while I have not tried the Constellation Specialty Restaurant, I have been to the Infinity and Millennium's Specialty Restaurant, which are carbon copies of the one on the Constellation. I truly enjoyed my first experience on the Millennium, but sorely disappointed on my second and third visits and have vowed not to waste my money again. It is a very scripted presentation with limited selections.
Respectfully, I must disagree with the previous writer. I ADORED the specialty restaurant, not only on the Constellation but on the Summit. We found the staff to be friendly and very appreciative of any complements sent their way regarding both food and service. The room is quiet, classy, and the harp player...just awesome. The food is wonderful. I agree that the menu is limited, but I felt the selections were varied enough to please everyone. Although probably not the previous person who posted, I think many expect more food for the extra money...that's not the point here (although on Royal Caribbean cruises I can remember that being the case in their specialty restaurants.) If you haven't given Celebrity's specialty restaurants a try, I think you owe it to yourself to do so. It's all about being treated "famously." Just one person's point of view, of course...
You are certainly not alone in your opinion of the Specialty Restaurants on Celebrity. My negative opinion was not based on selection of food (I agree, although limited - there was something that would appeal to almost everyone), nor the additional cost. I was "turned off" by the service and phony presentation. As I mentioned, I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit, but on my second visit, the head waiter was surly, condescending and spoke with a phony French accent (we came to realize this the next day when he was greeting people in the buffet in perfect English). He insisted that I would not like the selections I had chosen (based on my personal tastes) and gave me quite a difficult time when I stuck to my guns. He sort of growled and mumbled and was most unpleasant. Then, when it came time for the presentation, one of the waiters was not in his place at our table at the precise moment all of our meals were uncovered en masse and the head waiter proceeded to make it aware to everyone that he was miffed at the tardy server - which made all of us quite uncomfortable. Since I had one great experience and one awful one, I tried it a third time. It started out a bit rocky as I had made arrangements for a group of us to dine together and one of the couples failed to show up. While I know they automatically charge the service fee to no shows, they were less than happy with the whole group as they seated us. This time was not as unpleasant as my second visit,(at least the head waiter did not put on the pretense of a phony accent), but the menu was exactly the same as the 2 previous visits, service was fair - but not great and the food was not any better than what I was getting in the main dining room. So, I vowed to take a pass from now on. In all fairness, I must agree with you that the rooms are quite beautiful with elegant place settings and most tastefully decorated. JMHO
I seem to recall that in the early days of the restaurants, each would feature menu items specific to the liner that inspired it. In other words, Long Island Duckling for Two was available only in the SS United States Restaurant. Now, it appears that they all have the same menu.
If you do go, I highly suggest the foie gras appetizer. JMHO.
I did not avail myself of the speciality restaurants because when I compared the (added) cost on Celebrity to the (added) cost on HAL, Crystal and Radisson (now Regent) PLUS knowing the quality, presentation of the food and the sevice level in Celebrity's main dining room there is NO JUSTIFICATION in what they are charging! Sorry, but that is the way I feel about it.
I have to agree with Nancy. I suspect it all depends on where you stand on fine dining. The specialty resturants seem to be more focused on the server's presentation, than on a fine dining experience. If you happen to have excellent servers and are prepared to be treated (entertained) to a wonderful presentation for dinner, then you may be in for a great evening.
But, if you want to enjoy a wonderful meal and the companionship of your dinner mates, rather than the presentation of the dinner, then it may fall short.
Personally, I believe that an enjoyable dining experience has to do with the dinner conversation, personal interaction and overall opening of new relationships that are enhanced by the servers and meal. Such is not the case with some of the servers in the alternative restaurants on the Millennium class ships.
However, that is just my opinion and is probably jaded after too many cruises...VBG.
You've made me look at this whole specialty dining thing a bit differently...thanks for the well-written insights. I especially enjoyed Tom's comment about being "jaded after too many cruises", and can relate well to his thought. Hopefully, I'll share my thoughts about "Ocean Liners" on the Constellation when we return from the Baltic in July.