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21 Celebrity Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

I wanted to clarify some other posters' remarks. We were on the ship in January for a short cruise of the Mexican Riviera. I wanted to review in context of a person who has traveled on celebrity ships quite a bit. The last ... Read More
I wanted to clarify some other posters' remarks. We were on the ship in January for a short cruise of the Mexican Riviera. I wanted to review in context of a person who has traveled on celebrity ships quite a bit. The last poster was entirely correct about the dining room and the food. Celebrity has obviously started cutting costs and it has really begun in the main dining room. I also don't understand why celebrity charges $45 or now $50 for Murano for each person for specialty dining. I've traveled other cruise ships and have gone to specially dining – – like Royal Caribbean – – and we only pay $25 a person and the food was just as good as the celebrity specialty dining. For The main dining room and the buffet space, this was probably the blandest food we've ever had on a celebrity cruise ship. We were sorely disappointed in the food. Tasted more like the Carnival cruise ship. Having said all this, for those new to celebrity cruises, the ship is not representative of what most celebrity cruises are like. We thought the ship was by far the way the worst celebrity ship we've ever been on. This was our fifth celebrity ship and second non-solstice class ship. The ship was quite frankly very ugly. It's very plain and the common areas are pretty plain as well. The main rendezvous bar was so tattered and full of drinks spills and drink rings on the bar that it smelled like an old college bar. It was dark and ugly. The theater was also very ugly. We didn't find any room attractive on the whole ship except for the bar that serves the wine. It's located right outside of: bistro on five. Also, we found the staff to be much less friendly on this crew ship then on any other celebrity cruise ship. Maybe because it was a five day cruise -- I don't know. Also the cabins were very tiny. Thank God they had wall-to-wall mirrors in the Oceanview cabins or we would have committed Hari Kari. LOL there wasn't even enough room for a little couch. We just had a chair next to the two beds. Like the other poster said, the entertainment was quite good. It was surprisingly good. Celebrity is not known for their entertainment and this cruise ship ironically had the best entertainment of any celebrity Cruise we've ever been on. That has to do with the drama and dance group that is their regular players. The voices were top notch of the dancers, particularly one of them, were excellent. They did a range of musical numbers and all were well directed. They didn't rely on tired old gags and gimmicks – – the direction felt new and fresh. Great kudos those kids. We especially like the adult themed musical they did in the late hours of the night. So, for the poster who suggested that celebrity really isn't a notch above other cruise lines, don't let this cruise ship be your measure for celebrity cruises. If you went on a solstice class ship, you'd be singing a different tune. Or just really, any of the other celebrity ships! This one is definitely an outlier. We won't sell the constellation again. We didn't have a bad cruise because we always have fun cruising, but we just found that it was the poorest of all of celebrity's cruise ship offerings, by far. The ship was like an average Carnival or Norwegian Cruise lines ship. Sorry if my capitalizations are off in this post, as I'm using a voice dictation tool. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We are experienced cruisers, and always cruised with Norwegian Cruise Line, but this time decided to change things up and try Celebrity, and boy do we regret it. Food- Food in the main buffet Ocean View Cafe was just not good. ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers, and always cruised with Norwegian Cruise Line, but this time decided to change things up and try Celebrity, and boy do we regret it. Food- Food in the main buffet Ocean View Cafe was just not good. Almost everything was bland, lukewarm and mealy. On multiple occasions, the cups and plates were dirty and stained when we picked them up from the rack. The main dining room San Marco has excellent staff, however the food quality is highly inconsistent. Entrees were well made but everything else was below average... they served caprese salad with those light brown balsamic vinaigrette dressing one can find at a Subway, which made it almost comical that they call themselves a gourmet restaurant ran by an Italian. The desserts were not great either; the chocolate cake was cold, tasteless, and soggy... it was overall a disappointing dining experience. NCL was MUCH better in taste, freshness, presentation, and are more generous in portion sizes. The premier restaurant Ocean Liners was excellent, we had a wonderful meal there, it was pretty much the only decent meal on board. It costs $50 extra per person, $90 extra if paired with wine. Facilities- Staterooms were outdated, which was fine, we knew this was an older ship when we signed up. It was not exactly spotless though, there was dust/hair clusters in the corners of the room and the grout between the tiles in the bathroom was coming off. We purchased SPA passes to use the Persian Garden, which includes 2 steam rooms, 2 "massage" shower stalls, and a room with heated stone seats. It was small, cold, and dingy. There was black mold all over the ceilings in both steam rooms, and the sauna temperature was so low it was such a joke. The SPA changing rooms were shared with the public, and only half of the 50 lockers worked, it also constantly smelled like someone just took a dump 10 minutes ago. SPA passes don't give the users any extra amenities, a tiny tub of body scrub costs $6 whereas NCL gives all SPA users a designated upscale changing room and unlimited access to two kinds of high quality body scrubs freshly mixed everyday. Entertainment- The productions in the main theater and the comedy shows were great. The cast worked really hard to provide the best entertainment they can. The Captain was a natural comedian, his announcements are hilarious and we always look forward to them, the Captain and the crew were the saving grace of our dull cruise experience. The DJ at the nightclub was just awful. He managed to clear a completely full dance floor within 30 minutes. His choice in dance music and transitions between songs are worse than my teenage sister's iTunes playlist from 2009. Most people at the nightclub just sit around and stare at the empty dance floor, waiting for a good song to come on, then eventually leave without even drinking. Don't count on the nightlife on the Constellation. Oh and get this- towards the end of the cruise, we learned that once in a while, a nudist community books the Constellation for an alternative lifestyle cruise. Meaning that everyone on the ship is always nude (except for formal nights) Great. I'm all for people who aren't afraid to express themselves, but I cannot help but think that every surface on the ship was also touched by an old man's butt crack, I mean, how well do they really sterilize the fabric chairs in the dining room? Overall we felt like Celebrity is just stretching dollars everywhere, from food to services. We are going back to NCL and will not be cruising with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I'm in this cruise as I write this. What a colossal disappointment. I took this cruise over the Thanksgiving week to try and do something new compared to the traditional family dinner. Mistake. Pros: rooms are more spacious than ... Read More
I'm in this cruise as I write this. What a colossal disappointment. I took this cruise over the Thanksgiving week to try and do something new compared to the traditional family dinner. Mistake. Pros: rooms are more spacious than expected. Very easy embarkation process. Cons: sad to say there are many....too much emphasis on upselling, tips, paying for a little extra. It completely ruins the experience. Worst experiences were in the spa and on one of the excursions. The spa, which is a Canyon Ranch, is terrible. They could care less about you or your time at the spa, for which you are paying a great deal of money. I had a very pushy, rude, aggressive spa tech named Renata try and push power whitening (teeth). She was like a pitbull who wouldn't give up a steak. I have veneers and told her even my dentist said power whitening on veneers is not going to do anything. She insisted this is it true. When Presented with the disclaimer before treatment, it clearly says, "this treatment will not have any effect on veneers, crowns or caps." When I pointed this out to Renata, she panicked and became very defensive. She then said, "Well...this will clean your teeth nice instead!!!!" No thanks. I have a dentist and a toothbrush for that." Clueless and rude - not exactly two qualities you want in a spa tech. Next was my acupuncture/massage treatment. The same guy, who claimed to be a doctor (no way in hell!) did three treatments on me. They started out OK, but the. Turned into a shameless schill to sell Canyon Ranch supplements and seaweeds. In the middle of one of my treatments, which was supposed to be peaceful, a knock on the door and the. Hands coming in disrupting the treatments and shoving Canyon One vitamins and a box of seaweed I the room for me to buy. No thanks. When I said I'd check with my physician on the validity and necessity of the Canyon One supplements, he shut down. He couldn't believe he missed a sale. Sorry, try another sucker. If the Canyon Ranch is purely licensing out their name to Celebrity Cruises, I'd seriously suggest reconsidering. The brand and credibility of the Canyon Ranch legacy has been tarnished because of this relationship. Next con was the excursion in Playa del Carmen. It was not only boring as hell, but an hour late to leave because the ferry operator was nowhere to be found. No excuse. Next,our guide in Playa del Carmen was lame. He was as engaging and interesting as a Manila envelope. Of course he constantly had to tell us, "hey listen...my last name is not Rockerfeller. I only survive on these tips, so be good when I pass my hat around." Jesus Christ. Get me off this boat. I set out I this cruise hoping to book my next Celebrity cruise to Austrailia. NO WAY! I'd never in a million years do Celebrity again. Creepy, rude staff (and creepy Captain). I'll pass. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This is not my first cruise. I have been cruising for 30 years and this is my 5th cruise on Celebrity. This was a disappointment. The lack of organization was the first disappointment. Boarding the boat was chaotic and without any ... Read More
This is not my first cruise. I have been cruising for 30 years and this is my 5th cruise on Celebrity. This was a disappointment. The lack of organization was the first disappointment. Boarding the boat was chaotic and without any 'specialness'. we were boarded like cattle. the boarding crew had no cheerfulness no welcoming, like 'get on the bus'. The room was clean and fine, the cabin steward, pleasant and efficient. The topside buffet was a chow line. Crushed, rushed and cold. their is no pride, the food was barely above bacteria temp. I'm surprised the there was no gastric calamity. lets go to the dining room, huge, confusing, and completely out of control. sometimes the wait for service was so slow that a neighbor table were finished and walking out while we were waiting for the entre. We ended up have 3 waiters, McSurly, McLazy. and 'hey a decent waiter'. So now lets talk about the QUALITY of the food, some good, some BAD, most unremarkable and the bad, I wouldn't serve it to my in-laws. Whoa, enough on the food, which used to be the hallmark of the line. Now the entertainment, some good, some bad, some wanted to be elsewhere. All forgettable! Shore excursions are designed for the first timers, overpriced and run of the mill. This boat needs need management, right from the top down. it's not the condition or the age of the vessel, it is the staff. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Re: Celebrity Constellation, April 19 to 24, 2014. My wife and I boarded the Celebrity Constellation in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on April 19, 2014. Finding the parking deck in Port Everglades was a chore at best. However, our boarding was ... Read More
Re: Celebrity Constellation, April 19 to 24, 2014. My wife and I boarded the Celebrity Constellation in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on April 19, 2014. Finding the parking deck in Port Everglades was a chore at best. However, our boarding was very quick with no lines. This was our fourth cruise and we were surprised at how fast we were booked in. Our first impression of the boat was inspirational. The ship was classy with grand nostalgic taste. Most of the newer ships have little or no traditional regalia. The crew was wonderful. They all seemed to be having a good time as rooms were changed and meals were served. We were waited on like royalty even though we had purchased discounted tickets. We got to meet the captain and his officers. They were all very friendly and jovial. At dinner, we had Pariaman, from Indonesia, who really made us feel like special guests. Pariaman took great pleasure in waiting on us. It was this kind of attention that is lacking on most cruises. Pariaman had charm and wit. Too bad all cruise ships do not have a Pariaman on board. Our first stop in Key West, Florida was surprisingly fun. We shopped and tasted the local specialties. On Tuesday, we arrived in Cozumel, Mexico. I recommend that you just stay on the boat. There is less than charming and goods are junk. The Cozumel people harked at us like so much cattle. They do not deserve your money or time. I highly recommend Celebrity Constellation and would gladly cruise with her grand ship again so long as the destination is not Cozumel. James and Sherrie Mercier   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We are unseasoned at cruising, so consider these comments with that perspective. Our previous cruise experience was limited to a 50-passenger trip though the Greek isles on the Sea Cloud -- a wholly different experience than that offered ... Read More
