4 Celebrity Summit Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean from Barcelona

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 October 2009
We started our trip with an extra day in Barcelona, and we're glad we had the extra night, because we were both quite jet lagged and needed to rest up before we tackled trying to see all we could in one day. Not easily done, but we ... Read More
We started our trip with an extra day in Barcelona, and we're glad we had the extra night, because we were both quite jet lagged and needed to rest up before we tackled trying to see all we could in one day. Not easily done, but we got to the major attractions and sights. Finally it was time to board the ship. Just driving to the pier was exciting, seeing that wonderful huge ship just waiting for us to board! The boarding process was extremely fast and within about 15 minutes we were being welcomed with a glass of champagne! The ship itself isn't as flashy as I had assumed, a bit understated, but by no means lacking in any way shape or form. It was just right! We made our way to our stateroom, and were quite surprised that it was almost larger than our previous night's hotel room! Thanks to this site, I knew to pack our swimsuits in our carry-on so that we could relax by the pool before our suitcases arrived, but before we could even change into them, the suitcases were at our door! Leaving Barcelona at sunset, was beautiful, but we were ready to start our cruise. Our first sea day was fun, we got to sleep in and relax by the pool listening to the live band who were quite good. This was our first formal night and I must say that I was quite impressed to see that people really did get dressed formally for dinner. Mostly suits for the men, although we did see a lot of tuxes too. We were planning on having dinner at the Normandie restaurant on this cruise, but didn't end up doing that. The food and service in the MDR was just great so we just continued having dinner there. Our waiter Danny and our wine steward Kevin were great. Our room attendant Newton and his assistant were incredible. I don't know how they knew we were gone, but if we left,then came back in a few minutes, the room would be completely clean! Whenever they'd see us coming down the hall they'd open our door for us, and every time they'd have a warm smile and greeting for us!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
SUMMIT REVIEW I hope that this review is helpful and not overly detailed or boring! My DH and I have neither cruised before and selected this particular cruise for the destinations; cruising has made visiting Europe much more ... Read More
SUMMIT REVIEW I hope that this review is helpful and not overly detailed or boring! My DH and I have neither cruised before and selected this particular cruise for the destinations; cruising has made visiting Europe much more affordable than land-based tours. Our overall impressions: Ship-beautiful and still in good shape for its age. Cabin and private balcony were great, wish we had a bathtub! Cabin attendants were fantastic; we were in Concierge Class with our private balcony and really enjoyed it. Each day in port we had breakfast delivered in our cabin and this was the highlight of our food experiences onboard. Spring for the balcony, I cannot even imagine having gone without it. We spent much time there enjoying the sights in private. Food-in the main dining room, presentation was stressed over taste. Some dishes were good but others just not hitting it. However, for the price we paid for the cruise and the amount of food served at dinner, it was fine. The early seating is too early; the late seating is too late: however, other food served during dinner dining hours is slim and hard to come by. Celebrity needs more dining choices for these port-intensive cruises where the hours are not ideal. The Normandie was perhaps worth the $30/pp, experience was fun but the food itself, although presented beautifully, was not tasty enough for 5 stars. I would say go there, my husband would not. ***NOTE: Some other cruisers on this particular sailing gave negative reviews but mentioned the coffee was good. Please note the coffee was horrible, thus those giving negative reviews but thought the coffee was drinkable are not trustworthy. That just makes me laugh! We relished each good cup of java in port as we could barely stomach the stuff served onboard. Entertainment- My DH and I only attended one evening's entertainment, a Broadway revue. It was surprisingly wonderful, especially considering it was onboard a ship. I think Celebrity gets an A+ on the shows, although we only went to this one. With a very port-intensive cruise and late dining, the shows just don't get priority. Ports-Barcelona on Oct31-Nov1 was rainy and