06 October 2012, 14-Night Canada (Overnight Quebec, City) and New England Cruise Round-trip Bayonne, NJ.
Ocean View Cabin 2150 Category 8 Deck 2 mid-ships - Starboard side.
Just like our last five sailing on Celebrity ships, this 6th cruise proved that it always keeps getting better and better. We continue to believe that this is a direct result of superior leadership on the part of the Senior Staff - From the Captain to the Head Waiters.
The crew and staff have made our third sailing on the Summit, within the last 13 months, another trip to remember. We continue to be treated like "Celebrities" by everyone. That is why we continue to select Celebrity as our first choice in cruise lines
We booked this cruise just 15 days before the sail date and this time we traveled alone.
Linda and I celebrated our 46th anniversary this past March and every cruise is special and everyday we have together is a gift from God. In 2010 Linda endured 9 months of crippling chemotherapy treatments and with God's mercy she has been given a second chance. For both of us, we love spending our time cruising and making every moment count. It is from this perspective that we have developed grateful hearts and, you will discover by reading this review that, we no longer focus or complain about the "small stuff".
Cruising had in effect become our "time share" at sea. At the conclusion of this sailing we now have a total of 252 days onboard cruise ships. Many of our sailings have been on Royal Caribbean Ships (13 cruises / 118 cruise credits) for a total of 112 days onboard. Royal Caribbean had been our preferred cruise line. This was our 27th cruise and our last 6 have all been on Celebrity including this sailing with a total of 73 days. Due to our Diamond status with Royal Caribbean we previously enjoyed Elite Privileges on Celebrity. Now we have legitimately achieved Elite status with this last cruise.
FYI: We purchased two "Open Passage" Booking Numbers on our last cruise and applied one of them to this sailing, which gave us $300.00 Shipboard Credit. This program really works and over the years has given us almost $1,500.00 in onboard credit for our Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruises.
Note: You will find that this review is similar to those previously submitted. This is due to the consistency of services received. I have been accused in the past of working from the cruise lines because of my reviews. Rest assured I do not. Linda and I enjoy taking time to get to know the crew and staff. Some will even comment that we must have been on a different ship because their experience was not like ours.
In life, my position is that the cup is always half-full and if there is criticism it will be as a result of something serious. You will not find whining in this review. We will offer some suggestions for their consideration.
This review will focus more on individual crew members. We have come to the realization that the quality of any cruise is a direct result of those delivering the services. As a result we feel compelled to provide individual compliments and commendations.
Celebrity Cruise Line, the Summit's Captain and the Crew's pleasure and number one priority was to make sure our cruise experience was unforgettable and was just as amazing as our previous sailings on Celebrity Ships. Again they achieved their mission by delivering excellent service beyond our expectation. As before, they again made us feel like "CELEBRITIES".
We are appreciative of the services and sacrifices provided by the crew and staff. A grateful heart is the father of all virtues. A wise man taught me to be content no matter what my circumstances are.
HERE WE GO!
Drive to the cruise port:
We are from north-central Pennsylvania and we departed home on Saturday morning at 0330 for the 175 mile drive to Pompton Plains, NJ where we were going to leave our car. Along the way we stopped for breakfast and at 0600 we opened the Cracker Barrel off I-80 at NJ exit 31. We left our car at a good friend's home and he took us the remaining 28 miles to the port. It is great to have friends who go out of their way to help and even refuse to take anything for their time and expense. His 30 plus years in the fire service, retiring as a Battalion Fire Chief (who also spent time at Ground Zero on 911) was a reflection of his servant's heart. We did leave something in his cup holder to take care of tolls and gas.
Luggage drop off:
We arrived at the pier at around 0845. Dropped off our luggage, tipped the bag handlers $5.00 for our 2 checked bags, and said goodbye to our friend. Note: Since we booked so late, and we were initially GTY, we could not order luggage tags. We had plenty of ID's attached to our bags, but the handler attached and labeled the appropriate tags to our bags. We did receive our cabin assignment several days before sailing which was actually an upgrade of 1 category.
If we would have had to park at the terminal the $19.00 per day fee would have totaled $266.00 ("YIKES") for the 14 days.
We were allowed in the terminal right away. This entrance is only a few yards from the luggage drop off. We showed our passports and boarding passes. Our carry-on luggage was x-rayed. Next, we each had to fill out and sign a form indicating that we were not ill or recently ill. Good thing they did not ask us about our mental state.
We were then directed to the main seating area to wait for the process to start. We were the third couple in the terminal and were given boarding cards with the "#16" on it and it was supposed to be based on our arrival order. More on this later.
