I recently sailed on the Summit cruise to Bermuda with my partner and my parents. Although the overall experience was a positive one there were a number of issues that were poorly handled by Celebrity staff that left me feeling slightly jaded about the cruise line as a whole.
The negative impression began before we even set sail. We decided to book early to secure our cabins and though I understand that cruise rates may change closer to sailing I do not appreciate being emailed about these specials once I've already booked. It's simple really, either filter us from the mailing list once we are booked for the cruise in question or be prepared to honour the discount when called out on it. Not so, however!
The negative impression continued on board with one of the up-charge dinners. We are not stingy when it comes to paying extra in return for what is promised to be exceptional value, but naturally there are greater expectations. Not only did Celebrity not deliver on these expectations, but they did not make good on their failure to do so...
After attending a number of up-charge wine tasting events we decided to reserve seats for the 'Connoisseur Dinner' being hosted by the 'cellar master'. This was portrayed to us as being an exclusive and not-to-be-missed dinner with exceptional wines and wine pairings, limited to only 30 guests. We booked fast. The joke was on us, however, when only one other couple showed. The canapes that were promised with champagne did not arrive either, for that matter... and unfortunately this was just the beginning. We sat through a dismal, four-hour dinner staring at empty wine glasses most of the time, waiting interminably between courses for substandard food that at times was inedible. To make matters worse the 'cellar master' was absent for most of it, abandoning us to fairly indifferent wait staff that clearly did not understand the wines being served or the rationale behind the pairings... and all of this for an up-charge of $100.00 per person!! This was certainly not great value, and all the more so when you consider that we had already paid for 'all-inclusive' drink packages!
When we expressed to the cellar masters how disappointed we were they apologized profusely and even acknowledged a number of 'issues' that night. They also sent a bottle of wine to my parents. Unfortunately they also kept the $100.00 per person, however, which sort of says a lot about the priorities. Be warned and stay clear!
The final unpleasant issue happened at the very end when we discovered that one of our suitcases was missing. I'm not sure if it is Celebrity staff involved with this or not but there was little concern shown and no apology. We did eventually retrieve the case.
To end on a positive note I must say that we enjoyed dining at Qsine and would recommend it sincerely.
This was our second time sailing with Celebrity and my parents have also sailed with them, including to the Mediterranean. I've always felt a little loyal to the line but think it's perhaps time to see what else is out there.