October 2003 Destination:
Southern Caribbean Embarkation:
Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Celebrity Cruises has once again surpassed our expectations and provided us with another valued memorable vacation experience. Firstly Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades is a pleasant port to embark from. Clean, organized and easy to navigate. We arrived early, were immediately received and guided across the gang plank with awaiting sincere smiles and cool Mimosa's. We were instantly impressed with the GTS Summit. A beautiful expansive ship that glistened from stern to bow offering the best, most friendly service at sea. The Aquaspa was a gorgeous, seriously relaxing, esoteric music laden haven ! A work of art itself. Never too crowded and with much to be enjoyed without paying additional fee's. The steam and dry sauna's were great, the Thallassotherapy Pool was quite large, beautiful and relaxing but didn't have quite the "oomph" compared to the "T" pool on Century. The Aquaspa cafe was a delightful find and comes highly recommended. The pool deck again was beautiful and somehow More
appeared even more beautiful as the sun drew to dusk across the aqua designer pool lighting. The Conservatory was very attractive and offered unusual floral gifts. The Celebrity Theatre was impressive, posh and offered open views from 3 levels. The Cosmopolitan Restaurant was everything and more of what you would expect from Celebrity's culinary excellence and the string ensemble offered yet another star to an already 5 star nightly dining experience. Our waiter and his asst., Cengiz Bengal & Hrvoje, never faltered even once. They were wonderful and even the Maitre'D staff were warm & friendly, insightful and helpful and even deserved their tip "which I have found quite rare are previous trips regarding asst. Maitre'D's....The gem on this ship is the speciality restaurant "Normandy" and is worth twice the 25.00pp surcharge. It was a beautifully orchestrated meal from start to finally finishing offering a historically correct 1st class setting, timeless classical offerings and superb service !! We had breakfast in the dining room and also at the Waterfall cafe sitting outside enjoying the warm morning air and found both to be wonderful experiences. Lunch was again great and we especially enjoyed the pasta station towards the rear of the cafe. The themed lunches were outstanding ! Our room was well appointed and the bed was much, much more comfortable than other cruise lines and even Century's. Maybe it was the mattress cover, regardless it was very nice. Our balcony was a bit smaller than we had hoped for but was adequate and enjoyed. I have the opinion all balcony's should accommodate 2 lounge chairs. The jogging track was great stretching out over a large portion of the upper deck. Lots of open equipment in the gym and their fitness instructor "Mirela" was another daily highlight ! The talent aboard this ship was truly amazing. All the musicians, especially the Mozart quartet and the Orchestra were just wonderful. The party band was good, quite good but not quite as good as a previous party band on Celebrity called Calypso aboard Century last year. Summits singers and dancers always amazed us and put on elaborate, very enjoyable shows. An acupella foursome called the Coverdales from Indy might someday soon become a national act. Reka & Farkass performed a most sensual, beautiful aerial ballet. A very talented illusionist that successfully combined comedy into his performance was great. But.... with all that in mind there was one true standout. The Cruise Director, Simon Weir, was absolutely sensational. By leaps and bounds the best C.D. on the ocean. He ooozed charisma and could in my opinion put Leno or Letterman out of a job. This guy was honestly worth the trip all by himself. The 10 night itinerary was again extremely enjoyed. Arriving almost always early and offering ample time to enjoy each place. St. Lucia was beautiful and looked more like a South Pacific paradise. Though poor, the locals were very warm and welcoming. We met up with a cab driver with quite a personality that took us over every mile of this small island. Stopping at some friend of his remote grill to get us casava pone cakes fresh from the griddle, they were wonderful. St. Kitts was again a beautiful place, with black sand lava beaches and friendly atmospheres. St. Maarteen is always enjoyed and Barbados is a place we want to return to as 1 day just isn't enough. St. Thomas is another place we love but the cab drivers there stink. They are rude, pesky, and have no regard nor respect for visitors. I would opt for an NYC cab driver wearing a turban anyday. The tourism dept. at St. Thomas might consider addressing this, again in my opinion. We opted walking to the shopping dist. about 3/4 mile, all sidewalk and catching a cab from there to Megans Bay instead of being herded into the cattle trucks that pull up to the port. The Celebrity staff didn't like them any better than myself and told me so. The Summit staff was a daily welcome, greeting us and offering assistance at every venue. We always enjoyed the islands but we more enjoyed returning to the ship. Sea days are filled with well planned activities. The Summit operated like rolex clockwork with all the gems ! Less
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