While waiting we were given a Security Guide" to review while we waited. We were also given an "Early Edition" of "Celebrity Today". We read both to help pass the time
We had to wait only a short time and at 0945 they started the processing. We were directed to a line for Select and Elites. We submitted our boarding pass, passports, "we-are-not-sick" forms, and credit card. We were welcomed by a very friendly staff and given our SeaPass cards. We were directed to another area for the photo ID part of the process and finally we had our welcome aboard photo taken by the ships photography staff which were very friendly. We always buy this photo.
They usually have an area set up for ELITE to wait but we were instructed that this was not being used. So we waited our turn. At 1100 they started boarding handicapped individuals and started calling numbers starting with, you guessed it, no.1. There seemed to be about a dozen in the first few numbers called. Then the groups became smaller and at 1110 our no. 16 was called. This turned out to be a pretty large group. We had inquired early on why the change and they did not provide an explanation. This was the only snag in the boarding process and it is based on our past 11 embarkations at Cape Liberty. During those embarkations we would be directed to a seating area for Elite and Diamond members. We would then be called first right after those who need special assistance. I know this sounds like whining. It was just not expected. Next time we will know what to expect.
The gangway led to deck 1 mid-ship. There were glasses of champagne, mimosas, and juice there for the taking, or not! We were directed to the elevators which were manned by crew members to make sure you went to deck 10 for lunch as the cabins were not yet ready. Public areas on decks 3, 4 and 5 were open for exploration too.
Since our cabins would not be ready until 1330 hours we headed immediately to the Ocean View Cafe. We were one of the first ones there. On the way in we met Bernard who was offering hand sanitizer. We accepted. An old Navy Corpsman friend of mine said that if you want to stay healthy and maintain unit integrity make sure to wash your hands before eating. We then found a table and had a light lunch. This was our 1st meal on the Summit and by the time we disembarked we had a total 42 meals, not including snacks.
We had a light lunch of incredible "Fish and Chips" from the small serving station on the port side aft. This is a neat place so make sure to check it daily for special menu items. We left deck 10 to make room for others and went to deck 3 mid-ships. We found a good place with a view to sit and wait till the cabins were ready. They made the announcement a little after 1300 and we were off to our cabin, which was just one deck down and right off the stairway. We needed to stow our two carry-ons, backpack, and tote bag.
Cabin 2150 - Ocean View Category 8 (170 Square Feet)
Our cabin was an Ocean View Category 8 #2150 starboard side mid-ships and proved to be a great location. It was close to the Normandie on deck 3 which was the location of the morning Captain's Club. It was also within a few feet of the stairway and elevators and it was also close to the lobby area.
We posted our door sign that includes our photo and a list of past cruises. We also placed some decorations on it. This always helps us find our room too. Our stateroom attendant Alfredo (refer to his commendation under staff comments) showed up almost immediately. He provided us with a warm greeting and gave us the normal orientation. This was made easy as he saw on our sign and realized that we have been frequents guests on the Summit. One important piece of information involved our route to our life boat muster station and for us it was the Casino on deck 4.
We showed him a small magnetic sign that we would place on the outside of the door whenever we were out of the room. That way he would know that we were gone and could make up our room.
Note: On Royal Caribbean they have little cards to put into the door key-card slot to indicate that when you were out of the room and to "make up the room" or one for "do not disturb". Since Celebrity does not do this we created the door magnet system to help the attendant. They have their own secret simple method of telling if you have opened your door. I will keep their method confidential.
We stored our carry-on items and hung our vanilla tree car air freshener for a smell of home. We use a new one every three days and it gives a sweet welcome every time we enter the room.
We found an envelope that contained a card with information about our dining assignment with the location, time, and table number - late seating 8:30 PM table 301. We requested through our travel agent and also emailed the Summit with our table request that made an appeal for a large table near a window on the lower level of the Cosmopolitan Restaurant.
With our table number in hand we headed to deck 4 to find our table. The dining room was not open so we went to the Rendez-Vous Lounge deck 4. There the Assistant Maitre'd Erdal was taking dining change requests. His assistant produced the table seating chart and showed us our table location. It was portside aft near a window in a quiet corner. We could not have been happier with the results. Thanks again Summit for honoring our request.
Back to the room and soon our 2 large suitcases arrived. This is always a relief. Fourteen days in the same clothes and wearing sneakers on formal night would not be pretty. It only takes 15 minutes to unpack and organize as we are on auto-pilot for this task. Since we had been up since 0200 hours it was time for Linda to take a short nap while I unpacked and stowed our gear.
The cabin had good storage space. It was easy to organize our clothes and supplies for the next 14 days. Just inside the cabin door was a 2 door closet that was about 5 feet wide and was used for long hanging clothes, shoes and a top shelf for additional storage. There are also 2 fold down bars on a lower part of the closed to hang shirts and shorter items. Also hanging in this closet we found 2 nice white Celebrity waffle robes.
