5 Celebrity Summit Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

My family have recently returned from the Barcelona-Venice Mediterranean cruise on the Summit. Having read reviews of the Summit before we went I was a bit worried, but everything went smoothly and we had a fantastic holiday. We booked ... Read More
My family have recently returned from the Barcelona-Venice Mediterranean cruise on the Summit. Having read reviews of the Summit before we went I was a bit worried, but everything went smoothly and we had a fantastic holiday. We booked the flights ourselves through Easyjet and the money we saved on this paid for a hotel for 2 nights in Barcelona pre-cruise and a night in Venice post-cruise, both of which made the trip even more memorable. We stayed at Hotel Ramblas in Barcelona and Hotel Olimpia in Venice, both of which were perfectly situated for getting around the cities. Embarkation was absolutely amazing. We literally arrived at the port, our baggage was taken from us, we spent 5 minutes at the checking-in desk and then we were on board where a glass of champagne/mimosa/orange juice was waiting for us. Our cabin was quite large and there was just about enough wardrobe space, considering there were 4 of us. We had a balcony, for the first time, which was a real luxury and I loved sitting out on it having a glass of wine, wearing my Celebrity Cruises bathrobe! There is a pitcher of water on the dresser with an ice bucket which is filled each day. Our cabin steward, Sandy, was fantastic and if he saw us approaching our cabin he would instantly get his key out and open the door for us. The entertainment was OK, but not brilliant. The comedian was good and the female singer was quite good, but the rest, although obviously very talented, weren't really our cup of tea. The 3 shows by the celebrity singers and dancers were quite good, although in the last one, which was songs from Broadway shows, I only knew a handful of the songs. Even most of the songs they sang from the Lion King weren't songs from the film, so if you haven't seen the show you wouldn't know them. What was a shame was the fact that the theatre was hardly ever more than 50% full. The Cruise Director, Gary, was excellent and worked really hard. The food in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant was excellent. Our daughter has a nut allergy so she was shown the following nights menu every night and told that if there was something she wanted but it had nuts in, then they would prepare it for her without nuts. Our waiters, Owenn and Dennis, were fantastic and very attentive and soon got to know what sort of salad my other daughter wanted as an appetiser. The drinks waiter, Anthony, was also fantastic and some nights our drinks were waiting on our table before we even got there. My only complaint about the restaurant is that the 4 of us were put on a table for 12 (after requesting a table for 8) and no-one else turned up, so we were on the table on our own. The food in the buffet was good, but sometimes there were quite long queues. My daughters, aged 13 and 15, joined the teenage club on the first night and made loads of friends from several different countries, who they are still keeping in touch with. We didn't do any of the Celebrity excursion as, with 4 of us, they were just too expensive, so we did everything ourselves. I have never used public transport so much in my life! Here's a quick run down of what we did: Barcelona: Because we had so much time here we saw everything we wanted to. We bought a metro ticket that allowed you 10 journeys which cost €7.70 and this covered all the journeys we made. If you're there at night don't miss the magic fountains - they were spectacular. Villefrance: We tendered into the port and then caught the train to Monte Carlo. Unfortunately the train we wanted was delayed and then never turned up at all so we ended up waiting on the station in the roasting sun for an hour. Monte Carlo was pretty but me and the kids couldn't face walking up to the old town as it was so hot, so my husband went on his own, took loads of pictures and met us back at the station. We then went back to the ship for lunch, then went to the beach in Villefranche for an hour or two before going back to the ship. Livorno: We caught a taxi to the station in Livorno for €20 fixed price. Then we caught the train to Pisa (actually the train to Florence, but it stopped at Pisa on the way), looked around the Field of Miracles, watched everyone having their photos taken holding the tower up, then caught the train to Florence. It was a Monday so all of the museums were closed, so we looked around and then caught the train back to Livorno. We then had to wait for a little while for a taxi to arrive at the station to take us back to the ship, but we got talking to another couple who were on our cruise so they shared the taxi with us. In Florence don't miss all the padlocks on the Ponte Vecchio which lovers have put there and thrown the keys into the river to seal their love for ever! Civitavecchia: We walked to the station and caught the train into Rome, buying a BIRG ticket which covers you for the metro as well. We got off at Ostiense Metro Station and walked to the forum to buy tickets which get you into the Colosseum as well. The queues were much smaller here and it was great to walk straight past all the people queueing at the Colosseum when we went there! We