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Old December 19th, 2010, 05:35 PM
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Default An email I didn't really want to send but had to.

Well this email is not what I have been looking forward to sending for some time but it has to be done.
I spent a looooot of time and DOLLARS going on my first cruise ever.
I chose Celebrity because for a very long time I thought they were the best in the industry.
Unfortunately I found out even the best can really screw up one or many person’s experiences at the drop of a Hat.
Embarkation (sitting around for 1.5 hours) and debarkation (taking 0.5 hours to get from mid ship to forward starboard in a really stuffy and hot corridor) was a total screw up due to IT problems.
I know that there was a huge crew change out after the TA cruise that we followed but that is no excuse for the total lack of “Outstanding service”.
I am extremely disappointed with Celebrity Cruise Lines and will probably never use them again let alone any other line as I have been somewhat put off cruising in the first place.
For some reason I did not receive a feedback form in my cabin the night before our return to FLL and this makes me wonder WHY??????


Below in BOLD Italicsis a message I posted on cruise critics after I got back home.
I hope you enjoy the feed back???

PS The guitar man in the sunset bar should have been rotated with other entertainers as 14 days of the same songs and sung in monotone makes for a very annoyed passenger.

Ok I must admit that “sucked” is a bit of a strong word but I must clarify my point of view.


THE SO CALLED SUITE.


First visit to my cabin there was no soap to be found in the bath room.
No “in room liquor package” to be found.
I requested both to be sorted out by my so called butler “Govind”.
Soap arrived smartly.
Whiskey arrived next day (which I will call day 1) with no Soda which is included in package.
Soda arrived on day 2.
On day 1 I requested that the mini bar be emptied out of the fridge so I could store soda in it, this didn’t happen until day 3.
On this day a fee of $18.40 was placed on my account which I asked to be removed. This didn’t happen until 4 days later after MULTIPLE request’s!!!!!
On day 1 I also requested that the door to the fridge cabinet be left ajar on the advice of many of you.
This didn’t happen until day 10 when I called the room attendant and her assistant together to go into extreme detail of why this was to happen even after placing multiple types of objects in it to keep it open.
The last 4 days of the cruise “Elizabeth” my room attendant was obviously in a seriously bad mood and it showed and I didn’t want to anywhere near her let alone talk to her.
I did speak to my butlers boss the “Head butler” (Shazza’s butler) about his performance to voice my displeasure but I really didn’t want to talk to my butler after that as I may have bitten his head off and my mother used to say “If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all”.

THE MAIN DINNING ROOM.


Our waiter was a try hard but should have had better training.
Up until day 6 we were still receiving packaged butter at our table and one night there was no butter on the table when we arrived.
Putting 8 blocks of butter on a table consisting of 9 dinners didn’t seem correct to me.
After speaking to the maître d on day 6 when entering the MDR we received our “flowery butter” with 12 pieces at the table within 60 seconds of my arrival. The other tables around ours also received their new butter soon after.
Basically the service in the MDR was a cacophony of cock-up’s. Wrong orders turning up, plates not being cleared, slow service, tray’s being dropped in the service area causing fright.

THE SUNSET BAR.


This is where I spent a lot of time in the morning and evening.
Tiger and two other staff members here were brilliant and I enjoyed their service immensely but early in the cruise I asked another staff member why the salt build up on all the chairs tables and the bar itself was not cleaned up and he said “oh it just keeps coming back” which says to me they can’t be bothered.
I think it was day 6 before the staff were seen cleaning up but not before Beth and I turned up for morning coffee’s and smokes.
By the end of the cruise Beth was wiping down tables and chairs herself and sometimes arranging the chairs correctly.

CONCLUSION……


Basically as a first time cruiser and Celebrity being a so called “Premium Line” I was disappointed.
I felt like I was on a cruise that was being used to train staff and quite frankly there is no “excuse” including “oh they had to change out 200 staff” for sub standard service especially when on the website there is a page entitled “Outstanding service”.
I also had great service from other parts of the ship but it’s always the bad that you remember.
I may also have left out a few things as my memory is quite blurry at the mo as I am still trying to recover from the cold and the jetlag.
I also did not hate the cruise. It was ok but that was about it.
I also LOVED meeting all of you!
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Old December 20th, 2010, 10:41 AM
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Lombard - I have been watching you post here for several months - well over 2000 posts.

