Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Cruise Lines (Mainstream) > Celebrity
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #31 (permalink)  
Old December 18th, 2002, 09:22 AM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,381
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default Re: Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Ben.. Get thyself to a Grand Class Princess Ship!!!!! This lounge issue sounds like it's very important to you, and those certainly have the types of lounges you seem to desire. The Wheelhouse Bar would probably be your haunt.
Though, on our sailing, most times there weren't more than a handful of couples in there.

And, then of course, there's Carnival. More small lounges and variety of music in them than you can shake a stick at.

Regards,
Kuki

__________________
C U @ C,
Kuki
CruiseMates' Staff Writer
- The Kuki Side of Cruising-
A new Blog post every Wednesday
http://www.cruisemates.com/blog/author/kuki/
Reply With Quote
  #32 (permalink)  
Old December 18th, 2002, 10:12 AM
Benjamin Smith
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Kuki,

Won't go on Carnival. Ceilings too low, crowded with stuff, Las Vegas decor not for me, also it seems they play music very loudly on this line, and the PSR is the pits on all but the newest class. I toured the Legend and hated it, I thought the secondary lounge based on a Russian theme and the disco were two of the most odious places I've been in.

I like the Grand Princess, I like the Wheelhouse. I like that they made more intimate spaces in this 110,000 ton ship. I'm not sure about the disco, being that "spoiler" at that back of the ship. I'm not sure about the three similar dining rooms vs. a larger two deck dining room. And I must say I like Celebrity's deco/period/Scandinavian/contemporary understated style of decor more than Princess style. I actually have no problems with the Celebrity ships whatsoever, I'll just have to stick with the Century and Horizon ships. I also like HAL ships though I think they are all too much the same. HAL has the Ocean Bar, the Explorer's Lounge and the Rotterdam ships also have the Piano Bar, three distinct areas all with their own dance floors. HAL ships also break up the rooms into smaller conversational areas making them feel intimate and also tend to place the rooms near views of the sea. They also have the Crow's Nest that, from the Veendam forward, had three distinct sections and the mid section is the disco. Excellent solution to the observation lounge incorporating the disco and as nice as what Celebrity did with the Century class in making distinct sections in a large room and providing a sense of intimacy.

Here's the problem with the MIllie as I indentify it. The placement of the galley changed Celebrity's purpose of the lounges. The Radiance has the VIking Crown Lounge as well as an aft placed lounge, as well as at least another venue for dancing in a lounge. The restaurant on the Millie needed to be a floor down enabling Celebrity to put in what really is a signature area, the aft-placed lounge, and I'm sorry, the galley needs to be in front of the restaurant, not under it, even if that is a bit inconvenient to get to the lower level of the restaurant for pax. The other is that the solarium is the same as the RCI Radiance, Vision, Explorer type of solarium, just with different decor. That's not Celebrity, that's RCI. Celebrity does this space differently, unlike RCI. Another is all of the glass towers that RCI utilizes for its public spaces, Celebrity seems to be confused as to what to do with these spaces. Do we make them teen centers, listening to music centers, conservatories? What do we do with them? They changed them on each ship indicating confusion as to what to do with them. There are other problems as well but the biggest problem is how soon one came after the other. The Century was improved upon by the Galaxy, an added 7 thousand tons of useful area was put into the Galaxy with the addition of the solarium aft pool and the wonderful aft foyer in front of the restaurant. The Mercury improved on the Galaxy by making the aft foyer both a martini and champage bar and this is the correct example of a Celebrity styled bi level lounge. It connects, it functions well, it is also an intimate size, not oversized, not undersized. Infinity did not change much from Millie except for relocating Notes to an area that doesn't make sense and was changed back in the Summit and Constellation and getting rid of the Sports Bar. I don't know how well utilized the Sports Bar is on the Millie but I'd rather have a Sports Bar than the big conservatory and especially the placement of it is poor, IMO.

I will do a Grand Princess ship and I like these ships but I like Celebrity ships more. If I sound harsh or overly critical it is because I'm very, very disappointed in the Millie class ships and the direction Celebrity took them in. For me, they had real jewels in the Century class ships and should have improved the function, efficiency, and variety of venues in the MIllie class, and I think they went the opposite way.
Reply With Quote
  #33 (permalink)  
Old December 18th, 2002, 05:28 PM
Frank
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Benjamin Smith wrote:

> Frank, you don't have the vantage point of sailing aboard the
> Galaxy or Century. I don't know how much you are into the
> lounge aspect of cruising.

Our 11 day cruise was pretty port intensive and since we had not been there before and probably not be back to many of these places again we did not have that much time to spend on the ship. We usually prefer long cruises with a lot of sea days. We did get to a number of lounges and thought they were nice.

> I just don't see why these ships need so many shops,

I don't know either but they looked a lot more classy than I've seen on other ships.

> what's with all of the meeting rooms?
I wondered about that too. Maybe when they have large groups that need a space to meet? But how often does that happen. It could be put to better use.

> why is Michael's Club so large?

I think when we cruised, it was still a cigar club - so we wouldn't go near it. BTW, you mentioned you were impressed with Ocean Liners. We weren't. Yes, the service was overwhelming but we didn't think the choice or taste of the food was as good as in the dining room. Why pay $25 more per person for less? That might give you an indication of how good the food was on that European circuit.