then used the metro a couple of times to get from one place to another, but on the whole we walked everywhere and got to see everything we wanted. Unfortunately, we hadn't booked tickets to the Vatican thinking that we wouldn't have time, but we would have in the end. We then walked to ? San Pietro station and caught the train back to Civitavecchia. Naples: We walked to the station, through some very iffy areas, and caught the Circumvesuvian train to Pompeii Scavi. We spent a few hours looking around Pompeii, which is amazing, and then got back on the train to Sorrento. From there we caught the hydrofoil back to the ship. Santorini: We caught the cable car up to Fira and looked around. Then we caught the bus to Oia. Be warned, when the bus doors open it is a complete free-for-all with everyone pushing and shoving. In Oia we walked down over 200 steps to try to find the beach, but only found an area where people were swimming off the rocks, so we had a swim there instead which was lovely. Walking back up the steps I thought I was going to have a heart attack! We then caught the bus back to Fira and the cable car back to the ship. Piraeus: We walked to the metro station and caught the metro to Athens. Unfortunately, there were works on the line and we had to get off half way along and get onto a bus to take us the rest of the way, but we still managed to find our way around. We walked everywhere in Athens which was really easy to do. Don't miss the changing of the guard every hour outside the parliament building. Dubrovnik: We bought a bus ticket from the newsstand opposite the port entrance and caught the bus to the old town. We walked through the middle of the old town and climbed the walls at the Ploce Gate where the queues were smaller. After walking around the walls we had lunch and then went to the beach not far from the Ploce Gate. I have never seen water as clear as it was there. We sailed away from Dubrovnik at 5 pm and people were able to go onto the helipad to watch the sailaway. Venice: Sailing into Venice was absolutely amazing, with Pavarotti blasting out of the speakers on the ship. A sight not to be missed. We walked to St Mark's Square, taking it slowly and having a good look around on the 1st day then went back to the ship for dinner. The following day we disembarked at 9 am so caught a taxi to Piazzale Roma and lugged our cases over just 1 bridge to the hotel. We then bought a 36 hour ticket for the vaporettos for €23, which was definitely well worth it as we used it so much. We then proceeded to see as much of Venice as possible before catching the ATVO bus to the airport the following day for our flight home. Sorry for such a lengthy review, but the holiday was fantastic and I just wanted to let everyone know that the ship is in really good shape, the staff are all fantastic and it is really easy to do your own thing in all the ports. I also wanted to say thank you to everyone on CruiseCritic.co.uk who gave such helpful advice before we went. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
Apologies for what promises to be a very long review!  First up I will say that on the whole we had a great holiday - but it could have been much, much better.  Probably best to start with what we did like, before starting on the ... Read More
Apologies for what promises to be a very long review!  First up I will say that on the whole we had a great holiday - but it could have been much, much better.  Probably best to start with what we did like, before starting on the negatives!The staff were mostly fantastic, and the service was usually first class (however the promise of being called by name never actually happened - our cabin steward got our name totally wrong and we hadn't the heart to keep correcting him on the rare occasion that he used it!).Public areas were well laid out and spacious - we particularly liked the Martini/Champagne Bars and the Cova Cafe, which were probably about the best maintained areas on the ship.  The pool/sun decks were also well laid out, getting away from the straight rows of sunbeds seen on other ships; however it would have been good to be able to get a "soft" bed somewhere away from the pool; unfortunately the majority of the beds didn't have cushions and these were the ones to be taken first. That said, even on a sea day we didn't have a problem getting a bed in the sun (in spite of some blatant chair hogging going on).  Bar staff around the pool weren't as "pushy" as we had experienced on some lines, and of course we could help ourselves to drinks and ice from dispensers whenever we wanted.Food in the Aqua Spa was usually very good - we particularly liked it for lunchtime, where we felt very righteous eating something "healthy" in contrast to the other food on offer at that time (although I have to admit that the nachos at the Poolside Grill were very tempting!).  The only downside about the Aqua Spa was the general appearance of the whole area - definitely in need of upgrading.Ports of call were very good, and we visited some places we had never been to; we could have done without at least one of the Italian mainland ports, but did appreciate that these destinations were the highlight for most of the American passengers (we are UK based).Entertainment was on the whole good - especially the production shows in the theatre which were excellent; unfortunately the pool-side band was pretty awful (great on instrumentals, but they really shouldn't have tried to sing!!).  