Year Started: 1988
Ships in Fleet: 10
Summary: This premium cruise line features beautiful ships on itineraries world-wide. Excellent cuisine, great service, roomy staterooms. Modern Luxury at value prices.
Regions:Caribbean Western, Inland Waterways, Mediterranean Eastern
Good for: Overall Service. Foodies. Seniors.
Regions:Caribbean Southern, Inland Waterways, Mediterranean Western
Good for: Seniors. Foodies. Overall Service.
Regions:Caribbean Southern, Mediterranean Western, Transatlantic
Good for: Seniors. Foodies. Value for Money.
Regions:Alaska, Australia, Hawaii, Inland Waterways
Good for: Seniors. Families. Foodies.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Mediterranean Eastern, Transatlantic
Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western, Mediterranean Eastern
Good for: Foodies. Overall Service. Value for Money.
Regions:Alaska, Australia, Hawaii
Good for: Foodies. Seniors. Group.
Regions:Caribbean, Panama Canal, Europe
Good for: Seniors. Families. Luxury Travelers.
Regions:Bermuda, Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Southern
Good for: Foodies. Seniors. Group.
Good for: Group. Singles. First-time Cruisers.
Report on New England/Canada Cruise Oct. 5-16, 2006
We flew to Newark on Oct. 3 and spent the day Oct. 4 walking around New York after we did a Helicopter tour. We of course always go to B&H when in the area to buy some new technological equipment of which there always seems to be abundance.
We sailed out of Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ around 5:00 PM with a beautiful view of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan Skyline. We had a day at sea to relax before our first stop in Boston. We took a duck tour from the Prudential Center and ended back at the Prudential Center. We then took the subway down to the Fanniel and Quincy Market area. After some walking sightseeing and shopping we had a nice lunch of lobster sandwiches at McCormick's. We got a cab back to ship for about $7 for four.
Bar Harbor was our next stop and we toured the Acadian National park with the local bus tour people, which was a very scenic tour. We had a wonderful boiled lobster meal out by the sea side atthe Bar Harbor Inn which had an outdoor restaurant.
Our next port was Halifax, NS and we had a private tour with a driver that lived in the Peggy's Cove area. We therefore got to see out of the way scenery, popping in on various other coves like Peggy's Cove. We got a first hand explanation of the cemetery where many of the Titanic passengers are buried and also the unknown deceased of the explosion of 1917, We also visited the Swiss Air Crash memorial. We rode up to the Citadel for the view of Halifax.
Quebec City was our next port of call and we found it to be beautiful old city. We walked around the beautiful lower and upper city. We did a countryside tour seeing the Montmorency falls and homes around the area along with visiting a beautiful cathedral.
The Saguenay River cruise was marred by some rain and fog, but we still enjoyed it.
Our last port was Portland and we did a nice tour of the city on a trolley like vehicle.
The ship was wonderful as are all the Celebrity Millennium class ships. The captain of the GTS Constellation was the same as on the Constellation transatlantic in September of 2004. Derek Habarken also was the same cruise director as on that cruise. A great cruise marred only by one day of rain and fog in the Saguenay River.
Pictures at: http://www.cruisemates.com/gallery/view.php?id=3137
We just returned from cruise on Infinity (Celebrity) and were really not happy.Key carwas replaced 3 times and door had to be reapired; then the toilet seat was hanging off; the Closet door had to be fixed and the safe had tohave door taken apart so we could program it;by the time all was repaired,we missed our evening meal, and the buffet was closed except for pasta, which was by that time not what we had expected.
We also noticed that the overhead bunk was not properly secured as one of the latches was disengaged,(very unsafe) We asked for another Stateroom but were told there was'nt any available.
We are "Elite" in the Captains Club and we were most unhappy.
The ship was very beautiful, but we will be thinking twice before cruising with Celebrity in the near future. The food was not exactly five star,but the service was excellent and our room stewardess and dining room waiter and busboy were the greatest and should be commended for going above and beyond to please all.We have 40 odd cruise experiences.
I would like to warn everyone who has any inclinations of going on a cruise with Celebrity Cruises/Royal Caribbean. In September my husband and I went on our honeymoon on the Milennium Celebrity Cruise. We purchased our entire package from Celebrity and spent an extremely large amount of money: $25,000 on this honeymoon - including the cruise itself, flights, food, drinks, and excursions.
