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Celebrity Cruises

The last part of my Constellation blog I have broken in to 2 sections as this is an overview of the destinations I visited.

The itinerary I did covered some different ports I have wanted to see for some time in Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro so I was keen to go exploring!

Lets start with Venice

I have been to Venice before a few years ago where we had an overnight stay prior to boarding the ship. This time we stayed for 2 nights before boarding as we felt we didn’t get to cover a lot of Venice on our previous whistle stop visit.

I am so pleased we did the 2 nights as due to our outbound flight arriving around 10 am we had a full 2 days and nights to explore. By having this time before the cruise it also meant that on embarkation day we could get to the ship in the morning before the crowds on the flights arrived. We took a public water bus from our nearest stop to the port which was around 30 minutes and inexpensive, around 8 Euros each.

Anyway back to the city itself! If you haven’t been to Venice before it is such a must see place, rich with history, architecture and beautiful canal lined streets to meander around. They say you have not fully experienced Venice until you have got lost which is very easy to do!

St Marks Square and Doge’s Palace are among the most popular sights and get exceptionally busy at peak times. St Marks Square just after sunrise is apparently stunning, very quiet, serene and peaceful. I can’t say I did this myself but my husband did, as he went to watch Constellation sail in.

The best way to see Venice is to just wander around. The front desk at our hotel were very helpful in pointing out some of the best areas, not as well known to tourists, and restaurant recommendations. We walked miles over these couple of days and saw much more of Venice than previously, It really is a stunning and unique city.

Rialto bridge
Rialto bridge
View from Rialto bridge
View from Rialto bridge
Venice
Venice
One of the smaller canals
One of the smaller canals
Unique art work!
Unique art work!

Kotor – Montenegro

This was the port I was most excited about on the itinerary. The old town of Kotor is a UNESCO heritage site and I just had to walk up the steps ( approx. 1350 of them! ) to St John’s Castle to take in the view. What can I say about the climb… well if you have any kind of walking difficulty this is absolutely impossible as the steps are quite worn and slippy in parts making both the ascent and descent quite perilous in places. I saw people walking up in flip flops and even high heels, I have no idea how they managed this, I definitely wouldn’t recommend it!

The climb was the first thing we did after the scenic tender trip to shore, as we quite rightly thought it would be cooler in the morning. There is around a 3 Euros per person entrance fee to climb the steps and you will need plenty of water! The ascent we decided to take our time with and with having to negotiate people coming down, you come down the same way you go up, this was the best plan. We stopped around half way for a break and the view from even this point was stunning, especially of the Old Town of Kotor beneath you. After a brief ‘shall we just go back down’ I managed to persuade hubby to carry on to the top as I was not giving up that easily! When we finally made the top, with jelly legs and quite sweaty, it was well worth the effort. We explored around the ancient Castle and took in the amazing views surrounding us, taking lots of pictures of course, and it really felt like we had achieved something.

After our descent, which took around 50 minutes, we headed in to the Old Town and went for a lovely cold drink and a sit down!

The old town is beautiful and really well preserved, a lot smaller than I imagined, but I had’t realised the town was all in within the fortress walls.

We just walked around the town on our own however I think a walking tour with a guide would be great to find out more about the buildings and who once lived in them. I found myself listening to a few of the guides we came across whilst walking around!

The sail away from Kotor is spectacular! Due to the position of Kotor, the ship has to navigate narrow passages to get back to the sea and it really gives you a sense of how big the ship is. At certain points the ship must honk the horn to warn any ships/boats coming the other way. The echo around the valley is amazing! My pictures don’t really serve it justice but it really is spectacular!

Entrance to the steps of Kotor
Entrance to the steps of Kotor
First Gate on the Kotor steps
First Gate on the Kotor steps
Half way up! View to the top!
Half way up! View to the top!
View looking down, half way!
View looking down, half way!
Hooray! View from the top!
Hooray! View from the top!
Kotor in the distance on sail away
Kotor in the distance on sail away
One of the narrow passages sailing away
One of the narrow passages sailing away
Sailing through the narrow passage, how close to shore!
Sailing through the narrow passage, how close to shore!