The string quartet, barber-shop quartet and guitarist were all excellent (although again the guitarist should have stuck to what he did best!).Now to the negatives: first impressions weren't great.  We were late arrivals and were left standing on the dock-side in Venice for about 20 minutes until someone eventually "processed" us; fortunately it was a pleasant, dry evening!  We were then left to haul our luggage up the gangway by ourselves (although there were plenty of staff around who could have offered to help).  We were given no assistance in finding our stateroom - simply pointed towards the lifts.  We were very disappointed with our accommodation; threadbare and stained carpet, holes in the curtain linings which let light shine through, very worn and aged soft furnishings.  We had one of the "sweet 16" rooms, and the balcony was a great size - but a total waste of time, since the only furniture we were provided with was 3 "odd" chairs (one obviously from the Aqua Spa Cafe complete with stained cushion) and a small wobbly table which we had to steady with a piece of paper in order to use it!  Such a waste of space - we would have loved to be able to spend more time out there, but it wasn't even practical to eat breakfast or lunch out there without hauling our indoors coffee table out (which was very heavy to move).As the holiday progressed we realised that we had a very bad smell and a wet carpet in our room, coming from the numerous cracked tiles in the shower.  To cut a long story short, we eventually had some of the carpet replaced and part of the shower retiled and grouted (of course this entailed us having to vacate our room for a whole day).  We were offered another room (after the repairs had been done), but since this was only 4 days before the end of our holiday we declined (we really didn't want to have to spend time packing, unpacking and then packing again!).  What really disappointed us (in addition to the appaling condition of the accommodation in general) was that Celebrity made no other kind of "gesture" to us whatsoever.  If we had returned to our room that night to even a plate of canapes or a bottle of wine, we would have been appeased to some extent, but we received not so much as a note.We felt generally that internally the ship was not in great shape, and is in need of a major over-haul in order to bring it up to standard.We were on 2nd sitting dinner in the Dining Room, and although we had requested to be at a table of 8 (we like to meet up with other travellers!), we were put at a table by ourselves; this really wasn't a problem, and although we didn't meet up with people, it also meant we weren't disrupting the table if we chose not to eat there.  We chose not to eat there quite a lot!  The food was without doubt some of the worst we have had on a cruise; the presentation was good, but the food was bland, bland, bland!  The beef in particular was completely tasteless and the desserts weren't much better; we would have liked to have seen some cheese on offer on occasion, but it never was.  The coffee was on some occasions undrinkable.  Our waiter was the "invisible man" and very inattentive (of course until the last few days!), although his assistant was much more friendly and chatted with us regularly.  We ate in the Normandy, which was slightly better (although I'm not convinced it justified the extra $$) and in the "casual dining" in the Waterfall, which was also better that the MDR (and with lovely sea views). The Waterfall buffet was actually very good in the early evening, when you could have sushi, freshly cooked noodles, pasta, salads etc.  However eating in a self-service cafeteria was not what we had intended to be doing on this holiday!Our general feeling (apart from our disappointment on the condition of the ship) was that Celebrity were trying to get extra $$ from you at every turn - from the ridiculously over-charged shuttle buses ($12 a head in Livorno for a 10 minute trip, $20 for the shuttle boat in Venice), to the various things available to entertain you onboard, which invariably carried an extra charge!  One of the biggest wastes of money we felt was the soda card - considering that drinks are available all round the ship all day, and the card can be used for nothing else but concentrated soda, our son certainly didn't get full value from this.  Our experience on other lines has been that soda cards can also be used for fruit juices and for "virgin" cocktails of the day - not so on Celebrity.  They even charged him for a "Shirley Temple" - which is basically just soda from the tap, but with a splash of grenadine added!  I think in summary we would describe our experience of the Celebrity Summit as "disappointing", and probably not one that we will choose to repeat. 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Sail Date July 2009
Departed June 3/09 from Barcelona on 12 day cruise - 9 ports.  Ship was great, stateroom was roomy- enjoyed having the balcony to see the sunrise in the mornings and sunsets in the evening..  Staff was very helpful.  Formal dining room ... Read More
