48 Celebrity Summit Hawaii Cruise Reviews

My husband and I recently returned from our 14 night cruise to Hawaii which departed from the port of San Pedro. We had made hotel arrangements prior to our sailing at the Crowne Plaza located quite near the pier (actually within walking ... Read More
My husband and I recently returned from our 14 night cruise to Hawaii which departed from the port of San Pedro. We had made hotel arrangements prior to our sailing at the Crowne Plaza located quite near the pier (actually within walking distance.) As we had driven from Oregon we got the park and sail package which I would highly recommend. Our room was very nice, the package included a bottle of wine and breakfast, as well as a shuttle to and from the pier. We boarded the Summit around 11:30 a.m. The embarkation process went much smoother than we have experienced in the past, as well as the disembarkation. There is always a line and somewhat of a wait when leaving the ship, but this went well and was organized. We had an inside room, lower level. It was a bit smaller than other lines, but adequate considering the short amount of time one spends there. We were very pleased with the cleanliness of the entire ship. Yes it had some wear and tear but as I have read in several posts...if your home was visited on the average of every 7 days by approx. 2000 visitors...I dare say it would show some wear and tear. We have sailed with RCC, Princess, Carnival and Norwegian in the past, but had always heard that Celebrity was a step above all. Well, we are pleased to inform all that this is indeed the case. First we were greeted with champagne upon arrival. Our room steward greeted us early and asked if we needed anything then gave us directions to the buffet and suggested we go up and enjoy a leisure lunch and explore the ship prior to leaving. The dining room staff was the best we have ever encountered! We had main seating, table 459 with John as our head waiter and Ivan as assistant waiter. We had a table of six with two couples from Florida that we made instant friends with, very delightful people that we looked forward to spending our evenings with. The staff on this ship, not only the ones that we knew i.e., wait staff or room staff, were all very friendly and I don't mean for show...I mean really very pleasant people. All taking time to stop and ask about your day, your meals, etc. The entertainment was very good, especially the comedians. There were two, one a musical comedian and the other a ventriloquist...the last absolutely not to be missed! The other evenings were a violinist, dulcimer (ist?), and the Celebrity Show Dancers and Singers. All quite good. We were uncertain about this cruise due to the 4 days at sea going and the 4 sea days coming back. But there were plenty of activities to keep one busy, or like myself...lying by the pool was wonderful. Each day at 2 p.m. they had "Sorbet on Parade"...a sound of trumpets and the waiters in their finest carrying silver trays would come from all directions and hand out cups of sorbet. How could it get better...well, in the heat of the afternoon, they would bring out cool towels to refresh those of us, burning up! Now that is going the extra mile! We, having been to Hawaii before did not partake of the shore excursions but instead enjoyed planning our days at port ourselves. The two days in Honolulu were great. The first day we took the city bus and rode it all around the island, seeing small communities that the ordinary tourist doesn't get to see. Well worth the 3 hours. The second day we spent walking around Waikiki and found ourselves at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel having Mai Tais and watching the sunset! Hilo, a small port on the big island did not have a lot to offer, but certainly glad we were able to see it. Spent the day in old town, at the market place...never have seen such huge avocados! Lovely little village. Kona on the other hand was a favorite. Superb shopping and sightseeing. Maui was also a great place, but unfortunately was the shortest of all our ports. Seems that most all the passengers would have preferred to have skipped Hilo and spent more time in Maui. Perhaps the ship will take this into consideration and change their itinerary in the future. This cruise had very few children, I believe at one time I might have seen a dozen that were with a crew member for the day. This was definitely a cruise that seemed to have a majority of travelers over the age of 60. I'm not sure if that is the norm or it was the time of year. None the less, it was a happy crew and happy passengers all the way around! I would highly recommend Celebrity Summit and the 14 day cruise to Hawaii to anyone interested in a clean ship, a friendly crew, great food and entertainment and lovely ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date September 2006
Bio: 54 married female, retired and I cruise two or three times a year for the last 10 years. I was very disappointed with this cruise. I had many issues but I will only cover a few. Embarkation was disorganized. The line for elite and ... Read More