Dubrovnik – Croatia

Having visited the old town before we decided to go to a different resort which is around 30 minutes south of Dubrovnik, called Cavtat.  What a stunning place this is! The small resort centre is around the harbour area with a lovely peninsular to walk around which circles Cavtat. There are plenty of cafes, small bars and restaurants lining the harbour front so it is perfect for watching the world go by. The sea is crystal clear and although in the town itself there are no beaches to speak of, there are plenty close by. The pace of life here was very relaxed and I could definitely see myself coming back here on a land based holiday. The resort reminded me very much of a small Greek Island resort, I can highly recommend a trip here for the day as an alternative to Dubrovnik.

Cavtat Harbour
Cavtat Harbour
Cavtat Harbour
Cavtat Harbour
Cavtat Harbour
Cavtat Harbour
Cavtat Harbour
Cavtat Harbour

Please click here to read the final part of my destinations review.

If I can help arrange your next cruise please do not hesitate to get in touch with me on the contact details below.

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Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: natalie@cruiseclubuk.com 0161 798 2506 or Freephone 0808 2736113

Please read on for the final part of my destination review…..

Split – Croatia

Again, Split I have visited before but I just loved it the first time around so was looking forward to having a wander around the old town with the ancient Diocletian Palace. The sea front reminds me very much of Cannes, with its Palm tree lined wide promenade featuring an abundance of chic bars and restaurants. The Palace area is so interesting and there is a myriad of streets and squares with again lots of restaurants and coffee shops. We sat and had a coffee in one such square which was great to people watch!

Palace walls
Palace walls
Diocletian Palace
Diocletian Palace
Diocletian Palace
Diocletian Palace
Giant monk! Outside the Palace walls
Giant monk! Outside the Palace walls
One of the many picturesque squares in Split
One of the many picturesque squares in Split
Split Promenade
Split Promenade

Zadar – Croatia

I had heard a lot about the ‘Sea Organ’ in Zadar which is located on the relatively new harbour front area. The Sea Organ is a musical piece of architectural art! There are tubes built in to huge marble steps which when the wind and sea waves hit them make a tune. It is really intriguing and very relaxing to sit in this area listening to the waves and music from the organ.

Again, in Zadar we just explored on our own rather than opting for a tour. The area was badly damaged during the second world war so a lot of the buildings in the main city area are very much brutalist architecture. The old city walls still stand and this area is very picturesque and has quite a Venetian feel, architecture wise. There are some of the very old churches and buildings still standing from before the war and I really loved this area.

I was quite surprised with the main ‘modern’ city area as the mix of old and new sits quite well in Zadar. All in all I really enjoyed my visit to this port.

One of the 'Gates' to enter the old town
One of the ‘Gates’ to enter the old town
Harbour view
Harbour view
Old church and ruins
Old church and ruins

Koper – Slovenia

I have not visited Slovenia at all so this was my first experience. I was undecided before the cruise whether or not to book an excursion to Lake Bled or Ljubljana, but in the end as we had not visited Koper before we decided to just do our usual self exploration.

Unfortunately I wish we had taken a tour as Koper was quite underwhelming. The small old town was walkable in around an hour, at the most, and there didn’t seem a huge amount to see. After walking twice around the town, incase we had missed something we had a coffee in a little cafe and made our way back to the ship by lunch time.

I would recommend taking a tour if visiting Koper to avoid any disappointment with Koper itself.

Koper Town square
Koper Town square
The main street to the square
The main street to the square

Koper

We did also visit Naples and Messina, however as we have visited these ports before we enjoyed relaxing on board the ship on these days.

This concludes my review of all things Constellation, I hope you enjoyed reading!

If I can help arrange your next cruise please do not hesitate to get in touch with me on the contact details below.

Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

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Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: natalie@cruiseclubuk.com 0161 798 2506 or Freephone 0808 2736113

Are you sleep deprived, need to recharge your batteries?

Celebrity Cruises can help you get some shut eye and back into a sleep routine with a series of four sleep themed spa treatments created in partnership with Canyon Ranch Spa Club.