Departed June 3/09 from Barcelona on 12 day cruise - 9 ports.  Ship was great, stateroom was roomy- enjoyed having the balcony to see the sunrise in the mornings and sunsets in the evening..  Staff was very helpful.  Formal dining room staff, food selections were amazing.Highly recommend coming into the city the day before so you can see the city you are departing from.Barcelona - wonderful city did the local double decker bus tour on our own be extremely careful of pickpockets!!  They target visitors as they usually have more cash on them.  Try to carry your wallets inside zippered pockets, or moneybelts.  You have to use common sense. They usually work in teams, and we saw someone get their camera bag stolen. We did a combination of some Celebrity organized cruises and things on our own - this worked out great.  Recommend you go to the local grocery store at each port and buy 1/2 litre, or litre of water each time.  The ship charges too much for water upon departure. First stop was Ville France - took the local bus to Monaco for 1.4 Euro's - the best way to travel - very easy to manage. Took Celebrity shuttle to local Train station and we took the local train to Firenze (Florence) remember the cities will be in their own language, so you won't see "Florence" anywhere on the departure schedules - in Italian its Firenze.  Get off at the 2nd Firenze stop which takes you into the centre of town.  Find the leather market great gifts and prices!! Did 1/2 day organized Celebrity tour in Rome and 1/2 day on our own - this worked out perfectly.  If you're in Rome on Sunday the Pope will appear at 12:00 noon from his window beside the Basilica if you want to see him blessing the crowd. Naples is a dirty industrial city - don't bother walking around the city, but use it as a launch pad to see Sorrento, or go to Pompei. Santorini is outstanding.  You will be tendered on this stop Get water when you land!  Take the cable care to the top for 4 Euro's. If you decide to walk up or down the stairs, the donkeys literally run up both directions and you will be stepping over donkey do and trying to get out of their way.  We took the local bus to Oia (Eeah) - breathtaking - great shopping!    Athens was MUCH cleaner than we expected.  Pollution was bad, but again we were expecting worse. Took local subway into city for 1 Euro  easy to manage - great system!!  Don't start the walk up to the Acropolis without water!!  It was 36C the day we were there and that was early June.  Wear closed in shoes as it's dusty, dry and walkways are uneven.  We saw a lot of people in flipflops that were struggling.  There is a water fountain at the top, but we weren't sure about it, so avoided drinking from it even though we had now drained our water bottles.  There is a concession stand further down the walkway. Dubrovnik, Croatia was beautiful.  There are a number of bank machines to get local currency (Kuna).  The wall entrance gate did accept Euro's.  Walk the wall - it takes about 1.5 hours with stops for pictures. A beautiful overview to the city.  Go the beach afterwards - the water is unbelievable! Venice was beautiful - don't miss the ship coming into the port.  The water taxi's are expensive so just be prepared.  But you have no choice.  We took the local water bus which was good - still expensive.  Went to Murano Island to see the glass  - beautiful if you are interested in this sort of thing.  If you're taking your own taxi from Venice to the airport it will cost you about 100Euro's - you don't have a lot of choice.  We did the gondola ride go during siesta time and negotiate!! Walk away, they will call you back.  Wait for them to say the small and large canal ride - it cost us 80 Euro for 4 people during siesta time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2009
BACKGROUND: My husband and I are in our mid to late 20s, and this is our 6th cruise, the second (kinda) with Celebrity. We tried this same cruise in June 2007 on the Millennium, when we had a disastrous incident with the known bad-actor ... Read More
BACKGROUND: My husband and I are in our mid to late 20s, and this is our 6th cruise, the second (kinda) with Celebrity. We tried this same cruise in June 2007 on the Millennium, when we had a disastrous incident with the known bad-actor pod propulsion system. The cruise was cancelled early, and we were given vouchers for the full value of the cruise. This Nov 2008 trip is the "do-over". Our vouchers from high season bought us a Concierge Class room on midship deck 8. We picked this cruise for the itinerary, not the cruise line. We departed out of the midwest over 2 hrs late because Philadelphia International routinely overbooks their flights. They would not allow us to take off as scheduled because there were no gates available. We missed our connection to Frankfurt, and luckily caught a flight to Munich instead (there goes the luggage). From there we flew directly to Venice, after a 7-hr layover. We told the airline about our (obviously) lost luggage, and they assured us it would arrive to us before we left Venice. We checked into the Carlton and Grand Canal hotel at about 6 pm, walked down the canal to this great pizzeria and got a Prosciutto and mushroom pizza for 10E. The hotel also told us they would keep an eye out for our luggage. They were very patient with my Italian and even switched to English when I got stuck. Something to be aware of in Venice; if you are a light sleeper, bring earplugs. You are never too far away from a church, and they ring their bells every hour. We checked into the ship the next day. Our luggage had not been delivered, and the airline (Lufthansa) said they would deliver it straight to the ship. We