Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

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Manoverboard
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Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by Manoverboard » 23 Jun 2016, 15:50

Well, where on earth do I start ?

In a nutshell this was our first cruise with Celebrity and yet it was, for us, a “ Cruise from Hell “.

But why ? ... and yes, in case your are wondering, we will getting compo as a consequence of our experience.

The ship was Celebrity’s Constellation, out of Rome on May 31st 2016 and terminating 12 days later in Venice.

It is, maybe was, a Millennium class ship and similar to P&O’s Arcadia or so I imagined having not sailed on this particular ship. We were advised that she had been refitted / upgraded, possibly so but she is certainly showing her age in many parts in spite of that.

This trip was not originally in our plans but we belatedly noticed that our cat loving chums from Canada were booked, so hey ho, we will join them. We have travelled extensively together but always on coaching holidays or when visiting each others homes. Never on a cruise, hey, it would be a ‘ blast ‘ ... sure was.

So ....

The booking process

Placing the booking via Hays / Bath Travel was a doddle, did it over the phone in no time at all. I identified the perfect cabin ( online ) which was conveniently positioned just over the way from our chums on Deck 9, a Concierge C-3 or some such graded cabin. This was the last one available on Deck 9 so had to rush a little and in doing so settled for poorly timed BA flights out of / back into T5, no matter I decided at the time.

There was a special deal to be had on this one. Could have been better I dare say but we were entirely happy about what was, and indeed what was not, included.

Celebrity seem to have more forms / pieces of paper than you can shake a stick at. Their equivalent of P&O’s Cruise Personaliser is a bad experience or at least it was as far as we were concerned. Everything seemed to be so long winded, first thing to do is to set up an Account and then to complete the details requested although it didn’t ‘ Save ‘ everything that it was supposed to according to the displayed summary. No problem I will sign in again later and check that everything is ok but I was unable to. Contacted the TA who said to phone Celebrity direct on an 0845 number, this I did and they were extremely polite and helpful when they eventually interrupted the music and blah, blah, blah announcements some 20 minutes into the call. Hello, I have a problem insomuch that I am unable to access my Account, what is your reservation number, thank you, that’s interesting ( is it ) I cant access it either. Terrific, is there somebody there with a higher authority who can deal with this problem ? No ! What do we do then ....well, you will have to read out all the information in all the fields and I will write them down, then I will send the information over to our such n such department who will add or amend the information.

Send reinforcements / send three and four pence flashed though my mind, I just don’t need this c**p.

I was subsequently advised by Celebrity that the details had been completed and duly saved so all was now well. Great, well done, could you possibly send me your form 123 that shows that all the information is correct and in place together with the details themselves. Sorry we cannot, it’s confidential ?????

Ok it’s all done properly I convinced myself, it wasn’t actually but I was able to make the necessary corrections prior to printing out our ‘ SeaPass ‘ forms.

Next up was the pre-booking of excursions and chargeable Dining venues.

We all booked the same two excursions plus one visit to the Tuscan Grill and Ocean Liners restaurants for posh nosh, these will coincide with the two sea days / two of three ‘ Elegant Chic ‘ evenings. Note that gratuities have to be either included or paid up front for you to book these venues, the same applies if you wish to opt for Freedom Dining.

What time should we book ?

Sounds a simple question but our time slots ( UK database ) were different to those available to North American clients. Never mind, we will link our two Accounts and sort out the precise time once on board.

“ Sorry but we don’t have a reservation for the English couple so are unable to make that link “ .... What !!!

The above information / critique / diatribe is an accurate reflection of their processes, they are poor ( even one member of the senior staff on board make jokes about them ) but that should not put you off booking a cruise with Celebrity because life on board certainly makes up for it. None of the above it should be said contributed to our “ Cruise from Hell “.

Ok .... Euros – Tick, !00% successfully completed SeaPass forms –Tick, Passports - Tick, pseudo e-ticket – Tick..


The itinerary and events day by day


May 30th

We set off with UK chum Neil who chauffeured us to the T5 Sofitel Hotel, checked in late afternoon followed by a coffee and then took a short stroll over to the Terminal to get our Boarding Cards for our 7:05 hrs flight to Rome – Tick.

