48 Celebrity Summit Hawaii Cruise Reviews

Sorry I took so long to post, but I figured better late than never... In June / July of 2007 I took a trip to Alaska on the Celebrity Summit (Southbound from Seward). It was an amazing trip and I was very much impressed with the ship: so ... Read More
Sorry I took so long to post, but I figured better late than never... In June / July of 2007 I took a trip to Alaska on the Celebrity Summit (Southbound from Seward). It was an amazing trip and I was very much impressed with the ship: so much so that I booked another trip on the Summit to Hawaii from LA. This time there were a lot more sea days, but I knew it was a great ship, so I wasn't worried. My parents, my grandparents, myself and my husband went on the trip, so I'm going to include observations from all in my review. I'll start with the ship review / getting on from LA and then get into what I did at each stop. Kona, Hilo, Maui, Oahu, and Escondido will all be included. Flight was non-eventful. We flew in the day before our trip (December 20th). We rented a car through Hertz @ LAX, drove to our hotel (Manhattan Beach Marriott), stayed the night, and then got up early the next morning. DM and DH both forgot things so we stopped quickly at a mall & got the forgotten items. Then we went to breakfast at Uncle Bill's in Redondo Beach. DF talked to some of the locals while we were in the mall and they suggested we go there. At 10am there was about a 20 minute wait, so DH and I walked down to the beach (not far, just all downhill which made coming back a bit of a workout). Then the 4 of us took the car over to the Hollywood sign. DH had never seen it, so we figured he should see Griffith Park. I'm SO glad we decided to do this. I've heard that the best time to do this is right after a huge rain storm and it was pouring the few days before we arrived. We had PERFECT weather. Albeit, a little cold, but it was so clear we could see everything. If you are renting a car in LA, I HIGHLY recommend the navigation upgrade. If we didn't have that, I wouldn't know where we were at all. After we finished with Griffith Park / Hollywood Sign, we started back towards an off airport Hertz location to return the car. (Quite close to the pier) Embarkation: When we arrived at the pier it was a mad house. MUCH more so than Alaska. My grandparents arrived about 15 minutes before us and since my grandma's in a wheelchair; they were whisked away and got on board in about 15 minutes tops. By the time we got there and got on line, my grandfather was in his room and they went to get lunch. After about 45 minutes of waiting on line outside we got into the building. Right before we did though there was SUCH a cute owl we saw napping in the planks above. (had to add that because it brightened my mood on line) Then it was another hour until we got to the front of the line and got our cards to board. Then they gave us a boarding number. By the time they called our number another 30 minutes went by and what we were unaware of is that there was another line after your number called to then get on the ship. That line was another 45 minutes. There was a very nice gentleman in charge of the situation talking to us (wish I could remember his name). He explained that they were only allowed 1 gangplank and that was what the hold up was for. I felt bad for him because so many people felt the need to yell at him for something that wasn't Celebrity's or his fault. The pier really needs to make another gangplank available for ease of checking in. Lesson: If you are leaving out of LA, make sure you don't arrive at the busy times. We wanted to see things before hand, so we got there at prime time which was a mistake. On Board Finally: *sigh* Thank goodness we finally got on board. DH & DF headed straight for the buffet. Even though we were starving, we got a special for the spa for a raffle drawing while we were on-line, so DM and I headed there. Sadly, by the time they got there the raffle was over. I suggested they not hand those specials out for those who wouldn't be able to make the drawing on time and headed to the spa with DM (we were all starving at this point). Great service at the buffet, same as I remembered! After we skarfed down some food, DM and I headed for the Normandie to make reservations for one of the days we were there. DH & DF went to check out the rooms. The ship was as gorgeous as I remembered. DM & I were on our way down to the Normandie, but we saw on the side of the buffet, they had a station setting up reservations. What a great idea! So, we did it right there and then headed back to the spa for one of their spa tours. I was excited to see if the Rasul treatment was open this time. It was and I made 1 appointment for a massage for me, 1 for DH, and the Rasul on a different day for the both of us! (super excitement!) Okay, to the room. This time I didn't have an aft, but the room was still nice. I have to say that my best experience and something that will stay with me forever was our room Steward. His name is Santana and he was AMAZING!!!!!!!! He went OUT of his way to help us whenever and I swear he had GPS on me because every time I went back to the room, he was there to open my door! I hope someone from the cruise line is reading this part because they need to give Santana MAJOR credit for how amazing he is. Something my grandma wants to add: Santana went so far out of his way for us it isn't even funny. We (my grandparents) like to keep the door open to the bathroom at night for a little bit of light. But, they were having issues with the door bouncing open and slamming closed during the night. So, Santana made something to put under the door so it wouldn't slam at night. Really, if that isn't going above and beyond, I don't know what is! The rest of the staff was very friendly and courteous and they also treated us like Celebrities. In particular, I also really liked our wine sommelier, Maggie. She was great! You can still get over-the-counter seasickness meds at customer service or the purser's desk. Free, dispensed a couple of tablets at a time. The sailing from LA to Hawaii was one of the roughest and the crew even said it hadn't been that rough in a long time. PLEASE take precautions. Also, if you see that they are doing a Internet class, you an get free internet for 30 minutes (you just have to sit though the class). I didn't see that happen during this cruise though. Since it's so expensive, this would be worth it. I was depressed I missed the culinary demonstration (was busy with something else DH wanted to do). Again, I say to make sure to go to this. Art Auctions: I go to these each cruise. My first reason is because I like looking at the pieces of art and my next reason is because I am a collector. The last cruise to Alaska I ended up buying 8 pieces. Eik, right! I liked that auctioneer and he was very helpful to me and not pushy. This cruise I did not like the auctioneer and helpers. I found them pushy and rude. Also, because I am younger I felt they did not take me seriously at all. I'm on vacation, so I didn't feel the need to wear a suit to the auction and I felt talked down to. I even ended up not attending the last auction (a first for me). Cova: This time I went to the cova and people watched. It was great! Had coffee (which you pay for), but the pastries are free and yummy! The 6 of us even played some monopoly. (they have boards free for use in the main areas there) Spa Treatments: I had the Ocean Wrap (nice seaweed wrap). It was a nice seaweed wrap (which they let you try on the spa tour). Then afterwards while you relax (basically in a waterbed) while wrapped you get a massage on your hands and feet. Then you shower everything off and get a full body massage. It was very nice and I would do it again. Just so everyone's aware: spa services have the gratuity built in already, but you can add more. DH had a massage and loved it too. Rasul: That's a whole story. First let me explain what it is. You're in an outer area which is free of steam / water and you apply a seaweed wrap. (very nice) Then you go & sit in the steam area which looks like a Turkish bath type of place. After a while it gets pretty hot in there. I enjoyed the hot, but DH didn't enjoy it and just wanted to get out of there. I guess he felt a little claustrophobic. Here's where the fun comes in.....as I'm still enjoying my time in the steam I hear him yelling, so I walked out. We were locked in there! Also, it's a bit far away from everything else, so he was trying to get someone's attention to help get us out. DH is a pretty strong guy and after playing with the lock, he did get the door open. I got dressed quickly and got out of there as well. (I didn't want to be stuck!) We went to the front desk, explained, and one of the ladies went with DH to see the problem. He showed her and they came back. They didn't charge us for the Rasul (I'm glad because we weren't in there long) and that was that. I'm sure they fixed that lock right after we left, but make sure the lock works before you get stuck too! Normandie: The food and experience were spectacular and gourmet, while the people were friendly, pleasant, and we were treated like royalty. A couple of highlights—the Caesar salad is made table-side. DF ordered the steak diane (again—same thing last cruise) which was again made tableside. He couldn't stop raving about this either. I had the Goat Cheese appetizer (again). It was still amazing. For those who are weary on ordering this as I was the first time, please try it. YUM! This time I knew they were bringing a cheese cart after dinner, but I still wasn't prepared. My stomach just doesn't expand like that! Dinner was $30 per person + a 15% tip. We tipped more. Tons of people were waiting on us the entire time. Even though I know this is part of going to this restaurant, we had a great time here. Wine Tastings: I went to 3 events on the ship. The Riedel Glasses Tasting, Wine & Food Pairing, and the Different Regions Wine Tasting. Wine & Food Pairing: I did this last time and I focused on different things, so it was still great! Again, different than Princess though. When I was on Princess, once you were done with your glass, you were done. But, Celebrity is different. When you finish one glass, they will refill it so you can get the most out of the talk. I thought this was very interesting so I started drinking what I wanted to so I could fully experience what was going on. If you ask me, $9.95 for 4 bottomless glasses of wine is a GREAT deal. I drank more than 4 glasses. It was entertaining, interesting, and I learned a lot. I highly recommend going. Regional Wine Tasting: GREAT! I got to try lots of wines I hadn't tried before from different regions. I enjoyed it immensely. Big tip here. PLEEEEEASE come after you eat something. They serve a few things here, but not lunch. You need something in your stomach to counteract all the alcohol you are going to drink! Trust me there! Riedel Glasses Tasting: By far, my favorite event. Before going on this cruise I had never heard of Riedel. It was an experience. They had 4 different Riedel glasses and 1 "joker" glass which I've seen at my restaurants. We drank wine out of glasses they weren't supposed to be in. Ie: Chardonnay out of a Bordeaux glass. Then we transferred them to the joker (the worst of all) and then into their rightful glass. The changes were astounding. I STILL cannot believe the differences and how much better wine tastes in the right glass!!!!!!! I know it's an expensive event, but it comes with the 4 Riedel glasses. Attend if you're a wine lover! Ports: Kona: Here we decided to book a rental car through Thrifty. My main motivation for this was that the rental car area was a walk from the pier and we didn't have to drive anywhere to get here. It was easy to pick up the car and right after we drove up to Hapuna Beach. It was beautiful there and our first experience with Hawaii. We got some chairs, sat, and went into the water for a bit. There were a TON of people there, but we still got a spot and enjoyed ourselves. It was nice and I wish we could have stayed there longer. We decided to leave and go to Greenwell farms to do a coffee tasting. This wasn't as organized as I thought at all. It is a short 10 minute tour of the equipment and then you taste coffees that have been sitting out (in a stay warm container). The coffee tasting was the best part and it was good coffee. We ordered some to ship back. I also wanted to go to the seahorse farm, but we didn't have time to stop this time. So, we headed back to the ship. All in all, it was a great beach, but a little far and a lot of traffic for a 1-day visit. Hilo: We were here from 8-6. Our itinerary was volcano national park and then I wanted to stop and get macadamia nuts. The day before I signed onto the computer and checked the NPS website to see about volcano activity. (http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/lava2.htm) All was fine, so our day went on as scheduled. DH, DM, and I (DF decided he wasn't going to come) got off the ship as soon as we were able and got on the Hertz bus that was waiting for us. (we were the first ones there) We left the airport at 8:30 and arrived at VNP around 9:15. I printed out the guide on what to do, but we stopped at the visitors center first. Since people were arriving, we skipped the movie and went straight across the street to Volcano House to see the view out the back. It was amazing. (a tip I got from the board) Please make sure you see that when you are there. Then we got into the car and started on the way. Sadly, it started raining a little and I was glad at this point I brought my waterproof jacket. Since we were ahead of all the groups, we had most of the stops to ourselves. We also brought coolers with us so we had snacks along the way. Some of our stops included Steaming Bluff & Sulphur Bank: Whew—it stunk a little bit here, but the steam vents were really cool to see. Southwest Rift Zone, Halemaumau Crater Overlook (VERY cool), Keanakakoi Crater Overlook, Puu Puai Overlook, Thurston Lava Tube. This was great. DM went and saw the main part, but DH and I took our flashlight and went into the creepy part. It was AMAZING. We couldn't see at all. While scary, it was really fun. Then we drove back around to the main area and out. On the way back we stopped at the Macadamia plantation and bought some things. We even shipped some directly back. YUM! Then back to the ship. All in all, a fun day. Wish it wasn't raining, but it was very cool to see. A day later DM realized she lost something (wallet like thing containing money). She was upset, but didn't let it ruin the trip. When we got home Hertz had sent me a letter noting we left something in the car and to call them. DM had to describe it and it was shipped back to her by Hertz. No questions asked and they even paid for shipping! She was so relieved and I have to say that was very professional and a great Hertz experience. Maui: This was our relaxing island. During the day, we decided to take a shuttle to the Whaler's Village and then stay at Kaanapali Beach. We sat there for about 4 hours. It was beautiful. On the way back to the pier we took a cab to the Japanese Jodo Mission, took pictures for a few, and then took the cab back to the pier to get ready. We had pre-booked a luau called the Feast at Lele. We walked there from the ship. It was gorgeous. Upon arrival we got a lei and a table. Then we sat back and watched the show. The way they handle it is that for each portion of the show, they give you something to represent that region. Some of the food was odd, but it was a great experience. That night was Friday night and Lahaina (where we were docked) hosts an Art Night from 7-10pm. DH and walked through a bunch of them and if nothing else, it was interesting. Very festive. We got back to the ship as soon as we could after that because we had a Bike Trip down Haleakala the next morning. At 1:30 we were out of our rooms and down by the tender. We were nervous about not catching a tender and having to wait more than ½ hour. We actually just ended up catching one, so we were outside the tenders on land at 1:45. Since we had until about 2:45 our pick up time for someone to pick us up, we decided to sit on a curb a little further up in some kind of light because it was a bit dark where we were. We were chased away by cops who told us not to loiter... Then DH decided he had to use the facilities, so we hunted around for a while for one and finally found a public one. At 3am another couple joined the wait (made me wonder what time they had). At 3:30 the van finally showed up. They apologized for the delay and said another couple never showed up at their first pick up. We got into the van and rode to the base. On the way up the mountain DH & I slept on each other. Finally we got to the top and were told we had about 45 minutes until the sun would rise. So, we stayed in the van because it was cold! Outside! Just to give you an idea of our attire: I was wearing a tank top, long sleeves over that, my Columbia lined jacket with fleece liner on top of that. On the bottom I was wearing my super warm pants. Then sneakers, my ear liners, a hat, & my gloves. When it got closer to sunrise DH & I got out of the van to get closer to view the sunrise without buildings / other things blocking the way. It was freezing and rainy. Colder than parts of Alaska! Unfortunately, here's my regret. We saw NOTHING. The people meeting us outside the national park with the bikes further down said they saw an amazing sunrise, but we were stuck in the cloud. It's a shame because the point of the trip for me was to see the sunrise and it never happened. *sigh* Moving onto the bike ride. We took the bus out of the park to where a van with bikes was waiting. We loaded up on gear and formed a line of lightest to heaviest. (per the guides) They instructed us on safety and then started us down. It was amazing. I hadn't bike rode in a while and there was a stretch of about 200 yards which was hard for me. But, otherwise I pushed through and made it from the top to the beach. To look back and see where we came from was just amazing and breathtaking. I would do it again, even without the sunrise. The guides were professional and I can't say enough great things. (I used mountain riders) Oahu: We were here from 7am - 2pm. This was the only stop my grandparents agreed to get off the ship at. So, I decided to hire a limousine to take us around so they wouldn't have to worry about climbing on a bus and the 6 of us could just be together. After a lot of searching on the boards, I found abc limo. They were great. Before I came, they set up everything with me and gave me a cell number to call when we got off the ship because they couldn't park there long. DH & I wanted to go to Pearl Harbor, but the rest of the group already went. So, we got off the ship as early as possible, got in the limo and he took us there. There was a HUGE wait. It was nuts. But, DH wanted to do it, so I stayed with the plan. In the meantime Marvin from ABC went and picked up my grandparents and parents. He gave them a tour and by the time they were done, he picked us up. He took us to the most beautiful places. My favorite was Hanauma Bay. It was gorgeous. (He also took us to a fast-food type place for lunch the locals go too—that was great too!) VERY professional and I HIGHLY recommend you use ABC. Since this was our last stop in Hawaii, I wanted a pretty lei before I got back on the ship. We were told to go to China town, but it was too late. One of the locals said to try to grocery store, so DH & I walked there. It's about 3 blocks from where we were docked. I got a gorgeous lei there for $10. Escondido: My least favorite. I guess they to stop here just to include an international stop. I wish they didn't, but nothing we can do. In retrospect, I wouldn't have even gotten off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2007
This past holiday season my wife and I decided to combine our 40th anniversary, a desire to finally make it to Hawaii and a chance to celebrate Christmas and New Years on the high seas... We have traveled on Celebrity transatlantic and ... Read More