You will nourish your mind, body and spirit.

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The spa package is called mindful dreams, this includes four spa treatments that use a variety of products and sleep aids to promote healthy sleep.

The program features VOYA luxury products designed to deeply hydrate and smooth the skin. The lavender body care range, Tranquillity, is incorporated into many of the treatments. All ingredients are organic and sustainably harvested on the western coast of Ireland.

There will be nutritional seminars on offer with advice on the best culinary choices to aid sleep, also lectures on holistic methods for mindful sleep.

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 Treatments on offer 

75 minute mindful dreams, sleep induced massage, learn meditation and breathing techniques combined with essential oils of lavender and rosemary which help relax you and put you into a deep sleep.

55 minute lavender and seaweed sugar glow, A wonderful fragrant mix of lavender oil, seaweed and sugar. This has a double action of gently removing dead skin cells and relaxing the body with sugar and healing with seaweed extracts and lavender oils.  

45 minute lazy detox seaweed bath, this helps the body remove toxins and alleviate aches and pains.

AquaSpa Reception - Deck 10 Forward Celebrity Infinity - Celebrity Cruises

Mindful dreams debuts on Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Summit in August 2017, and will roll out to the rest of the fleet through the end of September 2017.

 Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

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Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: Hayley@cruiseclubuk.com 0161 798 2571

 

 

The Celebrity Eclipse has lots of facilities on board, from Hot Glass Shows, The Lawn Club which is half an acre of real grass up on the top deck where you can play boules and outdoor games and also has live concerts. The  Fortunes casino, an adults only solarium and the grand Solstice theatre boasting acts each night such as comedians, Broadway shows and trapeze artists.

There are 9 main bars on board the ship each one offering a different experience.

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My favourites were:

The Martini Bar and Crush which has an ice topped bar, serving great cocktails and they create a high energy show with the bartenders at your service one on one.

The SunSet Bar which is on the highest deck  where you can enjoy relaxing drinks alongside relaxing songs played by live acts whilst you watch the beautiful sunset.

The Sky Bar – This is the best place on board to take in the full magnificent view of the ocean, relax and unwind watching the world go by. By night the bar comes alive with live music and your favourite drinks.

The Nightclub Quasar where you can dance your socks off, let your hair down into the early hours with a live DJ every night.

There are 4 complimentary dining areas to choose from each day including the impressive main dining room where you can enjoy meals such as gorgeous steak, lobster, and chicken dishes which is just a sample of what they have to offer nightly.

There are 4 speciality restaurants charging a small service charge for each meal. These are called Blu, Tuscan Grille, Merano and Qsine, these are a must do when on board.

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Blu – Enjoy Light, healthy meals prepared by the chef using natural reductions and sautéing. They have beautiful salads, and entree selections such as braised short ribs and halibut. For Aqua class guests on board Celebrity Eclipse, there is no charge to dine at Blu. Specialty drinks, soft drinks, wine, and beer are at current menu prices. For all other guests, reservations are expected, and there is an additional nominal fee per diner at Blu.

Qsine – Created by Jaques Van Staden, this restaurant offers whimsical and extraordinary culinary creations concocted from commonly good food. Sushi presented as lollipops, and delectable meatballs of veal, beef, and turkey are among other menu favourites. There is a 40 USD charge per diner, and no reservations are required.

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Tuscan Grille – The Tuscan Grille menu includes grilled meats and seafood. Antipasti and Caesar Salads are prepared for you table side, calamari and grilled veal chops as well as pasta selections. Reservations are required, and there is a 25 USD charge per diner.

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Merano – Foie Gras, Escargots, Lobster Tail, Surf and Turf, and Dover Sole Veronique are exemplary of entrees on this multi course menu. Murano features French, Italian, and innovative American cuisine.  Caviar is also available at market price. Reservations are required. There’s a 35 USD charge per person. However, there is a 6 course wine pairing option for an additional 110 USD per guest.

Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

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For more information on my Celebrity Eclipse experience call or email me directly: Hayley@cruiseclubuk.com 0161 798 2571

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1). That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

 

Moving on to everyone’s favourite part of a cruise….. the food!

