Sail Date: November 2009
The Summit has more going for it than not, but our cruise was negatively colored by illness aboard and a huge culture clash of passengers. First the good: the crew aboard the Summit is exceedingly well trained to provide outstanding ... Read More
The Summit has more going for it than not, but our cruise was negatively colored by illness aboard and a huge culture clash of passengers. First the good: the crew aboard the Summit is exceedingly well trained to provide outstanding service. It never varied from the most congenial, polite and gracious service in every venue. Even the public restroom staff were apparently trained to greet and chat with passengers. The restaurant staffs were a bit more subdued and harried toward the end of the cruise when longer hours and additional work were added to their already tough schedules due to the norovirus. Our cabin, a concierge class veranda, was perfectly designed for relatively spacious comfort. It did have the usual tiny bathroom, which was very ordinary with nothing to indicate the premium cabin category. There was a frig, which needed to be unlocked by request or was unavailable otherwise. I would like to note that the ship's review is quite incorrect on several points, such as internet availability in the cabins, the cost of internet (max was 65 cents per minute) and other points. It needs to be updated. Food was not up to prior standards of Celebrity, which we attribute to the downturn in pricing aboard any/all cruise lines. They simply cannot afford to provide costly meals at the prices charged for a cruise now. However, the prep was terrific, the quality good and the variety excellent. Of note was the unbelievable accommodation made for my gluten and dairy free diet. It was amazing how well they handled it and with complete grace. Kudos to them! Staff was very well informed about ingredients, which I found amazing. Again - Celebrity or the Summit in particular must train their staff very, very well. Very unusual for us: we took two shore excursions. One was to Provencal villages out of Marseilles and the other was to Alhambra from Malaga. They were both done very well and for very fair prices. The ship's design is user friendly and is chock full of public spaces. The interior design is very elegant and not glitzy. It is a beautiful ship. It is aging, which was only of note on the exterior (veranda, and when viewing the ship's hull). All exterior public spaces are still looking great, though. We felt that food safety and sanitation could have been handled a lot better from embarkation on, which probably contributed to the spread of illness, pegged as a norovirus as per a letter in each cabin from Captain Berdos. I hate seeing serve yourself buffets as any germs from passengers are transmitted via serving pieces and beverage stations. That stopped, with staff handling all food and beverages, once the illness was announced. How widespread the virus was, we will never know. It didn't affect our group of 4 but we are scrupulously careful about hand washing, touching public door knobs, elevator buttons, banisters, etc. Being sick on vacation is lousy and we go to extremes to avoid it. The culture clash aboard the Summit was our second episode this year. Celebrity dumps their unsold cabins in Puerto Rico. There were 900 Puerto Ricans aboard, 1/2 the passengers approximately. They do not mix well culturally with N. Americans, the vast majority of the usual passengers. Enough said except that everyone we spoke with to a person, including loyal Celebrity cruisers, said it was the last Celebrity cruise they would take. Celebrity needs to take note as it was a huge problem and one that staff was unable to handle any better. We will be writing a letter to Celebrity with our concern but don't expect any apology. A couple we met had taken a lengthy S. American cruise over Christmas 2008 and said that Celebrity had sold the ship out to S. Americans, which caused another huge culture clash. They are very well traveled, frequent Celebrity cruisers, and mild mannered people. The response they received from their letter to Celebrity was that since "they are Canadians, they are quite sheltered and unaccustomed to other cultures." It was a huge insult to them and they will never again sail Celebrity. We concur. We are sorry because we love the staff, the ship and the service. But, never again. Don't anyone accuse us of prejudice or intolerance or lack of worldliness. Not true on any count. It was simply a mix of cultures that aboard a ship does not work. It was felt by everyone, including the Puerto Ricans, who were vocal in their complaints also. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2009
My husband and I (along with my parents) were just on the Summit going from Barcelona to San Juan. My husband and I were probably one of the younger couples on board being 29 and 35. My parents are in their 50's. We did not book a ... Read More
My husband and I (along with my parents) were just on the Summit going from Barcelona to San Juan. My husband and I were probably one of the younger couples on board being 29 and 35. My parents are in their 50's. We did not book a hotel through Celebrity in Barcelona as we booked it on our own because it was way cheaper. Embarkation was a breeze both my husband and I, and my parents were in CC class, no line and we were on the boat in probably 1/2 hour, we also stopped to change some money which took more time than anything else! The ship was great! We have only been on Celebrity one other time and that was on the Galaxy on a transatlantic 3 years ago. This time (and last time) we had a balcony in CC class. I loved the room, thought the bed was comfy, everything was very clean and nice. I loved both of these ships the Summit however has a great indoor Thalassotherapy pool which was wonderful, and warm, which the Galaxy didn't have. Though I liked the buffet set up better in the Galaxy, either way both were/are great ships. Even more fun this time of year the Summit was decorated for Christmas! I really liked Celebrity's enrichment and learning programs. My husband and I went to dance lessons, all four of us went to the lectures which were very informational, one Smithsonian speaker on Oceans and the other on Africa. The on board ship entertainment (dancers and singers) were excellent! Having last been on NCL where I refused to go to the shows because they were so bad this was a welcome and wonderful change! The entertainers they brought on board were also very good. We did two shore excursions one in Agadir, and one in San Juan. Both were very good. My parents did an excursion at almost every port and they enjoyed all of them. My favorite places had to be Valencia and Malaga Spain. Both cities were very interesting. I managed to find a tack store (horse store) in Valencia where I could buy gifts for all my friends (most of them including me have horses). Malaga had a small Christmas market and they had a ton of Christmas lights hanging at almost every street, and each street had a different lighting theme. One street was all snowflakes, one street was a red and white design, one was music notes, all were very pretty! The food was fantastic, just as good as I remembered on the Galaxy. The buffet was always good, though I think the newer ships with the "pods" would work better than the old buffet line, as we had a number of people on board who didn't understand the concept of standing in line, and always tried to line jump. We also had the best waiters in the main dining room, very nice, professional, and helpful, they were excellent I can't say enough good about them. We also at the Normandie (twice) which was absolute wonderful. I wasn't sure how they could improve on the food and they did. It was so good that we went back the next night and took my mother. I am not a big fan of specialty restaurants (mainly because I don't want to pay extra) but this one is well worth it! I would definitely sail on Celebrity again, and we are currently looking for another cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2009
