Dining room food on Celebrity Constellation was generally quite good – at least mine was – and the waiters very attentive. It was really nice that the menu for the whole cruise is in the app so you can see if there are any nights where nothing thrills you if you want to pick a night to go to a specialty restaurant or just have dinner at the buffet.
They do like to unnecessarily bread some of the meats though, and the fact that it is breaded may not be mentioned on the menu. For some reason while my dinners were usually top notch, they seemed to have a problem with overcooking John’s main, particularly seafood. Other than lobster or maybe shrimp I don’t generally order seafood so we thought seafood was the problem until one formal night when we both ordered Duck à l’Orange and broiled lobster.
My duck was great. The color was a nice golden brown and it was cooked just right. His was very dark, shrunken, and leathery like jerky. So it wasn’t a seafood issue, it was just his food. The maître d’ was appalled that meal made it out into the dining room. The waiters were always apologetic and offered to get him something else, but with the other courses and mine usually big enough to share he never wanted to wait for another meal. The lobster was good that night so he had that and some of my tasty duck.
We ate dinner at the buffet a few times. One advantage there is you can see what the food looks like before asking for anything.
Our best meal of the cruise was at one of the ship’s premium restaurants, Qsine. The last time we were on Celebrity, Qsine had an extensive menu of creative foods. They’ve completely changed the concept there now. You get a 4 course meal with one main menu and one alternative menu, of which you can pick each course from either. The food is quite good, but what makes the restaurant special now is that it is part meal, part entertainment. At each course a tiny cartoon chef makes the main menu item right on your plate. This includes things like catching fish and lobster wrangling. After the show the waitstaff serves each person the item they actually ordered for that course. It’s still called Qsine, but it’s also called Le Petite Chef.
We did not try any of the other specialty restaurants onboard, but the ship also offers a Tuscan Grill serving upscale Italian food and Sushi on Five with sushi and other Japanese favorites. Other food venues included small cafes at the spa and solarium, pastries, desserts, and gelato at the coffee bar, and a poolside grill. People staying in suites or Aquaclass cabins had their own separate dining rooms, but since we were not in those accommodations we never went there. Some items at the spa, solarium, and coffee bar were complimentary, others cost extra. The pool grill was complimentary, same as the dining room and buffet.
Room service was also an option, which we used a couple mornings with early port stops. They had a small complimentary breakfast menu which people could leave on the door the night before. There was also a room service menu for paid items. One of those early port mornings I ordered cereal through the complimentary room service. The order arrived on time with everything we had asked for, and two bundles of silverware wrapped in napkins – one for each of us. When unwrapped, each napkin contained a knife and a fork. There was no spoon included with the silverware, nor anywhere else on the tray. We called to ask for one and a guy showed up with 2 more wrapped bundles of knives and forks – still no spoon. On the third try they finally brought two spoons. (We gave him a tip because it wasn’t his fault). That made one spoon to use and one to stash for the next early port morning, although the next time they actually brought a spoon for the cereal so it wasn’t needed.
Ever been on a cruise ship where tables at the buffet are scarce and you can hardly get one to save your life? Not on this cruise. With just 700 passengers onboard there were open tables everywhere, no problem. It’s normally breakfast and lunch that are an issue, dinner at the buffet is mostly an uncrowded affair since the majority go to the dining room. Dinner at the buffet on this ship was a ghost town. Have any table you want. There was nobody else in sight from our table. The food was good with lots of different options. Other people did straggle through so they had some other business, but no lines or crowds and what few there were sat in different sections.
Besides a variety of salads, sides, and main dishes, there was a whole dessert station for gluten free desserts and another bigger one with regular desserts. Plus the ice cream and cookie station was open and there’s always one dairy free sorbet there and some really delicious gluten free macaroons. (Macaroons are normally gluten free regardless of whether it is the coconut version like these or the French sandwich cookie style made from almond flour which is actually spelled macaron.) The buffet did not make gluten free pancakes at the waffle station like some ships do, but they did have gluten free bread available at one station for toast. Gluten free pancakes were available in the dining room at breakfast.
The delicious macaroons found in the buffet were also available at other places on the ship, and the coffee bar had some gluten free muffins. It also had a bunch of other pastries. The food there is free, but the specialty coffee, tea, or hot chocolate costs extra. It is mostly included with a beverage package, but some types of alcohol cost extra if you want to add a shot and don’t have a premium package. The gelato costs extra, but if you have previously sailed with Celebrity you get a scoop for free. We never buy the beverage package because the amount you have to drink to get your money’s worth is more per day than we’d likely drink for the entire cruise, but on this particular cruise a basic beverage package had been included in the fare – which usually means a ridiculously expensive fare, but this one was on sale for cheap. When I asked for a bit of amaretto in a hot chocolate at the coffee bar, the barista said that wasn’t included in the basic drink package so it would cost $1, but if I wanted to upgrade my package for $10 per day I wouldn’t have to pay that dollar. Somehow paying $10 per day for the rest of the cruise to save $1 on something I might have once or twice during the entire cruise made no sense whatsoever so I just paid the dollar.
If you order tea at the coffee bar to go it comes in a paper cup, but if you order it for there it comes with a fancy tea pot and a biscuit in the English sense where it’s really a cookie.
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