> And also I think Constellation has a somewhat glossy and glitzy
> feel to her. I like the Millennium better because she has the
> more mature, sober approach to her. She's quieter in decor, her
> patterns are more subtle. I find Constellation to have too much
> gold leaf and too much brass,

That's an interesting comment. We thought that Celebrity had used strong colors but that unlike CarnEvil (Only one cruise on Carnival and never again) we felt that they made it work. Carnival was gaudy and ugly but these stood out but seemed to still have class.

> So, I urge you to try a Galaxy or Mercury or older Celebrity
> ship and see how Celebrity designed a ship without RCI input
> and how it works. While I don't know if you'll like these ships
> more than Constellation you should find them more intimate with
> another MAJOR dance/social/entertainment venue, more small
> spaces to enjoy, and not so much wasted space as you have on
> the Constellation and other Millennium class ships.

We usually prefer the larger ships because they seem to have more amenities and more expansive and impressive public areas. I am glad to hear your comments about the Galaxy and Mercury as we may try them if the itinerary and price are right.
Frank
Reply With Quote
  #34 (permalink)  
Old December 18th, 2002, 06:27 PM
Benjamin Smith
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Frank,

Now I'm puzzled. How could the food go from so good to so mediocre and in some cases bad from Europe to Caribbean on the same ship? I wonder if the head chef and many of the other galley chefs were changed? That's strange. The Ocean Liner food was so far above the dining food that many went there on our cruise almost every night.

Strange, but I'm kinda encouraged that the food was wonderful on your cruise. I'm hearing good things about the Summit and Infinity as well, but Millie still is coming in mostly with mixed reviews. Well, it seems it is inconsistent, but mostly good to excellent. Celebrity has to work at getting it wonderful all of the time. I'm beginning to think our cruise last week was a discounted one and only half effort was put into the food.
Reply With Quote
  #35 (permalink)  
Old December 20th, 2002, 07:02 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 74
Default Re: Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

We sailed on the Constellation in November and we loved her. To date all the Celebrity
ships are good. We cannot find fault with any the the ships we sailed on. We take
reviews with a grain of salt.

Joe & Pam
Reply With Quote
  #36 (permalink)  
Old December 20th, 2002, 07:28 PM
Benjamin Smith
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Joe and Pam,


Do you use the library and if you do do you like writing tables in it?
There weren't any in the library on the Constellation. That's a fault.

Did you use the aft-located lounge on your Celebrity ships?
It's not on the Constellation or Millie class ship, that's a signature area and major choice and venue of activity missing. I consider this a fault.

Did you ever experience the a capella groups that roam and perform around the ship?
They aren't there anymore.

Did you ever get a server that got orders wrong every night, didn't set the tableware correctly, did not take women's orders first and serve them first?
We did and I have to report about it. I acknowledge that throughout the ship service was excellent as well as at the Captain's table and specialty restaurant.

Did you feel any difference in the quality of the bed on the Constellation than the previous generation ship? Well, on the Connie they are cots, just like on the new RCI ships. That's a downgrade.

Did you ever receive a vinyl billfold for you documents a few years ago while sailing Celebrity? Do you get them now or just a spiral notebook just like you do on RCI?
That's a downgrade.

Celebrity will only cheapen the product more unless we are critical and notice where they cut back. My reviews of the Galaxy and Century from 1999 were very positive and I've said very positive things about them. This is my first assessment with this high amount of negatives and I'm currently writing a review which will weave in more of the positives. My comments, or impressions, were not a review at all, just what I noticed about this cruise vs. previous ones and this class of ship vs. previous ones.

I think the biggest mistake people are making here is to believe that their Constellation cruise was the same quality as what we got on the week we traveled. Believe me, from what I've heard of the Connie from Frank, it isn't close to what you may have received on the same ship.
Reply With Quote
  #37 (permalink)  
Old December 20th, 2002, 08:14 PM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,381
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default Re: Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

I think the biggest mistake people are making here is to believe that their Constellation cruise was the same quality as what we got on the week we traveled. Believe me, from what I've heard of the Connie from Frank, it isn't close to what you may have received on the same ship.

Ben.. frankly this is something you can find on almost all the cruise lines. None are consistant from ship to ship, or even week to week on the same ship.
One of Celebrity's goal's in their recently new "program" is to change that. They are going to be placing "Training Managers" on every ship, with the aim of supplying the same experience on all their ships.

I absolutely disagree that Celebrity is downgrading their product. If anything... they are attempting to go in exactly the opposite direction; offering a more premium experience, at prices competitive with the mass market lines. Whether they manage to make it happen we'll only know with time.

As I said before, and wrote in my review back in Sept., the Millennium class ships could use a more intimate lounge. However, as much as you research, I'm surprised you didn't see this in the deck plans.
For some reason this particular situation seems to have negatively impacted your experience, more than is practically imaginable.

And.. one word about cruise document packages.... pretty soon these will be a faint memory, as all the cruise lines go to E tickets.

On our recent cruise on Princess, you would have had your more intimate lounges, and some ballroom dancing (though I don't recall any jazz at all). However service was at least the equal of that you describ on Connie, and made worse when getting "reamed out" by the Maitre D.