This past holiday season my wife and I decided to combine our 40th anniversary, a desire to finally make it to Hawaii and a chance to celebrate Christmas and New Years on the high seas... We have traveled on Celebrity transatlantic and through the Panama Canal, and it truly was our only choice of a line, after having tasted Holland America and Carnival on other occasions. My son had traveled on one of Celebrity's sister ships to the Summit, and for the last two years extolled the virtues of having booked a Concierge Class room, with the additional service and amenities. We had always booked a balcony room, but this time we were convinced to go all out and book into Concierge Class (CC). .. for which we paid a premium. It ran us nearly $8k for the two of us, without shore excursions. Boarding at LA was a pain... We were told we had priority boarding with CC, and to show up no sooner than 1 PM to board for a 5:00 sailing. We got their about `12:30 and found many lines and much confusion. When I asked about priority, I was told to just get in the line!.. I am on a cane, and standing isn't my strong point, but we managed to get through and then were told to go sit on a bench with the rest of the hundreds. I again asked about priority boarding and was greeted with.. " That was at 11:00 this morning... sit down and wait until your number is called. I asked about my handicap and was asked if I needed a wheelchair. I said no, and was told to have a seat... only there were no available seats. I found a sign marked elevator in the back of the room, and my wife and I worked our way there and up the elevator, where we found a line, about 100yds long leading up to the gangplank! We got up to the ship in about 50 minutes time. It was LA, but windy and cool. Once onboard we were handed a quick champagne and sent to our rooms. Even on the infinity we were offered to be escorted. The whole front lobby was crowded and looked fairly disorganized, We finally made it to the room and found our rooms to be the same size as the balcony rooms we had on the other 2 ships. They were up under the Pool deck so the noise was fairly heavy at all hours, and the overhang of the above deck sheltered the skyline and set us in shade for most of the trip. The cabin staff was great as always on Celebrity... But, the only amenities that Concierge brought us were some stale snacks at 5 (6 each day!) and a bottle of cheap champagne on the first day. There were a lot of kids on this trip, but that is to be expected on all vacation cruises. They over ran the Spa's thermospa pool however and we didn't get a chance to use it. Food at the special restaurant was first class as was the service, I wish I could say the same for the dining room, however. The food was not well prepared, though it looked great, but the service was just fine. Spa Food for lunch was the best! This was the best entertainment we'd seen on a ship, but the shops were full of a lot of touristy junk, unlike the other cruises on Celebrity. The worst part of the cruise was shuttling to shore on the launches. It was totally disorganized and PRIORITY tickets left on our bed in the Evening before were worthless. We waited 3 hours to get into port, one time. Another was 1 ½ hrs. The itinerary was everything we expected and more. I rate this a 3, Could have enjoyed it more by flying out there. And spending the extra $ of great dining Read Less
Sail Date December 2007
Flights booked direct with Virgin Atlantic to from London(LHR)to LAX Premium Economy excellent flights,brilliant service,although the inflight breakfast was of poor quality and I should know I am a frequent flyer. Stayed overnight at the ... Read More
Flights booked direct with Virgin Atlantic to from London(LHR)to LAX Premium Economy excellent flights,brilliant service,although the inflight breakfast was of poor quality and I should know I am a frequent flyer. Stayed overnight at the 3* Marriott Airport Hotel LA and again this proved to be an excellent choice.The following day we picked up a luxury rental car from Dollar just off the airport and had a choice of 30 automatic cars to choose including Lincoln Town car and Chrysler 300. My wife liked the Silver one,so Silver Chrysler 300 was selected and it was fine.I drove down to San Diego the scenic route and there was evidence of the scorched earth and smoke in the air due to the forest fires that had occurred at the time of our trip especially when we approached San Diego on the 25/10/07. Stayed overnight here at the Crown Plaza on Circle North and that was also a good 4* hotel but not in the best location for the port of San Diego. Joined the Celebrity Ship "Summit" at San Diego dock at 2pm. Check In was slightly delayed by security although we were met by one of the ship's Butler's offered a glass of Brut or Orange juice and shown to our Sky-suite on the penthousedeck 6. The baggage arrived a couple of hours later and we settled in and familiarized ourselves with our surroundings. The safety drill was mandatory but its implementation was poorly executed. The Sky Suite was small and really a balcony cabin with twin beds and a two seater sofa, analogue television that needed a thump to make it work.The suite had a bath and shower. It was serviced well by the butler and other staff. I did try to book a Royal Suite but this was a late booking. The Sky Suite on the Penthouse deck was the only suite choice available,so we took it at a value for money price. We spent 8 days at sea going to and from San Diego to Hawaii, this ship needs urgent refurbishment. It is showing signs of wear and tear. It has noisy engines which vibrate particularly in the Public restaurant areas.I would not recommend this ship to passengers prone to sea-sickness as it rock and rolls too much when travelling at 21 knots, the sea was not rough.The Spa area was superb as was the sauna which I used frequently.The weather was disappointing as was the amateurish entertainment on board. The food was of a good standard although the Buffet area was often overcrowded, especially after shore trips. The tender operation had technical difficulties and Priority disembarkation was non-existent. Branded soft drinks were not free and a charge was made for a glass of pure orange juice, latte/cappuccino etc.The hard sell was in evidence from the waiting staff. Celebrity Penny-Pinching Practices were also evident.The quality of the merchandise sold in the ship's shops is best described as what I term "TAT" low quality merchandise bearing the Celebrity motif. The library was small with a poor selection of books. The islands of Hawaii were attractive, Honolulu was very busy although the trip to the Pearl Harbor Memorial was a very moving experience and well worth a visit. Whalers Village at Maui was probably the pick of the island beaches that we saw over the 4 islands visited. We completed our holiday with a couple of days in a suite at the Marriott Desert Springs Resort Palm Springs and this hotel was stunning with again high quality food good service.Wished we stayed here longer but demands of business prevented this. In summary Celebrity Cruises advertises itself as a Premium Cruise operator and I think that is not an unfair claim.The crew on board the ship were courteous and helpful and the food was of good quality. Our table companions at dinner were great fun and it was a pleasure to be part of their holiday. Terry Bartlett Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
This will be a short review. This was our third cruise, and second on Celebrity in the Concierge Class. We are in our late 50's.I am going to focus on the pluses and minuses. PLUS (1) Celebrity service, other than what will ... Read More
This will be a short review. This was our third cruise, and second on Celebrity in the Concierge Class. We are in our late 50's.I am going to focus on the pluses and minuses. PLUS (1) Celebrity service, other than what will follow, was outstanding. This is consistent with their reputation. This is true for the stateroom attendants, to the dining service, and all of the other areas of the ship. A special thanks to the Concierge Desk who was very responsive to our requests. (2) As was the case with our first Celebrity cruise, the food was exceptional. We thought that the various buffet meals were actually improved over the previous cruise. (3) The daily change of the linens in this class is a real luxury. (4) Contrary to some criticism from other cruisers, I found the Summit to be in very good condition, including our balcony. (5) We still prefer pre-determined seating arrangements. This allows a group to get to know each other very well. We had a hoot. We also like 'formal evenings'. (6) Finally, we thought the entertainment was second to none. On this type of cruise (8 sea days), this is a welcomed bonus. MINUS (1) We had to tender in two ports. This was an unmitigated disaster. There were ridiculous delays in both ports. In Lahaina, we actually witnessed heated disputes between ship personnel and port employees who were operating the tenders. On one occasion, the tender actually rammed the ship on its return from the port. On another trip, the tender almost ripped off the access ramp to the ship. This was very dangerous for the tender passengers and the ship personnel overseeing the embarkation. With these larger ships having to tender more often in these small ports, the cruise lines have got to get this right!!!! (2)We noticed there there were numerous malfunctioning drink dispensers for coffee, tea, water and juices. One service area was actually out of service for most of the cruise. This is not very pleasant on these large ships. (3) The Normandie Restaurant provides exceptional service, but the food is not much better than in the main dining room. One suggestion is to go to this restaurant in a group. With the right people, this can be very enjoyable. (4) Smoking !!!!!!! Still in too many areas of the ship. (5) Finally, disembarkation was not very efficient. We had very tight air connections and asked to be off the ship as early as possible. In Concierge Class, there is a priority disembarkation privilege. This did not happen in our case. We just got off as we pleased and others did not follow the color procedures. GENERAL All in all, we greatly enjoyed the cruise and would recommend Celebrity anytime. I just hope they do not change to 'open seating' because for some of the market, the preference is for set seating arrangements. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
Day 1: We were supposed to leave the house by 10:30 to drive to Chicago. But, I really procrastinated and didn't even start packing until 1:30pm. It's really bad to not plan your wardrobe ahead of time. Because you bring too much ... Read More
Day 1: We were supposed to leave the house by 10:30 to drive to Chicago. But, I really procrastinated and didn't even start packing until 1:30pm. It's really bad to not plan your wardrobe ahead of time. Because you bring too much or not everything that you mean to bring. But, by 4:00, I'm done and starting to bring the suitcases downstairs to pack in the car. My crown fell out of my mouth. A quick call to the dentist who told me to come right into the office. Now I am in panic mode, so I just throw things into the car including Rod and all of the dog's things and head out. The dentist does his thing and we get started on the road to Chicago. It's much later than I wanted to leave so I called our daughter and asked her to meet me at an exit on I94 so save me some time. Then, I discover that I don't have the key to Rod's scooter. It's at home on the dinette table. So, I called my sister and asked if she would find a locksmith even though it's going to cost me a mint to have one come to her house to make a key. After trying, she informs me that no locksmith is able to make a key for a scooter. Now, I call the company and they agree to overnight a key to us at the Marriott in San Diego. Good news: Going through Chicago at 8:00pm is much faster than going through it earlier in the afternoon. Day 2: We get up early and my sister drives us to the airport. Oops, I have this scooter that doesn't work and will need to be pushed through O'Hare airport. It really wasn't as bad as a porter pushed Rod in a wheelchair while I pushed the dead scooter with the carryon stuff to the gate. We made arrangements for the scooter to be taken directly to San Diego so I wouldn't have to push it through Phoenix's airport too. It was returned to us at the baggage station in SD. The flights from Chicago to SD were just fine. Too close seats on US Air though. We saw the smoke from the fires flying into SD. We even went through smoke so thick that you might have thought that it was a dirty cloud. So sad. We arrived at the Marriott Hotel and Marina and, (par for the course for us), our room wasn't ready. Of course, we were about 8 minutes early. So, we went to have a drink. I really don't drink that much but I felt that we needed it. We finally got to our room minus the scooter which we left with the bellman and it was a lovely room overlooking the pool and marina. It was somewhat cloudy due to the fires. It was such a grueling two days that we decided to call for room service and just relax in our room. Day 3: I woke up early and found a book to read. I made us some coffee and began calling to see if the key to the scooter had arrived. I figured that touring was probably out for the day, but maybe a dip in the pool could be arranged. Oh dear, I found that I needed some things from a drugstore. I was online and asked Jon from the Cruise Critic roll call board where a drugstore might be found. He replied right away and said to call him. He said the he and Carol were going out and would pick us up and take us to get what we needed. What Sweethearts!!! After we shopped, they took us for a drive to give us a mini excursion of San Diego's waterfront area and islands. When we arrived back to the hotel, I checked and, sure enough, the key had arrived. A bellman took the key and went to bring up the scooter. Have you ever had a sinking feeling that something was wrong? Well, I started getting one when it seemed to be taking an especially long time to bring up the scooter. Then, I saw the bellman with it. He was pushing it! Oh no, was it the wrong key? No, the darn, almost brand new scooter would not work. It just went beep, beep, beep, beep 16 times when you turned on the key. So, I called Michigan where the tech person said that it sounded like there was something loose but we couldn't find anything loose. By now, I should tell you that we have several people trying to help us out, including security. Every time someone turns on the key, the darn thing beeps and everyone looks at us. So, I call someone in the SD area who didn't really seem to want to help us. Finally, I tried another company and the man, Gino, was very helpful. Since he does business with Celebrity Cruises, he said that he would come and pick up our scooter and let us rent, for a very reasonable charge, a scooter to take on the cruise. He would then drop ours off at the pier when we return. Thank you, Gino. We decided to have some lunch which was enjoyed but really close to the time that we were meeting people from the roll call at Anthony's restaurant. Oh what the heck, we'll just have soup and a dessert and meet our new friends and get acquainted. This we did! It was great meeting everyone who showed up. There were 21 of us. Thanks Jon for making these arrangements. Day 4 (precruise) Day 1 (cruise): We were up early repacking everything and putting on the luggage tags for the ship. We talked about getting there early (11:00am). We took our cab and they wouldn't let him go into the gates. They were only letting in people and taxis that were picking up people. So, here I am, stuck outside of the gates with Rod on his scooter guarding 6 pieces of luggage. (I told you that I overpacked, right????) I tried to bargain, etc. but no luck getting someone from the inside to come outside the gates to help me get the luggage in. The man inside the gates told me to get a pedibicycle to help me with the luggage. But, security wouldn't allow them to bring in luggage for the Summit. So, I finally brought in 2 of the bags. By that time, they did allow the bikes to help out so the entire luggage was in Celebrity's hands. And, Rod and I got in line to be checked in. This was handled very efficiently and it wasn't long until we stopped by to see our room. Since this was to be a truly special vacation, we decided to stay in a Royal Suite. We were really impressed. Our room steward, Antonio, introduced himself but didn't know who would be our butler. We decided to eat some lunch and then check out our table location for the Cosmopolitan Restaurant. We were at table 555 which is next to the railing on deck five. A table for 8. We also changed our dinner in the Normandie from the second night to the third so we wouldn't miss the first formal night. About 3:30, our butler came to introduce himself to us. His name is Rikki and he is very famous on the Celebrity boards. I was thrilled to meet him and know that he will be excellent. Now, I'm feeling pretty lucky. Our bags arrived and I put everything in its place. After the muster, we met several more people from the Roll Call board during sail away from San Diego. It became quite chilly so we left for dinner. For our dinner, Rod and I had the prime rib. I thought that it was good. And, of course, the infamous, crème Brule` for dessert. The ship is rocking and rolling like people said it would when we left San Diego. Day 2: The time change has me waking up early as did the hard bed. This was resolved by the egg crate foam mattress and I'm very comfortable now. Rikki brought us our breakfast right at 8:00 as requested. We went to the Cruise Connections party which was held in the Bar at the Edge because we had 122 people signed up. There were around 70 or 80 people there and it was nice to put names and faces together. Alan King, the cruise director said that he would arrange for another get together later in the cruise. I'm looking forward to that one too. It's still a little too cool to sit out on the verandah so we're watching TV news and other interesting things on TV and relaxing. We had lunch from room service. Good soup and sandwich. Tonight is Informal dress for dinner. I asked Rikki if he would please tie Rod's tie for him. Wow, it was outstanding. Rod looked so good. For dinner, Rod and I both ordered the strip steak. I checked with our waiter, Singh, if the meat was tough (as I read on the Celebrity board) and he said that he hadn't had any complaints. Well, friends, the steak was tough. Even Singh had to admit that it was tough as he cut up Rod's steak for him. And, as the desserts didn't appeal to me, I just had sherbet. Of course, Rod had his chocolate which he enjoyed. We went to bed early as we had to set our clocks back one hour and I was tired. Relaxing takes a lot out of you, LOL Day 3: I slept well but still was up around 6:00am. Rikki asked me to call him if I wanted some coffee early. I did and also had some of the fruit that's in our room. It doesn't seem as rocky or as cool today, but Rod still doesn't want to sit outdoors. I made lei today. Sat with Karen from the roll call board and both made beautiful leis. Later, I went to an Excel computer class. For lunch, we ate at the outdoor area at the aft of the ship. It felt good having the sun shine on us. Turned back our clocks one more time. Dinner was Formal and our table is full again. We lost 2 couples after the first night as they requested a table for 4. We added a couple on day 2 and then another couple on day 3. We are a complete table once more. For dinner, Rod and I both had medallions and they were okay. Up until now, I wouldn't say that anything was outstanding. After dinner, we went to the show. I felt that the singers and dancers did a good job and I enjoyed it very much. Day 4: Up early again but that's okay. I enjoy the quiet time. I'm reading again. I used to read all of the time but that stopped with Rod's stroke. Now, with the sea days, I find that reading is relaxing and I'm getting into the books again. Rod and I went up to deck 11 to be in the sun for a little while. Well, we fell asleep for 2 hours and even though I wasn't facing the sun, I was sunburned. So was Rod, but not to the extent that I was. We ate again and went down to our room where I read out on the verandah. Yes, it's getting quite comfortable for me and I love hearing the sounds of the waves in the background. Tonight was an Informal night in the Cosmopolitan restaurant, but we're eating in the Normandie with Barb and Paul Conway from the roll call board. Let me tell you about our meal. It was delicious and we all enjoyed what we ate. The goat cheese soufflE was outstanding as was our Steak Diane. Barb had Dover Sole and she said that it was delicious also. During dinner, an announcement was made that the port authority in Lahaina did not want us to tender there on Wednesday. They said that with the large number of people coming for the Halloween parade, they felt that it was unsafe to add another 2,000 people to the island area. So, we're going to Honolulu on Wednesday and will now be in Lahaina on Thursday and Friday. Oh no! This means that we'll have to cancel our privately made reservations for the laua at the Feast at Lela. It was late so we decided to do it the next day. We tried to go to the magician/comedian show but it was too full so, tried my hand at slots and left with a loss. Turned our clocks back another hour. Now, we're 6 hours earlier than Michigan. Day 5: Again, was up at 6:00 and this time I went out on the deck, in the warm weather to read. How relaxing. I went to the Concierge to call the Feast at Lele to cancel. They understood but said that they were filled for Thursday evening. They later called to say that they had an opening and would be expecting us. I'm writing this review on the table on the verandah. It is warm and comfortable. The sun is shining on the other side of the ship. The sky is partly cloudy. I'm in heaven. Rod is sitting in the chair next to me sleeping. Tonight is an Informal Dress night. Back to the Cosmopolitan. We told everyone about our delicious dinner and ordered the prime rib as our entrEe` for this evening's meal. After dinner, we decided to go back to the room and go to bed early. I need a nap during the day so I can stay up later at night. Day 6: I was up at 5:30. I guess that I'm excited about being in port. We are going on a small circle island tour. It was very nice and our bus driver, Ralph, was very good. I only wish that the tour company provided us with a list of stops so I could coordinate my pictures with each stop. I'm sorry but my memory isn't as good as it used to be. I have some really good pictures of the island of Oahu. It did rain on and off and, I guess, some people were caught in the rain and got pretty soaked. We observed it from our verandah and room. Let's talk about food. I've found that the beef has been okay, not great, but okay. People, at our table say that the fish has been from flavorless to very good. Tonight's meal was so salty (the vegetables) that I just didn't