Next to that was another closet that contained a top shelf for the life vests, the safe and 5 drawers on the bottom. Also located in one of the drawers was a hair dryer.
In the corner at the end of the closet area was an angled area that contained a top shelf, a TV with a remote, information directory and below was a small refrigerator that contained a good variety of "pay-for" drinks and snacks.
Next to that was a king sized bed with rounded corners at the bottom. This makes it easier to navigate. On each side of the bed there was a night stand each with a light and one had the phone located there.
At the far end to the left was a dresser/desk that had a small drawer on each side, a chair, and a waste can. On the desk was our copy of Celebrity Today that contained "In the Spotlight" that provided photos and background information about the senior staff. On the back was useful information concerning everything from Alcohol use to the youth evacuation plan (YEP).Also inside was the "Shore Excursions Booking Form" that provided much of what you needed to know about this sailing. The back page of "Celebrity Today" can be easily detached and taken with you. It contains a list of events and times. We use a highlighter to mark thing we want to do.
On the desk we also found our Captain's Club coupons, schedule and guide. There were also 2 electrical outlets. There was a stainless steel/chrome tray with glasses and a filled ice bucket. To the right there was a wide chair and a small round glass table. And in the middle was a beautiful large window.
The wall (bulkhead) at the foot of the bed had full length mirrors for that "final check". Fly up?
The bathroom or HEAD was better and bigger than on most ships. It also had plenty of space to store items above and below. There was a hide-away trash holder, tissue dispenser, doors that had shelves and above counter storage of 2 shelves and 2 glass holders for personal items.
The shower was extra large with the standard removable nozzle. The shower curtain was cloth and there was a corner held to hold soap and shampoo. The water was always hot and we never ran out. Towels and wash cloths were plentiful. The soap, conditioner, and shampoo were specially made for Celebrity. There was also a container with cotton balls and Q-tips. There is also a nightlight in the bathroom. This was great.
The cabin was always spotless and we never wanted for anything. There was some slight wear due to the ships age but it was nothing to complain about.
We were provided us with fresh fruit every day along with plates, napkins, and silverware. Thanks Alfredo.
While waiting for the lifeboat drill we watch from our window the buses unload and people board. We then made our calls home to say our "good-byes".
We headed to the Casino around 1515 hrs for the lifeboat drill. As with our last sailings on the Celebrity we did not need to take or wear our life preservers. Once we mustered in we were shown the proper donning of the vests. The drill was quick, smooth and painless and we also had the save the waves lecture - don't throw anything overboard, especially any of those annoying fellow passengers.
We used the onboard system where $11.50 was added each day to our SeaPass account for each of us. This totaled $322.00 for both of us for the 14 day cruise. Well worth the service we received. We also spent another $170.00 for pre-tips and additional $152.00 for individual tipping. Our total onboard tips were $644.00. Most of the extra tips went to those normally receiving tips while others were given gratuities for personal services rendered. We usually pre-tip the Cabin attendant, Head Waiter, Waiter and Assistant Waiter provided they are delivering expected service (they always have). For this trip the pre-tip was about 25% per person of the normal tip and it was in addition to the standard daily tipping. As an example: The per/day per person tip for the waiter is $3.65 or $51.10 for this 14 day cruise. We gave the waiter $50.00 on day 2 and this was in addition to the $51.10 he would receive at the end of the cruise for each of us. In other words the total given to the waiter for both Linda and I totaled $152.20.
Linda and I both continue to feel blessed and it is our personal mission to share our blessings. To those whom much is given, much is expected.
We used $38.00 worth of $1.00 gold (looking) coins and $94.00 worth of $2.00 bills as an expression of appreciation for those providing additional service.
SEA DAYS & PORTS OF CALL:
FYI: I cannot usually go into great detail for the ports of call as we are boring tourists. We usually just walk around the towns' small shops buying a small souvenir if it is a port that we have never been to. In that case it is a small item with the location's name on it to display on our shelf. Not sure why we spend the money since no one looks at them anyway.
Also this was our fourth trip cruising to New England and Canada, once in 2007, 2008 and again in 2011. Two were on the Explorer of the Seas and now two on the Summit. We mainly took this cruise to spend time on board and to enjoy the shows.
Day 1: Embarkation and Sea Day
We simply spent the time getting settled in, attended the lifeboat drill, dressed for dinner, attended the 7 PM Celebrity Showtime Opening night welcome in the Celebrity Theater on deck 4, a stop at the Rendez-Vous Lounge and caught a slow dance with great sounds by the "Rythmix Dance Quartet. Then it was off to dinner where we met our great table mates Tom and Miriam from England and Pat and Joan from the mid-west. It was a table for 8 but they were empty the first night. Rod would join us the next night and Steve on the 3rd night.