grabbed the free shuttle from Piazzale Roma to the ship, and there were a lot of people there to show us where to go. We checked into through the Captain's Club line with no waiting. They confirmed for me that we had been upgraded! (more on the stateroom at the end). Then we went and talked to Sebastian at Guest Relations (awesome) and told him about our luggage. I had seen a tip on CC to take a picture of your luggage in case you lose it, and then you don't have to try and explain what they look like. I gave him the picture and he said it would help his team a lot! After we got comfy in our room, we bought water taxi vouchers through the ship ($20 each) and headed out to the city. We figured that we were so jet lagged we didn't want to worry about someone charging us too much or having to walk back to the ship. They dropped us off just to the North of St Marks Square. We wandered around the Hotel Daniele, St Marks, and then had the best time getting lost in the city. We ended up by the Rialto Bridge and we found the most beautiful masks and bought them right there. Weather was a little chilly, but clear and sunny. We wandered back to the ship for open dinner seating and sat with a wonderful WWII vet and his wife. When we got back to the room, our luggage was there! YAY! VENICE EXCURSION: St Marks, the Doge's Palace and Glass Blowing. A boat picked us up at the pier and dropped us off at the same place as the day prior. Our guide gave us Whisper systems, and she spoke very good English. She took us inside the Doge's Palace, which was surprisingly beautiful and intriguing. The largest room in Europe was the grandest thing I have ever seen- almost better than Versailles. I would've liked to stay in the palace longer. The tour then took us to either a glass-blowing shop or we could peel off and do what we liked. We wanted to see inside the Cathedral, so we went inside. There was Mass going on, so no pictures and we had to be silent. I actually think the outside is prettier than the inside... it's all early Byzantine decorations inside. But the sound of the choir in that church was heavenly. Upstairs we paid 4E each and walked around a museum they have on the top floor. Gives a great view of all of St Marks Square. Great pictures; we saw where Indiana Jones comes up out of the sewers in the Last Crusade! Then we met up with the tour group and headed back to the ship for the sail away. Everyone is right. Sailing out of Venice is fantastic!! Even the Italians paused to see us sail out. And you are higher than everything... the rule was nothing was allowed to be built higher than St Marks Campanile, so we could see ALL of Venice. We sat on our balcony and had cookies and cappuccino that our butler brought us. We will definitely go back. DUBROVNIK: Croatia is beautiful. Never would have expected it. We had breakfast in our suite and then went to our coach. We went to a restaurant/winery in the Konvale Valley (which looked a lot like California) and had wonderful bite-sized snacks and wine. We wanted to stay there all day. Then our coach took us to the Dubrovnik city center. It was very small, clean, and VERY expensive. It really turned us off from the city. My husband wanted a tie, but they were charging 100E!! It soured the day after that. SEA DAY: Very smooth on the way to Athens. Checked out the spa and lost at bingo. ATHENS: Rain, rain, rain. We had brought the umbrellas that were in our stateroom, thank goodness! We met our coach and our guide took us up a very slippery walkway to the top of the Acropolis. She started to give us a very detailed history lesson through our whispers, but hubby and I got bored and wandered off on our own taking pictures. Like Venice, they had a similar building rule in Athens that nothing could be built higher than the Acropolis, so we could see everything. They are working on restoration, and the buildings look wonderful. Stayed up at the top for 30 min, then she took us to a little shop, then back to the coach for a tour around the city center, parliament and the original Olympic stadium. Then we drove 30 min down the coast to the Aegon Hotel for lunch. They fed us a LOT of good food. Cape Sounion was very nice, but windy. I like the story around the ruins, and they are in great shape for being very old. Then a nice drive back to our ship. In hindsight, we would have preferred to stay and check out more of Athens. KUSADASI, DAY 1: Stayed on the ship. Got massages. Checked out a few free movies from Guest Relations to watch in our DVD player in our stateroom. KUSADASI Day 2: No excursion. We just wandered into town. There was a high-volume of sales people, but they weren't too pushy. Not impressed though, and won't be going back. The Queen Victoria docked next to us—that was neat. At this point the Cruise Director came on the loud speaker and said that they were anticipating rough sailing into Naples and we would be wise to take precautions to avoid seasickness. Uh oh. SEA DAY #2- WOW. It started at around 2am and went all day long. We ended up with 15-17ft seas and wind gusts up to 60 knots. Hubby was queasy- I was ok. It was formal night, but I couldn't wear my nice shoes, so I was in a long gown and flip flops! The Captain slowed down to put out the stabilizers so we only felt the rocking in one direction, but it did delay us even further from getting into Naples. So, they decided to cancel the second day in Rome to make