Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by SWPD: Great cruise-Greater Crew and Service!
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Great cruise-Greater Crew and Service!
11 September 2011, 14-Night Canada/New England Cruise - Round-trip Bayonne, NJ.
Inside Cabin Deck 3 forward - port side.
Just like our last two sailing on Celebrity ships, when you think your last cruise was the best ever and could not get any better - it always does. We continue to believe that this is a direct result of superior leadership on the part of the Senior Staff - From the Captain to the Head Waiters.
The crew and staff have made our sailing on the Summit another trip to remember. We were treated very like "Celebrities" by everyone. That is why we continue to select Celebrity as our first choice in cruise lines
We booked this cruise on 28 March 2011 and we invited two other couples to go with us. They are cousins along with their wives. One of them wanted to do something special to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary (and this is their first cruise). The other cousin and his wife had sailed for the first time on More the Millennium last July during a 12 day Alaskan cruise-tour.
Linda and I celebrated our 45th this past March and this is a special cruise for us too. We were also scheduled to sail on the Millennium last July, however Linda was diagnosed with cancer last June (2010), and we had to cancel. After 9 months of crippling treatments and God's mercy she has been given a second chance and for both of us this sailing had special meaning as we make every moment count together.
Cruising had in effect become our "time share" at sea. We own 100 shared of RCL stock too. At the conclusion of this sailing we will have a total of 219 days on-board cruise ships. Many of our sailings have been on Royal Caribbean Ships (13 cruises / 118 cruise credits) for a total of 112 days on-board. Royal Caribbean had been our preferred cruise line and her Sister line Celebrity continues to meet and exceed our expectations. This was our 24th cruise and our last 3 three have all been on Celebrity including this sailing with a total of 40 days. Due to our Diamond status with Royal Caribbean we enjoy Elite Privileges on Celebrity.
FYI: We used our Open Booking to book a 12 night sailing on the Silhouette November 30, 2011. Can't wait.
Note: You will find that this review is similar to those previously submitted. This is due to the consistency of services received. I have been accused in the past of working from the cruise lines because of my reviews. Rest assured I do not. Linda and I enjoy taking time to get to know the crew and staff. Some will even comment that we must have been on a different ship because their experience was not like ours.
In life my position is that the cup is always half-full and if there is criticism it will be as a result of something serious. You will not find whining in this review. We will offer some suggestions for their consideration.
This review will focus more on individual crew members. We have come to the realization that the quality of any cruise is a direct result of those delivering the services. As a result we feel compelled to provide individual compliments and commendations.
Celebrity Cruise Line, the Summit's Captain and the Crew's pleasure and number one priority was to make sure our cruise experience was unforgettable and was just as amazing as our previous sailings on Celebrity Ships. Again they achieved their mission by delivering excellent service beyond our expectation. As before, they again made us feel like "CELEBRITIES".
We are appreciative of the services and sacrifices provided by the crew and staff. A grateful heart is the father of all virtues. A wise man taught me to be content no matter what my circumstances are.
Drive to the cruise port:
Four of us are from north-central Pennsylvania and we departed on Sunday morning at 0330 for the 200 mile drive to the port. Along the way we stopped for breakfast and picked up the remaining couple in Calonia, NJ.
Luggage drop off:
We arrived at the pier at around 0900. Dropped off our luggage, tipped the bag handlers $5.00 for our 2 checked bags.
NOTE: We had received E-Docs and as a result we had to use the online check-in services to order luggage tags. They delivered on their promise that we would have them in 5 business days.
We parked the car at the terminal's designated handicapped area for the $19.00 per day fee or $266.00 ("YIKES") for the 14 days. Initially the parking attendants tried to convince us that we were only going on a 7 day cruise. It took some convincing on our part that we were at the right terminal and the right ship. We even had to show them our documents to prove it. We then walked a short 20 yards to the terminal dragging our carry-on luggage.
We waited on benches outside the entrance only a short time before we were allowed in the terminal after we showed our passports and boarding passes. Our carry-on luggage was x-rayed. Next, we each had to fill out and sign a form indicating that we were not ill or recently ill. Good thing they did not ask us about our mental state.
We were then directed to the main seating area to wait for the process to start. We were one of the first ones in the terminal and were given boarding cards based on our arrival order.
