Celebrity Constellation Review

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Budget prices and premium amenities earn praise for the mid-size Celebrity Constellation, which was upgraded in 2013. Passengers tout the food and friendly crew members.

Celebrity Cruises' Constellation appeals to vacationers seeking budget prices -- rates as low as $38 a person for a transatlantic sailing -- and slightly upscale amenities. That's the word from experts at Fodor's Travel as well as contented passengers who posted reviews on a variety of sites. Facilities such as an Internet lounge, high-end performance venues, excellent specialty restaurants, and sophisticated décor give the ship a quality feel. At Cruiseline.com, passengers comment on the Constellation's friendly crew, flavorful meals, and clean and well-maintained condition.

That said, some reviewers grumble about cheesy and uninspired entertainment. And some report that diversions on sea days are particularly lacking. A sprinkling of passengers complain about tasteless food, substandard rooms, dated accoutrements, and pools that can't comfortably hold the crowds, which can swell to 2,170 passengers.

Upgrades to the Constellation in 2013 added more cabins, accommodation categories, and dining options. Reviews indicate that the transformation of the Martini bar into a shaved ice bar with juggling bartenders, for example, has been a hit. Children certainly are welcome aboard, and there are Xbox consoles and clubs to keep youngsters and teens fully occupied, but travelers suggest the Constellation may be better suited for couples seeking an adult getaway.

The Constellation sails through the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, during the cooler months, with stops in ports such as Key West, Puerto Rico, St. Croix (Virgin Islands), and Nassau. It heads to the Mediterranean for the warmer months, and one-way repositioning cruises are available during the shoulder seasons.

Celebrity Cruises maintains a fleet of 10 ships, including one mega-yacht that journeys exclusively to the Galapagos Islands. Celebrity is part of the Royal Caribbean International family and markets its cruises as affordable luxury experiences. It routinely has won Travel Weekly's Readers' Choice Award for best premium cruise line and in 2015 Cruise Critic crowned Celebrity the best line for dining.

This is the ship for frugal vacationers who prefer a quieter, more intimate experience with just a couple of thousand souls rather than the high-energy razzle-dazzle of cruise ships carrying double that number.

Emily Lugg

Emily Lugg is a freelance writer and writing tutor in the Writing Center at Ohio Wesleyan University. Always looking for the best investment for her family at the cheapest price, Emily uses research and consumer reviews as her sharpest tools for the savviest shopping.

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