We cruised 2 weeks on the Milennium without the pools, hot tubs, ball courts. Having worked in the travel industry in the past I had always wanted to go on a Celebrity cruise...what a BIG mistake that turned out to be. The service was absolutely horrible, most of the crew members were unfriendly, cold and miserable - I do not understand how they managed to be employed in the hospitality industry. We were shocked. The everyday activities were lame and the night life was minimal. I have been on cruises before and they have been quite lively.
Please Please Please I warn you to WATCH YOUR LUGGAGE and all your personal belongings. Do NOT take the staff's word when they tell you your luggage will be safe when you leaveit for their safekeeping before disembarking the ship. We had made sure our luggage was safety locked up. When we got home to our surprise that some items we brought and purchased from our trip were STOLEN!(approximately $1000.00 worth). They even stole the video tapes from our vacation (our honeymoon memories - gone!) The tapes and videocamcorder we received as a wedding gift just a month before was stolen. (This was our first and last time we had to use it). I know thieves have no sentiments and they don't give a care as to what they steal and who they steal from. I could not believe what had happened! Trying to get any compensation from Celebrity Cruiselines is a JOKE! Not only did they steal our luggage they managed to lose another bag of ours from the ship to the carousal in Barcelona - less than 100 metres away. What a bunch of incompetent fools. This is no coincidence, these people are professionals so please be aware.
I can not believe after spending the amount of money we did Celebrity just brushed us off. The letter they sent back was like a slap in the face. I believe no matter how much money is spent on a vacation no one should have to worry about safety or their possessions especially because it is their job to safekeep their belongings. I am absolutely flabbergasted and appalled with what has happened and especially the lack of professionalism of this cruiseline.
Please I beg you to think twice before booking a vacation with Celebrity cruiselines/Royal Caribbean.
Take care all. Thank you for reading my review and think hard before booking Celebrity Cruises/Royal Caribbean
Can't say enough about Celebrity. Love this cruiseline! Second time on the Infinity. First time May 2004, Panama Canal. There were 6 of us traveling together to Alaska. My Dad's 80th birthday, and first cruise. He wished he had cruised years ago.
Infinity staff is outstanding. Cabins and food awesome. We both had balcony cabins just 2 down from each other. My Mom and Dad had a handicapped cabin. So, so much room. Awesome. Celebrity let us have a wheelchair the entire 7 days on loan. Dad gets around okay, but tires fast, so this came in handy throughout the 7 days. We even took it off the ship into Juneau.
We rented a car from Rent-a-Wreck. Nice lady named Connie from there helped us with everything there was to see in Juneau for a fraction of the cost of all tours! Six people rented a van with room for wheelchair. Went to 5 different places. Only paid $99/day for the van. Picked it up right at the pier parking, and dropped off there after. Only $33/couple! Awesome. We figured we saved over $600/person, the total of all tours had wehave done them separately. What a way to go!
There is only one main road in Juneau. Started at the far end and then stopped whenever we wanted to! Highly recommend the Infinity iternary for Alaska!
What a fine ship Infinity is!
Our trip ( we had 9 people in our party) was wonderful. We went from San Francisco to Victoria BC and finally Vancouver BC. The short 4 day trip was perfect for our large group to try out a cruise. All of our guests had never been on a cruise before.
I am afraid they are now all spoiled for life and may never find a better cruise line than celebrity!
We all loved our rooms and balconies and the service was out of this world.
Champagne awaited us in the room when we arrived and the early evening brought us hors d'ourves daily... what a treat.
Just like the TV commercial you do get fresh cut long stem roses daily and the staff greets you with hello Madam or Sir when ever they see you.
Room service was fantastic... very good food on the room service menu. Other cruise lines we have been on offer room service but it is cold, and dry and not worth eating.
Breakfast in the dinning room is the best and the pizza is always hot and fresh,
Dinner was nice, thestaff perfect.
Our favorite entertainment was a total surprise. Rita Moreno the Oscar,Tony and Grammy winning actress gave a wonderful talk about the movies. She acted out several scenes and was very powerful as a speaker.
It seems when ever I go on a cruise I seem to run into the same people over and over again. To my surprise on this trip that person was none other than Rita Moreno!
