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First timer cruiser's review, Constellation 10/16-27,Part One


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My husband and I were first time cruisers on the Constellation for the Oct. 16th New England/Canada trip. This was our first cruise on ANY ship, so I won't be making any comparisons between this trip on the Constellation and any other ships etc..


We booked our own flights into Newark International. As we were collecting our luggage we were approached by a very nicely dressed man who asked if we needed a cab. We answered yes, and he immediately began helping us with our luggage. He had just started his own company and he was very anxious to be of any assistance to us during our one night stay in Newark. He gave some great advice, including safety tips and he actually seemed to care if we had a good time. A very nice start to our vacation!


The Newark Hilton at Penn Station turned out to be a very nice hotel for us. We had a clean room, good food and wonderful service. We went down to the Market Place Grille for a cocktail, late in the evening, and the waitress actually gave us a plate of meat and cheese, on the house, because she thought we should have something besides the cocktail. I do think that was a first. Our first time in Newark turned out to be quite nice.


There were quite a few cruisers at this hotel, and from what I understand, the transfer from the hotel to the ship was not too well organized. Since this was our first time, I can only report on what other's were saying. It seems that the lady from Century who was directing all this was very new at this job. I just know that it took a few hours to get the bus rolling.


My husband was the first to see the Constellation from our seat on the bus. We were just awed by the size of this ship! First time ever of even SEEING a cruise ship. The ship was just looked so stately sitting there. Wow!


Boarding the ship went very quickly for us. We had a sky suite, so we were directed to a line that moved very smoothly. We had finally arrived on board!


My first impression was that this was a very beautiful ship. My husband and I had already decided that we would not ride any elevators, so we immediately ran up to 6th floor to see our room. I was very pleased with the size, the layout and how clean everything looked. I feel I must comment on something here...I have read on these boards that our room, 6102 was one of the bad cabins because of the small balcony which was right next to the bumped out Celebrity suites. The balcony was NOT pie-shaped and it was the exact same size as the ones right next to us, so I must disagree that the balcony was small. It was a lovely balcony, with nice padded chairs and plenty of room. If you leaned over the railing, you could see into the Celebrity suite, which I considered to be more of a problem for THEM, but I noticed that all the bumped out suites kept the blinds closed on the window facing the balconies. It was a lovely room, a nice balcony and a perfect location on the ship for us. I thought the bathroom was a very nice size, there was plenty of storage and I really liked the large closet for our clothes.


Our butler, Judas, introduced himself immediately. I liked him right from the start. He was quiet, but always handy when we needed him. We told him that we liked lots of ice and he always made sure we had enough. My husband also asked for extra hangers which he found in just a matter of minutes. We didn't really know what to ask for, but over the course of the cruise, we found ourselves enjoying his services for many things. We also met our room steward, Resty. She did her job quite well, she was pleasant and we were also impressed with her. I was amazed to find out that she actually came in to turn our bed down for the evening. I always tried to keep our things neat and picked up in the room, but I remember on one evening, I left some shoes laying around and she placed them neatly against the wall for us. After that, I made sure she found my shoes in their proper place..lol.


Part two...will be continued

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Wasn't she a beautiful ship? We were on there with you, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.


Our room steward had a cell phone on him. It didn't take me long to realize that when we called him, his cell was what rang. This was a first for us. I asked him if he ever got to turn it off, and he said yes he did, at night time. So, we were always able to get in touch with Fredy. Good for us, maybe not so good for him...


Anxious to hear the rest of your review. I've already written mine.



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Lol..., shoreless!


After we unpacked it was time to explore the rest of the ship. We decided the first thing we wanted to do was make reservations at OceanLiners for later in the week. We than decided to check out the 3rd, 4th and 5th decks before deciding to get a cocktail in the Rendevous lounge. The bartender who sold us our first drink, remembered our names and what we ordered for the entire cruise. My first impression of the ship's public areas was that they were all so huge! I guess I was expecting small intimate spaces, but I didn't really see that. Even Michael's club was much bigger than the pictures that I had seen. But, everything seemed clean and I loved the decor everywhere that I looked.


