• Hello visitor!

    We are happy to see you have stopped by and hope you will consider registering with our community. Whether you have a question related to an upcoming cruise or just want to meet other fellow cruisers, you are always welcome!

    Hope to see you on the forums soon!

CharlieW - Celebrity Constellation - Scandinavia/Russia - June 3 - 17

CharlieW

Deckhand
Report - Celebrity Constellation - Scandinavia/Russia

This was one great cruise! All the ports were outstanding. And the ship was great. I can't say enough about the crew. Everyone on this ship went out of their way to say hello and ask if there was anything we needed. This by far was the best crew out of all the sailings we have been on!

The downside of this cruise is getting there and back. Normally when we sail from a port we need to fly to, we typically would go 1 - 3 days before. Unfortunately, timing and work commitments did not allow us to do this and we paid for it. By the time we got to the show the first night, we were all exhausted.

We got into Heathrow about an hour late because of the delays in Newark from all the bad weather we were escaping from. As soon as we walked through the doors out of customs there were the Celebrity greeters waiting to take our bags. We had to wait about an hour for a bus to take us to the ship so we found a café and had coffee. Except for the traffic going to the ship, the trip was uneventful. We got to the ship about 1:30pm.

SECURITY
Check in went very smoothly. Only took about 15 minutes to check in another 10 minutes to go through security and we were on the ship. In each port was your typical security check. Put your card into the machine and then go through the metal detectors.

FOOD
We headed to the Seaside Café for the buffet lunch. Very good selection. They had two main buffet lines. One had your typical buffet food. The other had ethnic food for the port you were at. There was a pasta buffet line. Another for soup, salad and cheese. Aft was a soup and sandwich station. And also a separate pizza station. During the breakfast buffet, there was also an omelet station.

San Marco dining room is beautifully decorated. The floor to ceiling (2 decks) windows looking aft really added to the view. We got to the dining room the first night about 10 - 15 minutes late. When the waiter took us to our table low and behold the table was full! The waiter took us to the Maitre d', who promptly said he would find out what happened but would put us at another table for the first night. We had been assigned table #433. It turned out that someone at that table had table #423 and sat at the wrong table. The table was located in the center of the dining room. The maitre d' put us at an empty table by a window. We had such a good time with the wait staff that first night, I went to the maitre d' and told him we wanted to stay where we were. He agreed. The only downside was that it was a table for eight and we had it all to ourselves the whole time. At least we got to know the people around us.

The food was very good the entire two weeks. There were always 5 or 6 entrees plus several standards available every night like steak, or salmon. The food was always prepared and presented very well.

The only complaint here was the vegetarian meals. Our daughter is a vegetarian. She was not happy with most of the meals. Too bland. My wife and I tried several of her selections and we had to agree with her on this point. The waiters and the asst. maitre d' were really concerned about this. The asst. maitre d' made sure that the selections that were good would be available every day so that there was always something for her to eat.

There is also a private dining room where you can make reservations. This is the Ocean Liner Restaurant. We did not try this during the two weeks so we can't give any kind of recommendation on whether it is worth the extra fee.

SHIP
After lunch in the buffet, we made our way around the ship to see where everything is located. We found the basketball court and the topless bathing deck. Made our way into the Solarium and quickly realized we would spend a fair amount of time in here. This is a covered pool area with a large salt water pool that was heated hotter than the hot tubs. On both sides of the pool was built in lounge areas where you can really relax. We made our way to the main pool and stopped to visit and test the Pool Bar. Pool area is nice sized but we noticed all the blankets on the chairs so we didn't think this would get much use in the Baltic. We managed to find the Bar at the Edge of the Earth. Great location in the front of the ship overlooking the bow. We found the gym that also had a great location in the front of the ship. My wife and daughter were happy and spent a fair amount of time there. We then found the Martini/Champagne Bar. We knew we would spend many an evening here. And we did!

We made our way to the casino. This is a nice size casino for the ship. Although gambling is not my favorite activity, there was a good crowd in there every night. I prefer to donate my money in the martini bar.

We found the Cova Café near the casino. This was a very nice area to enjoy various types of entertainment from violins to a piano player and even a country/western singer.

Unfortunately we did find The Emporium (shops) to my dismay. My wife and daughter had huge smiles on their faces. I saw $$$$.

We did find the Internet Room. Thanks Liz for catching us on the webcam!

