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joyride

Constellation 11/20 Review, Part 2

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Day Four – Barbados

 

It’s raining! We booked a 4X4 Adventure with Paradise Beach through Celebrity. I had contacted the 4X4 people on my own and they told be I could only book through the cruise line.

This was a really fun excursion and it didn’t matter that we had rain. The 4X4 was covered and the sides were zipped up. We drove through the countryside and sugar cane fields to Bathsheba where we took a break and enjoyed some rum cake and rum punch then headed to the other side of the island to Paradise Beach. It was raining, but some folks decided to swim anyway – we passed on this because we didn’t want to ride back to the ship all wet. This excursion was fun, but if you are there on a good day I would also recommend the 5 Star Catamaran to see all of the beautiful beaches. I did this on a previous visit to Barbados.

 

We had time to go back to the ship for lunch and then headed out for our Snuba excursion. We have snorkeled quite a bit and have done resort scuba dives a couple of times, so we thought snuba would be fun. It turned out to be rainy and cold out on the boat and it was warmer once we were in the water. Some of the people on this trip really enjoyed it, but others just were not comfortable with the whole thing. For me it was OK, because I had used a regulator before, but I did have some problems getting my ears to clear, so I only went down about 10 feet the whole time.

 

After another nice dinner, we retired early because we were pretty worn out from the day’s activities.

 

Day Five – Dominica

 

Dominica is a beautiful lush island, but there’s not much in the town. We decided not to go on an excursion here, as I was just in Dominica in April and saw the Falls and Emerald Pool on that trip. We had another nice breakfast on our balcony – I tried the French toast fingers with honey marmalade butter – very yummy!

 

We spent some time on our balcony taking pictures of the island from there. Rod spotted a turtle right by the ship, but missed getting a picture. We decided to get off and walk around for a little while. It was a quick trip. In a very short time we were approached several times with adults and children asking us for money. This pretty much turned us off, so we went back to the ship.

 

They were having an Italian themed lunch at the buffet, so we had some pasta, minestrone soup, etc. It was very good. The meat sauce had a good flavor and was almost as good as mine! We had a quiet afternoon reading on deck. I went to Bingo and didn’t win anything, but ran into my tablemates and hung out with them.

 

We got ready for dinner early and went to the early show first. It was a comedian named Jeff Nease and he was very good. After the show we headed to Oceanliners for dinner. It was a wonderful dining experience. We had the sampler appetizer, Caesar salad (the real thing made right at the table), Rod had fish and I had beef. We decided to try wines by the glass as suggested by the wine steward – we enjoyed it all – but the bill for the wine ended up being $130. Ouch! I would definitely recommend dining at Oceanliners one night during your cruise.

 

Day Five – Antigua

 

For our day in Antigua we signed up for Eli’s Ecotour on the internet. Eli had been recommended to us by our fellow cruiser TexEd, so we decided to give his tour a try. It was a wonderful day. Eli takes about 20-25 people on his boat, so it’s a small group. We started out by passing a lot of resorts like Sandals, enjoying the beautiful beaches and gorgeous blue water.

The weather was perfect, blue skies & warm. Our first stop was at a little island where we hiked to the top and could look out on the other side to the Atlantic Ocean. Next we visited Hell’s Gate where you could snorkel, swim and hike through a cave. Lunch was BBQ chicken, salads, fried plantains – very tasty. After lunch we cruised through an area of salt water mangroves. Eli was very informative and shared with us a lot of information and history regarding the island. I would highly recommend this tour – it was a great way to spend our Thanksgiving Day.

 

Thanksgiving was our second formal night. We donned our fancy clothes and went to our tablemate’s suite for cocktails. They had been upgraded to a suite, so we got a chance to see one. It was really nice. They had a huge deck with a Jacuzzi, formal dining room, living room, bedroom, huge closet, and awesome marble bathroom. Wow! Their butler provided appetizers and wine – I sure could get used to that every evening!

 

Dinner was great; they had turkey on the menu and also lobster and prime rib. Most of us had both turkey and lobster! They also did a Baked Alaska parade, which was fun and lively! We decided not to go to the show and went to bed early. Le Grand Buffet was Thanksgiving night at 11:45, but we were not hungry and were too tired to even go take pictures!

 

Day Six – Saint Thomas

 

This was probably our fifth visit to St. Thomas, so we decided to go sailing for the day. We booked with Fantasy Daysail via the internet for $120 each. We took a cab from the pier over to Red Hook where Capt. Brian met us with his dingy and took us to the Fantasy. There were 2 other couples that joined us. We sailed over to St. John and anchored at an area that had a resort with a beautiful beach. Brian provided us with floats to wear and we snorkeled around the rocks and over to the beach. The snorkeling was good – we saw a stingray and some turtles. After relaxing on the beach for a while, we swam back out to the boat. A lunch of chicken, rice, salad and cookies was provided – along with beer or rum punch. It did rain a bit on the way back to Red Hook, but overall it wasn’t too bad. I would recommend a sailing trip like this if you want to have a relaxing day and not be with the crowds!

