December 2015 - 5 Night Western Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Constellation
My wife and I took this cruise and we had not been cruising since our honeymoon in 1987. Some observations:
Boarding and leaving the ship was relatively painless and was actually shorter than I anticipated. Good organization and everyone knew their roles. Ship was very clean and offered many lounges, bars and restaurants. We did not attend any poolside games or activities but there were several if you were so inclined. We both thought the food was very good, considering the number of people on board. We dined at Tuscan Grille one of the nights and it was very nice. There is an upcharge of $45 per person, I believe so factor that in to your plans.
Casino was good, I played blackjack and the rules are similar to what you get in Las Vegas. They need to have drink servers come by on a regular basis, though. When I played you had to ask the dealer to get a drink and they asked the bar to have a server come over, but this took time and led to several long delays. Every casino I have ever been to has servers making the rounds about every 10 minutes.
Cruise lines need to revamp their drink packages, I believe there are about six option packages based on what you want to drink during the cruise. I know this is a huge moneymaker for the cruise lines but it would simplify things if they tailored the drinks to the class of the room. Basic rooms should get a base drink package, while larger suites should get a corresonding bump in what they can drink. Factor the packages into the price of the room. This may eliminate the signing of charges each time you get a drink. If anyone wants to upgrade from that, let them do that.
Attitude of workers on the ship was fantastic! I never heard any complaints about lazy servers or bartenders or stewards. They all had smiles and said hello at every meeting.
We took an excursion in Cozumel driving 6-speed jeeps through rough roads to an island. It was fun and once you got to the beach they had an open bar and provided lunch. Low-key for sure but it was nice and relaxing. If you go to Key West, we found it best to walk around the main drag and pick and choose your attractions. We liked the Hemingway House and the oldest home in Key West, which is run by local historical group. Key West is small enough to walk if you are physically up for it.
We were pleased with the cruise and will probably keep our eyes open for future cruises to other locales.