SHOWS
The ships shows with the Celebrity singers and dancers were OK. Not the best we've seen on other ships. However the Celebrity Orchestra was probably the best on any ship. They were outstanding!

The shows featuring the Celebrity Singers and Dancers were "Spotlight Broadway" on night #2, "Rhythm of the Night" on night #5, "Celebrate the World" on night #10, and "Fantasea" on night #13. Celebrate the World was the best of the Celebrity shows.

Because this was a 14 day cruise, Celebrity brought in professional entertainment to supplement their own shows. These were all outstanding. The first night there was British TV Comedian, Lenny Windsor from the Benny Hill Show. He probably had the toughest job of any entertainer. Entertain an audience where most of the audience was suffering jet lag. But he did a wonderful job. On night #3 was West End singing star, Lindsay Hamilton. She sang a number of show tunes and was very good. On night #4 was Xylophone virtuoso, Ian Finkel. This could easily have been the best show of the cruise. He was amazing. He comes from a family of entertainers. His father, Fyvush Finkel, played on the TV show Picket Fences. On night #7 was a "Taste of Cirque du Soleil". Another great show but unfortunately it was only "A Taste". On night #8 leaving Tallinn was entertainer Jordan Bennett. He starred in the LA production of Les Miserables. He also played Cyrano in Cirano de Bergerac on braodway. He was very entertaining. On night #9 leaving Klaipeda was concert pianist, Avner Arad. He played a number of Chopin selections and was probably the best show of the cruise. We didn't make the show on night #11 leaving Rostock. When we got back from Berlin at 9pm, we headed right to the Martini Bar. The show was virtuoso instrumentalist, Nicola Loud. On the last night was entertainer Mario D' Andreas. He did some guitar playing. Turned out to be an excellent show.

There was no show on night #6, our 1st night in St. Petersburg. Most people were out on excursions. They showed a movie, Dr. Zhivago, instead. They also showed a movie on night #12 when we left Copenhagen, Bourne Supremacy.

ROOMS
We had a standard balcony room in concierge class. It was a bit of an adjustment for us going from suites on our last couple of cruises to a standard balcony room. It was a bit snug for the 3 of us but it was a very nice room. My only complaint was that the room needed to be about 4 inches wider. When the sofa bed was opened, it was right up to the desk on the other side of the room. It made it almost impossible to get out to the balcony without climbing over the sofa bed. A couple of more inches wider and you would be able to squeeze between the sofa bed and the desk to get out to the balcony. There was a great assortment of pillows that can be requested. Our daughter took the body pillow. My wife tried every pillow available. The mattresses on the other hand need to be upgraded. They are worn out.

One thing I really missed - No Towel Animals on Celebrity! :mad:

BARS
We spent most of our time in the Martini bar. Chris the bartender and Wayan the server really did a great job and took great care of us. We did spend some time in the Redezvous Lounge on our way to dinner. We made an occasional stop in the Bar at the Edge of the Earth for the great views and some partying. During the day we found ourselves making our way to the Cova Café for some refreshment and light entertainment. We never made it to Michaels Club because there was always too much smoke from the cigarettes and cigars.

PORTS
Could not ask for a better itinerary. Ports were outstanding. Many of you kept up to date as we gave daily updates while we were cruising.

CELL PHONES
As most of you know, I was giving live updates throughout the cruise using my blackberry. I was very surprised to be able to keep a connection while sailing between ports especially in the Gulf of Finland. The networks throughout Europe must be more powerful than here in the US. To keep the blackberry up means there was definitely a cell connection.

EXCURSIONS
First, thanks to Robyn, Liz, DJ Vic and Kristen for all your recommendations in each port. We were able to cover a lot of ground on our own in several ports. Celebrity has a great selection of excursions to choose from. The book they sent had 76 pages of excursions. It took a lot of time just to read about all the choices. The ones that we did take were all very good. Very professional. If we had a complaint, it would be while in Berlin. Our tour guide, Wolfgang (not our WG) was taking us to do some shopping. Because of the crowds due to the World Cup, he lost half of us. So the half of us that got lost went off on our own for the hour and partied with the Croatians. At least we knew where the bus would be waiting.
 

Dani

Deckhand
Thanks for the write-up Charlie Tuna. :clap:

Sounds like a wonderful trip. Except there are those mattress problems again.. :(

Hello, cruiselines...people do want nice beds...They need to all check out Holland America's beds.

