Lisa Kessler and Jason Weil
Occupation:Marketing and Networking
Number of Cruises: Over 10 between the 2 of us
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Sailing Date: December 19th, 2004
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
Was wonderful. Although it carried about 2,000 passengers most times you felt as if you were among a small group of people. The only times it seemed crowded was at some of the food lines during lunch and out by the pool.
#2039 was a 2nd floor inside cabin. We were thinking economically! Although the online pictures weren't that great from their website, we were surprised at how large the accomodations were. It was fine for our first cruise together, although next time perhaps we will splurge for a balcony. The service was great, Nives our stateroom attendant was helpful but never got in the way. She brought us pitchers of ice water in the morning and evening that we enjoyed. It's the little touches of service that made the cruise superb.
The ship was filled with many bars, lounges, and sitting areas. The martini bar had a fun bartender who did magic tricks.. One night Jason was participating in the old 'pick a card' and he blew the cards up all over the bar and on the floor. Oops, but it was really funny. I liked sitting in the Rendezvous lounge because you could see people on 2 floors and sometimes they had a live band playing with guests dancing.
The entertainment included both the Constellation singers/dancers and also Cirque du Soleil characters at 'The Bar at the End of the World'. The Constellation singers were fabulous and the dancers were average. I developed a personal peeve against 'Megan' who was off one count on every dance. The Cirque characters appeared and mingled with the guests, and one night we had a masquerade ball. The guests wore white and bought masks (we didn't get them) and they had many extra characters dancing up on the stairs and bar. This was fun for an hour or so. They also served specialty drinks which you cannot find at the other bars on the boat.
The casino was also fun and most of the dealers were helpful. I do suggest to hit the casino before dinner because the tables are very crowded later in the evening.
The options were limitless except lunch which was always closed before we boarded from the islands. That was one drawback. Breakfast was a medley of fruits, meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurts, and a different hot component (pancakes, waffles, crepes) each morning. I felt the healthy choices were abundant which I appreciated.
For a short time each evening the ship had a sushi bar with assorted sushi and sashimi. We also enjoyed Sake 2 nights, which was a very inexpensive price compared to the other drinks on the ship.
Dinners were seated and consisted of a 4 course meal each night. Some of my favorite dishes were Coq au Vin, Lobster Tail, Halibut, and Vegetable Terrine. At dinner you could get very carried away eating too much food. We ate at the 8:30 or late seating; I think on my next cruise I would eat the earlier one so I didn't feel so full when I went to sleep.
One night we tried the specialty restaurant, Ocean Liner, which features the cuisine of chef Michel Roux. It cost an additional 30.00/person, which was pretty insignificant for what was served. The service was traditional french and everyone was attentive. I ordered sea bass for my entree and Jason had lamb served in puff pastry. Many of the dishes were brought out semi-prepared and the server finished it off on a cart. That was really fun. I am glad we tried this restaurant, but it wasn't the best meal I have ever had admittedly.
We took 2 excursions that were wonderful. Although they seemed 'pricey' at first, by the time you add up cab rides, etc. doing the island by yourself, it's worth it in the long run.
We took the 'Kayak Eco Challenge' at St. Lucia which consisted of sea kyaking, hiking, and snorkeling.
We also did the El Yunque Rain Forest tour in San Juan, which was beautiful! This was mostly a bus tour but there was stops for pictures and a little hiking. The best part of this trip is it dropped you off at the airport.
Tips for San Juan: Cab fairs are very expensive from the airport to the city. We discovered the public bus takes you to Isla Verde for one quarter!
I am so glad we went on a cruise, I was hesitant at first. But now that I am a little older I can appreciate some of the things we did including attend an art auction and a wine tasting. I would highly recommend sailing the Celebrity Constellation cruise to everyone!