cool. We just tried to sleep off Jetlag then spent the morning of Nov1 (sailing day) taking the subway to La Sagrada Familia (easy to get there, worth the visit) then wandering down by the port at the end of Las Ramblas. The taxi driver we hailed at the hotel (Tryp Apolo, very nice!), did try to scam us for 50 euros to get to the ship. I was very glad to have read up and been warned about this beforehand, he finally accepted 15 euros after negotiating with the bellhop but he wasn't happy about it. Overall, I wasn't really taken with Barcelona and will not likely go out of my way to go back there any time soon. Nice -Nov2 was rainy/stormy in the morning. Our tenders really had a difficult time getting us over to Villefranche but the staff was wonderful and very helpful. We used Sylvie diCristo as our private guide in a group of 8. Sylvie was so friendly and easy-going; she tailored our sight-seeing to our wants and made adjustments according to the weather. Our lunch in a restaurant in Eze Village was unbelievable, even though the crepe place she wanted to use was closed. A rockslide along the middle corniche road caused us to have to turn around and use an alternate route but Sylvie's familiarity with the area worked out, we were not late back to the ship and had a great day along the French Riviera. Tuscany- La Spezia was rainy. As you have probably already read, the ship's captain changed our port at the last minute from Livorno to La Spezia and there are many rumors as to why. Rome in Limo was great, although we weren't able to call them from the ship, several members in our private group e-mailed them and without any note of reply, our guide was at the NEW port the next morning. Unfortunately, this port is some distance from Florence and that coupled with the rain decreased our time spent in that enchanting city significantly. However, the guide was very knowledgeable (although I knew some things about Florence that he did not-I'm a history buff) and his connections with a trattoria owner allowed us to sit down and enjoy an authentic Tuscan meal in Santa Croce Square. Timing our entrance at the Accademia just right allowed us to get in to see David without any line. Unfortunately, we did not have time to tour the Duomo or Ponte Vecchio but were provided with a driving tour and explanation of most of the city (this is mostly due to the weather and change in ports). Pisa was mainly a wash-out. Rome-weather was glorious and our Rome in Limo driver, Antonelo, was waiting on us as we disembarked. We set aside the entire first day in Rome for a complete Rome tour & overview. Antonelo delivered what is undeniably the most comprehensive one-day Rome tour that could be imagined. We elected to take the train back to the ship, giving us more "tour time" with Antonelo in the city. Day 2 we reserved a small group to tour Vatican City with Angel Tours, our Irish guide was a graduate art student, and was entertaining and thorough. Although I realize there is so much to see and do in Rome, our 2 days there left me feeling as if I had an idea what this city is about and I did not leave feeling as if I had missed out on much, like we did in Florence. ALWAYS chose a cruise with an overnight in Rome, if possible. Naples/Amalfi Coast- again had a private tour with a group of 8 and we used Drive Amalfi. Salvatore picked us up at the ship very early and skirted the city of Naples, explaining the high rate of crime and other social issues, making it not a desirable location to visit. Our first stop was at Pompeii, Salvatore had arranged an archaeological guide there for 2 hours and Vinny was very entertaining and informative. We continued our tour of the Amalfi coast, stopping many times along the coast to enjoy the view and take pictures. Highlights included an inlaid wood factory in Sorrento (I just happened to see it and asked to stop, which Salvatore obliged) and a fruit stand in Positano. The weather was iffy throughout the day with broken clouds and threats of rain but mid-afternoon it began to break up and we had glorious views during our late lunch in Pontone. Salvatore had taken us to a family-owned restaurant there and we were the only patrons this time of year. The food, wine and limoncello were exquisite! Last stop in Ravello with some time for exploration and shopping in the piazzas then a short drive back through the mountains to Naples and on to the ship. Athens-we chose to "do it on our own" with a few other couples from CruiseCritic.com here in Athens. A significant walk to the train station, which was fairly easy but lengthy, and then off near the Acropolis. The maps and explanations provided by previous cruisers and the ship's "daily" are not very good, our group got lost climbing the Acropolis, which forced us to go down again then