Back to the Sofitel for a £20 deconstructed Beef Burger and a pint or two of Gros - Tick.


May 31st

Up at silly o’clock and off to the Terminal at 04:00 hrs so imagine what a lovely surprise it was when we got there to discover that the BA Bag Drop desks do not open until 05:00, we had checked this very point with Hayes / Bath Travel and they in turn were advised by Celebrity that arriving three hours pre flight time was a definite requirement ... Hmmm, thanks.

The flight was on time and uneventful, cleared Customs etc and were then sought out and warmly greeted by a band of Celebrity folk who whisked our bags away, albeit after we had affixed our black n white DIY printed labels, for onward delivery to our cabins.

A pleasant enough journey to Civitavecchia and embarkation on Constellation. No sooner had we entered the Terminal building we were ushered ( via the scanners etc ) without any delay at all into the Priority Boarding channel. SeaPass forms, Passport, declared Credit Card and Health Declaration form – Tick and we were away clutching our coveted Gold Cruise Cards ( SeaPasses ). Walked out of the Terminal building and after getting just a few yards towards the gangway we were enthusiastically intercepted by our ‘ Concierge ‘. Here is my card, if you need anything at all please contact me ... right, ok thanks, er, Alex.

What do we do with a Concierge, no idea but we’ll work it out along the way no doubt.

We are now at the front of the queue and after having our pics taken were directed to the Champagne ( Californian sparking Chardonnay ) meet n greet area which conveniently housed lifts to the upper decks. After a mingle and a glug we were all advised to go to Deck 10 for lunch.

The time is 13:05.

Why does that matter ?

It matters because their ‘ Goldies ‘ luncheon venue closes at 13:00 so, sadly, we didn’t get to try Celebrity’s version of P&O’s curly sandwiches.

On arrival at deck 10 we were directed to the buffet, what a contrast to the P&O bun fight.

We had lunch there today but returned at other times of the day during the course of the cruise. It was huge and built against a continuous wall in a logical loop which affords a natural flow without the need to keep criss crossing the other passengers. They provide umpteen different stations and these vary day on day. Some stations are repeated whereas others are one offs. The range of stations include freshly cooked Eggs, ditto Waffles, a large and varied Cheese selection which was sliced to order, Chinese dishes freshly cooked from the Wok, Indian, Gateaux various, Carved Roasted Meats also a Sushi bar and just about anything else that you could imagine. So impressive. Also impressive were the DIY Lavazza Coffee making machines, best coffee I have ever tasted on a cruise ship and especially so just after the machine had replenished itself.

We had arranged to meet up with our Canadian chums at 14:00 hrs in the Explorers bar on Deck 12, it’s a cross between a Crows Nest and a Karaoke Joint. There was nobody there so we had no difficulty finding each other, we headed for a nice quiet spot by the window and then sat down to chat and catch up. After about 10 minutes an even noisier party came and sat at an adjacent table even though the place was still empty .... why do people do that I wondered ?

This was our first opportunity to check out the booze prices, meanwhile one of us ordered two Pigio Grigios and a couple of Heineken beers. Can’t do that as they require all four SeaPasses ( Cruise Cards ) because one person can only order one drink. In most venues if you require another drink then you need to present the card for a second / third / fourth time ... but there are exceptions we discovered. There was never any indication that one would ever have to wait to be served with another drink but there is one small detail worth noting. On every table there is a plastic frame which normally sits upright, it lists the available drinks and their individual prices, but if the waiter brings you a drink he / she will turn the frame on its side which means that they will not continually bother you for drink orders. If you need another drink then simply stand it upright again or in extreme cases near busy spots wave furiously at any of the passing drinks waiters.

The Classic Beverage Package was part of our deal and it included Gordon’s Gin, Bacardi and various other well known branded spirits; all aperitif / after dinner tipples including Cointreau but excluding Grand Marnier plus all bottled drinking water ( large or small ) and specialist coffees. It also included soft and soda fountain drinks plus wine but the choice of this was restricted. $9 was our permitted limit for wine ( $6 for beer ) and the choice was Pigio Grigio, White Zinfandel ( Rose ) or Merlot. Sauvignon Blanc was the only other wine listed as far as we could tell but it was $10, I was advised by the Food & Beverages Manager that if I ordered one of those I would have pay the full price and that no allowance would be made. We did not manage to discover any other wine choices but that is not to say that they do not exist in certain bars or restaurants.

