Our Cruise – Celebrity Summit –Roundtrip from Port Liberty to Bermuda– June 29 to July 6, 2014
This was a honeymoon cruise for my wife and I. I have personally sailed on NCL and she has sailed on NCL, RCI and Celebrity in the past. Between the 2 of us we have 10 cruises under our belts. We chose Celebrity as it claims to be a luxury cruise experience, as NCL’s Breakaway was doing an identical cruise, its port was easier to get to (In Manhattan) and was less expensive.
Travel to Cape Liberty cruise port from Manhattan was reasonable and comfortable in a town car hired specifically for this trip, minimal wait for the driver to park and get our luggage into a porters hands and us into the line to get on board.
Our embarkation, although traveling Concierge Class, did not seem to get us any faster service than others traveling in other classes. Once we checked in , received our boarding cards and picture taken, we were immediately allowed onto the ship.
The Summit shows signs of age, rust in many places. It was recently “solticized”, thus it has newer TV’s in the cabin, and I am sure other things as well were updated, but it still seemed like an older ship.
Dining was as good in the Main, Q-Sine & Normandie restaurants, although portions were small. The Café was poorly laid out and a lot of time was spent traversing the entire area to find what you wanted to eat and drink.
Activities on this ship seemed very limited, at least for us. Bingo was very expensive and the games played were a joke, single line, four corners and X, thus total time of regular Bingo was about 30 minutes. Final day Bingo they added coverall and the drawing for the free cruise, this maybe added 20 minutes. Be advised, the raffle tickets for the free cruise do not only come from Bingo Players, casino also offers raffle tickets based on amount played in the daily lottery. Needless to say, on this cruise the cruise winner was someone who probably paid for it twice over, as I personally saw him put over 100 tickets into the hopper.
The staff and service were deplorable, with a few exceptions. The Captain, Cruise Director, Captain’s Club Concierge and 2 Bartenders did their job very well. Our cabin Main cabin Steward was useless, her assistant at least was tolerable. Reminder, we were in Concierge Class, had to ask for towel animals, daily flowers in room apparently is no longer part of the package, although it is still listed as an amenity, free champagne that came with room, although iced upon arrival, was never re-iced until it was brought to their attention. Had an issue on this cruise and needed Guest Relations Desk to assist in sorting it out, useless they were. Met an Officer at Meet and Mingle who promised to help sort out our issue, promised to get back to us, never heard from or saw him again. Captain’s Club Meet and Greet is where we met Captain’s Club Concierge and she did everything within her power to appease us, but by this time things were snowballing out of control and the whole trip had been ruined. Please see my summary below for details.
The one excursion out of three we pre-purchased was excellent. It was the Sunset Catamaran. Included bottomless Rum Swizzles or Champagne, crew was funny and informative, was not crowded and I highly recommend it. The other two were cancelled, first due to choppy seas and the other for some undisclosed operational issue. We managed to really enjoy Bermuda even without our pre-planned excursions and I will definitely visit this island paradise again.
Our disembarkation was slightly hectic, we were sent from our aft cabin all the way to the front of the ship, the ships theatre, there were more people than seats and some were standing in the halls and aisles making navigation difficult. Our luggage was at the other end of the terminal and we had to wait in line for a porter to assist us. Travel from Port Liberty via Taxi is absurd, they have set prices that are twice what you will pay if you arrange a car service.
My summary will not be complete without stating these facts as well. I secretly purchased the Birthday Package ($ 40.00) for July 1st and the Premium Romance Package ($ 225.00) that was to be put in our room upon embarkation. It was not, when cabin steward was queried, she stated that was to be done on the same day as birthday package, of course this was stated in front of my wife, and thus both of my surprises were now blown. This prompted the first visit to Guest Relations Desk, they assured me it would be corrected at this time and I hoped it was all taken care of. Unfortunately it was not, a phone message received 2 hours later stated it was not going to happen until July 1st. Prompting my second visit. The Premium Romance Package includes slippers, robes- not the robes they put in your room, as I expected, but a very cheap and light-weight version, a better bottle of champagne than provided just for booking the room, and a dinner at a specialty restaurant of our choosing. Well upon bringing it to their attention that the slippers were not going to be as useful if we do not get them until the 3rd night of our cruise they managed to get it done on that evenings turn down, a little late, but better than 3 days later. They were also to secure our dinning arrangements at Normandie for the evening of July 1st at 6:30 PM. On July 1st I just happen to check and verify our time for dinner and this reservation was never made, and this time slot was no longer available, we ended up having to eat earlier than we wanted at 5:30 when they opened.
Overall I have had better service in an inside cabin than was received on this luxury cruise lines concierge class.