This was our third trip on Celebrity's Summit, she is a fine ship but showing her age. I say that only because while I was on board I learned that she is going into dry dock for a month and I suspect that there will be a lot of upgrading during that time.
Our reservations always include air and transfers from the airport to the ship and return. Our destination was San Diego, and surprisingly US Air was almost on time and didn't lose or destroy our luggage! We were met at the San Diego Airport by two Celebrity Reps and told to take our luggage (two heavy and two smaller, plus personal carry-on's to the transportation check in point. This was probably one of the worst parts of the trip! The check-in for ground transportation was outside at the way end of the terminal. The agent there was sitting on a wall, the sign was posted on a cart and no definite lines to check in appeared to exist. I walked up to her to check in and was informed rather curtly that I needed to get in line. I did, once I determined there was a haphazard line, and the check in process was rather smooth, other than there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to where the checked luggage was left. Arriving at the terminal, after a very short bus ride, came the next frustrating time. The terminal was hot and crowded, the line was fairly long, however the check-in desk person was very nice and quick, bypassing the pictures we headed for the ship. The San Diego port only has one elevator and a long flight of stairs to reach the gangway, this resulted in long lines with older passengers needing to use the elevator. Once we reached level 3 the boarding was quick and efficient, as this was our third time we headed directly to our ocean view stateroom on Deck 2 mid-ship. As one would expect the state room was the usual quality that one would associate with Celebrity. During the cruise our attendant Ramon was very helpful, and never failed to greet us in the passageway. Our checked bags were delivered in a timely fashion with one even being place inside our stateroom. The Summit was launched in 2001 and is showing some signs of age, dirty arms and worn fabric on the chairs in the Martini Lounge, the dance floor was missing some covering and was warped in other places. The staff did an excellent job of cleaning and keeping things orderly.
The cruise overall was great as usual, pretty smooth sailing, arriving as scheduled. My days at sea were filled with playing trivia, I was the Captain of the men's team for "Battle of The Sexes Trivia", and had a great time with the Activity Staff Naomi and Lindsey, and Kevin and Activity Director Cher. This was Lindsey's first cruise and she seemed to be doing very well and really came across well to the passengers as did all the activity staff. We also took advantage of the on board movies for the first time. The only downsides I could see to the Cinema on deck 3 was the projection was at times too low and with people in front of you you could not see the sub-titles in The Da' Vinci Code. Missing was popcorn! Other lines have it.
Food was good, as expected, we split our evening dining between the main dining room, first sitting, where Vincent and Saphri served us well with Vincent's dinner suggestions being right on the money! The service at times was a bit slow I had a feeling the kitchen was backed up a bit. We were greeted every night by the Asst. Maitre D, Lorita, who was friendly and stopped for more than just the normal "hi how are things." We also used casual dining three times on nights we did not find the main dining room menu appealing and on formal nights as we packed no formal clothes. (I hate wearing ties) Service in Casual Dining was excellent, with waiter Elvis being extra attentive, but then everyone was including Carlos. Other times we had breakfast in the dining room, that was good, and buffet in the Waterfall Cafe (lunch and dinner)both being good. Oh if you like a good hamburger then head to poolside on deck 10.
Entertainment on board was good, with the exception of two nights when it was more "high brow" than I would care. Having been on the ship 6 months earlier we avoided one of the vocalists, Jeniffer Faire who we did not care for, although several people we talked with thought she was great. The comedian, and cyclist/juggler were both excellent as was the xylo-synth performer. The Celebrity singers and dancers were at the top, with one vocalist who really had a great voice, the Celebrity Orch. was once again top notch and played a great variety of music to back up the performers.
Shore excursions could not have been better, I won't go into detail but to say they started on time and were definitely worth the money. I did especially enjoy the Submarine.
The return to San Diego was not the best, as we had to go to the Celebrity Theatre that served as our departure point. I have bad knees and it really was a struggle to go down and then up pulling my suitcase. Previously we had exited the theatre through the passage way on level 3 however this was not available for some reason. While we were waiting we were subjected to CNN on the video screens in the theatre. I thing that they should have rerun the cruise video it would have been much more enjoyable. San Diego port was no better on return, customs was quick, but the luggage area was a total cluster! A long trek to the bus and long lines at the airport after a long walk from the drop off point. Celebrity, if they continue to sail from that port really need to address those issues.