I concluded that these prices included an 18% gratuity as we were not charged a cent for anything that we consumed within the package.

It is possible, at any time during the cruise, to upgrade to the Premium Package but at $10 pppd we couldn’t see the point but there again it may be worthwhile to those of you who wish to drink a higher quality of Champagne, Remy Martin Brandy, Sapphire Blue Gin or Newcastle Brown plus Perrier water.

The Cabins were available at about 14:00 hrs and our luggage arrived at 16:30.

A snooze was required by our long haul chums so we parted ways and agreed to eat at 18:15.

We were on Freedom Dining but being in Concierge graded cabins, or because Chums B & D are in an elite tier, we ( they ) were able to phone the restaurant and reserve a table for four at any time that suited us, so no hanging around.

It’s a casual night tonight and we ate in the upper tier on Deck 5 in the San Marco Restaurant.

The choice, especially for a first night, was excellent but I fancied trying their Spag Bol, given that we were in Italy it seemed the right thing to do. We all ordered different things and everything was well presented but in copious quantities, light lunches will have to be the order of the day on this cruise. The food overall was exceptional and far tastier and more generous than anything P&O manage to serve up albeit vegetables were few and far between. On this occasion my Spag Bol was more akin to home made than something that had sat in an oven all day and so much nicer than the P&O version.

We each presented our SeaPasses and the girls ordered their adopted Pinot Grigio, Chum B and I ordered the Merlot. This was to be the only time that we presented the cards and the waiters just came to the table and topped us up until we reluctantly whispered “ Stop ”, this happened on each of our visits to this restaurant, plus the Bistro on 5 and speciality restaurants. Have no idea if this is the norm or virtue of our Gold Card status.

Can’t remember what we did after that .... hic.


June 1st

We have arrived in Naples, chums B & D went for a walk.

Naples itself is a bit grubby and comes with a bit of a reputation, we would have liked to visit the Royal Palace but unfortunately it was closed today. We have been to all the places listed on the shore excursion information sheets so we opted to complete the unpacking and to explore the ship plus to take in a little sunshine. The temperature during the cruise were to range from 23 up to about 28 but it dropped again for our arrival in Venice, blue skies and calm seas were the conditions throughout and not a drop of rain to be seen.

As far as I could tell all the balcony cabins are the same size, ours was well appointed and delightfully decorated. We were however below the considerable overhang of the Buffet deck above, there was no noise nor intrusion from same that I can recall.

Concierge grade get a few perks like Blanc de Blanc Champagne plus regularly replenished fruit and canapés etc. Also bathrobes and the use of an umbrella and some binoculars but sadly no slippers. No flowers either nor name plaques for the cabin stewards, we missed those. We also get a gift of a Tote bag, half each but it came assembled.

A nice touch in the bathroom was a night light so no need to switch the main light on in the middle of the night unless you need or wish to.

US and Euro style plugs were installed together with an interactive TV.

9177 was a lovely cabin overall with an optional pillow menu, Egyptian cottons, branded bathroom smellies and the most comfortable bed that we have ever slept in.

Dinner at 18:15 again, usual table, and we are already starting to develop banter with the dining room waiters.

This evening we went to the upper deck of the theatre, great view and a lovely theatre. The Celebrity show boys and girls were talented singers and dancers certainly but the choreography and scenery was not to the higher standard of P&O, or so we thought. Chums B & D were a bit miffed to hear that, or so I thought.


June 2nd

Another delicious but early lunch in the buffet today pending our 14:00 arrival in Valetta, Malta.

We had originally booked a Noble Heritage Tour, a chance to see how the Royals lived on this Island but unfortunately it was cancelled. Never mind because the sky and the Med were a lovely hue of blue and as the waters were like a mill pond we booked the ‘ Three Cities and Harbour Cruise ‘, it proved to be very interesting and an excellent choice.