Started with two nights in Barcelona (Hotel Continental), ended with three nights in Venice(Hotel Ponte Mocenigo). Pre-booked private tours in Villefranche and Naples, Transportation only in Florence and Pisa, DIY in Athens, Istanbul, ... Read More
Started with two nights in Barcelona (Hotel Continental), ended with three nights in Venice(Hotel Ponte Mocenigo). Pre-booked private tours in Villefranche and Naples, Transportation only in Florence and Pisa, DIY in Athens, Istanbul, Split and Venice(with pre-booked excursions in each port) We took a Celebrity tour from Mykonos to Delos. Everything went beautifully except the Celebrity Delos tour, which was a dis-organized exercise in frustration. Because of our arrival time in Mykonos, we had no choice, other than Celebrity, in getting to Delos. This being our sixth cruise, I knew better than putting ourselves at the mercy of ship excursion people. This tour re-confirmed that belief. The overall appearance of the ship was excellent, a few rust spots and worn upholstery, but nothing to distract from the overall excellence. Our sweet sixteen cabin was perfect, and our room steward Nyak, was the best we have had in six cruises. The main dining room food and service was outstanding. One meal in Normandy, which was everything it was hyped to be. Variety, service, and convenience in the buffet was very good. We only went to shows on two evenings, both were excellent. The only negative on board experience was with "guest relations" ...wrong information, tone and attitude very offensive...needs adjusting. This was a fantastic cruise, the itinerary, the ship, most of the ship personnel, we met some very good people who we hope to cruise and tour with again. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
Summit 14-night Classical Mediterranean Barcelona to Venice, Oct 3 to Oct 17, 2009 Concierge Class 9th deck Background: This trip was the first cruise for my husband and I, and I did quite a bit of research on Cruise Critic and ... Read More
Summit 14-night Classical Mediterranean Barcelona to Venice, Oct 3 to Oct 17, 2009 Concierge Class 9th deck Background: This trip was the first cruise for my husband and I, and I did quite a bit of research on Cruise Critic and elsewhere prior to selecting this itinerary with Celebrity. We selected this particular itinerary for time of year, length, variety of ports, overnights in Rome and Istanbul, and pace that included 3 sea days. I had concerns based on threads on this board bemoaning the deterioration of the Celebrity brand in general and the condition of the Summit in particular. With a goal of reporting back to the Cruise Critic community that provided me with volumes of useful information for my planning, I tried to partake of many activities and be a careful observer of onboard life, both positive and negative. Overall: We rate our experience as excellent, but not outstanding. There are some areas that Celebrity could improve (details below), but nonetheless we are looking forward to possibly sailing with our 3 school age children on a shorter North American itinerary next year. Embarkation: Painless. We arrived at the port in Barcelona around 1 pm, and were offered cold water or fruit punch while we filled out a short health questionnaire. Within 10 minutes we were on board and offered a glass of champagne or a mimosa. Luggage: It was delivered while we were having lunch, so we don't know exactly when it arrived, but it was within 90 minutes of when we dropped it off at the port. Ship Condition: The Summit just turned 8. The inspiration of the French-built Summit is apparently the glamorous 1930's French oceanliner 'Normandie'; the Summit's interior design is Art Deco from that era. The original, beautiful large bronze statue of a woman from the Normandie is prominent in the 4th floor MDR. It is a quite nice ship, not "wow!", but refined, elegant, and generally in very good condition. Yes, there are areas where you'll see a little rust, numerous rails needing varnish, an uneven carpet seam here and there, etc. but these should be considered normal I think (though they may be a bit behind the curve on the railing varnish). There were workers painting or taking care of things all the time. In 5 years, people will probably be making the same comments about the Solstice and the Equinox. Stateroom: CC class. We found the stateroom to be well arranged with plenty of storage and hangers. Our suitcases fit under our queen-sized bed. The bedding and sofa were in excellent condition. The carpeting, while clean, had seen better days and was worn. The sheer drapery curtain was missing several runners that made it a struggle to open and close. Hardware on one of the closet doors was broken such that the door did not completely close. The shower was spacious enough and my tall husband appreciated the Grohe shower sprayer that had a height adjustment and good water pressure. There was always enough hot water and it was the correct temperature from nearly the moment the water began flowing. The towels had seen better days and could have used more fabric softener, but the plush bathrobes were nice. We asked for different pillows and were offered several choices. The most annoying element was that the exhaust fan in the bathroom did not work and despite requests, it was not repaired. Thus we endured more odor and foggy mirrors than should have been necessary. On a few days it seemed as though septic odor wafted back through the system into the bathroom. The old CRT TVs should be replaced with modern flatscreens. The balcony had two padded chairs and a table large enough for snacks or cozy dining. Flowers in the room and bathroom were fresh and changed as necessary throughout the cruise. There was a basket of fruit that was kept fresh, though we didn't eat much of it. The much-maligned canapEs of the CC boards arrived in the afternoon and were perfectly fine as far as canapEs go. They consisted of items such as salmon or blue cheese concoctions piped onto dry bread circles, garnished chunks of cheese, baby corn wrapped in turkey, caviar on cream cheese, bay shrimp on cucumber, melon and prosciutto ham, etc. Not scary. We were below the Waterfall Cafe and experienced little noise other than transient footsteps with two notable exceptions: once a heavy object landed with a loud thud, and the morning of departure there was a lot of staff activity that actually woke us up much earlier than we were planning. Service: Our stateroom attendant, Nicasio "Nick" was absolutely excellent and we both wished we could have taken him home with us. He kept our room spotless and although we didn't make many particular requests of him, he executed those that we did have flawlessly. As non-EU citizens, our passports had to be collected and held while we were in Greece and Turkey. A note arrived on our door with a drop-off place and time. Very quick to do as was the process to pick-up our passports. Overall, the service was helpful, friendly, and efficient. Food: This category deserves several paragraphs based on out experiences and the numbers of threads on the CC board relating to menus, preparation, etc. Main Dining Room - We ate most of our dinners in the MDR, late seating. We had a table for two on the 5th floor near the railing that provided excellent views of the room below, the staircase, and the Captain's table. We found that we regretted late seating, which started at 8:45. Due to the intensity of the ports and the length of the dining service (usually 90 minutes or more) we were a bit tired to fully appreciate it. We were also one of the last tables to be served in our service area. As far as the food itself, it was generally very good, with some notable hits and misses, and odd lapses. For example, on our first evening, I ordered the Fleet Executive Chef Jacques Van Staden's recommendation (his dish recommendations are noted on the menus) of Tangiers-style lamb shank as my entrEe. The lamb shank was large, meaty and tender on a bed of couscous. I