Day 2: Sea Day
Started off the day at the Captain's Club breakfast area and here we met with the Captain's Club Host Lionel and also got a chance to meet several of the wait staff. Mostly we simply enjoyed a relaxing day at sea. At 6:45 PM we attended the Captain's Gala Toast & the terrific Celebrity Showtime "Stars in their Eyes". We have seen it before but still worth seeing again. We then made our routine stop at the Rendez-Vous Lounge and got in a few more slow dances with the "Rythmix Dance Quartet followed at 8:15 by the talented "Aqua-Fellas Acappella Quartet". It was also the first formal night and dinner was incredible.
Day 3: Bar Harbor, Maine
This was our first stop and we were tendered. This was our 4th visit to this port and the last time we were here the fog was so thick they used a whale watching boat for the ride to the pier. We waited awhile for the line to go down and did not use the "Priority Tender Tickets". We gave them to an older couple at our table to use. It was a smooth ride and once in town it was warm and sunny. We walked the town and had an old fashioned Cherry-Coke at the West Side Drug Store before returning to the pier for the tender ride back.
The show that night was Comedian Fred Klett who we have seen before but again worth watching again. Same routine following with a dance or two then dinner.
Day 4: Halifax, Nova Scotia
On this our 2nd stop we walked to the market place and bought some nuts to take home. This was our 4th time here. On our first visit we did the Peggy's Cove and harbor Lobster Shack tour we booked with Jonathan Duru. The next time we spent most of the day in the Maritime museum and the ship Arcadia. The last time we just walked around the Market Place. Told you we were dull tourists.
We took in the show this night was an amazing juggling act by "Playing by Air". The band tonight at the Rendez-Vous Lounge was "Fusion Party Band". A bit too fast for us slow dancers. So we just listened. Then as predicted it was off to dinner.
Day 5: Sydney, Nova Scotia
We were tendered at this port and it was our third visit to this beautiful historic town. The weather was perfect. The terminal offers free WIFI but could not get on as it was too busy. We walked into town and stopped at Governor's Pub and Eatery which was within 3 blocks of the terminal. They have great music on the second floor bar area. This Irish Pub is a must stop. Make sure you try the Poutine for only $4.99. This is a large dish of great French fries covered in gravy and melting cheese.
Tonight's show was pianist Brooks Aehron who made the ivorys dance. The Rythmix were back and so were a few slow dances. Dinner was amazing as usual.
Day 6: Sea Day (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island - Cancelled)
This was to be our 4th stop but was cancelled due to high winds so we headed to Quebec City and we were able to out run the bad weather thanks to great thinking on the part of the Captain. We have been her 3 times and did not mind the change.
Tonight's show was "Sirens" and this was the 3rd time we have seen it and it still is worth watching again. Followed by dancing to the sounds of Rythmix and and listening to the Aqua-fellas at the Rendez-Vous and dinner. Later the Senior officers hosted a dance contest with a fellow passenger at the Revelations Lounge on deck 11 and we have always enjoyed these. However on this trip we passed and went to bed early. Having late seating made it difficult to get a seat as this is always a jammed packed event.
Days 7, 8 and 9: Quebec City, Quebec (Arrived a full day early)
Day 7 was supposed to be a sea day and the second formal night. Due to being in port the formal night was cancelled. On this our 4th stop, which was originally to be only a one overnighter, was now extended to give us 3 days and 2 nights in Quebec City. What a gift.
This was our 3rd visit and on the first time here we walked the town, hotel, and fort. The last stop we just ventured into town staying on the lower level. On this trip on the first 2 days we would venture into town and we would walk to the top where the Le Chateau Frontenac Hotel and Boardwalk. We needed the exercise to burn those calories and the almost 200 steps to get there helped.
Bistro on Five: During day 7, our first day in Quebec City, we decided to try the Bistro for the first time. There were only 2 other couple there when we arrived around 2:00PM as most were ashore. We were met by Gusti Yudha Anggara who showed us the ropes. He was amazing in helping us decide what to try. Luis Sandoval also took great care of us there too. The crepes were incredible so much so that three days later we returned with our table gang of 6 for a repeat this time Luther Zabayle took good care of us.
Day 7 we watched the movie Iron Lady in Conference room 3 and this meant we did not go to the show or the lounge for a pre-dinner dance. We really miss the old theater on the Summit. It was removed and a conference room took its place. The old theater had large comfortable tiered seating and resembled a small modern theater. The conference room set up makes it hard to see the screen. We were saddened to see this change after she was "Solsticized".