sure we got to see Naples. We ended up spending a day and ½ at sea, getting into Naples at 2pm on the 23d. We wandered to the castle off the shore, and to the Theater and big Piazze el Vicctorio Emanuel. Not impressed. Naples is dirty and it was very cold. NAPLES: Got up early for our hydrofoil ride out to Capri. It was raining; the storm we went through on the way up was following us. We took the crazy mini-buses up to Anacapri and we toured the home of Dr. Axel Munthe and his Villa San Michele, which I HIGHLY recommend. It was so beautiful. I also got my Carthusia perfume and a beautiful Chantecler bell. Then we had lunch at La Pigna. If I ever go back to Capri, I will eat here... fabulous food!! Then we went to the Garden of Augustus and wandered around the main square before taking the funicular back down the mountain to catch our hydrofoil back. The waves were bumpy by then... it got pretty sporty by the end. Back on the ship, we heard that the Naples harbormaster had closed the port due to high winds. We were supposed to sail at 7pm; we ended up staying in port until 12 midnight. ROME: Got into Rome about 2 hours late and it was cloudy and rainy again. We planned to spend the whole day in the Vatican. We took our coach into Rome and were dropped off in the Vatican's parking structure. There was no line to get into the Vatican Museum at about 12:30, and we walked right in. Tickets were about 12E each. There were times when my husband and I were the only ones in a particular wing of the museum. It was very special. We spent approximately 4 hours in the museum, and then walked through the Sistine Chapel. Always a thrill, I just wish we could take pictures. Then we took the walkway to St Peters' Basilica. It was so empty, we were really able to savor and enjoy the church. I would love to visit again. From there, we walked down the street for some tiramisu and cappuccinos. Because we got into port late, it had delayed most people's shore excursions significantly, so the ship had an open seating casual dinner. I, for one, really appreciated not having to shower and change to be allowed to eat in the main dining room. We were so exhausted. FLORENCE: By now, the temperature had really dropped. It never got above 45 degrees and we had a 30mph "breeze" most of the day. Very uncomfortable. Nice guide out of Livorno. We stopped at a leather factory- very disappointing. I would prefer they not make this stop. They dropped us off in Florence at Santa Croce Square. We walked to the Uffizi Gallery in 10 minutes and there was no line to get in. Tickets were 10E each. The set-up is interesting they funnel you upstairs to the main gallery and then downstairs. It is all renaissance art from the 14-16th Centuries. I saw firsthand the Caravaggio, Branzione and Botticelli masterworks I saw in school books. The Botticelli's were especially wonderful. You could tell which paintings were his because they were just better than the one next to it. I went through the small gallery in about 2 hours- my husband was VERY bored. No pictures were allowed... what's the deal Florence? Then we walked out to the Ponte Vecchio and I looked at very expensive jewelry. We walked to the Pitti Palace, but did not go in. Then we walked to the Baptistery at the Santa Fiore Church (Duomo). We had lunch at a place called the Black Bar, just to the North of the Baptistery. Hot food, free bathroom and a respite from the wind, plus we only spent 17E on lunch for both of us. Walked through the church and saw how big and beautiful it is. Really, the inside is as pretty as the famous outside. We didn't go upstairs. Then we walked back to Santa Croce Square and the Gold Corner with some cappuccinos. After a quick birds-eye view of Florence from Piazza Michelangelo, we headed back to Livorno. VILLEFRANCHE: We were very tired. At this point we were tired of traveling. ? We took a tender to the shore, then a bus to the center of Nice. It was very pretty and we saw a guy walking a cat on the beach... no lie. Wandered around for an hour or two, and then got back on the bus to go up to Monaco via the Middle Corniche. They dropped us in the Rock parking structure and we walked to the one thing we wanted to see—the Oceanographic Museum. Tickets were about 8E each. It was small, but wonderful. The full-scale model of the humpback whale and the bones of the sperm whale in the confines of one floor were awesome in addition to the live fish. We also saw a lobster as big as a German shepherd! And the building itself is a treasure. You can see all of Monaco from the top! Then we walked through the Exotic Garden to the actual palace grounds and had lunch at a lovely little cafe. Our last stop was to walk through the Cathedral where all the past royalty of Monaco are buried. Very beautiful little chapel. Then the bus took us back to the ship. SEA DAY #3: We just couldn't get a break. We had 12-14 foot seas and 45 knot winds. The Captain altered course to try and avoid the weather, but we didn't see clear skies until around 3pm. It really got to me by this time, because I was showing the first signs of a cold as well. We took it easy and tried to get all our packing done and settle our onboard account. Last formal night—we took pictures with our table mates... best table we've ever had! BARCELONA/DISEMBARKATION: Arrived in Barcelona on time, in the rain. We had the option to wait for our number to be called in the Suite