On boarding the ship we decided a caffeine fix was in order so we headed to Cafe Bacio. As we had the Premium drinks package all the speciality coffees were included, which is fantastic as I enjoy good quality coffee, especially in a morning. The coffee did not disappoint and the cakes, pastries and cookies on offer here looked delicious but I resisted… for the time being! The pastries, cakes and cookies are all included in your cruise fare so if you just fancy grabbing a pastry and coffee in the morning before exploring your port of call  it is ideal.

Connie Cafe bacio

Once we had explored the ship and got our bearings we went up to the Ocean View cafe to grab a bite to eat for lunch. There was a great selection on offer for lunch including a lovely fresh salad bar,  handmade pannini’s and sandwiches, Stir frys, Curry’s and Pizza to name a few! Of course there was a lovely selection of tempting deserts for afterwards.

In the Ocean View cafe there is also an Ice Cream kiosk which offers Ice Cream and cookies throughout the day, all included in your cruise fare.

On the subject of the Ocean View cafe, we ate dinner in here one night as a more casual option after a busy day ashore. I have never done this before on a cruise so it was quite novel for me! I was very impressed with the dinner choice and each night there was a section which had a specific theme to it. I was spoiled for choice, I wanted to try everything. My husband had a stir fry made for him where he got to choose the meat, sauce, veg and noodles that went in to it which smelled and tasted divine! This particular evening there was sticky toffee pudding with vanilla custard as one of the desert options so I made sure I saved room for this, I have such a sweet tooth.

In the late afternoon at the Ocean View cafe they have little sandwiches available with a selection of cakes as a kind of afternoon tea. The scones here are delicious, topped with cream and jam of course! I should also mention that the Pizza area is open virtually 24 hours a day for your snacking needs!

The Spa cafe is one of my favourite places for a light bite at lunch time and I love the smoothies they make there. Again, as I had the Premium drinks package these are all included. The food here is obviously on the healthy side mostly featuring salads with a protein source such as fish or chicken  and they do a delicious yogurt and granola pot topped with fruit coulis.

If you are craving a substantial burger at lunch time, head for the Top Deck burger bar. These are made using high quality Wagyu beef and you can choose as many toppings as you like plus the usual fries of course. There is a charge of around $10 for one these burgers. The standard burgers/hotdogs and fries are available in the Ocean View cafe  if you don’t want to pay this charge.

We took out a speciality dining package when we got on board which allowed us a meal in each of the speciality restaurants on board. This does give you a saving overall if you are going to dine in each restaurant and we love the atmosphere and change of scenery from the main restaurant for a few nights when cruising.

Qsine – This is a new addition to Constellation since her refurbishment, replacing Ocean Liners. Personally I love this restaurant but I appreciate it is not to everyone’s taste. The menu is tapas style ( but very large portions in my eyes! ) and you make your selection from the menu on an I Pad. Each dish is so quirky and beautifully presented, it is a real feast for both the eyes and tummy. The desert I had this time was called a Chocolate Tombstone and it was huge! Almost the size of my shoulder to shoulder as you will see in the picture below. Very nice but I couldn’t finish it all.

'M's favourites' in Qsine
‘M’s favourites’ in Qsine
Sushi Lollipops in Qsine
Sushi Lollipops in Qsine
Chocolate tombstone dessert
Chocolate tombstone dessert
Me and my tombstone!
Me and my tombstone!

Tuscan Grille – The restaurant itself is situated up on the pool deck so the views are spectacular if you dine at sunset. The evening we visited we had the pleasure of a window table and views sailing by Capri! Stunning! The sunset this evening was beautiful.

The food here was probably the best I had on board and the service was second to none. Very attentive waiting staff, but not overbearing, and the sommelier was excellent keeping our wine glass topped up for the duration of our meal.

Whilst looking at the menu we had a fresh bread basket with olive oil infused with fresh basil which was cut and added to the oil table side. I will be trying this at home as it was something different to the usual olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

We had a lovely sharing board to start with which had a variety of Italian cheeses, meats, olives, chutney and artisan bread. This was a great starter to whet our appetite.