had a vague sense of something lacking, however. That same evening, my husband had spaghetti that was no ordinary spaghetti. It had pancetta, chopped eggs, and other ingredients and it had him practically licking his plate. Another evening with both had beef fillets topped with oscar; my husband's serving had an appropriate amount, but mine had just a dab of crab and no sauce. The most predictable flaw was soups or entrees arriving lukewarm. Notably excellent items were an appetizer of avocado wedge topped with crab louie, French onion soup, Chicken Chiquita, duck medallions, mushrooms in puff pastry, and a cheese tart. Misses include an oversalted lobster bisque and a portabella mushroom terrine that was slimy but pretty looking. Only one evening did we not find something from the daily menu that didn't appeal to us and several evenings it was hard to make a decision. Anytime we had beef, it was tender. I had read reports of tough beef that was hard to cut, but in our experience that may be due to the dull steak knives that my husband described as a "mildly menacing butter knife". The menu was different each of the 14 nights. One night I had Beef Wellington that had an unwelcome addition of a piece of hard plastic in it. The plastic was shown to our waiter and the maitre d' who soon came over to apologize. Another time, our waiter strongly suggested that my husband order a second entrEe as a hedge against his first choice. Desserts were decent enough, but occasionally were too similar to the previous evening's choices, so we sometimes skipped them. Our waiter Renato was efficient, but we found his assistant, Carolina, to be more personable. The sommelier, Arie, actually seemed irked that we wouldn't buy the expensive wine he was pushing. My husband is knows wine and found a red and a white that was reasonably priced by the glass (to the sommelier's annoyance we think); we normally only ordered one glass each. Buying a wine package may have saved some money, but often our entrees were so different that we wouldn't have both wanted the same wine with dinner. The sommelier was also pushing wine tasting events and we were turned off by the "hard sell". Waterfall Cafe - Abundant choices for breakfast and lunch. For breakfast, many hot items, omelets, breakfast pizzas and quesedillas, waffles, several types of Egg Benedict (on crab cake, Italian, German, etc.), French Toast, blintzes, fruits, hot and cold cereals, British section. The breakfast didn't change throughout the cruise, but there was a wide variety. For lunch, hot buffet, pizzas, pasta and stirfry, salad bar, made to order sandwiches, cold prepared salads. One day there was an Octoberfest section. We had dinner here three times. Besides the pasta, salad bar, stirfry, and pizza, there was sushi and a small, usually themed (Mexican, Indian, Greek, etc.) buffet (3 or 4 main dishes, hot side items, 3 or 4 cold prepared salads) during peak dinner hours. The food was generally of good quality, but it could be hard to get a waiter's attention, trays and dishes were unbussed, etc. Waterfall Grill - Burgers, hot dogs, nachos--things like that. We had heard the burgers were good, but found them so-so the one time we tried them. One seaday there were chicken fajitas that looked good with all the accompaniments, except tortillas. The servers had no idea when, or if, tortillas would be forthcoming, so we passed. Aqua Spa Cafe - Unfortunately, I did not get to eat here. I saw it, the food looked good, others said the food was good, and on the one day I went I was too late and it was closed. Normandie - We didn't eat here, mainly because my husband was getting tried of long drawn-out dining experiences. Main Dining Room for "Express Breakfast" and Lunch on sea days - The express breakfast is a simple meal of juice, coffee, eggs, bacon, and toast or Danish. Fast and good enough for an early port day. My husband was hankering for a good burger lunch by the second sea day and found the cheeseburger and fries adequate. I had a turkey panini that I enjoyed it more than he did his burger. We also had breakfast once in the MDR. Cova Cafe - We had tapas here twice; the first time with the only truly "bad attitude" employee we encountered on the Summit. I saw the afternoon pastries and they looked delicious, but was never hungry enough in the afternoon to have any. Brunch - On the second sea day, there was an elaborate brunch in the MDR. Good thing we arrived at the 10 am opening; our dinner waiter spotted us and ushered to a table�a couple we took a private tour with told us that later on seating was impossible and they missed out. Mediterranean Festival - The night we were docked in Istanbul there was music, regional dancing, and a buffet of Turkish foods in the pool area. Evening Dessert Extravaganza - The last formal night. There were chocolate fountains, tarts, mousses, cakes, Eclairs, brulees, etc. with ice sculptures in the Bar at the Edge of the Earth. Alcohol: We live in a high cost-of-living area, so to us, the drink prices were similar to what we'd pay in a hotel or restaurant. They have drink specials everyday (such as 2 for 1 margaritas or a bucket of beer where you get one bottle free). When we came into Istanbul 2 flutes of champagne were $6. Not bad. Though we did talk to a Scottish couple who voiced that $5 for a beer was outrageous. So depends on your perspective, I guess. Coffee: The much maligned beverage has earned it's rap. IT IS THAT BAD. We never had a single cup that was good. I had read on CC that good coffee was available at the Cova Cafe; turns out they only have coffee drinks, you can't get a regular cup. When I asked at the Cova, where possibly, we could get a good cup, the employee enthusiastically told us of the instant Nescafe coffee in the Waterfall Cafe. I know Fleet Chef Van Staden described in the forums a while back the reasons for the coffee woes, (water pressure and such), but as a person who grinds her own and has tried many varieties of beans, I think that the issue is simply low quality, STALE, coffee. PERIOD. The supreme insult came when I went to the Bar of the Edge of the Earth to observe our late evening passage through the Dardanelles. I was charged $3.00 for a cup of this liquid waste, served in a white wine glass of all things! Fellow Passengers: Average about late 50s, but numerous honeymoon couples as well. I saw few people that used a walker or cane. Kids: Very few. Maybe 20, including the Captain's own toddler son. Shows: Attended the Celebrity Theatre encore performance on last formal night. Musical variety. Vocals stronger than choreography. Decent sets, considering that this is on a ship. One element with two aerialists received the most applause. Other venues we listened to included entertainment at the pools, the Rendevous Lounge, the aft 10 deck, quartet with an excellent electric guitarist who soloed, and piano/vocals at Michael's Bar. Pools: I never hung around the main pools. I was looking for quiet to read and relax and on seadays and the main outdoor pools were a noisy, party-type area with the band. I used the Thallossotherapy pool and spas which I enjoyed plus the sauna which afforded a picture window view of the ocean. There were plenty of towels, and my only complaints are that the pool and spas weren't running one time when I was looking forward to using them and the pool butler came through too seldom in the T-pool area. Ship's Excursions vs. Independent Travelers: This is an area where Celebrity could improve. We know that ships want you to take their tours, but that's not for everybody. Not for us, anyway. But if you weren't on one of the X tours, you were second class. We couldn't disembark before the tour groups. The most blatant example was at the port of Naples. We go to the 1st deck ganyway per announcement only to be told that since we're not on a tour we need to go to the 3rd deck. Then there weren't any signs about which way to exit and terminal employees waved us in the direction of the excursion buses. We were meeting a small group for a