guest lounge or the regular lounge, and we opted for the regular one. We barely sat down and we were called. It was about 0830. We disembarked and said farewell to the ship. The Barcelona Pier has an airport-like conveyer belt system in their terminal. Wonderful! All you had to do it wait for your bag to float past and pick it up. No searching or hunting. We got in the taxi line and they took us to our hotel, Gran Havana, for about 25E. We got there and found out our room was ready (meaning the hotel was nowhere near capacity). We checked in, took a break and then headed out to the city. We wanted to see the Sagrada de Familia once more and it did not disappoint (entrance was about 8E each). It was so wonderful-even in the rain. We spent about 2 hours in the church and the museum, and then walked back to the hotel, which is a short 15 min walk from the church. We took a break, using the provided hot pot and tea they had provided. By now I had a cold 100% and was glad for the break from the weather. Then we walked to Las Ramblas and followed it all the way to La Boqueria. THAT is an experience! La Boqueria is a giant open-air market. The crab and lobster were still alive on the ice! It was a very fragrant but wonderful experience. We had originally planned to go to the Barcelona Aquarium, but we were so tired, we headed back to the Hotel. At the top of Las Ramblas is a big square, and at the south end of the square is the Hard Rock Cafe, Barcelona. We went there and had a hearty dinner. From there we crashed at the hotel- ready for the journey home the next morning at 5 am. FLIGHTS: Flights home were uneventful, except that airports in Spain are not allowed to sell medicine, so I had to fly overseas with a sinus infection, which turned out to be pretty painful. Medicate before you fly! No luggage lost. Thank you US Air! SHIP: Condition of the ship was nice, clean and tidy. There was only one instance of an elevator not working and it was for less than a day. It was usually too cold in every compartment of the ship. I had to buy a sweatshirt to say warm. STATEROOM: We had been moved across the hall on deck 8 to a Sky Suite! So exciting for a 14-day cruise. Then we checked out our suite... wow . I've rarely been in a suite on land, so this was fabulous. I had room to do yoga in the morning, a very large closet and an actual bathtub and a wonderful showerhead. We also had toiletries and lots of pillows. Our butler was fantastic and even fixed my hubby's sunglasses when they broke. We opted for the cheese and crackers instead of canapEs (they were nasty). The cabin steward was ok. Always said hi to my hubby, never to me, and he always moved my things. We did notice mold in our bathroom, which makes me wonder why I didn't get sick sooner. We also had the bedside phone that did not work, and one of our closet doors opened on its own, spilling light on us at 2 am. Minor irritations if we were at home, but we paid a lot of money for this room- everything should work. That, and I turned the thermostat ALL the way up, and it was still never warm enough for us. SPA: Tried many different things with mixed results. The regular Swedish and hot stone massages were wonderful with a mild sales pitch at the end. I had a skin consultation with a very nice lady named Jamie. My husband used the Persian Garden as a place to relax, but said it was nothing special. I got my hair done for one formal night and was not pleased. She didn't listen to me when I told her my hair would not curl with hot rollers, but did it anyway. Plus, she was helping another client while I was under the drier watching time tick away until I had 15 minutes to change and get ready for dinner! And wouldn't you know it, as soon as I hit the breezy outside, no curl. I wasted my $40. The gym was good, but usually packed when we all got back from our excursions. Plus, there is nowhere to do pushups/sit ups except a hardwood floor in front of everyone. I also got a Coconut milk bath treatment... don't do it! The "light" exfoliation tore at my skin and I felt like I had a sunburn for the next week. It was very painful. Because I got the treatment the day before disembarkation, I never gave them the feedback... so I'm telling you! I spent a fair amount of time in the spa... stick with the gym and massages. FOOD: The food in the main dining room was generally ok. Our waiter was wonderful about telling us what was "good" or "bad" on the menu. Chilled soups and most meat dishes were spot on. Generally happy with the quality of the food, but it wasn't worth the silverware they used on us nightly! The assistant Maitre D and our main server Vedran were fabulous. Everybody else was ok. We ate at the specialty restaurant, the Olympic, once and it was TOP NOTCH. Well worth the cover charge. Wish I had skipped the cheese course, because it gave me crazy dreams! I loved the restaurant and wished we had gotten to eat there a second time. Pizza was always nice, and the Waterfall cafe was consistent. Nothing special, but consistently good food. I liked the popcorn in the movie theater. OVERALL: I enjoyed the itinerary. I enjoyed the company of now-friends. But I do not think we will sail with Celebrity again. There is another company that we sail with that has given us a truly wonderful and unique experience and Celebrity couldn't match that experience. Florence, Monaco and Venice did, but not Celebrity. To be fair, this cruise was well handled, with lots of communication from the staff and crew and working hard to make us happy. But we felt very out of place demographically. We are a little young for Celebrity's target audience. That, coupled with the very bad experience from last years' cruise, we were just glad to have it concluded successfully. We shouldn't be ready to leave the ship... we should be crying to want to stay...but Celebrity is a brand, and it did not draw us in emotionally. For that major reason, we bid adieu to Celebrity and the Summit. Read Less
