting chair was lumpy, apparently from too many people sitting on the edge of the chair. The bathroom had mold growing around the tiles in the shower and the shower head would not stay up (this was later fixed). The tv in the bedroom always shut off after about 30 to 40 minutes and to restart it, we had to unplug it, then plug it back in.

 

Entertainment: Excellent. All the entertainers were great to excellent. This is one aspect where I think Celebrity has greatly improved in the last couple of years since our last trip

 

Food: Great food in the dinning room, although the menu started to repeat itself. The Cod one night was the worst I have ever had.

The buffet left a lot to be desired. The selections were not that varried and the quality was not that good. I ended up eating a sandwich wrap on most days, because I couldn't find much I liked.

 

Service: Great. The Butler was a little cold at first, but he warmed up to us near the end. The waitstaff and cleaining staff were all very good.

 

The ship looks a bit tired and could use a refurbishment, which I believe it will have early next year. Other then that, the staff did a good job of keeping things clean.

 

Other Passengers: We met some great people, others had a bit of a NY attitude, and I saw several passengers either berating or scolding some of the staff, which I didn't think they deserved.

 

Weather: For the most part was good, although we did hit some bumps in the crossing, especially on the second sea day when the winds were very strong.

 

Overall it was a good cruise. Our butler was telling me how things have changed on Celebrity and how they were not allowed to say no before. Now they say yes, but there will be a charge for this or that. He also said that ever since RCCL bought Celebrity thing have been changing daily and they keep making more cutbacks.

 

One thing that Celebrity should clarify is the Private Portrait Sitting that suite guests are supposed to get. What does this mean? I thought it meant we got a complimentary photo, but no one knew what we were talking about.

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Where did you feel the Constellation needed refurbishment? I was on it in April and it was the nicest interior I had seen. They were putting some new laminent on the dance floor when I left but I don't recall seeing any worn areas on the ship.

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We were on the Connie NY Eve - 1/7/2006. Concierge Class, Sky Deck (9xxx).

 

We saw no problems like you mentioned. No Wear, No Tear, No Mold, etc. Food was it's usual high quality. Entertainment was Great, especially Cirque du Soleil -- 45-minute performance.

 

It was the same as when we were on its Baltic/St. Petersburg 12-day cruise in August, 2004.

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and I must say, that IMO the public rooms on the Connie are in great shape. I went around trying to find shabby chairs, worn carpet, etc. and really did not see any instances.

However.....I did get a whif of mildew odor when entering the dining room on deck 4, starboard. Also, smelled it slightly in our bathroom (aft FV, deck 7). I looked to see if I could find mildew, but could not find any, and it may have been coming from the shower drain? I plan to bring some of those stick-on room deodorizers on future cruises...and also put one in the closet!

Our cabin furniture was in good shape, no stains or rips. There was one black mark on our bedspread, like a ball point mark, 1". The carpet looked good, and our entire deck was painted while we were on a tour. No rust visible, and the wood railing was like new. The floor had some paint drips, nothing major.

I would say that in comparison to the Summit and Infinity the Connie is the best maintained. (Sailed both Summit and Infinity in the past 18 months).

I guess my main complaint would be at disembarkation: Elite members get a "private" area to wait...Michael's Club. Er.....Michael's club holds about 50 people....I would guess that there were 300 Elite pax on this cruise. This little Elite Perk is useless.

 

I found some of the food to be slipping a bit in quality. (Yes, I know food is such an individual preference). But...the Ocean Liners Specialty restaurant was wonderful.

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gracecarmo: I must say, that IMO the public rooms on the Connie are in great shape. I went around trying to find shabby chairs, worn carpet, etc. and really did not see any instances.

 

My mom and I are going on the Constellation in January and can't wait. We are sure to have a relaxing and wonderful vacation. But gracecarmo if you are looking for shabby chairs and worn carpet...etc, you need to learn to relax and enjoy your vacation for what it is. I have never heard anyone "looking" for faults on a ship while on vacation. Enjoy and take a deep breath, better yet get yourself a drink or 2..lol..just check before ya drink out of it, never know could be lipstick marks ***smiles***

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lipstick marks? Well no one asked me to look for them!:D However, many have asked me prior to the cruise to make an evaluation of the condition of the ship. That's just what I did.:)

In all my 35 cruises, I have enjoyed every voyage...and I do relax, take deep breaths and savor the moment.