But I did not realize that you were getting ready for your first cruise.

I am sorry you were disappointed. All I can say is that it appears people may have built your expectations up too high about the fabulous service on ships.

It sounds like you made reasonable requests to your staff people, although a bit unusual.

I have never heard of people requesting butter in a different form, or wanting their refrigerator left open (I personally don't understand that one. If you wanted your drinks warm, just leave it on the counter, maybe?) - but that should NOT be too much for a serviuce person to do.

Anyway - I am really sorry you were disappointed!
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Old December 20th, 2010, 12:20 PM
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I really hate to read a post like that from a first time cruiser. Cruising can be such a wonderful holiday-and usually is-but now the poster may never cruise again! Very unfortunate. Maybe Paul is right-the expectations were just too high? I was particularly interested as we are doing this very cruise on Jan.29 and I've been waiting for a review-this wasn't quite what I wanted to hear. I went to the "other board" and did find a review written by an experienced cruiser who was on the exact same cruise and raved about it. Hard to believe the two reviews were so diametrically opposed
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Old December 20th, 2010, 12:45 PM
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Liam:

Why did you want the fridge left open? I've never heard of that one. Heck the fridges barely keep anything cold. If you like "cool" drinks that's how they usually are.

Sorry you had a mediocre cruise.

Take care,
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Old December 20th, 2010, 12:53 PM
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Liam, add another to the list of wanting to know about the fridge thing?

I think after so many years of being part of several cruise boards, and this being your first cruise, years of expectations,and chat about getting it just right, fell short,and I feel bad about that. Did Jackie feel the same way?

Don't expect toooo much, if and, when you get a response..that could be another blow to your cruising future..I hope if you decide to cruise again, it's all you hope for,and more.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 02:53 PM
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Liam - let me ask you this - wasn't it still better than say the average hotel experience - or an All-Inclusive?

I have a suspicion you are going to soften up and say "well, maybe it wasn't so bad." I certainly hope so.

And I really hope you did not let any small things cloud the big picture, that you were on a beautiful ship having a great vacation.

I am not saying your requests were small, you request is small if it is important to you (I have also steamed about not having butter or bread on the table).

I am just saying I hope you also start to remember some of the better things that happened.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 02:56 PM
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Wow!! A CM member for six yeatrs; over 2000 posts, & this was your first cruise?? And after one cruise, you are "put off" by cruising? I guess cruising is just not for you. Sorry you had a lousy time. If I thought about cruising so much that I followed a cruise website for 6+ years & then finally went on a cruise & didn't like it, I'd be kind of "put off" too.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 03:41 PM
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I re-read the original post and now understand the frig thing-he did say fridge "cabinet" so I suppose the circulation is better if the cabinet THAT THE FRIDGE IS IN is left ajar.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
Liam - let me ask you this - wasn't it still better than say the average hotel experience - or an All-Inclusive?

I have a suspicion you are going to soften up and say "well, maybe it wasn't so bad." I certainly hope so.

And I really hope you did not let any small things cloud the big picture, that you were on a beautiful ship having a great vacation.

I am not saying your requests were small, you request is small if it is important to you (I have also steamed about not having butter or bread on the table).

I am just saying I hope you also start to remember some of the better things that happened.
Gidday Paul,

I think you are quite correct that in the coming days, weeks and months my view will "soften up".

Expectations can be a hard thing to live up to or deal with so to speak.

I would love to try Celebrity again but a lot closer to home would be waaaaay better and I am glad that they have returned to the NZ / AU market.

"jacdenv24" was correct that it was the door to the cabinet that contained the fridge as there is a serious lack of "air flow" to enable the fridge to do its "heat exchange" job correctly.