For our main course we both opted for steak, which was cooked to perfection, with a selection of side dishes.

As this is an Italian restaurant I thought it only fitting to have Tiramisu for desert, which was light and delicious with a slight caffeine hit, just what I needed after a large meal!

I really can’t recommend this restaurant enough. If you only do 1 speciality restaurant on board, do this one!

Sunset with Capri in the background
Sunset with Capri in the background
My arty sunset picture from outside Tuscan Grille!
My arty sunset picture from outside Tuscan Grille!

Sushi on Five – If you like Sushi this is the place for you! Normally you pay per item in this restaurant but as we had one of the dining packages we could basically have anything from the menu and as much as we wanted. Sushi is deceptively filling, I guess due to the rice! We had a veritable feast this evening and I had no complaints with any of the dishes we chose and the waiting staff here again were top notch.

Sushi selection
Sushi selection
Our starters in Sushi on 5
Our starters in Sushi on 5

Finally the main restaurant. We had opted for Celebrity Select dining ( anytime dining ) and had booked all our dining times online prior to our arrival. I am so pleased we did this as the queues were rather long at peak times ( usually between 7.30pm and 8.30pm ). In the future I will always do this and my top tip to you, if you select this dining, is to do the same. There is a separate queue if you have already made reservations so are seated within minutes.

The food and choice was great in the main restaurant. I don’t eat a great deal of meat so I opted for fish or a vegetarian option each evening. The fish was always beautifully cooked with crispy skin, when featured, and the portion sizes were just right in my eyes. I do think the cruise lines in general have cut down on portion sizes since I first started cruising, which is not an issue for me as I always disembark feeling like I am sick of the sight of food! Of course, if you are still hungry a few hours later there is always the buffet in the Ocean View cafe to go at.

I have a love of all things vegetable so would on occasion ask for extra veg on the side and this was never a problem. My husband is an avid carnivore and his stand out dish was the Jerk Chicken with rice and peas which we had in the first couple of days on board. This was a huge chicken leg marinated in Jerk spices which I have to admit smelled delicious. He assured me it tasted as good as it smelled!

We experienced fantastic meals on board Constellation, the service was excellent in all restaurants so I have no complaints. I disembarked a happy, rounder, Natalie! Post cruise diet is well underway……

Don’t forget to check back for the final installment, all about my ports of call.

Follow us on our social media channels for Exclusive Offers – Cruise News – Blogs – Competitions & much more:

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Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: natalie@cruiseclubuk.com 0161 798 2506 or Freephone 0808 2736113

On the 3rd June 2017 my adventure to join the Celebrity Constellation began ( extremely early in the morning! ) 

This blog is solely going to concentrate on the ship itself so stay tuned for my next blogs concentrating on the food ( very important of course ) and destinations I visited.

My cruise was the second sailing after Constellation had received her refurbishment at the end of May. I had read about the changes that were being implemented before we left the UK so I knew what to expect and was excited to see for myself.

As soon as we stepped on board I immediately felt at home, I really can’t put my finger on exactly why, but I could see straight away why people love this ship and why she gets so many repeat guests. We were greeted with a glass of chilled champagne in the atrium before we went off to explore our new home for the next 10 nights.

It was evident in all the public areas the refreshments that had been made. New carpets and upholstery really gave the ship a fresh and modern feel, I was extremely impressed!

Atrium
Atrium
Stunning chandelier!
Stunning chandelier!
Spa Pool
Spa Pool
Pool deck
Pool deck

A controversial change, from regular sailors on Constellation, was the removal of Ocean Liners restaurant and in its place is Qsine. Personally I love Qsine, the quirkiness of the way the dishes are served makes for a special night, but I appreciate it is not everyone’s cup of tea!

A new area at the back of the ship on top deck has been created, the Rooftop terrace. This was the area I was most intrigued to see! A large screen has been put up and the area has lots of comfy sofas and cabana type seats where you can just either relax in the sun with a drink or take in one of the films/sports events shown. In the evening this area, on certain nights, you can book the ‘Taste of Film’ which includes food and wine pairing matched with a film on the big screen. From what I gather this is small plates served at key points throughout the film.