FYI: Guitarist Nestor Santurio played at the Rendez-Vous and the Show was a variety type presentation on day 7.
Day 8 they showed the movie "War Horse" in the Celebrity Theater on the big screen and it was HQ. The show was the Aqua-fellas and Nestor in the Revelations deck 11.
Day 9 we watched another movie at 10 AM in conference room 3. The show this night was comedian Michele Balan and was good for a laugh. The Rythmix and Aqua-Fellas were back in the Rendez-Vous.
Day 10: Sea Day
We started off the day as we usually do on a sea day. Told you we were boring. The show this night was vocalist Jack Walker and he was great. Fusion was back at the Rendez-Vous. No dance this night.
Day 11: Gaspe, Canada
Tendered at this port which was our 5th stop. This time we used our priority tender tickets to go ashore. This was our first time here so we needed to buy that trinket, which turned out to be a drink coaster with the town's lighthouse on it. Once off the tender there is a small building to get information and a cup of coffee. We bought the ticket for the hop-on hop-off bus for $5.00 and rode the short distance into town .Normally we would have walked but there was a steady rain. The village looked like something out of a postcard from Alaska. Beautiful, clean, and friendly was the best way to describe this hidden treasure.
Tonight's show was illusionist Ryan Joyce and it was the best show of the cruise. It was a bit spooky to see a floating table on the stage of a moving cruise ship. He was absolutely amazing. He used the audience in his act too and this made it even more enjoyable.
Rythmix and Aqua-Fellas were back at the Rendez-Vous so another night to slow dance.
Days 12: Sea Day
Today was the same routine as before, with the exception that this afternoon they had the Captain's Club Celebration in Revelations. We were greeted at the door by the Captain and other senior officers. This is a great event with sliced prime rib and plenty of crepes and sushi not to mention plenty of free libations.
This was also our second and last formal night. We were invited to the captain's table as the guests of the Staff Captain Filippos. We were treated again like celebrities. We are not sure why we were blessed by this opportunity but we are grateful to those who created another night to remember.
We skipped the show tonight due to the dinner with the Captain. It was iHollywood and another great show that we have seen before. Since our dinner was early seating we decided that after dinner we would head to our table (301) and join our friends for another round of Oysters Rockefeller which were out of this world. Then it was time a stroll around the ship before turning in.
Day 13: Portland, Maine
This was our 6th and last port-of-call. This was our third time here and since we have been to the Portland Lighthouse we decided this time we would just walk off some of the great meals we were accumulating.
This was our first US stop after leaving Canada and we had to clear immigration and this took awhile. It is understandable and expected. This also eliminated the need to clear immigration in Bayonne too.
Day 14: Sea Day
On this last full day there was a grand brunch in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant from 10:00 to 1:00 that was incredible. Roast pork, shrimp, eggs to order, too many items to remember or mention. This event is not to be missed.
therwise is was a day to simply relax, read a few chapters, take a nap - or two, and started the packing ritual to get ready to go home.
The show that night started out with the Cruise Director Caissie with a couple power solos. What an amazing voice.
Day 15: Bayonne, NJ - Debarkation
On this last sad day we were up early, had our last meal in the Ocean View Cafe, then we went to wait in the Normandie Restaurant for our number to be called. We were Green 3 and would be the third group called after the self-assists were completed.
We were scheduled to be in port by 0700 but due to heavy fog we were delayed almost 90 minutes. We had beverages and snacks while we waited and we were called around 9:10 AM and onto the bus ride to the terminal where we easily found our 2 bags. Customs was a breeze and our ride arrived a short time later.
We were home by 2:10 that same afternoon with a trunk full of wonderful memories. That is why this review is a bit wordy. It helps keep the memories alive.
CREW AND STAFF COMMENDATIONS
Below are individual compliments about many of those who have met the mission. I may have misspelled several names since some of my notes were hard to decipher. I am sure I missed some too. We never experienced a bad moment due to a member of the crew or staff. They all went out of their way to help make this another memorable cruise.
Captain Panagiotis Mantzavinos:
Captain Mantzavinos proved to be a competent and skilled Master of the Vessel. He was the Captain during our 9-11-11 sailing and just like that last time he kept us safe and out of the storm. He took time throughout the cruise to meet and greet passengers. He seemed to be everywhere and would always greet us with a warm and friendly smile. We enjoyed warm and wonderful short conversations with the Captain. He attended many events and he is a great Ambassador for Celebrity. We will always remember this cruise because of his kindness. It is specifically this type of treatment and attitude that will have us continue sailing on Celebrity.
Staff Captain Filippos Adelfoulakos:
Captain Filippos will always be remembered for his kindness extended to us as our host at the Captain's Table on the last formal night. He was friendly and put all of us at ease with his warm conversation. We will always remember this evening with fond memories.