I think I am actually personally responsible for a lack of exploration of the connie but I did enjoy a couple of nights in the "Refelections Lounge" but the volume was to high and a few other passengers said the same thing.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post

I have never heard of people requesting butter in a different form
The MDR area that this waiter was in control of received packaged butter that you would get in the buffet area on deck 10 where as every other table in the MDR got the modified butter (more classy so to speak ).

I don't think that he was correctly supervised in his task's and his assistant's didn't help by interfering with his duties.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 05:43 PM
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Well, Lombard -- I completely agree with you then. You deserve to have the better butter and the fridge door left ajar.

I am just amazed that you researched this cruise for so long, and of course disappointed that you didn't enjoy it.

Had I known the situation (I do apologize, but the truth is I generally concentrate on answering questions not to look at names so much when I interact on the message boards because I don't want my opinion to be colored at all by who I may be talking to...)

BUT - had I known the situation with you I would have undoubtedly recommended you try the Solstice class if you wanted to try Celebrity. The price is very reasonable and close to Constellation.

In truth, I am not overly impressed with the Millennium class. They are somewhat limited in onboard attractions, especially compared to Solstice.

Those ships appeal to people who like quiet cruises. I personally prefer a little more action on my cruise - I like Oasis, Freedom of the Seas....

For premium I would definitely recommend Holland America's Eurodam over their 1990s ships (the S-class). Similar to my feelings about Constellation.

Its a small thing, but the difference is that I feel more jazzed by the newer ships. The decor impresses me more, I like the bigger showrooms, bigger bands, modern decor, bigger choice of alternative dining, the "stations" style in the buffet (versus long lines).

It sounds like you were looking for a "classy" cruise experience and you had every right to expect that on any Celebrity ship. Unfortunately, sometimes on these older ships on premium lines the staff gets a little too comfortable, they stop trying as hard, they take things personally or get in the habit of doing things that are better for them than the customer, essentially taking the customer for granted. Probably the last thing your room steward ever expected was that you were someone who researched your first cruise for six years.

Based on your knowledge they probably thought you were an experienced cruiser. Experienced cruisers are usually easier going and less concerned about details. They like them to be right, but if it doesn't work out they don't get disappointed because they just know a cruise is sometimes imperfect.

It is partly our fault because we do bring people to expect the best in a cruise. We raise expectations - maybe too far.

I often see people spend a lot of money on a cruise and end up being disappointed to the point where they are concentrating more on what is wrong than what went right. This usually happens on the most expensive luxury lines where they paid mega-bucks for the best experience imaginable.

And cruise lines do over-promise. Here is what Celebrity says about Connie...


Celebrity Constellation® has just been revamped-we call it "Solsticized" since it infuses her with cosmopolitan Solstice Class features.

She boasts a spectacular, new look and ambience. From the minute you enter the magnificent Grand Foyer, or savor a flavorful steak in the sophisticated Tuscan Grille, or sip your favorite vodka at the ultra-cool, ice-topped Martini Bar-you'll feel pampered and transformed, too.

Sumptuous suites and staterooms offer stunning new décor and flat-screen TVs, yet the level of personal service remains unparalleled and meticulous. It's a highly enhanced experience. Designed for you.








Yeah - I would say that is raising expectations pretty high.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richsea View Post
Wow!! A CM member for six yeatrs; over 2000 posts, & this was your first cruise?? And after one cruise, you are "put off" by cruising? I guess cruising is just not for you. Sorry you had a lousy time. If I thought about cruising so much that I followed a cruise website for 6+ years & then finally went on a cruise & didn't like it, I'd be kind of "put off" too.
The poster lives 'down under' - so opportunities for cruising are not as numerous.

My first cruise was with Azamara and LOVED it. Second cruise was with HAL - mediocre. Partly my fault I selected a vessel with too many passengers approx 1200. I will not make that mistake again. I have to say I have never experienced a hotel vacation as mediocre as the Ryndam esp the food.

The Constellation - 1950 passengers - far too large for me.