We are unseasoned at cruising, so consider these comments with that perspective. Our previous cruise experience was limited to a 50-passenger trip though the Greek isles on the Sea Cloud -- a wholly different experience than that offered by a "traditional ocean liner." But we had been looking for the right opportunity to dip our toes in the water of large passenger ship cruising, and the Top Chef theme cruise -- only 4 nights 5 days on a highly regarded "luxury" line-- seemed an attractive introductory experience from which we might forecast our cruising future. Sadly our experience was very mixed. First, the Top Chef themed activities were simply wonderful. Cooking demonstrations, Quickfire "competitions," Q and A's with 10 years of fan favorites and winning "chef-testants," and Tom Collichio playing lead guitar and singing Creedence at the poolside stage-- we could not have enjoyed the themed events more. Bravo to Bravo and Top Chef for a well-planned and well-executed experience. And it bears saying that the Top Chef chefs and staff were all about the ship, interacting with the passengers, spending real time and making real connections. Every single Top Chef person -- and most notably Gail Simmons and Hubert Keller-- was as cordial, gracious, and engaging as one could imagine. A class act by a classy group in every respect. If only the ship and its staff had lived up to the standards of the reality TV folks. I don't want to nitpick, and we are seasoned travelers if not cruisers, so I have no problem rolling with the unexpected, but these seemed to us to be serious lapses in the cruise line's core functions: 1. Our "veranda suite." Oh, please. There is nothing "suite" or sweet about the suites. They are single rooms, with the tiniest bathroom you can imagine. The presence of a small upholstered love-seat in addition to the bed is evidently the defining feature of a "suite" on this line. For shame! We are not price-sensitive when it comes to accommodations and we booked the best available suite months in advance. Even so, one person must sit on the bed to allow the other to move anywhere in the room. The sound of the toilet flushing is enough to wake the dead. The shower delivers nothing warmer than room temperature water (but curiously, the water in the bathroom sink is hot). The veranda is a plastic-enclosed postage-stamp with 2 miserable plastic chairs. The TV cannot be viewed from the seating area, only the bed -- whose genius is behind that failure of space/function? The hallways are endless and narrow and laundry carts and food service carts are left parked permanently in key spots along the way. Suffice it to say that I have stayed in budget-priced Travel Lodges that were better designed and better appointed. The vaunted "Concierge Class" turns out to be three stems of Peruvian lillies (alstomeria) and three pieces of fruit. They were, all six of them, there when we moved in and they were there when we left. Requests for daily ice were hit and miss. 2. The food. Yikes! Awful in the Main Dining Room (San Marcos). The rib-eye was like pot roast; the duck was flabby and fatty and unrecognizable. Everything was unseasoned, overcooked, and bland. The onion soup was fine, and my husband had an appetizer of himachi one evening that was good. But even the vaunted Sunday brunch was cold bacon, toaster waffles served room temperature, and the same canteloupe, watermelon and honeydew that we had seen at every service for four days. Waiter service was fine, but entry and seating service was an ugly and unpleasant frenzy at every meal-- bossy and over-bearing staff, indifferent to guest sensibilities and preferences. The buffet was just dreary. Endless pans of curries and over-baked sludgy pasta casseroles. The rolls and pastries were stale every single day. The pizza was doughy, tough, flavorless, served room temperature. The sushi was unimaginative and unexceptional. The omelets were fine but took forever as that station was never adequately staffed. The hamburgers at the poolside grill were like frisbees in their lack of flavor or other recognizable meat-like qualities. We tried two of the specialty (extra price) food options, with good results. Bistro on Five had very nice panini, if an absurdly limited menu, and the bar across from Bistro on Five served a marvelous 7-item tapas platter for $19.00 that was a tasty and sufficient supper for two one night when the MDR menus was so dreary that we simply got up and left without ordering. The ship makes a big deal of its ice creams and gelatos, but both were sub-par, The ice cream, which I tried 3 different times, was full of ice crystals and inadequately flavored. The gelatos were no better. Pastries at the coffee bar were days past their sell by deadline. Drink service -- wine, cocktails, beer, sodas -- was very strong. No complaints at all although in retrospect the all-inclusive beverage package is over-priced but very convenient. 3. Ship entertainment. Way way way too much thumping pounding "music" -- everywhere, all the time. The passengers are mostly 45+ and even more. Why are we enduring hip hop and rap and disco music constantly? The comedian was unfunny and hostile to the (admittedly sparse) audience. The lectures and programs were almost all sales opportunities. The "art" auction was astonishingly huck-sterish and uninformed. Oh, I could say more, but what is the point? Truth be told by Day 3 we were looking forward to being done with this luxury vacation; by the 4th day we were avid to get off the damn boat; and by the time we docked, I was grateful to the point of tears that it was finally over. Embarkation and disembarkation are very well-organized and we were grateful for the ease of departing. I have tasked myself with the assignment due diligence and investigating whether our experience was typical, or was based on a bad choice of cruise line. If we need to spend more to have a good experience, I'll bite again. If what we had is what you get, then no -- never, never, never again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
After cruising with Norwegian, RCCL, Princess and Holland, we expected Celebrity would be a notch above. After all, they advertise themselves as "modern luxury" and that's what we expected. Wow, were we up for a surprise ... Read More
After cruising with Norwegian, RCCL, Princess and Holland, we expected Celebrity would be a notch above. After all, they advertise themselves as "modern luxury" and that's what we expected. Wow, were we up for a surprise when we got to Celebrity Constellation. Nothing about this ship gave the impression of being better than the other ships we'd sailed, other than the price tag we had paid. The ship was old, the amenities were outdated, and the furnishings were awful. If you are okay staying at a Motel 6 or Quality Inn hotel, then Celebrity may be for you. If you prefer a nicer hotel, I would opt for all the other cruise lines I mentioned. Beyond the appearance of the ship, the towels were frayed, the bedspread was totally pilled, and when we asked for spare clothes hangers, they gave us a stack of wire hangers. When we then asked for plastic clothes hangers, they delivered us a stack of random plastic hangers left behind by prior cruise passengers, including store hangers and myriad other hangers, none of which matched. This was right in line with our newly created image of Celebrity. If you go online and look at Celebrity's photos of the cabins, it's impossible to tell how awful the cabins look as the photos are strategically taken and are very small thumbnails. So be warned. As for the entertainment, we expected it to be disappointing, and our experience matched our low expectations. Other than live music, their idea of entertainment pales in comparison to what RCCL, Princess and NCL offer. So come prepared to entertain yourselves, not to be entertained. Last but not least, unlike most other cruise lines, Celebrity does not make sure everyone uses Purell to sanitize their hands before they enter the buffet for food, so most people were entering without cleaning their hands. Lo and behold, for the first time in 10+ cruises I have taken, I came down with the Novovirus, leaving me with a fever, chills, terrible stomach aches, fatigue, and much more. Thanks Celebrity! The glimmer of hope for this ship was that the desserts were good, as was the bread, and housekeeping tried to do their best, even if the towels were frayed and the clothes hangers were of the cheapest kind. The bottom line: if you like the Motel 6, cheap hotel experience, Celebrity Constellation is for you. If not, steer clear. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Celebrity Solstice was a breath of fresh air, for once we didnt feel nickel and dimed for every little extra. Sailing in Aqua class everything is included. Everyday, fruit, canapes and some sort of drink was delivered to the room. Loads ... Read More
Celebrity Solstice was a breath of fresh air, for once we didnt feel nickel and dimed for every little extra. Sailing in Aqua class everything is included. Everyday, fruit, canapes and some sort of drink was delivered to the room. Loads of amenities included a beach bag, slippers, robes, bottled water in room etc etc etc Also we really appreciated that there was ice cream, sorbet and low fat ice cream all day long in the cafeteria,( why they had a shop selling gelato is beyone me) they were soo good, try the Litchee sorbet Blu our specialty restaurant was wonderful, healthy and seems like low calorie food, beautifully served, by very attentive waiters, and for once we saw the Maitre D everyday. They even called your room to leave a msg thanking you for having gone to dinner in the Blu. Only little bad note is that the aqua class balcony rooms are no larger than the normal balcony rooms and we found these a little too small. We were supposed to be three luckily, the third person backed out of trip and we had the room for ourselves, it would have been awful for 3, no closet space, and if the couch/bed would have been opened we wouldnt have even been able to walk in the room. Apart from that the room was fine. Absolutely no noise from hallway or other rooms. The ships passengers median age seemed to be from mid 30s and up. Very little children or adolescents due to it not being a school holiday, so very little noise that end either. But the ship seems much more suited to adults, not young children as there arent that many sport activities on board like all of the Royal Carribean ships. Forget movie theater there was none!! And they did the Wii in the discotheque. All excursions we found ourselves outside or inside the port arrival areas Way less than the excursions offered on ship of course. In Roaton pls dont miss the Gumbalimba park you can go all day There is a monkey park where they come sit on your shoulders and head soo cute until one stole the earring off one of the ladys in the group, continued to eat it for 10 minutes, but he eventually threw it down. They advise you to put all your bright stuff, bags etc in a locker beforehand. There are parrots, other animals and an insecterium to visit. Zip lininig or canapy tour is 10usd more and snokeling with a guide to reefs is 15usd more than admission which also gives you bus roundtrip. a great day overall. But try to take a lunch off boat or snacks as they have very little, i bought a cheeseburger for 10usd!! They didnt have much else, oonly down side. I would definetly reccomend this cruise and Celebrity ship to everyone and can t wait to go on another. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
This was the third of our Celebrity cruises in just over a year. We enjoyed our previous trips so much we were eager and awaiting this one. Previously sailed Solstice and Century. We knew this ship was due for an 40 mil. renovation ... Read More
This was the third of our Celebrity cruises in just over a year. We enjoyed our previous trips so much we were eager and awaiting this one. Previously sailed Solstice and Century. We knew this ship was due for an 40 mil. renovation next year, but like the Thurs-Monday sail, however we did not expect the ship to be so run down looking (aside from bad odors and areas with no A.C.) The general feeling we had was depressed. The champagne was served outside upon arrival (as opposed to inside) and was hot. The servers were not friendly..to be honest most of the employees on the ship appeared depressed.Many of them had very bad attitudes. After the Solstice and even Century, the morale of the crew was just not the same. The food was completely disappointing. The reason we sailed Celebrity again is because we had such good food in the other 2 ships. The dining room dinner was disappointing. No need to get specific.The waiter just did not make any efforts. I had to ask for more mashed potato because I had literally 1 Tablespoon. I began thinking that maybe they do this because the food is returned so much. I had shrimp scampi that tasted nothing like what this is supposed to taste like, it was overcooked. The next plate came back raw.The only thing I really enjoyed was the creme brulee (although my neighbors was loose and runny) and the cheesecake(the last night) The deserts for lunch were always the same. a 3x1 inch piece of some mousse "cake". The ice cream was too soft. Lunch was actually better than dinner most of the time though. The need for renovation just shouted out at you, from the worn wooden flooring (no finish left at all), the rusty night stand lamps in the cabins, rusty metal all over the ship- dirty carpeting. there is just no pizazz to the ship. A HUGE disappointment was the aqua lounge area. On the Century we went to the Aquaspa for lunch every day.It was like a small restaurant and was really nice. In this ship it is outside by the pool area, like a cafeteria. It is hot and humid, and the food just did not compare. The "semi" lounge chairs in the Aquaspa area (Bent down at the legs) were uncomfortable,as you could not recline (who invented these twisted chairs?)and the ladies bathroom door slammed every time someone came out (so you could not take a nap), and there was a constant squeaking noise that the workers could not figure out where it was coming from-sounded like wet sneakers squeaking on floors. The shows were OK,(comedian was good), except they gather everyone together for a crew talent contest in the afternoon, and there were only 3 who performed!The whole thing was 1/2 hour. Why bother? Well, it rained all 4 days, and that I guess would add to the gloomy environment. Just not what we expected.Perhaps when they do the Reno, the morale will be lifted, and it will just have that look and feel that it was missing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We sailed from San Francisco on the Infinity April 17, 2006. From the beginning, we had problems. The information received from both the cruise line and our travel agent stated that embarkation started at 5:30pm for the 8:00pm sailing. ... Read More
We sailed from San Francisco on the Infinity April 17, 2006. From the beginning, we had problems. The information received from both the cruise line and our travel agent stated that embarkation started at 5:30pm for the 8:00pm sailing. This was confusing since it seemed to conflict with scheduled dining times, but Celebrity customer service representatives insisted the 5:30pm embarkation start time was correct. Luckily, we took a chance and arrived around 2pm and were able to board at that time. If we had listened to Celebrity, we would have missed the life jacket drill and probably dinner as well. Other than that mistake, our embarkation went smoothly. Our cabin was not quite ready when we arrived, so we waited for it to be finished up. The cabin was missing a life jacket, and even though we flagged this to our cabin attendant, she never brought us the life jacket. We had three people in our cabin and the cabin had a sofa that pulled out as a bed. Never book a cabin that has a pull out sofa bed! When it is pulled out, there is only a mere 2 inches between the edge of the bed and the small desk. We had to remove a chair and glass table in order to be able to pull out the sofa bed. In order to go to the bathroom, one had to climb over the bed and the person in it because of the lack of space. This was very awkward and I wonder if it is a safety hazard as well??? Other than that big inconvenience, the cabin was nice. There was enough storage space for our things. Ok, food. I have to say that I was very disappointed. I had sailed on the Celebrity Mercury in 2005 and the food was terrific!!!! However, on the Infinity, I could definitely tell there were cutbacks in service and in the food quality. Our dining room servers did not offer refills as frequently, nor did they offer condiments such as ground pepper. Sometimes our boneless fish has bones in it and was overcooked. But my real gripe is with the Lido buffet. On the Mercury, the buffet was very good. On the Infinity, it was sorely lacking. They were often out of various juices and ice tea. What they did have was watered down. At times, I could see fruit flies buzzing around the beverage stations. When I flagged this problem to the attending crew at the stations, they did not do anything about it. I saw the flies on several different days. The carving stations had meats such as ham and pork which tended to be overcooked and very dry. What really disgusted me was that at one lunch time, I noticed that the peas in the vegetable section were old, hard and brown. These were mixed in with the fresher peas which were green. This tells me that old food was used that should not have been used. I commented on this to the server behind the counter and he just laughed. I understand about not wasting resources, etc&..but this was just gross! The pasta, pizza and omelet stations were good. However, the sushi was just mediocre. The afternoon tea was a pleasant experience and the pastries are good. The entertainment on board was fabulous! The production type shows were good, but what really stood out were the pianist and the soloists that Celebrity brought on board who were not regular crew members. They were outstanding! The ship dEcor was nice and thank goodness, there were plenty of elevators which mean the waiting time was minimal. It was nice not be bothered by ship photographers at every turn. The picture quality was very good and as always, we ended up buying many photos. Because I had had such a first rate on the Mercury, I had raved about Celebrity cruises to my family and friends. It was embarrassing to me because I brought along other family members and the experience did not measure up. I definitely had "egg" on my face for this one. I talked to many other passengers and they also mentioned that they noticed the quality had declined on the Infinity. I had planned to be a loyal Celebrity cruiser, but now Im not sure. This cruise experience did not measure up to my expectations. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