eat it. The desserts, with the exception of a few things, have been okay but I preferred the sherbet. There doesn't seem to be the variety that we had, even in February. Day 7: Slept in a little but was still up about 7:00am. I looked out the verandah and saw the island of Molokai with a cloud covering the top. We cannot see Lahaina from our vantage point. But, that's okay, we'll see it later on our tour. We can see the tenders as they leave the ship bringing passengers to shore. Our tour driver was Duane. He was good. He's a retired policeman on the island of Maui so is quite knowledgeable and gave us some ins and outs. I guess that it was a good thing that we did not go on the island on Halloween as he said that they had to hire 100 extra police to control the situation and that most of the businesses close with the exception of the bars. On our tour, we went to the Maui Ocean Center. Although we were there for 1 ½ hours, it wasn't enough time. It is a very fascinating place. We also went to the rain forest where it...RAINED! Then, we went to the Tropical Plantation where we shopped and had a tour and saw all kinds of plants and flowers. I shipped home a dozen pineapples to be distributed to family and friends. Since Rod and I were going to a Luau, we decided to stay in town and shop a little and then walk down to the shopping area where the Feast at Lele is held. As we started out, it rained and, even though we looked for shelter under trees, we did get wet. We were very early and had to stand around and wait for the luau to begin, but it was worth it. Now, you must know that my husband is a very picky eater but we decided that we would, at least, try everything so we can say that we did it. Even the poi! Maybe it was because it was dark and we were hungry, and the mai tai was really good, but we did try everything including the poi. As a matter of fact, Rod ate a heck of a lot more than I ever thought he would. It is a 4 course meal and all of the drinks, with the exception of some of the more expensive liquors are covered by the price. It is a sit down dinner and you are served at your table. The entertainment is fantastic and I would definitely recommend it. I totally enjoyed seeing the ship anchored from our vantage point at the luau. It was nice to see it at night, all lit up. We met another couple from the ship and they walked home with us. It was a long day as we were off of the ship for over 12 hours. I figured that we would sleep in the next day. Day 8: I did wake up about 8:00am and saw the island again. No breakfast in the room this morning, but I called Rikki and he brought me some coffee so I could sit on the balcony and type this review. The ship turns with the current and I now see the Pacific Princess which is also anchored and a part of Lahaina. It is very relaxing. Later today, I plan to go into town to Hilo Hatties to get a muumuu, I hope. Back from Hilo Hatties with a more formal muumuu than I really wanted but they have no shapeless things for a gal my size and even mom's had to be an x-large. Crazy. Bought other things and had everything shipped home. Went back to the ship where we spent the rest of the day relaxing. We did have a late lunch which then did not make us hungry for dinner at 6:00, so we decided to have pizza for dinner in the room. Just perfect. Day 9: Today, we're in Hilo. I was up early so watched us coming into port. We had a 9:00 excursion scheduled so it was up, dressed and eating early to get to the cruise terminal. We were going on an accessible tour of Hilo that was to last until after 4:00 in the afternoon. We had a "short" bus and the bus was full. It had a lift which enabled a couple of people to leave the ship and go on an excursion. Cruise ships should make arrangement with tour companies to provide this service at every port. As long as I'm talking about this, there was a man, at the end of the tour, who was displeased because his handicapped person had to go up and down the steps of the bus. I understand his concern and perhaps some suggestions could be made to the company to arrange for all who need wheelchairs to be lifted onto the bus and then assisted to their seat. The tour bus was rented from a touring bus company and there was a man onboard who assisted the lift passengers on and off and even pushed one person who was alone and in a wheelchair. We went to the Macadamia Nut Factory and I had some things shipped home. We went to Volcano National Park and looked at huge craters where steam was still rising. We saw the cracks from when the last large earthquake hit the Big Island of Hawaii. They gave us a bag lunch which was filling. Then we went to an orchid farm. There were so many different kinds of orchids - so beautiful and different. I didn't ship anything home because Michigan's weather and my "red" thumb would kill them quickly. Better that they stay where they can be appreciated. We also stopped at the rainbow falls but it was too cloudy for a rainbow and finally, to the Candy factory. We didn't get off of the bus. Security at the port was very strict and included someone getting on the bus before allowing the bus into the terminal area who checked our picture id and seapass. Rod and I were both tired and decided not to get dressed up for dinner. So, we made a reservation at the casual restaurant. This is on the 10 floor on the port aft side of the buffet area. We had a nice dinner. We also saw another couple from our table who said that we were missed. Since it's a formal night tomorrow, we'll be back or normal at table 555. Passing by the Volcano: Since we were on the starboard side of the ship, we were excited to be able to see the volcano. We were told, during our excursion, that we probably would only be able to see red reflected off of the clouds. He said that the lava flow had turned inward from the water now. He was right and we did see some red reflections. It was a little disappointing but we did see something. Day 10: Today we're in Kona which we understand is the "luxury" town on the island. I was going to tender in to look at some clothes or something, but decided not to go after all. So, I took a leisurely shower and air dried my hair on the verandah so I could continue typing my thoughts on this cruise. Rod is sleeping on a lounge chair. It started raining about 12:30 and we watched the tenders bringing back people to the ship. We were supposed to leave at 1:00 but the last tender didn't arrive until after 1:30. We finally started moving about 2:00. And then, the rain really came down. Tonight was the Captain's Club Cocktail party. It was very nice and we had our picture taken with him. Then, we joined our tablemates for a nice dinner. Afterward, we went to the casino where I contributed to the ship. Rod ended up even for the night which I consider a win. The ship is really moving out to get us home on time. Day 11: Well, we've been rocking and rolling all night. Today, the sky is pretty cloudy and it seems quite windy out. It is also cool. I really didn't expect this kind of coolness until we approached the San Diego area. Actually, I originally planned to put on the old bathing suit today so I could make it look like I'd been in Hawaii. Oh well,…………plans are made to be broken. The sun came out from behind the clouds so it became quite nice on the deck. We spent most of the afternoon reading and enjoying the warmth and slight breeze. Now, I have to tell you something funny. I wanted to order some pizza slices for lunch so I went on the TV and ordered 4 slices, or so I thought. What arrived were 4 individual pizzas with 4 slices in each pizza. Obviously, not what I thought I ordered. So if you're going to order pizza off of the TV menu, know that they're little individual pizzas, not slices. LOL. Tonight for dinner was pretty good. However, we think that our waiter might be new because he is very slow and our table is usually the last one to leave the dining room. I finally told the asst. maître about our concerns and he indicated that things would be better. Entertainment tonight was a variety show and we enjoyed it. Afterward, Rod and I went to the casino. I contributed and Rod won. Tonight, we turn our clocks ahead one hour so we're only 4 hours behind Michigan time (EST). Day 12: Now I'm starting to wake up later than on the way to Hawaii. Tonight will be casual night in the dining room. It's a really cloudy day and cool. Rod tried to go out on the deck but came in shortly as it was too cool for him. I may get a manicure this afternoon or tomorrow. We'll see. No manicure. Rod and I slept for awhile and then got ready for dinner. Tonight was a casual night so I wore the lei that I made on the way to Hawaii. It was fun to wear it to dinner. After dinner, on the way to the theater, we stopped in the casino and contributed to their profit fund. We have to turn our clocks ahead one hour tonight so we're back on Pacific Time. Tomorrow is the last formal night and the midnight buffet. Everything is coming to an end. Day 13: We awoke to a beautifully sunny day with hardly any clouds. Rod and I had a late breakfast in our room and while he sunned on the verandah, I went for a tour of the galley with the pastry chef. I took many pictures. When I returned, Rod decided that he'd had enough sun and came in and I put on my bathing suit and went out. At noon, the captain announced that the temperature was 66 and that we were sailing at 22.5 knots. I went back out to bask in the sun which lasted about 2 more minutes and then the sky clouded up and it became quite cool so I came inside to write. We watched the Newly Wed, Not so Newly Wed Game from the previous evening and enjoyed it. Then it was time to dress for dinner. This was our last formal night also Lobster and Baked Alaska night. Our table had a good time. Afterwards, we went to the final show with the Celebrity singers, dancers and band. I really enjoyed the show. We will buy one or two pictures tomorrow. Then, we went to the casino. Rod did very well and I contributed again. I finally won a little bit on the nickel machine. Day 14: Well, this is it! Our last sea day and cruise day. Tomorrow morning, we disembark, but let's enjoy today. Oh no, it's cloudy and cool out today. We can't spend the day outside. Figures! Rod and I enjoyed a leisurely morning. We did go and pickup a couple of photos. We did get a copy of our cruise critic photo. What a gang we were. I won't forget any of them. Decided to get a head start, for me, on packing. But, as usual, I procrastinated and didn't finish until 10:00pm. Typical!! We did relax during the day and even went to the Cova Cafe for awhile . While rod enjoyed an afternoon nap, I went to the passenger talent show. There were some good and some not so good, but I think that everyone had fun and the very packed theater applauded everyone. Dinner was very nice and we continued our discussions way beyond 8:00. It was a very enjoyable evening. I think that I forgot to mention earlier that our tablemates were Isabelle and Dean from the San Diego area, Nora and Bud from Oregon, and Marion and Roger from California. Following dinner, I finished packing and eventually we were ready to go to bed. About 11:oo I noticed that there were lights outside and realized that we were pulling into Ensenada, Mexico, so I went out on the balcony to watch our approach. As we passed a small island you could hear seals barking about our intrusion or just plain welcoming us. In any case, it made me chuckle to hear them. We were in port less than an hour and we headed home to San Diego. San Diego: We arrived early and, it was another cloudy cool day. Rod and I went for breakfast in the dining room. This was the first time for us ---ever. We were seated at a table for 6 and met new people to us. After a very nice breakfast, we went back to our room and said our goodbyes to Rikki and Antonio. We then proceeded to the Normandie Restaurant to wait for our luggage color and number to be called. FYI: Noro Virus/Sanitizing. There was no sanitizing before going into the buffet or Cosmopolitan restaurant. And, I only heard of one slight case of noro and they were only confined to their room for one day. Announcements: Only twice were there any announcements during the day except for the captain's update at noon. We were a little later but that was okay as I was desperately trying to get hold of Gino to make plans to meet to exchange scooters. Well, we found our luggage but didn't find Gino. He didn't answer our phone calls but did tell Celebrity staff that he would meet us at the taxi stand. We waited and waited but no Gino. The bottom line is that he didn't come until after 11:30 when new passengers were beginning to arrive at the cruise terminal. And, when he did, the scooter wasn't fixed!!!!!!! He said that if he fixed it, it would have negated our warranty and we would have to give him $600.00 out of our own pockets. So, we're now bringing home a scooter that has never worked. This will not happen in January! Luckily, we were relatively close to the train station so we arrived in time for our noon departure from San Diego to Los Angeles. The people at AMTRAK were very nice and helpful and took care of our baggage (now including our scooter) and put us on the train. We were in business class and it was very nice. The thing that I noticed most was that you didn't hear the train horn as we were traveling. This was due to the fact that the train either went above or below streets so that cars were not blocked by the trains. Plus, the scenery was great. Sometimes we would be next to the ocean and other times we were next homes and condos. When we arrived in Los Angeles, the personnel of AMTRAK were again very nice to us even though we had a 4 hour wait for our train to Chicago. We enjoyed watching the characters inside and outside the train station. Eddie finally took us to our train car. We're in a handicapped room in car 430. It wasn't what I expected. The HC room was at the end of the car on the lower deck of the train. There were two seat next to the window facing each other and room for a table in between (this was folded up when not in use). Across the room was a toilet and sink. There was a curtain that could be pulled for privacy. But, I figured that it would work. Joe, our room attendant, made up the beds and I was hardly able to get into the top bunk. Then, I had a flat pillow that put my head about 8 inches from the ceiling. I couldn't do it. I'm somewhat claustrophobic and this just wouldn't work. If there was a chair in the room, I might be able to sleep in the chair but this wasn't going to work. I contacted Joe and he contacted the conductor. There was one large room on the upper deck available. We took it. It did have a chair and when the bottom bunk was open, I could sleep in the chair part of the night and at the edge of the bed, on my side, during the rest of the night. There was a very small combination shower/toilet room too. This was more acceptable than the handicapped room and Rod didn't have to climb the stairs to and from the dining area. Overall, some of the scenery was outstanding; the food was okay; but there wasn't much to do in the room. I did read some but the motion of the train made it somewhat difficult for me. Rod has decided that we'll never do this again. I'm glad that we did it and it was an adventure but probably never again. The Red Caps in Chicago were very helpful and my sister met us and we left for Michigan. We stayed Sunday night at the Marriott Courtyard in Benton Harbor. The bed felt soooooo good. Monday, we met our daughter who had our dog and we went home. It's good to be home. One note: It was rumored that the reason that we went to Honolulu first was due to two deaths on the ship and not the reason that was given by the announcement by Alan King. And, many people were upset as they felt that Celebrity wasn't being honest with them. One Cruise Critic member did write the Governor of Hawaii's office and was sent an answer that indicated that the Port at Lanaii was closed at 6:00pm on the night of Halloween and that no ship was allowed to tender. Celebrity did give us the correct information Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
We are a retired couple in our 50's who have been cruising since 1978. We drove from Arizona and after 5 hours, arrived at the terminal around 11 AM to a very orderly process. By 12 noon, we were happily sipping welcome champagne. Our ... Read More
We are a retired couple in our 50's who have been cruising since 1978. We drove from Arizona and after 5 hours, arrived at the terminal around 11 AM to a very orderly process. By 12 noon, we were happily sipping welcome champagne. Our Concierge Cabin was a pleasant surprise, being larger than others we have experienced on Celebrity. Our room stewards, Lawrence and Joseph, immediately welcomed us with a warm introduction and pleasant smiles. Since I was celebrating a birthday, we immediately made our way to the Normandie Restaurant to secure reservations. Decor and lighting were romantic and elegant. However, the bright flourescent lights from the very visible kitchen was quite disturbing during our special dinner. In addition, the constant clanging of pots and pans certainly didn't add to the experience. However, one taste of the cheese souffle swept us away to a much better place. Lobster bisque was good, not great though. Steak Diane was tender and flavorful but was surprised it didn't come served as medallions. It was presented as a large filet mignon. DH's lobster and scallops were slightly overcooked. Creme Brulee was a big disappointment, lacking a sweetness that we have become accustomed to. The maitre' D agreed after sampling it himself. But by that time, we were quite satisfied with all we had to eat; and were thankful that we were able to walk away from the dessert without any regrets. All in all, the cuisine was pretty good and the service excellent. Not enough though to make another reservation during the rest of the cruise. Especially when the food in the main dining room was so wonderful!!!! Breakfasts were great, no matter what we ate, Eggs Benedict, Smoked Salmon, pancakes, ect. all were impeccable. Even when they were ordered on Room Service for dining on our balcony, which was a real special experience once we arrived in Hawaii. Prior to that, the weather was a little too cool to dine on the balcony while at sea. Lunches were a disappointment, with strange cuisine choices and even stranger cuisine preparations. It also seemed that the dining room had the same choices for lunch as the buffet, so that was an added disappointment. However, the pizza station more than compensated, and as we all know, no ever starved or went hungary on a cruise. Dinners, on the other hand, were wonderful. The Summit's beef is the best we have had on a cruise in quite a long time. Especially the huge, tender, tasty veal chop. Mmmm,Mmmm!!!! The lobster was also much better than we have been experiencing lately. Although I will say we usually are served lobster tails on 2 nights on a 2 week cruise. Whereas we didn't get the lobster until the end of the sailing. We found the dessert offerings at the end of dinner have been cut in selection. When we last were on the Mercury in March, our waiter would present a tray with 6 or 7 delectable choices. However, on this sailing most nights only offered 3 choices, all of which, were lacking in sugar and imagination. It seems to us that the preparation was all show and no satisfying substance. To which DH and I were grateful. In fact, the only dessert we even enjoyed was the bananas foster. Of course, they did offer all kinds of ice cream, sorbet and sherbert. What truly impressed me on this ship was the ample amount of time that was devoted to dancing. WE love to dance, and on many cruises we are not satisfied with the lack of venues for same. This ship offered ample time in the Night Club and the Rendez-Vous Lounge. Guys & Doll (Cathy) were quite enjoyable and made every effort to accommodate everyone's taste. We truly loved listening to Jefferson Ang at the Waterfall Cafe Bar. We weren't too impressed with Allen King, Cruise Director. Seemed to be sleepwalking through his job. We kept wondering why the 1 hour of live music poolside was only offered from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM, when most people leave for lunch. Strange...... Another strange thing was why did men have to were sports jackets for tea time in the afternoon??? Well, as far as service all over the Summit, all I can say is that it was impeccable. Lawrence and Joseph were 2 of the very best room stewards we have every had. Mildred, our Dining Room waitress, was the absolute BEST. Even the cocktail staff were wonderful when I finally found the need to complain about the weakness of the cocktails. When I spend $10.50 plus gratuity for a cosmo, I expect to taste more than cranberry juice. That is the one major complaint I have for Celebrity. The cost of the wines and cocktails leave a lot to be desired. Wine choices were meager and expensive in cost. All cocktails tasted mostly of fruit juices, with no noticeable liquor. Many passengers felt the same about this issue. All in all, I have to say The Summit is probably my favorite ship thus far. The decor and lighting in the public areas is simply beautiful. Celebrity is still doing a good job and we look forward to sailing with them again in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
We arrived at the port at 11:30 and were onboard by 11:45- no lines. We loved our room with the extra large balcony but had a great deal of trouble with the poor circulation that brought tobacco smoke into our room. The staff were ... Read More
