We were finally on our way to Alaska. We were originally booked on the 6/ 3/2005 sailing that was cancelled due to pod problems. We ended up going to Bermuda last year on the Horizon after our cancellation and used our free cruise on the 6/17/06 Alaska sailing on the Summit.
We flew in one day early from Knoxville, Tennessee and stayed at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. The hotel is beautiful but very expensive.After arrival we went out for some sightseeing in Gaston and a bite to eat at a small pub type restaurant. We had originally booked this hotel on the understanding that the Summit would be docked across the street at Canada Place. However, this was not the case. We had to take a short bus ride to Ballaytine Pier to board the ship. The bus left from the hotel at 11:00 AM and we were onboard by 11:45.
Embarkation was easy and efficient. Our room was a balcony cabin, number 7160, on the starboard side of the ship. The cabin was nice, but when the sofa bed is pulled out, it makes it hard to get to the balcony. You must climb over the bed to get out to the balcony.
Our first port of call was Juneau. We took a bus tour on our own out to Mendenhall Glacier and the Chapel by the Lake. We had a Tlingit tour guide named August. He was very informative and the tour was a good value for the price. After the tour we went out to the Hangar Restaurant in The Wharf. We had a bucket of King Crab legs and some Alaskan Beer. It was pricey but they were worth it.
Next up was Skagway. Shopping was good here especially at Corringtons Ivory Shop and Museum and we also went to the Red Onion Saloon and had had a snack before our trip on the White Pass and Yukon Railroad. The weather was perfect, and the scenery was spectacular. I would highly recommend the train to anyone.
The next port was Sitka. We had no tours scheduled, the town was packed, and it was raining. So we went back to the ship and spotted 5 or 6 eagles from the balcony. We had a good time watching as the mother fed her babies in the nest. Our last stop was Icy Strait Point. They allow only one ship a day to visit. We had a Whale Watching Excursion booked through Celebrity. We saw several whales but did not get close enough to get a good picture. We also saw sea lions and eagles on the boat ride. After the excursion we went to a small restaurant by the dock. We had a whole Dungoness Crab. They were 18 dollars each and well worth it,even better than the King Crab in Juneau.
The next day was Hubbard Glacier and was much better than we had expected. The "White Thunder" was unbelievable and the calving was magnificent. We also saw seals on the way out of the bay.
The food in the main dining room was very good. Our waiters, Augustine and Niyazi, worked very hard to please us. The beef dishes seemed especially good, but my son was partial to the lamb. Food in the buffet during breakfast was very good, especially the waffle and omelet stations. The cheeseburgers and hot dogs at the waterfall grill were also very good, but the line could get long. The sushi bar was good, but not quite as good as on the Infinity in February.
The shows were very good, we enjoyed the Celebrity singers and dancers, and also the comedian, Don Gavin. The aerialists were unbelievable. The Cirque de Soleil show was okay overall, but the acrobat was very good, but the clown portion was not.
Overall the Summit is a wonderful ship, well taken care of, and we had fantastic service. I would recommend the Summit to anyone and would be happy to sail on her again.