Rooftop terrace
Rooftop terrace
Rooftop terrace
Rooftop terrace

On the pool deck, there is the addition on the ‘Top deck Burger Bar’. This is in place of the poolside grill which served up burgers and hot dogs throughout the day. The concept is the same, however there is now a charge for these high end burgers which are made using Wagyu beef. You are looking at around $10 per person for a burger with fries. If you don’t want to pay for one of these premium burgers, you can still pick a regular one up from the Oceanview cafe with no charge. More on the food side of things in my next blog!

The staff…. what can I say! Every single staff member I came in to contact with was happy and smiling and genuinely wanted to help with whatever was needed. Our cabin steward would often sprint from one end of corridor to help open our cabin door when my husband came back from Cafe Bacio with our morning coffees! We ate in the Oceanview cafe one evening and were surprised to be approached by the Executive chef who was asking for feedback on the food quality and choice in all the restaurants on board. I thought this was a great touch and although we had no complaints I’m sure if anyone had an issues they would have been taken on board and rectified. He was again genuinely interested in receiving any kind of feedback to make improvements where needed.

We experienced no problems with bar service in any bar we visited, even though we had a drinks package. I do know some customers travelling on other cruise lines had long waits to be served or the staff were just not interested if you had a drinks package, certainly not the case here! There was a great choice of bars and lounges, my favourite being the Martini bar. My husband thoroughly enjoyed playing with the iced bar each evening, much to amusement of the bar staff. Although we never went to a show whilst on board, they were extremely popular and from what I heard the performances and show quality was excellent each night.

Martini Bar
Martini Bar
Rendezvous Lounge
Rendezvous Lounge
Cellarmasters
Cellarmasters

Connie7

We had an Ocean view cabin located mid ship on deck 3. The cabin was ideally located and we experienced no noise from engines, which I know is a concern for some being low down on the ship. This was the first time we have not had a balcony cabin, due to them all being sold out for our sailing, so I was a little skeptical about the size and having no outside space or fresh air. I was pleasantly surprised! The cabin was large, with a great amount of storage space and a lovely big window. The bathroom was what I would class as normal size really and even though there was the dreaded shower curtain rather than the glass screen, I wasn’t fighting it in the shower it seemed to stay put! Bonus! I would definitely have no hesitation in taking an Ocean View in the future and the lack of balcony didn’t make a huge impact on the cruise, it just made us ( or should I say me! ) get ready to go out quicker.

Ocean View
Ocean View
Ocean View
Ocean View
Ocean View bathroom
Ocean View bathroom

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog, I really can’t recommend the ship highly enough so if you are considering a cruise on Constellation I hope this has helped! Don’t forget to check back for my next Constellation installments……

 

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: natalie@cruiseclubuk.com 0161 798 2506

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For those of you who enjoy cruising and are partial to a glass of wine, I am sure you are aware about Celebrity Cruises  teaming up with the Wine Show

Boasting 13 restaurants and one of the biggest and rarest wine collections at sea, Celebrity Cruises also employ some of the best wine specialist who are among the best in the world.  Adding to all those ingredients Celebrities partnership with the TV series The Wine Show will now take it to a different level.

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One of the wine experts on board will be Joe Fattorini.  Mr Fattorini has 25 years’ experience within the wine industry which has given him an impressive database for contacts around the world from wine producers to vineyards. Joe is not just known for presenting the Wine Show he is involved in several things, from hosting Wine dinners to conferences and he also writes for leading wine magazines.

Another wine expert on board is Amelia Singer. Amelia is also known for putting on interactive tastings, dinners and events in central London. Amelia is known as the new face within the wine industry. She picked up her wealth of knowledge over the years by working with well-known retailers and also online fine wine merchants.

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Celebrity Cruises on board wine experts have selected several shore excursions for guests to enjoy:

Spain

In Barcelona you will have the chance to visit one of Spain’s most celebrated wine cellars belonging to the Torres great wine family who have been part of the Wine culture for over three centuries. Whilst on the tour you will be able to participate in wine tasting as well as taking in some breath-taking scenery that’s on offer.