We arrived at the port at 11:30 and were onboard by 11:45- no lines. We loved our room with the extra large balcony but had a great deal of trouble with the poor circulation that brought tobacco smoke into our room. The staff were terrific in trying to control this problem by sprinkling a deodorizer on the carpet and then providing us an air cleaner for the rest of the days. My main complaint with this cruise was it was the smokiest ship that we have ever been in. We had to leave many public rooms due to the smoke drifting over from the smoking side. Our room continued to fill with tobacco smoke, but they did the best that they could to discourage our neighbor from smoking quite as much. I wish that they made one side of the ship's cabins for smokers a the other side for non-smokers so that everyone was happy. Jefferson Ang was my favorite performer, the comedians were funny, but the singers and dancers were not quite as good as Royal Caribbean or Carnival's. The food was great and the service was even better. We loved our server Balkan who even went beyond the call of duty in the casual dining area when he saw us in there. He went down to the 4th floor to bring me Diet Cokes every morning!! I am 44 and traveled with my 17 year old daughter. There were only 6 kids on board so she was left sort of high and dry regarding having a teen club to socialize with. However, the youth care staff were very good to her and she enjoyed stopping in to chat with them daily. Many of the other staff learned her age and made her feel very special. I was in a minority as far as my age group- most people were 20 years or more older than me! I am used to a younger age group or parents on the other lines. Notmuch night life if I was looking for it.I was content to sit on the balcony at night. We enjoyed Lindsay and her trivia game, but I found some of Allen's jokes a bit off color and did not have much or an appreciation for his personality and presentation. This may have been due to him being used to having an audience of seniors rather than of my age group. I really enjoyed being so spoiled on this cruise by the service staff, my only complaint was that the smoking was intolerable and the poor circulation made the problem even more severe. We rented a car at each port instead of taking the ship tours so we were able to see things that we were interested in and move about with ease on the Islands. The weather was chilly, but the staff warmed up our hearts. Special praise for the very personable photographers, dining room servers, and room attendants. It is so nice to hear all of the time, "It is my pleasure." Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
This was out first Cruise to Hawaii and our first cruise from San Diego. We stayed at the Holiday Inn on the Bay the night prior to Embarkation, a good hotel with all the amenities of a Holiday Inn. This Hotel is literally across the road ... Read More
This was out first Cruise to Hawaii and our first cruise from San Diego. We stayed at the Holiday Inn on the Bay the night prior to Embarkation, a good hotel with all the amenities of a Holiday Inn. This Hotel is literally across the road from the Cruise Port, we were on the 10th Floor and could have thrown our luggage from the window across the street onto the ship!!! We were awake very early due to the time difference (we are from England) so were sat on our Balcony of the hotel at 5am and watched Summit pull into her berth... We didn't check-in until 3pm on Embarkation day as we wanted to have a wander around San Diego, this was a wise thing to do, we were on board and in our cabin by 3.20pm, with Champagne, our luggage was delivered to our stateroom by 5pm. What followed was a wonderful trip - our stateroom was in a great location, midship, balcony concierge class, 2 floors down from the Pool and 3 floors up from the dining room (we used the stairs most of the time, to help exercise the food off!) Our stateroom attendant was good and was extremely helpful. We had the 'New bedding' which was very crisp. The bed was very comfortable. Room service was excellent and our daily fruit replenished with our choice of fruit. We left a note requesting the ice bucket to be filled daily - which was duly done. We enjoyed every meal we had, our waiter, Acosta and assistant waiter were very attentive, our first table was on deck 4 - aft, which was quite noisy and above the engines, so we requested to move to Deck 5, again done with no problem and we enjoyed a lovely location next to the window on a table for 6. We found the food to be of excellent standard, although it could have been a little warmer on serving. The Sommelier, Marko was extremely knowledgeable and always there when we were seated, with our choice of wine. Breakfast was always at the aft of the ship, outside, lovely view of the 'white line' disappearing into the distance on a beautiful azure ocean. We ate lunch in the Grill daily, which we always chose a light salad with fish, which was 'tossed' for us in a salad dressing of the day - very nice. We ate in the specialist restaurant, Normandie, this is a 'must do' - what an experience, we ate on a table for 2, had 4-6 waiters attending to our every need, the food was piping hot and excellent standard. Well worth the $30 cover charge. At this point, we could not have had better service from any of the staff all over the ship, there was always a smile and 'Good Morning' from everyone, Bar staff, Restaurant staff, Pool Staff, Housekeeping staff even the engineer staff whom you occasionally came into contact with. We enjoyed the entertainment, Top Notch and Jefferson Ang being our most time spent listening to. The shows were of a good standard, plenty of daily activities if required, but we were looking for a relaxing vacation, which is exactly what we had. We thoroughly enjoyed 'Paki' and the Hula Maidens. Maui, was beautiful and we loved the overnight stay, allowed us to explore with more time spent on shore without having to 'clock-watch' & rush back to the ship. Oahu was very busy, Pearl Harbour Memorial with its long lines took up most of the morning (even though we were one of the first off the ship) Spent the afternoon at Waikiki Beach, sat on our grain of sand watching the surfers..... Did a tour in Hilo (from the dockside) whistle stop, here, there and everywhere - probably wouldn't have bothered but felt the need to see some culture. Kona - absolutely lovely, but just not long enough, tendered in and out, long queues, but well worth seeing 'Snorkel Bay', swimming with Turtles, exotic fish and I believe some people were lucky enough to swim with the dolphins. Last four days - at sea - on our way back to San Diego, very restful, breezy, cooler weather, but pleasant for us 'Brits'. Disembarkation was the usual -get up, breakfast, get off situation - quick and painless. Sadly the cruise came to an end, we could have sailed around again, quite happily........ One thing I would like to note - Mr Philip Herbert, the Hotel Director, was a wonderful host. He was seen in and around the ship, conversing with passengers and asking if there was anything the ships company could do for you to help make this a better cruise - this was a very unexpected and welcoming factor - we will definitely sail Celebrity again and maybe even Summit on her new itineraries....... Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
This was our 20th cruise together. Although we have cruised on Crystal, Seven Seas, Cunard (QM II Maiden Voyage), Royal Viking Sun, Seabourn Sun and Princess, we now pretty much stick to either Celebrity or HAL. Our previous cruise was ... Read More
This was our 20th cruise together. Although we have cruised on Crystal, Seven Seas, Cunard (QM II Maiden Voyage), Royal Viking Sun, Seabourn Sun and Princess, we now pretty much stick to either Celebrity or HAL. Our previous cruise was last fall on the Noordam from NYC to the Caribbean. We have had four cruises on Celebrity, including the Zenith, Infinity, Millennium and Summit. We chose this cruise because we wanted the sea days, Linda lives in San Diego county and we love Hawaii. We drove from Oceanside and parked across the street from the pier. We had a suite so we were able to bypass the very long lines of passengers waiting to check in. There was still quite a line for photographs. In addition to the Noordam, we also did a seven day Mexico cruise on the Oosterdam, so this review will essentially be comparing the HAL Vista class ships with Celebrity's Millennium class ships. First I want to say that the Roll Call board for this cruise was quite active and the Cruise Critic party was well attended. The gift exchange was a great idea. The best thing about the Summit is The Normandie Restaurant. The food and service are second to none. HAL's Pinnacle Restaurants are not even close. The food in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant was quite good, but our waiter simply would not give us time to enjoy each course. Table assignment was another issue. On the Infinity and Millennium, our cabin was a Sky Suite and we had a table for two by the railing. This time we had a table for two by the window (not nearly as nice), but I was content with this until a couple sitting next to us at the Martini Bar told me that they had a table for two by the railing and they had an INSIDE cabin. Not cool!!! The Waterfall Cafe was actually quite nice. Very good food selection, easy to find a clean table and the service was excellent. We had a Celebrity Suite which meant lots of space (including a walkin closet) but no balcony. I learned from the Cruise Critic message board shortly before we left that a window washing platform would be right outside one of our windows. Not a problem because it covered only one of four windows and we kept that curtain down. Unfortunately, the windows looked like the washing platform had not been used in quite some time. My major complaint with the cabin was the mattress. When I first laid down, I thought I was laying in the back of a pickup truck. When I complained, I was told that the bedding was only two cruises old. Our room steward put a mattress pad on the bed but the improvement was marginal. On the Noordam, we had a Deluxe Verandah Suite and the mattress was heavenly. Bedding is obviously a matter of personal choice but in my opinion, HAL wins this one hands down. Celebrity Suites have connecting doors and we had some neighbors with loud voices but we got used to it. I saw on the Cruise Critic review of the Summit a mention of all this fantastic artwork. Made me wonder if I was on the wrong ship. All I remember from the Summit were the busts on the stair landings by Liza Lou that seemed to have been made out of staples or paper clips. And the brown draperies in the atrium were nondescript to say the least. If the Noordam and Oosterdam are any indication, HAL wins this one hands down. The smoking/no smoking rules were pretty much ignored. However, this was not a major issue. We went to two shows, one of which was awesome and the other we walked out of. They had a Filipino band called Top Notch which was the best band I have heard on any cruise ship. The Voice Males were also quite good. Hawaii is, well Hawaii. We only did one shore excursion, Land of the Frozen Fire, on Hilo, which was nice. We did book The Feast At Lele in Lahaina on our own and loved it. The only complaint was having to leave Kona at 1 PM. According to the HAL brochure, the Zaandam leaves Kona at 5 PM, spends four hours in Ensenada (not one like the Summit) and still makes it back to San Diego at 7 AM. Disembarkation was a mess. HAL lets you stay in your cabin until it's time to leave. Celebrity sent us to the Normandie but they kicked us out at 10:00. Having had a suite, we should have been off the ship long before that but Celebrity, in their infinite wisdom, had us in the very last group leaving the ship, a category labeled Deck 2 Aft. One last comment for the road. Before I left I sent an e-mail to the Captains Club asking for an e-mail contact while at sea. No answer (until I was long gone). So my travel agent called Celebrity and was told that the address would be myname@summit.celebrityatsea.com. WRONG. The celebrityatsea e-mail service ended last February so we were forced to set up a Hotmail account while at sea. Both of us had given the celebrityatsea address to both business and personal associates so we were left with a bit of egg on our faces. Our cruise next fall will probably be Canada/New England. The choices are the Constellation out of Port Liberty, NJ or the Eurodam from NYC to Quebec or visa versa. I'm thinking it's time to try HAL again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
Decided in February of 2007 to join 6 family members on this 14 day cruise to Hawaii out of San Diego and then return. My husband was celebrating his 60th birthday and my dad, his 80th. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean before and this ... Read More
Decided in February of 2007 to join 6 family members on this 14 day cruise to Hawaii out of San Diego and then return. My husband was celebrating his 60th birthday and my dad, his 80th. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean before and this was to be our first Celebrity cruise. We let Celebrity plan our flights and they did a great job. We took Delta there from Grand Rapids, MI to Cincinnati, OH and then onto San Diego. We returned on Northwest and went through Minneapolis on the way back. Layovers were just the right amount of time and we encountered no problems at all. Something new for us was the valet luggage program Celebrity uses. For $20/person they will handle your luggage so that it goes onto your final destination (upon your return home). Once you put it outside your door, you do not see it until you go to baggage claim at your home airport. This service also includes Celebrity obtaining your boarding passes for you so that you can go right to security when you reach the airport. On our former cruises, one of the downsides was disembarking the ship - long lines - finding your suitcases in warehouses full of luggage - finding a bus - trying to find a bus with room for your suitcases - taking your suitcases off the bus - standing in long lines to get your boarding pass at the airport, etc. Now this has been eliminated by this new valet luggage program. It went so smoothly for us. We left the ship, stepped onto a bus, and went right to security at the San Diego airport. Luggage arrived in Grand Rapids, MI at the same time we did. We will use this service every time. Some airlines do not participate but many do and I highly recommend it. The service on Summit was outstanding. The wait staff were the best we have ever had. The room steward for our concierge room was very nice and did a fairly good job but he was in charge of 15 rooms, which I think is a stretch for perfect service. He did accommodate special requests though, which I appreciated. One request was to remove all items from the room that would cost me money to use - bottled water, bar items, etc. This gave me room to put my own things in the refrigerator. My room was nice. Concierge has decent sized showers so you can actually fit your body into them. Flowers, canapes before dinner, etc. were fun extras. However, my room was beneath what must be the busiest place on the ship - sounded like elephants bowling at all hours of the day and night. This was our only disappointment with the room. Stay off the 9th floor and this will probably not be a problem. The shore excursions we went on in Hawaii were arranged ahead of time on-line and were all educational and fun. We did a bus tour on Maui (have been there many times before) of a beautiful plantation and a very tropical location called the Iao Needle. We also did a bus tour of the North Shore on Oahu. Saw lots of surfers and the narrator did an excellent job of giving us background information. On the island of Hawaii we visited sites where there has been lava damage in the past. This involved some walking across old lava from the 1980's. This was a long tour - about 6 hours. We learned a lot. The last excursion was in Kona (we love this city!!! - we hope to return here). We snorkeled from a beach, visited an old refuge site, and visited a small coffee producer. I found the Summit ship itself to be ok. It was rather plain looking to me. I think Royal Caribbean ships are breathtaking so was a little disappointed in this but other than that there were lots and lots of activities from bingo to pool games, etc. Service was without compare. The dinners were done well and a good selection of food available - lobster is still my favorite! The entertainment was ok. We had a couple good comedians, one fantastic singer, and a very entertaining piano player. The ship musicians were good but the dancers and singers were just ok to me. Lots of my fellow shipmates really loved them though so you have to be your own judge of this. If you sail on this ship, don't miss the coffee bar area. Mochaccino is the drink you will like if you are a fan of Starbucks flavored drinks. Cost is reasonable and includes a piece of delicious chocolate candy. This area also has baked goods which are free for the taking - an outstanding selection every day - not to be missed! Enjoy this ship and crew when you go - stay off the 9th deck - go starboard. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
This was my first cruise, so I have nothing to compare it with. We were astonished at the size of the ship when we saw it, and were equally amazed at how quickly the boarding procedure was achieved. We had decided on an inner cabin (sorry ... Read More
This was my first cruise, so I have nothing to compare it with. We were astonished at the size of the ship when we saw it, and were equally amazed at how quickly the boarding procedure was achieved. We had decided on an inner cabin (sorry - stateroom. Whoever chose that name had a vivid imagination!) because we would only be in it to sleep or to change clothes, and we were certainly happy enough with our choice. Though the room was small it was very well laid out, with every inch of space being used to the full. We would have liked to have been provided with an LCD clock, though, because whenever we woke up we had no idea of the time or whether it was night or day. On first arriving in the room we found a bottle of water and a half-bottle of wine awaiting us, which we thought was a nice welcoming touch. Then we saw a little notice beside them which said that we would be charged $4 if we opened the water and about $20 if we opened the wine. Some welcome! The ship was very impressive and spotlessly clean throughout at all times. There were plenty of sunbeds around the pools and open decks, though the beds in prime spots around the pools and where sheltered from the wind were all "bagged" (though not all in use) by about 7 am (so it is not only the Germans who do this!). We were not at all impressed to have recorded music blaring out loudly all day around the pool - not really what you expect on what is claimed to be a 5-star cruise ship. For our evening's dining we had asked to be seated on a table for 8 but found we were seated with just two other couples whose company we enjoyed throughout the trip. The five-course meals were extremely good every night, and the service from our waiters Jesus and Diego was quite exceptional. This was a formal restaurant, with a set dress code each day, and we were extremely disappointed to discover that this code was not enforced - some people were coming in in quite casual clothes even on "formal" nights - which makes me wonder why I had gone to the trouble of hiring a tuxedo (complete outfit for $100, which saves an awful lot of weight and possible excess baggage charges on the flight from England). Other people were allowed into the dining room when they consistently turned up 30 to 50 minutes after the scheduled meal time - why make rules if they are not enforced? Evening entertainment in the theatre was of a good standard, if not always to our taste, but the daytime entertainment programme was lacking imagination and inspiration. Wilst there is a library on board it is fairly limited in choice, and I would have liked to have seen a paper-back book exchange where we could leave our own books when finished. The four-day crossing of the Pacific was slightly marred by the rolling of the ship, even though the weather was quite good, the sea reasonably smooth and the wind not too strong. The rolling was still there but less noticeable on our return journey. The four stops in Hawaii were quite short in duration, and it was pretty much a whirlwind tour. You took pot luck with the tour you chose and the bus driver you happened to have. Our best was the Little Circle Island Tour round Oahu ($36) and by far the worst was the Kona Highlights, on which we saw nothing of real interest and the driver could talk about nothing but the plants and trees we passed. The Waikapu Village Luau at Lahaina was, to my mind, highly overpriced at $110 - the traditional dance show was good but the food was truly awful and barely warm. Really, the stops were so short that there was no real opportunity to see or explore the islands in any depth. Finally, we were astonished and not in any way impressed at the behavior of a good number of the passengers who treated the hard-working and very courteous staff like inferior servants. It doesn't cost much to be civil, to smile occasionally and to treat them with a degree of respect. Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
The Summit San Diego to Hawaii round trip was to be our first ever cruise when we booked about a year ago. However we took cold feet on advice from more experienced cruisers who thought eight sea days for first timers was foolhardy. ... Read More