She spent her time on the cruise not locked in a suite but out with the people having a grand time with her husband of 41 years and her daughter. Getting to spend even a little time with this wonderful woman was just frosting on this cruise cake.
We will be going again on Celebrity as soon as we can.
We started our 12 night trip cruise fronmSan Fran to Alaska and BC in San Fran at around 2:00 we decided to head for the ship which was visible from our hotel, but we took a cab as we had six suitcases! (We vowed never to take 6 suitcases again, we found that we used only half of the clothing, we sent three loads of laundry to the ships cleaners and it came back the next day, washed, dried, folded and on hangers! All for $60 - well worth it!) As we walked into the terminal we saw Disney World length lines throughout the building, but a representative took a glance at our boarding docs and directed us to a Concierge Class line with maybe 4 passengers ahead of us, we waited about fifteen minutes to embark. The representative was friendly, engaging everyone in queue in pleasant conversation as we waited.
Upon entering the ship we were greeted with Mimosas and personally escorted to our cabin. The cabin was mid-ship 8th deck Concierge Class with a balcony. There was a bucket of chilled champagne, two glasses and a basket of fruitawaiting us. The room was compact but accommodating. The only bad thing was when the sofa bed was pulled out it blocked access to the balcony, it came flush with the vanity and the sliding glass door. Which meant, that having a teenager with us - that likes to sleep in, we were unable to enjoy the balcony at times. Our luggage arrived about 3 hours after we arrived on board. After the well organized but a bit long drill, We all went to the pool area where the band played and the staff introduced themselves and danced and others allowed passengers to sample their products, ie; massages, acupuncture, spa facilities, which were excellent,etc. Everyone gathered on the upper deck to see the Golden Gate bridge, as we passed under it everyone screamed and waved and those on the bridge reciprocated. It was cold and windy but very exciting! We proceeded back to the room to take care of our luggage.Our room steward came by and introduced himself and his assistant and insisted that if we need anything to please call him or his young assistant.
Later we had fresh flowers on the vanity and a single rose bud in the bathroom. A welcome greeting from our Travel Agent along with some chocolate dipped strawberries arrived shortly after as well as a welcome from the dining room with our table assignment. We soon dressed for dinner, the late seating and walked to the dining room where we had a table for six, but we were the only ones to show for the duration of the cruise. I began to feel uneasy and after meeting our waiters and ordering my food, I had to return to my cabin to lie down. My husband returned to the dining room without me and the waiters expressed concern about my well-being , and offered a remedy . a peeled, sliced green apple with sliced ginger and of course saltine crackers. I got a can of Ginger Ale and followed the directions and felt better but decided to stay in bed.
The food was delicious and was presented wonderfully! I didn't gain a pound,I guess I ate all the right things! Our travel agent gave us dinner for the three of us at the USS Restaurant. Our daughter turned 20 that night and it was a first for her to be treated so royally! She did not have anyone to hang around with as most of the passengers were in the 60+ age range. We were greeted by name as we entered the restaurant and brought to the table. The Maitre D's suggestions were taken and were excellent! We were served Caesars Salad at our table with a full explanation of the history of the salad, the meals were served in unison by three waiters. Women were escorted to the restroom by a tuxedo clad gentleman. The food was delicious, the service unparalleled and the presentation fantastic. A harpist played softly in the background.
I was impressed with the young people running the excursions. All seemed to be very conscientious of the environment and enthusiastic about teaching the tourists. They were all clean cut, friendly, open for questions and very gentle with the elderly crowd. We went on the Whale and Mammal watching tour in Icy Straight Point in the afternoon and we got our money's worth, we saw at least 15 whales...-right next to tour boat, some porpoises and sea lions, the tour guides and naturists were thorough in their descriptions and genuinely interested in the wildlife.
We took the White Pass train ride in Skagway and enjoyed it very much. There was snow on every mountain top and the weather was cool. We had never seen snow and it was still white and clean and beautiful.. When we reached the top of the mountain the Conductor jumped off and handed us a snowball, how exciting!