I would have liked the entertainment that was solo artists.
I have seen enough of the Broadway shows to last a lifetime.

Sounds like they gave you some good solo performances.

On the Veggie side of the menu, the selections on our Princess cruise were great...I chose them over the non-veg selections many times.

And for the shopping mixup...think you got the better deal partying with The Croatians ! :D
 

robyn

Gondoliere
Charlie thank you for the terrific report,:clap: :clap: really enjoyed reading it. We KNEW you were having a great time, thanks for all your updates along the way :D. Seems hard to go wrong with a Baltic cruise? Except of course the damage to your wallet...and I'm talking about the Martini Bar here, not the shops. :p
 

Liz

Deckhand
Great report, Charlie. What IS it with beds.....YES, HAL's were great. Beginnng to think problem on Symphony with my back WAS THE BED:eek: :confused:

Baltic is run, run, run, all the time, but you sound like you survived and had a GREAT TIME:D
 

joespit

Deckhand
Charlie. wonderful report. Enjoyed reading about everything. Glad to hear you had such a great time, except for the bed.
 
Baltic Cruise June 04-14 Star Princess

Thanks for your review, it made interesting reading for us as we accompanied the Celebrity for some of our cruise on Star Princess

Excellent cruise, one or two issues with purser service which were not resolved to my satisfaction, received an apology but no hint that they would follow up our complaint and change practice if necessary. Lets face it if an apology was all that was required to excuse poor service then nothing will improve.

Also miffed at the length of time for embarkation. We pre-filled in all of the forms and then found ourselves waiting longer than people who simply walked up with no pre-booking. Seems like a waste of time

However lovely cruise on an excellent ship
 

Lancashirelad

Deckhand
Thanks for the report CharlieW, glad you enjoyed the cruise. Sorry to hear about the beds though, thats the sort of thing that can spoil your enjoyment.
 

Jackie

Deckhand
Do you think the steward would have changed the mattress if you had asked?
You mentioned that they could not have done enough for you.
 

NJVIC

Deckhand
Great report Charlie, glad to hear you had a good time.

As for the beds - RCI is doing a fleet wide upgrade of all the bedding - mattresses, pillows, sheets, & blankets. We were told on Freedom that 'fleet wide' included Celebrity and the upgrade is supposed to be completed next year.

Vic.
 

CharlieW

Deckhand
Just an update. The beds were NOT absolutely terrible! A little uncomfortable with that annoying valley in the middle of the bed so you are always sliding/rolling to the middle. I have been on worse. Besides, I can fall asleep anywhere at anytime, so it was less of a problem to me. More so for my wife. My wife believes that I can fall asleep in less than 5 minutes on the NJ Turnpike when the concrete is 120 degrees (49 C for the Europeans out there).

Jackie, I didn't even think about asking but everyone was so accomodating that my guess would be that he would have.

Robyn, yes I did leave a lot of cash in the Martini bar. The final count was 62 martinis in the two weeks (for the 3 of us...not just me!) Add to that the Jack Daniels, beer, margaritas, bottles of wine, champagne and those drinks with the little umbrellas in them. Wow it was a good trip!

And the best part of this trip...I lost 3 pounds in the 2 weeks! And never went near the gym.

I am almost done with the pictures. I been through the 800 that we took and trimmed them down to approx 500.
If you are interested in laboring through the pictures, send me a PM with your email address and I will send you an invite. I am doing them in several albums (one for the ship, one for each country etc.) so you can pick and choose what to look at. I have some email addresses already (bbt, c-to-sea, CruiseDJ, Karen (uk), Liz, Vic). I am trying www.tabblo.com that is a new service started about a month ago. They have some nice ways of displaying pictures and fairly easy to use (ie drag & drop, point & click).
 

Carolyn Jane

Deckhand
Dani, I am also one of the lucky ones who seem to be able to lose weight on a cruise...So, since I need to lose XX pounds...Guess there must be a world cruise in my future! Health insurance should pay for this....like it pays for a trip to the spa in Germany...CJ
 

dj victor

Deckhand
CharlieW
I'm so glad that you had a wonderfull cruise on the Constellation :clap: and please let me know when you have your pictures ready to look at them.. and thank for sharing your adventure :dancer:
 
Top