No room for any dinner today so opted instead for a crepe in the ‘ Bistro on 5 ‘ venue, this is located on Deck 5 unsurprisingly. The chap in charge didn’t seem to have his finger on the pulse so we guessed he was a bit of a newbie. They didn’t have many customers even by the time we left which with hindsight probably spoke volumes. We made our choices and enjoyed our crepes, very tasty but ducked pud as it seemed to centre on the super sugary Italian Gelato Ice cream stall just along the corridor. There was a charge of $10 per person, not a large amount but I would have expected it to be free.

We learnt something about the Merlot today, some of the bottles can contain sediment / crystals but these should never be poured into the customer’s glass ... I had a whole pile of them in mine but said nothing, we didn’t return nor leave a tip needless to say.


June 3rd

Today is a sea day, one of two, and the dress code is ‘ Elegant Chic ‘

It was time to seek out our Concierge, I have a little job for him.

He, Alex, resides at specified times of the day at a desk on Deck 8. It is located beneath the i-Lounge and within the library so possibly a problem for anybody seeking peace and quiet while reading their book.

I explained that many years ago we had concluded a Princess cruise in Venice and that we had to disembark at 07:30 for a 30 minute journey to the airport with a 17:30 flight. Was there anything that he could arrange, I asked, that would result in a delayed disembarkation and a late transfer. He would investigate. Thank you.

The following day he contacted us to say that we could depart the ship at 13:00 for a 13:30 transfer to the Airport .... “ Fantastic “ ... but that there were charges involved.

He had signed us up for Celebrity’s ‘ Extend your stay ‘ Program but as a gesture of good will he had waived the $59 pp charge but did need to make a charge of $68 for the Airport transfers. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that we had prepaid our transfers. We took it up with Guest Relations instead. Actually we took it up with them three times and yet again via the TA when we got home as they have failed to adjust my statement.

We did a couple of routine non strenuous things to pass the rest of the sea day pending our 18:30 dining extravaganza in the Tuscan Grill.

It’s an ‘ Elegant Chic ‘ dress code tonight but the speciality dining venues are always smart casual only. I wore a pair of black leather casual shoes, a smart pair of pants ( and trousers to match ) plus a tasteful ( my words ) long sleeved coloured shirt .... that was as smart as it got as far as we were concerned.

On the question of dress codes we noted later that evening that there were a few diehards wearing their DJs in the theatre. This topic cropped up just the one time and only then in the departure lounge at Venice Airport where a number of Brits were moaning that so few people had dressed formally, no idea why as the blurb regarding this cruise made it abundantly clear that there would NOT be any formal nights nor would there be any need to wear formal clothes of any sort at any time. We expressed our view that we thought that the Freedom Dining and relaxed dress codes made it more enjoyable for us and especially so when sailing through the Greek Islands. We agreed to differ but they conceded that Cunard rather than Celebrity was the way forward for them if they wished to hang on to their traditional way of cruising.

Back to the Tuscan Grill ...

Once we were seated and presented with the Menus Chum B asked if we were able to chose our wine from the Classic Beverage Package, “ No problem Sir “ was the immediate response.

We didn’t explore the wine prices in this venue but prices as displayed on the interactive TV ranged from about $50 to over $130 for a decent red, if we were to pay such prices it would be in the Ocean Liners Restaurant later in the cruise.

Our wine orders were taken, along with our four cards, and the Pigio Grigios were poured immediately for the girls.

Meanwhile we placed our food orders amid excited proclamations of “ An excellent choice Sir the calamari are simply ORRRRSOMMMME “ .... over the top or what but, hey, he was spot on. They were indeed awesome, tender and coated in a thick light n crispy batter .... best that I have ever had on a cruise ship and by some considerable distance.

We were now waiting for our starters but still no sign of our Merlot. I jokingly asked Chum B if the boy waiters served the men and the girl waiters served the ladies .... and then she arrived.

In a hissy fit or what mumbling about having a decent wine with an expensive meal, she seemed to be challenging our choice which if true she had no right to do. At no time did she attempt to explain her issues nor why she had the impudence to strut over to the table and pour her choice of wine into our glasses and to then insist that we should try it. I elected to do the swirl and a sniff, Cabinet Sauvignon I assessed and she confirmed it. No thank you I politely advised, not for any reason other than that I genuinely do not enjoy this grape variety except for a few wines at the expensive end of the scale. Now she was rattled even more and strode off mumbling about having to get a new bottle of Merlot.