Hubbard Glacier was absolutely fantastic, something we will never forget! The Captain pushed as far as he could into the Glacier then placed the ship on a 360 degree turn, so that no matter where you were on the ship, you saw it all! We witness the crushing sound of us underneath our balcony, the huge chunks of ice floating past us and then the thundering sound of the Glacier calving, several times, right in front of us! We spent at least four hours there, it was a magnificent day a the Glacier! The only thing that bothered me was Celebrity shut down the coffee and hot chocolate stands and set up booths throughout the ship hawking hot drinks...this while we were in the Glacier at about 40 degrees!
Fishing in Juneau was a total loss...almost $300 each down the drain, not even a bite in 5 hours and 800 feet of water! The Captain was very apologetic and spent the time telling us about Alaska and showing us the sights.
The singing duo had quite a following before and after dinner. They sang lots of '60s and '70s music, he played piano while she sang, they were very good and encouraged lots of dancing. There were Celebrity dance escorts at every dance and they were kept quite busy.
Victoria was beautiful, we took the Grayline tour bus and saw the butterfly gardens and Butchart Gardens. The tour bus driver was most interesting, he took us on a tour of the city, through China Town, downtown past the Parliament and everywhere else, he also let us in on the secrets of the City.
Spent the day in the Casino, won $100 on one of the nickel machines...then promptly gave it right back! Heard a few cruisers lost $10,000+ at the tables...
If you are looking for a relaxing, low key, minimal activity ship - and if you are older and not very agile, this ship is for you. You are treated royally.
The pastry shop was open until about 4 pm everyday. We were happy to find that there was a coffee bar as we are 2-3 times a day expresso drinkers, unfortunatley we found we had to pay for expresso on the Infinity ... and the only one that knew how to make it the way we like it, was Alma from the Philippines.
The time adjustment was a bit difficult for us as we are on EST. Also the fact that it never really gets dark at night took a few days to get adjusted to.
The final show was entertaining, colorful costumes and talented dancers. Also the acrobatic act, a touch of Cirque de soleil(?) was very impressive as the couple flew into and over the audience with just a wisp of a scarf to hold onto...
We are home now, enjoyed the experience, we are well rested and well versed in Alaska and BC information.
The Celebrity experience was a very good one.
After not cruising on Celebrity for 2 years, (busy trying other cruise lines) we were anxious to see if they have changed. to our happy surprise for the most part the answer is no. The service and cleanliness is near perfect and we could not have had a more enjoyable cruise. We did find that the meats are not as tender as before, but on the whole everything was wonderful. The shows each night were fabulous. Especially the singers and dancers. They were the most professional group we have seen on any cruiseline.
The embarkation was not good, they were not organized and it seemed that they weren't sure on what they were to do with so many people who came earlier than the 1 pm boarding. But we made it thru the masses and finally were aboard one of our most favorite cruises. Alaska is a place not to miss. Even though my husband is disabled he was able to do enough of the tours to really enjoy it as much as the others who were on them with us.
We had a problem which could not be fixed,so we notified our TA when arriving home and he got it straightened out and we should be hearing from Celebrity shortly. The problem was a window washing machine stationed outside of our balcony. It made it hard for taking pictures, and as I have noted my husband is disabled and spends a lot of time on the balcony. it also was a concierge room and we were not told that there would be an obstruction to our views of the Alaskan scenery.
Our wait staff was some of the best we have had, and knowing that Celebrity does read the comment cards will move our waiter, Vernon Pilliay, to a higher position. His bright smile, personality and always trying to make it the best he could be. Even when we saw him in the buffet area he was always there to help us out. another thing I must compliment Celebrity on is how helpful they were in the buffet area, always someone there to carry my husband's tray for him. He uses a cane and this is the only company that seems to make it a point to help the disabled with this service. Another person I must mention is the asst. Matre D', Cassandra, she was the most enjoyable and quick to respond to any and all questions or problems. When she was told about how our table of 6 were having a hard time cutting our meats, she had the executive chef cooking our dinner meals for the rest of the cruise. Now that's what I call service! She made it a point to visit with every table in her area, when has that ever happened to us..... never. She is definitely going places in the company.
The tours were so much fun and informative, and debarking the ship after the cruise that morning was a sad time for us, but went very well. They had things moving along smoothly and had us in a cab for the airport in no time. I would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone who wants to have a relaxing, enjoyable and informative Alaska cruise, especially if you are disabled. Not having to sit in a bus tour for long hours was a pleasure.
