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Deborah Berrien

Age: 36

Occupation:IT Consultant

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Constellation

Sailing Date: March 1st, 2003

Itinerary: Southern Caribbean

Just returned from our cruise on Celebrity's Constellation to the Southern Caribbean that included: Puerto Rico, St Croix, Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, and St Thomas. This is our second cruise with Celebrity, and once again, the staff treated us like royalty. I cannot say enough about Celebrity.

The service:

Asis our cabin attendant was amazing. I don't know where he hides, but as soon as we were close to our room, he would jump out from somewhere to open our door. We could leave for a few moments and come back to a clean room. We had clean towels at all times, and he even set up towel animal figures for my 2-year-old son. If we ever needed anything, we could just pop our head out of our door, and there he was, ready to help. I am sure he had many other cabins to care for, but it felt as though he was reserved for just us.

Ivica our waiter was also excellent, as well was our waiter assistance and sommelier. My son did not like to sit for more than 40 minutes at a stretch, so my husband was often away from our table. Ivica would take my husband's course and exchange it for a fresh one if he felt too much time had passed. He was very attentive to us, especially to my son. I don't know how many tables he was in charge of, but we felt as though we were his only one.

I have to mention another waitress who we remembered from the Millennium, which we sailed last year. Samena came to visit us every night even though we were not at her table. She was extremely nice and always gave special attention to my son, which we all really appreciated.

The entire staff was extremely nice, always smiling, and it just made the entire atmosphere wonderful.

The Food:

We ate in the main dining room every night with one exception. We got a babysitter for my son (with whom we were very pleased) and treated ourselves to the Ocean Liner. It is not to be missed! For appetizer, I had the goat cheese soufflé. It was amazing. Now I am not a real goat cheese fan, but this soufflé was out of this world. I had seen others rave about it, and I am glad I tried it. My husband had the lobster bisque that he enjoyed, although he told me after tasting the soufflé that he wished he had gotten it. For entree we both had the Sea Bass. It was good, not outstanding, but definitely good. For dessert, I had the Grand Mariner soufflé and my husband had the chocolate soufflé, we also both got the sampler. Pure decadence. I have to push the chocolate soufflé. That in itself was well worth the trip! They also gave my husband a side scoop of vanilla ice cream, which put this dessert over the top!

The service and food in the main dining room is excellent, and I could not have imagined being more pampered than the service we received in the main dining, but at Ocean Liners I felt like I was a movie star or something. Honestly, you will not find better service ANYWHERE. I live in the NYC area, where have some of the best restaurants in the world....we are not easily impressed. The service at Ocean Liners definitely did just that. Dining here was one of the highlights of our trip.

They also have casual dining, which we only took advantage of the night my son was dining alone. We got him pizza and pasta and ate outside on the aft deck listening to music while watching the sunset. We tried some of the pasta, and it was delicious. Sometimes we would get an after dinner sushi snack, which was always fresh and good.

I can't forget to mention the Spa dining. Excellent. We ate here every day for lunch. Never a line, very healthy and tasty meals. We never ate at the buffet lunch. I realized by the end of the cruise that they also served breakfast. Next time, we'll be visiting the Spa for breakfast as well.

The
If you have traveled on the Millennium, it is basically the same exact ship except the Constellation does not have the Sports Bar. We were told it was very expensive to have the big screen TVs getting all of the games on satellite. I don't think they had enough traffic through there to warrant having another one on Constellation. Instead, they have a larger conservatory that housed lots of plants and flowers. As the Millennium, the ship is beautiful and tastefully decorated. It also has an expansive art collection. It was a main "disco", plus champagne bar, martini bar, and lounge. It also has a movie theatre, which we never went to and a large theatre for shows. Plenty to do.

They had an area for kids that included a small pool and some climbing/slide equipment. My son used it the day we were out at sea, but not the baby pool. The waves in it were too much since we were traveling. He was too young to use the inside play area. Children must be 3 years old and potty trained. Next year we'll use the "camp" services. They even watch the children until 1am on formal nights for free. Great deal!

Our Room:

We went with the "cheap seats" again. Our room was an Ocean View room without a balcony on the 2nd floor. It was perfect. We were afraid to get a balcony because I had visions of my son getting out on it in the middle of the night and falling off the boat. Paranoid, I'm sure, but I wasn't taking any chances. If we did not take our son, I would have loved to have had one to have breakfast or drinks out on.

