We have been on 8 cruises in various areas of the world and also, on different cruise lines. The cruise on the Celebrity Summit through the Panama Canal was wonderful. All of the Ports of Call were interesting and the highlight of the trip was the cruise through the Panama Canal. This was our 25th wedding anniversary, a second honey moon. It couldn't have been much better. Even the weather cooperated. Temperatures in Los Angeles were warm and comfortable, as they were in Cabo San Lucas, in the 70s. As we cruised to the south, the temperatures and humidity increased, peaking in Aruba in the 90s. We are from Wisconsin, so the 70s were warm and comfortable; the 90s were HOT causing us to fight for the shady side of the streets. The passengers on the ship were from all over the world.
In Cabo San Lucas we took a sail on a very old two masted ship, over 100 years old. This was very nice and I would do it again. The primary purpose was to see whales, we did. It was a very relaxing mini-cruise into the Pacific on a very interesting old sailing ship.
In Acapulco, we hired a taxi and toured the area for a few hours ending at the cliff divers location. We walked back to the ship; an interesting walk through the center of town.
We took the tubing trip in Huatulco. The water was a little low, but the trip was fun and we saw many birds. It also took us into the county. Huatulco is a new developing resort. In the afternoon, we took a short taxi ride into a near-by town. This is an area that is not used to seeing tourists so it was very interesting to just walk around the city center.
Puntarenas, Costa Rica was very interesting. We took the trip up into the mountains to see the cloud forest. We went from sea level to around 5,000 feet in elevation. The cloud forest is beautiful, very green and wet. It wasn't very cold, maybe around 70 degrees, but it was a bit wet. You will need a rain coat. We dressed as instructed with long sleeves and long pants, but didn't need them. The trip included several walks over long suspension bridges, a walk through a humming bird feeding area where we saw hundreds of birds, up close and personal, and a huge bug collection. Well worth the trip.
Then, the Panama Canal, this was why we came. We got up early and were allowed on the helicopter pad on the bow. The ship entered the first lock at 8 AM. We got off the ship in Gatun Lake and took a nature walk and river cruise on a Disney Jungle Cruise style boat. We saw a sloth, many birds, monkeys and a crocodile. We also drove through the Gatun Locks and watched the Summit come through it at the tourist viewing area. The ship picked us up in Colon around 7 PM. The ship was little late. The Canal folks are in charge while in the Canal, so the ship has little control over the timing. Interesting fact: the cost for the Summit to use the Canal was about $240,000. The ship took a beating going through the Canal but by the time we left Aruba, the new paint was dry and the ship was ready to head north, back to the US; looking good.
In Aruba, we tired a driver to tour the island. It took about 4 hours to see everything we wanted to view. The cost was $40 per hour, well worth it. Aruba was HOT, in the 90s!
Positives: " While the ship was 5 years old, it was well maintained. You could see wear and tear, but nothing to be concerned about. " The food and staff were great. " The entertainment was the best we have seen on a ship. " The Celler Master, Fernando, and our Wine Stewart, Maggie, were wonderful, entertaining and knowledgeable. " The Ports of Call were all interesting. " The ice cream stations provided a large assortment of choices; the soft serve chocolate was specialty rich and flavorful. " Getting on and off the ship was uneventful. " Cold towels and drinks were provided every time was reboarded the ship. " The spa area, provided at no additional charge, included a sauna with a large window to the sea, whirlpools and a heated salt-water aquaspa with bubble jets (we called it the cooker). A specialty spa was available for an additional $120 for the cruise with all kinds of interesting features, but we didn't see anyone use them. Too bad ships have all this wasted space that few use.
Negatives: " Passengers were allowed to smoke in many public areas of the ship. " Specialty coffee was not included after dinner; there was an extra charge for a cuppanico. " After dinner desserts were good, but not great. " This was our first cruise on Celebrity and we noticed that returning cruisers to Celebrity are treated a little better than us first timers. Other lines do this too, but not as openly as Celebrity.
As you can see, there were few negatives. We had a good time. Our cabin was 2004, at the bow; one of the smallest on the ship. We sleep in the cabin, that's it, so we really don't care whether we have a window or not. We enjoyed the ship, our fellow passengers and the cruise.