Italy

In Italy you can book an excursion to visit Lazio’s wine district one of Italy’s most ancient wine regions. Here you will step back in time and learn about the Pallavicini family who boast a history within the wine industry dating back to Roman times. Also what could be better than pairing your wine tasting day with my personal favorite Italian Food Bruschetta as well as Pasta tossed in real Italian Olive oil?

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France

Dating back to the 3rd century BC you will get the chance to visit the Chateau de Cremat which is one of the oldest vineyards in France. The area is mainly known for its Rose but at the Chateau de Cremat they also produce red and white wine which you will be able sample taking in some amazing aromas.

So there you have it. The above are just an example of some of the excursions that are on offer.

So why not give Cruise Club UK a call today to check the availability.

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1). That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: Ian@cruiseclubuk.com 0161 798 2564

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What is the first thing you do when you embark a cruise ship?

When I embark my cruise, the first thing I do is head straight up to the top deck by the pool and grab a cocktail. I will generally sit and stay here for an hour or so, taking in the new surroundings and people on board. In this time my husband has usually made his way to the buffet restaurant to get a head start on the “eating” week ahead. After an hour or so relaxing and checking out what the top deck has to offer, we make our way down the ship, deck-by-deck. This gives us a chance to see some of the ship before the rest of the passengers are on board.

When we are finished with having a walk around, if our cabin is ready we will go and check it out. Then we will head back up to the top deck to soak up more sun and cocktails.

I am sure most of you agree, one thing I hate to have to do when I embark is go to the muster drill. I feel as though my holiday has just got going and then It is put on hold for a very short while for the drill. Sitting there waiting for the other passengers to arrive at the drill is almost as annoying! I try to be the last one there, so I am the first out. And, lets be honest, the Drill is not the most entertaining to keep your attention.

This is why I think Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd are brilliant to have introduced an eight-minute video for their muster drill, which is designed to bring some fun to the dreaded drill on board!

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All three brands; Azamara Club Cruises, Celebrity Cruise Line & Royal Caribbean Cruise Line will all be introducing the new video across their fleets. Azamara Club Cruises and Celebrity Cruise Line have already been showing the video on their ships, RCCL will introduce on their ships this month.

Named as “Operation: Little Bear” – The new muster video is a short film following the adventures of a secret agent who has been sent on board a cruise ship to intercept a gold teddy before it gets in to the hands of the wrong person. The agent on board has an off ship partner who supports her and helps her navigate around the ship and all of the safety procedures she will need to follow along the way.

According to the Cruise Company, the film will dramatize the do’s and don’ts of the safety on board in an entertaining way and promote the recall of safety messages.

So, lets hope the muster drill is no longer dreaded and is more welcomed by passengers.

If you would like assistance with your next cruise booking, or have any questions, please contact me on 0161 798 2512 or email me Michellehaslam@cruiseclubuk.com – I am always happy to help.

 

I have been waiting with anticipation for Celebrity Cruises to release information on the refit for Constellation when she goes in to a 2 week dry dock this month.

Finally today I have my news and to say I am excited is an understatement! I am sailing on Constellation ( Connie as she is affectionately known! ) on the 3rd June which will be the second sailing after she has completed the dry dock.

So here is the news, hot off the press…..

Qsine is going to be added in replacement of the popular Ocean Liners restaurant. The area will have a complete new look and modernisation for this popular speciality restaurant. I loved the quirkiness of Qsine when I was on Celebrity Silhouette so I will definitely be booking a night here!

In place of the Mast Grill on the pool deck, a brand new venue will be added which will be a fleet first! Top Deck Burger Bar will be the place to go for gourmet burgers, from the Celebrity Signature Burger to a build your own burger this is sure to be a popular lunch option. I will let you know my thoughts on my return!

Top deck burger

I am most excited about the Rooftop terrace that will added at the back of the ship. This relaxing area will feature chic cozy furniture and a large outdoor soundscape and screen. The venue will play host to a unique evening dining experience ‘ A Taste of Film ‘ where food served will be paired with a film. Weather permitting on my cruise, I will most definitely be visiting!