The Summit San Diego to Hawaii round trip was to be our first ever cruise when we booked about a year ago. However we took cold feet on advice from more experienced cruisers who thought eight sea days for first timers was foolhardy. Therefore in the interim, we took a five day Caribbean cruise on the Century which we loved but thought too short. So this experience made us even more impatient than we might have been for the Summit cruise and, I'm happy to report, we were not at all disappointed. The whole experience was great; in fact we liked the ship so much we booked it for two more trips while on board. What did we like best? The Normandie specialty restaurant was superb the food enhanced by splendid unpretentious service in a setting with considerable old world charm. We planned two meals in the Normandie and in the end ate there four times. Our Maitre d' contributed significantly to the experience by his charm, attention and after the first evening by throwing the menu away and offering us off menu specials on each visit. The Persian Garden was a daily treat for us with its steam and hot dry chambers, well worth the $99 fee for the entire cruise. Dancing each evening with a choice of two venues and two good bands, Top Notch and Guys and Doll was a pleasure. Other musical entertainment was also excellent, our favorite being the soprano, Jennifer Fair, closely followed by the pianist Walter Wojciechowski and vocalist Chris Riggins. Michael's Piano Club quickly became a favorite aperitif and night cap spot with very pleasant romantic music provided by Keith Turner. The Celebrity Orchestra was very good as was the Odessa String Quartet, who we particularly enjoyed while sipping on a glass of wine in the evenings at the Cova Cafe. Daily Trivia provided a little bit of mental stimulation and entertainment for us, at its best when hosted by Cruise director Allan King. Allan seemed to be everywhere; in addition to hosting Trivia, he did the daily activities announcements, introduced the shows in the theatre and did an occasional late night cabaret spot then one would meet him all over the ship. For breakfast and lunch we ate light and the Aqua Spa Cafe provided exactly what we needed with very appetizing light meals served very pleasantly; mostly by the staff from the Normandie. The Cosmopolitan Restaurant where we had late seating dinner all other evenings was very good and our dinner companions were a great group to be with; contributing considerably to the enjoyment of the cruise. This was a group who had never met before but joined up for other activities and went to the Normandie as a group on the last formal evening. The ship is elegant and although it shows signs of wear it is very attractive with excellent facilities, seldom seemed crowded and one could always find a quiet spot to enjoy the ambiance. There wasn't too much that we didn't like on the Summit, but what we liked least was that it was sometimes difficult to avoid smoking areas, it being so bad in the casino during a slot tournament that I left before the final round! Also the chair hogs booked up the non smoking side of the pool early each day. The spa seminars irritated us with their hard sell of Elimis products. If you want to tour Hawaii extensively this is probably not the right trip for you as time at each port is pretty limited, so you either have to fill the time completely and efficiently or settle for a snapshot at each location. That said it was just right for us, we were very happy with the snapshots as we found it difficult to drag ourselves away from the amenities and ambience of the ship. At Lahaina, Maui we did the Feast at Lele Luau which was an easy walk from the tender and most enjoyable with a spectacular show and beautiful setting with table service and white linen. The rest of our shore excursions were booked through Celebrity starting on Maui with the Heleakala Crater Tour which was interesting and provided a feel for the island; but which we thought could have benefited by skipping the included lunch and getting back to the ship earlier. On Oahu we did the Little Circle Island Tour which was short and gave us a feel for the place. The tour we enjoyed most was The Valley of the Kings on Hilo with a four wheel drive van trip down into a spectacular unspoiled valley with a driver who was a real character and infectious in his enthusiasm. The outbound and return voyage did provide an idea of the shear vastness of the Pacific Ocean; day after day of seeing nothing but vast expanses of sea and sky. During this time we didn't see another ship, an aircraft or another living thing beyond the ship, however, that being said we didn't spend all our time looking! The weather was very pleasant throughout although cool the first and last days, with calm seas all the way. Our Cruise Critic Roll Call considerably enhanced the trip, it was informative, amusing and got the enthusiasm pumped up in advance so we felt part of a group right from the start. The Roll Call brought a group of us together for a pre cruise dinner in San Diego and a majority of the group got together for a sail away party as we set off. Thus we never went far on the ship without bumping in to someone for a chat or to join up for a refreshment. Our two cruises have been Concierge Class and we are not convinced it is worth any significant extra money, so next trip we will have a balcony without the free Champagne, canapEs fresh flowers etc. and see how it compares. This was not an all night party cruise, in fact there was little going on after midnight to 1AM most nights. We found ourselves closing restaurant and bars and being last off the dance floor most nights. The average age was higher than we expected with us, in our mid sixties, feeling that that we were among the younger crowd. There was a high percentage of Europeans on board which might have made for more late night action but they also must have been early bedders. Embarkation in San Diego was quick but it felt a bit muddled and there were a lot of stairs to climb as an alternative to the one elevator. Debarkation was slow, due, we were told, to some passengers with foreign passports not presenting themselves on time to emigration staff. Also bags were not laid out very conveniently for pickup. All in all we loved the Summit, Celebrity's on board service was excellent and the sea days were the best part of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
Just returned from 14day Summit to Hawaii. This was our second cruise on Summit, 5th on Celebrity. Embarkation in San Diego is a breeze. We arrived at 1130am and didn't wait at all, just walked to checkin, and were on board in ... Read More
Just returned from 14day Summit to Hawaii. This was our second cruise on Summit, 5th on Celebrity. Embarkation in San Diego is a breeze. We arrived at 1130am and didn't wait at all, just walked to checkin, and were on board in 10mins. A cab from the SAN airport was only $7 and took less than 10mins. The food was wonderful! The best we've ever had on our 5 Celebrity cruises. Dinner at The Normandie was also great- goat cheese souffle still on the menu and still fantastic. The buffets are somewhat uninspired but the dining room was excellent for breakfast and lunch. The Royal Suite was fantastic- except for the very tired (and quite ugly to begin with) Emile Robba silk flowers. They are awful and truly should be removed. They were glued in the middle of the coffee table, glued to the nightstand and glued to the vanity counter. Fresh flowers would have been better- actually no flowers would have been okay. We enjoyed the plasma TV's, the cozy living room area and the wonderful balcony. Our butler Darrell and stateroom attendant Bernadeth, made us all feel like royalty! Service was impeccable all over the ship. The crew and officers were always pleasant, warm and friendly. The entertainment was good- although 2 of the production shows were not very good. The worst is Encore. It's disjointed and doesn't flow well. The theme was very confusing and we sat thru it just to see the last number which is songs from Les Mis. The ladder guy was funny as was Noodles, we had seen both before and always enjoy them. Had several singers, one was exceptional; Jennifer Fair. Overall the entertainment was just good- not great. Our ports were: Lahaina, Honolulu, Hilo and Kona. Lahaina is a tender port and the TSA-type inspection when returning to the ship is a hassle (pack your patience) but not of Celebrity's doing. We tendered at off times and avoided most of the crowds, waiting only about 10mins to get back to the ship. Easy to get around once you get to Lahaina and only about a 15min walk to Hertz to pick up a rental car (they also have a shuttle 8am-330pm). We were in Lahaina 10am to 11pm the following day. Plenty of time to do luau, shop, sightsee and go to the beach. Honolulu 7a to 7p- Did Pearl Harbor/Big Mo on our own and were thru with the Arizona tour by the time the Celebrity bus pulled up to get tour tickets. Oahu is a pretty island- if you have time see more of it than Honolulu/Waikiki. Hilo 7a-6pm- Did a private van tour of VNP, Mauna Loa factory and happened upon the Hilo Tahiti Fete. The fete was amazing and we loved the VNP. Kona 7a-1p- Not long enough to stop. We did a Kona coffee, Painted Church, Place of Refuge tour and had not one minute to spend in Kona due to the short stop. Would be better to skip the port than stop for such a short time. Place of Refuge was just breathtaking- worth the price of the tour several times over. If we had it to over again, we'd have done it on our own and not done a ships tour. The 4 days over & back were perfect. It allowed us all to relax, so when we hit Hawaii we were ready for sightseeing. The 4 days back gave time to relax again and we really enjoyed the time at sea. The seas were calm both coming & going overall. We decided we liked Hawaii so much that we wanted to do it again. So we're headed back next Oct but on Mercury rather than Summit. Back to San Diego for debarkation and flights home- again it was a breeze and getting to the airport took 10mins. San Diego is a great departure port! Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
This was our third trip on Celebrity's Summit, she is a fine ship but showing her age. I say that only because while I was on board I learned that she is going into dry dock for a month and I suspect that there will be a lot of ... Read More
This was our third trip on Celebrity's Summit, she is a fine ship but showing her age. I say that only because while I was on board I learned that she is going into dry dock for a month and I suspect that there will be a lot of upgrading during that time. Our reservations always include air and transfers from the airport to the ship and return. Our destination was San Diego, and surprisingly US Air was almost on time and didn't lose or destroy our luggage! We were met at the San Diego Airport by two Celebrity Reps and told to take our luggage (two heavy and two smaller, plus personal carry-on's to the transportation check in point. This was probably one of the worst parts of the trip! The check-in for ground transportation was outside at the way end of the terminal. The agent there was sitting on a wall, the sign was posted on a cart and no definite lines to check in appeared to exist. I walked up to her to check in and was informed rather curtly that I needed to get in line. I did, once I determined there was a haphazard line, and the check in process was rather smooth, other than there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to where the checked luggage was left. Arriving at the terminal, after a very short bus ride, came the next frustrating time. The terminal was hot and crowded, the line was fairly long, however the check-in desk person was very nice and quick, bypassing the pictures we headed for the ship. The San Diego port only has one elevator and a long flight of stairs to reach the gangway, this resulted in long lines with older passengers needing to use the elevator. Once we reached level 3 the boarding was quick and efficient, as this was our third time we headed directly to our ocean view stateroom on Deck 2 mid-ship. As one would expect the state room was the usual quality that one would associate with Celebrity. During the cruise our attendant Ramon was very helpful, and never failed to greet us in the passageway. Our checked bags were delivered in a timely fashion with one even being place inside our stateroom. The Summit was launched in 2001 and is showing some signs of age, dirty arms and worn fabric on the chairs in the Martini Lounge, the dance floor was missing some covering and was warped in other places. The staff did an excellent job of cleaning and keeping things orderly. The cruise overall was great as usual, pretty smooth sailing, arriving as scheduled. My days at sea were filled with playing trivia, I was the Captain of the men's team for "Battle of The Sexes Trivia", and had a great time with the Activity Staff Naomi and Lindsey, and Kevin and Activity Director Cher. This was Lindsey's first cruise and she seemed to be doing very well and really came across well to the passengers as did all the activity staff. We also took advantage of the on board movies for the first time. The only downsides I could see to the Cinema on deck 3 was the projection was at times too low and with people in front of you you could not see the sub-titles in The Da' Vinci Code. Missing was popcorn! Other lines have it. Food was good, as expected, we split our evening dining between the main dining room, first sitting, where Vincent and Saphri served us well with Vincent's dinner suggestions being right on the money! The service at times was a bit slow I had a feeling the kitchen was backed up a bit. We were greeted every night by the Asst. Maitre D, Lorita, who was friendly and stopped for more than just the normal "hi how are things." We also used casual dining three times on nights we did not find the main dining room menu appealing and on formal nights as we packed no formal clothes. (I hate wearing ties) Service in Casual Dining was excellent, with waiter Elvis being extra attentive, but then everyone was including Carlos. Other times we had breakfast in the dining room, that was good, and buffet in the Waterfall Cafe (lunch and dinner)both being good. Oh if you like a good hamburger then head to poolside on deck 10. Entertainment on board was good, with the exception of two nights when it was more "high brow" than I would care. Having been on the ship 6 months earlier we avoided one of the vocalists, Jeniffer Faire who we did not care for, although several people we talked with thought she was great. The comedian, and cyclist/juggler were both excellent as was the xylo-synth performer. The Celebrity singers and dancers were at the top, with one vocalist who really had a great voice, the Celebrity Orch. was once again top notch and played a great variety of music to back up the performers. Shore excursions could not have been better, I won't go into detail but to say they started on time and were definitely worth the money. I did especially enjoy the Submarine. The return to San Diego was not the best, as we had to go to the Celebrity Theatre that served as our departure point. I have bad knees and it really was a struggle to go down and then up pulling my suitcase. Previously we had exited the theatre through the passage way on level 3 however this was not available for some reason. While we were waiting we were subjected to CNN on the video screens in the theatre. I thing that they should have rerun the cruise video it would have been much more enjoyable. San Diego port was no better on return, customs was quick, but the luggage area was a total cluster! A long trek to the bus and long lines at the airport after a long walk from the drop off point. Celebrity, if they continue to sail from that port really need to address those issues. Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
This was the best vacation we ever had! We are a couple in our fifties. This was our thirteenth cruise and our second cruise to Hawaii. This was our seventh Celebrity cruise. We have also cruised on Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Princess. ... Read More
This was the best vacation we ever had! We are a couple in our fifties. This was our thirteenth cruise and our second cruise to Hawaii. This was our seventh Celebrity cruise. We have also cruised on Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Princess. Luckily for us we did not read the cruise reviews before booking this cruise. We would have missed out on a wonderful cruise experience. When we read the Cruise Critic reviews as we prepared to depart we were dismayed to see comments about worn furnishings, housekeeping problems, poor food, mediocre service and mechanical problems. There were so many negative descriptions of the Summit that we were anxious about what we would find. We are very happy to report the ship is beautiful and in excellent condition. The food was meticulously prepared and presented in every venue including the buffet. The service is exemplary and the staff members in every area were friendly, knowledgeable and committed to anticipating and exceeding customer expectations. The common areas are beautifully appointed and spacious. The ship was spotless. EMBARKATION- We arrived the day before the cruise and spent the night in a hotel (Hyatt Regency Long Beach) arranged through Celebrity. The next morning we opted to take a cab to the ship rather than waiting for the 1:00 pm shuttle provided by the cruise line. We arrived at the pier at a little after 11 am and breezed through security. We had checked out our cabin and were at the buffet by 12 noon. This was one of the quickest embarkations we have ever experienced and certainly the fastest post 9/11. FOOD - From the multiple courses at the Normandie Restaurant to the daily buffets the food on the Summit was wonderful. The buffet area is thoughtfully laid out. There are not only trays for carrying your plates (unlike Princess) but there are linen placemats and napkins. In addition, Celebrity continues the tradition of providing multiple waiters to assist passengers in carrying their trays to a table. The dining area around the buffet is oversized so there is never any difficulty in finding a table in any area you prefer. This is certainly not the case on other, larger, cruise ships especially Princess. There are multiple buffet areas to suit every taste. We particularly enjoyed the pasta station, the sandwich area, the outdoor grill with its daily barbecue specials, the international specials (especially the Asian selections) and the breakfast stations. We loved the waffle/pancake and omelet stations! In the main dining room the food and service were excellent. We especially appreciated our dining room waiter, Andy. He made every meal enjoyable. Our dining guests were two lovely couples from Britain who kept us laughing with their dry humor for two weeks. We also enjoyed the prompt and courteous service of Joseph who worked in a specific dining area in the buffet every morning. This is certainly the first cruise where we've found a favorite buffet waiter! But that is just one small example of the level of service which epitomized the entire Summit experience. This ship is passionately committed to service. LOUNGES - The first night of the cruise we headed to the Cova Cafe for cappuccinos. We had the pleasure to be waited on by Wendy. The very next time we went to the Cova Cafe Wendy remembered our names! We were impressed. She was so friendly and attentive we found ourselves there every night. We also spent some time every evening at the Martini Bar where Maria became our regular server. She also always remembered our names and favorite drinks. Thanks to these two staff members we thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent each evening before our late seating dinner. ENTERTAINMENT – This was our thirteenth cruise so our expectations were not really high as far as entertainment goes. We were happily surprised by the talent of the Celebrity Singers and Dancers who enthusiastically performed ambitious Broadway shows such as Le Mis (complete with a barricade) and Phantom of the Opera. That was only the beginning. A female vocalist (I apologize that I cannot recall her name) was breathtaking. In the evening she performed a selection of Broadway favorites mixed with opera. Then, the next day, a special performance of opera was held in the afternoon. She was wonderful. We also enjoyed the talent of a male vocalist, Darren Williams, who had a beautiful voice. We loved the understated humor of Cruise Director Allan. The ship overflowed with talent. The string quartet, Prelude Strings, should not be missed. Jefferson Ang, a vocalist/guitarist was a favorite as was the classical harpist. There was always something going on, in every area of the ship. ACTIVITIES – The ship is equipped with a beautiful, fully equipped Spa and gym. I did indulge in a “spa day” and, (surprise!) no one tried to sell me anything! It was wonderful. The thallisotherapy pool was peaceful, soothing and free. Most fitness classes were also at no additional charge. It was wonderful to be on a cruise where people weren’t “nickel and diming” you to death. While we were in Hawaii the ship had several cultural advisors on board who held many classes intended to acquaint the guests to the unique history and art which is Hawaii. There were classes in the Hula and in playing the ukulele. There were at least two classes in Hawaiian lei making where mounds of fresh picked, gently fragrant orchids were available to string into beautiful leis. There was a class in making Hawaiian bracelets. These classes as well as the materials were all free. HAWAII – We did manage to tear ourselves from the ship long enough to see Hawaii. On Oahu we went on the “Explore the North Shore” tour which included stops at Turtle Bay Beach where we saw many sea turtles, several prime surfing areas and, most interesting to us, stops at various spots on the island where the television series, Lost, is filmed. At Kona we went on the Zodiac excursion which was great. The snorkeling was wonderful. We saw multiple pods of dolphins. We were overnight in Maui so we went to a restaurant we were familiar with from our previous trip. We enjoyed the evening sail past Mount Kilauea where we saw lava splashing into the ocean creating rising plumes of steam. DISEMBARKATION – It was managed well but we hated to leave. CONCLUSION – This cruise was perfect. We loved every minute of it. We have already booked a cruise to the Mediterranean on the Summit and even booked the same stateroom! Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