We had to wait only a short time before they started the processing. We were directed to a line for Select and Elites which was already long due to guests being directed into the line as they entered the terminal. This meant that even though we were one of the first ones in the terminal there were about 30 people ahead of us. This was a glitch on the terminal operators that can be easily fixed with "a heads-up" on their part.
Our cousins were not select or elite and there was no one in their lines so they actually were completed before we were half way down the line. We would have been better off simply taking the same line they did.
We submitted our boarding pass, passports, "we-are-not-sick" forms, and credit card. We were welcomed by a very friendly staff and given our SeaPass cards. We were directed to another area for the photo ID part of the process and finally we had our welcome aboard photo taken by the ships photography staff. We always buy this photo. Note: After the photo was taken we were given a coupon providing a 25% discount on the boarding photo if purchased tonight. We did and saved $5.00.
They had set up an area for VIP's but we decided to wait with our friends. Loyalty breeds loyalty, until it was time to board. They started the boarding a little after 1130 and we joined the Priority Line. So much for total loyalty. We then boarded the bus for the short hop to the ship.
The gangway led to deck 1 mid-ship. There were glasses of champagne and juice there for the taking, or not! We were directed to the elevators which were manned by crew members to make sure you went to deck 10 for lunch as the cabins were not yet ready.
Since our cabins would not be ready until 1315 hours we headed immediately to the Waterfall Cafe. We were the first ones there. On the way in we met Mario who was offering hand sanitizer. We accepted. An old Navy Corpsman friend of mine said that if you want to stay healthy and maintain unit integrity make sure to wash your hands before eating. We then picked a large table and using cell phones we were able to tell the rest of our group where we were.
We had lunch together here and this would continue to be a place where we would spend a lot of time. This was our 1st meal on the Summit and by the time we disembarked we had 42 meals, not including snacks.
At 1:15 we were off to our cabins to stow our carry-ons. Our cabin number was an inside Category 10 #3049 port side forward just aft of the forward elevators. This is a good location as it is close to the theater, and elevators to take you to the Solarium and Revelations Lounge. It was also close to the lobby area. We posted our door sign that includes our photo and a list of past cruises. Our stateroom attendant Elvis Fernandes from India (refer to his commendation under staff comments) showed up almost immediately. He provided us with a warm greeting and gave us the normal orientation.
We showed him a small magnetic sign that we would place on the outside of the door whenever we were out of the room. That way he would know that we were gone and could make up our room.
Note: On Royal Caribbean they have little cards to put into the door key-card slot to indicate that when you were out of the room and to "make up the room" or one for "do not disturb". Since Celebrity does not do this we created the door magnet system to help the attendant. They have their own secret simple method of telling if you have opened your door. I will keep their method confidential.
We stored our carry-on items and hung our vanilla tree car air freshener for a smell of home. We use a new one every three days and it gives a sweet welcome every time we enter the room.
We found an envelope that contained a card with information about our dining assignment with the location, time, and table number - late seating 8:30 PM table 407. We requested through our travel agent and also emailed the Summit with our table request that made an appeal for a large table near a window on the lower level of the Cosmopolitan Restaurant.
With our table number in hand we headed to deck 4 to find our table. The dining room was open to explore and we soon found our table. It was port side aft near a window in a quiet corner. It was a table for 8 but our party of 6 was the only ones assigned to it. We could not have been happier with the results. Thanks again Summit for honoring our request.
Back to the room and soon our 2 large suitcases arrived. This is always a relief. Fourteen days in the same clothes and wearing sneakers on formal night would not be pretty. It only takes 15 minutes to unpack and organize as we are on auto-pilot for this task. Since we had been up since 0200 hours it was time for Linda to take a short nap while I unpacked and stowed our gear.
Cabin 3049 - Inside Category 10 (170 Square Feet)
This cabin had good storage space. It was easy to organize our clothes and supplies for the next 14 days. Just inside the cabin door was a 2 door closet that was about 4 feet wide and was used for long hanging clothes, shoes and a top shelf for additional storage there we found 2 nice (slightly worn) white Celebrity waffle robes.
Next to that was another closet that contained a top shelf for the life vests, the safe and 5 drawers on the bottom.
In the corner at the end of the closet area was an angled area that contained a top shelf, a TV with a remote, a shelf that held 2 wine glasses and information directory and below was a small refrigerator that contained a good variety of "pay-for" drinks and snacks.