We made our own flight reservations, and we also booked the hotel that Celebrity had offered, but did it on our own because the cost was much lower doing it ourselves. Tuscan Inn, a Best Western property, was right near Pier 39, where everything comes together for sight seeing San Francisco. It is a lovely smaller hotel with a nice Italian restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also having a happy hour around the fireplace in the main lobby with free wine, beers, sodas, and orderves. Don't know if this is allowed, but we returned to Scoma's seafood restaurant, a wonderful place to eat on Pier 47. After 5 years they haven't changed one bit, and even the price on the menu was the same.
One more thing is to tell you all to join the roll call for your ships, we have met so many wonderful people who have become friends. It just makes the time on the cruise even more enjoyable. Please email me if you want any furture information.
Celebrity Cruises Summit by Mark Singleton Alaska May 7, 2006
I too took this cruise. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. For Celebrity to say that only four or five people complained is even more of an understatement. Despite the loss of two ports of call - Seattle and Sitka and the fact that our other ports of call were cut short and the eventual trip down the Inside Passage, I think the final straw was our uneventful trip to the Hubbard Glacier, which I believe would have been the highlight of the trip for most people onboard.
Food was served no more than faintly hot; sanitization left a lot to be desired and staff morale was obviously low. This is not what I expected from a company of such high esteem.
When I thought things could not get any worse, when we finally disembarked some 1 1/2 hrs late, we were left standing inside the docks, lined up like a group of naughty children for 45 minutes while our coach transfers were sorted out. Just another instance of disorganisation which seemed to be the norm.
I certainly didn't feel likea Celebrity that day, or any other day of the 13 night cruise !
Prologue The following is my review of the Celebrity Summit 13 night West Coast and Alaska cruise that began on May 7, 2006. The food, service and entertainment on the Summit were, in my opinion very good. The entertainment was good and the highlights were several piano concerts by Brooks Ahrens. Brooks only made a few appearances on select Celebrity cruises last year. With the cuts by Celebrity I would doubt if he be returning this year. Our cabin was a CC balcony and was in fair condition considering the ship's age. We found the public areas to be in fairly good condition. With the notable exception of the Captain, Hotel Manager and the Cruise Director, the staff on the Summit were always very friendly and the service was very good.
Day 1 -- Sunday, May 7, 2006: The Celebrity Summit arrives late at Los Angeles. Although we are seated for dinner several decks above the "pods" (the propulsion system), we feel severe rumbling noises and vibrations. As veterans of many cruises, we know the rumbling is not normal and indicates problems.
Day 2 -- Monday, May 8, 2006: Instead of spendinga scheduled night at sea, the Celebrity Summit arrives at San Francisco at 11:30 pm. The only reason given is that unspecified "repairs" must be made, but that the repairs won't affect the cruise. Although the repairs remain unspecified, the rumbling and vibrations, coupled with the poor history of pods on this class of ship, which we found out about after the fact, leave little doubt that the pods have once again failed (as they have on a yearly basis since 2002). Spent a great day in San Francisco.
Day 3 -- Tuesday, May 9, 2006: The Captain announces that experts have been flown in from Lloyds to double-check that everything is okay. He adds that two U.S. inspectors have also approved the repairs. He assures us that the ship passed all inspections and is ready to sail. We depart San Francisco more than two hours late. Sadly, the engine vibrations are still noticeable at dinner.
Day 4 -- Wednesday, May 10, 2006: Shortly before noon, the Captain announces that a problem with the starboard pod means the ship's speed must be reduced by more than twenty percent. This slower speed means that two ports -- Seattle and Sitka -- will be skipped and time in most other ports will be reduced. The Captain goes on to announce that, to compensate the passengers for this complete rewrite of what had been promised, each cabin will receive a $200 shipboard credit. The perceived discrepancy between what the passengers had purchased, what is now being foisted on them, and the $200 shipboard credit being offered as compensation angers most of the passengers and -- acting individually -- hundreds of passengers go to the Celebrity customer service desk in the main atrium. The personnel there offer no assistance as the crowd of passengers grows. The Captain agrees to a meeting in the main theater. About 800 very upset and angry passengers attend the meeting as the Captain takes questions from the passengers but offers no solutions Celebrity does, however, agree to fly in "two senior executives" to the next port (Ketchikan four days later) to talk with any unhappy passengers.
