My husband and I recently returned from our 14 night cruise to Hawaii which departed from the port of San Pedro. We had made hotel arrangements prior to our sailing at the Crowne Plaza located quite near the pier (actually within walking distance.) As we had driven from Oregon we got the park and sail package which I would highly recommend. Our room was very nice, the package included a bottle of wine and breakfast, as well as a shuttle to and from the pier.
We boarded the Summit around 11:30 a.m. The embarkation process went much smoother than we have experienced in the past, as well as the disembarkation. There is always a line and somewhat of a wait when leaving the ship, but this went well and was organized.
We had an inside room, lower level. It was a bit smaller than other lines, but adequate considering the short amount of time one spends there. We were very pleased with the cleanliness of the entire ship. Yes it had some wear and tear but as I have read in several posts...if your home was visited on the average of every 7 days by approx. 2000 visitors...I dare say it would show some wear and tear.
We have sailed with RCC, Princess, Carnival and Norwegian in the past, but had always heard that Celebrity was a step above all. Well, we are pleased to inform all that this is indeed the case. First we were greeted with champagne upon arrival. Our room steward greeted us early and asked if we needed anything then gave us directions to the buffet and suggested we go up and enjoy a leisure lunch and explore the ship prior to leaving.
The dining room staff was the best we have ever encountered! We had main seating, table 459 with John as our head waiter and Ivan as assistant waiter. We had a table of six with two couples from Florida that we made instant friends with, very delightful people that we looked forward to spending our evenings with. The staff on this ship, not only the ones that we knew i.e., wait staff or room staff, were all very friendly and I don't mean for show...I mean really very pleasant people. All taking time to stop and ask about your day, your meals, etc.
The entertainment was very good, especially the comedians. There were two, one a musical comedian and the other a ventriloquist...the last absolutely not to be missed! The other evenings were a violinist, dulcimer (ist?), and the Celebrity Show Dancers and Singers. All quite good.
We were uncertain about this cruise due to the 4 days at sea going and the 4 sea days coming back. But there were plenty of activities to keep one busy, or like myself...lying by the pool was wonderful. Each day at 2 p.m. they had "Sorbet on Parade"...a sound of trumpets and the waiters in their finest carrying silver trays would come from all directions and hand out cups of sorbet. How could it get better...well, in the heat of the afternoon, they would bring out cool towels to refresh those of us, burning up! Now that is going the extra mile!
We, having been to Hawaii before did not partake of the shore excursions but instead enjoyed planning our days at port ourselves. The two days in Honolulu were great. The first day we took the city bus and rode it all around the island, seeing small communities that the ordinary tourist doesn't get to see. Well worth the 3 hours. The second day we spent walking around Waikiki and found ourselves at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel having Mai Tais and watching the sunset!
Hilo, a small port on the big island did not have a lot to offer, but certainly glad we were able to see it. Spent the day in old town, at the market place...never have seen such huge avocados! Lovely little village. Kona on the other hand was a favorite. Superb shopping and sightseeing.
Maui was also a great place, but unfortunately was the shortest of all our ports. Seems that most all the passengers would have preferred to have skipped Hilo and spent more time in Maui. Perhaps the ship will take this into consideration and change their itinerary in the future.
This cruise had very few children, I believe at one time I might have seen a dozen that were with a crew member for the day. This was definitely a cruise that seemed to have a majority of travelers over the age of 60. I'm not sure if that is the norm or it was the time of year. None the less, it was a happy crew and happy passengers all the way around!
I would highly recommend Celebrity Summit and the 14 day cruise to Hawaii to anyone interested in a clean ship, a friendly crew, great food and entertainment and lovely ports of call.