Hopefully on your next cruise, you'll find the things that satisfy you. I can understand your talking about things you didn't care for, or things that went wrong. However, trying to make the point that there is something inheritantly wrong with Millie Class ships is a bit of a stretch. Maybe they're just not right for you.

Regards,
Kuki
Reply With Quote
  #38 (permalink)  
Old December 20th, 2002, 11:18 PM
Benjamin Smith
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Re: Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Hi Kuki,

I see mixed messages from Celebrity. The topless deck is something that only Carnival has (of the major lines serving the North American market) and it is hard to get the connection between this and going more upscale. I'm not sure what they mean by late night adult comedian, either. Using the RCI cots in the state room is an example of a downgrade, the previous ship's beds were of a higher quality. OK, so no more documents, but printed matter has to be further distinguished from RCI's. There still needs to be a guide to the ship, it's facilities, it's policies, etc. I'm also concerned about fewer groups performing onboard for less amount of time. Was it just my cruise or is this the direction they are going in? If it is it is certainly a downgrade.

I think I've posted here and elsewhere about reservations about the Millie class. Believe me I studied the deck plans and compared them to the previous generation of ships and to RCI ships. I talked about the lack of the aft located lounge. I talked about the cookie-cutter approach from ship to ship and lack of creativity and different personalities of Celebrity not reflected in these ships. I talked about the promenade deck to nowhere, aft-located balconies, what seemed like too many shops, etc. I went on this cruise with a group at a substantial discount because of the cancellation of a Millennium sailing that we booked in 2000. I didn't really choose this cruise as I had my reservations of sailing Celebrity in the Caribbean.

My initial opinion of the Millie was very positive. I went on about a 3 hour tour of the Millie in 2000. Present on the ship was an a capella group, I found the food in the dining room good, the ship was a buzz and I couldn't really tell how the public areas worked. I was pleased to see the ship still had Celebrity decor though I noticed some RCI touches to it. At the time I thought that all 4 Millie ships would be different and one would make modifications on the other the way the Century class ships did. I also think, to this day, that the Infinity, Summit, and Constellation are cheapened versions of the Millennium and I can explain in detail where they are (not which is more beautiful, but what has higher quality stuff and where). The Millennium I think was designed with its furnishings in mind, and I think every aspect of the decor, the patterns, colors, furnishings, matches the style of the ship. I started to have reservations about the class when I saw the Infinity, a carbon copy with no real personality of its own save for color schemes and patterns but not furnishings, no real personality in the way the Galaxy differed from the Century. The Galaxy really improved upon the Century and the Century had many faults. The Galaxy added an area to enable getting to the dining room easier and a mingling spot as well in the aft foyer, it added the solarium pool in the back and it took nothing away from the Century, and the Century really took nothing away from the Horizon/Zenith. These ships built progressively upon one another and none of the signature spots were altered or taken away and some new areas were part of the ships. These ships took chances, all different in decor and layout of major public areas, weird and provocative art, TV art, interactive TV, introduction of many of the signatures we enjoy today like the Martini/Campagne bar and Cova and all of the other new innovations they brought to the fore. Now, I'm not expecting Millie to be as bold but the whole Millie class is just safe and follows the Joneses, and to me, this isn't Celebrity. I also can't go along with the RCI hull. RCI has different public areas and placement of them, different places for their dining rooms and gallies, and are different vessels than Celebrity's vessels. I think sharing hulls or platforms leads to compromised products, and the Millie class is one. Now, is it a good ship or not is sort of personal but what isn't personal is whether or not it builds upon the older class of ship. The Millie class uses much of the same designers, so decor feels like Celebrity, yet it has a new paint scheme, introduces different elements than what Celebrity has been using, and tries to make some RCI spaces, like the traditional RCI Solarium, into Celebrity spaces. That's why Tim Rubacky didn't care for the Millie much, that's why some other folks who have many sailings aboard Celebrity ships don't readily accept this class as real Celebrity ships. They aren't for me, yes, you are right. I think they would have been had they been built on Celebrity hulls designed by Celebrity for Celebrity without RCI interference.

Now, I think all ships have faults and flaws including the Century ships and HAL ships built on their own hulls. My favorite ship, the Galaxy, has a fault in that it has a poorly placed kid video area and, at the time I sailed her, put the casino too near the quiet aft foyer causing some cacophony. I think the RCI Explorer had faults and I said many times I thought the 2 elevator sections on a 1000 foot ship were not enough while others have praised the Voyager class as a new class of exciting ship. I'm critical, but hopefully in an analytical way, pointing out specifics of what I think are problems with aspects of the ship (or ship class) and not thinking of only what only I enjoy and use, but what I think a significant amount of the pax on the ship would use. Choices of lounges, pools, balconies, eating venues are all very important for at least some significant amount of cruise pax. In short, I believe in really testing the first ship before committing to making the next, and constantly improving upon them. The Constellation's chair straps are an improvement, and maybe there are other small improvements, and maybe there are important mechanical improvements, but the improvements on the hotel side from Century to Galaxy to Mercury aren't there (though they never did fix the vibration in the dining room problem).