private tour and apparently the signs to direct us "independents" out of the port were removed at some point. One couple in our group almost didn't make our party because of this. During the "shopping lady's" (Fiona McKenzie) presentations, she would omit certain info that would be helpful (for example, that there's a cheap and easy tram into the Old City Istanbul) in favor of stressing how passengers "needed" to buy their X shuttle tickets for Istanbul. The map distributed for Athens had a major error on it. There are other examples. The best defense is to do your homework ahead of time. Activities: We attended a chef cooking challenge in the Celebrity Theatre (moderately entertaining), two art auctions, a galley tour that was diminished only because the chef's English was almost incomprehensible to us and others. People kept asking each other "What?" "Do you understand what he's saying?" "What's he talking about?". Bridge tour (informative). Movie. Catholic mass. It seemed that the activities we were most interested in were scheduled at the same time on sea days. Crowds: I heard that the ship was almost sold-out, but it hardly ever felt crowded. I often asked myself "Where is everybody?". The exception was lunch when arrived Istanbul. It was crowded at the Waterfall Cafe and it took a little strategy to find a table. Also about a 15-minute wait to be tendered in Croatia. Internet: Only bother with it if you need to. Expensive and slow. Two of my sessions were complete busts that I really don't think I should have paid for. Smoking: I've read that Celebrity's new policy is non-smoking. Maybe I misunderstood what that means, but smoking was allowed on Decks 10, 11, and 12 (outdoor bars, pool, and lounging chair areas). Tendering: We were tendered at Villefranche, Mykonos, and Split. We only waited once, about 15 minutes to be tendered in Split when everyone seemed to be leaving at once. Disembarkment: Celebrity asked guests to complete questionnaires so that people with early flights could receive priority, or could purchase the ship's transport to St. Mark's Square. We had already figured out we were going to take the Alilaguna water bus to St. Mark's Square, so we had no special disembarkment needs. We gathered at the appointed place and were able to leave at our leisure within a 20-minute or so window. Our luggage, having been sorted by color and number codes, was waiting in the port terminal. We felt that the disembarkment process was a bit impersonal and that the staff was concentrating more on the new guests that would be arriving that day. Our last evening we didn't even get our canapEs, turndown service, or our last port info sheet delivered to our room. I started a thread on the Celebrity board in case anyone has specific questions that I didn't cover here. Happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
We are a retired couple and love to travel. This was our fourth cruise and our third trip to Europe. We have cruised twice on HAL about 35 years ago and on Sitmar around 38 years ago. We cruised again last year on Princess. This year we ... Read More
We are a retired couple and love to travel. This was our fourth cruise and our third trip to Europe. We have cruised twice on HAL about 35 years ago and on Sitmar around 38 years ago. We cruised again last year on Princess. This year we were new to Celebrity. Our port of embarkation was Barcelona. We flew from our home in Detroit to JFK and from JFK to Barcelona. We arrived two days early and promptly checked into the Hotel Jazz. This was a great little hotel and the service was lovely and friendly. The place was spotless; the breakfast was delicious. The hotel was only a few blocks from the Main Square and La Ramblas. We had a great time over-all but had a poor experience with the HOHO bus. The busses are supposed to come every 20 minutes but they were often full and we averaged about 40 minutes to an hour wait for each bus. At no time was there room for us to go up to the top level; it was that crowded. The drivers did not speak English well and misdirected us. The bus broke down and we were stranded for 90 minutes waiting for a new bus. The following day I requested a refund and was told I had to complete a form. A month later, I still do not have a refund. In spite of this we really enjoyed the city. The shopping was great. La Rambla was beautiful especially at night. Don't miss the Sagrada Familia Cathedral and the other Gaudi architecture. The Guell Park was amazing. I felt as though I fell through Alice's Looking Glass in this city. We boarded the Summit in Barcelona about 2 PM. The process took less than ½ hour from beginning to end. We were warmly welcomed with mimosas and escorted to our room. Our room steward, Naik, immediately stopped by, introduced himself and asked if there was anything we needed. He spoiled us the whole time we were on the cruise. I needed an extension cord for my heating pad. He immediately provided this and taped the cord along the wall so we would not trip over the cord. He was our personal genie; whatever we requested, he provided. He always had a smile. If he saw us walking down the hallway, he would open our door for us. Each time we returned to the ship from our shore excursions, the staff would greet us warmly and say "Welcome Home." We had a standard veranda cabin and it was more than adequate for our needs. There was ample drawer space and lots of cupboards. The closet was a little tight but we managed. There was a safe and plenty of shelving in the bathroom. Bring your own hair dryer; the one on the ship is probably an antique. The room was decorated in orange; in early "Howard Johnson's". However, the bed was very comfortable and we had a sofa and a desk as well. Our balcony held two chairs and a small table. We loved the "no smoking" policy. There was a problem with mold in our shower. We mentioned this to Naik and presto, the mold was gone and the shower curtain was replaced. The food in the MDR was very good. Our waiter, Nengah and his assistant Pavel also spoiled us. My husband asked for two helpings of shrimp cocktail and he got it, every night. Our travel companions requested certain flavors of ice cream and those were ordered especially ordered for us - even when they were not on the menu. Everything we ate was very good. If we attempted to order something that was not good, Nengah would advise us to order something else. Pavel especially was very friendly and both servers always had smile for us. There were plenty of choices for food. We ate most of our breakfasts and lunches at the Aqua Spa and the food there was delicious. We tried the buffet from time to time and we were pleasantly surprised at how good the food was. We did not try the grill or the pizzeria. We thoroughly enjoyed high tea; especially the bite-sized sandwiches. The coffee on the ship was foul beyond belief. We were forewarned by CC members and we bought our own coffee. There was a special brunch buffet, a midnight buffet and a chocolate buffet. There were canapEs passed every night after 11. You could eat your way through the cruise from beginning to end. However, all of our dining experiences paled in comparison to our two dinners in the Normandie. I can honestly say that these were two of the best meals I have ever eaten. Our entire group was awed by the presentation. The meal was beautifully plated and elegantly served. The fish I ordered was prepared tableside and flambEed. Once again the staff made us feel as though we were honored guests. This meal is well worth the up-charge; we liked it so much we ate there twice. There was lots of entertainment. For comedy there was Fred Kitts, who proved that you can be funny and be clean at the same time. He appeared twice and had the entire audience laughing. The variety shows were excellent. The musicians and concert pianist were outstanding. The movies were good but were more than a year old. Even though we are not movie buffs, we had seen most of the movies. The movie theater and the show room are very comfortable. There