Somebody else then arrived at the table requesting our SeaPass, strange that but perhaps she had envisaged a sales opportunity and charged one of us in anticipation and that the charge now needed to be removed.

We would have welcomed an explanation of her actions in case we had misunderstood something along the way but one was not forthcoming and we did not pursue the matter.

As I said earlier the Merlot does have sediment problems but that being the case a restaurant of this standard should have an extra bottle or two in case of need together with a mesh filter and a decanting jug. Our Merlot duly arrived and that was that. Once again the glasses were topped up regularly and without the need to further provide the SeaPasses.

At the end of the meal we were presented with a cover book containing a bill. Rather than asking the member of staff I should perhaps have asked Chum B why that would be but I was irritated that I may be getting a bill for a pre-paid meal given all the other faux pas that we had already experienced. The bill was for a zero amount and was presented so that we could give them an additional tip ... there was already an 18% gratuity included in the cost of the meal, pure greed in my opinion but the normal way of doing things over the pond of course.

They didn’t get an additional tip from me if only because of the unacceptable behaviour of the wine waitress but I have no idea if Chums B and / or D took a different view.

The meal was superb, especially Mobietta’s giant Pistachio panacotta-ish pud. Overall the meal was well worth the £31:05 cover charge.

On the feedback form I did not make mention of the incident thinking that she may be new, enthusiastic and inexperienced but I secretly hoped that she had learnt something that evening although I didn’t want her to potentially lose her job over it.

Would we return to this particular restaurant ... on reflection, probably not.


June 4th

We were scheduled to go to Athens today but the Greeks are on strike again so we went to Mykonos instead, the Capitano advises that we will now be going to Athens on the 8th.

This is a tender port but the tenders arrive at the front door of Mykonos Town rather than a shuttle bus ride away as was the case when we last visited this Island.

Time to stretch the legs, to go see the windmills and Little Venice maybe but also to have a nice locally inspired lunch. Celebrity provide a Destination Guide for every Port, contained within this is a section entitled ‘ Shop with confidence ‘ suggestions. They suggested as the best choice for fantastic food the Familia restaurant so that is where we went. We each ordered different dishes ranging from meatballs and kebabs to Greek style tagliatelle which is simple and contains capers, black olives and feta cheese plus a sun dried tomato paste all tossed in the pasta. .... lubbly jubbley.

Off to the San Marco restaurant tonight for something that is light, chicken or fish and maybe a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream.

We went to the theatre tonight to watch a comedian, didn’t understand any of his jokes and didn’t hear too much laughter either so I guess we hadn’t missed anything of great significance.

Time for bed ..... zzzzz


June 5th

It is time for the moment when this trip became the “ Cruise from Hell “

Picture if you will ... it is AD79 ( c 2016 ) and Mt Vesuvius is starting to erupt, there is a rumble within the mountain. The cap eventually blows off in a violent explosion followed by uncontrolled flows of molten lava.

Got it .... good, that is basically what happened to me in the middle of the night on the morning of the 5th except that in my case it was a question of much of what I had eaten these past few days was being morphed into water.

We have arrived in Santorini but I am going nowhere, nor it transpires are chums B & D and for the same reason.

Mobietta was now ‘ Billy No Mates ‘.

She rounds up a few easy to eat items in the buffet for me from time to time but these are morphed almost as soon as I have eaten them.

Like I said, going nowhere today apart from the bathroom that is.


June 6th

Same again except that we are in Rhodes.


June 7th

No improvement.

We are now in Kusadasi, not a migrant in sight by the way.

Letting the bug sort itself out is not going to work so it’s time to pop a couple of Imodium tablets and to visit the Medical Centre.

There is a queue but I get to see the Japanese Doctor who prescribes a strip of Imodium, two now he says ( done that ) and one more every time you go to the loo .... that takes care of those six.

I now have a diet sheet and must only eat watermelon, bananas, chicken broth, chicken breast, white rice and / or dry toast.

A major surprise to me was that the Medical Centre made no charges for the visit to see the Doctor nor for any of the prescribed medication. Somewhere within all the bumph it states that “ All medical services are subject to charge ( based on posted US medical rates ). “ Presumably these are ignored in exchange for accepting isolation.