Next to that was a dresser/desk that had a small drawer on each side, a chair and a waste can. On the desk was our copy of Celebrity Today and our Captain's Club coupons, schedule and guide. There was also an electrical outlet. There was a stainless steel/chrome tray with glasses, a filled ice bucket, and carafe. Nice touch.
The opposite area also has a wide chair and a small round glass table.
At the far end of the cabin are 2 twin beds. We had requested in our online profile that the beds be split as this gives us plenty of walking room and they can actually be used like couches.
Between the beds were 2 nightstands with a light on each one and the phone. The nightstands had 2 drawers each for more storage. Behind the bed was a large wall mirror with a framed picture in the center.
The hallway also had a full length mirror for that "final check". Fly up?
The bathroom or HEAD was better and bigger than on most ships for an inside cabin. It also had plenty of space to store items above and below. There was a hide-away trash holder, tissue dispenser, doors that had shelves and above counter storage of 2 shelves and 4 glass holders for personal items.
The shower was extra large with the standard removable nozzle. The shower curtain was cloth and there was a corner held to hold soap and shampoo. The water was always hot and we never ran out.
Towels and wash cloths were plentiful with the exception of once when during the morning cleaning they initially had only one wash cloth and the attendant apologized and told us he would get the second one to us as soon as he received more wash clothes. This also happened once with the floor mat. It should be noted that they were in place by the time we needed them.
The soap, conditioner, and shampoo were specially made for Celebrity and the soap sure smelled good. There was also a container with cotton balls and Q-tips.
While we were there they installed a nightlight in the bathroom that was sensor activated. This was a great welcomed idea.
The cabin was always spotless and we never wanted for anything. There was some slight wear due to the ships age but it was nothing to complain about.
Once we noticed a slight sewer odor and it was taken care of before we returned to our cabin.
On the Mercury we were provided us with fresh fruit every day along with plates, napkins, and silverware. This was not provided on the Summit.
Carry-on items stowed, we then went to deck 11 to take photos of the New York Skyline. We also made our pre-departure phone calls home while topside to say our "good-byes".
A quick tour of the public areas and then it was back to the room to get ready for the lifeboat drill.
We headed to the theater for the lifeboat drill. As with our last sailings on the Celebrity we did not need to take or wear our life preservers. Once we mustered in the theater we were shown the proper donning of the vests. The drill was quick, smooth and painless and we also had the save the waves lecture - don't throw anything overboard, especially any of those annoying fellow passengers.
We used the onboard system where $11.50 was added each day to our SeaPass account for each of us. This totaled $322.00 for both of us for the 14 day cruise. Well worth the service we received.
We also spent another $170.00 for pre-tips and additional $100.00 for individual tipping. Our total on-board tips were $592.00. Most of the extra tips went to those normally receiving tips while others were given gratuities for personal services rendered. We usually pre-tip the Cabin attendant, Head Waiter, Waiter and Assistant Waiter provided they are delivering expected service (they always have). For this trip the pre-tip was about 25% per person of the normal tip and it was in addition to the standard daily tipping. We provide these on day 2 of the cruise. Linda and I both continue to feel blessed and it is our personal mission to share our blessings. To those whom much is given, much is expected.
We used $50.00 worth of $1.00 gold (looking) coins and $50.00 worth of $2.00 bills as an expression of appreciation for those providing additional service.
SEA DAYS & PORTS OF CALL:
FYI: I cannot usually go into great detail for the ports of call as we are boring tourists. We usually just walk around the towns' small shops buying a tablecloth or small souvenir if it is a port that we have never been to. In that case it is a small item with the location's name on it to display on our shelf. Not sure why we spend the money since no one looks at them anyway.
Also this was our third trip cruising to New England and Canada, once in 2007 and again in 2008 both on the Explorer of the Seas. We mainly took this cruise to spend time with my cousins and to celebrate Linda's recovery. As a result we planned to spend little time ashore.
Day 1: Embarkation and Sea Day
We simply spent the time getting settled in, lifeboat drill, checking out the ship, dinner and the welcome aboard show.
Day 2: Sea Day
Started off the day at the Captain's Club breakfast area and here we met with the Captain's Club Host and also got a chance to meet several of the wait staff. Mostly we simply enjoyed a relaxing day at sea. Took in a movie and spent much of the time talking at breakfast and lunch with our family. It was also the first formal night.