This was our family (a couple and a toddler)'s second cruise with Celebrity. The first one was on the SUMMIT to Alaska. We have not been on other cruise lines, so could only compare this trip to Mexico on the Infinity to Summit. ... Read More
This was our family (a couple and a toddler)'s second cruise with Celebrity. The first one was on the SUMMIT to Alaska. We have not been on other cruise lines, so could only compare this trip to Mexico on the Infinity to Summit. Overall,we enjoyed the trip. It was very relaxing and our toddler loved the Fun Factory. However, in comparison to the Summit on the categories of Food, Entertainment, and Service, SUMMIT was better. But that was 2 years ago. Embarkation: Delayed due to immigration checks and cleaning up of novovirus. 2 points: I called ahead and asked if we could drop off our bags earlier than 2pm so that we could walk around the pier before the ship leaves at 5pm. I was told no, so we arrived exactly at 2pm and stood in line to get a porter to take our bags and then stood in line for over 1.25 hours to get on the ship. Unfortunately, the delay was not communicated to us even while we were in line. Later, I found out that some people arrived before 2pm and had their bags checked in. And, people who got there at 4pm had no wait at all. Room: Had a concierge class balcony. Loved the balcony view and the light. We ate and read out there. Saw dolphins a couple of times from our balcony. It is MUCH better than the Oceanview room with the circle window. Worth the extra money. The bed was HORRIBLE. I had a hard time sleeping. The Mattress pads we got later made it slightly better, but not much. The pillow selection, canapes,fruits, and shower head were very nice touches. Flowers were nothing special, but the rose in the bathroom was pretty. Walls are Terribly thin. We could hear our neighbors' TV on all night. I'm sure they heard our kid fighting us when we try to make her sleep. No one complained so live and let live. Dining: Pluses: Fried eggs, afternoon tea sandwiches, sorbet ice cream, a la minute steak (like carne asada), escargots, scallops Minus: lines for eggs can be quite long, by the time you get the eggs, your toasted bagel is cold. OVERCOOKED Fish, Lobster, and NY Steak. For the steak, I thought Medium means all pink in the inside, but I kept getting them all done with just a sliver of pink in the very center!! I asked our waitress if they could try again, but she said it'll take another 15 minutes... I wonder if Celebrity is making the wait staff work much longer hours, because they all looked tired and I do see the same ones working from breakfast through 2 shifts of dinner. I feel tired for them. Activities: Could use more enrichment classes. There was really only one which was a lecturer on Mexico's economy and Globalization. All of the other classes were trying to sell you something: cosmetics (makeover), flowers, shopping,etc. Movies were pretty old ones, I've seen them already. Children's Club: Our toddler loved the Fun Factory! they're open the whole day till 10pm or even later for older kids. The kids enjoyed playing with each other. They have a lineup of arts/crafts/games/Learning Leap pad/movies/music... Several of the parents wished the adults program were as fun. Service: Good. Only one person went out of the way to be great and that was Reyes Ostich(?) waiting on the buffet area (10th floor), look for his tag on the tables. He always promptly serves coffee and asks if we want juice. At some of the other tables, you wait a good while. Entertainment: Wish they had more comedians. The aerial acrobat was great too. Some singers were great! some mediocre. Shore excursion: easy to book on the TV, had no problem signing up while on the ship, but I was told that was risky because the popular excursions would be sold out. Well organized and the tour guides were friendly. You see 'TIPS' signs everywhere though, kind of irritating. Disembark: Long lines for immigration but moved quickly. Wish they would have more cruises leaving from San Francisco! Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
My wife and I decided to take a cruise by ourselves this time, and our Infinity cruise on the Pacific Coast and Mexican Riviera was one of the most relaxing cruises out of the 15 cruises we have taken. Of course having a round trip cruise ... Read More
My wife and I decided to take a cruise by ourselves this time, and our Infinity cruise on the Pacific Coast and Mexican Riviera was one of the most relaxing cruises out of the 15 cruises we have taken. Of course having a round trip cruise from San Francisco was great, as we live about 100 miles east of San Francisco and didnt require any air travel. Our neighbor took up to the cruise terminal, letting us off at the curb for our departure, and picking us up 11 days later. BOARDING THE SHIP = We received a notice to not board before 5 p.m. with an 8 p.m. cruise departure. We arrived at the pier at 12 noon, and we were able to board immediately, and we were in our cabin before 1 p.m. and having lunch a short time later. The safety drill was at 5:15 p.m., and it was not realistic to have more than 2,000 passengers board at 5 p.m. and ready for the safety drill 15 minutes later. On other cruises we arrived prior to the scheduled boarding time, and in nearly every instance we were able to board the ship early. Another thing we have discovered is that the cabins are usually available even before the announced time. We check out our cabin as soon as we board the ship and it is usually ready. By arriving at the terminal early we were able to board the ship without any hassle or crowds. BUFFET DINING ROOM = Our initial experience in the buffet dining room for lunch was excellent. The beef stew was outstanding, but many of the other buffet meals left a lot to be desired. The fruit juices available at the buffet were often watered down or empty. The cruise line where we have cruised the most, generally has a better arrangement in their buffet, and the fact that cruise line is open 24 hours a day is an advantage. Basically the food is excellent, but it is a hassle when trying to get an egg omelet and a waffle for breakfast and having to go to two different areas. Utilizing one of the four major buffet stations for pasta, ended up having long buffet lines. Their pasta and pizza were excellent, They also have a sandwich and soup station which was very good. One of the highlights of their dining program was the Spa Cafe on the opposite end of the ship from the buffet on level 10. They offer healthy food, which is great for breakfast and lunch. We didnt have any long lines at the Spa Cafe. MAIN DINING ROOM = The only disadvantage was the fact that we were in later seating, which resulted in us not finishing dinner until sometimes as late at 10:45 p.m. Then going to the show resulted in us not getting to bed until after midnight. On a few nights the entertainment was presented at 7 p.m. which didnt make it so late for us. The Grand Buffet was presented in the main dining room, and it was as excellent as the one on the Mercury on which we cruised in April of 2005. The ice carvings were outstanding. HEALTH ISSUES = On the second to the last day of the cruise we received a written notice about 1% of the passengers had contacted a virus and that the crew were taking extra precautions to prevent it from spreading. In the buffet we were served rather than helping ourselves. The crew also we very busy sanitizing elevator buttons, hand rails, and everything else that people come in contact with. The Captain did not waste any time to inform the passengers about the virus, and everyone seemed to take extra precautions. THERAPY POOL AND GYM = Tables and chairs for the Spa Cafe surrounded the therapy hot salt water pool. The pool is like a giant hot tub. The Infinity had an excellent gym with the latest equipment, and a mens and women's sauna. They also had a co-ed Turkish Bath and a steam room at a cost. In the mens dressing room they also had safety razors and shaving cream available and cloth hand towels/face cloths. THEATER ENTERTAINMENT = We have seen some excellent entertainment on the 15 cruises we have enjoyed, but the entertainment each evening on the Infinity was by far the best entertainment we have experienced. The production programs were fantastic. The singers and dancers were something to see and enjoy. The other entertainers were likewise excellent. Many other cruisers made the same comment to us. CASINO SLOT MACHINES = It is easy to evaluate the Casino based upon whether you won or lost. Not being a big gambler, the 5 cent slots were an attraction for us. They were making some big pay-outs when you consider some of them resulted in $200.00 to $400 on a couple of machines. The biggest payouts on the 5 cent slot machines were on the Money to Burn machine. PORTS OF CALL = We only went ashore at Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, as we have visited the Mexican ports on numerous occasions. We did not take any tours or even venture downtown, so we are unable to enlighten you much about the ports. When we were in Puerto Vallarta there was a shopping area near where the tenders arrived. We were able to get on the internet to check e-mail at a very reasonable price amounting to $1.00 for 15 minutes, or $5.00 for one hour. That sure beats the starting rates of 75 cents a minute on the ship. DISEMBARKATION = The Infinity has one of the smoothes disembarkation we have ever experienced. Going though immigration on the ship was a snap with no long lines. We were one of the last to leave the ship, and it was before 10 a.m. that we got off the ship. Being last was our choice as our ride was not going to arrive to pick us up until 11 a.m. SERVICE = As far as we are concerned the service on Infinity and other Celebrity ships is the greatest. The crew and staff seem happy and they work as a team. In the Buffet they nearly always carry your tray to your table, and then ask what you would like to drink. They offer lemonade, two kinds of punch, and ice tea, in addition to coffee and tea. Of course you pay for the other drinks. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
If you are looking for an upscale cruise experience, you will be delighted with a Celebrity Cruise on the GTS Infinity. Ill share some of our experiences with you in the review below, and Ill close with my personal list of Top Ten Tips ... Read More
If you are looking for an upscale cruise experience, you will be delighted with a Celebrity Cruise on the GTS Infinity. Ill share some of our experiences with you in the review below, and Ill close with my personal list of Top Ten Tips to make your cruise extra special  tips that you wont find in the Celebrity brochures! Originally, my spouse and I booked a 14-night Panama Canal cruise (Dec. 10-24) on the Infinity, and then chose to lengthen our trip by booking a 6-night Mexican Riviera cruise (Dec. 4-10) on the same ship to create a 20-day back-to-back cruise vacation itinerary. We think it was our best cruise vacation decision, and it created an extra-long, extra-relaxing get-away for us. Mindful of anxiety-producing flight delays, we chose to arrive in San Diego a day earlier than our Dec. 4 cruise departure, ensuring that we would have time to stroll around the beautiful San Diego bay. We stayed at the Hampton Inn which is located 2 short blocks from the pier and 3 blocks from Little Italy. A great location and when we awoke on Dec. 4, we could see from our room that our ship had come in! The hotels free shuttle took us straight to the pier at 11 a.m., and we spent only 5 minutes handing in our Celebrity Express Pass paperwork and receiving our SeaPass room keys before we were on board the Infinity. There were only a handful of passengers on board and, after dropping our one carry-on piece of baggage in our stateroom, we quickly set out to explore this 91,000 ton beauty. We received our room keys in a convenient map mini-folder which was a handy reference guide to the ship as we got acquainted with our floating resort hotel. One of the first things we noticed were the smiling faces of the crew members. We were showered with welcome aboard and good morning greetings from every crew member we passed. This friendliness never seemed forced or contrived and it continued for the entire 20 days of our cruise. All cruise staff members wear a badge showing their name and what country they are from; they welcome your questions and they delight in being called by name. About noon we were hungry for lunch, ready for us on deck 10 in the Oceanview Grill. Five different salads, four different entrees, several vegetables and side dishes, fresh fruit and breads  set up cafeteria style  were served to hungry passengers. There were 7 different desserts to choose from, including several chocolate choices for these two chocoholics!! Smiling waiters eagerly took our trays and carried them to a sunny window table overlooking the pier and harbor activity. Although Celebrity does not offer a Cruise Critic Connections party on 6-day cruises, we had discussed a mini-party of our own online, and we pre-planned a meeting time at the Mast Bar so that we could visit our Cruise Critic friends before sailing. More than a dozen Cruise Critic participants showed up and we had a great time sharing screen names, exchanging tour tips and making plans to meet again. (On the 14-day Dec. 10 segment we attended the Cruise Critic Connections party on the first full day at sea. Everyone had a chance to introduce themselves and put a screen name to an actual face. Many of us made plans to meet new friends for lunch or a port tour, and was a great way to form ongoing relationships!) Before we knew it, it was time to don our orange life jackets and proceed to our life stations for the mandatory life boat drill! And then, we were sailing into a gorgeous sunset and preparing for a gourmet 5-course dinner in the Trellis restaurant! Our waiter David and his assistant Johny were smiling and eager to please as the explained the many delightful choices on that evenings menu. Afterwards, we thoroughly enjoyed the Celebrity singers and dancers in a fantastic entertainment revue that would rival anything in a Las Vegas show lounge! Rather than go into a day-by-day itinerary (since your destinations and timeline will be different), Ill provide highlights and information that will be useful in preparing for your adventure at sea. The ship is lovely, walkways are wide and there are plenty of chairs and couches for people watching or chatting with a new friend. Each evening, when your room steward turns down your bed, youll find a Celebrity Today newsletter and an insert with all the activities scheduled for the next day. Hang onto this  it will help you plan your time to take in the events that appeal to you. Each day youll find so much to do: enrichment/educational speakers, card and trivia games, pool activities, hot tubs, dance classes, ping-pong, live music by the pool, and a full range of entertainment in the lounges and show