June 8th

Welcome to Athens.

Not much of a view from the balcony today and it’s another strip of Imodium

Each mealtime one of us will phone Guest Relations to be transferred to the special section within Room Service, they know our names before we say a word and always enquire how I am ... I could say that I feel absolutely dreadful and that I cannot get out of this darned cabin, their response is kind but always ends with “ Have a nice day “ .... yeah right, as if.

The plan with the pills is that if any of us can go 24 hours without going to the loo abnormally then we are released. What happens if it starts up again I enquire, take another pill is their response. Clearly this will contain the bug rather than get rid of it as subsequent events will prove.


June 9th

Welcome to Crete, Souda for Chania

Another six Imodium


June 10th

It’s a Sea day.

It is also the first day that some sort of normality has returned.

The three of us are much better now but really have no appetite worth mentioning so we decide it best to cancel our visit to the Ocean Liners restaurant this evening, we did this via our Concierge and a full refund was given without question. A great pity as this venue is getting rave reviews.

You may remember how pleased we were to have been granted permission to extend our stay on board on the final day, until 13:00 hrs, well that arrangement we have just been advised has been cancelled. Nothing to do with Celebrity, it is a new security measure that requires all passengers ( including those on a back to back ) to exit the ship at least two hours before the next passengers get on. It’s a US initiative, or so we were told, and enforced in this instance by the Venetian Authorities.


June 11th

We have had enough of this cruise now so have started our packing, we are due to arrive in Venice around mid-day but we will be going nowhere.

At 17:00 I was released from quarantine as I had managed a clear period of 24 hours.

We all went to the buffet this evening for something light and manageable, we were ( apart from Mobietta ) somewhat drained and said our goodbyes and shared our regrets that it turned out how it did.

This evening I received a letter from Constellation expressing their disappointment that we missed some of the cruise because of illness, they thanked me for isolating myself and further advised that compo will follow albeit in a form that will require a further booking within 12 months to take advantage of it.


June 12th

Time to go and my symptoms have unfortunately shown signs of a return and we now face a thirteen and a half hour period before we arrive back at the Sofitel Hotel in T5. It will be a jolly long day with many challenges.

We left the ship at 09:20 and faced utter chaos with lots of Constellation passengers asking questions about what they were all supposed to do between now and the Airport transfer, ours was at 13:30. The Celebrity staff on duty had one stock response ... queue at a desk outside of terminal 110 to transfer your luggage ( by land train ) into secure storage in Terminal 103, then get a free transfer bus outside of Terminal 110 to said terminal 103 and then go to Venice !!!

We don't bl**dy well want to go to Venice. As an alternative it seems that there is a cafe in close proximity to terminal 103 where one would eventually need to go of course in order to retrieve one’s hold luggage. Then there is another need to get it back to terminal 110 for the Airport transfer service.

We didn’t really fancy walking round the dockyard with our carry on luggage. We had a chat and decided to park ourselves, with others, on a low wall and sit it out in the pleasant warm sunshine. Coffee n cakes etc were in any event a definite no-no for me given my delicate state of health. As it turned out we were able to hitch an earlier Airport transfer bus to Venice Airport with the Australian passengers and what a potential disaster area that place turned out to be. On the surface there was a total lack of security and hoards of people heading in all directions in a very confined space. A wonderful opportunity for any lunatic looking to blow him / her self up. Our flight was unfortunately delayed, we had three different stands and once on-board were advised that a delay of up to 90 minutes may arise due to storms over London, thankfully this did not materialise. I made it back to the Sofitel but only just.

Three cheers for Imodium .... Hip, hip, hip etc ...

We arrived home mid-day Monday the 13th June and I phoned the Doc, “ Eat what you like, it’ll make no difference, and please stop taking the tablets. Come to the surgery for some sample bottles and some ‘ salts ‘ “ was the advice. The samples were returned and subsequently tested and passed off as normal but my system has yet to fully recover and the date is now the 23rd of June.

Conclusion regarding Celebrity

A few procedural warts certainly and for us all an unfortunate set of circumstances which marred what should have been a wonderful cruise.