were plenty of activities to keep us occupied on sea days. My husband took two photography classes; I took a class in flower arranging and a refresher class in Excel. One photography class and the flower arranging class was free. There was a charge for the other two classes. There was a guest lecturer on the Olympics and even though I did not get to his lectures, I heard that they were good. There were classes in wine-tasting and several dance classes. If the itinerary had not been so port-intensive, we would have availed ourselves of these. We had an extra sea-day because we were unable to dock in Villefranche (due to poor weather). There were two get-togethers for Cruise Critic members. The pools were beautiful. We loved the Thalassotherapy pool. My husband used the gym. A few in our group used the spa and enjoyed it. There are lots of quiet little places on board to settle down with a book. There is a library with a nice selection of books and a lovely card room. There were few annoying announcements. If there was a disappointment in the cruse it was in the shopping. There was a lot of junk jewelry and clothing and most of it was over-priced. There was little "new merchandise" as the cruise went on. Some of the merchandise looked like it was left over from a garage sale. We broke our camera on the cruise and had to replace it. We were able to purchase a nice camera on the ship. The camera sold at the manufacturer's suggested retail price and we were pleased that we did not have to pay an inflated price. We had planned to do a walking/ shopping tour of Florence but the tours were already booked. We ended up taking the ship's shuttle to the train and the train to Florence. It took a half hour for the shuttle then a half hour wait at the train station. The train ride was 90 minutes and we had to reverse this whole process on the way back. We wandered around aimlessly at the train station until we got a cab. We went to the Santa Crorce area but we had only a few hours before it was time to get back. If you do not hire a guide for this city, take the ship's shuttle to the center of town. You will save about two hours. What we saw of Florence was lovely. We were a mixed group. My husband and I were new to Rome and wanted to sight-see. Two of our companions wanted only to shop. Another companion wanted to do both. Our solution was to hire Driver In Rome. Our driver, Paulo, effortlessly delivered us wherever we wanted to go. He dropped the two shoppers off at a shopping center and took the three sight-seers all over the city. Later he dropped the sight-seers off for lunch, picked up the shoppers and delivered them to the restaurant where they joined us for the meal. The second day we all went to the Vatican in the morning but the shoppers left after two hours while the others stayed to see the Sistine Chapel and the Museum. In the afternoon, we went to the Jewish Quarter. Paulo was unflappable. One note: If you hire Driver In Rome, ask for any vehicle but the Fiat; it was bumpy and noisy. Rome was a treat. A few people in our group learned that Paulo, our driver in Rome, was to be our driver in Naples. He agreed to play a joke on the others in our group and to pass himself off as his identical twin brother, Georgio, He met us in Naples in a different vehicle, thankfully a Mercedes van this time, and the trip was much smoother. Our travel companions fell for the little joke and we all had a good laugh. The weather was awful but we all enjoyed ourselves. We went to Pompeii, to a cameo factory and then for a magnificent drive up the Amalfi Coast. Wow!! We had a delicious lunch before driving back to Naples. We definitely recommend Driver In Rome for Rome and Naples and Florence. Ask for Paulo; he's great!! We had a sea day before turning and doing the Eastern Mediterranean. There were plenty of activities and we appreciated the time to relax. While we were still in Naples we heard that the Summit had cancelled several tours because there was a marathon in Athens. Since we had reserved a guide, we telephoned him and asked him if sight-seeing would be a problem. We were assured that it would not be a problem because our guide had a smaller vehicle and could go around the runners. Imagine our surprise when we got to Athens and our guide told us he could not take us to any of the high spots except for the Acropolis. He could not get to any of the other sights along the marathon route and had to drop us off several blocks away from the Plaka. He arranged to meet us several hours later. We had hired George's taxi service after reading rave reviews about him in Cruise Critic. George's son, Billy, was our driver. Billy was very pleasant but we felt that George's taxi should have leveled with us when we telephoned in advance. We could have cancelled. We paid 250 Euros to be dropped off at the Acropolis and the Plaka and returned to the ship. This service was very expensive for what we received and we were understandably disappointed. We could have hired a regular taxi for that. That being said, the city appeared to be like any large metropolitan city. The Acropolis was beautiful even in the rain. The Plaka was a great shopping area and there appeared to be some excellent buys. We did Istanbul on our own. We arrived about 1:30 on Monday and went straight to the tram upon leaving the ship. People were very good about directing us. Istanbul is a huge city but everyone is very friendly. We took the tram to Topkapi Palace and spent a few hours at the harem and the Palace. The grounds were beautiful. It was not hard to imagine girls as young as 11 or 12 being taken to the Harem possibly for life. It was dark when we left the Palace so we did not want to take the chance of getting lost in the dark. So we walked toward the Grand Bazaar and found the shuttle to the ship. We did a lot of people watching on our walk. The next day we took the shuttle to town and walked to the Blue Mosque. It was beautiful. We walked to the Grand Bazaar and spent several hours winding in and out of the shops. We purchased harem outfits for our granddaughters. We found the people in Istanbul to be very friendly. We did not feel at all threatened by being in a Muslim country. Mykonos was serene and beautiful. We shuttled to the town center and walked around for the entire afternoon. It was the last day the shops were open for the season but few shopkeepers were willing to bargain. Still, we enjoyed our sojourn there and took some beautiful pictures. It is fun wandering in and out of the alleys. The little island is peaceful and breath-taking. After leaving Mykonos and another sea day, we arrived in Split. We tendered into town and spent a few pleasant hours shopping the stores and flea markets and exploring the ruins. There is not a lot to do here so a few hours was all we needed. Disembarkation went smoothly. We were one of the last to disembark and we stayed in our cabin until the very end. We were not rushed. We left the ship on schedule and easily found our luggage. Getting a water taxi in Venice took some time but soon we were on our way. We were sorry to leave our adopted home on the Summit. I would like to mention how hard the staff works. Our room steward was on duty from early morning until about nine at night. Our dinner waiters were seen working the buffet at other times during the day. The staff at the Normandie worked the Aqua spa. We heard passengers complaining about the tips that were automatically charged to the cabins. We felt that these tips were not enough for the wonderful service we received. These people sign contacts with Celebrity and work for six months before they return home. Often they send money home to their families. They deserve every bit of their tips and more. We will definitely return to Celebrity. We would recommend this ship to anyone. We spend three nights here and stayed at the Hilton Stucky Molino. The hotel is located on a separate island but there is a complimentary shuttle to San Marco. The hotel is spotless and nice for a splurge. The staff was lovely and welcoming except for the concierge who was condescending and rude. We spent most of our time around San Marco Square. We are avid amateur photographers and found plenty of things to photograph here. We also wandered around other neighborhoods in Venice and Molino. Venice is a beautiful and easily doable on your own. The water busses will take you anywhere. We visited Murano. I am glad we went but we do not have to return. The prices were the same in Venice. Venice is not inexpensive. It cost us 60 Euros to get to our hotel from the pier and 112 Euros to get to the airport. All food is imported and delicious and expensive. In addition to paying high prices (in Euros) you pay a "cover charge" and a "service charge". But spending money is part of the fun. If you are going to visit Venice, budget accordingly. You won't be sorry. When we return, we will bring an extra suitcase for the masks and souvenirs. They are lovely. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2009
