British Isles & Ireland
June 22, 2002
We sailed on the British Isles/Scandanavian cruise on 6/22/02.
Celebrity has much to be proud of with this ship -- it is beautiful
inside and out. We went to several ports (mostly in Norway) where
our arrival was huge news. Hundreds of people came out to greet
us with smiles and local bands, etc. Very fun. The food and dining
service was superb. We were in a Sky Suite with 3 people and the
size was fine (not roomy though). Having a butler was fun, but not
necessary. The point of this review, though, is to provide some
advice that I wish I'd had before cruising. While we have no real
regrets, I'm not sure that we will cruise on Celebrity again. Here's
1) My husband was in the middle of business deal and we absolutely
needed internet access -- after several phone calls to confirm availability,
we decided to upgrade to a suite "because they all have computers
and printers and there's no connectivity problems" (advice
from the Captain's Club). Bottom line -- there was no computer in
our suite and we had to waste several hours trying to get a laptop
(never did get a printer and the internet worked only about half
the time). One time charge of $100 or $.50 a minute. According to
the staff onboard, the Connect-at-Sea package has never worked right
and so they don't even offer it now. Staff on land should have known
this. Just the first of many things promised that were not delivered
or were delivered only at significant cost -- both time and money.
2) Stateroom. We were given a diagram of the suite and it included
a bathtub -- important consideration for me because of a bad back.
Bottom line was that our cabin was "handicapped accessible"
so it contained only a shower -- plus the layout of the room was
different than pictured -- space in the living area was compromised
for a larger, more accessible shower. We spent an extra $1800 to
upgrade to the suite and we did so for the computer, the layout,
and the bathtub. Disappointed on all counts.
3)Entertainment. For the most part, very mediocre. Also not much
by way of activities. We have had a greater range of activities
on much smaller ships.
4) Shore excursions. This was the first time that the ship took
this itinerary and it showed. The shore excursions were inconsistent
at best. Overall, we definitely were not satisfied with the quality
of the trips we took. Very expensive for what was delivered.
5) Laundry and Work-out Facilities/Spa. My husband and son work
out every day -- this is one of the reasons we chose the Constellation.
While the facilities at the gym were great, it was very crowded
on sea days and the time limits for machines (20 minutes and sign-ups
required) were not the best. Our biggest complaint though is that
so many services were extra (see next comment). Half of their classes
-- including spinning and Pilates were $10 a session. That can really
add up on a two week cruise. Because of the work-outs, we had to
do two sets of laundry (what would fit in one to 2 loads each time)
and the charge was OVER $225 dollars. We had no choice on this --
no self serve facilities are available and we could not stand the
odor! Plus we were not in port long enough to want to waste our
day with this, but the cost was exhorbitant.
6) Nickle and diming. We felt assaulted by all of the extra charges
and various ways to maximize their return on investment. The wine
and drinks were way overpriced ($9.50 for a glass of wine), as were
the spa services ($109 for a 50 minute massage). 15% gratuities
were added on to everything, even an empty plastic mug that my husband
bought to carry coffee around. Bingo was more a racket than I've
ever seen. 50 - 100 people would play (at 10-20 dollars a person)
and the prizes for the winners were under $100 each. You can say
that many of the charges we incurred were of our own choosing, and
we agree, but we have NEVER incurred the kind of expenses that we
did on this trip and our buying habits are consistent. The expenses
came close to the cost of the cruise, making it by far the most
expensive trip we've ever taken. The charge for soft drinks is $4.75
per day per child. That's alot, particularly since they can't be
used in the dining rooms.
7)Tipping. Our "bill" for tips was over $650. That's on
top of the 15% gratuity for each drink and spa service. It genuinely
bothers me when people complain about tipping, because that is the
last place I would cut back, BUT I fear that some of the staff may
have suffered because people felt so nickled and dimed during the
cruise -- and took it out on the wrong people. We did not, but I
overheard some real complaints.
We were not happy cruisers. Hope this helps. Sharon