Review: Celebrity Constellation
Cruise - Ocean Cruise
Great way to get to Florida
113 people found this review helpful
We left Southampton on Nov 30th on a transatlantic cruise on Celebrity Constellation. This is a ship which has approximately 2000 passengers so is large but not by any means one of the largest ships around. This was our first cruise with Celebrity but not our first on a ship of this size.
The cruise was very reasonably priced as it is a re-positioning cruise – in the British autumn several ships which have been cruising around Europe go across the Atlantic to cruise the warmer waters of the Caribbean during our winter. It took 16 days and called in at Le Havre, Lisbon and Tenerife, the remainder of the days were spent at sea – we like this type of relaxed cruising as, being retired, we have plenty of time.
Boarding at Southampton was delayed by about 2 hours as the ship was having a deep clean because norovirus had been present on the previous cruise. Also when we boarded we were not allowed to our rooms for another 2 hours. The buffet restaurant was open, however, and coped well with the passengers although seating was a bit crowded as no-one moved when they finished eating. About 4pm we were allowed to go to our cabins and that was the last time when any part of the ship seemed crowded. For the first few days restrictions such as not helping yourself from the buffet and items such as rolls, salt and pepper being served to you by waiters were in force but then these restrictions were lifted as soon as the ship was clear of the virus. The restrictions were not onorous and we were glad they worked and the ship got rid of the norovirus efficiently.
We had booked a Celebrity Suite on the 9th deck and were very pleased with it – the lounge was large with 4 floor to ceiling windows, dining table and a sofa which could have been made up into another bed if we had required it. The bedroom had a dressing table, a second TV and 2 good sized wardrobes, the bathroom had a double basin and a Jacuzzi style bath with shower over it. Although we did not have a balcony we did not miss this as more or less a complete wall was glass because of these large windows. What we did miss, however, was a DVD player – as there are a lot of “sea days” we would have liked to watch our choice of DVDs rather than the films the ship decided upon.
Although this was our first cruise with Celebrity we were given “Elite” status as we had this suite – this meant we had free drinks in the Reflections Lounge at the top of the ship between 5 and 7 each evening, 90 mins free internet access each and bookings at the speciality restaurants a couple of times. These “extras” are one of the reasons we try to book suites if they are not too expensive. Another “extra” is a butler who happily laid on a reception for a few friends in our suite with canapés and champagne at no extra charge.
The ship has the usual facilities for one of this size, we did not use the casino, gym or spa so I cannot comment on these, the other passengers seemed to think they were good, though the gym sometimes rather crowded. There is a comfortable, small cinema where we saw one film (although there was a different one each day if you wished), attended a church service and listened to a talk by a member of the crew explaining how the ship recycled as much as possible. There were also several small venues around for other various groups and meetings. In the evenings there was music and/or dancing in some of the bars which was very popular.
The main entertainment, however, took place in the theatre which seated about 1000 people. During our cruise there were 3 shows, each on twice, with the ship’s dancers and singers which were very lively and entertaining. Other evenings had guest entertainers such as a violinist, conjurer, pianist and singers. During the day the theatre hosted guest speakers with topics such as forensics and sea gods. These were mixed in quality and interest. We also had trips backstage, to the kitchens, the engine control room and the bridge all of which we enjoyed.
We ate once in each of the speciality restaurants. Ocean Liners was excellent and the Tuscan outstanding. In both the staff were very efficient and friendly. I am not sure that the extra charge for eating in these restaurants was worthwhile on a general basis as the food was good in the main restaurant. The atmosphere, improved food and service made them suitable for a special occasion or a change.
We chose to leave ship as late as possible as we were booked into a hotel in Miami and did not want to arrive there too early in case this meant we could not check in. In practice this meant we had to have our luggage packed and outside our door by 11.00 pm the night before docking, had to leave the cabin by 8.00 am and the ship soon after 9.00 am – we had requested 9.30 am but at 9.00 am the ship’s speakers requested all remaining passengers to leave – we then had to queue for over 20 mins to get off the ship which seemed unnecessary.
We collected our luggage from carousels in the dockside immigration building and then queued for another 15 mins to get clearance – not too bad and all done efficiently by the Miami authorities. The next queue was for the taxis – a word of warning – although the driver put the meter on when we left the queue he immediately turned it off again as soon as we were out of the dock area.
In summary, an enjoyable good value cruise with flat seas and decent weather once we left Europe, a lovely suite with an excellent butler, good though sometimes rather bland food and acceptable entertainment. We had a happy and relaxing 16 days.
113 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.
Silver Travel Advisor Recommended Partner: Celebrity Cruises