room by musicians, comedians, magicians and dancers. Try not to miss a minute of the fun! Although a cruise is touted as an all-inclusive vacation, there are many items/activities on board that will cost extra and could add hundreds of dollars to the price youve paid for that cruise. You can still have a fantastic time without paying extra fees for gambling, photography, in-stateroom movies, specialty beverages, laundry or spa treatments. Here are some of the things you can expect to pay extra for on the Infinity (all are charged to your shipboard account). Photos: The ships photographers are taking pictures of you at boarding, on formal nights, at port stops, and during ship activities. You are not obligated to buy any of them. Beverages: Soft drinks, bottled water, gourmet coffees and alcoholic beverages will cost you extra. Bring your own bottled water, or drink the ships regular coffee, hot/iced tea, water, fruit juices, lemonade or milk for free. Fitness/Spa: The gym and equipment are free, but there is a charge for some yoga and pilates classes. The treadmills have a great view at the front of Infinity, and thats where we saw the whales on our cruise! Also, there are extra charges for using the spa facilities (steamroom, massage, facial, nail treatments, hair styling, etc.) Gambling: A full range of casino gambling options await you, and it will be your money that youre wagering. Bingo is offered daily; cards cost up to $30. Special interest: Youll pay extra for computer classes, skeet shooting, wine tasting or golf simulation time. You decide if its worth it. Art Auctions: Its easy to get caught up in the excitement of auction bidding. This can add considerably to the cost of your cruise, but if its a painting you really want to own, it may be worthwhile. Port tours: Theyre beautifully described in the brochure and you certainly want to see the countryside and landmarks in these ports. Determine if youll be happy being herded onto a large bus with 48 other people or it you prefer to have a taxi take you to the sites that you really want to see (see my tip #9). Its easy to research your destinations on the Internet and plan your own tour in port, usually at a much lower cost and more leisurely pace. Tips: Gratuities are a personal matter. We generally follow the ships recommendations and provide something extra for those who went above and beyond to assist us during our cruise. My Top Ten Tips For Enjoying Your Cruise (you wont find in the Celebrity brochure) 1. Wear a smile. A smile is a universal greeting that is always welcome. And, when you smile at others, youll receive one in return. Its a great way to make friends on the ship. Even if you are traveling with a group, reach out to meet others and youll find new friends in every area of the ship. 2. Want to go home with cruise line branded souvenirs without paying for them in the gift shop? Participate! Every day there are prizes to be won, and you dont have to make a fool of yourself to win something. Go to the free-to-participate trivia contests, the guessing game of the day or the name that tune challenge and you might walk out with Celebrity coffee mugs, luggage tags, pens, lanyards, sun visors and tee-shirts. Bigger prizes are offered to bingo winners, but youll have to pay to play. 3. The Aqua Spa Café (on deck 10 in the thalassotherapy pool area) features some of the very best food on the ship. Thats because the chef for Infinitys specialty restaurant, the United States, is also the chef for this barely-discovered café. Each day they serve a light and healthy breakfast with fresh mango, cranberry juice and fruit-filled muffinsitems not found on the main buffet breakfast. At lunchtime, youll have 4 low-calorie, health-oriented choices (cold chicken with cashews, salmon tartare, chefs salad, tofu rollups, and vegetarian entrees) to choose from, as well as 2 cooked-to-order items (broiled tilapia was outstanding) that change daily. These same menu choices are available through the dinner hours. And, they feature two desserts each day that are low calorie, yet beautifully designed and presented. There is no additional charge for the food in this café. 4. Women who want a line-free suntan for that bare-it sexy top can find topless sunbathing on deck 13 forward. No, the elevator wont take you there! And, the ship crew denies that it exists, but its there. Just climb the forward outside stairs to deck 12 and then look up. Youll see the cotton material screened off area at the top of the next flight of stairs. No kids or gawkers, please. 5. Wish you could have afforded concierge class or a suite, but still want fresh fruit each day in your room? Do it yourself! Choose an apple or a banana at the breakfast buffet and take it back to your room for an afternoon snack. Your room steward will be happy to provide you with a plate, napkins, and utensils. 6. Its dinner time in the Trellis restaurant and nothing on the menu really appeals to your taste buds. Every night you can order these items that dont appear on the Trellis restaurant menu: shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, grilled salmon filet, broiled chicken breast or NY strip steak. 7. Still more food choices on Celebrity ships: theres hot pizza every day (and into the late night hours) and theyll make a custom pizza with your choice of toppings. The buffet offers 4 entrée choices and youll have 4 more choices in the Trellis dining room. They are cooking hamburgers, french fries, hot dogs and chicken breasts at the poolside grill. Theres a customized pasta toss, salad bar, sandwiches with potato chips, or tortilla wraps at the other end of the buffet. Many afternoons, there are free specialty snacks on deck 10 in the aft outdoor deck. Sushi is offered most days from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Five choices of ice cream are offered from noon to 10 p.m. every day. And, you can find freshly-baked cookies from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Cova Café, and appetizers and cookies from 4 to 5 p.m. in the buffet. Dining at the S.S. United States is available each night by reservation for a $30 per person cover charge. Or, choose to eat at alternative casual dining from 6 to 10 p.m. (reservations requested and a $2. per person charge). Starting at 11:30 p.m., waiters bring trays of nibbles to the night owls in all the public areas of the ship. 8. Its a relaxing day at sea and youre getting a bit warm sitting in the sun by the pool. Hang on until 2:00 on those at sea days and enjoy the Celebrity tradition of Sorbet on Parade. Waiters bring trays of frozen fruit sorbet to you so you can cool off without jumping into the pool. Dont miss this refreshing delight! 9. Book your own tours in port. Youll find great suggestions from other cruisers in the Boards Section (scroll down to ports of call) on Cruise Critic. In most ports, there are tour operators with small vans waiting on the pier and offering customized excursions. In Aruba, we teamed up with another couple to hire a taxi for 2 hours to take us to the 4 specific sites we wanted to see. Or, go to www.shoretrips.com for some interesting suggestions. 10. What to bring/ what to leave at home? Dont pack a robe, beach towels or an alarm clock. There is a Celebrity robe and beach towel for each person in your cabin to use while you are on the ship, although theres a hefty charge if you decide to take them with you at the end of the cruise. And, the telephone in your stateroom has a convenient alarm clock feature. Dont pack clothes that are already a little tight before starting your cruise (why? Re-read tip number 7.) Do pack: a highlighter (to mark the daily activity sheet); a small pad of 3x3-inch post-it notes (to leave messages on the mirror for your roommate or spouse); a rubber band (put it around your wallet to deter pickpockets in port); a potato chip bag clip (to hold the drapes closed in your stateroom), a flashlight or small nightlight; a paper clip (to use as a bookmark that wont blow away in the wind), and your own hair conditioner (shampoo is provided, but after several days at sea, youll want the softness that only your conditioner provides). 11. Bonus tips: The Celebrity library features many recent titles, and also offers a small area for a free book exchange. Its always quiet time in your cabin because Celebrity public address announcements are only broadcast in the hallways and public areas. Bring a 6-pack of bottled water or your favorite soft drink and ask your room steward to remove the overpriced goodies in the refrigerator in your room. For those cruisers who are traveling with children, Celebritys child care staff does an outstanding job of keeping youngsters busy, happy and out of sight. If you are sensitive to the sun, youll enjoy the solarium pool which is free to anyone over the age of 18 (another child-free zone). Usually on the last day of the cruise, the spa offers low-cost specials. If you buy at least 100 shares of RCL stock, you can obtain a shipboard credit for your cruise (see www.royalcaribbean.com for details). Most importantly, relax, have fun, enjoy the sights and sounds of your vacation at sea! Celebrity will treat you famously! Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
Hello everyone, we just returned from the Infinity on a 4 night cruise from San Diego to Catalina then Ensenada with one sea day. Following is a summary of the cruise and my opinions. We arrived in San Diego at a park and ride facility ... Read More
Hello everyone, we just returned from the Infinity on a 4 night cruise from San Diego to Catalina then Ensenada with one sea day. Following is a summary of the cruise and my opinions. We arrived in San Diego at a park and ride facility which was $8.00 per day and we were promptly whisked by shuttle to the pier. We were let off at the pier. A tip for everyone is to have your tips handy to avoid rifling through pockets for everything. The check in process was about 20 minutes or so, there was no labeled line for concierge but definitely one for suites and elite members. We bypassed the embarkation photo and went inside, which in itself was very exciting. A porter? was assigned to us, to lead us to our rooms, I had to slow him down for a second so I could grab a glass of champagne, and then he stopped because he was confused as to the location of our room. We started moving again then he seemed to be a bit lost again so I then informed him as to which way to go and also asked if he could help with one of my carry-ons. The concierge class aft balcony was just what I expected. The room was nicely appointed and the balcony was incredible. I am not a rich man, so please do not take this as stuffiness or arrogance, but the champagne in the room is, in my opinion, not something I would ever buy or have an urge to drink. It does look nice in the picture though, so I guess that is a plus. I really think celebrity should go with something a little more palatable, it is what we are paying for. Speaking of liquor, in my checked bags I packed four bottles, two bottles of wine, a small bottle of dessert wine and one bottle of rum. All were in their original packing wrapped in bubble wrap then placed in bags to prevent spillage. I brought my own liquor for two reasons, I like to have drinks in my room, I even take liquor to Vegas where, for the most part, the drinks are free, and I like to think that I will save a little bit of money on my bar tab, although upon looking at my final bill, I am not sure that was the case. I also had one carry on whose main contents were a 12 pack of soda and a 12 pack of water. All of these items were still in my check on bags when they arrived at the room. My wife was a little stressed about it but I said no worries either way, its not like they are going to kick us off of the ship if they don't want the liquor on board. The wife and I made our way up to the buffet to have some lunch, we were a little disappointed in the service set up. They have servers doling out the food, which is more time consuming than self service in a buffet setup, also they are a bit timid when it comes to answering questions about the food, which is something that I am sure will always be a problem as they are probably the lower ranks of the food serving staff. Also we were not aware at first that you could serve yourself at the drink stations, so feel free. I did not know whether to tip or not at the buffet, so when we were not offered a second drink after slurping on our straws I decided to bypass it. The first night we were a bit tired so we decided to have our dinner on our balcony, which was a bit of a tight fit because of table top space but it was still delicious. Just do not expect hot food, this is not a dig at the staff, it is just impossible to have all of your food remain hot especially when it is served all at once and outside. I also met our room steward and gave him a modest pre tip, on top of the pre-tips that I had paid prior to cruising. I just asked for him to keep the ice coming. Looking back I expected a bit more service than received and would have still done the pre tip, but would have added to that as we went along. However, when we had to call for ice or water they were for the most part prompt. I also asked for specific pillows and received them and asked for a plate of cheese and crackers instead of the canapEs and received those as well every day. That night we did a bit of exploring, but retired to the room as we were tired from the long day. The next morning I woke up later than I would have liked so I missed the approach to Catalina but was still quite impressed with the nice little view of it. We had breakfast on our balcony, although mine was sans the eggs benedict that I had written in, so no eggs with breakfast. I did not attempt it again. If you like catsup with your morning potatoes, write it down or they may not bring it. As a matter of fact, be specific as to condiments, nothing worse than a dry burger. After our leisurely breakfast and then getting ready we made our way down to the priority disembarkation meeting place for concierge class, but it turns out that tickets were no longer needed for the tenders so we went down and were whisked away. Note to people who get seasick, if you are easily susceptible to it, you may want to be the last on a tender as the rocking back and forth while waiting for others to board was getting to some of the other passengers, but I enjoyed it. Returning via tender from Catalina was great because we were able to take some great pictures of the ship from the water. Do not be afraid to ask the boat captain to go around the front of it, I wish I would have, I am sure the pictures from there were great as I saw one tender do it. We had lunch in the main dining room, I was not overly impressed with the lunch selection. Also, there are not really any options for other items if the menu does not have something you like at lunch, at least that is what I gathered from my waiter. I had an oriental noodle dish, and I had to ask for soy sauce and hot chili sauce and chopsticks. Never did get the chopsticks, and almost didn't get the hot chili sauce. But the bread bowl is always delicious! For lunch I would stick to the alternatives because I think you will have more selection and the quality will be the same. We had my wife's dress ironed and my tuxedo shirt pressed for $10.50 and they were in our room when we returned. No problems with that service, if you are thinking of bringing an iron, I recommend a powerful steam iron, with the space available steaming on a hangar is probably the best option. And the 10-foot extension cord we packed came in handy as well for laptop and battery and phone chargers, etcetera. Formal night was great, I ordered two appetizers, I would say about 30% of the men were in tuxes, which is what I expected for a 4 night cruise. I don't care if people conform or not, as long as it is respectable I am good. What bugs the holy bejeezuss out of me is when people are loud and rude about their feelings on formal night attire whether good or bad. I have a temper so you don't want to know what I think as to how people like this should be treated. After