On my Azamara cruise - I commented that I may have found my 'perfect' cruise line 1st time out - certainly vessel size wise - but as they do not sail to Alaska - HAL it was and never again.

I will cruise again but will def choose smaller vessels - more expensive generally but worth every penny!

Liam - I would urge you to consider a smaller ship.
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Old December 21st, 2010, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
Well, Lombard -- I completely agree with you then. You deserve to have the better butter and the fridge door left ajar.

I am just amazed that you researched this cruise for so long, and of course disappointed that you didn't enjoy it.

Had I known the situation (I do apologize, but the truth is I generally concentrate on answering questions not to look at names so much when I interact on the message boards because I don't want my opinion to be colored at all by who I may be talking to...)

BUT - had I known the situation with you I would have undoubtedly recommended you try the Solstice class if you wanted to try Celebrity. The price is very reasonable and close to Constellation.

In truth, I am not overly impressed with the Millennium class. They are somewhat limited in onboard attractions, especially compared to Solstice.

Those ships appeal to people who like quiet cruises. I personally prefer a little more action on my cruise - I like Oasis, Freedom of the Seas....

For premium I would definitely recommend Holland America's Eurodam over their 1990s ships (the S-class). Similar to my feelings about Constellation.

Its a small thing, but the difference is that I feel more jazzed by the newer ships. The decor impresses me more, I like the bigger showrooms, bigger bands, modern decor, bigger choice of alternative dining, the "stations" style in the buffet (versus long lines).

It sounds like you were looking for a "classy" cruise experience and you had every right to expect that on any Celebrity ship. Unfortunately, sometimes on these older ships on premium lines the staff gets a little too comfortable, they stop trying as hard, they take things personally or get in the habit of doing things that are better for them than the customer, essentially taking the customer for granted. Probably the last thing your room steward ever expected was that you were someone who researched your first cruise for six years.

Based on your knowledge they probably thought you were an experienced cruiser. Experienced cruisers are usually easier going and less concerned about details. They like them to be right, but if it doesn't work out they don't get disappointed because they just know a cruise is sometimes imperfect.

It is partly our fault because we do bring people to expect the best in a cruise. We raise expectations - maybe too far.

I often see people spend a lot of money on a cruise and end up being disappointed to the point where they are concentrating more on what is wrong than what went right. This usually happens on the most expensive luxury lines where they paid mega-bucks for the best experience imaginable.

And cruise lines do over-promise. Here is what Celebrity says about Connie...


Celebrity Constellation® has just been revamped-we call it "Solsticized" since it infuses her with cosmopolitan Solstice Class features.

She boasts a spectacular, new look and ambience. From the minute you enter the magnificent Grand Foyer, or savor a flavorful steak in the sophisticated Tuscan Grille, or sip your favorite vodka at the ultra-cool, ice-topped Martini Bar-you'll feel pampered and transformed, too.

Sumptuous suites and staterooms offer stunning new décor and flat-screen TVs, yet the level of personal service remains unparalleled and meticulous. It's a highly enhanced experience. Designed for you.

Yeah - I would say that is raising expectations pretty high.
The reason I actually took this cruise was because I was invited by friends to join them, namely Jacqueline and Biker Linda who are CM members and I thought what the hey!

Celebrity was the cruise line highest on my list to try, as for all these 6 years I have heard mostly good things about them even though I didn't frequent this forum as much as I should have.
I chose a "Sky suite" as I was going to spend a lot of money getting there and cruising so why not spend that little bit extra to upgrade from CC.
When one of the PH suites became free I also considered that but going from a cruise fare of $9,000 NZ to $22,000 NZ was quite frankly not justifiable.

It seems that cruise line staff are like rising damp, the best staff always float to the top and the smaller older ships get the newer and not so good staff.
Having said that a couple of sisters had recently cruised the Panama canal and requested their previous waiter from that cruise to be their one for this cruise and they had great MDR service.
They also noticed a few differences between the two cruises.