1) Cruise left Barcelona on Oct. 3, 2009 arrived in Venice Oct. 17, 2009. 2) We left home Oct 1st spent a night in Barcelona and stayed an extra night in Venice. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Quickly adjusted to time zone as well as not being in a ... Read More
1) Cruise left Barcelona on Oct. 3, 2009 arrived in Venice Oct. 17, 2009. 2) We left home Oct 1st spent a night in Barcelona and stayed an extra night in Venice. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Quickly adjusted to time zone as well as not being in a crazy rush on sail day. 3) Stayed in Eurostars Ramblas Boqueria in Barcelona, Columbus Hotel in Rome (During 2 day Rome visit), Hotel Casa Nova in Venice. Rated Cruise 9 out of 10 (Best we've ever had in our 15 cruises) To clarify, we are very picky and unforgiving in lots of areas so a 9 is probably the highest we could give any cruise line. The criticisms of Celebrity is that the Guest Services staff is uninformed and not very helpful. We asked 3 questions of them in the 14 days and all 3 answers were wrong. Grossly wrong. Celebrity, in other areas, reminded me that they are in the business of making money first, being honorable second. Still rated a 9! We bought a Concierge Class Room. NOT WORTH IT!! No priority Tender boarding, pillow menu is a joke, dollar store binoculars were useless, daily canapEs and showerhead was the only thing left and that wasn't worth the up charge. Don't waste your money with this. Still rated a 9! Tours? Be careful. Very overpriced for what you get. They scare you into believing you can't do it on your own. OK, we bought transportation mostly. "Florence/Pisa on your own" was worth the price to not have to hassle with trains and local tour guides. Rome.. Buy a train ticket and do everything yourself. Easy as pie!! Istanbul all on our own, we saw everything our table mates saw without the cost. Still rated a 9! So, why rated a 9? The food was outstanding, the staff was unbelievably friendly, the timing of everything was spot on, our room steward was PRICELESS, the itinerary was 2nd to none, and the weather was perfect. I would certainly recommend Celebrity to anyone. One piece of advice to any Celebrity rep reading this: Your staff should do anything they can to make a guest happy. Your advertisement in the Photos Area said "Buy (3) 8X10 photos and get the Leather Portfolio free." Just because my Embarkation Photo was on sale when I bought it should not have disqualified me from the free Portfolio. This was cheap of you and your supervisor should have realized that I paid over $7,000 to Celebrity and that $5.00 difference between a full priced photo and the sale price wasn't worth me feeling you were greedy and cheap. "We will fix the ad for the next cruise", the supervisor said as she then wished us a good night. If you want more details about any of the ports, ship, tips, hints, etc.. Email me at poopacct@yahoo.com. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
My husband and I have returned from the Barcelona-Venice Mediterranean cruise on the Summit. After reading some reviews of the Summit before we went I was a little worried, but everything went perfect and we had a fantastic holiday. ... Read More
My husband and I have returned from the Barcelona-Venice Mediterranean cruise on the Summit. After reading some reviews of the Summit before we went I was a little worried, but everything went perfect and we had a fantastic holiday. Embarkation was fast and very well organized. We got to the port, the baggage was taken away, and we spent 15 minutes at the checking-in desk and then we went on board where a glass of champagne was offered to us. Our cabin was on the 6th floor,concierge class, large enough for both of us and there was a nice balcony with some chairs and a table. Our cabin steward, Seby, was very helpful and gentle. The food in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant was excellent. Our seating was at 6:15 too early because we usually got back from the tours around 6. We asked to change to 8:45 but then again, too late! So we usually had dinner at the buffet or once at the not formal restaurant The Dimension which was an excellent choice! We didn't do any of the Celebrity excursion cause I thought they were a little expensive and we are used to travel , so we did everything ourselves.What we used to do: get the hop-on-hop-off in Barcelona, Athenas, Cannes. Pretty easy as they stop near the port(except for Athenas which is around 40 min by bus from the port and I wouldn´t bother to take the bus if I ever get back to Athenas! What a deception!) Livorno we rented a car as soon as we stepped out of the ship (90 euros but could have paid less if we had planned in advance)! I wanted very much to know Cinque Terre (about 1 hour driving from the port) It was perfect! The road is really good and signs every where! Impossible to get lost! Civitavecchia: We walked to the station and caught the train to Rome.We bought the BIRG ticket which covers the subway and tram as well. Naples: Another car rented to get to know the Amalfi Coast , this time cheaper as I had booked in advance: 65 euros. We drove from Naples to Vietri sur Mare and from there to Sorrento. Ravello is a perfect little town and Positano is perfect for lunch! Santorini: We caught the cable car to Fira and then we went to Oia. In Oia we went to Armoud Bay thinking we would swim and have lunch there. But is a bay not a beach, so... We went to a beach close by (beautiful but very hard to walk on the stones) Piraeus: We walked to the metro station about half an hour and caught the metro to Athens. We got off at the Monastery station and walked to the wrong(or right) direction. The idea was to catch the tourist bus (hop-on-hop-off). After walking for half an hour we got to the Acropole. At this point I was already exhausted because of the heat! I didn´t climbed the 150 or so steps ... and finally got the bus. I wouldn´t bother doing it again... Athena was a deception. Dubrovnik: We bought the transfer the ship offered to the entrance of Old Town and I think it was the best idea. There we walked around, visited the Museum , had a beer in the waterfront... Very lovely town. Venice: Sailing into Venice was absolutely fantastic ! An unforgettable experience! I had a stateroom with balcony , but I decided to go to the Tower level where the disco is, and I had an amazing view! I really wanted to share my experience and let you know that the ship is fantastic and I had the holiday of my life! Thanks to everybody who took their time writing tips and reviews. You made the difference Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
This was our first Celebrity Cruise with two previous RCCL cruises to Mexico and Alaska. We choose this ship for its itinerary and it is a very port intensive trip to say the least. There are four days in which you have port calls in ... Read More