Bio: 54 married female, retired and I cruise two or three times a year for the last 10 years. I was very disappointed with this cruise. I had many issues but I will only cover a few. Embarkation was disorganized. The line for elite and select guests was moving slower than regular lines since the persons advancing people to the check in desk was just letting anyone go ahead. Very confusing. The Summit is need of a major dry dock visit. Our cabin carpet had major stains on it and was dirty. The cloth sofa also had stains on it. The sheets and pillow cases were worn (thin with tears)and the pillows were thin foam. After complaining at guest relations, our steward took the cushions from the sofa out and had them cleaned but the stains were still there. We were given some feather pillows which were much better. The feather pillows are normally only for higher category cabins. I paid $6,300 for two persons in a FV cabin. I booked 30 days out and this was the only balcony cabin available. We meet a couple who were in a suite with a butler for two persons with much better accommodations and I think that they paid $4,300.000 but they booked early. I realize that FV is a family view cabin with families with children staying in it but Celebrity should take this into consideration and give it extra attention with upkeep. I had asked in advanced for for extra padding be placed on the bed which made it comfortable. The room was quite. We did not feel much movement. The balcony is hugh with great views aft and to the side but again the cushions on the chaise lounges were very worn and stained. Our cabin steward Sandy was great but again he can only work with what Celebrity provides for him. My biggest disappoint was dining choices and the food. Unless you want to make reservations, pay $30.00 per person additional money, order room service or eat pasta very night the only choice that you have for dinner dining is greeting dressed and eating in the formal dining room. There is only a pasta bar with salad at night where the buffet is during the day. The alternate dining on this deck is with reservations only with at limited menu and $4.00 per person tip. There was never a posted menu for the alternate dining at night on the lido deck. I was told that you would have a choice of a chicken, fish or meat dish with salad but you never had a menu to look at. The dining room had one posted in front of the dining room. I have been on cruises where the menu was posted on the TV so you did not have to go to the dining room to read it. We got tired of getting dressed every night to go eat in the formal dining room where the food did not meet my expectations for a Celebrity cruise. I have had better food on the Carnival Conquest. Again the dining room chairs and very worn and strained. The dining room staff was great. I will be a long time before I select Celebrity for a cruise. I might try on of their new ships when it comes out. Dining choices would have to be better. The only saving grace for this 14 day cruise was the service from the staff. Celebrity beats others cruise lines hands down in this department. Guest services was the only disappoint in the service area. Cabin steward and dining staff were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
THE SUMMIT.  Hawaii Circle Cruise  9th  23rd April 2006. It has been over 25 years, since we last visited The Hawaiian Islands; so for something different, we chose a 14-night roundtrip cruise from Los Angeles with Celebrity Cruises ... Read More
THE SUMMIT.  Hawaii Circle Cruise  9th  23rd April 2006. It has been over 25 years, since we last visited The Hawaiian Islands; so for something different, we chose a 14-night roundtrip cruise from Los Angeles with Celebrity Cruises on their ship  The Summit. We chose the air/sea programme from the United Kingdom. Travel documentation arrived well ahead of departure. The information supplied was relevant and ticketing was correct. There was no shore excursion information, but details of these were found on the Celebrity web site. On arrival at Los Angeles International Airport, we were met and welcomed by a Celebrity Representative, immediately having cleared the Customs area. This rep was extremely professional and advised us as to the best places to eat and visit in San Pedro where our overnight accommodation was located. She escorted us to the Super Shuttle pick up point and remained with us until the arrival of the shuttle  gone are the days where guests travelling with Celebrity are transferred to their hotel by limousine, taxi or private coach. After two or three circles of the entire airport terminals and the many drop-offs in San Pedro, we eventually arrived at our hotel, a distance of 25 miles from the airport, some 90 minutes later. On arrival at the hotel, there was a letter from Celebrity advising us as to departure arrangements the next morning to join the ship. Luggage was collected from our rooms at the indicated times and the coach departed on schedule at 1.30pm for the short ride of about five minutes to the terminal building. On arrival at the pier side, the first thing that one noticed was the massive queue, which snaked in many directions. We were advised that this was the queue or line for security. Some 125 minutes later we eventually reached the security control and were quite surprised that only two facilities were open for the search of some 