Constellation 8/26/04

Nov 25th, 2003, 05:50 AM
  #1  
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Constellation 8/26/04

We are booked for this Baltic Cruise and would love to share some info with fellow passengers. We are especially interested in the port tour possibilities. Anyone else booked for this cruise?
Brahmama is offline  
Jan 4th, 2004, 01:17 PM
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We are also booked on the Constellation for the May 22 04 trip and just beginning to look into the various shore excursions. Since we are 2 couples travelling, we have given some thought to hiring our own guide for St Petersburg. Looking for input.
Also, is it worth going to Berlin at the Warnemund stop?
Anna48 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2004, 06:09 AM
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Anna, ours is a 12 night cruise and doesn't make the stop at Warnedmund, so I have so clue.
You might want to get on the CruiseCritic webiste for lots and lots of information about ports, etc.
Good Luck!
Brahmama is offline  
Jan 21st, 2004, 04:47 PM
  #4  
sle
 
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We have just booked on the Constellation for Aug 26th. For St . Petes try Portsidetours.com they are from Florida, they are an agent for Red October they have a special for 2 days for $298pp.Do you know what the transfers are from Gatwick to Dover from Celebrity, or are you doing it on your own on the train?
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Jan 23rd, 2004, 02:39 PM
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We are flying into gatwick a day early, renting a car with hopes of sighting along the way to Dover. We eill stay overnight in Dover and will return the car there. For the reture home, we will use the ship's transportation.
Re: St. Peterburg......is it better to book with Portside or directly with Red October? We did use Portside, very successfully for a tour in Rome.
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Jan 24th, 2004, 10:08 AM
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We have booked directly with RO for a total of $252 pp - that is however, for a group of six. There are some extras; $15 each for a lunch with a russian family, the Gold Room, and early admission to Catharine's Palace. So the total with be $297 with the things we added.

Sie, have you checked out the site on CruiseCritics? There is a special newsgroup for just this sailing - so far only 8 people have signed up for the newsgroup.

What are you doing in Stockholm, Anna? And Helsinki?
Brahmama is offline  
Jan 27th, 2004, 12:52 PM
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We are planning to do the other stops on this cruise on our own, using taxis and our feet. After some research, I think we will try to pick a couple of highlights of the other other ports.
I checked out cruise critic, but have not had much success with that site. I am a real fodor fan.
Anna48 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 08:18 AM
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To answer SLE and to keep this thread alive!

Someone has said that you can get a driver from London to the ship for $180 - if that will work for FOUR or SIX people, that's a real deal.

I figure the train trip including taxi to train and from train to ship (and tips) will run about $95-$100 for 2 people.

We are really wanting to see Phantom of the Opera the night before we sail, but haven't been able to get tickets even PRICED for that night. Does anyone have any suggestions about the best way to get tickets (hopefully affordable!)?



Brahmama is offline  
Jan 30th, 2004, 10:34 AM
  #9  
sle
 
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Just got off the phone with Celebrity, the transfer from Gatwick to Dover and return to Gatwick is $134pp. and $67.00pp one way. Checked with British RR one way from Gatwick to Victoria Station and on to Dover is $48pp
sle is offline  
Jan 31st, 2004, 06:01 AM
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Thanks, Sle,

Good to have some firm prices.

You must be going directly to the ship. We are going a day early - so if we took the ship's transfers, we would have to return to the airport.

I've flown to Gatwick before (not this time) and taken the Gatwick Express to Victoria and it's a joy. Then you will be right there at the Victoria Train Station so it should be very easy to make the train connections.

Of course you will have to take your luggage with you, but the last time we took a ship's transfers, we were totally responsible for getting on luggage on that bus. It was a nightmare, as there were many passengers lugging their suitcases, many elderly - hunting for the right bu - and then were told to load it in the compartment and be sure it was there before boarding the bus. It may have been so chaotic because we were disembarking about 12 hours late. It was a trans docking in NYC and Pres. Bush was in town and so much added secuity. But it was still a nightmare.

It's always a pain getting to the ship - esp if there is a long flight involved, but THEN you are ON THE SHIP! And the nightmare turns into a dream!

August is such a LONG way off!

Brahmama is offline  
Jan 31st, 2004, 10:01 AM
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mikeim
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We did the trip with Constellation last year. We hired a private van for the two days, two couple, in St. Petersburg through the ship. It was expensive but worth it. Not only they'll take you where you want, but you don't have to wait in line with the crowd. You get to have lunch in better restaurants, too.
We also took the all-day tour to Berlin. I'm glad I saw it, but I won't go back there again.
You won't need to book tours in other cities, unless you want to go outside the cities. They are walkable, and beautiful but not much that require a guide. English is widely spoken. The ship runs free shuttle buses to downtown regularly, so we didn't need taxi at all anywhere.
The ship was beautiful, classy and well-run, except the dining room. The waiters and the so-called wine stewards were AWUFULL! The worst I've ever had on any ship. Food was uninspiring. We ended up not going to the main dining room. I don't think I'll ever take Galaxy again because of it. Too bad, because I liked everything else about the ship.
 