Hotel Director Ugo Vaccalluzzo:
Ugo was the Hotel Director on our 5-20-12 sailing and just like on that cruise he has ensured we were treated like celebrities. His behind the scenes leadership is the reason we continue to receive outstanding service. What a terrific job he did in making sure all our needs were met. We could not have asked for better service. His personal attention to detail made sure of that. We will always remember this cruise because of his kindness. He was always accessible and his warm and friendly smile is another reason we will continue sailing on Celebrity.
Captain's Club Host Lionel:
As the Captain's Club Host he provided outstanding service and he personally made sure we were well taken care of. There were almost 500 guests taking advantage of Elite privileges. On the second day of the cruise we found in our room a rose he sent to Linda. He seemed to be everywhere. He could be found at the Captain's deck and warmly greet us in the evenings at the nightly socials in the Exclusive Lounge for Elite members. He always could be observed greeting and speaking with many of the guests. We believe he was also responsible for our invitations to the Captain's table on the last formal night. The deep personal friendship that was established during this cruise and the time talking with him were highlights of our day. The bouquet of flowers he sent to Linda was a pleasant surprise too. Celebrity always places their best in this position. It is superior service like this that will have us return to Celebrity.
Guest Relations Manager Pearline Morgan:
She was always warm and friendly and this is reflected shows in the commitment of her staff to deliver excellent service. Her leadership is another reason we will continue sailing on Celebrity. It is this type of personal touch that makes you feel like a "Celebrity".
Guest Relations Officer - Juan Melmar Layson:
He was always warm and friendly and helpful. This was our third sailing with Melmar. He is another reason we will continue sailing on Celebrity. It is this type of personal touch that makes you feel like a "Celebrity".
Cruise Director Caissie Stafford:
We loved Caissie. She was incredible and provided great entertainment. He was always warm and friendly and seemed to be everywhere. What a beautiful and powerful voice as she entertained us with a couple of songs on one of the last shows in the Celebrity Theater. She really made us feel like "Celebrities" by the way she treated everyone.
Executive Chef Rene Rojas:
My weight gain is proof of a job well done. He provided excellent food and service and he even visited the Captain's Table the night we were there. We had great food especially mouth watering rack of lamb. It was never cold. The only complaint was that there was too much food and I lacked self-discipline wanting to try everything.
As our Maitre'd' Mustafa delivered outstanding service. He was on our last cruise in May too. We are appreciative of his excellent efforts and his leadership in taking good care of us. If we needed something special he took care of it. He was always greeting us with warm and friendly hugs even when we were in ports of call. We will remember his kindness and friendship for a very long time. It is service like this that will have us return to Celebrity.
Assistant Maitre'd Erdal:
We have had the honor of being with Erdal on our last 2 sailing. Once on the Summit last May and on the Silhouette last November. He too delivered outstanding service. We are also appreciative of his excellent efforts and his leadership in taking good care of us. His warm greetings were a welcomed sight each evening as we entered the Dining room. It is service like this that will have us return to Celebrity.
Assistant Maitre'd Murat Dolas:
We have had the honor of getting to know Murat on this cruise. He was in charge of the Ocean View Cafe and he too delivered outstanding service. We are appreciative of his excellent efforts and his leadership in taking good care of us. His warm greetings were a welcomed sight each morning and afternoon. It is service like this that will have us return to Celebrity.
Waiter Abdullah Avci:
We want to compliment once again the superior service provided by Abdullah. This is our third cruise on the Summit with Avci and he is another reason we keep returning. It started on the first cruise when he would extend an arm to help steady Linda as she would enter or leave the Ocean View Cafe or dining room. His outstanding "service oriented" attitude made him a "standout". We always sat in his assigned area in the Ocean View Cafe in the morning he would promptly make sure we had whatever we needed.
His outstanding service was demonstrated by act of kindness that built lasting memories. When we first met him last September he would see Linda and I walking arm in arm to help steady her. This was due to her recovery still being a work in progress. Abdullah would immediately come over and offer his arm too on the opposite side. This soon became the anticipated highlight of our cruise. Meeting Abdullah and having him escort Linda to her table in the main dining room or the cafe. When we would leave he would provided this honored escort out to the lobby area.
We have stayed in touch with him while he was on vacation and knew when he would return. At the end of this sailing he headed home for a short vacation before returning to the Summit later this year. It is memories and superior service like this that will have us return to Celebrity.
Abdullah is to be commended for this personalized and priceless act of kindness.