Day 3: Boston, Massachusetts
This was our first stop and the last time we visited this port we took the shuttle bus to town and walked the historical trail. This time we were met at the terminal by a close friend who is a DEA Agent and has worked this area for the past 15 years. He was actually a cadet in the academy where I taught back in 1994. We went and had coffee, reminisced about the old days when he was a County Detective back home and took a nice walk along the harbor before returning to the ship.
Day 4: Portland, Maine
This was our second stop. On this day Linda and I remained on-board. The last time we were here we took a tour of the area ending at the Portland Lighthouse.
Day 5: Bar Harbor, Maine
This was our 3rd stop. A bit foggy in the morning. Took a tender ride to the town on a whale watching boat.. It provided a great ride. Once in town it was warm and sunny. We walked the town and the shore line before returning to the pier for the tender ride back. This time it was on one of the Summit's tenders. A bit crowded and a little more rocky but still a good and safe ride.
The last time we were here we went to Rupinuni's for a bowl of their famous chowder and walked the town and shore.
Day 6: Halifax, Nova Scotia
On this our 4th stop we walked to the market place and tried to get on the free WIFI but too many were already on.
On our last two visits here we did the Peggy's Cove and harbor Lobster Shack tour we booked with Jonathan Duru. A perfect day for sure. The last time we were here we spent most of the time in the Maritime museum and the ship Arcadia.
Day 7: Sea Day
Started off the day again at the Captain's Club breakfast and repeated the events of day 1. We experienced 15-18 foot seas and 50+ knot winds in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The ship handled it well.
Days 8 and 9: Quebec City, Quebec
On this our 5th stop, which was an overnighter, we stayed on-board the first day. On the second day we ventured into town staying on the lower level and remembering the days when we visited here several years ago.
Day 10: Sea Day
We started off the day as we usually do on a sea day. Told you we were boring folks.
Day 11: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Shopped in one of the old converted buildings near the terminal and Linda bought an Ann of Green Gables doll. There we made arrangements to be picked up for a 30 minute carriage ride around town for $60.00 plus tip. Well worth the cost as this is one of Linda's favorite things to do.
Day 12: Sydney, Nova Scotia
We went ashore this day. The weather was perfect. The terminal offers free WIFI and it worked well. We walked into town and stopped at Governor's Pub and Eatery which was within 3 blocks of the terminal. There we enjoyed great music on the second floor bar area. This Irish Pub is a must stop. Make sure you try the Poutine for only $4.99. This is a large dish of great French fries covered in gravy and melting cheese.
Days 13 & 15: Sea Days
Same routine as before with the exception of the last formal night on day 13. We were invited to the captain's table as the guests of the Hotel Director. We were treated again like celebrities. We are not sure why we were blessed by this opportunity but we are grateful to those who created a night to remember.
Ports of call summary:
This cruise provided us with an opportunity to see places that we have already been to. We still enjoyed every stop and it was well worth the trip. The spacing of the sea and port days was just right.
In addition to the 8 port days we had 5 sea days with the last 2 days on-board at sea. This gave us time to rest up and enjoy formal nights and all the shows.
CREW AND STAFF COMMENDATIONS
Below are individual compliments about many of those who have met the mission. I may have misspelled several names since some of my notes were hard to decipher. I am sure I missed some too. We never experienced a bad moment due to a member of the crew or staff. They all went out of their way to help make this another memorable cruise.
CAPTAIN PANAGIOTIS MANTZAVINOS
Captain Mantzavinos proved to be a competent and skilled Master of the Vessel. He kept us safe even in some of the thickest fog I have ever seen. He took time throughout the cruise to meet and greet passengers. He seemed to be everywhere and would always greet us with a warm and friendly smile. We enjoyed warm and wonderful short conversations with the Captain. He attended many events including the Cruise Critic Connections Party. He is a great Ambassador for Celebrity. We will always remember this cruise because of his kindness. It is specifically this type of treatment and attitude that will have us continue sailing on Celebrity.
Hotel Director Jamie Petts:
What a terrific job Jamie did in making sure all our needs were met. We could not have asked for better service. His personal attention to detail made sure of that. We will always remember this cruise because of his kindness. He was our host at the Captain's Table on the last formal night and what an honor it turned out to be. Not only did we enjoy a terrific meal with superior service, we enjoyed a wonderful conversation. He was always accessible and his warm and friendly smile is another reason we will continue sailing on Celebrity.