Feb 2nd, 2004, 08:33 AM
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Sorry about your poor food situation. I have found cruise food to varry a lot, but never found SOMETHING that I couldn't eat and enjoy! But I must admit, I don't eat as much of it as I used to. Sometimes I just "build" a good salad and visit the pasta bar and take the whole thing to my balcony. I enjoy the heck out of that, come to think about it. I do get tired of the heavy rich food at dinner, but then, you can always order just what you want.
I was a little confused if you were talking about the Constellation or the Galaxy?
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Feb 6th, 2004, 04:36 PM
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mikeim
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We were on Constellation. The problem was dining room service. Waiters, both table and wine, were aweful in the dining room! We didn't have a cheap room so I don't think they assigned us to the worst table. Food was rather basic but perfectly fine.
 
Feb 8th, 2004, 09:11 AM
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Mikeim,
I wanted to ask you some things about your cruise. We are hoping not to have to book ship tours anywhere but St. P (and that's with RO) so I was very interested to hear about the shuttles. I haven't read that anywhere else and that's a very important feature imho. Were they the ship's shuttles? Did they just drop you in the city centres? Which was your favorite port and what did you do that made it your favorite? We won't get to do Berlin - as that's not a stop (this is only the 12 night tour) but I'm very interested in Tallin, Stockholm and Helsinki as we haven't been there before. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Carol
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Feb 10th, 2004, 05:26 PM
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mikeim
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Ship ran shuttle buses continuously to downtown, except in St. Petersburg. I gather the cruise line doesn't want you loose in Russia, and I can see why. We walked everywhere. Copenhagen was my favorite but every city was pretty. Not much museums so we didn't bother with them except in St. Petersburg, of course. We were in Tallin on Sunday. I walked into a Russian orthodox service in progress and it was very interesting. In Copenhagen we had real smorgasboard by a canal, was great. A local told us that this restaurant was the real thing, the best in the city. I asked where I could get the best Danish pastry. After a long consultation with friends, he told us where to go. Light as a feather! The best Danish I've ever had, and I'm from San Francisco and we have pretty good food here.
I liked St Petersburg. We arranged for a private car through the ship. Well worth it. It's a great trip. You'll enjoy it.
 
Feb 14th, 2004, 08:23 PM
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Just booked this cruise. Going to Dover the day before. Looking for transportation other than taking the train or driving ourselves. Any suggestions. Arriving on USAirways # 98 at 8:30am on 8/25. Anyone else on that flight?

To Brahmama - did you try your hotel for tickets to Phantom. That's how we got to see it several years ago. It was pricey - but worth it.
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Feb 15th, 2004, 07:56 AM
  #17  
sle
 
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This is addressed to loves to travel. We are also booked on the Constellation for Aug 26th. Celebrity transfers are $134pp roundtrip from Gatwick, but the transfer is only good on day of sailing. I have been emailing a company from the UK and has been very responsive. He quoted
me $110lbs one way ($208.00) His email address is [email protected] We are hoping to arrive at Gatwick on Aug 25th, on Contiental Airlines, but can't make any plans, as we are standby passengers. I would like to rent a car, but am not too confortable driving in the UK. Suggest you go into cruisecritic.com and sign up for the special newsgroup for our cruise. Also you can sign up at cruisetender.com which will give you a newletter once a week, so far there are about 16 of us signed up for it.
Brahama has signed up.
Bob
sle is offline  
Mar 5th, 2004, 05:39 AM
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Hello fellow travelers,
We were out and about on a road trip for the last few weeks, but now I'm back and ready to get serious about this cruise!
No, I didn't realize that you could book the theatre through your hotel. Thanks for the tip. Does that mean *expensive" hotels? Or any hotels? We will probably stay in a 4 star that is really a 3 star in other cities - a place just to drop and flop overnight. But I did find it for 76 pounds including breakfast and VAT. So I'll check with them about the Phantom.

Yes I agree with Bob, Cruisetender .com is a good place to go with lots of info once you sign up (free but needed for security reasons). Also sign up on CruiseCritic - if we get 25 we have a party!

We will get in on AA at 7:50 AM - I haven't even figured out the gate yet.
Lots of work to do!
Carol

Brahmama is offline  
Mar 20th, 2004, 07:31 AM
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I see some of my buddies from CruiseTender.com and Cruisecritic.com who have also found this website. Interesting comment about the Danish in Copenhagen from a fellow Northern Californian! Will surely save some of my calories for Copenhagen! Wonderful news that the shuttles to the town are provided by Celebrity. Did anyone change money in the States into Euros before going on their cruise? I wondered if the exchange rate would be better here or on the ship? Really surprised over negative comments on the food on Celebrity as we have had just the opposite result in our five cruises with them. Wonderful service and wonderful food. Trish
TwoPats is offline  
Mar 20th, 2004, 03:16 PM
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Regarding transportation between the airports and Dover (or even from within the city), I've found a good company:
http://www.airportcruisetransfers.co....php?page=home

We will be using them to take us from Dover into London for a post cruise stay in June. There are 9 of us and it's only costing 250lbs.total from Dover into the city (worked out to be $51 per person). It was going to cost my husband and I 125lbs. for just the two of us so this was a great deal....especially considering all our luggage! We didn't want to hassle with the trains because of the luggage.

Also, you can't go wrong with Red October as your guide in Russia!
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