Have a great cruise!

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Hi Drew !

 

Thanks for the excellent review !

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The remarks regarding the mildew were exclusive to our room (6104). The couch was really pathetic in that it was ripped, stained and faded from teh sun. The Hotel Director came up about halfway throught the cruise to take pictures of it and apologize for it. You couldn't sit in the nice sitting chair since the cushion was flattened on the front.

 

I thought the dinning room food to be very good, but the buffet was a bit sad compared to a HAL cruise we went on in March.

 

I believe that my initial impression of the room kind of left a bad taste in my mouth and negatively impacted the rest of public rooms. The carpet in the workout room is stained from the eliptical gliders, this definately needed to be replaced. There were several machines that were not working in the gym as well that didn't get fixed until the 3rd to last day of the cruise. Since I spent a good deal of time in the gym, this room left a longer impression on me then anywhere else in the ship.

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It sounds like your particular suite needed enhancements and replacements. If I paid for a suite- I would have high expectations too. My stateroom 6049 was just lovely. Sorry you had a negative experience. I was in the gym on Constellation and everything I tried worked fine. The only complaint I had was that you feel so much motion at the front of the ship that I felt claustophobic on the treadmills. I just walked on the deck instead but the gym was fine on my journey.

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Dear Drew 358,

 

Glad you had a wonderful cruise, but am disappointed to hear about the condition of your suite. We had the same experience in a Royal Suite on the Millennium in June of this year on a Med. cruise. The suite was in serious need of refurbishment and there was mold in the shower. Truthfully, we felt like we paid Ritz Carlton prices for Holiday Inn accomodations.

 

We have been loyal Celebrity cruisers for several years (twice to Alaska and twice to Europe since 2003). In fact, despite our experience on the Millennium we have booked a Baltic cruise next summer in a Royal Suite on the Constellation. We have already purchased airfare so I am not sure we can switch to another cruise line. We were hoping, that based on what we have read on these boards, that the Constellation was better maintained. However, the conditions you described sound very much like those we found on the Millennium. While overall, Celebrity offers a nice product, we are becoming less and less enthused about Celebrity because they apparently do not regularly replace soft goods in the staterooms. Our suite was very tired looking.

 

We did sail on the Constellation on a British Isles and Norweign Fjords in 2003. The Constellation had only been sailing 10 months and was obviously in beautiful shape. The crew were terrific and the itinerary was absolutely the best! It really was our favorite cruise to date. We were eager to sail her again and felt confident that the Constellation was the best maintained shop in the fleet based on what we have read on these boards.

 

I am curious, did the hotel manager just take pictures of the sofa? I am surprise that they didn't replace or recover it during your sailing. As far as a scheduled refurbishment next year, I think you much mean that the Constellation is scheduled for dry dock. I would not count on any major updating or soft good replacements during that time. It is my understanding that dry dock is mostly mechanical in nature. It seems to me that Celebrity doesn't refurbish any of their ships on a rountine basis. I think it takes a major overall like the one on Century to make any significant updating to the staterooms. It seems that they should have some type of program in place to routinely replace worn items in their staterooms (pillows, bedding, carpeting, sofas, chairs, draperies, towels, etc.) on an ongoing basis.

 

While the condition of our stateroom does not impact the overall enjoyment of the cruise, we do expect it to be in good condition given the amount of money we spend. We did consider Oceania for the Baltics next summer and now wish we would have given them more serious consideration. However, we travel with our children ages 10 and 12 and are not sure if Oceania is a good choice with children.

 

I will say that if we go ahead on Celebrity and our Royal Suite is in the same condition as the one on Millennium we will not be sailing with Celebrity again. There are too many other cruise lines to choose from to remain loyal to a cruise line that is beginning to give the impression that they don't care if you sail with them again or not.