The room we had (2115) was mid-ship and we were very happy with it. It had plenty of storage and my son slept on the pull out couch. It pulled out into a twin bed. It did get a little crowded when the couch was pulled out, but we really were only in our cabins to sleep and change clothes.

The one nice thing about the cruise is, no matter what type of room you had, you were treated first class all the way. I compare it to the treatment I had on my wedding day--it felt as though we were very special.

Entertainment:

We went to the lounge prior to having dinner and I have to say a huge thank you to Karen and Carl the lounge singers. They are the nicest people and were so nice to my son. He loved dancing to their music, and at one point they gave him a maraca to play during their act. They were fun to watch.

We only saw a few shows in the theatre. We saw a piano player...Finkel, who was extremely talented. We also saw a magician who my son enjoyed. He was okay. We heard the comedian was good, but we missed him.

Grand Buffet: Don't miss the Grand Buffet display. It is on the last formal night and it is a site to be seen! I notice that on this cruise there were only 2 midnight buffets: one sherbet display in the beginning of the week, and then the Grand Buffet. However, there is food available 24/7.

Islands:
We had seen PR last cruise, so we basically stayed on the ship when we got there. Our first stop was St Croix and since we had to be back on the ship by 2:45pm, we decided to spend the day by the pool. I heard the snorkeling was excellent (which we couldn't do with the baby) but otherwise it was not worth getting off the ship for.

St Lucia: Absolutely beautiful. Lush, green, tropical, the Pitons are amazing. We went to Marigot Bay, which had fantastic views, but the beach (sand) itself was not very nice. We heard if we traveled further away near the Pitons, there was a beautiful black sand beach. We'll try that next time. We took a water taxi which cost us $50 round trip. We could have probably talked them down.

Barbados: We went to a beach club called the "Boatyard". It is extremely close to the port, and a lot of the crew goes there. You get a beach chair/umbrella and $5 worth of tokens to use at their restaurant/bar for $10. You also have use of their "iceberg" climbing rock in the middle of the ocean and their ocean trampolines. Volleyball is there too. We had the most fun here.

Antigua: We went to Hawk's Bill. It was a $30 round trip taxi ride (usually the taxi drivers like to come back for you so they make the money both ways). You have use of a hotel's amenities that includes a pool. You only have to pay for a beach chair if you want it ($5). I think this was the prettiest beach of all the islands.

St Thomas: We went to Megan's Bay. It is listed as one of the top 10 beaches in the world. In my husband's opinion, it was the prettiest that we visited. It is only $6 per person for a taxi there, and $3 to get on the beach. It is another $5 for a beach chair and you can also rent a float for the day. This beach is a little crowded, but if you walk down a little, it becomes less crowded. There is a restaurant, rest rooms, and showers there. The water is really calm and perfect for lounging out in the ocean on the float.

Traveling with Toddlers:

My son was very easy to travel with. I highly recommend getting the late seating instead of the main. We had the main and I did this thinking my son needed to eat earlier. Had I planned better, I would have realized we could have fed him at the casual dining room earlier in the night and he would be asleep by the time we had dinner. He could have been next to us asleep in his stroller. Plus, since he slept on the beach until around 4pm or so, he was ready to run around by the time 6pm came.

I also recommend bringing some type of shelter if going to the beach. We had brought a little half tent that was very portable and easy to put up. You can't always find a place under a palm tree to shade your child, and not every beach provided umbrellas. My son would sleep nicely in the half tent and we didn't have to worry about him burning.

You don't have to bring toys. The children's area let's you sign out a toy box full of sand toys, books, and lots of fun things. My son enjoyed playing with everything.

Last Day Advice:

We had to get off the ship by 10:30am on Saturday, yet our fight was not until 6PM. We had no plans on how to spend those hours in-between. At the baggage claim in Newark we ran into a family from our cruise, and what they did was rent a hotel room in Puerto Rico for the day with another couple. I am kicking myself for not doing that. This way, you have a place to store your luggage, a shower, and a bed for naps. Plus the use of their facilities. We'll definitely do this next time.

Stats on us: married couple in mid-30's traveling with a 2 year old.

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