We loved the freedom dining and the relaxed dress codes, above all else the food on Celebrity is fabulous and vastly superior to that served on P&O. If we find the right deal and a suitable itinerary out of Southampton it will be tempting to book.

Gratuities could be an issue for the average Brit, unless they are inclusive of course.

* Standard staterooms are presently $12-95 pppd but will rise to $13-50 on July 1st
* Concierge & Aqua are presently $13-45 pppd but will rise to $14-00 on July 1st
* Suites are presently $16-45 pppd but will rise to $17-00 on July 1st

ps ... keep away from Venice Airport until the on-going building works have been completed, is my advice.


FIN

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qbman1
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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by qbman1 » 23 Jun 2016, 16:02

Great read - thanks, Moby. Doesn't make me want to rush out and book with Calamity, though


Boris+
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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by Boris+ » 23 Jun 2016, 16:24

Hi MoB,

I posted a reply, but I can't see it now - so here's another one.

I'm sorry that you had what you have called 'the cruise from hell'. Getting used to the Celebrity website took us a little while, but we are fine with it now, but we always (so far) have booked with the cruise line direct, maybe your problems were because you booked through a TA? We have however had huge problems with cruise personaliser stuff etc on Azamara, but after a whole heap of phone calls it's sorted out now (hopefully).

We've got a couple of cruises booked for Millenium Class ships - so fingers crossed! We've never had to pay gratuities, and we've always had the Classic drinks package included, so between that drinks package and the facilities in Michaels we are just about all sorted out.

Anyway, it's good to know it wasn't all bad - you should try sailing X out of Southampton one day. Good to know you are safely back home.

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oldbluefox
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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by oldbluefox » 23 Jun 2016, 17:12

Serves you right for going AWOL and leaving me to deal with the natives!!!! :lolno:
Hope you soon recover before I go on my hols. :thumbup: :wave:

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david63
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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by david63 » 23 Jun 2016, 17:33

Was this the dreaded NV or just good old fashioned food poisoning?

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Kenmo1
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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by Kenmo1 » 23 Jun 2016, 21:34

qbman1 wrote:Great read - thanks, Moby. Doesn't make me want to rush out and book with Calamity, though
I agree with qbman on this one. Sorry to hear about the problems and the illness. I think you need another holiday to recover from that one.

Maureen.

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oldbluefox
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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by oldbluefox » 23 Jun 2016, 21:54

Don't tell him that, Maureen :lol:


Boris+
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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by Boris+ » 24 Jun 2016, 08:02

MoB - you mentioned that the reason given for the enforced leaving the ship so that it had some time without passengers onboard was something to do with the US? Ok, but I don't buy that because the Celebrity fleet are registered in Malta - so why the US excuse?

I think they were maybe doing a deep clean session?

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Manoverboard
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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by Manoverboard » 24 Jun 2016, 10:59

david63 wrote:Was this the dreaded NV or just good old fashioned food poisoning?
Don't really know David.

We came up with a couple of theories based on what food we had collectively consumed on the ship during the period leading up to the start of it but we were also aware that other passengers in the Medical Centre had, like us, eaten on Mykonos. My own experience of NV lasted a very short time plus a 48 hour quarantine period which seems to suggest that this wasn't the reason, it was more akin to ye olde Spanish tummy bug of the 60s.

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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by Gill W » 24 Jun 2016, 13:34

It all sounds a bit of a nightmare, but at least there were some good points to mitigate the bad
Gill

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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by qbman1 » 24 Jun 2016, 13:46

Manoverboard wrote:
david63 wrote:Was this the dreaded NV or just good old fashioned food poisoning?
Don't really know David.

We came up with a couple of theories based on what food we had collectively consumed on the ship during the period leading up to the start of it but we were also aware that other passengers in the Medical Centre had, like us, eaten on Mykonos. My own experience of NV lasted a very short time plus a 48 hour quarantine period which seems to suggest that this wasn't the reason, it was more akin to ye olde Spanish tummy bug of the 60s.
There was a Shigella bug doing the rounds in Mykonos a while back, so it could have been something like that?

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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by Manoverboard » 25 Jun 2016, 13:12

Kenmo1 wrote: ... I think you need another holiday to recover from that one.

