Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by Coupe: Summit 5/20/12
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The Summit is a lovely ship. The pictures that I had seen of it don't do it justice. It is tastefully decorated and seems immaculately clean. My DW and I were looking forward to the cruise. We had previously had four cruises on Norwegian, three on Princess and one on Royal Caribbean. We drove from Ohio across Interstate 80 and got to Elizabeth in about 8 hours. It was a nice road and a beautiful day for a drive. We stayed at the Country Inn and Suites and parked the car there taking the shuttle to the port. The cost of the shuttle was $70 for two, round trip. They were supposed to have one at 10:00 and one at noon. We were the only ones who signed up for the 10:00 and it was cancelled. We left promptly at noon and were at the port by 12:30 even after dropping off someone at the airport. They quickly took care of our luggage and we were checked in within a half hour.
After dropping off our carry on stuff in the room. We headed up to the buffet and had lunch. It was busy but More there was ample space and plenty of food. The balcony room was spacious and was very tasteful.
The safety drill was absurd. They called us down to the theatre where we were shown how to put on a life vest. We were told to wait for other announcements. They were few and far between. The young lady in charge was rather humorless and kept demanding that a room full of people going on vacation and with nothing to do sit and be quiet because they could not hear the announcements (which weren't happening). They then began going through a list of names that were mostly in the room and had signed in leaving me to wonder how safe we would actually be in an emergency. Horribly organized and poorly done. You would think they had never done this before.
The weather was not great for most of the trip. Monday night the wind was very high and the boat was rocking. We were told by some people on the Norwegian ship that followed us into port that it was reaching 75 mph at one point.
The food on the ship was mostly very average. The buffet was hit or miss. For example, they seem to have trouble making some basic breakfast things like waffles. The bacon was sometimes very good and sometimes half cooked and greasy. Some of the people staffing the area seemed overworked and sometimes a little surly. Others were always very sunny. I think in general they do not have enough workers on this ship. They have plenty of photographers and things that are profit centers but not enough service people.
The Cosmopolitan was a very pretty room. We had select dining. We met some wonderful people on the very first night sharing a table. Here's a shout out to the three ladies from Florida and the wonderful couple from Pa. The service here was also very spotty and the food was not great but good. One thing they do very well on this ship is steak. They are always perfectly cooked and tender.
On Wednesday I got a call from customer service asking how we liked the cruise so far. I told the lady that we were enjoying ourselves but I thought that we step it up a notch on formal night but I didn't think the cruise did anything special. There was nothing special about the menu and the service was actually not very good that night. As an example, I ordered a beer and it did not come until we were half through the main course. They asked me so I told them. Big mistake. I should have just said it was wonderful. Thursday the head waitress called our room to find out why we were unhappy with the dining and wanting to be sure we had a good experience. She offered to send up a menu for the Friday formal night and I said, yes I'd like to see it. She wanted me to call before we came down that night to be sure we had a nice table. I wasn't so unhappy with the table selection so I did not do that. When we showed up for dinner that night and gave our room number 6041, there was a pregnant pause as she was clearly reading notes on the screen. It was the same head waitress that had called our room. She introduced herself and took us to a nice table with a very competent waiter. We did have the felling that we were being watched. We were enjoying the meal when the maitre D' stopped by the table and began to tell us how we didn't understand formal night and that it was one of the best menus of the week and wanting to know why we were dissatisfied. He went on and on and would have been better to just stop talking. He was very condescending and unwelcome. We just wanted to enjoy our meal. On the way out, my DW stopped to say a word to the head waitress, and the maitre d' appeared out of nowhere again and interrupted our conversation with her. We did come back on formal night and enjoyed dinner with some friends that we met on the ship. It was a very good meal.
We also enjoyed Qsine one night, which was a great treat. The food and service were perfect. It was a lot of fun and our waiter Patrick was great. He led us through the menu and helped us pick the right meal for us. After dinner we rolled down the stairs to our room. Stuffed!
Bermuda is a very pretty island. We purchased the three-day pass to get around and transportation is easy on the busses or the water taxis. We particularly enjoyed the art museum and horseshoe bay beach. Food is very expensive. If you are eating off the ship, be prepared to pay a little extra. The people we met were very nice.
The people that we met on this ship, our fellow travelers were among the nicest bunch or cruisers that we have met on a cruise. They were a very friendly bunch of people. I don't come away with the same feeling on the staff. I don't think I saw an officer smile all week. The staff seemed overworked and unhappy. I think there is a lot of pressure on the ships these days to show a profit and corners are cut. I'm not sure if we will ever do another Celebrity cruise again. Of all the cruises we have been on, this was our least favorite. They would have to do a great sales job to overcome my impressions. Less
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