dinner we enjoyed the casino for a bit and we took some pictures of ourselves on the balcony. The casino was fun as a lot of people were still dressed to impress, but even those who weren't looked like they were enjoying themselves so that's what really counts. The next morning was Ensenada, once again we woke up too late for the approach shots but still got some great pictures of the harbor. We had breakfast on the balcony every morning, which was always great. Disembarkation here was smooth, and so was embarkation. We did not purchase any liquor so no hassle at customs check in, I did have a Cuban cigar in my bag that accidentally ended up home, but I was sure to burn it so it did not fall into the wrong hands. The next day was an at sea day so I am going to end this with a summary of items not covered above. We had the alternative dining one night, which did require a reservation, apparently it requires a reservation for the wait staff as well and they forgot to make one. Not that they do a poor job, but there are a lot few of them so they are hard pressed to keep up if more than a couple of tables are seated. The buffet food was adequate, nothing to write home about. The pizza was above average as it is normally fresh and the dough is good. Unfortunately did not try the pasta bar or the waffle bar. The sushi bar was outstanding, as were the sandwiches. I would have loved to try the pool grill. We did not do the specialty dining, and definitely do not feel as if we missed anything. For the most part the food was average with a handful of great items. My wife was not overly impressed with the desserts though. The room service selection was excellent, considering it was available 24/7. I was not shy about ordering and did so frequently, I just made sure to tip. Just be specific as to any condiments required, as you may not receive even the standard stuff otherwise. The ordering system on the tv is great as long as you don't need condiments. The midnight buffet was exceptional to look at. Oh, you can gamble in your room through your tv, great way to burn a little time if you like, and you can also look at your up to the minute charges on the tv as well, great feature. The drink prices are nothing to jump up and down about, and I can see a bar tab getting way out of control for a big group of partiers, so always ask what the daily specials are. I wondered about the pre tipping as we did not eat in the main room every night or even for breakfast or lunch but once. Does this get divided amongst the staff or did my one night server get tipped all of it? On second thought, I would not do the pre-tip, but would prefer to tip as I go at dining settings and at the end of cruise for room stewards. There were a couple of things that happened that if they would have been prevented, would have made celebrity look much better, but I guess with staff turnover it will be a never ending battle for them. I liked the crowd that was on the ship, seemed like an overall conservative bunch but of a varied age range. Of course you have to keep in mind that this was only a 4-night cruise. I definitely feel as if I got my moneys worth, I had a great time, came away refreshed, I was not treated like a celebrity per se, but I did feel as if I were treated like a valued customer which is definitely worth every penny. Below is a link to our cruise pictures, if you have any questions feel free to ask. Paul http://community.webshots.com/user/bigpaul32 Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
This was my first cruise on Celebrity, and it blew me away. I've cruised on Royal Caribbean and Carnival before, and this was the best. Embarkation was on October 10, 2005 in Los Angeles Birth 91 (i think) at the World Cruise ... Read More
This was my first cruise on Celebrity, and it blew me away. I've cruised on Royal Caribbean and Carnival before, and this was the best. Embarkation was on October 10, 2005 in Los Angeles Birth 91 (i think) at the World Cruise Terminal. Not the smoothest thing to do in the world, but it wasn't horrible. We got there at about 11am. We went in some doors and were told to go outside, but not really what the procedure was. This was by a port employee. Once outside, we assumed we were to line up in a line that was forming. Eventually, we found someone who gave us luggage tags we filled out. Then a porter came and took our bags. The only bad thing I can say here is it would have been nice to have a Celebrity employee there we could ask and confirm what the proper procedure was. The line started moving at 11:30am, and we were on the ship by 12:30pm. Was greeted with champagne and orange juice. We were told our room would be ready at 1pm and it was. We just hung out at the buffet before then, and toured the ship a bit. Later in the day, our bags were delivered to our room, one before the lifeboat drill at 4:30pm, and the rest after. There was lots of activity and give away's going on the first afternoon before departure. We didn't stick around for that as we mostly relaxed, toured the ship a bit, and ate. Food was good to excellent. Of course some things are better than others. If you don't like anything, ask for something else. Our waiter was very accommodating. If we wanted two things on the menu, it was no problem. Often we would get the beef or chicken dish with a side of lobster tail, or whatever else we wanted that night. Our table was 502 which is right at the back of the dinning room on the upper level by the window. Amazing view. Igor was a great waiter and Beata (I know im misspelling it) was a amazing wine steward. She was very friendly and can't say enough good things about her. Our table was for 8, and we sat with some great people. If you can, don't miss dinner in the dinning room. I think it is a big feature of any cruise, and it is fun to get to know the people you sit with, if they aren't total jerks, which I think is rare. You can request a change if it's ever a problem, and as a last resort, there are other dinning options. The sushi bar was open 5:45pm to 10pm. Mostly standard rolls, and sushi. Not a huge selection, but good for a cruise ship. Waterfall Cafe (think Windjammer on Royal) was great. Food was very good quality for a buffet, better than Royal Caribbean. Service is high for such a casual dinning venue. Waiters to take your tray to your table, bartenders, etc. Views are great. You can almost always find a seat at the back out on the patio. Again, great view. The Normandie is great. The food is amazing. Service can't be beat. Price is $30 per person plus $27.95 if you do a wine pairing with each course which is well worth it. It's easy to get reservations there. I don't think they were full any nights. If you want, do it on a casual night since the dinners on formal nights tend to be a bit nicer in the main dinning room, so don't miss those! Our stateroom was 7060, inside cabin. It was very nice. Every morning/night our room steward did our room, like any other cruise line. We also always had our ice bucket refilled and a crate of fresh water. It was great. Before our first stop at Puerto Vallarta, beach towels were delivered to our stateroom we could use for free or if we wanted to buy them, keep them and be charged to our account (or they would deliver new ones). We didn't want to bother ironing all our shirts before we went on the trip, so left these to our stateroom attendant. $2 a shirt or $3 for express (pressing only, no cleaning). It was easy. The shows onboard were average for any cruise. Actually, it would have been nice to see some more variety. 5 of the nights was the Celebrity singers/dancers. One night there was a comedian, Rich Papurra (bad spelling again). Another night a piano player. We were in the main seating for dinner, so our show was always around 9pm. If you're in the late seating, your show is either at 6:30pm or some nights it's not until 10:30pm or so. Pools are great on this ship. I thought they were big for a cruise ship. The outdoor pool was good, warm water, but not sure if it was heated. It was great weather and Mexico is very hot, so it might have been that warm on its own. Lots of deck chairs, never had a problem with finding one in the sun or shade, even on sea days. The thalasotherapy pool was very nice. Adults only which is great (not that I ever saw kids in the outdoor one either, few kids on this ship it seemed). The lounge chairs by the windows are very comfortable, and the area has air conditioning so it is very comfortable. Spa music is played, and you can fall asleep to it no problem. I liked reading in this area by the lounge chairs at the window. There's not many, so between about 11-3, it's more difficult to find one of those chairs. By the pool itself, you'll find a teak chair no problem. The casino was fun on this ship, my partner enjoyed playing the blackjack tables. The dealers were all very friendly. We ended up getting to know the regular blackjack players, and enjoyed striking up conversation with them and running into them on the ship and asking how they were doing. The slots don't pay out that great. It's not like vegas. Tendering was a bit challenging. We all had to go in the theatre, and you were given a number. When they called your number, you could go. We had to wait in the theatre for 45 min one morning, but that was probably the longest wait. By 11am, you won't have to wait at all. Just be patient. Some people we know missed their shore excursion because they said they waited over an hour for tendering. They got their money back no problem, but of course were a little pissed. They arrived at the theatre when they were told to, but it took too long. Not sure all the circumstances around this, but be warned. Our ship went to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. Apparently Cabo San Lucas was the best, small, everything is close to the tender pier, and great beaches. We had so much fun on the ship, we only got off in Puerto Vallarta to go to Blue Chairs. Quickly got annoyed with the number of vendors asking us to buy crap. It wasn't a busy time I guess, so the vendor to beach bum ratio was higher. Literally every 30-60 seconds we were being asked to buy something. Hope I'm not missing anything. Basically, this ship is beautiful. The art is weird, but fun to look at. There's lots of it. The ship is in great shape. Cold towels and juice when you return from a port is great. Cushions on deck chairs are an great thing. Service is amazing. I think I'd go crazy working on a ship, but these people seem to love it, and are very friendly. It really feels like they want to help you and give you great service, not like they have to. At 91,000 tons, the Summit only has 1950 passengers max capacity. A Radiance or Vision class ship, similar in size or small or Royal Caribbean would have 2400+ passengers. It makes a difference. The atmosphere on the ship is more formal and classic. In general, you'll have a great cruise experience with Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
What a fantastic cruise! We booked the cruise for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and were not disappointed. The service on the ship was amazing. From our room steward, Felipe, and his asst., Encieto, to the dining room staff and everyone ... Read More
What a fantastic cruise! We booked the cruise for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and were not disappointed. The service on the ship was amazing. From our room steward, Felipe, and his asst., Encieto, to the dining room staff and everyone else working on the ship, they do try hard to treat you "famously". Booking a balcony in concierge class was certainly worth the money. Two of the ports we stopped at required tenders, so having priority tender service thru concierge class was great. We enjoyed the Aqua Spa Cafe for breakfast and lunch and ate in the main dining room for all the other nights except for a night in the Normandy specialty restaurant. The food on the whole was very good to excellent. We had late seating and one of our favorite spots was the 10 deck aft bar with a sushi bar(excellent), guitar player (ok), and a beautiful sunset each evening. There was a nice mix of ages on the ship with just a few children. We thought there would be a much older crowd, but there wasn't. We went to only a couple of shows in the theater that interested us and they were good, but the acts on the other nights didn't peak our interest. The late night activities at the bar at the end of the earth were enjoyable. I certainly would not call this ship a party boat, but there was enough going on at the casino & bar to keep you busy. During the day at sea, they were not a ton of activities going on, but that was fine with us because we just wanted to sit by the pool and relax. We booked our excursions on the internet taking the canopy tour in Puerto Vallarta and Randi's Happy Horses in Mazatlan. Both were great. Ship was in great shape, very clean. Pro's for the Summit: Service, Food & wonderful staff. Cons: Entertainment, Normandy specialty restaurant (food is just as good in the main dining room), Disembarkation (although the ship seems to be at the mercy of US Customs and how many people -- they send too few). Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
As we gathered at the Los Angeles cruise terminal prior to boarding Summit, rumors already abounded as to a quickly developing hurricane that was now threatening the Pacific coast of Mexico. This had, of course, been a particularly ... Read More
As we gathered at the Los Angeles cruise terminal prior to boarding Summit, rumors already abounded as to a quickly developing hurricane that was now threatening the Pacific coast of Mexico. This had, of course, been a particularly active (and tragic) storm season in the Atlantic, and we knew upon booking this cruise back in June that hurricane risk even in the Pacific could be a factor. Nonetheless we boarded with great expectations, glad to be back aboard Celebrity Cruises following the 18-month hiatus since we'd sailed sister ship Constellation. Glass of champagne in hand, we soaked in the Grand Foyer, then toured the ship to explore the similarities and differences Summit had to offer. Most notably changed on Summit was the Bar at the Edge of the Earth, a renovated space that was designed for performances by Cirque du Soleil. The Edge indeed has a bit of an edgy feel, with luminescent ceiling hangings and canopied lounges  this replacing the ship's night club area, top deck forward, but still offering panoramic 180-degree views. Later in the day, however, we were informed that Cirque du Soleil performances had been suspended on Summit from this sailing onward, and were in the process of re-tooling. Though this was of some disappointment to us, we'd heard mixed reviews of the Cirque experience on Celebrity thus far, and were satisfied to know they were responding to customer feedback. Perhaps they might heed our comments, then, regarding Summit's artwork. While Constellation has some nice art in its public spaces, from Peter Max in an elevator lobby to a Chihuly chandelier outside the nightclub. Summit, meanwhile, has unstimulating photography and minimal gallery-quality pieces on display around the ship, causing us to wonder whether they'd pulled the good stuff and replaced it with a high-school art project. That aside, however, Summit is a classy ship, with decor bright enough to invoke that special at-sea feeling but relatively subdued compared to her cruise industry counterparts. The colors of Summit's Martini Bar and Champagne Bar gave less aqua and more cremes and beige than her sister ship, while the woodwork and carpeting have been kept up immaculately. That afternoon we took to our stateroom, and thanks to a short-lived deal earlier in the summer, we were in a balcony cabin for the first time. They say that once you have a balcony you cannot go back, and this was immediately apparent to us. On two previous cruises we'd had inside staterooms, appreciating the pitch darkness for sleeping at night, but missing some contact with the sea. With this cabin, however, we would not be sorry. As you'll see in the pictures, we took in