Since I was celebrating a birthday, we immediately made our way to the Normandie Restaurant to secure reservations. Decor and lighting were romantic and elegant. However, the bright flourescent lights from the very visible kitchen was quite disturbing during our special dinner. In addition, the constant clanging of pots and pans certainly didn't add to the experience. However, one taste of the cheese souffle swept us away to a much better place. Lobster bisque was good, not great though. Steak Diane was tender and flavorful but was surprised it didn't come served as medallions. It was presented as a large filet mignon. DH's lobster and scallops were slightly overcooked. Creme Brulee was a big disappointment, lacking a sweetness that we have become accustomed to. The maitre' D agreed after sampling it himself. But by that time, we were quite satisfied with all we had to eat; and were thankful that we were able to walk away from the dessert without any regrets. All in all, the cuisine was pretty good and the service excellent. Not enough though to make another reservation during the rest of the cruise. Especially when the food in the main dining room was so wonderful!!!!
Breakfasts were great, no matter what we ate, Eggs Benedict, Smoked Salmon, pancakes, ect. all were impeccable. Even when they were ordered on Room Service for dining on our balcony, which was a real special experience once we arrived in Hawaii. Prior to that, the weather was a little too cool to dine on the balcony while at sea. Lunches were a disappointment, with strange cuisine choices and even stranger cuisine preparations. It also seemed that the dining room had the same choices for lunch as the buffet, so that was an added disappointment. However, the pizza station more than compensated, and as we all know, no ever starved or went hungary on a cruise.
Dinners, on the other hand, were wonderful. The Summit's beef is the best we have had on a cruise in quite a long time. Especially the huge, tender, tasty veal chop. Mmmm,Mmmm!!!! The lobster was also much better than we have been experiencing lately. Although I will say we usually are served lobster tails on 2 nights on a 2 week cruise. Whereas we didn't get the lobster until the end of the sailing.
We found the dessert offerings at the end of dinner have been cut in selection. When we last were on the Mercury in March, our waiter would present a tray with 6 or 7 delectable choices. However, on this sailing most nights only offered 3 choices, all of which, were lacking in sugar and imagination. It seems to us that the preparation was all show and no satisfying substance. To which DH and I were grateful. In fact, the only dessert we even enjoyed was the bananas foster. Of course, they did offer all kinds of ice cream, sorbet and sherbert.
What truly impressed me on this ship was the ample amount of time that was devoted to dancing. WE love to dance, and on many cruises we are not satisfied with the lack of venues for same. This ship offered ample time in the Night Club and the Rendez-Vous Lounge. Guys & Doll (Cathy) were quite enjoyable and made every effort to accommodate everyone's taste. We truly loved listening to JeffersonAng at the Waterfall Cafe Bar. We weren't too impressed with Allen King, Cruise Director. Seemed to be sleepwalking through his job. We kept wondering why the 1 hour of live music poolside was only offered from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM, when most people leave for lunch. Strange...... Another strange thing was why did men have to were sports jackets for tea time in the afternoon???
Well, as far as service all over the Summit, all I can say is that it was impeccable. Lawrence and Joseph were 2 of the very best room stewards we have every had. Mildred, our Dining Room waitress, was the absolute BEST. Even the cocktail staff were wonderful when I finally found the need to complain about the weakness of the cocktails. When I spend $10.50 plus gratuity for a cosmo, I expect to taste more than cranberry juice. That is the one major complaint I have for Celebrity. The cost of the wines and cocktails leave a lot to be desired. Wine choices were meager and expensive in cost. All cocktails tasted mostly of fruit juices, with no noticeable liquor. Many passengers felt the same about this issue.
All in all, I have to say The Summit is probably my favorite ship thus far. The decor and lighting in the public areas is simply beautiful. Celebrity is still doing a good job and we look forward to sailing with them again in the near future.