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Oops, I meant to put a sad face instead of happy. Obviously, I was hoping to hear that the staterooms were in great shape.

 

I think Celebrity needs to launch a major campaign focused on "freshing" up their staterooms. It does not need to be a major refurbishment but just an overall focus on updating and replacing items as needed. It seems that Celebrity boards have more remarks about tired looking staterooms than any of the other major cruise lines. I do occassionally look at the other boards and it just doesn't appear to be a major topic of discussion on the other boards. I could be wrong, but it just seems that Celebrity gets more than its fair share of complaints regarding the condition of the staterooms. I will say that public areas seem to be fine.

 

Celebrity are you listening? I have a feeling they may not be ......

 

Nancy

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Hi Nancy,

Thank you for letting me know I wasn't the only one who had a room in need of refurbishment on a recent Celebrity cruise.

 

The Hotel Director, Asst. Chief Houskeeper and a photographer (it was weird, it wasn't one of the ships normal photographers, since I had never seen him before, but he had a really complicated camera) took the photos. They told me that they had stopped making that pattern and were looking to have it custom made. I told them that they should have leather couches in those rooms to help prevent the stains and fading, but the decor in that room wouldn't really fit with a leather couch.

 

I would have to agree with you, Nancy, that this room left a bad taste in my mouth, and if they don't perform proper upkeep of their rooms (especially a PS, like one person on my trip complained a bit about on another post), then I think I will start to look elsewhere for a cruiseline. Like our Butler said, things are changing almost on a daily basis; and what used to be a line where they could never say no (or charge) to a reasonable request has now become a line with you having to provide your seapass for most requests. It's especially unfortunate that they don't take better care of their suites.

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Thanks for the concise and informative review of your Constellation transatlantic crossing. Sorry to learn you were disappointed with some aspects of your cruise.

 

We've sailed on Constellation four times - first on her inaugural transatlantic crossing, twice in the Baltic and once out of Bayonne to the Caribbean. She is one of our favorite ships and we have always found food, service, staff, crew and the condition of the ship to be excellent (as we have on all X cruises). In fact on our April cruise to the Caribbean, we were pleased to see that she remained as lovely as she was when we sailed each of the previous three times. Sorry your experience was not as positive.

 

With 25 Celebrity cruises under our belt and four more booked (one of which is on Constellation), it's safe to say we're loyal to X. Of late, however, I've come across too many posts that reference X ships as being tired, worn, in need of refurbishment, etc. In our experience, the only X ship I could honestly say was worn and tired in spots (particularly our cabin) was Century, prior to its rebuild. Otherwise, allowing for normal wear and tear as one would allow anywhere, we've always been pleased with the condition of the X ships we've sailed.

 

Nevertheless, if we discount posts made by passengers who are especially critical and seem to board a ship armed with magnifying glass and clipboard, as well as posts made by passengers who, no matter what would defend X with their very lives, that still leaves a few too many posts referencing worn and tired. Perhaps that's an indication that Celebrity needs to make a greater effort to maintain its ships on an ongoing basis (which I'm sure it does, but perhaps just not enough) rather than waiting to do everything at once in a major overhaul while in drydock.

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I get the feeling that suite customers seem to have higher expectations (perhaps they should, as they have paid so much more) and therefore complain more when there is a problem than those in cheaper cabins. I think I'd just as soon spend less and feel like I was getting excellent value, even if there's a stain or two...

 

HOWEVER, X should learn from this and make a concerted effort to ensure that AT LEAST the suites are immaculate, even if the other cabins show a bit more wear and tear. There aren't that many suites and the fleet is not that large that they shouldn't be able to keep up with them!

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I get the feeling that suite customers seem to have higher expectations (perhaps they should, as they have paid so much more) and therefore complain more when there is a problem than those in cheaper cabins. I think I'd just as soon spend less and feel like I was getting excellent value, even if there's a stain or two...

 

HOWEVER, X should learn from this and make a concerted effort to ensure that AT LEAST the suites are immaculate, even if the other cabins show a bit more wear and tear. There aren't that many suites and the fleet is not that large that they shouldn't be able to keep up with them!