1950 guests and their hand baggage. It is obvious that Celebrity are only too well aware of such delays, as, whilst waiting in the queue, sandwiches, savories and drinks were provided to waiting passengers. Fortunately, the weather was fine. Whilst one fully appreciates the need for meaningful security in this day and age, consideration should be given to providing additional search facilities and that Celebrity transfer guests overnighting on their air/sea package at an earlier time to the terminal, prior to the inbound departure day flight passengers arriving at pier side directly from the airport, bearing in mind that check-in and boarding commence much earlier. After clearing security, check-in was swift and professional and a short time later we boarded the ship. The Summit, a Millennium Class ship, of some 91,000 tons entered service in October 2001. For this cruise, we had chosen Concierge Class accommodation. Our cabin, or stateroom was located on deck 9. On entering the vessel, we were given a luke warm half glass of champagne and we were offered the opportunity to be escorted to our cabin. Initial observations were that the cabin was clean, spacious and comfortable. Not having travelled in this class of cabin before, we were not fully aware of what benefits this entailed so sought guidance from the Concierge in this regard. We were advised that these included - Stateroom Amenities Welcome Champagne. Fresh Flowers Selection of Fruit. Afternoon canapEs Leather key holder Binoculars for use on board. Personalized stationery. Oversized tote bag Umbrella to use throughout the cruise Tensions-absorbing pillow-top mattresses Plush duvets Designed room service breakfast menu Bathroom amenities: Plush bath rugs Oversized Egyptian cotton towels Double-thick Frette bathrobes Two hairdryers A Hansgrohe showerhead Selection of fine shampoos, body lotions, soaps, shower cap, breath mints and sewing kit. A Menu of Pillows Sofa Pillows. Priority Services Express Luggage Delivery Laundry and Pressing Service Shoe Shine Service. Extended Room Service Dining and seating preferences VIP invitation to events Preference on Shore Excursions Early Embarkation and disembarkation Priority Tendering. Most of the above were available, others we had to ask for. It took six hours from our arrival at the pier until our luggage appeared at our stateroom  you could hardly call this express service! After having settled in the stateroom and on closer examination, we saw that there was dust everywhere  on shelves, on ledges, in cupboards, on the pictures. A Gideons Bible was on top of the bedside unit  I was able to run my finger along it a leave a trace. In the wardrobes, there were plastic bags and other items obviously having been discarded by previous guests. Under the bed there were crumbs, and empty biscuit packagings, whilst on the balcony there were empty cardboard coffee cups and discarded cocktails sticks. Not the standard that one expects from Celebrity, and being perfectly honest, this was the first time in over a dozen cruises that I have ever encountered a problem of this nature onboard any of the Celebrity fleet. Another most noticeable thing was in respect of the balcony. Owing to the design of deck 10, (the deck above ours)  an open deck - this deck extends well over the sides of the ship, thus preventing the sun nearly all of the time from actually reaching the balcony areas  not much use to those who want to spend time sunning themselves in the privacy of their own balcony. Incidentally, very few of the balcony cabins on this ship have total privacy; most can be seen in one way or another from other decks/balconies. Beware too of cabins with connecting doors - This decreases the insulation levels thus noise travels and one can hear your neighbours conversation even if they chat in low voices  also if your neighbours are smokers  the smoke can magically make its way into the adjoining cabin. We spoke with the Steward who apologised and explained that on turnaround days things are hectic and he did not have the time to pay attention to the smaller details as indicated by myself. I queried if such an amount of dust could gather within 24 hours? In fairness to him, while at dinner, he did clean the areas identified, but others not mentioned remained untouched. We also had to request simple items, like, a do not disturb sign, note paper, laundry lists  things that should automatically be checked prior to any new occupation of staterooms. We then went to the show and our first dinner on board. Previously the entertainment offered on Celebrity ships was good but nothing to write home about. However on this cruise, the entertainment on board this cruise was excellent. There was something for everyone. Special mention must be afforded to The Celebrity Singers and Dancers, the Celebrity Orchestra and those who presented the Cirque du Soleil and the Master Ventriloquist whose performances and presentations were outstanding. Music provided by other groups/solo acts in the various lounges throughout the ships was acceptable  though more variation would have been welcomed  3 `strings` groups  a Harpist, a Guitarist and a String Quartet, is a wee bit of an over kill. On many of the evenings, life on the Summit appeared