Now, there's nothing about the Millie class that would make for bad food, scheduling of performers or the other issues I raise. That's just inconsistency and could happen on any cruise. I'm glad Celebrity realizes this and are making efforts to remedy it. And I totally agree with you that inconsistency is across the board. Princess gets complaints about this, NCL for sure, Carnival to some degree, HAL seems fairly consistent but there are issues around them as well. I still like Celebrity, no doubt, I'm not writing them off. No way.

Regarding the premium initiatives I just don't know. A large percentage of the clientele on so many of Celebrity's ship's aren't interested in anything more upscale than what they have now. It's hard to get some of them to dress for dinner or evenings aboard the ship. I see people interested in cheap balcony cabins, food and lots of it and mostly available when they want it, casinos, pools, and itineraries and then family issues such as child programs and amount of quads offered and at what price. I don't see any great interest in lectures, enrichment, connecting with crew members. I don't see any great interest in paying exhorbitant fees for the aqua spa. I don't see how Celebrity, at present price points, can get people to change their whole idea on trying to get a more casual cruise on a plushly appointed and contented ship to paying more for onboard premium features. I wish them luck but I think they have too many ships, too many berths, to be able to find this target Celebrity customer that they dream of.

Thanks for your views, Kuki, I appreciate them.
Reply With Quote
  #39 (permalink)  
Old December 21st, 2002, 06:49 AM
lysolq
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Some unsolicitied advice for Benjamin Smith - let it go!
Reply With Quote
  #40 (permalink)  
Old December 21st, 2002, 03:15 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,278
Default Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

I agree, lysolq. I thought of sending Royal Caribbean an e-mail suggesting they use Benjamin Smith as a "consultant" when they are ready to build a new Celebrity ship.
Reply With Quote
  #41 (permalink)  
Old December 21st, 2002, 05:46 PM
Benjamin Smith
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Cindy,

Nobody needs to consult me to make a Celebrity ship. if you like the new ships enjoy them, and I'm glad that you do. No ship, or product of any type, is above critical analysis. I think the new version of something I enjoyed immensely doesn't work well and I tried to figure out why and I think I've done a fairly thorough job of doing that. I won't be another voice that finds a new ship "beautiful" and that's all.
Reply With Quote
  #42 (permalink)  
Old December 28th, 2002, 09:32 AM
PJ PJ is offline
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 240
Default Re: Re: Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Wow BenS - you do get around...I've been reading your comments on a few of these cruise boards. At least your opinions have brought out lots of information from others that have cruised the Constellation since she's been sailing the Caribbean. Now I'm looking forward to sailing on her in March.
Reply With Quote
  #43 (permalink)  
Old December 28th, 2002, 12:08 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 74
Default Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Mr. Smith:
It's a shame that it appears that you had a bad experience on the Consellation. I hope
you do consider another cruise on a different Celebrity ship. We have sailed with Celebrity and have enjoyed all of the cruises we have taken on them. Even if you do
choose to sail on another cruise line don't let on bad experience turn you off to crusing.

Joe & Pam
Reply With Quote
  #44 (permalink)  
Old December 28th, 2002, 12:49 PM
Benjamin Smith
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Joe and Pam,

No way. I'm cruising Celebrity again. I like the line alot. I had great cruises aboard the Galaxy and Century. I'll sail the Millie because of her piano bar, hopefully it is the intimate lounge I'm looking for on this class. Eventually, all the Celebrity ships will have their Michael's turned into piano bars.

I'm writing a review, and I have positives about the Constellation. My initial post was something of a rant, there were more positives than I mentioned on it. Look for it in a few days (progress is going slowly). There wil be plenty criticism of the Millie ships, I really making a case against them. I hope people read it only as an analysis, because as we keep getting newer ships, I think we should look at the older ones and see in what ways there are improvements and what is loss. I'm not saying the new ships aren't beautiful or posh, but I do think people who like Celebrity should look pass that. But, everybody will come to different conclusions.

Constellation's cruise aspects problems are fixable. When reading the comment cards Celebrity will see what waiter provided poor service and hopefully his poor tips will make him improve his service on the next cruise. The food can be fixed with quality control. They can find a duo in the Rendezvous that has a wider repertoire. They can fix the tape in the Cova so that it plays more songs. They can schedule the musicians to play for longer hours and stagger them. And when Connie gets a piano bar a space can be made for people who want to dance even if Celebrity doesn't put dance floors in them.

My feelings about Connie's decor are personal. Some people will love her more tropical look and color schemes, I prefer the more sober and deeper and more vibrant colors on other Celebrity ships. I like Galaxy, Mercury and Zenith most. But I love most areas of Century and Horizon as well. I like Millie's decor as well, not sure about Inifinty and Summit. The layout issues of the Millie class are another thing. That will require bringing in writing tables in the library and may require structural changes. Not enough people have complained about what I complained about in these ships for Celebrity to have any incentive to do this.