Guest Relations Manager Jacque DeGuzman:
We remember Jacque from our time on the Mercury and she remembered us even greeting us with a hug. Priceless! She was always warm and friendly and her contagious attitude shows in the commitment of her staff to deliver excellent service. Her leadership is another reason we will continue sailing on Celebrity. It is this type of personal touch that makes you feel like a "Celebrity".
Cruise Director Damian de Lorenzis:
We loved Damian. He was incredible and provided great entertainment. He was always warm and friendly and seemed to be everywhere. He too made us feel like "Celebrities".
Executive Chef Corleto De La Cruz:
My weight gain is proof of a job well done. He provided excellent food and service and he even visited the Captain's Table the night we were there. I have read several comments posted on Cruise Critic's Roll call for this sailing and thought I must have been on a different ship. We had great food. It was never cold. The only complaint was that there was too much food and we lacked self-discipline. I have since found out that we can ask for reduced portions. We will try this the next time we sail.
Stateroom Attendant Elvis Fernandes:
Elvis was our hard working cabin attendant and he was outstanding in keeping our room spotless. He would always go out of his way to see that our needs were met even though he had 26 other cabins to take care of. He took care of a couple of small requests quickly. We will remember him for a long time to come and he proved to be another one of the best attendants we have ever had. He always made sure that if he saw us he would say hi and ask if we needed anything.
Assistant Stateroom Attendant Andri Nazarchuk:
Andri made sure we were well taken care of. He was always greeting us with a warm and friendly smile. He quickly helped us out with some small requests at a time when he was really busy. He dropped what he was doing and did this with a great willing attitude that continues to reflect the high quality of service that was consistent on the Celebrity.
Supriyono provided superior service. He too was one of the best waiters we have ever had. He was fast, efficient, friendly, and helpful. He took excellent care of us during our 11 meals (we had one dinner at the Captain's Table) in the dining room. He worked hard to serve us and he made sure we were happy with our meals. We will remember this time with fondness for a long time to come. It is waiters like Supriyono that will have us continue sailing on Celebrity.
Assistant Waitress Pauline Antoine:
Pauline was our assistant waitress and she was also excellent in taking care of us. We really enjoyed having her at our table and she was warm and friendly and took care of everything we needed. She is another good reason we will continue sailing on Celebrity.
Sommelier Juris Kalaw:
Juris was the Sommelier (wine Guy) for our table. We will remember him for a long time for his kindness and his friendly conversations. He was also very professional. We loved his visits to our table and he is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity.
Captain's Club Host Graeme Kelleher:
As the Captain's Club Host he was excellent in making sure we were well taken care of. What a daunting task considering there were over 400 guests taking advantage of Elite privileges. On the second day of the cruise we found in our room a rose he sent to Linda. He seemed to be everywhere. He also attended the morning and nightly socials in the Exclusive Lounge for Elite members and he made sure he greeted and spoke to everyone. We believe he might have been responsible for our invitations to special events including dinner at the Captain's table on the last formal night, the elegant tea, and the Bridge tour. I especially appreciated the friendship that was established during this cruise. It is service like this that will have us return to Celebrity.
Third Cook Antonius Prayitno:
What a wonderful member of the cooking staff. He was the best omelet maker onboard. He was always friendly and served up his specialty with a warm smile and salute.
Head Waiter - Maitre'd Sasha:
Sasha was our head waiter and we are appreciative of his excellent efforts and his leadership in taking good care of us. If we needed something special he took care of it. Always greeting us with warm and friendly greetings. It is service like this that will have us return to Celebrity.
Waiter Abdullah Avci:
His outstanding "service oriented" attitude made him a "standout". We knew him from the Mercury and he remembered our names too. His work in the public areas was wonderful. Wherever we sat, and if he was assigned to that area, he would promptly make sure we had whatever we needed.
Another example of his outstanding service was demonstrated by the following act of kindness; during the cruise Linda and I would be walking arm in arm to help steady her. This was due to her recovery still being a work in progress. Abdullah would immediately come over and offer his arm too on the opposite side. This soon became the anticipated highlight of our cruise. Meeting Abdullah and having him escort Linda to her table in the main dining room or the cafe. When we would leave he would provided this honored escort out to the lobby area. It is memories and superior service like this that will have us return to Celebrity.