This was our first Celebrity Cruise with two previous RCCL cruises to Mexico and Alaska. We choose this ship for its itinerary and it is a very port intensive trip to say the least. There are four days in which you have port calls in Cannes, Florence, Rome, and. Naples. We arrived in BARCELONA two days before the ship's departure. We stayed at Condes de Barcelona, one of the hotels on Celebrity's list but we booked it on our own at less than half the price Celebrity charged. Barcelona is a beautiful city and easy to get around. We took a taxi from the airport (30 euro). We elected to see the city using the Hop On & Hop Off Tour Bus. The two-day pass was well worth the 27 euro price. Taxi from our hotel to the ship was another 30 euro (expect a surcharge for your luggage). We had been warned about the thieves and pickpockets throughout the cruise ports. Even then, my wife lost 20 euro to a sneak thief in Barcelona. This Gypsy put a flower in her scarf and when my wife opened her coin purse to give her a coin, the thief grabbed her paper currency and ran. This ruined the rest of the day for her. EMBARKATION: We arrived at 2PM and that was a mistake as it seemed to be the same time most everyone else chose. Celebrity's staff was well organized in spite of the crowd's surge and we were on the ship within 45 minutes. Recommend arriving before noon or after 4PM to avoid the crowds. OUR ROOM: We selected a Balcony room 7194 which is on the far aft Starboard side. The views from the Starboard side (Even Numbered cabins) were spectacular for this itinerary. The size and layout of this room was more than adequate for our needs. The balcony was small but adequate for standing looking out or sitting with our morning tea. There was ample storage for all of our things. Our room steward was great and always had our room spotless. Two Cruise Critic Tips that served us well were to bring a Power Strip for all your electronic gadgets and a nightlight for the bathroom. A Digital Clock came in handy too. We were upgraded to Concierge Class in addition to a significant price reduction several months before our departure. I probably would not have paid extra for Concierge Class but other people will have a different opinion on its value. One of the things we liked about the far Aft room was there was very little foot traffic, The Waterfall Cafe was three floors above which was very convenient to drop in for a quick snack or cup of Tea or Juice. THE SHIP EXPERIENCE: We attended the Cruise Critic Party (~10 AM on the first "At Sea" day) with many of other Roll-Call members. It was enjoyable meeting each other after months of planning together. We found the ship was about 60% Americans and a significant Canadian contingent, numerous Brits, and a bunch of Aussies. We saw very few children on this cruise. The condition of the ship was very well maintained. The T-pool was our favorite relaxation spot on the ship during our "at sea" days. The Fitness Center was very well equipped and in excellent condition too. (I should have spent more time at the Gym and less time at the Ice cream counter) One complaint is with many of our fellow passengers who went out early in the morning of the "At Sea" days to reserve their deck lounges and then not return for several hours later. There wasn't an open deck lounge to be found after 9 AM. SHAME ON EACH OF YOU! DINING: We chose Early Seating even though we knew we might have to rush back from our late tours (but this was not really a problem). We sat at a table for 8 and enjoyed the excellent company of our dining companions. The food selections were ample and the taste was excellent. Portion sizes were not large but we never walked away hungry. We only ate some breakfast and a few lunches at the buffet. The selection was adequate but not extensive. We enjoyed the pizza at the rear buffet area and loved the homemade ice cream. Don't be shy about ordering Room Service (it is included) for your morning Coffee/Tea/breakfast. This was a real time-saver while we were getting ready for those early port tours. (It also serves as your wake-up call ;-) ENTERTAINMENT: There was an enjoyable variety of musical entertainment throughout the ship. The Celebrity Dancers and Singers were excellent. Their Broadway musical was very well done and was equal to some of the original productions we have seen firsthand. The ships band was awesome and we did enjoy their performances throughout the ship and the cruise. INTERNET: There was Internet and Hotspots available on the ships Computer lounges but it was very expensive ($.65 per minute) which could be acceptable (given the location) but the speed was EXTREMELY SLOOOW. It is intolerable to charge a PREMIUM price for such slow speed internet service. There was also intermittent Cell phone connectivity through Verizon at $7.50 per minute. CANNES was our first port of call. My wife took Celebrity's half-day tour of Monaco and the Grand Casino and was happy that she did. I was happy to walk around Cannes and spend a restful afternoon on the ship. FLORENCE: We took a taxi to the train station for 20 euro. The 90 minute train ride (13 euro each way) takes you right into the center of Florence making everything within easy walking distance. WARNING: Be sure to get your ticket validated BEFORE you board. We should have reserved tickets for the Duomo and the Uffizi Gallery so we missed out on both due to the very long lines. At least we had a nice lunch there. ROME: We had made arrangements for a private tour with DRIVERINROME. Our driver/guide Paolo was fantastic and we saw much more than we could have with Celebrity's City Tour. DRIVERINROME also arranged for ticket reservations and a licensed Guide for our group through the Vatican which was also awesome. We HIGHLY Recommend using Cruise Critic Connections Roll Call to set up your own group and make your own private tour. It isn't cheap (~150 euro per person) but you'll have a day that you'll never forget. NAPLES: We used Celebrity Tours and were very satisfied. My wife took the Sorrento & Pompeii Tour while I chose the Hike Vesuvius & Pompeii tour. We both had a great day. Our dining companions said that they really enjoyed their DRIVERINROME tour of the Amalfi Coast area. SANTORINI: We chose the Celebrity tour of Oia for a late lunch then returned back to take the gondola back down to the port. Santorini is a beautiful island that I could have spent more time exploring. ATHENS: We joined a group who had set up a private tour with ATHENSTAXI and had another day to remember. George was fantastic driver/guide getting us to the Acropolis well before the crowds. We also hired a licensed tour guide which was another smart move. We had a great time walking around the Plaka and the Acropolis. We ate lunch at a fantastic restaurant that overlooked the city. HIGHLY Recommend a Private Tour with your Cruise Critic shipmates in Athens as a worthwhile investment (~90 euro per person). AT SEA DAY: We ate at the Normandie were very disappointed with our experience as the service was seemingly nonexistent. The food was well prepared and very tasty. I wanted to give a comment to the maitre d' but he was not at his station when we left. So I went in and discussed my concerns with his assistant the following day. The maitre d' later phoned our room offering his sincerest apologies but nothing else. He really missed an opportunity here by not offering to remove the charge from our bill or at least giving us another complementary seating. In fairness to the Normandie, most other people we talked to were very satisfied with their "fine dining experience". DUBROVNIK is an easy port to do on your own. The ships shuttle was $12/pp but we opted to take a city bus (#1A, 1B, 1C or 1 D) for $4eu each way. We used the ATM just outside the Pier gate to get about $50 in local currency and simply walked through the Old Town which was spotless. You can easily see the sites, have lunch and shop in 3-4 hours here. VENICE: Entering Venice was an experience that we'll never forget. The ship passes St Mark's Square around noon and the scenery was magnificent! We had booked the "Secret Walking Tour" through Celebrity and it gave us some familiarity with the city's layout. DEBARKATION: We didn't have a flight out that day so we had one of the latest debarking times. We waited in a comfortable area (the Cinema). Our Bags were easy to find as there were in their designated color coded area. There was a lot of confusion at the exit because another ship was offloading at the same time. We took a Water taxi from the Ship to our Hotel for 90 euro (Celebrity needs to provide better information on this aspect of debarkation). We had also booked two extra days in Venice and are glad we did. Once you get your bearings, Venice is an easy city to tour on foot. It was great fun just walking through the various section of this beautiful city. SUMMARY: We had a FANTASTIC cruise. The itinerary was way too busy to consider it a "vacation" but absolutely enjoyable. We walked about 3-5 miles at each port; saw all the sites with only a basic overview due to the time limitations at each port. We returned to the ship each day exhausted from our travels with a general understanding of what each country and port has to offer. We absolutely recommend the Summit and this itinerary as it was a cruise that we will never forget! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