make the ascent a second time and then wander aimlessly trying to find the Plaka, which should have been easy. As we were there on Sunday, getting into the Acropolis was free and breath-taking! The weather was sunny and cool, but not cold, making for perfect weather to visit this site. Shopping in the Plaka was a let-down after all the build-up but we really enjoyed a nice lunch of gyros and baklava. My advice: join a private or ship's tour for Athens, I really didn't get to see/experience as much of this city as others by trying to do it "on my own." Sure-cheaper, but not as good! Istanbul- our entrance into the port area was magical, rain clouds clearing and sun peaking through adding shots of yellow around the scene. Our second rainbow of the trip appeared here, photographs were awesome! Once docked, an authentic Turkish band in full costume began playing to welcome us to the city! For the first afternoon, we took the ship's tour bus to the Grand Bazaar with a small group of friends. Trying to rush to Topkapi Palace that afternoon did not seem worth it, so we missed this landmark as it was closed the next day. However, haggling at the Grand Bazaar was so much fun and I went home with some really great memories. That evening, my husband and I joined a college friend of mine that is from Istanbul at the Istanbul Modern Museum's restaurant for dinner. If you have a chance to explore this museum or enjoy their fine dining, please do! The restaurant has a great balcony overlooking the Bosphorus where views of both Sultanhamet/Europe and Asia can be seen. Day 2- I had arranged a private tour for a group from Cruise Critic with a guide recommended directly to me by my aforementioned friend. Selin was very knowledgeable and eager to show us her city. We started with a tram ride to the ferry station and short ride across the Bosphorus to the Asian side of Istanbul, as none of us had been to Asia previously. There isn't really anything to do over there, but watch commuters hurry to and fro but it was fun to take quick pictures then ferry back over to the European side. We took the very new and fun tram up to Taksim Square (Istanbul's version of Times Square) then walked down the pedestrian street, Ikstiklal for a few miles. This was a great way to watch a great mix of residents of Istanbul as well as tourists and visit many shops along the way. We ended up in the Galata neighborhood and visited Galata Tower (14th century), where the view over all of Istanbul from the top was worth the entire trip!!! We continued with a delicious lunch at a local's favorite meatball shop in the old neighborhood, Sultanhamet, then on to tour Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia). We arrived at the Blue Mosque just in time for call to prayer, so a glimpse inside but we chose not to wait the hour until visitors would be let in again for tours. We spent some time nearby in the Hippodrome then decided to head back to the ship. Istanbul is really very beautiful and interesting, a surprise for us all. Mykonos-I hadn't been overly excited about this destination, it was just on the itinerary, and I wasn't disappointed. This is my first Greek island but it was very brown, arid and lunar-esque. The small town itself was quaint and easy to wander around; we just hopped the ship's shuttle bus for the short drive. A lot of the shops had closed for the season by the time we arrived, but it was nice that there weren't too many tourists. We walked to the windmills then along the waterfront, finally stopping at the Music Cafe for lunch. Greek coffee may be strong, but it's fantastic! We did see Petros the Pelican nearby and got his photo. A lot of the buildings are beautiful and make great photos; the gardens and plant-life are surprisingly bright and colorful as well. I still wish we had gone to Santorini instead; Mykonos just isn't all that interesting or exciting as far as I'm concerned. But it did make for a nice, relaxing break after all of our whirlwind touring. Split, Croatia-didn't happen, as I'm sure you've read or heard. We lost an engine and missed this country entirely. I did get some nice shots of the Dalmatian Coast as we sailed by, and Celebrity provided a cabin credit for the missed port, but I'm still disappointed. However, I would have preferred to visit Dubrovnik over Split if given the chance. Venice-due to our extra day at sea and missing the Croatian port, we did not arrive at Venice when scheduled, but a few hours early. Unfortunately, this meant missing that famous "sailing into Venice" experience so many people talk about and I hate that it didn't happen ( well it did, but about 4 am). Disembarkation was smooth and we easily got to our hotel. We chose to stay at the Marriott Courtyard near the airport so that it would be easier