For those of you who enjoy large modern ships with old world charm, the Celebrity Summit may be the cruise ship for you. We first set eyes on it in Barcelona docked along side the MSC Splendida and while not as large as its Italian rival, it by no means lacks presence with its distinctive blue and white colouring and its trademark X.
On boarding the ship we were greeted with champagne and bucks fizz and afterwards we were taken to the cafeteria for lunch. Our luggage had been taken off us at the airport and it wasn’t long before it was delivered to our bedroom. We set sail at 5pm leaving sunny Barcelona behind us. The Med was calm and at times you would hardly know you were sailing, this was partly due to the good conditions and partly due to the Summit's quiet gas turbine engines.
Dinner was always a grand affair and with specially assigned waiters it wasn’t long before we built up friendly relations with them. There was always a good choice of food with a set menu and a menu that changed from day to day. On two occasions there was brunch in the main restaurant, this incorporated the best of breakfast and dinner all rolled into one with little additional touches such as chocolate fountains and carved fruit.
Staff were always friendly and the ship was spotlessly clean. There was always amble supplies of beach towels for lounging on, on deck and waiter service was never far away. At night there was always classical music to be heard and the shows in the main theatre were excellent. For my wife there was also the excitement of onboard shopping and for me there was a chance to relax in Michaels bar, a bar you might expect to see on the Titanic with all its old world charm.
Everyone has a place they frequent on a cruise ship and for us it was either the Cinema, the indoor pool/solarium or the cafeteria at 12am for pizza. Often times I found the solarium pool empty around 8pm and so I would float in the salty water looking up through the glass roof at the stars as we sailed silently on to our next destination. Some other memorable moments included eating lunch aboard the ship while berthed off the coast of Cannes, the views were only spectacular. Another picture perfect postcard was when we were up on the cliffs of Santorini looking down at our majestic Cruise ship anchored below.
For those of you who haven't seen a lot of Europe, there is no better way to get around and see the world; from Cannes to Florence and Pisa, then on to Capri & Sorrento, Rome, Santorini, Dubrovnik and Venice and all in 12 days. Celebrity Cruises suit those who like understated elegance, a middle class atmosphere, good service and excellent itineraries. It is not for those who like big, bold and brash, nor is for those who are activity mad or who have children; for you RCL may be more appropriate. All in all Celebrity Cruises lives up to its name and I will definitely be travelling on their Solstice class ships in the not too distant future.