Abdullah is to be commended for this personalized and priceless act of kindness.
Bar Server Alvaro Gil:
Alvaro provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club lounge. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity.
Waiter Ida Bagus Krisnawan:
Ida always provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club Lounge in the morning. I always enjoyed our conversations and he was fast, courteous, and professional. Thanks Ida. Great job! Ida is one of the reasons we will continue sailing on Celebrity.
Sommelier Neven Kovac:
Ida provided great service in the Captain's Club Lounge in the morning. He was courteous, informative, and professional. He is one of the reasons we will continue sailing on Celebrity.
Bar Server Kenroy:
Kenroy provided great service. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity.
Cook Erik Estrada:
Erik provided great service preparing poached egg specialties. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity.
Future Cruise Planner Toni Dunlap:
Toni was outstanding. Extremely helpful and friendly. She was able to answer every question and one of the great ambassador's Celebrity has.
They were very helpful in developing 20 snapshots we took of crewmembers for only $0.32 each and after we used an Elite discount coupon. We give these photos back to the crew with a thank you note on the back. We normally have to locate a CVS at one of the ports to get them developed, but no more.
TO ALL THE REST WHOSE NAMES WE FORGOT:
We regret if we failed to get their names so please accept this as our thanks for taking such good care of us.
I will let any criticism in this area up to real experts. I am easy to please and, except for the rare dislike of a type of seasoning, I enjoy most foods. I will mention some things that were noteworthy though.
About the food? While on-board we were never been disappointed by the meals. Just eat MRE's (Military Rations) for awhile in the desert in the middle-east and you will never complain again. Or at least you shouldn't. I only gained about 3 pounds on this sailing. We used to walk and use the stairs helps burn it off and Linda used to get her 2 miles each day but that is no longer possible so we watched everything we ate and we ate just about everything we saw.
In the Waterfall Cafe they have Great Belgian Waffles, made to order sandwiches, Superior Angus burgers at the pool grill, fish and chips on selected days, fried zucchini, eggs Benedict, sticky buns, sorbet, and their coffee there was as strong and good as Starbucks. Note: The coffee in the dining room was a bit wimpy.
Captain's Club Reception:
One afternoon they had a special treat in the Revelations Lounge for Captain's Club Members that included drinks and plenty of special food like Sushi, Bananas flambE, roast beef to mention a few. There was also entertainment. This was well done.
One afternoon they had a special reception for Select and Elite members in The Revelations Lounge. This gave us an opportunity to spend time with the Officers. This too was well done.
On one day they had a brunch in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant that was incredible. Roast pork, shrimp, eggs to order, too many items to remember or mention. This was another event not to be missed.
We saw most of the shows and they were great too. Ric Steel was a "HIT" for us. He provided music that we loved and he was sought out in other lounges when he preformed.
I am no critic when it comes to judging entertainment.
What a neat experience. It should not be missed. Great scones with jam and whipped cream.
STAYING CONNECTED AT SEA
We used the internet service and it was great to stay connected. Once each day we would log on, update our Facebook page with a situation report and then we checked our email for anything important from the family. We spent an average of 9 to 14 minutes per day. The cost was $0.55 per minute if you bought the 90 minute package. We were fortunate that Captain's Club Elite members were given coupons for 90 minutes of free internet time. Since we are both Elite we had a total of 3 hours of free time. This is an excellent benefit. Not bad! This saved us almost $100.00. This is another good reason to cruise Celebrity and to make Elite as soon as you can.
We place our cell phone on "home only" mode to eliminate the mistake of getting nailed for an international call. We have the international feature turned on in the event we needed to make any calls. In order to use it we simply would turn off the home only feature.
We used the coupons provided to Elite Members of the Captain's Club. We were given 2 (1 each) for 30 pieces of laundry. We used only one coupon on this cruise. Be advised that they cannot be used the last 3 days of the cruise. We also had the coupons for dry cleaning. This saved us a lot. We had 2 more coupons that would have allowed us to send a bag of clothes for wash, dry and fold for $20.00 a bag. There also were other coupons for having 2 items pressed.
We were extremely pleased with the service. The pants and shirts came neatly folded. On the Mercury they came back pressed and on hangers. I even think the underwear was pressed. At least they looked that way. This was the third cruise where we returned home with more clean clothes than dirty. This allows us to pack less.
Thanks laundry staff for another great job.
