Celebrity Constellation Cruise Review to Transatlantic
Review SummaryThis was my 2nd sailing on the Contellation. In July 2006, I took my Mom on a Norwegian Fjords cruise on the Constellation, visiting Dover, Cork, Dublin, Le Havre, 3 stops through Norway, then Copenhagen. We loved the ship and the ports so much, that when it came time to book another cruise (I book a trip every year with my Mom as a Christmas present), I wanted to go back on the Constellation. Last time we had a Concierge level room, which was wonderful. But I went for the extra splurge this time and got a Royal Suite. It was such a treat to have a really large cabin.
Our on-board experience was fantastic, but I cannot say that about the booking experience with Celebrity for the hotel and air arrangements. It was a nightmare. I live in the San Francisco Bay area, so wanted to have a couple nights in Ft. Lauderdale prior to boarding the ship. Good thing too, as there was a major storm on the Eastern seaboard during this time. The hotel I chose is the Sheraton Yankee Clipper, which is on the beach. It was rather ordinary, but I was just looking for a place to rest after a day of flights. Unfortunately it took 4 corrections to get my reservation right. Every time Celebrity would email me a confirmation for the hotel arrangements, they got the dates wrong or the pricing incorrect. They also made mistakes in the air line booking for both me and my Mom. They changed our seats after confirmation and had the audacity to de-book an upgrade I made with American directly. I received a voicemail 2 months after booking, informing me I could not change my own seats until Celebrity gave me permission. It took of nine hours of phone calls and emails to get everything correct. One call I made to voice my displeasure about the process, and how these mistakes never happened on other cruiselines in my experience (Norwegian, Princess), the agent told me that I had just been lucky in the past. Eventually, I talked to a customer service rep who offered me a $200 credit to my cabin charges. That to me, was just minimal given the effort I had to make. I could have made all these arrangements myself online or with the hotel and airline directly in less than 30 minutes. Next time, I will not book air and hotel through Celebrity.
But all was perfectly well as soon as we checked into the hotel. The transfer from the hotel to the ship was uneventful, which is great. The port was just 15 minutes from the hotel. Embarkation was really easy as usual with Celebrity. We didnt have to handle our luggage from the transfer, so no dealing with longshoremen.
We were greeted with a glass of champagne and made our way to our cabin. The suite was a surprise to my Mom. I had told her we were in a Concierge room. We had a laptop and a CD player in the room, which I used a lot. We had the pillow menu, so we get some extra pillows. Our butler and steward were wonderful. We didnt call on them for too much extra When they would see us heading down the hall toward our room, they would rush to open the door for us. It was really nice having the suite on the days at sea (7); we could leisurely get ready, and half the time we ordered breakfast in the cabin.
There was a lot to do on the sea days, but we stuck to the same activities most of the time. It was too cold/windy to sit out by the pool much, but there were some people braving it, covered in blankets. Also popular was the spa area with the thallasotherapy (sp?) pool. A few days out to sea were a little rocky and the pools were closed, but the indoor hot tubs were open. We watched the band, Intenz every afternoon. There were dance lessons, and a good contingent of line dancers (my Mom being one). We also played trivia every day. I hit the spa/hair salon a few times. We also played in the casino, and amazingly won money on the slots.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Pros: Great onboard Experience
Cons: Hotel and Air booking through Celebrity