 

This was our last night on the ship. Boo Hoo! I hate packing! We got back early enough from sailing that I was able to do 90% of the packing before dinner. We went to the Martini Bar to see Sudi one last time. After dinner, I visited the Casino to try to win big one last time. It didn’t happen!

 

Day Seven – Back in San Juan

 

We didn’t get up early enough to go to the dining room for breakfast, so we went to the buffet. By the time we had breakfast and returned to the room for our stuff – our color was called. Disembarkation was very smooth and we were at the airport in no time. San Juan has a President’s club, so we hung out there until time for our flight.

 

In summary, I will say this was one of my favorite cruises to date. We really enjoyed everything about Celebrity – the food, service, ship, etc. was all top notch. We will definitely cruise with Celebrity again! Visit my webshots link below to see some pictures of our cruise.

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Thanks for the great review Joyce. Now I really can't wait for 3/5/05 for our Connie cruise!!!

 

Great photos too!!

 

:D

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We are booked for our first Celebrity cruise on the Constellation in March and I have been very excited. Reading your trip report is only getting me more worked up. Thanks for the great review.

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hi Joy:) thanks for the wonderful review....I am Sailing Saturday:D .....sounds like you had a fantastic week!!!! I cannot wait!!!

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Lois - have an awesome time and tell Burbunny hello from me - we are old friends!

 

Bumping this up to keep the 2 parts together - the review was so long I couldn't just do one posting. (I guess I'm wordy!)

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Bumping this up to keep the 2 parts together - the review was so long I couldn't just do one posting. (I guess I'm wordy!)

Wouldn't it have been better then to make two posts in one topic rather than two separate topics?

 

Makes no difference to me but it seems like that would have made it easier to keep your review together.

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Joyride, nicely done. As a multiple Princess cruiser can you make some comparisons. We have yet to sail on Princess, just curious.

 

What did your tour at Antigua cost? We are stopping at Antigua in April and we are in the planning stage in regards to excursions.

 

Thanks, Rick.

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Joyce,

 

Thanks for posting the review for "OUR SAILING".:) I am so glad you enjoyed Eli as as much as we do. Hopefully, we will sail together again.:)

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Glad you enjoyed your cruise. Next month my wife and I go for our third Constellation cruise. Your wonderful description really puts us in the mood, Thanks.

 

smdubowsky

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Eli's Ecotour is $90 each, but you get a 10% discount for booking online. It was totally worth it! You can find out all about it at http://www.adventureantigua.com/tours.html

 

Let's see Rickster - let me try to compare Princess and Celebrity.

 

Both lines have beautiful ships. Food is good on both - but I think I liked Celebrity's food a bit more overall. It could just be that I was ready for a change. Princess does theme nights in the dining rooms - French night, Italian night, etc. I can pretty much tell you what will be on those menus. They haven't changed much in 10 years. So, I'm a bit tired of that. Princess has personal choice dining which is great if you like to have that flexibility - you do not have that option on Celebrity. I think the bar service, room steward service, shows, etc. are pretty comparable on both lines. I do like the fact that Celebrity does not make announcements like Princess does all the time. I also think that Princess pushes you to buy things more - more flyers about sales in the shops, etc. Princess has fresh water pools and they keep everything open 24/7 - along with the buffet. Celebrity has salt water pools and they aren't open all night. They also don't have food available except for room service late at night - but they do have some late night buffets.

 

I really think that Princess and Celebrity are both quality cruiselines. I will be sailing on both of them again. I think you also get different experiences on different ships depending on the staff. I absolutely loved everyone on the Sun Princess the first time I sailed her. I absolutely loved everyone on the Constellation - they all seemed truly happy and so friendly.

 

At this point I will say I do not think you would be disappointed on either cruiseline. I will choose more by where I want to go in the future rather than just looking at Princess. I am a Platinum Captain's Circle member on Princess and that does have some perks.

 

Joyce (joyride)

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Hi Joyce!!! I just got our internet connection set up at the new house. I'm now officially a Californian. It was great reading your review and reliving the wonderful cruise. As first time Celebrity cruisers, our whole family would concur with your comments about the ship, food, staff, etc. The only negative comment was that my daughter didn't like the salt water pools and my husband and I felt it would have been better to have 2 pool areas since it felt too crowded. I personally could not get comfortable on the lounge chairs. They seemed to tilt forward too much. Keep in touch. My home email is still the same.

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At this point I will say I do not think you would be disappointed on either cruiseline. I will choose more by where I want to go in the future rather than just looking at Princess. I am a Platinum Captain's Circle member on Princess and that does have some perks.Joyce (joyride)

 

Joyce .... So agree with this statement! We are also Platinum with Princess BUT have found Celebrity to be great ... more like Princess USE to be .... :rolleyes: Still, like and will sail Princess from time to time ....

 

YOUR REVIEW IS GREAT! Thanks for all of the details! Very much appreciated!

 

Happy Sailing! OCruisers :)

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Joyce, thanks for the reply and the info on the tour. We have sailed four times with Celebrity and one of these days we'll try Princess. Next up for us is RCI's Jewel of the Seas.

 

Regards, Rick.

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