To add insult to injury at this point the Cruise Director speaks to the passengers in a condescending manner and relates what a great time he is having on this cruise and how happy everyone should be. This supercilious attitude only helps increase the passengers' unrest. Lest you think this arrogance is exaggerated, the meeting was videotaped by the ship's cameras as well as several passengers' cameras.
Day 5 -- Thursday, May 11, 2006: The Celebrity Summit skips Seattle and remains at sea. As the level of passenger frustration grows, as a group the passengers decide that the $200 offer is an insult and further decide not to accept it. The Purser's office refuses to remove the credit from all accounts.
Day 6 -- Friday, May 12, 2006: Scheduled sea day.
Day 7 -- Saturday, May 13, 2006: The Celebrity Summit arrives in Ketchikan where two hours are cut from the port time and the two "senior executives" that were flown in turn out to be two young employees who haven't seen the video tape of the meeting and know very little about the situation. The passengers (who have to wait for hours) are told that the two men have no authority and are just there to "take notes". We spent the day exploring Ketchikan Especially enjoyed Creek Street. Also rode the city bus which does a loop around the city.
Day 8 -- Sunday, May 14, 2006: The Celebrity Summit arrives in Juneau where more port time is cut. My wife and I visit the customer representatives, who are giving out numbers. Mine is 110 while they call out number 8. Sensing the futility, I leave. Another beautiful day is spent exploring Juneau.
Day 9 -- Monday, May 15, 2006: The Celebrity Summit arrives in Skagway where more port time is cut. We rented a car and drove to Emerald Lake which is a truly fantastic drive. I return to the customer representatives and find they only got to number 38 yesterday. They have abandoned the number system since most of the numbers, for some unexplained reason, are missing.
Day 10 -- Tuesday, May 16, 2006: After all that has gone on and doing our best to make the best out of a bad situation we were anxiously were looking forward to the highlight of the cruise which would be cruising up to Hubbard Glacier. Four hours at Hubbard Glacier is planned. The Celebrity Summit stops some seven to eight miles away from the glacier. We see another Celebrity ship leaving the glacier and a Holland America ship sitting just off the face of the glacier. The Celebrity Summit turns and leaves. The Captain's explanation is that "another ship was there first, so we cannot go on". What little patience I had left now disappears. The two passenger reps seem to have found a pattern in all of the complaints and they decide not to talk to any more passengers, even though the Captain had promised that they would talk to everyone.
Day 11 -- Wednesday, May 17, 2006: The Celebrity Summit skips Sitka and remains at sea. With their complaints being met with indifference, unrest among the passengers continues to grow.
Day 12 -- Thursday, May 18, 2006: A day-long cruise of the Inside Passage is planned. By 7:00 am the passengers realize the Celebrity Summit is in the open ocean and is at anchor. About two hours later the Captain announces that "due to the fog" the ship will drop anchor until 5:00 pm so that the passengers can get a better view of the Inside Passage. When the fog promptly lifts some thirty minutes later, the ship remains at anchor until 5:00. With the cruise so pressed for time, no one can understand the reasoning that justifies a nine-hour delay to just sit at anchor in the open ocean. Doggedly, the passengers assemble for yet another meeting -- this one the largest of the cruise. At the meeting, two passengers who are short wave radio enthusiasts report hearing communication around 7:00 that morning between the bridge and the pilot who is required for the Inside Passage. The Captain had failed to arrange for a pilot and the earliest one could be onboard was 5:00 pm. This is later confirmed by one of the passenger reps. Petitions are circulated at the meeting and more than 1,200 are collected.
During the night, a note from the Captain is slipped under our door. The note offers a 30% credit on the price of our next Celebrity cruise priced at the full rack rate. We have been on fifteen cruises and have always received more than 30% off the maximum rate.
Day 13 -- Friday, May 19, 2006: The Celebrity Summit arrives in Victoria with again time cut from this port. We rented a car and drove to Buchard Gardens and drove around this beautiful city.
Day 14 -- Saturday, May 20, 2006: The Celebrity Summit arrives in Vancouver in the middle of the night rather than the morning as scheduled. The ship is then sent to dry dock to, once again fix the pods.
Epilogue All calls and letters to Celebrity to try and address our treatment on this cruise have been met with total indifference. Most of the passengers who were on board this cruise are not going to just accept what happened. There should be a final decision later on this year as to just what rights, if any, passengers do have in cases like this.