The expectations were mine and I should really not base them on only one cruise.
As "anniegb" suggested I am considering trying the Pacific Pearl (P and O Australasia) next year with a few Kiwi friends of mine.
This ship is I believe the ex "World 2" which only carries about 1800 passengers and cruises out of Auckland, NZ.

Unfortunately or fortunately an Ozzy on the Connie said I should expect a lower service level using this cruise line and I'm inclined to believe her as they get all the old cast off 's from US based lines (ie the Pacific sun is the old Carnival Jubilee uuugh!).
But if my expectations are lower then I should be impressed???

"Great Expectations" aye!!
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Old December 21st, 2010, 09:06 PM
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Naturally - you should be impressed! Logically speaking!
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 09:31 AM
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I'm so sorry to hear you were disappointed with your first cruise...I know there is never the perfect cruise, but there are good ones and bad ones. I try to to expect everything to be 100%, then no disappointments. I do hope however, that at some point you give it another try and now you will have an idea of what to expect...
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Old December 27th, 2010, 11:37 AM
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Hmm, my 2 cents on this cruise. This was certainly not our first cruise, but our second with Celebrity. We did a TA on the Century almost 4 years ago, which was a lot better in service then now the Constellation.

The Connie was refurbished in springtime. I dont know if Celebrity has dark decors on all ships, but this ship was definately in the range depressing colors, nothing spectacular about that. Since we do not know the ship before the refurb, we could not compare. One of the CC-members on board did, and she told us that the overall refurb did not change much on the ship, only more specialty dining added, the wine "cellar" new. You win some, you lose some when the ship is overhauled

When we boarded on nov. 20 there was a 200 crew change, the experienced crew left for the newer ships and the new staff were very clearly not up to their job (yet). Our MDR staff was new and that showed all 2 weeks. They did not know how to present their menu's, nor what it was cooked like. For instance we had chicken Wellington one night with mushroom stuffing instead of the goose stuffing. Linda asked if this chicken had pastry like a Wellington should have and our tablewaiter could not answer her properly. When she saw my chicken W she showed it to him and said: look, the chicken does have pastry, why did you not know.
Orders not written down well, and wrongly served, or forgotten.
When you learning you are allowed to make mistakes, but we as passengers still expect a certain level of service, and at least some supervising on the mistakes made. It did not change untill I wrote I long complaint on an Attention to Detail and handed it over to the Guest Relation desk. The last 3-4 nights they did a better job, but still not my "money worth".

Entertainment is a whole different story. At the sunsetbar there was a guitar man for the full 2 weeks, twice a day, singing the same songs within his limited voice reach, from John Denver to Vera Lynn and Neil Diamond in those same notes, which becomes boring after a few days. The real singers will turn in their grave if they could hear this.
No request was heard and eventually we ignored him and had our own music and made fun on our own.

Tried to watch a show, and walked out.
Heard a lot about Perry Grant, looked him up at You Tube, after seeing him later at night at the Seaside bar, and was glad we are not Elite and not allowed to go to Michaels. To each his own, he is not my cup of tea.
As on every cruiseliner, comedyshows are not interesting for Europeans, too american based.

Unfortunately no island music or any activity on the pool deck, the average passenger did not appreciate any kind of noise.

Airconditioning.
Jacden, bring a vest and cold medicine, you gonna need it. The temperature at the Seasidebar was at morgue temperature and then going outside in the tropic temperatures, you get a cold for sure. Lot of the passengers on our cruise caught a nasty cold, including our company, Liam and me, and I am still coughing my lungs out. Instead of icing up the food, they iced up the passengers.

Classy. Nothing classy about the Connie to my experience and hearing Liams complaints about his butler and cabin attendant and getting things done, or rather not, I think Celebrity has to take a good look at their management and get things straight again.

Captain Gerry was a great man, we loved his Chinese sayings everyday!
Our cabin attendand Amelita was the best.