to die at around 10.30pm  we found too many pre-dinner shows for 2nd seating guests. Unlike other ships where something major is happening in each lounge offering guests a choice, this just did not happen on the Summit. The `featured` entertainment programme although excellent was indeed limited. Timing of events in particular was badly planned  the Chocoholics Buffet and the Hawaiian Fruit Deck buffet were scheduled for 10.15pm, a time when guests on second seating were still at dinner. The Entertainments Staff were highly visible throughout the ship. The Programme of events for the following day  Celebrity Today was delivered to the cabins each evening. This was informative, but unfortunately did not appear to be checked for omissions or errors. On Easter Day, the biggest day in the Christian Calendar, the notification of the time and location of the Catholic Mass was omitted  this caused many who missed this most holiest of celebrations a lot of personal distress. Omissions such as this and other minor matters gave an overall impression that there was a `lack of attention to detail` in many aspects on this cruise. Others being, that whilst the ship is spotlessly clean, `streak` marks could be clearly seen on glass, dark wood, and mirrored surfaces and especially on stainless steel surfaces in and around the elevators. Though when this was pointed out to staff, they indicated this was due to the materials being used to prevent gastro infections and these could not be wiped off for some 48 hours after application. Ashtrays remained un-emptied and litter bins the same. Clocks not advanced after time changes etc. Chairs are badly soiled and showing signs or wear and tear especially in the Rendez-Vous Lounge. Meals served from the main menu in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant, were again excellent  well presented, well prepared and expertly served by a most professional waiter and assistant waiter who quickly learned and always remembered our likes and dislikes. At each meal, they welcomed us with a smile and took a genuine interest as to how our day had been etc. However if one chose have as an alternative of steak, chicken or salmon for their main course, (these items are always available) - this was very much a hit and miss affair. On a number of occasions, we were unable to eat our steaks as they were either too tuff, fatty and/or tasteless. The Assistant Maitre d' for our sector in the dining room did visit the table each evening and gave a well-rehearsed spiel. If you did ask him a question about something not included in this spiel, or complained about the meal, this caused him complete confusion, panic and seemed to send him into a thither, which caused him to disappear from the main dining room floor until the next evening. There are a number of tables for two. Chairs throughout the restaurant do not have armrests. It amazes me that when booking a cruise, passengers are always asked as to what size of a table they wish to be seated at for dinner?  Why?  Very seldom does anyone take any notice of this. On this particular cruise this was plainly obvious with many guests playing musical chairs for the first week of the cruise. Other single guests found themselves alone at tables as other table companions who had asked for large tables, as had the single guests, demanded and were moved, but the solo guests request was like a cry in the wilderness. This was indeed bad restaurant management. Incidentally some guests had to ask if there was actually a Maitre d'Hotel/Restaurant Manager on board and in charge of the Dining Room. We never saw him on the ground floor level of the restaurant at any time, nor did he visit either our or any tables in our immediate vicinity throughout the cruise. One thing that really sticks out on the Summit, is the immaculate dress and turnout of all staff from the cleaners right through to the senior officers on board and the friendliness of all the staff. In saying that it was only on a very rare occasion that you saw any of the senior officers other than the Captain and Staff Captain around the ship. I endeavoured to arrange a meeting with the Hotel Director on at least two occasions to discuss, what I considered to be fairly important matters, but he declined to meet with me. So now for our first nights sleep on board. As previously mentioned, deck 10 is an open deck and each time anyone even walked or worse, ran along this deck, - boom  boom boom  the noise  when deck loungers were being moved early in the morning  most probably for cleaning purposes  the clatter and the bang that these movements made was unbelievable  them seemed to echo and probably with the stillness of the night the noise was magnified, but enough to keep us from sleeping. The next morning, I mentioned this to the Concierge that I was unhappy with our cabin and outlined to her some of the difficulties to date. Later that afternoon, there was a message from the front desk offering us an alternative cabin on a lower deck. This cabin was far more suitable and much more quiet. Full marks to Celebrity. Periodically for the remainder of the cruise, Guest Relations checked to see that `everything was in order` and could they do anything in addition to assist in making our cruise