Captain's Club Benefits (Elite):
Celebrity has made a very important and positive decision to improve benefits to loyal members (even by proxy - Diamond Members on Royal Caribbean). These changes and enhancements have been an important factor for us as we choose our next cruise. It already worked. You can go online and check out the benefits for Select and Elite members. They are a powerful recruitment tool and this was smart decision making on the part of Celebrity's management. The Senior Officer's Cocktail Parties and the Captain's Club Celebrations are not just a "grip and grin" (smile and a handshake). They were excellent events.
We had filled out questionnaires during the cruise relative to our end of cruise traveling plans. This allowed us to get the same debarkation as those traveling with us. We had to give up our priority debarkation lounge and time.
Processing started on time for those getting off early. We were scheduled to get off at 9:00 AM and our waiting area was in the Rendezvous Lounge. We were off by 9:35AM. Customs and Immigration was a breeze. No body cavity searches on this port entry. We found our luggage without any problems thanks to those orange bands. There was plenty of space in the rows to easily move them.
We were home around 3:30 PM without incident. Traffic was light and we made it in 3 hours and 40 minutes with one stop.
PCD Syndrome (Post-Cruise Depression Syndrome)
We purchased, while on-board, a Next-Cruise-Booking for $200.00 on a Celebrity cruise. We have used these in the past and in fact they provide greater benefits on a 14 day or longer cruise than Shareholder Benefits. We used it to book a 12 night sailing on the Silhouette out of Bayonne for the Southern Caribbean.
Well, that about wraps it up. I am sure I have forgotten many events that we enjoyed. This was another terrific cruise and we were blessed that nothing went wrong and that our families were kept safe while we were gone.
I want to give a special thank you to my cousins Richard and Rick along with their wives Sandra and Prudence. Fellowship might have gotten its root term from "fellows on a ship" - getting along in tight quarters.
As always we want to give a final compliment to the crew and staff. Well done faithful servants. May you have fair winds and following seas?
Linda and Gary Less
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Cabin review: 103049
Cabin 3049 - Inside Category 10 (170 Square Feet) This cabin had good storage space. It was easy to organize our clothes and supplies for the next 14 days. Just inside the cabin door was a 2 door closet that was about 4 feet wide and was used for long hanging clothes, shoes and a top shelf for additional storage there we found 2 nice (slightly worn) white Celebrity waffle robes. Next to that was another closet that contained a top shelf for the life vests, the safe and 5 drawers on the bottom. In the corner at the end of the closet area was an angled area that contained a top shelf, a TV with a remote, a shelf that held 2 wine glasses and information directory and below was a small refrigerator that contained a good variety of "pay-for" drinks and snacks. Next to that was a dresser/desk that had a small drawer on each side, a chair and a waste can. On the desk was our copy of Celebrity Today and our Captain's Club coupons, schedule and guide. There was also an electrical outlet. There was a stainless steel/chrome tray with glasses, a filled ice bucket, and carafe. Nice touch. The opposite area also has a wide chair and a small round glass table. At the far end of the cabin are 2 twin beds. We had requested in our online profile that the beds be split as this gives us plenty of walking room and they can actually be used like couches. Between the beds were 2 nightstands with a light on each one and the phone. The nightstands had 2 drawers each for more storage. Behind the bed was a large wall mirror with a framed picture in the center. The hallway also had a full length mirror for that "final check". Fly up? The bathroom or HEAD was better and bigger than on most ships for an inside cabin. It also had plenty of space to store items above and below. There was a hide-away trash holder, tissue dispenser, doors that had shelves and above counter storage of 2 shelves and 4 glass holders for personal items. The shower was extra large with the standard removable nozzle. The shower curtain was cloth and there was a corner held to hold soap and shampoo. The water was always hot and we never ran out. Towels and wash cloths were plentiful with the exception of once when during the morning cleaning they initially had only one wash cloth and the attendant apologized and told us he would get the second one to us as soon as he received more wash clothes. This also happened once with the floor mat. It should be noted that they were in place by the time we needed them. The soap, conditioner, and shampoo were specially made for Celebrity and the soap sure smelled good. There was also a container with cotton balls and Q-tips. While we were there they installed a nightlight in the bathroom that was sensor activated. This was a great welcomed idea. The cabin was always spotless and we never wanted for anything. There was some slight wear due to the ships age but it was nothing to complain about.
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