sunsets, sunrises, breakfast on the verandah, early morning port arrivals, late night drinks, and the soothing noise of the bow crashing into wave after wave, all from the privacy of our quarters. This was especially beneficial due to our itinerary, which had four days scheduled at sea. The rumors of the hurricane, meanwhile, would add a fifth sea day. Before these came to fruition, however, we'd depart Los Angeles at sunset, meeting some of our fellow CruiseCritic.com members at a sailaway get-together which meandered from Mast Bar to Martini Bar. Following this was second-seating dinner, casual for the first night, where we got to meet our table mates with whom we'd dine for the entire sailing. A waiter gave some caution as we approached the table for six, indicating that the other four diners didn't speak English. The Assistant Maitre D, a lively Serbian named Sasha, invited us to be seated, however, noting that we would always change the dining arrangements the next day. Much to our delight, however, no such arrangement was necessary. We would have the pleasure of dining with a lovely couple from the Bay Area, Florin and Camelia, who were joined by Camelia's parents visiting from Romania. I commented that my father's mother had come from Romania, and that much of his family was from nearby Kishinev, the Moldovan capital. Turns out the mother and father live not so far from Kishinev, and we had a good laugh about what a small world it is. And thus we broke the ice, and broke bread together. Well, more than just bread, of course, as every meal in the Cosmopolitan Dining Room was a five course affair. Overall we were quite pleased with Summit's gastronomy, with kudos going to the meat dishes, the salads and consommes, and appetizers such as escargots and shrimp cocktail. And our waiter, assistant waiter, and assistant maitre d were omnipresent in their drive to go above and beyond, accommodating our every request. Liked the escargots? They'd magically appear from off-the-menu on subsequent evenings. Order a side of tasty fries one night? They'd be brought to the table every night thereafter, even on the last formal night with prime rib and lobster. Reminded us of our waiter on Constellation, Janusz, whom we later saw on this cruise! Turns out this was his last cruise, his contract was up and he was headed back to Krakow. So we felt glad to have seen Janusz, and got his email and phone number for someday we'd like to visit Krakow. Since Celebrity prides itself on having food that's a cut above the other mainstream lines, however, it's only appropriate that we mention a few shortcomings. The chilled soups were more like an early dessert, fruity and extremely sweet. The seafood was inconsistent, with shrimp and scallops not always cooked to perfection. And we were not the only ones to comment on the general saltiness of the food on board, surprising in an era when even cruisers are more conscious of health and diet. The sushi is decent, though of course we had our fill of good sushi in LA both before and after the cruise. The buffets were also fine, though their theme offerings usually came up short. Pizza and pasta were better on Princess, and we missed their bay shrimp, calamari, and fish & chips; but we appreciate the smaller touches on Celebrity such as real plates and linen (as opposed to the Princess platter), and waiters who carry your tray to the table and then bring juice or iced tea for you. At breakfast they also come by with fresh pastries, coffee, and tea in the buffet seating area, another nice touch. Lunch in the Cosmopolitan dining room was adequate though not as succulent as dinner, and breakfast here was fine, though it was far more enjoyable when we ate al fresco on the verandah. We also enjoyed several meals, snacks, and drinks on the teak patio behind the buffet area, a largely shaded area with full views from the aft. Jen had brought tiramisu out here one windy afternoon, and the cocoa powder was flying everywhere; luckily Sacha had been helping Jen and brought another napkin. We also knew, prior to boarding Summit, that we'd dine at least once at her specialty restaurant, The Normandie. This was a refined experience we'd loved on Constellation, and so we'd made reservations for the last night of the cruise. Upon boarding we stopped by Normandie to see about adding a night earlier in the cruise, and lo and behold the man behind the podium was Mario, our waiter from Constellation's specialty restaurant. In the middle of our first meal at Normandie we then saw Ivo, our wonderful Sommelier from Constellation, and were happy to chat with him as well. Not to be forgotten ever is the dining experience itself, beginning with an amuse bouche of salmon in pastry, followed by a tableside preparation of caesar salad from scratch, complete with egg whites whisked for nearly ten minutes. The lobster veloute and goat cheese souffle were, as always, remarkable, and the Chateaubriand for two was the best we've ever had, complemented by foie gras seared to perfection and a hearty Australian shiraz. We each partook from the cheese cart, with mild, medium, bleu, and goat cheeses but even in two sittings still didn't get to all fifteen varieties that were offered. Care for a glass of port with your cheese? They wheel another cart over, just ports, and I have Graham's Malvados for the first time. My only regret is not getting a bottle of this stuff in LA afterwards, since the liquor stores neither in Ontario nor in Quebec carry it. The meal is completed by, of course, dessert. I'd pre-ordered the chocolate souffle, decadent but not too sweet, served in it's baking bowl, unlike on Princess (who unskilfully carve it out and serve it without appeal into a brown mound). No, Celebrity does it right. And Jen's ganache was a perfect marriage of flavors chocolate and banana, with coconut ice cream on the side, a taste of the tropics that we were now about to enter. Earlier in the day, this our first full day at sea, Captain Karatzas made his noon announcement and confirmed the rumors: due to the proximity and strength of Hurricane Otis (which had been elevated from Tropical Storm just yesterday  sorry, couldn't resist at least one Otis Elevator reference), we'd be skipping our first port call of Cabo San Lucas, steering around the storm, and hopefully returning to a course for Mazatlan on Monday. The shipboard television channel also featured a repeating announcement from the bridge, with the captain outlining our course on visual charts and assuring one and all that safety was of paramount concern (this despite some whining from a few idiot passengers upset that they'd miss Cabo). He and the crew had also prepared the ship for rough seas, with breakables stowed, production shows cancelled in the theatre, and passengers advised to exercise caution when walking. A grade of A goes to Celebrity for communicating all of this so well; in fact the worst of the storm was always well east of us, and even near the ship's bow we felt little more than nominal rocking. After a second day at sea, with a leisurely pace and high clouds but tropical temperatures, we shook off the rough seas at night and steamed into port on schedule Monday morning. The slowing of the ship must have woken me up, and as I stepped out onto the balcony, the lights of Mazatlan were giving way to a slowly unfading dawn. We sailed past the sportfishing docks, where I'd once hung a 167-pound marlin, with outriggers and shrimp boats passing us in the opposite direction, heading out for a day's catch. Today we shared the berth with Regal Princess, which at 15 years is the oldest member of the Princess Cruises fleet. An hour later we were off the gangway and onto a series of pickup truck, water taxi, and tractor, finally reaching the coconut groves of Isla Piedra. Here we saddled up and headed out to the beach on horseback, and, save for the sunblock which was now streaking into my eyes, it was a wonderful time. My horse preferred to walk through the water rather than on the higher beach, slowing us down a bit but hey (hay is for horses), what's the hurry anyway?! Following a beer in the thatched palapa that is Victor's, we opted to return to the ship, clean up, and head into town. Though they say that much of Mazatlan has changed, it was good to see that El Centro had stayed much the same, with the Mercado and Cathedral being the highlights. Many passengers complained that Mazatlan wasn't pretty or exotic enough, but what I'd remind them was that it's an actual town, not just a resort but a working city, complete with a busy port and an economy that involves more than tourism alone. The next day we called on Puerto Vallarta, definitely more of a resort town, with its picturesque bay and seaside promenade lined with sculptures. Like Mazatlan, PV was hot and muggy, and after walking around town for strolling and shopping and a side trip to the former home of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton we spent the rest of the day aboard ship, greeted with cold towels, water, and a warm welcome home from several staff members. One gets the feeling that this really is home for the thousand or so crew and staff of Summit, and they're happy to share it with us, eager to show us a good time, aiming to please at every turn. Sailing out of Vallarta we saw the storm clouds gathering, and the next day gave us a new twist on thunderstorms, with 360-degrees of lightning at sea. Particularly unique was having breakfast in the cantilevered Deck 10 dining area, with dark skies, bolts of lightning, claps of thunder, and a view of the churning seas below through the glass cut-outs in the floor. That day I attended the second of four screenwriting seminars, part of the enrichment series that Celebrity offers; also available were a motivational series, computer classes, and acupuncture. Of course no day at sea is complete without the requisite art auction, afternoon tea, trivia contests, jackpot bingo, and the like. A nicety on Celebrity, though, is that these are not in-your-face profit centers, unlike on Princess who feel compelled to announce something every ten minutes. On Celebrity it's one announcement a day, that being the daily update from the bridge. The rain followed us into Acapulco, where a taxi driver told us about the tormenta they'd been having. Still, the showers dissipated by the time we reached La Quebrada, and we were able to see the famed cliff divers  one of those must-dos that, well, you just do. After buying a ticket, we were seated in a cliffside location facing the divers, where we once again ran into our tablemates from dinner (we'd seen them in PV as well as every day aboard ship, this on a ship of 2,000 passengers). Later we took a taxi around the cliffs and up a hill to Hotel Los Flamingos, a once-swanky (much like Acapulco itself) joint that was a favorite of Hollywood legends such as Johnny Weismuller, who filmed Tarzan in Acapulco and spent much of his life here afterwards. Los Flamingos is one of the best places in town for pozole, a hearty soup-stew concoction made of pork, hominy, onions, and garlic, and served with fixings to add such as avocado, cilantro, small but potent limes, oregano, jack cheese, jalapeno, tortillas, chicharones (pork rinds) etc. And Thursday is the traditional day to eat pozole, so we lucked out on all counts. This was our only meal off the ship, and, along with an appetizer of tamales, it was well worth the venture. We'd even contemplated dinner elsewhere in town, for perhaps another bowl of pozole and some fresh seafood, but upon seeing the main dining room menu with escargots, filet mignon, and other enticing offerings, we opted to stay aboard. Later we sailed out of Acapulco Love Boat style, close to midnight with all the lights in this harbor as a backdrop that we'll never forget. And thanks to Mike and Mary, who hosted a get-together at their cabin  the balcony extends out from the aft of the ship, giving 270-degree views. The previous day we'd done a roving stateroom tour, where various CruiseCritic.com members opened up their cabins for all to see. It was like a giant conga line at one point, roaming through the ship, other passengers joining, and all of us getting to see the various rooms and suites that Celebrity offers. Of course there's not a bad cabin to be had on a cruise, but some of these were quite amazing, with balconies and views of varying sizes and angles, and in-suite features such as flat-screen TVs, marble bathtubs with a view, etc. The one product we didn't get to see up close was the Penthouse Suite, though from the balconies of Mike & Mary and Jan & Colin, we did see the Penthouse balcony, hot tub and all. Our last port was the sleepy town of Zihuatanejo, and we were fortunate to have had the skies clear up for this gem. We anchored out in the crescent-shaped, well-sheltered bay and tendered ashore, immediately realizing we were not in your standard port  no duty free shops, no Diamonds International, just palm-lined beachfront with thatched-roofed cafes, beaches that went on and on, and a small, snaking promenade that made for a relaxing morning. Later we ambled through the flea market, picking up some nice silver pieces in a low-pressure, relaxing environment. Sailing out of Zihua (with butterflies all around us) and past the resort-lined beaches of Ixtapa on Friday afternoon, we knew we'd reached our final destination and would have two and a half sea days in which to enjoy the duration of the cruise. Of course that time went all too quickly, relaxing on the verandah; eating our way through dinners at the Cosmopolitan and Normandie; looking at (completely content and unable at all to eat) the Magnifique Gala Buffet; taking in elegant tea in the Cosmopolitan; having martinis with our mates Jan & Colin, Larry & Sue, and Mike & Mary; all etching into our memories this great cruise. We'll most definitely sail Celebrity again. It was and remains our cruise line of choice, though we continue to explore others. Our next sailing is booked on Oceania Cruises, from Athens to Istanbul, and no balcony on that one, but somehow I think we'll survive. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
This was a very short cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada, MX. It was my seventh cruise, but the first Celebrity X experience. I cannot recommend the ship enough and Concierge Class or above is definitely the way to go. Our wait in ... Read More
This was a very short cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada, MX. It was my seventh cruise, but the first Celebrity X experience. I cannot recommend the ship enough and Concierge Class or above is definitely the way to go. Our wait in line to check in was about 20 seconds! About 5 minutes later we were already on the ship, which was spotless. A white glove escort to the cabin was unexpected and a complimentary cold bottle of Champagne and a small fruit basket really gave a fantastic first impression. The cabin was normal sized, but thanks to some helpful diagrams that are on the internet I found a room on the Penthouse level with an extra large balcony (about 8'X 10'). We relaxed and drank most of the bottle the first hour when our steward finally introduced himself and suggested we might enjoy a second free bottle if he could find one...he did. We unpacked a little and went up for a bite to eat before leaving San Diego. What a start! We were given a table for 2 as requested for the two nights that we dined in the main dining room. The service and food was superior there. We had buffets for breakfast and lunch. Note that the buffet serves everything to you instead of allowing you to fill your own plate as you wish. That was a bit awkward. Both the lady I travelled with and myself are very critical on service because we are banquet food servers at a 1.7 billion dollar hotel in Las Vegas. Jumping ahead a little, we dined at the upscale S.S. United States restaurant on the third and final night for $30 each and I had the wine pairing for another $27. Our head waiter, Christian, led what seemed like an army of servers to come to our table for a six course, 2.5hr meal that would be nearly impossible to exceed. This is a "must do" for any couple. How many chances do you get in life to get so much for a fraction of a normal gourmet meal's price. I'd like to go into great detail here, but to save time, just make your reservations early and get ready. Overall, there was always something to do on the ship, but not enough time. One of the first things that we did was intrude on the kids area and played a little basketball. Being 45-50 years old, we didn't play long, but it was still fun. The movie theater, disco, and main theater all were very nice. We played it by ear on our two stops, and got some good deals on excursions. I believe the crew said they were off to Hawaii next; our cruise was incidental. My only complaint is that on the final night, we needed a major nap after dinner, and we were not given a comment card, nor did we get an itemized bill the next morning. The charges all seemed correct in total and my companion had checked the statement on the TV as well. I wish I could supply more information, because that would mean we had more days on the cruise. We expected a lot. We got more. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