more enjoyable. Unfortunately, we weather on the voyage out to Hawaii, was not kind to us. It was cold, wet and windy. There was noticeable movement throughout the ship and lots of empty places each evening in the Dining Room - this voyage did route us right across to Pacific Ocean One has to remember that The Summit is a flat bottomed boat and not a ship especially designed for oceanic crossings, thus increased movement can be expected. The weather did improve when we reached the islands, and on the return voyage. There is a vast wine list on board, with reasonable prices. Well-stocked bars and lounges are dotted throughout the ship. A Vodka and Coco-cola was $6.33 including gratuities, somewhat more expensive than on other cruise lines, especially British Ships, but in saying that, you could really taste or should I say feel the alcohol in the drink. Throughout the cruise it was pleasing to note that none of the staff, either in the bars or the photographers were aggressive in their approach  unlike so many other ships. At each Port of Call, there were many organised tours, offered by the Shore Excursion Staff  these represented value for money, were good in content and operated on time. There are a number of alternative options for dining, from Room Service which is available 24 hours a day, to the more casual Waterfall Cafe, A Hamburger Station, Pizza, Pasta and Salad Bar, a Sushi Cafe and of course the Aqua Spa Cafe for healthy choice all day dining. Each of these serveries offered the same type of fayre to be found on other cruise ships of similar ratings. The one main noticeable difference between other lines and Celebrity is that there is an abundance of staff available to assist in the carrying of trays to seating areas not only on the Summit, but also on all Celebrity Ships. The operation of the Waterfall Cafe is well executed, however food each day became repetitive and after a time all began to taste the same. The selection of fruit on this cruise was disappointing, just the basic melons, pineapples, grapes and oranges as core fruits. These on the whole were not ripe and were tasteless. Bring back the days when guests were offered as the norm, papaya, mango, kiwi fruit and the like. There seemed to be great use of canned and frozen fruits. The selection of breads and cheese was reasonable. However to make up for these `weaknesses` the range of deserts available was outstanding. For that Special Occasion  the Normandie Restaurant for A La Carte Dining is open each evening, a cover service of USD$30.00 per person is added to each guests account who visit this restaurant. We did not eat in the Normandie, but reports from those who did were encouraging. There is no 24-hour dining in any of the restaurants on board, though coffee, tea and juices are available 24 hours a day from the Waterfall Cafe. There are no Midnight Buffets, but waiters roaming the various lounges each evening serving `Gourmet Bites` On a ship of this size, there is the usual range of facilities available  an Aqua Spa, a Casino, Childrens Facilities, Shops, an Acupuncture at Sea Clinic, an Art Gallery and an Internet Cafe and Computer Centre. Though do be aware that Internet access is charged at $0.75. Per minute  though packages can be bought to reduce this cost down to about $0.50. Per minute - not cheap at all. Being an inquisitive sort of a guy, having learned about Concierge Class, curiosity got the better of me and I just had to find out what extras, other than space, you received if you booked a Suite on a Celebrity ship  hereunder are the amenities provided for suite guests Welcome Champagne. Butler Assistance with packing and unpacking. Platinum Cards. Personalised stationary and cards. Butler Service. Dining room seating preference. Fresh fruit each day. Fresh Flowers (1) for Penthouse suite only. CanapEs at 5.00pm or 7.00pm each day  according to dining seating. Complimentary cappuccino and espresso, only inside the suite. Complimentary use of bathrobes. Celebrity Suite tote bag. Delivery of requested board games, videos, CDs from your Butler. Full breakfast, lunch and dinner service in suite. In suite afternoon tea, coffee with cookies and cake service at 4.00pm. Newspaper delivery. Opportunity to book in suite massage for $149.00 plus 10% tip. Priority embarkation and disembarkation. Express Luggage delivery. Private Portrait sitting  not complimentary. Priority tendering tickets. Shoeshine service from your Butler. 100% cotton oversized towels. As can be seen, there are not too many differences between Concierge Class and Suite Class, other than the size of stateroom and the price. I also understand the in-suite breakfast menu in Concierge Class has a wider choice than the breakfast menu offered to guests in suites. One thing missing though in both Concierge and Suite Class is that guests are not provided with slippers. On other 5* lines, even guests in the cheapest of cabins are provided with these. Also guests who I spoke with who were occupying suites which were equipped with baths, indicated that bath oils or some type of water softener to be added to the water would have been welcome. Celebrity Cruises, like most other cruise lines offer a loyalty club. With Celebrity its called The Captains Club. There