I'm very much looking forward to sailing aboard the Mercury, I think we'll do her next year (2003). If you want to know my idea of what a very well designed Celebrity ship is, its the Mercury. I'd only quibble that the library is a bit small and Michael's in comparison, large.
Reply With Quote
  #45 (permalink)  
Old December 28th, 2002, 02:27 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 74
Default Re: Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Benjamin Smith:
In your first paragraph you stated you are not sailing on Celebrity again. Then you stated a few paragraph's down that you will be sailing on the Murcery in 2003. Make up
your mind. Either you won't sail the line again or you will. It looks like your not sure.
Joe & Pam
Reply With Quote
  #46 (permalink)  
Old December 28th, 2002, 02:44 PM
Benjamin Smith
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Pammie,

I never stated I'm not sailing Celebrity again. You are mistaken.
Reply With Quote
  #47 (permalink)  
Old December 28th, 2002, 05:58 PM
Lisa's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Posts: 9,485
Send a message via AIM to Lisa Send a message via Yahoo to Lisa
Default Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Got to go with Benjamin on this one, Pammie. His first sentence is "No way." That is a response to your comment about not giving up on cruising on Celebrity. His next sentence is "I'm cruising Celebrity again." He is going to cruise on Celebrity, as he is a true Celebrity fan. I don't always agree with his views, but what is important to him in a cruise and a ship is not as important to me and vice versa. I will admit that now that I have thought about it, there did seem to be differences (subtle) in quality of furnishings and decor on the Summit as compared to the Millie, but I really enjoyed my Summit cruise more; but I think that was due to the service personnel on board rather than the physical layout of the ship.

__________________
Carnival Breeze with Ray B and Aerogirl 5/4/14!
Lisa
Reply With Quote
  #48 (permalink)  
Old December 28th, 2002, 06:55 PM
Frank
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Benjamin Smith wrote:


> Constellation's cruise aspects problems are fixable. When
> reading the comment cards Celebrity will see what waiter
> provided poor service and hopefully his poor tips will make him
> improve his service on the next cruise.

Do you really think they read those comment cards? I don't. They are set up to be read by a computer and I'm sure the handwritten stuff is ignored. They don't even bother to read letters, why would they bother with the comments?
Skeptical Frank-in-CA
Reply With Quote
  #49 (permalink)  
Old December 28th, 2002, 09:32 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 74
Default Re: Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Benjamin:

Please check your E-Mail dated 12-28-02 time 12:49.
What appears to be last pargaraph -
"I'm very much looking forward to sailing aboard the Mercury. I thing we'll do her next year (2003). If you want to know my idea of what a very well designed Celebrity ship is, its the Mercury. I'd quibble that the library is a bit small and Michael's in comparison, large."

Maybe I misread - but that to looked like you are planning to sail on Celeibrity.

Have a good evening and a good cruise on whatever cruise line you finally choose to sail on.

Pam
Reply With Quote
  #50 (permalink)  
Old December 28th, 2002, 09:53 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 74
Default Re: Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Lisa / Benjamin:

Regardless - we are allowed our own opinions. We are not all going to agree with each
all of the times.

May we all enjoy any furture cruises we plan to take.

Pam
Reply With Quote
  #51 (permalink)  
Old January 5th, 2003, 05:21 PM
DAvid Brown
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

I travelled on the Cons on 25.10.02 transatlantic.

The entertainment staff were very poor but I am suprised about the food ours was excellent and we sat with people who had been on the Mill twice and thought the ConS was better.

Our waiter and assistant were excellent and as was our stateroom attendant.

I am confused when you say there was no night club. I have to say OH YES THERE IS
I Know because I was in there most nights. It was in the Day time observation lounge on deck 11 at the front of the ship above the gym. It was difficult to find at first as you had to use the elevators at the front as they were the only ones connected to it.

Strange thing was that it was not used by many people and after midnight the room was almost empty. It was supposed to have a DJ but we never saw one and beleive it was recorded music.

Can I ask if there were any sailaway parties or music playing when you left ports as we made a complaint because we left ports in silence, when we left ST Thomas lots of people were on deck expecting some type of entertaiment as we sailed away from a Caribbean port. But it was like being at a funeral. Can you tell me have they learnt as I understand there were many complaints.

Oh yes we had a harpist and pianist in the Cova and I must say I rather liked the carpets especially the one in the casino.

Maybe it was the new staff as many of them were going on there leave after arriving in florida from our criuse from barcelona spain, including our waiter and stateroom attendant and the social hostess who was british and we had seen her on the BBC when they made a documentory about the Celebrity Galaxy which was one of the British singers famous here.

Thank
Reply With Quote
  #52 (permalink)  
Old January 5th, 2003, 09:07 PM
Dawn123
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

My meager opinion is, all the ships are designed to please different tastes. Otherwise, they would all be exact replicas!
Reply With Quote
  #53 (permalink)  
Old January 5th, 2003, 09:50 PM
Benjamin Smith
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

David,

I don't know, I posted many times specifically about the lack of the aft-located lounge. This nightclub you refer to I mentioned a few times as being the forward observation lounge and that it had the feeling of a disco. If you haven't been on any other Celebrity ship other than a Millennium ship you may not know what I'm talking about. It lacks the aft located lounge, with its independent dance floor and ambiance, independent of the Rendezvous Lounge. Specifically it is the Savoy on Galaxy, Crystal on Century, Pavilion on Mercury, Zodiac on Horizon and Rainbow on Zenith. Look at the deck plans, they'll show exactly what I'm talking about. The Millennium's Champagne/Martini bar area with the hole in the floor overlooking the Rendezvous in no way replaces the aft located lounge of the previous class of ships. Per the carpets the ones in the casino were probably the best on the ship. But compared to what's on other Celebrity ships, they are not Celebrity's best.