to catch our flight at 6:20am the next day. Check-in took well over an hour as the staff there did not seem prepared for both check-ins and check-outs at the same time. If possible, store your luggage at the port, do your sight-seeing in Venice then check-in to the hotel in the evening. We signed up for the free airport transfer for the following morning and I showed up 10-15 minutes prior to scheduled time, but was so far back in line that by the time we got to the airport we almost weren't allowed to check-in and board...the people behind us were denied boarding! So, perhaps schedule your own airport transfer or be in the lobby 45-60 min before the scheduled pickup. The bus DOES pick up right outside the hotel and takes you straight to Piazza Roma, where crossing over into Venice proper is then very convenient and easy. No reason to pay for a taxi or other transportation from this hotel into Venice. Now about Venice itself, we formed a group of friends from Cruise Critic and chose to "do it on our own" again, here. Thankfully, we had two people with us that had been to Venice before and another person that was somewhat decent at reading the crazy Venetian maps. We certainly know there is too much to see in one day, but we did our best! I really enjoyed just walking in and out of shops, visiting with the locals and findings great photo-ops. We enjoyed the Ponte Rialto (Rialto Bridge), Grand Canal, St Mark's Basilica & Square, the Campanile, Doge's Palace, Bridge of Sighs, and an evening Gondola ride. St Mark's Square had been flooded early that morning, but the water was gone by the time we made our way there and it was sunny & gorgeous. The view from the top of the Campanile is a MUST and is very inexpensive. At this time of year, the lines to get into the Basilica were short and it was worth it. Unfortunately, the Bridge of Sighs was mostly under scaffolding for renovation so it wasn't very visible and we didn't have time to tour the Doge's Palace. Our evening meal was spent in a trattoria near Piazza Roma, we did have to pay a cover charge on the meal but it was very good and we all enjoyed it. The night shots of Venice I took are really fantastic. Cruise Critic- What can I say? I have never been on a cruise before until this one, and the information gathered from Cruise Critic was irreplaceable and worth its weight in gold. I had so much fun getting to know people and sharing private tours. I even took the initiative to design a website for our Cruise Critic group that was quite popular (http://www.freewebs.com/summitnov1/) and is still helping other cruisers on similar itineraries. Overall, our private tours/excursions cost less than the cruise line's excursions because the groups were 6-8. The CC party was held our first sea day (the first day) in the morning, and was attended by the most CC members they had had all season, so said the activities director, Rich. We had a good time but there were two problems: 1) Too early, about 9:30 am, so that some people that were jet-lagged or tired simply didn't get up in time to attend and 2) Coincided with the shopping discussion about the first ports and many wanted to go to that. Later in the day, there were fewer activities and more people would have attended that had intended to go. I would like to say that Celebrity was fantastic all-around and that this trip wouldn't have been as amazing as it was without Cruise Critic and all the friends I made here and all the helpful hints and information gathered-Grazie! Read Less
Sail Date November 2008
Let me begin by noting, We are from Connecticut, in the USA, and travel 5 Star or we don't travel.  We have very high standards,  want a luxury vacation, and are willing to pay for it. We are in our late 50's, as were most on ... Read More
Let me begin by noting, We are from Connecticut, in the USA, and travel 5 Star or we don't travel.  We have very high standards,  want a luxury vacation, and are willing to pay for it. We are in our late 50's, as were most on board. Only a few children (maybe 4 on the entire ship).  If you have children, this is NOT the ship for you.  Your best choice if you are traveling with children would be to travel Royal Carribbean, it has a lot to offer for children and families and is a lovley line. We did not want a cruise with children...we wanted to indulge our senses and our minds and enjoy the solitude and quite. We chose Celebrity Summit as we wanted to travel to some ports that the larger ships could not enter, and thus changed our reservation from the Celebrity Solstice to the Celebrity Summit.  I was a bit concerned with my choice of Celebrity Summit prior to booking, as it is not a new ship. However, it went into dry dock and was referbushed in January 2009.  