About Us My husband and I are both 32 with no children. We have cruised 5 times before (on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and now Celebrity). This was our first Celebrity cruise. We lived in Maryland for 10 years before moving to the West ... Read More
About Us My husband and I are both 32 with no children. We have cruised 5 times before (on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and now Celebrity). This was our first Celebrity cruise. We lived in Maryland for 10 years before moving to the West coast a few years ago. We currently reside in Las Vegas, Nevada where I am a web site designer and he is an attorney. Type of Room Booked: Concierge Class stateroom, Cabin 8143. Cruise: 10 Day Mexican Riviera, round-trip from Los Angeles. September 29 - October 10, 2005. Ports of Call / Shore Excursions I am not reviewing the ports of call since the Summit sails all over the world and has such a varied itinerary. We have never booked a shore excursion on a cruise and prefer to "do our own thing " while on vacation. Embarkation Out of all the cruises I've been on, embarkation was the absolute smoothest. We arrived at the pier a little after 12:30 in the afternoon and we were standing on our stateroom balcony within 20 minutes. Since we were booked in Concierge Class, we had a special line and the service was very fast. After a quick scan of our carry on baggage and a check of our passports and ids we were stopped for the standard embarkation photograph and headed on board. Once on board, Celebrity's reputation for the highest levels of elegant service began! We were greeted by a white-gloved, tuxedoed employee (the first of many on this voyage). He handed us each a glass of champagne and escorted us to our stateroom. while a talented harpist played quietly in the atrium. Our stateroom was ready with the door open. Inside we found fresh flowers, a bowl of fresh fruit, chilled ice and water, and a bottle of champagne on ice. Concierge Class Let me say that the charge for Concierge Class was absolutely, 100% worth it! We received special service in all areas on this cruise. We had priority use of the Concierge desk (though we only used this once, it was still great to know it was there). We had complimentary use of a pair of binoculars that came in handy from our balcony stateroom. Fresh flowers in a modern flexible vase adorned the desk area and on formal nights, a single long-stemmed rose appeared in a stainless steel vase in the bathroom. Each day a large bowl of fresh fruit was delivered to our room as well as evening canapes (an assortment of 6 small toast rounds topped with a variety of goodies, from shrimp to caviar to proscuitto and melon). Every day we had a fresh bucket of ice and a carafe filled with chilled water. The fluffy robes were nice as well, as was the super soft, high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, fluffy duvet, and the menu of pillows (we chose an extra foam and a down pillow). The high power massaging showerhead was a pleasure to use too. The use of a large golf umbrella came in handy as well when the rain started pouring down in port! A decent Celebrity tote bag came in handy too and on the last night before the cruise ended, a very nice nylon collapsible bag and small overnight makeup bag were delivered to our stateroom for our overnight items. Our luggage was also delivered to us within one hour of sailing. Most people didn't get their luggage until much later. The one thing that absolutely made CC worth the price was the priority tender service. This saved us so much time in port! Every morning when tender service was required, two VIP vouchers were delivered to our stateroom. These were like magic tickets! You flashed them and you were put on the first available tender immediately. One morning, they even held a tender until we arrived! I was shocked! The early embarkation and debarkation was great too, though debarking was a nightmare as you'll read below. Everything Celebrity promises to CC guests in their promotional literature was delivered, though the only disappointment was the "personalized stationery. " It was more like paper with a laser printout of your name and cabin number, though it, too, did come in handy! Staterooms We were impressed with the layout of our stateroom. The design gave it a true sense of spaciousness and we never lacked for storage space or room to move around. The balcony was large with a nice big table and a small side cocktail table. The chairs had nice, thick blue cushions on them. I also loved how the balcony had clear glass on the bottom so you had an unobstructed view of the ocean. We found that the balconies weren't as private as on other ships. You could easily see the folks on each side of you, below you and above you. there are also "portholes " on the floor in the Waterfall Cafe upstairs, so if someone decided to get on the hands and knees and look down the hole, they could see right on your balcony and with the position of the mirrors, right into your stateroom. So make sure you keep your curtains closed when you aren't dressed! The bed was very comfortable and the upgraded luxury bedding was great. Soft sheets and fluffy pillows made it feel like a true floating resort. The fluffy towels were nice as well, and we also had a soft cotton bath rug in the bathroom. We found the bathroom to be not in the best of shape, but it was nothing to seriously complain about -- just a cracked tile here and there. The shower had a curtain and it would have been nicer if it was an actual door, but the shower was large and could accommodate 2 people! Our bathroom had a large container of cotton balls and swabs, mints, a sewing kit, shower cap and an array of small bottles of shampoo, lotion and more. There were also shampoo and lotion dispensers on the wall. Stateroom Attendant Our attendant was the best we have ever had on any cruise anywhere, period. Jose was like a ghost -- we hardly ever saw him, but no matter when we left, we came back and our room was spotless. After the first day, he easily adapted to our lazy schedule with no problem. On the first day at sea, we wanted some extra ice and water. After that, he brought extra ice and water every day. We never, ever had to ask for anything else again! It was weird -- it was almost like he could "sense " what you needed and when you needed it before you even knew you needed it yourself! I am not kidding. We'd come back from the pool deck and he would have even folded our dirty clothes and placed them in a neat pile! When you order room service, 9 times out of 10 your stateroom attendant will deliver your food. He would never take individual tips for that (we usually give $5 cash each time someone brings our food) so we more than made up for it in a large extra tip at the end of the cruise. Oh, and there are no animals made out of towels like on other cruise lines, but you do get yummy mocha flavored chocolate on your pillow each night! Dress Code There's been a lot of speculation on many travel boards about the dress code on board Celebrity. Let me start by saying that probably 99.9% of cruisers on our voyage respected and honored the dress code each evening. On formal nights there were more tuxedos than suits and more gowns than cocktail dresses, at least on the first formal night. It was fun to dress up for dinner and everyone looked so nice in their gowns and tuxedos. If you do not own a tuxedo, I highly recommend that all gentlemen rent one. The one thing I hated about the dress code is that it applied to all public areas on the ship after 6 p.m. We found it pretty unpleasant to be sitting in a bar at midnight in a stifling tuxedo and itchy beaded dress. But we, like most others on board, happily complied with the dress code. Each night at the dining room, the Maitre'D would greet everyone entering but I never saw him turn anyone away. I also never saw anyone turned away at the shows either, however, most people respected the dress code. Another thing to note: no jeans are allowed in the Cosmopolitan dining room at any time -- not for breakfast, lunch or for dinner. You can wear shorts to breakfast and lunch, but NO JEANS, EVER. Casual is the order of the day at all other times. I'm not a cruise snob -- I say let people wear whatever they want since they are on vacation. But at the same time, I believe in respecting cruising traditions when appropriate, and it wasn't hard for us to pack our tuxedo, suits, cocktail dresses and gown. And it's not hard for you, either! Common Areas / Public Rooms This ship is loaded with privately commissioned modern artwork and it is gorgeous. From sculptures to paintings to photographs, the ship is a floating modern art gallery! Even the hallways to the cabins (and our stateroom) had original photographs / artwork on the walls. Fresh flowers abound on this ship too. Our stateroom had long stemmed roses and fresh flowers, and the public bathrooms on each deck always had fresh flowers in them! The most inspired area on the ship was the Bar at the Edge of the Earth. Unfortunately, it was woefully underutilized except for the $40 bingo games. The bar was co-created by Cirque du Solei and is the funkiest place you'll ever see. Be sure to check out the oversized cabanas at the back of the club -- snag one of those and you can lie down and look out the front of the ship. A perfect activity just before the sun sets. The other bars were decent. Celebrity hypes the Summit as having a Martini Bar and Champagne Bar, but it's actually the same bar and isn't that great. We were disappointed in this. The pool deck was great with plenty of lounge chairs and two large pools and spas. The Thalassotherapy pool had a very nice area as well. Use of this pool was free. The shopping boulevard was adequate with the requisite onboard liquor shop (if you buy the liquor, they hold it until the last night of your cruise -- though we had no trouble brining liquor onboard after a day in port), several jewelry and watch shops, a couple of clothing and souvenir shops, and a super Bijou Turner store where everything is $10. My favorite part of the ship were the glass elevators. This is something I've never seen on a cruise ship. It was so fun to be able to ride up and down while you were looking out at the sea. The showroom was one of the nicest I have ever seen at sea. The ship itself was spotlessly clean and Celebrity seemed to be very concerned with keeping it that way. Automatic hand sanitizers were placed around the ship near dining areas and on the gangway. The Waterfall Cafe was a nice eating area. Make sure you sneak a peek at the portholes that are on the floor in parts of the Cafe -- you can stand on them and look straight down at the ocean! Our stateroom was in very good condition (just a couple of cracked tiles in the shower). I have to say that we also found the ship to be extremely warm -- they seemed to have a problem keeping the public areas well cooled, especially the Waterfall Cafe, the dining room and the bars. We were fine in our stateroom and the air conditioner worked great. Just something to note. All in all, the decor was very understated and muted and was not gaudy or tacky in any respect. Anyone who loves the glitz and glamour will be disappointed in this ship. Anyone looking for 5 star hotel decor will love it! Activities Maybe this is because I am young, but I am not exaggerating when I say there was absolutely nothing to do on this cruise! My husband loved it and loved just relaxing. I got a bit antsy on the third day at sea. While we knew this ship attracted an older crowd, I really wasn't prepared at the lack of activities. I didn't want Carnival (too rowdy for us), but I didn't want a floating retirement village either. THAT WAS NOT MEANT TO BE DEROGATORY -- I love older folks and we met some super elderly friends during the voyage. I just want to make sure other young couples are prepared for this before they book a Celebrity cruise. We would 100% book another Celebrity cruise when we want to relax and do nothing, which was one of our main goals on this trip. Let me give you an example of activities offered during one of the days at sea (this is typed directly off my Celebrity Daily paper): Catholic Mass, Walk-A-Thon, Catholic Mass, Veterans' Get Together, Shuffleboard, Men's Doubles Ping Pong, Computer Classes, Informal Bridge Play, Scrabble, Chess, Backgammon, Paddle Tennis Court, Movie Time (theater showed new- to- video films), Afternoon Bridge Play, Silk Flower Arrangement Workshop, Arts and Crafts (I'm not making this up), Sunset Cocktail Hour, Bingo (at a whopping $30 per person to play), Vineyard at Sea Wine Auction, Art Auction, and Volleyball. On some days there were line dancing classes and there were 2 events on the pool deck at night -- a " Melons on Parade " fruit buffet with Caribbean line dancing and a country themed night with -- you guessed it -- line dancing! I thought the activities on this ship were severely lacking in both creativity and general appeal. We weren't the only ones who felt this way either. The one night they had karaoke for just one hour, it was standing room only. A few fun nighttime activities were a masquerade ball and a 50s sock hop (though few people participated). The casino was adequate and the dealers were friendly. Entertainment I won't mince words: the entertainment on this ship was absolutely abysmal. We were shocked at how truly terrible Celebrity's entertainment program was onboard the Summit! I do not feel we are being overly harsh. Let me explain why I would rate their entertainment an "F." 1. Lack of live music. There was hardly any live music onboard this ship and the music that was live was just atrocious. With the exception of the Martini Quartet, a lovely string quartet that played classical instruments in the Cova Cafe, the entertainers were not that talented. Most of the entertainers were the kind you just feel so sorry and embarrassed for. The "party band " Headlines was so awful they routinely "forgot " the words to the songs they were singing. Maybe this wasn't such a bad thing since they couldn't carry a tune. The singers at the karaoke show were much better. Michael's Club featured Betsy Bogart, a cabaret singer and piano player who specialized in easy listening favorites (think James Taylor, Carole King, Carly Simon). Betsy was great the first few nights, but her repertoire was so limited that after hearing "Both Sides Now " and "How Sweet it Is " no fewer than 3 times per night each show, it got old very fast. Paul Strowe was an average guitarist who played Jimmy Buffet songs by the pool, though he sounded like your father in law singing along with the radio. The Savoy Duo was by far the worst. This band sounded like a bad 70s synthesizer organ. Just awful! In most other bars and lounges, prerecorded music was the order of the day. We didn't expect rock and roll, but we expected better than this. 2. Production Shows. The production shows were horrible too. They were just so terribly outdated! In ExtravaDanza, the singing and dancing was pretty good, but halfway through the show, the California Raisins came out and started singing "I Heard it Through the Grapevine."