We have cruised with many different cruise lines, P&O, Princess, RCI, but this was our first time with Celebrity. We chose this cruise because we had always wanted to see Hawaii and this included some relaxing sea days prior to ... Read More
We have cruised with many different cruise lines, P&O, Princess, RCI, but this was our first time with Celebrity. We chose this cruise because we had always wanted to see Hawaii and this included some relaxing sea days prior to visiting the islands at the time of year we wished to travel. Having travelled from Scotland we spent two days in Long Beach prior to the cruise. This let us get over the jet lag, do some shopping and get into a relaxed mode ready for our cruise. We took a taxi from the hotel to the pier and arrived around 1pm earlier than advised but this was not a problem and indeed we later discovered embarkation had started at 11am. Clearly Celebrity try to stagger arrivals by suggesting times in the pre cruise literature. Checking in was relatively simple and quick although our priority boarding was disappointing as it seemed everyone had some sort of priority. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and were quickly in our cabin and back out again to explore our new home for two weeks. Our initial thoughts were good and everything was easy to find. We even had a snack in the Waterfall Cafe. The choice of food was great just what we needed for a late lunch. We had chosen late sitting dining. We love the restaurant experience and meeting new friends for dinner each evening. Our table was for 10 so we had eight new people to get to know, although after the first evening two did not return. The waiter, Marshall from Turkey, introduced himself and his assistant, Gusti, and explained the menu and what we could expect. The choice was really good and throughout the cruise items were not repeated. There was a regular choice, beef or salmon, in case the main menu did not meet your taste. One small complaint and this is not just Celebrity but the food was never really hot. I believe this is an American trait. One particular policy we liked though was that Marshall waited until everyone had finished their choice for each course before removing plated and bringing the next selection. Overall the service in the Cosmopolitan restaurant was very good, the food excellent and experience most pleasing. We were astonished at the choice of eating places on board the Summit. There was the main restaurant as described but also the Waterfall cafe (24 hours), Sushi bar, sandwich bar, pizza, sandwiches, burgers, light menu and room service and of course there was the speciality restaurant The Normandie. We tried the Normandie one evening having received very good recommendation from other guests on board. At $30 pp extra it was the highest supplement we have paid for this dining choice but I have to say it was well worth the money. The restaurant has Michel Roux name attached. The menu choices were excellent and all entrees are prepared tableside by your waiters. The food was absolutely first class and although the meal took three hours to prepare and eat the time flew by and at the end we were delighted to have visited the restaurant. Make sure you do too. As I have said we found getting around the ship easy. The public rooms were well cared for clean and freshly decorated although being non smokers we did find that the bars designated for smoking very smoky. Time to rethink your smoking policy Celebrity! Our favorite bar was the Martini Bar on deck 5. Perhaps it was the strength of the drinks or the excellent service we received from Virginia but we visited every night. We like a small flutter and enjoyed our time in the casino but again spoilt somewhat by the smoky atmosphere everywhere. We were disappointed with the evening entertainment. Perhaps this was more to do with the different nationality, we did not understand the jokes. Some of the Broadway production shows did have a lack of professionalism but we did discover this was a new team for this cruise. The aerial artistes were excellent. We also spent some time listening to the lecturer on board who spoke in very humorous tones about crossing and cruising, yes there is a big difference. Well finally after four sea days we arrived in Hilo on Hawaii and it was raining which meant out helicopter tour of the volcanoes was cancelled. So we were not happy and unless you see the volcanoes there is nothing else to do in Hilo. Lahaina on the other hand was completely different. Our tour took us whale watching and snorkeling. A great day weather wise and the tour guides were very well informed and knowledgeable and we visited the Banyan tree. Kona was disappointing as a place to visit, just where is the beach? Finally to Honolulu and Waikiki and all that has to offer. We did go to the Paradise Cove luau in the evening. The entertainment was lively and very good although the food was dreadful, no one at our table seemed to eat everything and the queues for drinks were extremely long. Probably not worth the money. We used the spa quite a lot really and this is where we had our main grumble. The prices of course were high but the experience was enjoyable but this was all spoilt by the high pressure selling of products which followed your treatment. And now for the main problem which spoilt the last few hours, tipping. I know there is a cultural difference between the US and UK about tipping but the constant badgering for tips from just about everyone you encounter became a nuisance almost to the point of deliberately not giving recognition for good service. Isn't it about time cruise lines paid their staff a proper salary and stop this begging. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our holiday aboard the Summit. The Celebrity cruise experience is up there with the best and we will certainly be using the company again. Hope you do too. Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
Overall - This was our third cruise, but first on Celebrity. Our other two cruises were on Royal Caribbean. We enjoyed our first cruise on X and would recommend it to anyone who wants a relaxed experience and doesn't need to have an ... Read More
Overall - This was our third cruise, but first on Celebrity. Our other two cruises were on Royal Caribbean. We enjoyed our first cruise on X and would recommend it to anyone who wants a relaxed experience and doesn't need to have an exciting nightlife. Even though the passengers on our cruise tended to be older, bringing children on this cruise was not an issue at all - they had plenty of fun. Embarkation - We drove to the pier from our home in Orange County. We arrived about 1:00 pm and found unloading our luggage and parking our vehicle to be very easy. We waited inside for about 15 minutes before boarding the Summit. The entire process was very smooth and easy. So with the exception of not being offered champagne upon boarding, we were quite happy. Public Areas - We found all the public areas to be clean and maintained very well. After taking previous cruises on Royal Caribbean Grandeur and Rhapsody, we found the central area of the ship to be rather disappointing and not very elegant. Wear and tear of the carpets, furniture, etc. were what we would expect given the amount of traffic in these areas and were rather surprised at the number of negative comments in the member reviews regarding this. The pool area was laid out very nice and having the Waterfall Grill at one end of the pool area was very convenient. One complaint that we have concerned the hot tubs on the pool deck - the water temperature was very tepid, even cold sometimes. This problem seemed to go away once we arrived in the warmer climate around the islands, but during the days at sea they were too cold to enjoy. They close at 6 pm, which is too early. The indoor pool and hot tubs were always warm and very comfortable. The gym was excellent. They had very good equipment and lots of it. I had no problem finding a bike and my wife could always find an elliptical to work out on. The weight machines seemed new and were very nice. Everything was extremely clean and didn't notice any locker room smell. Most people were very good at cleaning up the machines after they used them, and I noticed that crew would come by and clean the machines periodically. Room - We were very disappointed in the size of the room. It was smaller than either room we had aboard RC. Granted, the rooms we had on RC both had balconies, so they seemed bigger. On previous cruises we had been on decks 8 and 9, so we were concerned about having a room on such a low deck (deck 2). But it turned out that except for the lack of a balcony there wasn't much of a difference in terms of noise and movement. We booked our Summit cruise late and didn't have much of a choice in rooms that would accommodate five people and frankly, we were very surprised that Celebrity would put five people in a room that small. The furnishings were clean and not very worn; however the decor was done in very unattractive shades of orange and yellow. Yuck. That being said, we did not spend much time in our room and really only found the small size to be a detriment when we were getting ready in the mornings and before dinner. We had no complaints about the comfort of the beds/bunks. The bathroom was small and could accommodate two people only if one of them were in the shower at the time. Service - Overall the service was very good. Our wait staff in the dining room was excellent and very entertaining for our children. They were very good at accommodating our children's food choices - they knew what our children liked to drink with dinner and would have their drinks waiting for them when we arrived at our table. We encouraged our children to try new foods and our waiters were very good about substituting other dishes if they found ones they didn't care for. Our cabin attendant was very attentive and responded to our requests very quickly. It seemed like we always had fresh towels in our bathroom. Even if we took showers during the day, we would have fresh towels in the evening. We usually went to the martini bar in the evenings before dinner, and our waitress would bring us mixed nuts and bread sticks, and even cherries over ice for the children. We were slightly disappointed in the pool deck service and would have liked the attendants to come around more frequently, although the service did seem to improve somewhat later in the cruise. The entire staff was very good at remembering our names and trying to personalize our experience as much as possible, such as remembering our drink preferences and how we liked our food prepared, etc. Food - Reviewing the food is very difficult. We had dinner in the main dining room almost every night. We thoroughly enjoyed our meals, but we don't recall raving over any particular dish. The fish was good, the soups were good, the salads were good, etc. The beef, however, was usually excellent. Desserts were almost always disappointing. Overall, we did not notice a big difference in the quality of the food on the Summit and the food we enjoyed on our previous RC cruises. The Summit fare did tend to be more gourmet, with pate, escargot, frog legs, etc. Perhaps that is why we are not raving about it, as our tastes tend to run more simple. As an aside, the late seating was not a good option for our children, although they handled the late meal very well. Our personal preference is to go to the shows after we eat dinner rather than before, but the show times seemed geared for the early diners. The sommelier in the main dining room was not very good. He offered few suggestions and no descriptions of the wines we were interested in. He clearly had too many other diners to attend to as it usually took him at least ten minutes after we were seated to bring us the wine from the bottle we had not finished the night before. The midnight buffet was amazing to look at, but with our late dinner seating we were not able to sample any of the food since our dinner ended only about an hour and a half before the buffet started. The breakfast food at the Waterfall Cafe was very good. We had freshly made waffles almost every morning, as well as Omelets made to order. We rarely ate there for lunch and never for dinner. There generally seemed to be a lot of different choices such as sushi, stir fry, and always lots of different sandwiches. Many days we would stop by in the afternoon for some ice cream. The hamburgers at the Waterfall Grill were good and the fries were excellent. The light fare in the indoor pool area was delicious. Entertainment – We didn’t see any shows other than the talent show and a movie in the cinema, so we really can’t comment on their quality overall. The lounge band in the Rendezvous was below average, but then again, like most entertainment on the ship seemed geared toward the older crowd. My wife and I are in our late 30’s, so we were a little disappointed in the night life. The “Party Band” was fun, although their selection of tunes was very limited. I hope to never hear YMCA again, but my wife and kids loved it. The crowd in the disco was usually very small and reluctant to get up and dance unless the ship activities staff was there to encourage them. Kids Activities – The kids club was clean and well maintained, with plenty of toys and activities including a ball pit and slide. There were plenty of children ages 3 to 12. Our 6 year old had a fantastic time playing and meeting new friends, as did our 9 year old although she did get bored at times with the “leap frog” games. Overall, they enjoyed the staff and the program and even wanted to stay for the late night session (10:00 pm to 1:00 am). Our 14 year old was concerned about the lack of teenagers upon arrival on the Summit, but soon met some great friends and ended up having an excellent time. He enjoyed playing card games and dancing in the Teen Tower. He also had a great time playing basketball on the sports deck and liked the video arcade. He still maintains contact with a small group of teens he met onboard. Overall, 2 weeks was a little long for our teenager, as he missed his friends, etc. at home. Our younger ones seemed fine with the whole experience and were well entertained. Excursions – Hilo was our least favorite destination. We took the “Best of Hilo” excursion to the Mauna Loa Nut Factory, the gardens and to Akaka Falls. The gardens were beautiful and the falls were a highlight. Other passengers went on volcano excursions and seemed to enjoy them. There did not appear to be much else on that side of the island of interest. The area near the ship was fairly industrial and not conducive to exploring. Most passengers went to either Wal-Mart or Hilo Hatties to shop. Maui was very enjoyable. We loved snorkeling and trying snuba at Molokini Crater. The town of Lahaina is great for shopping and dining. We really enjoyed eating at the Lahaina Fish Company…..great Mai Tai’s! Everyone needs to visit the big Banyan tree. Kona was our favorite excursion! We went on the Zodiac and Snorkel excursion. If you enjoy snorkeling, this is a must. The amount of unique and beautiful sea life in Kealakekua Bay was incredible. And Chad from Captain Zodiac was a riot! After several hours of incredible snorkeling and sightseeing, we had a very good lunch at the Fish Hopper restaurant near the tender dock. In Honolulu we went on the Arizona/Mighty Mo excursion. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing both memorials, although the tour was rather disorganized. We heard of people renting cars or taking taxis and doing the tours themselves, and that seems to be the way to go. We recommend going early as the wait at the Arizona Memorial can be very long. We also did the Paradise Cove Luau later that evening. The activities and dancing were very enjoyable, but very long lines for drinks. The food was okay. Our only other luau experience at the Royal Lahaina Luau was better overall, but Paradise Cove was fun. In closing, even though we experienced some minor disappointments, this cruise is well worth going on and our family had a wonderful time! Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
It is Saturday Afternoon, 03-17-2007, at about 5:00 PM. We got off the Summit this morning and it should be sailing right now from Los Angeles to head back to Hawaii. I wanted to write this article for several reasons. First, it is our ... Read More
It is Saturday Afternoon, 03-17-2007, at about 5:00 PM. We got off the Summit this morning and it should be sailing right now from Los Angeles to head back to Hawaii. I wanted to write this article for several reasons. First, it is our first cruise on Celebrity and the first cruise that we used a lot of the resources on Cruisecritic.com to make our decision on. Because of some of the reviews on the Summit, I strongly considered canceling this cruise and selecting a different one. Today, my wife and I agree that we have never had a better vacation in our 25 years together. Here are our comments based on comments we read from member reviews. Nothing that we write is intended to suggest others are wrong in their comments. We are all different and we all care about different things. I wanted a luxury cruise for my wife for our 25th anniversary (which was a week before the cruise). I also wanted an extended cruise to get away from the busy office for more than a week. We are 45 years of age. Embarkation: We live in the Southern California area and drove to the San Pedro cruise terminal. We arrived at the terminal at 11:45 AM and we were on-board at 12:08 PM. There is something to be said for arriving early. There were no lines. We looked down on the pier and saw a long line to board at 3:55 PM. We were told that our room would be ready at 1:00 PM and were directed to Deck 10 to eat lunch in the buffet area. Our lunch was fine. We saw about 100 people already eating when we got our food. At 1:00 PM we walked to our Celebrity Suite (8106). It was ready and our luggage was not yet there. We prepared to set out to explore the ship. Condition of Our Suite: I read and worried about the comments about the ship being "worn out" and in bad shape. There are many of these comments in the member review area. Upon opening our room, I noticed ware marks on the walls (from luggage, I presume) and the sofa looked very worn. One of the two sinks in our bathroom had a large crack in it that had been filled with putty instead of being replaced. I worried that the comments in the reviews would come to be true. Our butler arrived, introduced himself and pointed out that the sofa was going to be replaced within an hour. When we returned to the room after exploring, a brand new sofa was in the place of the old one. I would think that the sink should be replaced. However, there was nothing present that was any worse that any luxury hotel that we have stayed at. At the end of two weeks, we found ourselves very pleased with our room. In fact, we meet follow travelers at our door and we ended up providing several quick tours of the room. Condition of Our Ship: Like the comments about the rooms, I was worried about comments about the ship. We agree that we found nothing wrong with the ship. The public areas were always clean. This ship is not brand new. It's been used; but, there was nothing that disappointed us with regards to the condition of the ship. We saw people cleaning all the time. Food: We have read that the food is not up to expectations. Gosh, we ate tons of it and loved all of it. We had breakfast in our room every morning. Most morning meals were omelets, breakfast meats, and fresh fruit. We ate lunch on Deck 10 every day. We selected some items from the Spa because they seemed healthy and we were eating all the time. The cheese, bread, and basic salad areas were good. There was nothing very spicy. We always ate lunch on the outdoor aft dining deck. It was great. But, there were some smokers who would not respect the designated smoking areas. One comment to a crew member and they would instantly address the issue professionally with the passengers. During a 14-day cruise you came to realize that it was the same people who disrespected the designations over and over again. This problem was nothing but standard human nature. Desserts rotated. There were about 15 different kinds and appeared on different days. We ate dinner almost ever night in the dining room. We ate a beef dish every night and were very happy with the quality of the food and the excellent service. Our table mates ate a lot of fish dishes and they