Having decided to to go in for our first cruise in June 2008 we undertook quite a bit of research on the huge selection of ships available, and eventually chose Celebrity Cruises. This choice was based mainly on a survey by a travel magazine that voted two of Celebrity Line's ships -The Summit and The Constellation , as among two of the best cruise ships in the world. We were not disappointed in booking a Mediterranean cruise on board The Summit , and again in 2009 on a cruise on it's sister ship - The Constellation.

The quality of the service ,food and entertainment was excellent and about equal on both ships, however my wife and I both felt The Constellation had the edge when it came to the entertainment. On The Constellation they have the most entertaining singer / pianist called Perry Grant who is resident in Michael's Club on deck 4. This chap is so funny that you need to get a seat early, as the room soon has standing room only if you arrive a bit late! The quality of the shows in the Theater on both ships is up to West End standards with the additional benefit of waiter drinks service at your seats.

Both ships have a marvelous system of showing your on board spend via your cabin TV. It's worth keeping a daily eye on this as they do make mistakes ,however my queries were always corrected without hassle. On our first cruise we were to board the ship at Barcelona, but it was not until the receipt of tickets a few weeks before the cruise we realized we did not have a direct flight from Heathrow, but had to change planes at Frankfurt airport. This proved to be very unpleasant , as after a frantic dash to the departure desk way the other side of this enormous airport , we were told that the Lufthansa flight had been over-booked and was full. After barging my way to the front of the queue I was eventually allowed to board. You don't need this hassle at the start of a holiday and it is as well to check with your travel agent well in advance ( before the tickets arrive) about the flight details.We travelled Concierge Class on The Summit , which was excellent, and well worth the additional cost. Apart from the quality of the Balcony cabin there are addition benefits from priority check in ( which was very smooth ) to a bottle of wine on arrival - daily fresh fruit - free binoculars etc. On our second cruise last year on The Constellation we booked a Sky Suite. This was larger than before with similar 'perks' except there was a Butler allocated to your cabin ! He was great, but the free afternoon tea - cakes and sandwiches ( not to mention canapés before dinner ) were a little too much on top of the wonderful menus served up in the main restaurant. All in all we had no major complaints about value for money on both ships and on both occasions we were lucky with the mix of our dining companions on what was our choice of a table for 6. We noticed a number of other diners who chose tables for two who appeared to be a little bit out of conversations others were enjoying with their new acquaintances.

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