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djquog

Oct. 5th North Atlantic Constellation Cruise

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We had a great time on the Constellation. It was our first Celebrity experience. It took about 3 days to figure out the tremendous variety of dining options. We ate 1 breakfast and 1 lunch in the buffet and found the set up confusing but we didn't need a buffet with the constantly changing menus in the dining room, the Aqua Spa cafe, along with the sandwich station, pool grill and the wonderful Pattiserie. The pizza crust wasn't a favorite and I used the pasta station once. Along with the ice cream station it was always busy. We'd check the buffet but the food there was the least interesting to us. I thought the ship was in great condition. The only thing I'd change was new grout in the shower and some way to turn off the blasting blower of the large Heat/AC vent. We had maintainance twice to reset the thermastat but the blower was on full time and hard on sinus. The entertainment was the best we've had on a cruise. There was only one day warm enough to find people in the outside pool and deck but the ship never seemed crowded on sea days. We'd been told Celebrity was a step up from RC and I do agree. The staff seemed the least experienced in understanding English. We'd book the Constellation again but I'd want some way to controll the Heat/AC blower. I always travel with plastic and duct tape but taping off some of the grill just made the blower put out more force. We, along with others we spoke with hated to leave this wonderful 11 day cruise.

 

Jan

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Jan: thanks for the report. Can you tell me something about the ports? We will be on the Connie for this cruise next year.

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I ws also on this cruise and it was titled Canada/New England. The ports were Boston, Bar Harbor, Halfiax, Quebec City, and Portland Maine. We had fantastic weather in the ports except for Quebec where it was windy and cold but we were on a bus excursion so it really did not matter. We had a few rocky days but were at sea so that was not a problem either. We spent a few days before the cruise with a cruising buddy and did the Circle island tour of Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. What a treat that was. Fantastic views, wonderful 80degree weather that day. The embarkation and disembarkation was no problem at all.

 

We also dined in the many dining possibilities such as the Casual Dining area off of the buffet, pasta stations, pizza and hamburger grill area. We choose this time not to eat in the dining room and it worked out great. We had said that once we did not want to the dining thing so had many other options for dining. The Casual Dining area was fantastic. They have three menues that they rotate and all of the dishes were covered; for example they had a beef,port,pasta,fish and chicken dish each night. You absolutely never went hungary there. Instead of the buffet at lunch we choose to do the Sandwich bar which I find one of the best things Celebrity offers.

 

If you have any questions please ask.

 

marilyn

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Thanks, Marilyn for the info.

Re not going to the main dining room: how did you handle this situation? Do you have to arrange this pre cruise? Or did you do it, once on the ship?

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We particularly liked the ports on this cruise because only in Bar Harbor did we have to tender. We took a Boston/Cambridge, Evangeline/ Acadian journey, and a Quebec bus tour. Each had small walking tours off the bus and each had fantastic guides. We'd done Bar Harbour and Portland tours previously. We love Portland. Great used bookstores which we had to revisit.

 

We've cruised not doing formal nights but we decided to participate this cruise. Although we do like anytime dining on Princess, and did the Panama Canal only sitting at a table for two, we lucked out with our seating. Six at our table and the best group we've had on a ship. I looked foreward to meeting each night and sharing our day. We had an experience that I've heard on ships before: bursts of laughter from our table. I'll remember these people as an important part of our great trip.

 

Celebrity had the best disembarkation procedure we've experienced. We were given times to arrive in the public areas. As we drove to the port, we were pretty near the last to depart. We leisurely ate breakfast, took a last walk on the upper decks, picked up our hand baggage and found seating in the lounge. For the first time we didn't have to cram ourselves in not enough space to accomodate all leaving the ship. The least enjoyable process of cruising made much more pleasant.

 

Jan

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Thanks, Marilyn for the info.

Re not going to the main dining room: how did you handle this situation? Do you have to arrange this pre cruise? Or did you do it, once on the ship?

 

Grace, of course when we signed up for this cruise you have to put either main or late seating. We chose late because we know that main seating is more popular. Once we got on the ship the first day we went to the maitre-d and told them to take us off of our seating. In fact they were most appreciative in that we made an effort to tell them rather than not letting the dining staff thinking we would be there. It worked out fantastic and would do it again. We will be doing it next May on the Infinity to Alaska.

 

Marilyn

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I know you said the entertainment was the best you have experienced. Are you referring to the shows? How about the different bands?

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Grace, of course when we signed up for this cruise you have to put either main or late seating. We chose late because we know that main seating is more popular. Once we got on the ship the first day we went to the maitre-d and told them to take us off of our seating. In fact they were most appreciative in that we made an effort to tell them rather than not letting the dining staff thinking we would be there. It worked out fantastic and would do it again. We will be doing it next May on the Infinity to Alaska.

 

Marilyn

 

This is probably a silly question, but how do you handle tipping when you do this? Did you tip at each meal? Thanks! (new to Celebrity and would really like a more freestyle dining option).

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This is probably a silly question, but how do you handle tipping when you do this? Did you tip at each meal? Thanks! (new to Celebrity and would really like a more freestyle dining option).

 

I was very concerned about that too because I certainly did not want to short change anyone but what we did besides naturally tipping the room steward most of the time the same people were serving at the pizza station and pasta station. We just handed them $2-3 dollars when they served us. Now for the Casual dining part at the back of the buffet a $2.00 tip is automatically added to your account. We usually tipped them more because they work just as hard as the dining room staff.

 

Marilyn

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I was very concerned about that too because I certainly did not want to short change anyone but what we did besides naturally tipping the room steward most of the time the same people were serving at the pizza station and pasta station. We just handed them $2-3 dollars when they served us. Now for the Casual dining part at the back of the buffet a $2.00 tip is automatically added to your account. We usually tipped them more because they work just as hard as the dining room staff.

 

Marilyn

 

I didn't know that about the automatic tip at the buffet.

You learn something new every day, huh! Makes sense though.

 

Thanks Marilyn

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When you say you tip the servers at the pasta and pizza station, is this when you eat dinner using these venues?

 

Eliminating a waiter and asst waiter: we usually have our tips included in the automatic billing (on our account). How would X handle this?

 

Also: where is the Maiter'd usually stationed on embarkation day?

 

Sorry for all the trivial questions!

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When you say you tip the servers at the pasta and pizza station, is this when you eat dinner using these venues? yes

 

Eliminating a waiter and asst waiter: we usually have our tips included in the automatic billing (on our account). How would X handle this? We did not use the automatic tipping. We tipped by envelopes at the end

 

Also: where is the Maiter'd usually stationed on embarkation day? I think it was announced in the Patter as you got on the ship. We found them in the Rend-voux lounge.

 

Sorry for all the trivial questions!

 

My answers are after your questions.

 

Marilyn

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We thought the production shows were a step up from RC and Princess. Better stage, better costumes, and better lighting etc. Cirque du Soleil came in for one night. The ship was rocking so I don't think we saw all the artists were prepared to perform. We enjoyed the pianist Pearl Kaufman and loved the aerialist/adagio pair. I was truly surprised how much we enjoyed the juggler/comedian. Also, in the Cova Cafe we loved the quartet and there was another pianist playing onboard. We do not stay up late but there were bands playing later at night. Between the food choices and areas to dine and then the entertainment choices, I joked that we needed a PDA to plan our days and nights onboard. I felt the Constellation was planned to give passengers an uncrowded feeling on the ship. As you can tell, we loved this cruise. We're still looking at each other and smiling about the trip.

 

Jan

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