by Herman W. Pat
December 20, 2003
Our overall experience with this Christmas holiday cruise with the Constellation is a positive one. However, there is much room for improvement.
2) I personally found the food to be a disappointment. Don't get me wrong, the food was quite good. But so many reviews spoke of how excellent the food was on board Celebrity cruises that I expected much more. There was good variety of food but they were simply not excellent.
3) The shows at night were so so. I went several nights to give it a try. They were quite boring. Despite the high level of noise produced by the shows on stage, I fell asleep.
4) The system of separate sommelier and wine steward in the dining room to handle passengers' drink orders is not working well. It takes far too long to be served and far too long for the drinks to arrive. More staff is needed to correct the situation.
5) The snorkelling shore excursions we took were poorly organized. We often waited for a long time to be taken to the destination. Once we were there, we did not have much time to spend on snorkelling. Last year, we were on Norwegian Sky during the Christmas holiday and took similar snorkelling excursions. It was so much better - fast, efficient, and very little time wasted. I think the difference is that Norwegian cruise line has its own dive/snorkel outfit on board the ship and is not relying on local dive/snorkel shops.
6) Immigration procedures for non U.S. citizens on the date we arrived at St. Thomas were pathetic, to say the least. We waited one hour and forty-five minutes to complete the required security check. We basically missed our excursions. Luckily, our U.S. friends waited for us on the shore and we were able to get on a private sail boat to join the departed group. Once again, when we were on Norwegian Sky last Christmas, the customs security check was conducted the night before, on the ship, and took less than fiften minutes. What a difference!
7) The most disappointing event on this trip occurred on the second night of our cruise. Our cabin was on deck 9 towards the front part of the ship. A disco was held in the front lounge on deck 11. The music was so loud that it kept us awake. We complained about the noise by 2:00 a.m. but no one did anything about it. I went up to the disco to request the noise be turned down at 3:45 a.m. and nothing was done. At 4:30 a.m., it was still at full blast. I spoke with several people and no one seemed to care. Not only was the music loud, there were also drunken young people hanging around, loud and obnoxious. It was not a pretty sight. I understand that people are on holiday. But 4:30 a.m. and rock and roll music in full blast.
Over all, we had a good time. I hope that my next experience with Celebrity would be a better one.