Another lack of service was keeping the sunsetbar chairs and tables clean. Although the barstaff were very friendly, picking up a cloth to clean the salt off was too difficult for them. Or cleaning up after a rainshower, we had quite a few.
At the end some passengers had their own cloth and started to clean up the moment they came up for a smoke and breakfast. What is wrong in this picture?
Same for cleaning ashtrays.
No cushions on the chairs.

Poor choice of food at the Seasidebar during dining time.
Cold coffee in the machines.
and I can go on a little more, but I wont.

We all work hard to safe up money for a holiday of choice. Our ideal holiday is still a cruise holiday and we try to book one every year, depending itin and price. Paying the Celebrity price and getting such low level service was waste of money this time.

I know if we had the better experienced staff around us, this cruise would have been a total different experience.

Dont get me wrong, we had a great itin and enjoyed that very much, it did not ruin my holiday. We just will not cruise Celebrity again.

Next year Carnival Magic in the Med, see how CCL handled the cut down on staff.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 09:47 PM
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Hi Liam!

I have read your posts and the responses from Paul and others. Of course, we all seemed to have different experiences on this cruise, but then that's O.K. Having sailed almost exclusively on Celebrity, I tend to ignore some of their shortcomings, since I find their overall product to be wonderful - especially when it comes to their staff.

I know you had some really "forgettable" experiences in the MDR (except, of course,the night you ate at our table), and that is truly unfortunate. And, from the sounds of things, your butler did not do his job properly - again most unfortunate!

Having said all that, I do hope you could overlook some of the service issues you had, and in the end say you had an enjoyable cruise because of all the "wonderful" people you met!

And we did have great bar service on the aft deck which certainly helped me to ignore the fact that I had to wipe off the table myself every day.
Because of the great traveling companions I had, I must rank this cruise right up near the top. Although I was disappointed with the "refurbishment" of the Connie (no wow factor there - at least not for me), I still had a fantastic time and do hope to see you on another cruise one of these days!

Beth

P. S. For those asking about the refrigerator door.......it really makes a HUGE difference to leave the outer cabinet door ajar. It actually turns the refrigerator into a REAL refrigerator, where things are cool, not room temp.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 02:28 AM
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BETH!!!!!!!!
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old December 29th, 2010, 03:02 AM
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I hope the butter is better on your next cruise.
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Old January 1st, 2011, 07:59 PM
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Liam, I too never realized that this was your first cruise - you've been around here for so long!
Sorry to hear it didn't live up to your expectations, especially since we had a very nice experience on the Connie last year. It was a little dull at night, with not much going on, but we certainly didn't have the service problems you experienced.
I do hope you will not let this one bad experience change your mind about not cruising again, I'm hoping to meet you one day on a CM cruise!

donna
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old January 2nd, 2011, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bselmo View Post
Hi Liam!


I know you had some really "forgettable" experiences in the MDR (except, of course,the night you ate at our table), and that is truly unfortunate. And, from the sounds of things, your butler did not do his job properly - again most unfortunate!

Having said all that, I do hope you could overlook some of the service issues you had, and in the end say you had an enjoyable cruise because of all the "wonderful" people you met!

And we did have great bar service on the aft deck which certainly helped me to ignore the fact that I had to wipe off the table myself every day.
Because of the great traveling companions I had, I must rank this cruise right up near the top. Although I was disappointed with the "refurbishment" of the Connie (no wow factor there - at least not for me), I still had a fantastic time and do hope to see you on another cruise one of these days!

Beth

P. S. For those asking about the refrigerator door.......it really makes a HUGE difference to leave the outer cabinet door ajar. It actually turns the refrigerator into a REAL refrigerator, where things are cool, not room temp.
Thank you Beth for being there in the morning's for some intelligent and sometimes unintelligible conversations!! ;-)

I did enjoy donning my suit for the two, of the formal evenings I attended and it made me feel good / special.

Tiger was very good and several others were very close to him that made me happy.
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Celebrity Constellation November 2010

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Chin Chin and all that!
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
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Captain Gerry was a great man, we loved his Chinese sayings everyday!
I was wondering what Capt Gerry was doing these days. I enjoyed him when he was sailing RCCL ships.
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