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Celebrity Constellation – November 9 – 22, 2009
Pre-cruise – We had all arrived by Sunday (11/08) afternoon and congregated in the Holiday Inn Express Hotel lobby to get acquainted. Later that evening we met up with Jason, Cheryl and Wayne at the Miller Ale House and had a great time having some drinks and dinner together.
Embarkation – A complete disorganized mess! Most of us were in Concierge Class which, supposedly, meant we were to have top priority embarkation. We did not.
Once we were able to board the ship, we received a champagne greeting and were able to go directly to our stateroom to drop off our carry-on luggage and then off to explore the ship.
The Ship - She is just the right size and very well maintained – clean, with tasteful art work and "Purell" dispensers everywhere. On sea days there were plenty of spaces (couches and chairs) inside to relax and read a book or, in my case, do your Sudoku puzzles, people watch and watch the water go by! I did not frequent the Pool Deck, so I don't know about the situation there.
Dining – The "Seaside Café" (Buffet) – I usually had Breakfast and Lunch there. It was set up with several stations. For instance – Breakfast had an omelet station, an Eggs Benedict station and a Waffle, Pancake, French Toast Station. The only thing I didn't like is not being able to serve myself. I found it annoying. About the only thing you could serve yourself was bread and salad. The quality of the food was OK. I did enjoy the made to order omelets and the fresh Eggs Benedict.
The "San Marco Dining Room" – Very good service! It's just too bad that the food wasn't as good. Out of 12 meals that I had in the dining room, there were only 3 good ones that I remember.
"Ocean Liners" – Specialty Restaurant – Superb! This meal was the best one I had onboard. I only wish that I could have done it again. I had a filet mignon that could have been cut with a fork and a chocolate souffle' to die for!
The "Martini Bar" – Our pre-dinner (or post-dinner for some) meeting place. They had great martinis and the servers put on a great "show" before they poured your martini!
Excursions and Ports:
St. Thomas – "Sail the Winifred". Andrea and I went with Joey & David and Judson & Louise on a wonderful ride from St. Thomas to St. John on a 28' yacht with Chelsie and Kenny as our hosts. Andrea went snorkeling with Kenny while the rest of us sat on the boat with some beverages and good conversation. We then shared a home cooked meal before we set sail back to St. Thomas.
St. Maarten – Just shopping and a little beach time here. It was VERY HOT!
Antigua – We had a great island tour in 2 mini-vans. One broke down on the way back but was soon replaced. We started out with 14 people but ended up with 12. One couple dropped out at the beginning of the tour.
St. Lucia – What a gorgeous island! Another island tour. There were 13 of us all in one van and we had a blast. We went to a banana plantation, a stinky (sulfur) volcano and had a little beach time between the two Pitons…among other things.
Barbados – Another gorgeous island! We took a 4 hour tour with Jamal from "Glory Tours". We took a tour of the "Mount Gay Rum Factory" along wth a few other scenic stops.
Aruba and Curacao – Just shopping for me at these ports.
Disembarkation – Now this system, I was impressed with. You received the usual colored tags according to what time your flight was, etc. Then you were given a meeting place (mine was the theater). They did not make any ship-wide announcements. They just called your color within whatever meeting place you were assigned. Much less chaotic than what I've experienced before.
Overall experience – Of course I had the time of my life. How could I not with all the great "Crazies" on board! Would I sail with Celebrity again? That's questionable. The ship is very sedate. I think the only way I would come back is if I just needed a quiet, relaxing vacation and/or if I got a good deal! Would I do a group cruise with thee Crazies again? In a heartbeat! Thanks everybody for a fabulous time!!!