A cruise that I anxiously awaited turned out to be a flop. I waited 11 months to go on this cruise only to be disappointed. On December 3, 2011, 3 family members and myself aboard the Celebrity Summit ship. My grief is not my experience on the islands, but my experience on the ship.
Before boarding the ship we had to check in. After the long wait at the counter, myself and one of my family members who shared the cabin were given two pieces of paper with out state room info on it. Reason being, we were told that our SeaPass was not printed. Of course we could not take on-boarding picture without the SeaPass, so we missed out on that. All this time, we remained patient and concerned. We need the card before we can enter the ship. We got up to where we had to present our card and take out picture before getting on the ship. We explained to the gentleman who was working at that station what was told to us at the check-in desk; someone will give us our SeaPass before entering the ship. We showed him the piece of paper that was given to us. He looked at us as if we had ten heads. We told him that we did not have the means to manufacture the paper and that he should contact someone who probably knew more, long story short, our SeaPass got printed and we were able to board the ship.
While on the ship, we were just happy to be heading on another cruise. We quickly noticed that the service was not up to par. We did not see out Stateroom Attendant for two day. On day three we saw a guy heading into another stateroom and we asked if he were out stateroom attendant. He responded yes. We asked why he did not come and introduce himself from the first day (as we are used to)and if he were hiding. He responded no. We never saw him again after that until we needed one of our pillows change and we called it in. He was not impolite or anything. He was just not engaged.
The food was mediocre, but I am a picking eater as I am not innovative when it comes to food. Nevertheless, I am willing to give some foods a try when I have limited option and that was my issue at dinner time. I cannot remember a night when I truly enjoyed my food. Every night I went to dinner hoping that that would have been the night I see something on the menu that intrigued me. That was not the case. One night I enjoyed the potato soup though. I asked for second, as I did not see anything on the main course that I like.
Eating at the buffet was horrible. There were flies everywhere. I had to cover my drink with tissue and constantly fanning away the flies from the food of family members who had left the table to get more food. The eating area was not as clean as we are used to. We saw spilled food that was not cleaned up. We even joked and said that on other cruise lines and ships that we are used to, the floor was always impeccable, as the crew was constantly cleaning and walking around making sure that the eating area and the floor were clean. The joke continued when we said that if we dropped a crumb deliberately, someone out of nowhere would appear to pick it up. That is the quality of cleanliness we are used to.
On a plus side, I loved that the ship had an indoor pool and spa. The negative is that I could not use it. One day when we returned from one of the islands, we went to the indoor pool area to sit in the hot tub. It seemed like someone had an accident and defecated on him/herself. There was a trail of feces leading away from the pool area and a caution sign sign. My family members stood close by and I afar (since I have a very week stomach) off waiting to see if someone would come to clean it up. No one came, so we left.
After all that we experienced and witnessed, I was hoping to leave the ship with a need improvement review and to give the ship a second chance. On day four I was ready to get off the ship. That is unusual for me. Nevertheless, the night before disembarkation, the four of us went to the Photo Gallery to look at our pictures and to purchase the preferred ones. I was impressed with the convenience of the kiosk machines. Both my stateroom buddy and myself used one of the machines to purchase our selected photos. At the end of the order, there was a message stating that our photos will be delivered by 11pm that night. We went to the club, had out drinks, went back to the cabin and prepared for bed. In the morning, I ask my stateroom buddy if he received his pictures and he responded no. He left the stateroom to go and inquire and did not return to the room. I eventually got out of bed and prepared myself for breakfast. Before going to the buffet area, I went to Guess relations to check if I were charged for the photos. I received my printout and I was not charged. I proceeded to the Photo Gallery to inquire about the order I placed for the photos. No one was there. I asked a crew member who was passing and he reported that no one is working and that they already left the ship. I went back to Guess Relations to explain what happened. The gentleman who "assisted" me told me that they cannot do anything, especially since my card was not charge and that I should go back to Guess Relations. I told him that no one was there. He insisted that I should go back to Guess Relations. I had to tell him three times that that was where I was coming from and that no one was there. He believed when he called and no one answered. He said to go back and someone will be there.
I went back to Guess Relations only to find other passengers waiting to see someone. When I realized that one one was coming, we all went down to Guess Relations and demanded that someone assisted us. I found it disturbing that we took pictures, wanted to pay for them for memory purposes and because my our card was not charged, we were brushed off. Yes, I had pictures on my personal camera for memories, but I wanted the professional ones I took. The principle of it all is that if those pictures were the only memory we would have had for the cruise, we would have had no memories. All that aggravation was because they reported that the machines were not working and any order that we placed was erased. I wish someone had said something before the appointed time. They had to know that the machines were not working. The sad thing is that it worked when I placed my order and also my stateroom buddy. I am not sure how the info disappeared, but we were told it did. The disturbing thing is that they kept telling us that we could not have read the message we read on the machine. I told the Photo Lab Manager to turn on the machine so I could place an order so she can see the message. She refused. We were trying to tell her that there were multiple passengers, not related or cruising together, saying they read the same message. The whole thing boiled down to them wanting to reprint the pictures. I told her if after what I went through with them, if I had to pay for the pictures, then I am no longer interested in purchasing them. She told me getting the pictures as a courtesy was impossible. I told her that I know it was possible and that she did not want to give the pictures to me as a courtesy. I left the ship more upset at the lack of principle that trumped everything else I experienced on the ship, down to the feces I saw on the floor in the pool area. I will probably never (I hate to say never) cruise that cruise line again if I have control over it.
My first cruise was on Celebrity Century. That experience still stands as the best cruise ever! Celebrity Summit goes down as the worse cruise ever! I quickly got over this cruise. I had no great experience to share with friends, families and co-workers. They asked, how was the cruise? I responded, it was OK. Just Ok? they asked, I responded, just OK.
I look forward to my next cruise this year if I am alive and well on another cruise line.
Oh, I forgot one thing, entertainment. As on all the ships that I have been on, there was a live band and there was a club. This ship sailed from San Juan, so there were a lot of Puerto Ricans on the ship and they were catered to very well. I was told that there was a club on Deck 4 catering to the Spanish passengers, nevertheless, the live bank would play Spanish songs and the DJ would play the exact songs that the live band just played. Everything night we heard the same boring songs in the same order. People complained. One night the DJ changed the music. We heard five new songs. We got happy. Our happiness did not last long, he went back to the broken record, and we left. To be fair though, the boring club life was not just with this cruise line. all other, except for Century, need to revamp the entertainment and take a poll of what popular songs to play on the ship based on the demography of passengers. They have to learn to carter to the masses and not just to one group, in this case, the ship did not just have Puerto Ricans on it. Since there was a Spanish cub on deck four, I did not want to hear Spanish music on deck eleven! That is not just my opinion. That was another popular complaint by passengers.
The ship will be refurbished this year. December 3rd, we were told, was the last sail until the ship is refurbished. We thought that was probably the reason most of the crew members just did not care to provide cruise type service.