Just returned from 14day Summit to Hawaii. This was our second cruise on Summit, 5th on Celebrity.
Embarkation in San Diego is a breeze. We arrived at 1130am and didn't wait at all, just walked to checkin, and were on board in 10mins. A cab from the SAN airport was only $7 and took less than 10mins.
The food was wonderful! The best we've ever had on our 5 Celebrity cruises. Dinner at The Normandie was also great- goat cheese souffle still on the menu and still fantastic. The buffets are somewhat uninspired but the dining room was excellent for breakfast and lunch.
The Royal Suite was fantastic- except for the very tired (and quite ugly to begin with) Emile Robba silk flowers. They are awful and truly should be removed. They were glued in the middle of the coffee table, glued to the nightstand and glued to the vanity counter. Fresh flowers would have been better- actually no flowers would have been okay. We enjoyed the plasma TV's, the cozy living room area and the wonderful balcony. Our butler Darrell and stateroom attendant Bernadeth, made us all feel like royalty!
Service was impeccable all over the ship. The crew and officers were always pleasant, warm and friendly.
The entertainment was good- although 2 of the production shows were not very good. The worst is Encore. It's disjointed and doesn't flow well. The theme was very confusing and we sat thru it just to see the last number which is songs from Les Mis. The ladder guy was funny as was Noodles, we had seen both before and always enjoy them. Had several singers, one was exceptional; Jennifer Fair. Overall the entertainment was just good- not great.
Our ports were: Lahaina, Honolulu, Hilo and Kona.
Lahaina is a tender port and the TSA-type inspection when returning to the ship is a hassle (pack your patience) but not of Celebrity's doing. We tendered at off times and avoided most of the crowds, waiting only about 10mins to get back to the ship. Easy to get around once you get to Lahaina and only about a 15min walk to Hertz to pick up a rental car (they also have a shuttle 8am-330pm). We were in Lahaina 10am to 11pm the following day. Plenty of time to do luau, shop, sightsee and go to the beach.
Honolulu 7a to 7p- Did Pearl Harbor/Big Mo on our own and were thru with the Arizona tour by the time the Celebrity bus pulled up to get tour tickets. Oahu is a pretty island- if you have time see more of it than Honolulu/Waikiki.
Hilo 7a-6pm- Did a private van tour of VNP, Mauna Loa factory and happened upon the Hilo Tahiti Fete. The fete was amazing and we loved the VNP.
Kona 7a-1p- Not long enough to stop. We did a Kona coffee, Painted Church, Place of Refuge tour and had not one minute to spend in Kona due to the short stop. Would be better to skip the port than stop for such a short time. Place of Refuge was just breathtaking- worth the price of the tour several times over. If we had it to over again, we'd have done it on our own and not done a ships tour.
The 4 days over & back were perfect. It allowed us all to relax, so when we hit Hawaii we were ready for sightseeing. The 4 days back gave time to relax again and we really enjoyed the time at sea. The seas were calm both coming & going overall.
We decided we liked Hawaii so much that we wanted to do it again. So we're headed back next Oct but on Mercury rather than Summit.
Back to San Diego for debarkation and flights home- again it was a breeze and getting to the airport took 10mins. San Diego is a great departure port!