Having sailed with Carnival previously, I wanted to try Celebrity or another line for comparison.
I was always intrigued by Celebrity cruise lines, and wanted to sail with them the first time, but you know, Carnival was much cheaper and we were on a tighter budget for my first cruise (May 2010).
This cruise, we were in Concierge Class, and while the champagne and fresh flowers were nice, I wouldn't pay the extra again. The hors d'ouevres weren't great, so again I wouldn't pay the extra.
Embarkation was pretty simple with one exception. As we stood in line waiting for the baggage handlers to take our bags to put on the ship, the main handler spent a lot of time fanning out his $1.00 bills over and over again, I believe, to show us that we should be tipping him. Well, my DH didn't tip him, and he actually asked him for money. I thought that was rude, and unfortunately, that was my first impression of Celebrity Cruise Lines.
Our room was lovely, and well laid out. John, our room steward kept the ice bucket full for the most part. Our room was taken care of with absolutely no problems.
Dining - we had late seating in the MDR. Our servers Vicente and Lan were very professional and likeable. They accommodated us regardless of what we asked for. Alex, our sommelier, was very knowledgable about wine selection, and was always available and accommodating. The maitre'd came around to our table to enquire about the service, food etc. The food itself was very good for the most part. We did find the steaks lacking in taste, texture, tenderness etc. My tuna the one night was dry and pretty much inedible even though I ordered it medium rare. However, the lamb, lobster and salmon (from the everyday menu) were fantastic, as was the gala Sunday brunch they put on. The desserts were to die for, especially the tiramisu, the cocunut creme brulee, and the crepes suzette.
Every where we walked in the Summit, whenever we met up with a crew member, they either said Good morning etc., or asked us how our day went. They were truly a friendly, professional group of people.
Our favourite spot on the ship was the martini bar, where you could see the bartender make a show out of pouring 6 martinis at once. A shout-out to Charles, the waiter in the martini bar. A really friendly guy whom everyone seemed to love. Another small thing that impressed me - one evening we were sitting in the martini bar - Charles had just taken our order and we were waiting for our martini. A ships officer was walking through the martini bar and saw us sitting there without drinks. He actually stopped and asked if we had been taken care of! We were blown away by that level of service!
The shows were good, especially Fred Klett(sp?) the comedian and Antonio Salci, the pianist. Both had an encore performance, and we enjoyed them very much. The other shows we saw were your run of the mill cruise ship fare, but enjoyable nevertheless.
The one thing I did find on this ship was that we missed a lot of things due to the late dinner seating. We were always leaving just as something was starting, and just getting there as something was ending. I think next time we will try to get the early seating dinner.
As for other comments about the wear and tear of the ship, sure we saw some of that, but no big deal. The ship is still lovely and well taken care of, and we are glad that we got to sail on her before the big refurbish/overhaul in January 2012.
If you like great service, please try Celebrity. You won't be disappointed.