 

 

I completely agree

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DrewB

We are next door in CS 6106 for Thanksgiving! Did you happen to see that or talk to the pax in it?

 

What was the butler's name? How was he cold? How did he warm up to you? I'm just asking b/c he will probably be our butler too and I want to know how to break through that ice!

 

We are actually on the waiting list for 6104 b/c my mother is in SS 6102 and we want to be next to each other, but maybe we are better off in 6106.

Any idea if the other CS's on other decks were in better shape or had a better butler? Those are available.

 

Also, what did you have to pay extra for from the butler?

 

Any info would be so appreciated.

 

Thank you!!!

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Drew,

 

I think you may be right about suite passengers expecting more because they paid more. We actually enjoyed our stay in a Sky Suite on the Infinity in June 0f 2005 to Alaska much more than the Royal Suite on the Millennium this past summer. The Sky Suite seemed to be in better condition than the Royal Suite and,obviously, we paid less. We also had absolutely no complaints,whatsoever, with our CC cabins on the Constellation in 2003. Of course, the Constellation was only 10 months old when we sailed on her.

 

As I stated earlier, I believe Celebrity needs to have an added focus on "freshing" up the staterooms/suites. (especially when you are paying the very very high fares for the suites).

 

Happy Sailings,

 

Nancy

 

I

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I929, I think you got me confused with the other Drew. Our Butler was Judas, who actually turned out to be really good halfway through the cruise. We didn't see any other CS cabins, so I can't comment on them.

 

Examples of what we had to pay more for; well, we asked for an ice cappucino and Judas told us initially there will be a charge for it, so I told him not to bother. The next day we saw our butler, Rodrick (he was great), from our first Celebrity trip and said hi. He actually remebered us and our stateroom from 2 years ago. That night Judas dropped off an ice cappucino from the Cova Cafe. And since that point in the cruise he was great. He brought us a (second) bottle of Champagne for a party we were hosting for free. I'm not sure if Rodrick said anything to him or not, but after we saw him, things seemed to change.

 

We also cruised with both of our parents who sailed in a regular (6019, a rather large oceanview) oceanview and the other in a family view cabin (7199), and I have to admit that their cabins seemed to be in better condition then our cabin.

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Examples of what we had to pay more for; well, we asked for an ice cappucino and Judas told us initially there will be a charge for it, so I told him not to bother. The next day we saw our butler, Rodrick (he was great), from our first Celebrity trip and said hi. He actually remebered us and our stateroom from 2 years ago. That night Judas dropped off an ice cappucino from the Cova Cafe. And since that point in the cruise he was great. He brought us a (second) bottle of Champagne for a party we were hosting for free. I'm not sure if Rodrick said anything to him or not, but after we saw him, things seemed to change.

 

 

I'm thinking you took care of Rodrick very nicely and he remembered that and he told Judas and that's where the turnaround came from! ;) See, not only is it the right thing to do, but it actually pays to take care of the crew!

If we get switched into 6104, I'll let you know if they repaired the problems you reported. Now its a gamble, maybe it will be the nicest room b/c they took your report seriously and will fix it up, or I knowingly will be taking a room that has ripped furniture, mold and a busted tv. Hmmmmmm.

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I think it is also possible that suites get more wear and tear than regular cabins. Some passengers book suites as an alternative to multiple cabins for a family, so they are more likely to sail with extra occupants in them during a cruise. People who book suites are also more likely to host parties than passengers who book standard cabins, as well. Of course, this is just conjecture on my part and I might be wrong.

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I was on Constellation this past March and had aft CC 7203. We were also on Constellation a year ago for the Westbound TA. Then we had ocean view on the bottom of the ship. Both trips we had excellant rooms with no wear or tear. We love the ship and I saw nothing of what you saw. I agree in a CS you should have everything in good order and I am sorry you felt that you were not getting your moneys worth. We had 6106 on Infinity a few years ago and it was a wonderful suite, but then everything worked the way it was supposed to. Pat

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