They did a great job renovating this ship. The only negative we found was some of the areas of this ship could have had an update, but not to worry.  You would have to look really, really close to notice. The balcony in our state room was not updated as well as the rest of the ship.  The lounge chairs and tables were a bit worn as were the lounge chair covers.  I feel they should have paid attention to this, as we love to sit on the balcony in the evenings and view the exodus of the ship to a new port.  However, do not let this change your mind about Celebrity Summit...such a little thing should not sway your decission. I mention it only as I am quite exact when speaking about things and do want to make my point.  I read many, many reviews and felt I had made a good choice. Yes, there are some minor, very minor, elements that could have been renovated, but all in all, for the trip itinerary, ship ambiance and elegance,  the price...a tremendous value.  The ship, all is all, is in great condition for it's age. Beautifully appointed.  I would certainly travel on this ship again.  The attitude of the Staff were far beyond my expectations.  You see the commericals on TV, etc. and wonder?  Well, it is all true, and then some. The staff remember your name every single time they meet you.  You are treated in the highest regard.  They do all they can, and then some, to make your voyage amazing and memorable and do it wonderfully, every single day. The public rooms were well appointed, silks and damask, marble, quite luxurious and all in beautiful prestine condition.  All dining was serviced with linens and fine crystal and china...in all restaurants.  The cuisine in the main dining room was simply wonderful.  A wide variety in every category of the meal, and well presented.  Quite amazing.  We dined in the specialty restaurant "The Normandie", 6 of the 12 evenings and will say the service and food were superb.  We really felt like royalty...honestly!  The cuisine was elegant and delicious...not one single complaint. Like any 5 Star restaurant in the states. Just delightful. We were quite impressed and are still remarking about it.  You must try the Spa area...The Persian Room has 3 steam rooms, one more wonderful than the next. A sauna and thermal heated seating that is just divine. There is an extra cost for the Persian Room, about $99.00us per person.  You can use the room as much as you like, whenever you like during the entire 12 days.  It is wonderful. We indulged ourselves every day.The stateroom cabins on this ship were quite ample in size, with down comforters and pillows (you had a choice of 4 pillow/comforter types).  The decor was lovley, crisp, elegant and quite well appointed.  As we chose Consierge Level Cabin, we were welcomed with Champagne and canapes, fresh flowers and a bowl of fresh fruit upon arrival.  Also, every evening we were presented with a silver plate of canapes prior to dinner and flowers and fresh fruit daily.  Quite amazing.  A lovley stateroom...no towel animals on on your bed on this ship...just simple elegance, well maintaned and lovley.  Our cabin steward and assistant were amazing.  Just pick up the phone and they were there in minutes...really...minutes, to tend to you every whim.  Really wonderful.  I must train my husband better. ha,ha,ha.  We truly enjoyed our cruise and are already planning our next.A few very important items:  (1) PACK LIGHT!  I am a clothes horse and found you do NOT need all that stuff.  Also, It cost 180-Euro for each bag that was over weight, in total 360-Euro in extra baggage charge at the airport.  Pack light...you can purchase a lot of things for 360-Euro!  (2) Use your ATM-Debit Card or Credit Card to buy Euro.  Do not use Travelers Checks, they are not easy to to use and most businesses will not accept them. (3) If you are traveling in Venice, Italy on a cruise.  You will need travel accommodations from the ship to the airport or to a hotel if you are staying on for a few more days on your own. There are no cars in Venice.  You MUST book a reservation with a Watertaxi.  As you exit the ship, you will be directed to the "Security Building" and there, at the end of the building is a "WaterTaxi Reservation Booth".  Make a reservation immediately.  You will be given a numbered ticket and then procede to the dock.  If you do not get the reservation, you will not get to the airport or hotel.  Cost about 50-80 Euro, depending upon where you are traveling.You are welcome to email me for more detail and photos.  cmndiva@msn.comThis is a superb travel ship and I would travel on her again.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2008
Celebrity Summit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.6
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.1

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