are three levels  Classic (1  5 cruises)  Select (6 10 cruises) and Elite (11+ cruises). Even as `elite` members, we were not offered all of the benefits that we were entitled to. When we enquired as to why these were not offered, we were rudely advised by the Hostess - `subject to availability`. The benefits at all levels are basic compared to other programmes offered by other cruise lines. This is an area, which needs to be seriously looked at and revaluated. Like most other people in this age of increased competition, natural instincts direct most of us to go where we get the best value for our money and currently with Celebrity, this is one of their weakest areas of operation. If people thought that embarkation arrangements were bad, disembarkation was a total fiasco. Unorganized, chaotic and lack of any officer to make decisions or to take command and control of the situation. It did not help that the ship was late arriving in Los Angeles. 1950 passengers had to pass through US Immigration  all queuing at the same time thus resulting in snake like lines all around deck 4. Then a short time after the Immigration Inspection commenced, Celebrity announced the commencement of disembarkation whilst many of the guests being called to disembark still hadnt passed through Immigration. Utter confusion reigned and not an officer in sight to take charge or make decisions. This was the worst disembarkation at any port in all of my cruising career. Having sailed with Celebrity many times, some areas of this cruise caused disappointment but not to such an extent to ruin the overall cruise experience. Once in a while someone is disappointed and on this occasion it was us. The weaknesses identified are not typical of the usually excellent Celebrity standards and product. Knowing Celebrity management and their policies to provide excellence in all aspects of cruising for guests, appropriate action will no doubt be taken to avoid repetition. In summary, a reasonably good cruise experience but lacking in attention to detail in some areas. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
This was our 6th cruise. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean 4 times and we decided to cruise on the Parent company line, so we booked with Celebrity. What a disappointing experience this was. We did the online check in and express and ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean 4 times and we decided to cruise on the Parent company line, so we booked with Celebrity. What a disappointing experience this was. We did the online check in and express and we still waited outside in the sun for 2 hours. Our room was fine, but you can see the wear and tear on the couch, curtains, and spread. Our room steward was great, our room was always clean and everything we wanted was taken care of. Our Dinning experience was fine. Nothing special to write home about. Our wait personnel were great, there just was not the atmosphere we were accustom to on Royal. There were not special nights for dinner, no parade except on Baked Alaska night. Activities were not sufficient just a lot of lectures. The entertainment was adequate. No big entertainer as we were accustom on our other cruises. The public restroom were awful, cleanliness and adequate supplies were lacking. This was in all public areas not just main floors. The public areas show a lot of wear as well, stains on carpets and chairs. They ran out of coffee and we served instant. We had an excursion to Pearl Harbor and not enough time was given to see the museum and other outside exhibits before we were herded to our bus for a city tour. We will have to think long and hard before cruising with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
After many cruises on Celebrity, we looked forward to this Hawaii cruise per usual. What we experienced, was by far less than the Celebrity Experience We flew in the day before, and arrived in San Pedro about noon. The line was long ... Read More
After many cruises on Celebrity, we looked forward to this Hawaii cruise per usual. What we experienced, was by far less than the Celebrity Experience We flew in the day before, and arrived in San Pedro about noon. The line was long and seemed somewhat disorganized. However, the weather was nice, and although it took us more than one hour to get to the area for check in, I had read where this was a problem on other cruises leaving there, so we just waited our turn and visited with other people in line. Finally we arrived at check in, and since we were in a Celebrity Suite, 9096 were able to board quickly. Needless to say the ship did not look well cared for. It was shabby to say the least, and when we arrived at our suite, I was appalled at the condition of the room. The furniture was faded, dirty, and worn. It looked like they were trying to use this ship up until the last minute before spending a dime on repairs. The bathroom had mold in the corners and in the tub. We had plastic flowers that were glued down in a vase on the counter and tables. Very tacky and dusty I might add. After three days I ask our cabin steward to run the vacuum as it had not been done. That was the only time the carpet was cleaned in two weeks. The carpet had holes in it, stains, and the toss