Stateroom Attendant Alfredo Dimaano:
Upon arrival we entered one of the cleanest cabins we have experienced. It even smelled like fresh country air. He has kept our room spotless and the rose and fresh fruit has made us feel like celebrities. He was hard working and always warm and friendly. He would always go out of his way to see that our needs were met even though he had a lot of other cabins to take care of. He took care of a couple of small requests quickly. We will remember him for a long time to come and he proved to be another one of the best attendants we have ever had. He always made sure that if he saw us he would say hi and ask if we needed anything. At the end of this cruise he too was heading home on vacation to spend time with his family. We wish him a restful time off.
Assistant Stateroom Attendant Kadek Kusuma:
Kadek made sure we were well taken care of. He was always greeting us with a warm and friendly smile. He quickly helped us out with some small requests too. He had a great attitude and this continues to reflect the high quality of service that was consistent on the Summit.
Waiter Savio (Table 301 Late seating):
Savio provided superior service. He too was one of the best waiters we have ever had. He was fast, efficient, friendly, and helpful. He took excellent care of us during our 13 meals (we had one dinner at the Captain's Table) in the dining room. He worked hard to serve us and he made sure we were happy with our meals. He also assisted Linda with cutting here steak. It is waiters like Savio that will have us continue sailing on Celebrity.
Assistant Waitress Jorge Arias (Table 301 Late seating):
Jorge was our assistant waiter and he was also excellent in taking care of us. We really enjoyed having him at our table and he was warm and friendly and took care of everything we needed. He is another good reason we will continue sailing on Celebrity.
Bar Server (Captain's Club - Evening) Norris Tyrell:
Norris provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club lounge. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity.
Bar Server (Captain's Club - Evening) Vijay R Naik:
Vijay provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club lounge. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity.
Bar Server (Captain's Club - Evening) Ricky:
Ricky provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club lounge. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity.
Chef De Rang (Captain's Club - Morning) Carlos Mosquera:
Carlos provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club lounge in the morning. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity.
Chef De Rang (Captain's Club - Morning) Francy Fermilien:
Francy provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club lounge in the morning. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity.
Chef De Rang (Captain's Club - Morning) David Hernandez:
David provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club lounge in the morning. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity.
Chef De Rang (Captain's Club - Morning) Gede Sugiarta:
Gede provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club lounge in the morning. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity.
Bar Server (Captain's Club - Morning) Roderick:
Roderick provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club lounge in the morning. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity.
Housekeeping Vijay R. Naik:
Vijay provided outstanding service in the evenings manning the men's room near the mid-ships atrium on deck 4. This is a thankless job handing out clean hand towels but he did it with a smile. His warm and friendly smile demonstrated a true servant's heart. He also worked in the Captain's Club in the evening. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity.
Sommelier Allan Orellanida:
We will remember him for his kindness. He was also very professional. We loved his visits to our table and he is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity.
Greeter Ocean View Cafe Mike:
Mike provided excellent when greeting us in the morning with his hand sanitizer. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity.
Greeter Ocean View Cafe Bernard:
Bernard provided excellent when greeting us in the morning with his hand sanitizer. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity.
Anna was initially as our Assistant waitress during our first 2 days. She did and excellent job and was always warm, friendly and efficient.
Waiter Pedro Valencia:
Pedro Valiencia did a great job and provided great service while we are in the Ocean View Cafe. We were also with Pedro on the Mercury during 2 sailings. He was always warm and friendly and he is one of the reasons we will continue sailing on Celebrity.
Waiter Arnel Mendoza:
Arnel did a great job and providing hot coco at the terminal in Halifax. He was greeted us with a warm and friendly smile. It is this type of service and attitude why we continue sailing on Celebrity.
Snack Attendant Gusti Yudha Anggara (Bistro on five):
Gusti provided excellent service during our visits to this great hidden gem.
Snack Attendant Luis Sandoval (Bistro on five):
Luis provided excellent service during our first visits to this great hidden gem.
Culinary Tour Guide Luther Zabayle (Bistro on five):
Luther provided excellent service during our second visit to this great hidden gem.
Marshall provided great service preparing poached egg specialties. He took excellent care of us. He was always patient with special requests and his warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity.
Future Cruise Department:
They were outstanding. They were always helpful and friendly. We attended a presentation on the "Open Passage" program and they did a great job and they were able to answer every question. They are great ambassadors for Celebrity.
They were very helpful in developing about 40 snapshots we took of crewmembers for only $0.32 each and after we used an Elite discount coupon. We give these photos back to the crew with a thank you note on the back. We normally have to locate a CVS at one of the ports to get them developed, but no more.
We had a photo op with a white background and heart-shaped chair. I thought it might not turn out but Wow! They did a fantastic job and we ended up purchasing this photo.
