My wife and I have just returned from a cruise on the Celebrity Summit. It was a cruise that we were anticipating being a wonderful experience, but were deeply disappointed by a number of failures to meet what I expected as basic requirements and standards.
We were surprised to receive our Flight/Cruise documentation only 7 days before the start of our vacation, a photo copy of a document relevant to travel details only with no information regarding the cruise etc. Ownership of a computer and knowledge of how to browse a poorly structured web site was needed to access any other information, not a very good model for customer relations. Many of our fellow travellers had no knowledge of shore excursions etc.
Our transit to the ship over a 2 day period was carried out with no contact with a Celebrity Representative, at the London Airport, Newark Airport, overnight hotel accommodation, until 10 mins before boarding the coach for transit to the pier and then only to notify the location of the coaches in the hotel grounds. What an ordeal for a number of people who had to be guided through Newark Airport by other passengers because they had no knowledge of their need to do it yourself policy.
Members of the group we were booked with but travelled from Manchester Airport had no arrangements made for their transfer, and had to take a taxi paid for by themselves.
On boarding the ship our luggage was delivered to our cabin at 17.30hrs, one case was completely saturated with water, the contents damp having been obviously left out in the rain. No apology or indication of concern.
Our shore excursion at Bar Harbour, Coach Tour Arcadia Park, Cadillac Mountain, Rhienhart Pavilion was a total disaster. The trip was a non stop journey to the mountain summit, 10 min stop and a drive to the pavilion. When the tour guide was asked why there had been no stops at pre-designated places, her response ‘my boss told me not to stop at any places but to make sure she arrived at the Pavilion by 11.30am. Upon arrival we were told there was no hurry to return to the pier and take as long as we wished.
There were occasions when we found that certain provisions were not available particularly in the afternoon such as fruit, teabags, certain brands of drink, to be told that these items were no longer available, but remarkably reappeared days later, even on sea days. Also well known named wines listed on the dining room wine list were not available,
Prior to the cruise we understood from the literature that because of our late evening flight back to the UK, BA184 18-30hrs. that the transfer to the airport would include an intermediate stop at a local hotel. This we took for granted given the sparse information given in our documentation. On receipt of our disembarkation papers we were astounded to find that we were scheduled for a direct transfer to the airport which would involve a 71/2 hr waiting time in the airport. Despite representation to the customer desk on board, we were told that nothing could be done to change this arrangement.
The other members of our group booking were given this hotel facility. Of the 31 fellow UK travellers on our pre cruise flight, only 2 other people were transferred to the airport at this time. Why were we treated differently to our fellow travellers?
Although most members of the crew in the public areas, bars, restaurants, staterooms etc, were kind pleasant and gave excellent service, the Officers were aloof , surly and avoided any form of communicative contact, just walking past you as if you did not exist.
We were angry and disappointed at the whole package, pre cruise through to post cruise. This kind of treatment was not what we expected from a company that boasts of an exceptionally high standard of cruising. It fell far short of our anticipation and past experiences with other cruise operators, 6 in all.
We will not be inclined to use the company in the future given this experience, and will also be reluctant to recommend any contacts to your cruises.