pillows on the sofa were so dirty that they should have been thrown away. The CS has a very nice layout, but this was not up to standards, and was shocking to see on Celebrity. We had a butler who was very poor by comparison to others. He did nothing, complained about the location of his station when I mentioned having dinner in our room. Obviously he did not want to be bothered, so we did not ask. I must mention, that 9096 has a major noise problem. It starts about 9pm and goes on all night. We contacted guest relations, and they said there was nothing they could do about it, as it was coming from a pantry that was being restocked. However, there was nothing above us that was open. The room steward did say that he had been on that ship for 8 months, and there had always been a problem. It was the sound of running, stamping feet, carts rolling and slamming. Needless to say it was impossible to get a decent nights sleep.. Everyone wants to know about the food. It was fair, and that was the best I could say. If they would turn the catering over to Applebees it would have been much better. We did enjoy the specialty restaurant and found it to be absolutely perfect. On the 14 night cruise we had dinner there two nights and enjoyed their outstanding food and service. Activities--Well, Celebrity has really started the nickel and time routine. My husband likes to work about for two hours every morning. Much to his surprise, there were no seats on the spin cycles&&guess what $10 charge to use them. Just a year ago, there was no charge. The bikes, $10, a yoga class $10, and so on. This was a very bad move on the part of the cruise line, and when my husband complained, there was no response from the guest services for the two weeks. This was a very poor experience, and will be our last Celebrity cruise. The whole attitude was not to care about anything, and you could tell by the worn furniture all over the ship, and general attitude of the staff. After 25 cruises, this will be the last one for a long time, and never again on Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
We traveled with three other couples and all of us had a great time. Embarkation was slow and there were long lines, but Celebrity personal explained the reasons. We live in a post 911 world, pluses the bird flu scare and Norwalk Virus. ... Read More
We traveled with three other couples and all of us had a great time. Embarkation was slow and there were long lines, but Celebrity personal explained the reasons. We live in a post 911 world, pluses the bird flu scare and Norwalk Virus. Celebrity takes the necessary precautions that we understand, and it was worth the wait. The ship was clean and the crew magnificent. The dinning experience is something to remember. Julio our waiter was a genuine person who took pride in the job he did, he made this a memorable vacation. The presentation and quality of food was excellent. We have been on many cruises, but can not rave enough about this dinning experience. We enjoyed the four day trip on the open seas to Hawaii. The weather was nice, the cruise director John did a great job on deck each afternoon. The captain would come on the PA system each day and explain the weather conditions, distanced traveled, etc. What a professional the captain was, and very reassuring. You would see the captain and staff captain around the ship each day, having sailed on Celebrity before we knew we were in safe hands - these officer's are the best. We did not go to the Celebrity theater, but the entertainment around the ship was very good. The vocalist and band at the Rendezvous Lounge made every night pleasurable - Frank Sinatra has returned. Our first stop was at the big island "Hilo" Here we did an excursion, and the bus driver was worth the price of admission. We went to Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory and Nami Maui Gardens, and the Akaka Falls. This excursion gave us a good taste of "Hilo." Our second stop was also on the big island "Kona." The ship docked, it was a hot and beautiful day. Everything was in walking distance, we shopped and enjoyed the sights for an enjoyable day. Our third stop was "Kauai." We did an excursion to the Fern Grotto and in the afternoon we had a luncheon Luau. Everyone who goes to Hawaii should do a Luau, don't miss this. Our fourth stop was "Honolulu." We were there from 7am to 11pm. We did a morning excursion to Pearl Harbour and the Mighty MO, please don't miss this it's something we will never forget. In the afternoon we went to Wauiki Beach - shopping, walking the beach and enjoying the beautiful city. This was a day to remember and it was capped of on the deck of the ship when we were leaving at 11pm with Hawaii night. We want to thank John the cruise director for this special evening. Our last stop "Maui was just too short. We were there from &am to 3pm, but by the time we tendered this left us only a few hours to shop and look around on this gorgeous day. Coming home was a good time to wind down. The service and entertainment were at peak performance and we enjoyed the trip. For some reason we were an hour and half late coming into port at LA, however everything went well and we had plenty of time to catch our flight to Boston that left LAX at 12:55pm. We can't wait to sail Celebrity again, I don't believe any cruise line can beat them for the value. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