TO ALL THE REST WHOSE NAMES WE FORGOT:
We regret if we failed to get their names so please accept this as our thanks for all those who worked behind the scenes for taking such good care of us.
I will let any criticism in this area up to real experts. I am easy to please and, except for the rare dislike of a type of seasoning, I enjoy most foods. I will mention some things that were noteworthy though.
About the food? While onboard we were never been disappointed by the meals. Just eat MRE's (Military Rations) for awhile in the desert in the middle-east and you will never complain again. Or at least you shouldn't. I only gained about 2 pounds on this sailing. We try and walk and use the stairs helps burn it off.
In the Ocean View Cafe they have Great Belgian Waffles, bread pudding, made to order sandwiches, Superior Angus burgers at the pool grill, fish and chips on selected days, fried, eggs benedict, sticky buns, sorbet, and good coffee.
Captain's Club Reception:
One afternoon they had a special treat in the Revelations Lounge for Captain's Club Members that included drinks and plenty of special food like Sushi, Bananas flambE, roast beef to mention a few. There was also entertainment. This was well done.
One afternoon they had a special reception for Select and Elite members in The Revelations Lounge. This gave us an opportunity to spend time with the Officers. This too was well done.
What a neat experience. It should not be missed. Great scones with jam and whipped cream.
STAYING CONNECTED AT SEA
We used the internet service and it was great to stay connected. About every third day we would log on, update our Facebook page with a situation report and then we checked our email for anything important from the family. We spent an average of 9 to 14 minutes per day. The cost was $0.55 per minute if you bought the 90 minute package. We were fortunate that Captain's Club Elite members were given coupons for 90 minutes of free internet time. Since we are both Elite we had a total of 3 hours of free time but we only used one coupon for 90 minutes. This is an excellent benefit. Not bad! This saved us almost $50.00. This is another good reason to cruise Celebrity and to make Elite as soon as you can.
We place our cell phone on "home only" mode to eliminate the mistake of getting nailed for an international call. We have the international feature turned on in the event we needed to make any calls. In order to use it we simply would turn off the home only feature.
We used the coupons provided to Elite Members of the Captain's Club. We were given 2 (1 each) for 30 pieces of laundry. We used two coupons on this cruise and it saved us over $100.00. Be advised that they cannot be used the last 3 days of the cruise. We also had the coupons for dry cleaning. These saved us a lot. We had 2 more coupons that would have allowed us to send a bag of clothes for wash, dry and fold for $20.00 a bag. There also were other coupons for having 2 items pressed and dry cleaned.
We were extremely pleased with the service. The pants and shirts came neatly folded. On the Mercury they came back pressed and on hangers. I even think the underwear was pressed. At least they looked that way. This was the 6th cruise where we returned home with more clean clothes than dirty. This also allows us to pack less.
Thanks laundry staff for another great job.
Captain's Club Benefits (Elite):
Celebrity has made a very important and positive decision to improve benefits to loyal members (even by proxy - Diamond Members on Royal Caribbean). These changes and enhancements have been an important factor for us as we choose our next cruise. It already worked. You can go online and check out the benefits for Select and Elite members. They are a powerful recruitment tool and this was smart decision making on the part of Celebrity's management. We estimate that the Captain's Club Benefits on this cruise alone were valued at almost $600.00.
The Senior Officer's Cocktail Parties and the Captain's Club Celebrations are not just a "grip and grin" (smile and a handshake). They were excellent events.
We had filled out questionnaires during the cruise relative to our end of cruise traveling plans. This allowed us to get the same debarkation as those traveling with us. We had to give up our priority debarkation lounge and time.
Processing started on time for those getting off early. We were scheduled to get off at 9:00 AM and our waiting area was in the Rendezvous Lounge. We were off by 9:35AM. Customs and Immigration was a breeze. No body cavity searches on this port entry. We found our luggage without any problems thanks to those orange bands. There was plenty of space in the rows to easily move them.
We were home around 2:15 PM without incident. Traffic was light and we made it in 3 hours and 40 minutes with one stop.
PCD Syndrome (Post-Cruise Depression Syndrome)
We purchased, while onboard, an OPEN PASSAGE booking for $100.00 on a Celebrity cruise. We have used these in the past and in fact they provide greater benefits on a 14 day or longer cruise than Shareholder Benefits. We used one to book this cruise for $300.00 Shipboard credit and we now have 2 to use for a future cruise. We can also use this same benefit on 2 other cabins for friends and family who will receive the same SBC.
Well, that about wraps it up. I am sure I have forgotten many events that we enjoyed. This was another terrific cruise and we were blessed that nothing went wrong and that our families were kept safe while we were gone.
As always we want to give a final compliment to the crew and staff. Well done faithful servants. May you have fair winds and following seas?
Linda and Gary