Dawn, the Millennium ships are close to replicas and closer to other ships. The Century ships are different from one another and had many leading innovations at their time of introduction. I don't think it is too much to ask for Celebrity ships to be like Celebrity ships and not so much like RCI ships.
Reply With Quote
  #54 (permalink)  
Old January 6th, 2003, 06:59 AM
Benjamin Smith
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Here's my summary, and hopefully, my final summary of design flaws in a designed for Celebrity ship, the Celebrity Millennium class ships. And I'm going to use "whether you use them or not" in some cases of the summary. Ships are made for a target clientele, and yes, they change over the years, however they establish certain signature areas per line, and I've seen each cruise line continue to offer their signature areas in their new classes of ships. RCI has Royal Viking Crown lounges and Centrums, HAL has Ocean Bar, Explorer's Lounge, Crow's Nest lounge, covered sliding glass over the main pools, full wraparound promenade decks, etc. To me, any ship without all of these, and possibly more, aren't HAL ships. Celebrity has, for various diverse passengers, certain signature areas.

Starting with the Century class, whether you used them or not, they had Michael's Club cigar smoking clubs, whether you used it or not the thellasotherapy pool, whether you used them or not Martini and Champagne Bars and the thellasotherapy pool was a big part of Celebrity's Century class, whether you use them or not. All pax use the aft located two deck dining rooms with picture windows. The Celebrity ships from Horizon foward always had aft located lounges for a certain style of music and activities and have to, not optional, was that it was an independent lounge away from any other.

Here's the problem with the Millennium ships and remember other may be going on Celebrity for different features and activities of the ship that you may be. The thellasotherapy pool isn't a Celebrity thellasotherapy pool. It's too big, it is not enclosed in its own private area. It's jets are not effective at the size that it is. It wasn't meant for as many people as they put in the Millie ships. It is really just an RCI solarium. Celebrity started with solarium type pools with the Galaxy, and the Galaxy and the Mercury are the two that have Celebrity-styled solarium pools. They are placed in the aft of the ship *AWAY* from the noise of the pool. RCI's used to be aft, and now they are forward, but when the door opens to the main pool area, the pool band can be heard clearly. The purpose is different. This is an issue, a design issue, for anyone who used the Century ships and wanted to have a solarium pool per the Celebrity way of doing it or the aqua spa experience per the Celebrity way of doing it. It isn't merely a change, it is adapting a product to a platform that it wasn't designed to use in its cruise style.

Celebrity retained the two deck aft located dining room but they really screwed up by putting the galley below. Forget your convenience and think about the crew of the dining areas. They have to use these areas month after month. They have to go down these ridiculous high speed escalators to the galley to get the food and then go back up. A far better solution is to place the galley next to the restaurant. That way the food comes back quicker, the crew is happier and less worn out, it is way more efficient as well. The restaurant is one deck too high. It should be on the first level of the foyer to the second, not second to third, this way the aft located lounge would have been in place, and this very highly used area would not be missing on this class of ship.

The casino area is OK, the Cova is retained, the martini/champagne bars are in place, Michael's Club hasn't panned out so they are being turned into piano bars, they have forward observation lounges, the showroom theater is still forward (as it is in most ships), but a major lounge is gone. Two dance floors, on a 91,000 ton ship, especially with the style of cruise that Celebrity is known for, is inadequate, whether you use them or not. There are 3 on the Zenith, a 47,000 ton ship, 4 on HAL's Rotterdam, a 63,000 ton ship.

I still find these ships wasteful in space. The amount of shops on these ships is plain silly. The RCI Voyager class, 142,000 tons, doesn't have this amount of shops. On their Royal Promenade, in addition to the shops they have a 24 hour eatery, a pub area, and a sports bar. What does the Millennium ships have? An art auction area but shop after shop after shop. The meeting areas aren't optimally placed, they should be out of the way as they are on most other ships. The Radiance uses the same hull as the Celebrity Millie ship. While I think the decor and quality of the Millennium ships are much higher, compare the public areas and efficiency of the Radiance vs. the Millennium. Sit down with deck plans of each and see how the Radiance uses the space vs. the Millennium. The Millennium areas are blocky and oversized, H shaped major lounge areas are not condusive to a comfortable feeling area, especially if one of the middle areas can not be used (the Champagne/Martini Bar area with the overlook in the middle of it).

While no ship is perfect, and there are design issues and flaws with most, at least I could count on going on a ship and getting some version of signature spaces and importantly, not having the function of the space ruined.