Sail Date November 2008
This was our first cruise and as yet we havent decided if we would do it again! If we did venture onto the seas it would be with another cruise line. We arrived at the Summit in Barcelona, we had arranged our own flights from Manchester as ... Read More
This was our first cruise and as yet we havent decided if we would do it again! If we did venture onto the seas it would be with another cruise line. We arrived at the Summit in Barcelona, we had arranged our own flights from Manchester as the Celebrity option was more expensive and went via Frankfurt!!! and also our own taxi to the port - saving us a fortune. We were met with a long queue to check in - again I was glad I had done it all online and so we had a quick trip onto the boat where we learnt we could not get into our cabin for another 3 hours!We sat beside the pool and have to say we were very dissappointed with the first impressions.The pool area was crowded and a bit shabby. When we got into our stateroom ( concierge class with balcony)we were again dissappointed as the room was shabby and the carpet was worn.The curtains had holes in the lining and the net curtain was torn.There was a stain and a small hole in the bedspread too.On the very small balcony were 2 chairs and a lot of rust!! It was also a tight squeeze when our son's bed was out and it was impossible to get onto the balcony if he was in bed.Our room steward was Peter, who was very good and solved any issue straight away but the room was not good!! The public area's are better on the whole and in particular the martini/champagne bar was nice. Breakfast was in the waterfall cafe and although it was ok it was a bit of a scrum and we had difficulty finding a chair on a couple of occassions so we opted for breakfast in our room which was ok but the order was never right! As said before the pool area could do with some improvement and was overun with spanish teenagers the whole time who were really noisy and rude.   Dinner in the main restaraunt was good overall although on some nights we were struggling for choice.Our waiter was excellent though and made it a good dining experience overall. Our wine waiter was also very good and attentive throughout.We didnt dine in the waterfall cafe at night as we dont like to do this on holiday( and it was $2 extra!!) - we were looking for a bit of luxury. The soda package is a rip off as it doesnt include water!!!!!! The wine was expensive too and we felt we were being ripped off the whole time - this included the trips we booked and any photo's we bought.Overall we felt Celebrity were trying to get as much money out of us as possible at every opportunity. Turning to the trips, we took 4 by celebrity, Rome on your own ( you got a coach there and back) which did give us some useful tips on how to beat the queue's, Pompeii which was really good due to the great guide and Athens which was dire, again due to the guide and Pisa which was really good although expensive. Disembarkation was slick and well organised. When we docked in Santorini - we gave up and spent the day on the boat as the queue for the cable car was huge and didnt seem to be reducing - due to the number of cruises in that day.Dubrovnik was fab and we will go back there again as was Venice.We took the summit tranfer which at $20 was very expensive but it was the last day and we were too tired to care! The destinations were definitely the high point of ths holiday. The entertainment was poor - the shows in the theatre were on at weird times so we werent able to catch many ( the last dinner sitting was changed to 9pm which was too late especially with children and the earlier one to 6.30 which is much too early in my view) The dancers were ok and the 'orchestra' were out of tune the whole time.The band around the pool were absolutely rubbish, they couldnt sing and were much too loud - very intrusive as was the music in 'Rendevous'it was like they were playing a stadium!!! Our son ( aged 9 ) was hoping to make some new friends but the kids programme was really poor and the kids club was taken over by sulky american teenagers - it was like 'so raven' i n real life.The club seemed poorly supported and the facilities for children were really poor, old and tired. Overall we had a nice time as we kept ourselves to ourselves and the service of the staff was excellent but Celebrity really need to upgrade the ship and the value for money.The staff also seemed very stressed to get a 'excellent' recommendation on the customer comment cards and we got the impression they would get in trouble if they didnt get it. Would we cruise again?? maybe.With Celebrity - probably not. Read Less
Sail Date January 2008
Celebrity Summit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.7
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.1

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