were not always pleased. We lost a pair of table mates to a serious ankle injury in Honolulu. We knew no one at the table before the trip and we loved eating with our group. Everyone at our table was more experienced at cruising and everyone of them has been on many Celebrity cruises. We were invited to eat at the Captain's table on the final formal "gala" evening. That was a wonderful experience. We ate at the Normandy Restaurant twice. Once while en route to Hawaii and once on the return. The menu was the same; but, we loved it. We will do it again. The cover cost was well worth the attention and courtesy that the waiters afforded my wife. Hawaii - Our Destination: I've lived in Hawaii and my wife wanted to go there since the day we were wed. It took me a while; but, I did get her there. We only did one excursion from the ship. It was nice. We rented a car in Honolulu and drove all around the island and did a lot of shopping at the Dole Pineapple Plantation. We ate on Waikiki Beach the first night. On the second day, we took a taxi to the Arizona Memorial ($15.00) and spend most of the day at this free site before taking a taxi back. We saved a lot of money on this excursion. We should have rented jet-skis in Kona (we will next time). Our Peers: This cruise was filled with a majority of people that I would estimate were over 65 years of age. The ship seemed to go to sleep at 9:30 PM. It was great for those of us that did want to stay out. There were no lines, no crowds, no loud or rude drunk fools. I found that people in electric chairs were often dangerous. Many did not seem to care that they were putting others at risk. Lots of people were very nice and deserved to have a nice quiet ship to enjoy their vacation on. It takes some of these people a lot of time to turn a corner, board or exit a tender or get out of a chair. If you are not prepared to slow down and relax, this little issue will make you appear to be a grouchy ogre. I saw some of them and it was disappointing to have to see people older than me act like children. We specifically picked this cruise knowing this about the travelers and we wanted a slower pace. If we wanted a hopping, dancing, drunken "Fun Ship" we would have gone back to Carnival. Service: This is the item that will bring us back to Celebrity over and over again. We had a top category suite on our last Carnival cruise. We rarely saw our cabin attendant. We saw our butler on this cruise 20 times a day. Service was outstanding. We laughed at the waiters trying to carry trays for everyone. However, I was very pleased to see them take the time to help many elderly people get their food. If I could get my 76 year old mother to travel on a cruise, I would want this kind of extra service for her all the time. Sailing crew helped people with tendering. Everyone said hello. I could go on and on about the excellent service. Entertainment: The shows seemed to be geared towards the majority of our travel mates who were older than us. But, we liked all of the shows and went to almost every one. We were treated to several lectures from naval historian John Maxtone-Graham. He was wonderful. He packed the theater and we made sure that we had front row seats every time he talked. The shipboard television was weak. We watched the same 50's and 60's black-and-white classics over and over. The classics channel was neat; but, its inventory needs to be expanded. The Travel Channel was filled with static. The music channels could have been wonderful if they had come from XM or Sirius. I would have happily paid a premium. Bring some of your favorite CD's and your own DVD's. We both read 3 books. It was great to have time to sit and read. Shipboard Internet is available but it is slow, troublesome, and expensive. I had to complete an assignment for a graduate class that ended on the second day of the cruise. Because it was a final exam, I could not do it in advance. I spent $250.00 on Internet and had terrible connection problems because of the slow speed. We sent a couple emails via the shipboard email because it was cheaper. Avoid the Internet service if at all possible. The web service on Carnival worked much better. General Comments: We loved the service. The food was fine for us. It was nice to see the crew be so helpful to elderly passengers. The pace was slower and entertainment was focused on the generations before ours. The ship was clean and on-time. We would have liked better Internet services We would have liked better in-room musical service. We used the on-board gratuity system and provided personal extras for superb extra service. We are not involved in the travel industry. We have to start a diet in the morning. Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
This was our fifth cruise, and we have sailed with Carnival, Norwegian, Princess and this was our first Celebrity. Pros. Dining room service. The main and assistant waiter have only a few tables to supervise, so they have plenty of ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise, and we have sailed with Carnival, Norwegian, Princess and this was our first Celebrity. Pros. Dining room service. The main and assistant waiter have only a few tables to supervise, so they have plenty of time for each table and they do an excellent job. Our sommelier Stephan was fantastic and very knowledgeable. Once he knew what we like he did a great job with new recommendations, and even warned us against some of our choices (and he was always correct). Disembarkation. Celebrity has introduced a plan that allows you to check your baggage with certain airlines before leaving the ship, as well as receiving boarding passes for $15 per person. We received special tags for our luggage, and we simply left it outside our stateroom. We didn't have to bother with it until we arrived at our final destination, which made leaving the ship extremely easy. Room service food was good and generally on time. They also called 1 minute before they arrived at your door to wake you up and give you time to unlock the door. The library is well run. The casino added its first Texas hold em table. Cons. Dining room food. The general quality and finish of the food is about the same as other big lines, such as Princess. Nothing about the food is special enough to distinguish it from other cruise lines. Three food related items in the dining room became very tiresome. The first is their cheese plate. It consisted of a processed pepper cheese, a cold bree (that was only correctly served room temperature once), and a simple cheddar. This same trio never changed for two weeks, even on days when other nice cheeses happened to make it to the lunch buffet or were parts of other entrees. The second boring element was their bread baskets, which were identical for the full cruise. They consisted of a baguette, breadsticks, a soft rye slice and a country roll. They were prepared correctly, but this quartet of bread was unchanging for the entire two week cruise. Princess, Norwegian and Carnival all vary their breads daily. Breakfast. The third repetitive thing in the dining room is their limited and pedestrian breakfast menu, which is the same everyday. There is not even one special to make breakfast interesting. Finally, there was not a single souffle offered for the entire cruise. The dining room really shows its age, and needs a refurbishment. The chairs are threadbare and missing their darning buttons. Embarkation. The embarkation process is the worst we have ever experienced. It took hours and consisted of standing in line after line because there was insufficient staff at each point in the process. The final disappointment was standing in line for yet another 35 minutes just to board the ship so that each guest can be escorted to their room by someone from the ship. We would have preferred to get out of that line and find our own room. Shore excursions. We booked our shore excursions two months early on line, and had confirmation numbers. But on board, there was no record of our reservation, and the excursions were full. We started to make it clear they needed to fix the problem, and we were rudely questioned regarding how many times we had cruised, the implication being we were at fault. Before we erupted the supervisor came over and intervened. They eventually solved the problem, but they were unprofessional about the whole thing Logistics and Timing. The timing of most aboard ship events was poorly planned. Trivia and other games. They started at unusual times, and sometimes several overlapped. There was clearly no organization or planning about when events were to be held. Evening live music, such as the quartet, started at different times, and didn't correspond with seating in the main dining room. Late night music in the disco was mostly karaoke instead of dancing. The afternoon tea was held at 4 pm, just two hours before dinner. The hot tubs closed early, some at 6 pm and the remainder at 10 pm. Movie times. Movies were not shown in the afternoons, only in the evening. They generally started about 30 minutes before the shows in the main theater. Itinerary. The itinerary was generally good, especially a really long day in Maui, but two changes were made. The first is that that Kuwai was removed and instead we had two full days in Honolulu. The second is that from Kona to Hilo the captain chose to go north around the island so there would be better conditions for his gala party (which was stupid). Instead, he should have gone around the south side to see the lava (which we've done before, and thats fantastic). Bar service. Bar service was generally terrible. Most of the smaller bars had incompetent bar tenders that couldn't even make gin and tonic correctly. There were exceptions, such as the martini bar (but that only opens at 5 pm), and the one bar tender in the waterfall bar at the back of the ship, Binoy. There is no bar service on the upper decks around the pool area in the daytime, only during dinner hours. The lack of bar service was irritating, and the only way to get a drink was to wait in line at the bar. None of the bars offers peanuts or snacks, except those next to the dining room that open at 5 pm. Normandy specialty restaurant. The stemware was beautiful, and a nice change from the main dining room. The service wasn't as good as the main dining room, and the food was exactly the same. For example, we were seated near a corner, and the waiters would annoyingly squeeze behind our chairs instead of just reaching from the other side. The assistant waiter poured half a liter of water in our over sized water glass, which made it almost impossible to drink out of. The food was the same. For example, anywhere on the ship anything involving salmon comes as smoked lox, which is nice, but it might be described on paper in a different way. Our salmon tar-tar was in fact that same smoked lox with mayonnaise. (The steamed fresh salmon in the main dining room was also more of the same smoked lox). We would definitely avoid the Normandy in the future. The stateroom. The stateroom was the smallest we've had anywhere, but the shower was by far the largest shower. There are two problems with the room. The first is that there's no closet light (or closet hallway light), so to see into the closet one must turn all the room lights on full brightness. The second is that there's inadequate places to hang damp clothes, so we ended up draping them over the place, which was ugly. The main theater entertainment. This was fine if your like old show tunes. Only two nights out of two weeks was there a more interesting variety or comedy show offered. Read Less
Sail Date December 2006
After slight fog bound delays at London Heathrow we arrived in San Pedro CA for our pre cruise hotel stay.Must state that the Hotel was only average and we could not get any food after 22.00hrs. Next day embarkation was a delight , less ... Read More
After slight fog bound delays at London Heathrow we arrived in San Pedro CA for our pre cruise hotel stay.Must state that the Hotel was only average and we could not get any food after 22.00hrs. Next day embarkation was a delight , less than one hour after leaving the hotel we were in our cabin,8046 which was a CC class.Initially the cabin smelt of stale smoke,after pointing this out to our steward it took them 7 days to rectify the problem after deep cleaning and changing air con filters.The cabin was spacious with plenty of space for a two week cruise.The bathroom was warm in fell and spacious. Everyday small bites were delivered and a bottle of champagne was in the cabin on our arrival. We left San Pedro on time then had three cold days before we were blessed with warm sunshine.On our return it was similar weather with the last day being very rough with 60/70 mph gusts,the Summit was a stable ship and rode the 20 feet swells very well. At this point I must say that the Celebrity standards have gone into freefall since our Mercury cruise in 2000,we were appalled at the way some fellow passengers were allowed to conduct themselves with no consideration for other passengers and no correction from the Officers or crew.About 200 of the 2250 onboard did not adhere to the dress codes and were loud loutish and drunk for the majority of the time, I witnessed substance abuse and when mentioned to the staff they were too afraid to do anything about it !!!!. The food in the main dinning room was bland and had very little taste,most of the time served at luke warm temperatures,the food in the buffet was similar.I do not know how Michael Roux can put his name to this kind of food,if he delivered this in any of eateries he would be out of business. I will be writing to Mr Roux to advise him of the situation on the Summit.Anyway the Normandie restaurant,the food was great although they still let people dine there with lumberjack shirts on,being very loud and slapping " High Fives " over dinner. The decor on the ship was very pleasant with plenty of space although the ship could have been much much cleaner.I think the fall in standards is since the line was taken over by R.C.C.I. Until we can be assured that the standards are vastly improved we will not be taking another Celebrity cruise. We will be now taking our main line cruises on H.A.L. and P & O. Read Less
Sail Date December 2006
This was our 48th cruise in the past 25 years so this review is written with that in mind. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach for one night prior to departure, and were very satisfied with our accommodations. Took a taxi to San ... Read More
This was our 48th cruise in the past 25 years so this review is written with that in mind. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach for one night prior to departure, and were very satisfied with our accommodations. Took a taxi to San Pedro for embarkation which went very smoothly, arriving onboard at about 1:00. Our cabin was ready at about 2:00, the delay being due to the sanitizing and cleaning that was going on. Have learned since our return that there had been some Norovirus on the previous cruise....none on ours as far as we know. Lots of hand sanitizing and washing, however. We experienced heavy seas on the first night which continued all the next day..lots of rocking and rolling. By the second day, the seas had calmed down and we had glorious weather for the rest of the trip. Because we have become avid readers of the CC website, we were looking for "maintenance and cleanliness" issues on Summit. We found none worth mentioning. A general refurbishment is due soon, but we found no serious wear and tear on a vessel that carries so many passengers day in and day out. Our cabin was in excellent condition and was kept that way throughout our trip by our invisible cabin steward, Sebastian. The service by him and by our butler, Enrickkee was superior. It gave us great pleasure to add some extra to the automatic tips put on our seapass. We did not feel that our service in the dining room was excellent. It was adequate, but not up to our previous experience on X. The food, however, was very good, well prepared and presented. This is such a subjective thing that I hesitate to rave over any special dish but must submit that the prime ribs, rack of lamb, cold soups, and bread sticks were outstanding. We had a congenial table for 8 arranged by the cruiseline...a very good job selecting dinner mates..and wonderful table location on deck 4 at the foot of the stairs. We tend to enjoy the time at sea rather than the ports..and having been to Hawaii many times before..we decided to take the ships tours to places we hadn't been. We took the Valley of the Kings on Hilo, and the botanical garden tram on Maui and enjoyed both of them. Our excursion on Oahu was a not as good. We had selected it especially to visit the Byodu Temple and the driver got lost and we did not see it at all. The shore excursion desk gave us a 33% credit for that and we felt that was adequate compensation. A couple of criticisms: The lovely marble bathtub walls in the Sky Suite do not have any grab-bars. so, taking a shower in rough seas is difficult if not impossible. The addition of a grab-bar would be a big help. Captain Bergos appeared at the required functions but was not a people person apparently as we never saw him mingling with the passengers. By the way, it was interesting to see staff officers assisting people to find seats in the theatre. Very helpful, and a deterrent to seat-saving. Must mention the evenings entertainment...the shows in the theatre were terrific. The best group of Celebrity Singers and Dancers we have seen. The Casino was active with friendly, hospitable staff who were obviously happy with life onboard. Hubby used the fitness center daily and was very impressed with the equipment...good working treadmills..I used the salon once and has been my experience on all my cruises, the salon staff is not up to snuff, and the prices are outrageous compared to land based salons. $18 to change polish color compared to the $12 I pay for an entire manicure at home. This was a terrific cruise experience even disembarkation went smoothly. We had a wonderful time and can't wait for April and November when we will sail again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2006
I participated in the Cruise Critic Roll Call member board for the Dec 9 sailing and got to know some of my fellow passengers before the cruise ever began, so once on board it was as if we were travelling with people we already knew. On ... Read More
I participated in the Cruise Critic Roll Call member board for the Dec 9 sailing and got to know some of my fellow passengers before the cruise ever began, so once on board it was as if we were travelling with people we already knew. On the Roll Call I linked up with another couple from our area and we car pooled down to the port from our hometown 90 miles away and split the $12 per day cost of parking, which was a good way to start the cruise. We timed our arrival at the port so we'd get there at 3 o'clock and miss the early boarding crush. As a result, we took about twenty minutes to get from the car to our stateroom, saving us a lot of aggravation and waiting around. We had been on the Summit last May for a 13 day repo cruise LA-Alaska and so we had fairly fresh memories of the ship and staff for comparison. Overall, we again had an enjoyable cruise, but noticed some decline in public area cleanliness. Tables were not bussed and wiped, ashtrays were left overflowing, etc. We also were struck with the attitude of staff - indifferent and inattentive. unless it was your own waiter or cabin steward. This cruise had a vast majority of passengers over 60 with a wide spectrum of physical ability. In May, the staff were quick to hold open a door and lend a steadying hand to aid any passenger in need. On this cruise, staff more often than not, stood by and watched. It was up to the fellow passengers to look after and assist those in need. For coffee and tea drinkers, only one station out of eight on deck 10 was operating except during mealtimes, and it always seemed to be the station farthest from where you wanted to be. One station midship and one aft would have worked far better for the passengers, serving both the pool/Aqua Spa (midship) and rear deck/Waterfall Cafe (aft). The Cosmopolitan Restaurant(deck 4 & 5) continued serving high quality meals with wonderful wait staff in attendance. This is one area where there was no decline between May and December. All of our dinner choices were exceptional in their taste and presentation. There was no decline in service provided by the cabin steward, either. She was thorough, efficient and unobtrusive. We enjoyed the entertainment offered in the Celebrity theatre and found it a cut above that offered on HAL, Princess, and RCCL. In addition to the usual crew production numbers, we saw Scott Record (a singing comic impressionist), Lorraine Brown (a soul and blues singer from Britain), Brooks Aehron (a very entertaining classical and pop pianist), and "A Taste of Cirque Du Soleil". The lounge acts ranged from a string quartet at the Cova Cafe to the Diamonds in the Rendez Vous (Their spelling). Michaels Club had a pianist and the Waterfall Cafe had a rock guitarist accompanied by canned back up who could play just about anything requested from the 50's thru the 90's. Besides the casino (where you could easily rack up huge losses), there was a fair variety of daytime activities to occupy our 9 sea days. The enrichment series offered every afternoon in the Celebrity Theatre was both educational and entertaining, and there were the trivia games scattered throughout the day that you'd find on any cruise. This is a good cruise for people who like a more sedate pace and enjoy sea days and the onboard experience. There were 68 children on this cruise out of 1950 passengers. As the days wore on, the kids seemed to become more restless. Celebrity makes a token effort to provide children and teenagers with something to do, but like HAL and Princess, Celebrity is more focused on a mature and seasoned traveller. Perhaps Disney, Carnival or NCL would be more appropriate for kids as they seemed focused on a younger clientele. Read Less