Wow!........the Constellation more than lived up to the great reviews we'd read! We just got back from a nine-day cruise out of Bayonne, N.J. to Labadee, San Juan, St. Maarten and Bermuda. We had 8-1/2 days of sunshine with only a half day of rain and fairly rough seas.Embarkation
We arrived in Bayonne at 11 a.m. and started boarding at a little after noon. It was easy and painless. You drop off your bags when you first arrive and then proceed to the parking area. The parking was $15 a day and very secure. A shuttle takes you to the terminal. This terminal has a nice inside waiting room with plenty of seats.
After boarding we explored the ship and then headed off to the buffet (rooms wouldn't be ready until about 1 p.m.). We had stateroom 3065 with a 48" porthole window (great unobstructed view). It was a super nice room, but the bed was on the firm side and pillows were flat and horrible (my only complaint on the room).
We went to see the Maitre 'D to see if we could have our dinner seating changed from late to early.He told us they'd let us know the next day (a card was delivered to our stateroom the following afternoon with a new table assignment).
There were only two formal nights on this cruise instead of the three that were listed. The second night was formal, so we got all gussied up and ate in the gorgeous San Marco dining room.Entertainment
The entertainment....was superb! The house band, Onyx, played by the pool most days and in the Bar at the Edge of the Earth (Deck 11). The ship's orchestra played Big Band music in the Rendezvous Lounge one night, there was a singer/piano player in Michael's Club every night, and the Mozart Duo also played in the Rendezvous Lounge every evening. The Cova Cafe had a string quartet most days.
Some of the highlights for us were the 50s/60s sock hop, country line dance party, masked ball, evening pool party with fruit buffet, and, of course, the Grande Buffet (more about that later).
During the sea days there were swing, Rhumba and Cha-Cha classes in the afternoon; we went to a couple of those.Casual Dining
One of the things that we really enjoyed, but I couldn't find out much about on the message boards, was the casual dining in the evening...we loved it! They set up one side of the buffet seating area in the evening for casual dining with tablecloths, flowers and fun waiters (these guys are the ones in training for the San Marco). We had the same waiter every night (Paul from Jamaica), and he was so much fun! Every evening we had a table for two, in front of a huge window with gorgeous views of the ocean and sunset. The menu consisted of a great bread basket, a choice of two appetizers, soup of the day, house or Caesar salad, six entrees (chicken, fish, barbecued spare ribs, mixed grill, etc...these changed every night but usually chicken and a fish was on the menu), baked potato or fries, and a choice from about four desserts. It was a nice alternative to the two-hour dinners in the formal dining room without sacrificing great service.
We didn't take any of the excursions so I can't comment on them.
Labadee was a nice surprise after reading all the horrid reports on Haiti. The tenders took us ashore and we were greeted by island music, a gorgeous beach, and beach attendants waiting to put a lounge chair wherever we desired. We learned that Celebrity had this whole area specifically developed for its cruise ships and it was really nice, clean and welcoming! The flea market was rather intrusive as the local craft-makers do everything but drag you into their cubicles to display their wares. They really get in your face and just don't want to let you pass on. But if you like to haggle on price, you'll have fun here as they keep dropping the price until you buy something. On the other end of the flea market is a craft area with fixed prices but no high-pressure sales.
San Juan: I don't have too much to say. We walked around and went in some shops but it was really hot and it was my least favorite stop.
St. Maarten was gorgeous -- everything I thought a Caribbean island would be! It has stunning beaches, upscale shopping and it's so clean! We took a bus for $3 each inland a ways and browsed the shops. Then we walked along the beach back to the ship.
Bermuda/Royal Navy Dockyard. For $12 a day you can ride any of the ferries or buses and it's a great deal! We took the ferry to Hamilton and walked around, then took the #7 bus back to the ship. What a great way to see the island! At the dockyard, we paid $10 each to go through the Maritime Museum and to see the dolphins (for $204 you could swim with the dolphins for 45 minutes...gulp!...too rich for my blood!).
I did ask several kids what they thought of the kids' program, and the teenagers weren't impressed......there didn't seem to be much for them to do.
Debarking was a breeze, customs was a snap and the shuttle takes you right over to the terminal.