Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by kd: Excellent Panama Cruise
Overall Member Rating
Excellent Panama Cruise
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: San Diego
We are early 50's, fit and adventurous, on our the cruise, 5th with Celebrity. Our experience on board the Summit convinced us once again that we should stick with Celebrity. We stayed over at the Holiday Inn on the Bay, and quite easily pulled our luggage across the street to the ship. No one requested a tip at the baggage carts but we left one anyway. Longer line-ups inside the terminal than we expected at 12:30, since boarding time was listed as 2 pm. It took a short while to get processed but longer to get on the ship. This may have been because they didn't take the i.d. photos until we were on the gangway of the ship, which created a bottleneck. However, once on board we checked out our room and went for lunch by 1:30. Luggage was delivered to the room in a very reasonable time.
The Summit is beautiful, almost identical to the sister ship Millennium which we had cruised before--classy and elegant, not 'Vegas' style. Everything appeared clean and in good repair. I lost my More card within two hours of coming on board and the GR gal was very pleasant about replacing it. This was not a very port-intensive cruise for 14 days so we had a lot of sea days. This would have been our only concern as there doesn't seem to be a lot to do during the day other than sun, play bingo or trivia games. The gym however is great and machines always available. Never had a problem finding a lounge chair by the pool although the usual chaise hogs are on all ships. Appreciated that the thalassotherapy pool is accessible to all on Summit and not hidden within the spa.
Service was impeccable on Summit, from the most menial jobs to the stewards, waiters, maitre d's, guest relations. Excursions desk seemed to be unmanned much of the time. We booked only one excursion through the ship. Bravo River Rafting in Acapulco was great and worth the booking. The other ports we did our own thing or hired a driver. Our inside stateroom (our preference) on the Continental deck was mid-ship/aft. It was the first time we were in a room that runs parallel to the hallway. This meant we were gently rocked to sleep side to side instead of head to toe! The hall door placement meant we didn't have the usual little settee and table which we found to be one less place to accumulate 'stuff'; never missed it. The TV fare got really boring...the same Lucy, Beverly Hillbillies etc. over and over ad nauseam. Decent movies played but it was hard to catch the beginning. Used the cinema a few times. They played one dreadful ?R rated movie that was simply a horrible, pointless movie. Inappropriate entertainment for a mixed crowd. Evening entertainment in the theater was very good. Large production crew, usual broadway themes. Unfortunately, the singer was often two bars into the song before the sound man kicked in. Enjoyed concert pianist (amazing night of Chopin), Hammer Dulcimer player, ventriloquist, slight of hand guy, comedian. Theater is 3 floors but occasionally was completely full, standing room only. Ah, the Cosmopolitan Dining Room. Never had one bad meal and no one at our table of 12! ever sent anything back. Service was sometimes a little slow as the waiter seemed to have too many tables and left the big one to last. However, wait staff was excellent and very accommodating. The beef was tender and superb, seafood excellent. Fruit soups were amazing, as were all the Celebrity dressings. Most desserts also excellent. We did not opt for the Normandy restaurant experience at $30 each as the DR had wonderful food. The buffet had a great variety for breakfast and lunch so we only used the DR a couple times for lunch which was very good.
Disembarkation was certainly not the best we've had. This however may have been because we chose (for the first time) to do the 'drag your bag' option to get early disembarkation as we had an early flight. Customs seemed unready and inadequate in Ft Lauderdale so was held up a bit. Bigger problem was probably all the people joining our ranks who were supposed to be waiting in the lounge for their color to be called. Overall a wonderful two weeks with beautiful sunshine, calm seas, amazing food and good company. Less
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