! Yes, the CALIFORNIA RAISINS! They were popular 20 years ago! I wish I could say that is as low as the entertainment sunk, but I'm afraid it gets much, much worse. The next night we were treated to the "artistry " of a Xylosynth. Yes, a man playing a synthesized xylophone. Shall I continue, or are your sides busting from laughing? You would be laughing, since you didn't sit through the actual performances! The comedian Rich Pupura was funny and not the worst I have ever seen. The one bright star was Atonio Salci, a pianist who was the first honest-to-goodness talent on the ship. His music wasn't the best but he was a very good entertainer. 3. See the Activities review above. Food All in all, it was hard to get a good, satisfying meal on this ship and it is darn near impossible to get something to eat after midnight. The Waterfall Cafe did not have good food. Each day they would serve a run of the mill breakfast and lunch buffet. The lunch buffet would have a different theme each day, like Mexican or Asian, but it was never anything special. The buffet was closed for dinner and became the casual dining restaurant with table service and a menu. You had to make reservations for this service if you chose not to eat in the main Cosmopolitan dining room. We did not try this alternative casual dining as we were so happy with the service in the main dining room, though the menus for the casual dining restaurant looked very good (and served less gourmet and more "picky eater " foods such as shrimp cocktail, roast beef and pastas). The Waterfall Cafe did have delicious homemade sorbet and ice cream in a variety of exotic flavors, but it was very melty all the time and hard to eat. It also had a made to order pasta station and pizza station, but I found the pizza to be very plain (Carnival's pizza is much better -- yes, that is a fact) except for the individual make your own pizzas (you get a choice of gourmet toppings like blue cheese and sun dried tomatoes) and the pasta bar was disgusting and made the whole grill smell like rotten garlic (my stomach is turning now just thinking about it). One some days the grill would run a deli sandwich stand but I found the sandwiches weren't tasty either! A huge disappointment. In the evenings for a short period of time, a sushi bar was open. The Poolside Grill did not have good food but each day they had a special menu item (chili cheese hot dogs, fish sandwiches, chicken parmesan sandwiches) and great french fries. The burgers and hot dogs are what you would expect on a large cruise ship; edible but not gourmet. The main dining room had very good food. If you are a picky eater, or even remotely adverse to trying new things, you will have trouble eating in the dining room. The menu choices were not too varied and were often "strange " to most folks. If you love duck, frog legs, rack of lamb and the like, you will love the dining room. Every poultry dish I had on board this ship was excellent. I only ate seafood twice and it was good too, as well as the pasta dishes in the dining room. The beef dishes were quite good and the steaks were incredible. The fish selections are unusual -- not your usual mahi mahi or salmon or flounder. The soups were unusual too but very good. There was also a chilled soup selection each night, the most inspired being the "chilled cherry " soup. Duck was on the menu every night. My personal memorable meals on this voyage were a seafood kabob (with fish, scallops and shrimp) served with fragrant basmati rice and a fork-tender filet mignon. My husband loved the escargot, specialty salads and prime rib. The best foods on board were the homemade salad dressings and the pastries. I cannot rave enough about how great they were! Be sure to try every dressing that is offered -- you will not be disappointed (are there any other diehard Celebrity dressing / Goombay dressing fans out there)? And yes, on the final formal night, lobster tails are served. And they are huge! Room Service had an inspired menu but uninspired food. The vegetable lasagna sounded good but was just a bowl with mushrooms, peppers and onions with one lasagna noodle spread across the top and cheese melted on top. The chicken noodle soup was awful -- more like a Japanese soup with clear broth and a small amount of thin noodles. The sandwiches were mediocre. As a Concierge Class guest, we had a special expanded breakfast menu that was absolutely fabulous! We ordered full breakfasts in our stateroom. The menu was varied and the food was good. My favorite was the yogurt and granola parfait, a large goblet layered with vanilla yogurt, homemade granola, blueberries and strawberries. I ate about 7 of those during the cruise! And it should be noted that each night's dinner in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant can be ordered and delivered to your stateroom. Just ask your stateroom attendant for the evening's menu and he will bring it in and set it up for you. My favorite part of the cruise was the nightly serving of Gourmet Bites. From 11:30 pm until after midnight, white gloved employees wander the common areas with trays of tasty hors d'oeuvres. They circle first with a tray of cold items, then hot items, then desserts. This was one of my favorite parts of the entire cruise. Miniature beef wellington, fish, caviar, croissants, mini pastries, tempura shrimp, miniature pizzas...everything you could imagine. There was a different selection each night and they were not served on themed buffet nights. I know food reviews are extremely subjective, but I have tried to be as honest and descriptive as possible. Service The service on this ship was impeccable. I have never been treated so "famously " as I was on this cruise. Celebrity gets the service aspect of their cruises 100% right on the nose. From the housekeeping staff to the bar staff to security and casino dealers, the service was incredible. The service even extended to days in port -- as we disembarked in Acapulco, there was a rainstorm. Celebrity employees held your umbrellas as you walked off the ship so you could hand over your keycards without getting soaked. In the steamy Puerto Vallarta, a valet was present with ice cold towels to help cool you down while you waited for the ship's tenders. (The towels made appearances in each port and in Zihuatanejo where the tender line was quite long, a server carried around a silver tray of ice cold water and juices). I felt like everyone on board truly enjoyed their jobs, from the clerks in the shops to the auctioneers to the room stewards and waiters. This is the first time on any cruise that we have tipped well above and beyond the recommended standard. We even gave the dining room maitre'd extra cash -- he was at our table promptly every dinner to chat and see how our meals were. The bar waitress promptly brought our glasses of Coke each night in the dining room. The first night I commented how much I loved the lemon that adorned the glass and each night our Coke glasses became more fanciful (with miniature umbrellas, lime swirls, triple cherries, etc.). A bunch of fun. Our waiters, Lloyd and Glen, were fabulous as well. After our first meal they learned our eating patterns to a "t. " They knew what we would order. Amazing. We tipped them 100% more than was suggested, as I'm sure most guests onboard did. The service was that incredible. When I wasn't feeling well one night and missed dinner, our head waiter called our stateroom to make sure we were okay. When I told him I wasn't feeling well, he showed up with a glass of ginger ale! The next morning when I was walking around the ship, I had no less than 4 employees come up to me to ask how I was feeling BY NAME (the cabin steward, our assistant waiter, and two of the bar waitresses). It was like I was a part of the family. If you want to be pampered in every way imaginable and be called by name as soon as your second day at sea, then book a Celebrity Cruise and you won't be disappointed. I have so many super service stories to tell that I could fill 30 pages. Disembarkation This was, I'm sorry to report, a complete disaster. I'm sure there will be many posts about this particular cruise and the disembarkation mess. I don't blame the cruise line -- the hold up was obviously with U.S. Customs. They had to clear everyone on board the ship. Once you cleared customs, you were given a pass and were able to disembark as soon as your color was called. As a Concierge Class passenger, we were the 5th color called off the ship (great since we were just driving from L.A. back home to Las Vegas). We were off board by 10:30 a.m. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
We were very happy with our first Celebrity cruise on Summit. We would definitely cruise on Celebrity again and loved Summit. Embarkation: We waited a very long time (2 hours-some people had been waiting even longer) for our transfer to ... Read More
We were very happy with our first Celebrity cruise on Summit. We would definitely cruise on Celebrity again and loved Summit. Embarkation: We waited a very long time (2 hours-some people had been waiting even longer) for our transfer to the pier. There was very little direction or information while waiting or when the bus finally arrived. There was not a long wait at the pier, but Xpress pass or Concierge class didn't make any difference at all. Loved being greeted with champagne as we boarded and being shown to our cabin. Cabin: The cabin was gorgeous-plenty of room, large bathroom (nice to be able to turn around in the shower!). The bed was very comfortable. The balcony was adequate in size and had comfortable chairs. The cabin showed no wear at all. The steward and his assistant kept the cabin in immaculate condition. The refrigerator was well-stocked but the items were ridiculously expensive. Towels were rough and not absorbent. I think the Concierge Class cabin was worth it. Priority luggage delivery didn't happen. The cabin steward was attentive without being overbearing. You could hear pretty much everything going on in the hallway but little from adjoining cabins. Ship Decor: somewhat bland. Some nice art, some unattractive art as well. There was a lot of wear evident in the various public areas. The atrium was unremarkable. We found it easy to get around and got to know the layout quickly. The Waterfall Cafe and main dining room were very comfortable and attractive. Pool areas also showed a lot of wear. Although there were plenty of chairs, many were in need of new cushions. Pools and pool areas also unremarkable. The Bar at the Edge of the Earth was a striking place and we liked to spend time there (although we were quite disappointed that Cirque du Soleil was on hiatus). Plenty of comfortable and pleasant areas to sit around the ship. Easy to find quiet places-amazing on a ship this large with so many passengers. The promenade area rarely attracted people and it was a perfect place to go for quiet and a comfortable lounge chair. The shops were standard shops for a cruise line. Spa-this was my first use of a spa on a ship. I was very impressed with everything about this spa-the ambience, service and the fee was very reasonable. Highly recommend!!! Entertainment: Fair overall. The singers were excellent, the dancers were not very good. The musical entertainment was good, however, especially the Party Band and the string quartet. Cruise staff: most were aloof and rarely saw them. Food: EXCELLENT!!! The breakfast and lunch buffets were great at the Waterfall Cafe. Don't miss the waffle station. Also liked the pizza station and the free ice cream. Main Dining room food was incredible. Have had better desserts on other cruise lines but can't complain about this. Room service menu was much more extensive than I've ever seen on a cruise. The hamburger/hot dog grill not very good. Shore Excursions: limited choices compared to other lines and not well organized at all. Shore assistance was non-existent (i.e.-if you needed help with directions, suggestions, taxis etc. On the other lines I've been on, there have always been crew to help passengers with shore issues. Service: There is not enough I can say about the excellent service on this ship. I feel you cannot overestimate how important service is and the Summit crew far surpassed our expectations. There was a perfect balance of attentiveness and respect. Two areas of service that were particularly appreciated: in the dining room and deck service. Our waiter, his assistant, and the assistant maitre d' were attentive and extremely personable. Not only was the service superb but our interactions with them were enjoyable and relaxed. They really enhanced our dining experience. Deck service was plentiful, prompt and the deck staff were friendly and fun. The whole vibe of the ship was pleasant and I attribute this to the crew. Disembarkation: I loved how we didn't have to have out luggage outside the cabin until midnight. Immigration lines were a nightmare-the line wrapped around the interior of the ship TWICE. I am not saying this is Celebrity's fault-but there was NO ONE to direct people to the end of the line. There was so much confusion and no direction, no announcements about the problem. There were people with mobility problem who were having a lot of difficulty and people were very anxious about missing flights and if they were in the right place in line. Then when we got to the theater where the immigration people were, the cruise staff didn't seem to know what they were doing-it was very haphazard. Long lines also to disembark. Overall a great time and I recommend this ship to anyone looking for an attractive ship with excellent service and a relaxing atmosphere. This ship is not for people looking for a party atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
This was our first time on the Constellation, although we sailed on the Galaxy last year. This was also our first transatlantic crossing,(in 15 cruises) and undoubtedly the cleanest ship we have ever been on. Furnishings, art work, and ... Read More
This was our first time on the Constellation, although we sailed on the Galaxy last year. This was also our first transatlantic crossing,(in 15 cruises) and undoubtedly the cleanest ship we have ever been on. Furnishings, art work, and floral arrangements throughout are most attractive. The stateroom (Concierge Class) was quite comfortable and had more than adequate storage for two. Ship's personnel were unfailingly polite and responsive. Service at the ports of call was excellent for both pre-arranged excursions and solo expeditions. Where applicable the ship provided free shuttle service and there were uaually easy alternatives to the listed tours. On most days at sea one would hardly know the ship was moving; on one day of truly high seas a few of us had some difficulty walking, but there was no evidence of sea sickness, nor did things roll about on the stateroom shelves, as has been our experience in the past. Obviously the stabilizers work well. Entertainment was good overall, and spectacular in terms of stage effects and presentation on "big show" nights. The Theater is so arranged that all seats provide an excellent and comfortable view of the stage. Throughout the ship there were also many small musical groups playing most of the evening. We heard all of them, even the solo harpist, and they were outstanding, each in its own venue. We did find the food somewhat disappointing as we had on our previous Celebrity cruise, but we have dined in some of the world's finest restaurants and know that with thousands of meals to prepare, it is difficult to please everyone. In view of the following rating scale, I will add that embarkation debarkation went very snmoothly on the ship, but we were neither graciously greeted at the San Juan Airport nor were we given any help in getting our bags out to the traffic island where we were to await the bus to the ship - for a half hour or so. Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
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