Pre-Cruise: We drove from our home to Cape Liberty, about a 2 hour drive, on the morning of the cruise. The cruise port is very easy to find. Arrived around 11 a.m. No traffic. Parking was a breeze. A shuttle took us from the parking space to the terminal.
Embarkation: Seemless! Porters took our bags and they were delivered to our cabin by 2 p.m. Check-in line moved quickly. Everyone was very courteous.
Ship/cabin condition: The ship was beautiful. Other posters have commented about finding rust and some signs of wear. Yes, there are a few spots of rust here and there. Yes, the linens, curtains and cabin carpet could use some updating. But all in all, this is a very nice ship. The crew works very hard to keep the ship clean and running well. Our cabin was a category 2B Veranda. We were a few cabins aft of the bridge on deck 9. This meant we had a very short walk to the Spa/Pool areas as well as the Windjammer Buffet. A few floors down was the theater. Very easy to find your way around. We had one maintenance problem - our safe battery died. It was fixed very quickly. Our stateroom attendant, Sidney, was very pleasant and attentive.
Dining: Dinner at the Normandie (specialty restaurant) was probably the best I've ever had. Lobster Thermador with a filet Mignon, diver scallops Wellington, pan-seared sweetbreads and pear and Roquefort cheese in a puff pastry. For dessert we chose a sampler which gave us a taste of eight different dishes. We opted to buy a bottle of wine and were pleased with the sommelier's recommendation of a Cakebread Chardonnay. We ordered room service breakfast three times and enjoyed it each time. The buffet and grill areas had a very nice selection of fresh and delicious food. Omelets and waffles made while you wait! I thought that the quality of food at the main (Cosmopolitan) dining room slipped from prior cruises. Some dishes, especially soups, arrived cool. Other dishes seemed to be under-seasoned. I will say that our servers quickly took care of any concerns we had with food quality.
Activities: My wife and I had massages on the first morning. This was only my second; my first experience with a massage wasn't enjoyable. This one was. We spent much of our lounging time at the Thalassotherapy pool area. This was great for soaking our sore bones after a day of walking on shore. We went to a few of the theme parties. I went to a very nice cooking competition between two of the executive chefs. The head chef was very entertaining. We went to the theater on all but one night. The ship's dancers/singers were top-notch. There was an aerobatic act (similar to Le Cirque) a magician and an acapella group who were all excellent.
Excursions: We went on one, the Hartley Helmet Dive a/k/a the Hartley Undersea Walk. This is one of the top excursions we've ever done. It was a great experience and well worth the price.
Disembarkation: Since we didn't have to catch a flight (thank God!) we were the last group to leave the ship. It felt nice to have a leisurely breakfast and not have to leave in a hurry. The whole process was handled very efficiently. The lines for customs/immigration moved quickly. We were back at our car in less than an hour after the whole process started.
Overall, I would highly recommend Celebrity, the Summit and this itinerary.