Rooftop terrace
Rooftop terrace

In technology news, on board will be the RFID stateroom door locks. In normal terms this will mean that you can just tap your SeaPass card to give entry to your stateroom rather than having to insert it in to the door itself.

The shopping area will be given a make over and will feature some luxury well known brands ( this hasn’t been confirmed exactly what at the moment ) and merchandise for your shopping pleasure.

‘ The Studio ‘ will be added so if you fancy having some portrait photos taken on board to remember your cruise by this is the perfect place for you.

Finally, every Penthouse and Royal Suite will receive new bathroom enhancements such as porcelain tiled flooring, marble surfaces, new fixtures and cozy seating. Other suite on board will receive a refresh to include new artwork, furniture, bed linen, carpets and drapes.

 

I will be blogging on my return from Constellation so stay tuned for my opinion on this newly refitted, ever popular ship!

 

Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1) That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: natalie@cruiseclubuk.com 0161 798 2506

Celebrity Family friendly cruising

Have you ever been put off cruising in favour of a land based family holiday due to concerns about childcare? Well fear no more as during my cruise on board the Celebrity Equinox last August  I came across the on board childcare facilities whilst having a walk around the ship and to my suprise was amazed by what it had to offer.  I left thinking that if I was to ever cruise with children I would be very happy with what was being offered.  The area is located in a quiet area with a special area designed just for teenagers.

Onboard Celebrity Cruises there’s a range of activities and venues designed for every age group. From the Fun Factory, exciting games and activities for younger kids, to X Club, the ultimate hang out for young adults, there’s something for everyone. Add in family-friendly dining options, sports courts, pool-volleyball, and Family Tour Challenges shore excursions, and you’ve got the perfect family holiday.

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Autism Friendly Ships

Celebrity Cruises has achieved Autism Friendly Cruise Line status, having completed Autism Friendly Certification with Autism on the Seas. Autism Friendly Certification has been awarded to the cruise line for their efforts to ensure their products and services are accessible for inclusion and participation by the autism and developmental disability community. Celebrity Cruises have achieved the following Autism Friendly Certifications fleet wide:

Bronze Level: all required autism friendly products and services in place

Silver Level: all Youth staff trained on autism awareness

Pagers for Children with Special Needs

If your child has a disability, special needs or allergies, there is a limited number of pagers available for your use while on board.

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Dietary Requirements

Celebrity are happy to accommodate special dietary needs and provide baby food for lunch and dinner in the main restaurant as long as the ship is notified in advance. Celebrity has also partnered with The NerdelTM Company to help educate kids about healthy food and fitness – in a fun way! Developed by a team of doctors, nutritionists, chefs and fitness experts Nerdel, the alien from the planet Zendel, is a life-sized character that entertains little ones with live performances and musical activities.

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It’s Party Time!

Celebrity offer additional services to accommodate families while the ship is in port and during the evenings for a fee of $6 per hour.

Lunch Party: Port days only from 12pm-2pm. Children dine with Youth Staff on the Lido Deck, then carry on into afternoon activities. Pre-registration is required before 11:45am.

Dinner Party: Every evening from 5pm-7pm. Children start out in the Fun Factory from 5pm-6pm, then dine with Youth Staff at 6pm on the Lido Deck, then carry on into evening activities. Pre-registration required before 5:45pm.

Slumber Party: Every evening from 10pm-1pm, children ages 3-11 can Slumber or Party depending on needs and choices. Ends promptly at 1pm.

Long gone are the days where cruising is just about adults, Some land based holidays can cost more than a cruise during the school holidays, give cruising a try, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

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Did you know here at Cruise Club UK we have a Loyalty Bonus Scheme. Book your chosen cabin type and you can receive up to 50 Bonus Points (1 Point = £1). That’s a saving of up to £50 off your next cruise booked with us.  

Email or call me to discuss your dream cruise: Wendy@cruiseclubuk.com 0161 798 2570

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