Sail Date December 2006
Cruise Report  Summit to Hawaii/Dec 9th I wanted to share our experience on this cruise. It was my hubby, and my cousin and her best friend. Our 6th cruise, they're first. Our 2nd Celebrity cruise. In a nutshell, I LOVE Celebrity. ... Read More
Cruise Report  Summit to Hawaii/Dec 9th I wanted to share our experience on this cruise. It was my hubby, and my cousin and her best friend. Our 6th cruise, they're first. Our 2nd Celebrity cruise. In a nutshell, I LOVE Celebrity. The extra touches they bring to their cruises are just wonderful. We've done Royal Caribbean, which we really enjoy also. But Celebrity has a few extra touches that really make a difference. We were in an inside cabin, #7042. Our traveling partners were inside, #8005. Both cabins were comfortable, clean, plenty of storage space, and surprisingly bigger bathrooms than on other ships we've been on. You could even turn around in the shower!! Robes in the cabin, fridge, mini bar be careful of the bottle of wine on your vanity. The card SAYS A bon voyage gift for you, but it's not it'll cost you 24.00. I checked with guest services 2x to be sure, FOOD. Believe it or not, we only ate in the main dining room one time during the entire 14 day cruise. It was pretty good that one night, though my cousin and her friend had the pasta and didn't think it was anything special. The beef I had was great. The rest of the time we ate at the buffet, pasta bar, pizza bar, sushi bar, and room service. It was all delicious. No complaints. Pizza was surprisingly good, and at the pasta bar you could pick your own ingredients and they cook it up for you right there at the buffet. And we are BIG sushi fans, and it was very good, very fresh, and the miso soup was pretty tasty too. Plenty of food was available 24 hours. The only bad thing I agree with that I've seen on the message boards is that eggs from room service are not great. It was the truth for us. When you are in the buffet, there are trays. And the staff offer to carry your tray for you. Neither NCL or RCL provide trays, let alone staff who offer to carry your dishes for you. I just do not understand why they don't have trays. It is difficult enough to juggle everything on a calm day, but when the sea is a little rough..fugget about it! ENTERTAINMENT. First let me say, in our limited cruise experience, I think Royal Caribbean has the best entertainment. Now that is said, on this ship we saw the cirque du soleil show, about 30 minutes long with 3 acts, all of which we thought were pretty good. Saw the comedian for about 5 minutes, and while others we talked to thought he was good, we feel like cruise ships are where older comedians go to retire, and to us, that was the case with this guy. The only other entertainment I saw was the Adult Talent Show, which was fun. There was this older gentleman who played the harmonica along with a pianist he played Crazy and Rhapsody in Blue. He was just great!!!!! STAFF. Staff on every cruise ship we've ever been on are great. They really do make the cruise. Celebrity staff are top notch at what they do. I don't think we passed one staff member who did not say hello. When we got on the ship, they greeted us with champagne or orange juice, all lined up in their white uniforms greeting us. It was very welcoming. This type of welcome doesn't happen on other lines we've been on, either RCL and NCL. SHIP. The entry way is just beautiful on this ship. Marble or stone stairway, lit from below very elegant. I've read on these boards that some people thought the Summit needed work, but as far as we were concerned, it was in great shape. Comfortable, clean, constant maintenance and upkeep by the staff. Our two favorite spots to hang out were the Champagne Bar Renato is the barkeep and he was just wonderful. The other spot is the back deck, outside of the Waterfall Cafe on deck 10. Tables, some cover, some umbrellas. It was extremely comfortable and a great place to just spend some time and goof around with others, and the staff. GETTING AROUND IN HAWAII. Thanks to these boards, I realized before we went on the cruise, that a rental car is the way to make the best of our time. A lot less expensive, less crowded, and more freedom than ship shore excursions. It was a good move for us. We used Thrifty in HILO and Honolulu. Shuttle from the pier to the rental car pick up. Rented a convertible in Honolulu for the 2 days, and it was great. In Lahaina/Maui, we rented from a local rental place since most rental car companies are near the airport, on the other side of the island. We used Island Riders? About $50.00 for the day. This was a long in port day, and even though they closed at 5:00, we were able to just drop the car off and walk back to the pier (or take a $5.00 cab ride). PORTS. HILO. We went to Volcano National Park, it is very different from anything we've ever seen, except that it reminds you a bit of Yellowstone. The lava tube was fascinating. We enjoyed it, and would recommend it. We left VNP and then went to Akaka falls. Beautiful highly recommend this too. No crowds, beautiful, lush pathway to falls. There is another fall in the other direction but we ran out of time and saw just Akaka. Well worth the trip. MAUI/LAHAINA. We drove around and enjoyed the island. We found a beautiful public beach at one of the resorts, and snorkeled right off of the beach. It was fantastic. Beautiful weather, clean uncrowded beach, bathroom. When you get off of the ship, you walk into a touristy but cute little town. The first thing that impresses you is this HUGE Banyan Tree in the park. I'm saying HUGE because I can't think of another more fitting word. It has so many big spreading branches out of it that they are supported with pieces of lumber, and lots of other banyan trees are growing out of it. It's just amazing. And if you go there at dusk, hundreds of minah birds in the tree start their chirping and last until the sun goes down, It was great. HONOLULU. 2 days. This was our least favorite stop, and we were there for 2 days. It was the Los Angeles/New York of Hawaii. Actually, I like New York a lot better, much more interesting. Getting out of the city is important, at least to us it was. The first day we drove up and around North Shore. It was just beautiful. Great little funky surf areas, stores, restaurants. Good places to stop and enjoy the beach along the way. Very colorful. When we got back to the city, the traffic was horrendous, so we got off and followed signs to Chinatown, thinking it would be an interesting stop. Have dinner, a few drinks etc. Wrong!! This is not like Chinatown in Philly, or New York, or San Francisco. This is a seedy and dirty part of town that closes down before dark. We walked around a couple of blocks but didn't want to go in any of the few places that were open. Although, we DID NOTICE that it felt like Chinatown was slowly being rebuilt. We saw a few nice looking shops and clubs in between dirty looking buildings that gave the impression it was in the process of coming back to life. So I wouldn't write this area off just yet. The 2nd day, my hubby and I went to the USS Arizona memorial, and also did the BowFin Submarine tour (since Rich is an ex-submariner). This was very nice, very well done and coordinated. We got up and off the ship early and were at the memorial by 7:15 a.m. There was a very long line of people already. When we got in (free entry), we were tour number 3. My understanding is that if you get there too late, you can have tour number 15 or something like that, and they'll only be up to number 5 you can be there all day waiting for your tour. What I mean by tour is, once they call your number you go into the theater and watch a 20 minute film, which is very good and informative. Then you go onto the shuttle boat out to the memorial, and stay there for about 25 minutes, then they call your number and you go back to the building on shore. There is an audio tour ($5.00) that you can take which is well worth the price. Then we went to the Bowfin Submarine tour which I could have lived without but my husband really enjoyed it. And it was NOT free. You cannot carry any bags, camera bags, handbags, or anything into any of the exhibits. You can check your bags at the Bowfin area for $3.00 if you don't want to leave stuff in your car. We chose to leave everything but our camera in the trunk of our car. KAILU-KONA. Since this was a tender port, AND we were there for such a short time, I booked a Zodiac Rafting/Snorkel trip through the ship. My husband and our fellow travelers booked a deep sea fishing trip which unfortunately got cancelled. Since the seas were so rough this day it was difficult to get the tenders going and by the time they did, there was not enough time for the 5 hour fishing trip. Everyone was reimbursed. In fact it was so rough, they were pretty much telling anyone who had difficulty walking NOT to try and go ashore. The rafting/snorkeling trip was just GREAT!!!! The ride in the zodiac was so much fun, I sat in front, and with the rough seas I really got slammed around. I was a bit sore the next day, but it was worth the fun. We saw a pod of spotted dolphins while we were out in the raft, and they were jumping and surfing the wake of our boat. IT WAS WONDERFUL! We went several miles out to sea and up the coast, then came back into the coast near the Captain Cook monument can't remember the proper spelling of the Bay, but it's a Nature preserve. Snorkeling here was just great, it was a beautiful spot all around. You cannot go ashore here, and it can only be reached by boat. We got back in the Zodiac and rode back along the coast, seeing blowholes, caves, and the captain gave us lots of history along the way. They even hosed you down with fresh water and you climbed back on board, and fresh fruit, chips, water and soda were provided. I would highly recommend this trip, unless you have a bad back. Also, if you don't get around to booking it through the ships, they had a stand set up as soon as you get to the pier where I think you can sign up right there. IN CLOSING we were worried that 14 days would be too long and we would get fidgety about being onboard so many days. But that was not the case, we played games, relaxed, ate, drank and laughed. We actually hesitated about getting off the ship on the second day in Honolulu because we were enjoying being on the ship so much. I would recommend this ship, this cruise, even this itinerary, to anyone. Our fellow cruisers were middle aged, like us, and older, so there wasn't A LOT of crowded nightlife, though we did go out to the clubs a couple nights and danced without bumping into a lot of people. Even got to dance to some big band music which was a lot of fun. I would give the Summit, and Celebrity Cruise Lines a big old THUMBS UP!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2006
We are two early 50 year old professionals who travel as much as we can: this was our 7th cruise with Celebrity and our 2nd this year - we also have 2 more booked with them so we are regular and loyal customers to date. We travelled from ... Read More
We are two early 50 year old professionals who travel as much as we can: this was our 7th cruise with Celebrity and our 2nd this year - we also have 2 more booked with them so we are regular and loyal customers to date. We travelled from the UK having made our own flight arrangements with BA two days before sailing and stayed at the Westin Downtown LA. Not a lot to do around there, but it fitted our needs of being a good base from which we easily arranged a day trip round LA and the homes of the stars with Guidline tours - we booked this on arrival at the Hotel, did not seem to need any advanced booking which was good as we were unsure whether we would get flight delays etc. Arranged to go down to San Pedro using Prime Time shuttle - perhaps a mistake as although it was not overly expensive we did go via LAX and did several circuits there as the driver looked for more fares Embarkation was a little chaotic as the ship had been several hours late in due to bad weather. We were asked to wait at the Catiline Ferry Terminal where free sandwiches and drinks were provided. We were bussed over to the ship around 2pm where it seemed others had fared much worse with confusion and long lines, consequently on boarding the ship we were surrounded by some very unhappy people which put a damper on our high spirits. Service We have sailed on Summit before and found her to be in good shape - yes there were scratched chairs in our room and the jacuzzi was temperamental but no worse than we have had in many 5 star hotels. We did have to make comment to the Assistant Chief Housekeeper about the standard of cleaning in our room, particularly the bathroom, but this was dealt with perfectly and we would put it down to an oversight by the Stateroom Attendant who was very sweet, but as her contract was ending that week, she was less attentive than others we have had. Our butler was not as good as others we have had and seemed rather remote, never around or opening doors however, if you had never had a butler, you might have though him to be good. One thing if you are in a suite, insist they give you the Concierge Class menu. Our butler declined at first but got the message I wanted it and I did order from it (though one day he did blame our late breakfast on the fact I had done so and that meant he had to go to 2 places, so if you do, ask for the breakfast a little ahead of when you need it if you are time critical for an excursion. We did see our Assistant Housekeeper Suardi regularly - an excellent person well worthy of his tip The dining room staff were first class, in particular Marco the Assistant maitre D who visited very table every night - we were on Level 4. Ali and Ketuk were a great waiting team and they coped well with the requests from our table. On the first night the menu of items that you can have very night (escargot, Caesar salad, chicken or steak etc) is printed on the menu but it does not appear on other nights. Do nt be afraid to ask for a reminder of what it contained, likewise 2 people on our table (my husband being one) had food allergies and Marco was excellent at checking things, even doing so very discreetly the night we dined with the Hotel Director. Food We found the food very much to our liking and had no issues with it. We would recommend visiting the Aqua Spa, not only for lunch as others suggest but have one or two breakfasts there - the bread is coming straight from the oven and the Chef d Range from the Speciality Restaurant makes the best hot toast over! There were theme buffets most lunchtimes as well as the usual buffet, pasta, pizza, salad bar, sandwiches, outside burger bar, main dining room etc etc - would defy someone not to find something they like. Would suggest if they have an Oriental Buffet check out to see if they have the chap making the stir fries fresh for you - he was opposite the ice cream bar on our trip mmmmmmmm On board activities Good mix, with 8 at sea days it could have become repetitive if you had not got a good book with you. The average age of passengers on the ship was one of the highest seen according to the crew so some events (quizzes etc) were very well attended, evening activities less so and as such there was little atmosphere after 1030pm - but you got great very personal attention in the Martini Bar!! Shows were varied and in particular Brooks Aehron who did 3 concerts was an exceptional pianist. We were on board for Halloween and this was marked by many people dressing up and lots of halloween activities. They did a new thing - we all gave good feedback so hope future cruisers get it - on the third at sea day the helideck was opened for an hour and the Hawaiian musician on board (Henry Allen) played music to get us in the mood as we met and mingled with senior officers (this was an open event to anyone) It was a lovely relaxed hour and very good fun Shore Excursions We booked our excursions through the cruise line with the exception of an all day drive around Oahu which we did with a private driver arranged through Caseys Limos. The Circles of Fire and Water helicopter trip was dogged by mist, but we did get off unlike other groups, however the water element is one waterfall in the distance. We did buy the DVD of our trip ($25) and would say it was a very good buy as the quality is good and it is a nice reminder as it has shots in the cabin as well. Our trip to Lanai through X was cancelled at the last minute because of "difficulties with the operator" but we managed to pick up a local guide who drove us up to the Iao Needle and around the north of the island. In the evening we had booked the old Lahanian Luau direct with them on recommendations through these boards and would thoroughly recommend this. It is a very easy taxi ride from the tender dock and back and is a smaller personal experience than the ships own excursions - good food was enjoyed! Our Oahu Big Circle drive through Careys was excellent. Next day in Honolulu we went on the ships trip to the Arizona and Mighty Mo but this was a mistake. Because you are in a big group we had to wait for everyone to get off the bus, go to restrooms before you join the ticket line, by which time over 200 others had joined the line so what should have been a 5 hour trip was heading to turn into a 7 hour trip, not helped by poor timekeepers in the group. As a result, as we wanted to have a drink at Waikiki Beach before the ship sailed at 1800 we invested $20 to get our own cab back thereby saving an hour or so and in hindsight should have just done the trip ourselves, it was easy enough to get cabs at the dock and at the Memorial. At that stage we probably would have said we will never do another ships excursion when in Kona we had the best one ever - a Cloud Botanical walk in a private nature reserve with an excellent guide followed by a lovely visit to Mountain Thunder Coffee farm - and excellent small award winning organic farm not frequented by large coaches. At each port there are long lines to clear port security (not sure why as you still have the ship security) but credit has to be given to the tender team who were absolutely first class even when there was a swell and to "Happy Happy" whose welcome back on board was so infectious you forgot about the line you had been in Disembarkation This was first class - we were the second time they had used a coding system for immigration as well as disembarkation and it worked like a dream. There estimated times were spot on and it was so relaxed. Summary A great trip, lovely people - it was however what we made it to be. When we had our one issue, we raised it, it did not "fester" it was dealt with and everyone moved on. We went to enjoy ourselves and we did!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2006
PlWe arrived at LAX to be transferred to the ship. A representative of Celebrity was present and gathered us into an area to await a bus. After she made repeated calls for a bus, no one came. We were stranded at the terminal for about an ... Read More
PlWe arrived at LAX to be transferred to the ship. A representative of Celebrity was present and gathered us into an area to await a bus. After she made repeated calls for a bus, no one came. We were stranded at the terminal for about an hour and a half before a bus finally arrived. We were greeted at the ship by the staff and escorted to our cabin a veranda cabin which we found nice enough. We have sailed approx. 14 times so we are not new to cruising. The ship is in generally good repair, our cabin could use some updating (bedspread etc.) Our cabin stewardess was friendly and mostly efficient. The staff was extraordinary, you could not pass a crew member who didn't acknowledge you in a friendly manner. The minus side: Food, the dining was extremely regimented. The main seating was at 6:30 PM. If you chose to go to the informal dining area (the buffet area) you had a choice of three entrees and you MUST make reservations in advance. The buffets left something to be desired. Dinner in the dining room was without taste, no seasoning AT ALL. The two safe choices were steak and lobster, besides that dinner was less than a good experience. For a cruise line that advertises their food, they should drag Chef Roux behind the ship. Very poor. We sailed on the Horizon, many years ago and were unhappy, we tried it again under new management, also unhappy, will not sail Celebrity again, RCL and Princess have it all over Celebrity. The port side of the ship was smoking, I am a former smoker and I vowed that I would never become one of those who preached and I will not, but it was so thick on the port side that even I didn't want to walk through it. In all we enjoyed Hawaii, we would have liked more time in Maui, The Captain was all over the ship, very accessible and friendly, shows were good. Generally older crowd, many in wheelchairs and using oxygen. It is good that they are able to travel and enjoy their older years God bless them. Next winter we will cruise again but not with Celebrity at any cost. Read Less
Sail Date September 2006
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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