I realize I go on Celebrity ships for Celebrity spaces, not just Celebrity food and service. I also see way past the plushness or fine decor and these don't feel like Celebrity ships in too many, what I find annoying, ways. Celebrity could have done a way better job in the design of the ships, even using the RCI hull. But I feel overall, the lines should stick with their own hulls. I hear complaints already from HAL fans about the Spirit-hulled new HAL ships.
Reply With Quote
  #55 (permalink)  
Old January 6th, 2003, 06:50 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 407
Default Re: Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Benjamin I am about ready to plunk down some serious money to take theis Constellation cruise in March. Are you saying I am making a mistake. We are used to Carnival which is the pits. How does this cruise compare.
Reply With Quote
  #56 (permalink)  
Old January 6th, 2003, 07:06 PM
Kuki's Avatar
Moderator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Right here :)
Posts: 22,381
Send a message via AIM to Kuki
Default Re: Re: Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

GARY.. You would be making a TERRIBLE mistake if you allowed any ONE review/opinion alter your plans. Research, research and research. Check out other Constellation reviews in our Reader's Reviews area. Check out Anne Campbell's review as well.

Benjamin has very specific interests in what he looks for on a ship. What is important to you may not be to you. If the lack of a more initimate lounge to dance in, or the strange colors of some of the carpeting is going to inhibit your enjoyment, then take it into consideration.

What Ben may consider design flaws others, like yourself, MAY not even care about. In my case.. we sailed the Constellation last fall, and thought she was wonderful. We're booked to sail her again on the Transatlantic.
Not to say that I'm right and Benjamin is wrong.... but important to note, because different people have different ways of looking at things.

Regards,
Kuki

__________________
C U @ C,
Kuki
CruiseMates' Staff Writer
- The Kuki Side of Cruising-
A new Blog post every Wednesday
http://www.cruisemates.com/blog/author/kuki/
Reply With Quote
  #57 (permalink)  
Old January 6th, 2003, 09:54 PM
Benjamin Smith
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Gary,

There's no reason why you should not take the Constellation cruise. Cruises change from week to week. I already read a Constellation review of a recent sailing where the reviewer cited a jazz combo in the Cova. We didn't get that. Lots of my complaints about the Constellation are more due to how they compare to previous Celebrity cruises and how the cruise I received on her, Dec. 7-14 did not have some of the features of previous cruises that I've done on Celebrity. The carpet stuff really isn't important, it is a aesthetic thing. I'm just trying to point out that although the Constellation is the latest of Celebrity's Millennium ships, she may not be the nicest--she certainly isn't as luxurious as the first in the series, the Millennium. I think Constellation may be Kuki's least favorite between her and the Summit and Millennium but I don't know, and that's really subjective. The other stuff is a product report about Celebrity's latest class of ships. Some of my comments are Dec. 7-14 specific, others are about the Millennium class of ships in general. These are meant for all that like Celebrity, not any particular Celebrity cruiser's likes or dislikes, but trying to encompass the variety of ways Celebrity pax use the ships. By all means, read up on the Constellation and see the various viewpoints on this ship. I just don't think that people going on a Millennium class ship experience the "real" Celebrity, which I define as what Celebrity designed into their own ships independent of their parent company and you can still find in the Century class and Horizon class. They get much of it, but not all.

Compared to Carnival Carnival wins in some respects. They seem to have more varied buffets on their newest ships at this time, have more varied and lively entertainment, have longer hours for food availability, etc, and there *are* reports that Carnival's dining food on the newest ships may be as good as or better than Celebrity. Celebrity wins if you are looking for a less crowded ship, minimal PA announcements and none heard on some days, far more refined decor, a more unobtrusive form of service, and some other small refinements. Celebrity has no dancing or singing waiters (excluding Baked Alaska parade), towel animals, and none of the extreme pool games of Carnival.
Reply With Quote
  #58 (permalink)  
Old January 7th, 2003, 06:20 AM
lysolq
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Talk about beating a dead horse!
Reply With Quote
  #59 (permalink)  
Old January 7th, 2003, 09:53 PM
Frank
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

I'm sorry but anyone that rates Carn Evil over Celebrity makes me discount that person's objectivity. I found the Constellation to be the nicest overall ship I have ever sailed on in 15 cruises. My one short cruise on Carnival confirmed that it is not the line for me. Ridiculous.
Frank-in-CA
Reply With Quote
  #60 (permalink)  
Old January 8th, 2003, 06:20 AM
Benjamin Smith
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Back from Constellation--substandard cruise

Frank,

I'd question your credibility? One short experience doesn't define any product. You need several experiences just to know if your first one was definitive or an exception to the line's product delivery. And what do you mean by overall nicest ship? And how many other Celebrity ships have you been on? And what's important to you? My question is, how does it work as a Celebrity ship for those that like different aspects of Celebrity than you may? I don't do casinos, don't do the thellasotherapy pool that much? yet, if the ship lacked a decent casino I'd find that to be a problem, and certainly, though I don't use them that much, I certainly have heard enough from those that use the thellasotherapy and from being in the space that the new one's are different and an argument can be made that they aren't as good as the previous generations. That's all I'm saying. See the ship for more than what you use it for.