Maureen.
It's funny you should mention that ... ;)

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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by Manoverboard » 27 Jun 2016, 11:01

Boris+ wrote:MoB - you mentioned that the reason given for the enforced leaving the ship so that it had some time without passengers onboard was something to do with the US? Ok, but I don't buy that because the Celebrity fleet are registered in Malta - so why the US excuse?

I think they were maybe doing a deep clean session?
The concierge personally told us that the decision to make everybody leave the ship was made by the Venetian authorities, this body surely do not have any say in cleaning processes on-board a ship ?

The US ( government ) reference was advised elsewhere as being a global policy of theirs to prevent terrorists hiding away on US owned ships carrying mainly US passengers. In this instance we did, after all, sail through areas that have migrant issues that could cause some concern to the security boys n girls.


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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by Boris+ » 27 Jun 2016, 18:44

MoB - I still reckon it was the Port Authority which would have possibly insisted on the clean, but the Cruise Line would have insisted on the clean too. I've seen it happen with other ships/cruise lines.

At the end of the day, it was a very unpleasant thing for any passenger to go through, and I know that it's not nice to have to leave a ship when you still have a long journey home to face - but apart from the illness I hope you had a great time, and that you'll at least think of giving Celebrity another go. I just don't 'buy' the US Gov't excuse - were the passengers mainly US? Anyway, I am truly glad that your illness thing is now (hopefully) a dim and distant memory.

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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by Onelife » 27 Jun 2016, 21:42

Hi Mob....Pleased to read you had a few nice days before the tummy bug took hold but 5 days of feeling like cr*p ain't nice under any circumstances least of all when you are supposed to be enjoying yourselves on holiday.

If you can take anything from this holiday it is that you are now in a position to tell qb whether or not the toilet lid should be up left up or down in such circumstances. :oops:

Regards

Keith :wave:

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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by Manoverboard » 30 Jun 2016, 18:33

qbman1 wrote: ... There was a Shigella bug doing the rounds in Mykonos a while back, so it could have been something like that?
That's a bad one to have and can be quite hard to kill off ( the bug that it ). The lesson learnt for us has to be to stop eating ashore and especially so in the hotter climes.


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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by Boris+ » 30 Jun 2016, 19:29

I can't ever remember having so much as a drink or an ice-cream ashore, other than meals provided by the cruiseline as part of an excursion. There's no guarantee even then! Maybe we all need to realise how lucky we are to live in a country where food hygiene standards are rigorously applied.

However, if we are flying anywhere we do consume food and drink, but we always try and use mainly the hotel facilities only.

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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by wolfie » 30 Jun 2016, 19:38

One of our favourite things to do in any port is to sample the local cuisine by eating out.

Just look where the locals are eating, that's a good enough reason for us to do the same at any of those establishments. We never go for a restaurant that is heaving with tourists and give it a wide berth.

The one thing that I miss when cruising is eating out with local menus, as we did on so many land based holidays. It's rare that the dinner menu on a ship reflects where in the world you are.

For us, it would be very dull if we only ate on the ship.


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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by Boris+ » 02 Jul 2016, 10:39

We don't find it dull - not much bothered really about food, except it's 'fuel'. It's simply something that we have to do in order to do the stuff which we find more interesting. So, for us eating on board is something we see as a 'safe option', and once the waiters have got used to what we like and how we like it, then that's another hassle removed.

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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by Manoverboard » 09 Jul 2016, 14:20

Bumped as there are a couple of ' Celebrity ' type matters doing the rounds at the moment ... latest info and all that.

:angel:

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Re: Celebrity Constellation - Greek Islands 2016

Post by wolfie » 10 Jul 2016, 23:03

Boris+ wrote:We don't find it dull - not much bothered really about food, except it's 'fuel'. It's simply something that we have to do in order to do the stuff which we find more interesting. So, for us eating on board is something we see as a 'safe option', and once the waiters have got used to what we like and how we like it, then that's another hassle removed.
We also do interesting stuff after we have fuelled ourselves with some of the local cuisine. Why travel otherwise? Eating every meal on board is, IMO, dull, and as you always say......... I am entitled to my opinion :) OR, each to their own.

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