The fourth and final ship in Celebrity Cruises’ Millennium Class of ships, Celebrity Constellation has been updated to include the amenities and features of the bigger, more modern Solstice Class ships (Eclipse, Equinox, Silhouette, Solstice, Reflection). These updates include the addition of new staterooms, AquaClass accommodations, specialty dining restaurants, a Canyon Ranch spa and many other amenities. As soon as you board Constellation, you find yourself in the midst of a beautifully redone mid-size ship with the accouterments of a larger ship.
Like all Celebrity Cruises ships, Constellation is known for great service and delicious food. There were some exceptional dishes to be found in the main dining room, but a few misses and inconsistencies mean that we can’t give the overall dining an enthusiastic thumbs up.
Our favorite things to eat on Constellation included the made-to-order omelets and full English breakfast in the buffet (we passed on the blood sausage, but those who love it were thrilled to see it). We were surprised by the healthy (and flavorful) cuisine found in the AquaSpa Café and found that the chef’s recommendation in the main dinning room was always a great choice.
If you’re looking for a specialty restaurant, Ocean Liners served a lovely (albeit lengthy) meal for $50 per person. If it’s still available, you must try the mushroom cappuccino (a soup) and the Dover Sole.
We also loved the coffees at Café al Bacio (although our 2 per day habit got expensive at nearly $7/cup) and enjoyed the gelato at the Gelateria.
Peace and Quiet
Cruisers seeking quiet and relaxation have found a perfect vessel. Those who have sailed on lots of ships across multiple lines might be shocked by the lack of general noise. During a recent 4-day sailing, there was just one ship-wide announcement that we heard over the PA system. It was the (hilarious) captain sharing some navigational insights about our journey to one of the ports.
We got daily activity updates, watched the Cruise Director’s TV channel, and got lots of retail inspiration from the shopping channel, but it never felt like we were inundated with communications. Sometimes we are looking for a more active, vibrant and loud ship, but when we want quiet, this is a great choice.
Speaking of shopping, the options onboard were some of the best we have seen. There is an entire area devoted to shopping called the Emporium. There we found some remarkable products and some great deals. There is a whole Diane von Furstenburg section, handbags from Furla and Ralph Lauren, beautiful cruise-exclusive fashion jewelry from Bella Perlina (think Pandora with a twist), fantastic liquor deals and a surprisingly diverse selection of fine jewelry. With regular events throughout the cruise, it’s possible to pick up lots of duty-free indulgences – from a $10 beach hat to a hip Invicta watch or a beautiful diamond and gemstone ring. This ship has a unique collection of St. Petersburg eggs, the one-of-a-kind pieces of art from the family of Faberge egg artisans.
The one big disappointment on Constellation was the production shows. We saw Elyria, the adult-themed show that was billed as witty, mischievous and entertaining. It was a bit of a confusing mix of performers speaking to the audience, a poorly articulated story line, impressive acrobatics and dance maneuvers, and a combination of strong and mediocre singing.
The following night we caught a bit of iHollywood, with similar impressions. The show was heavily reliant upon singing that just didn’t quite measure up. The shows were entertaining, but it wasn’t something I would plan my night around. The comedy shows were much more successful and a great way to spend some time laughing.
There is ship-wide wifi and an impressive Mac-only computer lab called the iLounge. It’s located on deck 8, just upstairs from the Library, another favorite quiet spot. Wifi is expensive, so we are big fans of unplugging and checking email only occasionally (there are unlimited, daily, and per-minute plans).
Overall, we loved our cruise on Constellation. It might not be our choice for a long journey or one where we we’re traveling with a group of rowdy adults looking for a high-energy weekend. But it will absolutely be on our list for high quality experiences with wonderful service and amenities.