Who is rating Carnival over Celebrity? Certainly not me. There is a big difference between MY opinion that thinks Carnival is an absolute joke and opinions of a very large percentage of cruisers that think Carnival is improving at a reasonable rate and that Celebrity is slipping. Objectivity is looking past your opinion and just giving arguments for any product, whether you agree with them or not. FWIW, I think I'm being very objective about the Millennium ships, a class of ships I wanted to *love* but don't. I'm doing a critical analysis even though some of my conclusions are subjective. Everything I say about the design of Constellation is objective and can't be disputed. The conclusions can be. There are more balconies and aft balconies taking away aft deck space, there's no teak on the promenade, there's a higher percentage of revenue centers compared to previous classes (true of all the new ships of the mainstream lines, not just Celebrity), there's no staircase from the 2nd level of the foyer to the 3rd where all levels of the foyers are connected by staircases in the previous generation (you can conclude it is a design flaw or not, but it is a fact), the galley is below the restaurantant, and on and on.

I don't know how far back any of you go with Celebrity but I've talked to enough Celebrity fans and see a split with the approval of the Millennium ships. It is not that they aren't fine ships, it has more to do with several aspects of them that are compromising the product. That's all I'm talking about. And it just seems that I'm being knocked and the ships being defended rather than anyone taking any look at what I'm saying and seeing that maybe, perhaps, some aspects of the newer ships can be, for at least some Celebrity cruisers and fans of the line which I certainly am, lacking a certain *Celebrity* character and some valued features of the previous classes. And there are also aspects of *my* cruise, maybe not others, on the Constellation, maybe not on your cruises, that were defenitely cheapened compared to previous Celebrity cruises. *Compared to previous Celebrity cruises*. That's what I've been trying to get across here.

A reviewer posting on another board just came back from the Zuiderdam, HAL's Carnival shared hull, and commented that several HAL features were missing including, in no order of particular importance, self service laundry, HAL's regular menus, no tiles given out to pax, fewer fresh flower arrangements. No big deal to some of you. They were HAL touches that distinguished them. If all you care about are balconies, big new ships, a certain glitz factor, big casinos, you are not as much into the smaller, less noticeable but *signature* aspects of the line. HAL also is charging for their Odyssey specialty restaurant where they did not charge on the Rotterdam and 3 ships that followed, and the Rotterdam began service in 1997. HAL also is now charging for fine coffee. In 1992 HAL came up with Java Bars in their Statendam class ships, ships designed by HAL even though Carnival ordered them for HAL, and since 1992 to 2002 the Java cafe has offered fine coffee for no extra charge. Now HAL charges for fine coffee in the Zuiderdam. He mentioned the design of the main restaurant was different, and some did not approve. And I recognized right away that the design of the restaurant was less like HAL but more like Carnival Spirit class. And that's because the ship is a Carnival Spirit class. He mentioned that many on the ship did not like it because it reminded them of Carnival and didn't seem like HAL. I'm not just alarmed and displeased with Celebrity's Millennium class ships I'm equally annoyed and displeased at HAL's Zuiderdam class ships. It is about product integrity, I know products have to change, but transforming into their parent's product, I think should be ackowledged, and if they are watered down, should we just say that's OK and not raise any objections if we truly have them? If you guys don't have them, fine, I absolutely have objections and I'm stating them.

Celebrity's RCI touches may not be as obvious and dramatic on the Millie than this HAL ship but they are there and I pointed them out. And for some of us, these touches, along with certain cheapened cruise aspects, make at least the new product not as fine an experience as it should be or as it has been previously. That's all I'm saying. Now I'm tired, and I dont' fee like posting about this anymore. People don't have to agree with me but I know I have a point and hopefully my comments will be heard. The one thing that encourages me about Celebrity over HAL is at least Celebrity knows their product is slipping and are trying to improve it. That's why there is new management, new "brand transformation" initiatives (if everything was hunky-dorey would they have spend money on these initiatives--I think not) and the firm, I think Richey, that are going onboard Celebrity's ships and reporting back what they find about service and cuisine and other aspects. I also think that you will be seeing changes to the Millennium class ships. Some areas will be altered. Michael's Club is only one and it will be fleetwide. But specific Millennium class tweaks will be done. They were done on all other Celebrity ships, and, Millennium ships, especially the ones after the Millennium, may prove to need them most, once the newness of them wears off.

I'm not saying don't like the Millennium ships. I'm saying that just because everything about them suits you it may not suit all those that like Celebrity as much if not more than you do.

So please don't say that I rate Carnival over anything. That is not close to being accurate. I just wonder for so many that love the Millennium ships have far back do you go with Celebrity? Did you sail Zenith, Horizon, back in the early 90s? Did you sail Century, Galaxy, Mercury, when they were new and see how they compared to other newbuilds. I think it is eye-opening how they ranked against their contemporaries, how different they were, vs. how the Millie ships rank against their contemporaries. And, I tell you another thing, there were far less product reports of so-so food and service about Celebrity in the early 90s and mid 90s than there is presently.



I hope my points are clear and that this is the end of this thread.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
benjamin, cellebrity, collick, constellation, hotel, janet, manager

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Just back - Constellation 2/21/04 Chris N Celebrity 2 March 2nd, 2004 03:51 PM
Back from Celebrity Constellation with baby jesslch Family Cruising 3 January 20th, 2003 01:25 PM
just back from constellation wonderbleu Celebrity 15 August 13th, 2002 03:51 PM
Back from the Constellation. Gitte Celebrity 7 June 17th, 2002 09:31 PM
Back from the Constellation. Gitte Chit - Chat for Cruisers 5 June 10th, 2002 06:32 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:16 AM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1