My husband was very interested in setting up his laptop, which unfortunately turned out to be useless. We were very sorry that we lugged that heavy laptop, with all it's connections on this cruise. We never could establish a connection from our room, although we were charged for the thrill of trying. We ended up going to the computer room on the 6th floor, where the instructor (?) very nicely showed us how to log on and establish an account with Celebrity. It was kind of funny because this nice guy didn't want to see us pay too much so he stood over us and led us through everything so quickly, I didn't really see what was on my screen, I just clicked and pointed every time he instructed, which was fast and furious. The cost of the internet was ridiculously expensive, so we only used it once. My husband was a trooper and didn't complain, but I know he was worried about a few things at work that he really wanted to check on.


It was now time for the muster drill and we were told to go to the Casino. That was probably the last place someone should send my husband if they wanted to keep his attention! We did end up talking with a pretty, young casino worker who told us that she and her husband were both onboard for 6 more months and that they had left a one year old baby with her relatives. That was a heartbreaker for me.


After the drill, we knew that we were supposed to find the Mast bar and meet up with some cruise critic passengers. We were actually getting hungry and couldn't seem to find any food! Now, I've heard that there was food all over the ship, but so far we had not been able to find it. We did meet up with a few members of cruise critics, which was nice to finally put a face with a name. My husband and I grabbed another drink at the mast bar and enjoyed the sail away on a beautiful, warm, clear day. The Axis band was playing as we moved around the deck trying to take in every view. I can't remember if they were serving food up there that day, but we didn't see it, probably because we were so busy taking in the sights. We went back to our room for a few minutes and ate some fruit and it wasn't long before the Butler brought us the first of many treats!


We actually kicked back for awhile and decided to watch some tv before heading out for our late seating dinner. Okay, let's just say that we don't take cruises to watch tv, and whoever picks the programs knows that fact. If you like Bonanza, Two and 1/2 Men, or a few other sitcoms, you'll be in heaven. I actually enjoyed watching the channel that shows the little red ship's location. I think I got addicted to that one. They do have CNN and ESPN, which I enjoyed occasionally. The reception on the ship is not too great, but neither is the one in our bedroom here at our house, so I felt right at home.


I'm sure you're all thinking that this review is going to get VERY long if I keep telling my story in this manner, so in my next section, I'll get to the specifics, and try to leave out the story telling!

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Shay, yes, it was a beautiful ship! I read your review with interest!


Some general observations:

Service: I thought that we were treated like royalty in every area. I saw smiles everywhere, and service was always fast and efficient. I have nothing but praise for the Constellation crew.


Food: I was generally satisfied with the food. Some of the buffet food was pretty average, but not bad. I thought our dinners in the San Marcos were above average, but nothing spectacular. Since this was our first cruise, I don't have anything to compare it with, except for restaurants which might be comparable in most areas. I ordered Caesar salad with each meal, which was very good. I really liked the choices that our butler brought to our room at tea time!


OceanLiners: I really enjoyed this place! Our food was wonderful, as was the service. We met a couple onboard who ate at OceanLiner's every night, except formal nights. I enjoyed the presentation of the courses, and we felt like the portions were of good size. We couldn't eat all of the desserts, so they packaged them in foil which was shaped into a bird. Very nice restaurant!


Entertainment: I enjoyed all of the shows in the Celebrity theater. We didn't miss any of them. The theater was so comfortable and the views were wonderful. I especially liked the Cirque Du Soleil show. My husband and I also enjoyed the Battle of the Sexes trivia, the putting contests, as well as the blackjack tournaments, the talent show, Kareoke, and the musicians onboard. I thought the party band Axis was pretty good. As far as the piano player in Michael's lounge, I believe his name was Perry Grant (?),I don't know what to say about him. He seemed to have his admirers, but we thought he was a bit odd because he was somewhat insulting to some of them. The night that we were in there, he had picked a woman out of the audience to help with his special effects. After she helped, he joked that it was probably the woman's biggest thrill so far in her life, to help him, and that her biggest thrill came just in the neck of time, a comment about her age. Okay, we laughed, but he was still odd. All I can say about Perry is, if you are thinking of getting your teeth capped, make sure you check out Perry's teeth first.