I am not a nitpicker so I will not go on about unvarnished railings or worn carpets etc. as I saw no evidence of either and I can't possibly see how these sorts of things can affect a cruise. The ship is magnificent,in excellent ... Read More
I am not a nitpicker so I will not go on about unvarnished railings or worn carpets etc. as I saw no evidence of either and I can't possibly see how these sorts of things can affect a cruise. The ship is magnificent,in excellent condition and all evidence is that it is well maintained. EMBARKATION: We arrived at the port of Barcelona at 2.00pm after an eleven euro taxi fare from the Hotel Inglaterra and there was a crowd, but so what? It was interesting to see our fellow cruisers and we were on the ship within 30 mins. Get there at 4 if you want to miss the crowds. CABIN: On Vista deck our cabin was large enough with a good size balcony. Peter, our steward was there to meet us and make us feel comfortable. He also delivered our breakfast every morning and afternoon tea on some sea days. Daily bowls of fresh fruit were a welcome touch and our cabin was kept spotless. Nothing was too much trouble and he and his staff were well rewarded and I am not used to and dislike the whole business of tipping (We had arranged for the automatic tipping to be removed from our account and it was cancelled by Guest Relations without a murmur) FOOD: We dined in the MDR (only "just O.K." food and I agree with the criticisms), Destinations (the ship's best kept secret with excellent service, good food and the best views) and the Normandie. Now the Normandie is an outstanding dining room and really worth getting dressed up for on formal nights. Katerina and her staff have got their act together and provide excellent service with a flair. The food is superb especially the goat's cheese soufflE, the cappuccino soup (yes) the Maine lobster, the chateaubriand and the sensational Grand Marnier soufflE to name a few. The Normandie has it's own chefs and that certainly makes a big difference. For an extra $30 it is an absolute bargain and every cruiser should dine there at least once to make the most of the cruise experience. We had 3 wonderful and memorable meals in the Normandie. Thankyou Celebrity and Katerina! EXCURSIONS: The ship's excursions are way too expensive so we did our research and except for the Amalfi Coast, where we hired Guiseppe of Sorrento Top Cars (350euros) and had an excellent lunch at the Garden Restaurant in Ravello, we visited each destination on our own. We encountered no problems with trains etc. and visited all the places on our agenda. They included Museums (the new one in Athens is a must) lunches ( Da Fortunato at the Pantheon in Rome is one of my favourites) and shopping (Valmar on via Porta Rosa in Florence is amazing for cushions and fabrics). The fact that we had visited many of these cities over the years prior to the cruise meant that we could be selective and could use our short time to advantage. Disembarkation for the excursions was no problem and I found myself walking off the ship at Livorno at 7.01am after 7.00am docking. Well done Celebrity! On all occasions it was a nice touch to a arrive back at the ship to find a stall with wet towels and cold drinks. ENTERTAINMENT: The Broadway type shows were first class presented with enthusiasm and energy. The individual acts were entertaining, but I would have been prepared to pay extra for a realy big name. We were fortunate in that we had perfect weather everyday and the Med. was like a millpond. Countless times I stood at our balcony to make sure the ship was actually moving. Incidentally balconies are certainly worth it and how can I not forget the sun rising over Vesuvius from the comfort of ours. Overall a great experience from a very professional cruising company. As first timers we are now hooked!!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
Embarkation was laboured and disorganized - we queued for ages at check- in - we were advised that there were too many people on the gangway - when we got to the gangway we were penned in a glass overbridge for at least twenty minutes in ... Read More
Embarkation was laboured and disorganized - we queued for ages at check- in - we were advised that there were too many people on the gangway - when we got to the gangway we were penned in a glass overbridge for at least twenty minutes in the heat of the midday sun. Luggage also took a very long time to be delivered to our stateroom - in fact we had to attend dinner in the clothes we traveled in. Not a great start. Ports of Call - with the exception of Mykonos and Split were very good. The mercenary approach Celebrity take with their customers all but spoils the cruise experience. As others have said Celebrity are in your face to buy tours, treatments etc. they also are not above misleading people into purchasing stuff on the basis of savings which don't materialize. A couple of examples of which was an offer of a reduction of $30 on two spa treatments bought on embarkation day, what they failed to tell you was that one of the treatments had to be taken on embarkation day. It is worth "standing your ground" and demanding a reduction of $30 (plus the 15% gratuity) - I did and accused them of misselling - they then changed their attitude and credited my account. A sale offering a huge reduction on digital cameras on the last day at sea in fact included no reduction in prices at all! The constant pushing of preferred products by shopping advisers on shore excursions was rather annoying. All of the "preferred products" were at exorbitant prices, something that was not advised at the "showcase excursion" meetings Breakfast and lunch in the Waterfall Cafe were a bit of a challenge - long queues for food followed by a game of find a coffee machine or hot a water urn that worked, then, find a cup to put it in. Breakfast and lunch in the MDR was disappointing, we tried it twice in an effort to avoid the melee of the Waterfall and were disappointed twice. Service was painfully slow. Towards the end of the trip, we found that hand sanitation dispensers were empty we shared a table with six American/Canadian guests and the consensus of opinion was that as the staff had all received their further gratuities from the guests they didn't have to make an effort - the last day MDR breakfast was a prime example - cold food and dreadful service. The saving grace of this cruise was the quality of the food in the MDR at dinner (early sitting) - the waiter, assistant waiter and wine waiter made this an enjoyable experience each evening. Contrary to some other comments we found the quality and choice of food to be excellent. Read Less
Celebrity Summit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.5 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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