Ports: We enjoyed good weather for all of them. We really loved the Pub Crawl in Halifax, that was a hoot. We also liked the lobsterbake in Bar Harbor and we thought Quebec was beautiful! One note about Quebec, we didn't book any tours, instead choosing to walk, but we did take two different cabs during our stay there and that turned out to be quite interesting. The first cabbie was very informative, he did a wonderful job, but he pointed out that because we were Americans, we weren't really liked outside of the USA. He was very polite, but made his point clear. The second driver was a total idiot, and that's putting it mildly. He drove so fast and recklessly through those narrow streets that even my husband was scared. His contempt for us was obvious, and he too mentioned how we shouldn't go to Europe because they also don't like Americans. Too bad, because the city is beautiful.


Attire: I had to mention this because it seems to be such a hot topic. I hope that newbies don't stress about this. I thought everyone dressed nicely, and you certainly don't have to drag out the gowns for formal night. I saw many people in pantsuits, nice pants with sparkly tops and of course some very stunning dresses.


Disembarkation: This turned out to be confusing. We were sent the letter telling us to go to the Celebrity theater at the specific time. We were then sent a note telling us to go to Michael's club for Danish and coffee and a representative would meet us. We went to Michael's and waited and no one came. I began to worry because we had an early flight, so I asked. I was told to be patient. My husband finally went out in the hall and found someone who told us that we had went to the wrong place and we should have been on our buses long ago. He showed them the invitation, they apologized and sent us on our way. By the time we got our luggage, our group was long gone to the airport, but we did make it on time.


My first impression of cruising is that it's a wonderful way to have a vacation. I thought that the Celebrity crew worked really hard to make things very nice for us. We were blessed with wonderful tablemates, and that's a good thing because we were at a table for six, and the third couple never showed up. We met some very nice people, we ate too much, we certainly drank too much and we gained weight. I had planned to use the thalassotherapy pool, but after three days of eating, I chickened out. Have you seen the lighting in there..lol?


We are already booked for a cruise in March on the Century, in which we will be attending a wedding onboard. It's a 4 day cruise to the Carribean, which I'm sure will be entirely different from the 11 day New England cruise. I'm looking forward to doing this again! Sorry, so long, and sorry for any typos.:)

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Love the review, its written so nicely and entertaining, I like the story telling!



I have a question for you about your balcony in 6102. We are going in 3 weeks on the Connie and had 6102 but changed to 6100 b/c of the comments here that it was smaller. Did you see 6100 and if so, was it really the exact same size as 6102? If so, then I am going to change back.

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Thanks for the comments about my story telling. I had to change that style, or I'd be writing a book!:)


As far as the balconies, our room, 6102 which was right next to the Celebrity suites had the same size balcony as the one right next to it. We didn't have any pie-shaped cutouts which would make the balcony smaller. I was very happy with the balcony. If you have 6100 reserved, I think you will really like that room. It's a sky suite, isn't it? Even though I liked 6102 very much, there was a tiny service closet in a small hallway acrossed from our room, where the crew would sometimes get cleaning supplies. It never bothered us, it was pretty quiet, but you may like putting some distance between you and that area, if you think you might be disturbed in any way. If I had a choice between the two rooms, I'd probably stay with 6100 just because it may have been a tad bit quieter, taking into account that we were NEVER bothered by the crew's activities. Either way, they're both in a great location, mid-ship, close to the elevators, but NO noise and they are both over the shopping area below.

Have a great cruise and tell Judas and Resty "hello" from Mr. and Mrs. Gary!

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