This was our sixth cruise on Celebrity, our first on Summit, and it very well may be our last on Celebrity. As a 14 night cruise roundtrip from Los Angles to Hawaii, it disappointed in almost all respects. The Summit shows severe wear, ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise on Celebrity, our first on Summit, and it very well may be our last on Celebrity. As a 14 night cruise roundtrip from Los Angles to Hawaii, it disappointed in almost all respects. The Summit shows severe wear, long overdue for refurbishing. Fabric was worn throughout the public areas. The 11th deck, with a large pleasant public lounge by daytime and bar by night, has been converted into a tastelessly crude "Bar at the Edge of the Earth" where waiters harass customers to buy drinks. This hard sell in pushing drink sales is prevalent throughout the ship. And the hard sell carries over into many other areas of the ship, the Spa in particular. Many cruise companions told horror stories of paying for a Spa treatment and then being bombarded by a masseuse or trainer on their paid time with hard sell pitches to buy further Spa treatments and products. Although the waiters and assistants provided excellent, cordial service, most meals were a far distance from fine dining. Fresh vegetables and fruits were scarce, a real disappointment in view of the abundant supply which could have been found at this time of year. And beginning on the next to last day, there was not even brewed coffee. Large bowls of instant coffee were substituted when the coffee supply ran out. Entertainment during the 14 days was very uneven; there were 2 finely talented aerobic dancers and an excellent concert pianist, but the company of singers and dancers performed at the level of a junior high school talent show. The cruise director was pompous and endlessly in love with his own voice; during disembarkation, his longwinded hype actually brought forth several rounds of loud, sustained booing from hundreds of cruise guests who had been too polite to vent their real feelings up until the last dreadful moment. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
The ship is beautiful. As this was our first cruise we did not have any expectations. The crew was very courteous and anxious to please. We were so fortunate to have a superb waiter and assistant waiter in the dining room. Erbay and Ali ... Read More
The ship is beautiful. As this was our first cruise we did not have any expectations. The crew was very courteous and anxious to please. We were so fortunate to have a superb waiter and assistant waiter in the dining room. Erbay and Ali could not do enough to make sure that we were satisfied with our meals. They seemed to anticipate our every request. A major improvement would be to review the ports and length of stay. When we were tendered, a long process, we did not have enough time ashore. We took two excursions offered by Celebrity and were satisfied with them. We did notice that some areas of the ship need refurbishing. The stuffed chairs in one of the lounges were worn and needs to be replaced. The bedspreads in our cabin showed signs of wear. The commode needs to be replaced. The hose on the hair dryer was repaired after a wait of three days. The buffet was OK. They seemed to recycle some of the entrees from the previous night's dinner. Rack of lamb became lamb stew, etc. The passengers were predominately seniors. Entertainment was varied and good. All in all, this was a good experience for us and look forward to another Celebrity cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
In March of 2006 we left LA to cruise to Hawaii on the Celebrity Summit. We are seasoned cruisers and heard a lot about Celebrity. So we tried it. The cabin was like most ships and the service was good. The people friendly and did their ... Read More
In March of 2006 we left LA to cruise to Hawaii on the Celebrity Summit. We are seasoned cruisers and heard a lot about Celebrity. So we tried it. The cabin was like most ships and the service was good. The people friendly and did their jobs well. The food was not great. Dinner the selection was fair, they could not even make onion soup. Breakfast was average and more could have been offered. Lunch buffet was not great. You felt like you were eating leftovers, the selection was poor, the food tasteless, and there were fruit flies flying around. The sandwich bar couldn't make a sandwich. They had some specialty lunches, again unappealing and tasteless. We did a carnival Mexican last year at the urging of our agent and the food was by far so much better. Hard to believe. The pools you couldn't get into for the 2 weeks they were so cold. The hot tubs weren't hot, and it is hard to get 2000 people into 1 indoor pool where no one under 18 is allowed. For the most part the entertainment was good. As usual the Casino is in the middle of the floor and for those with breathing problem you had to go to dinner either by the floor above or the floor below. Smoking in all the lounges made sitting around and talking or listening to entertainment very uncomfortable. DO NOT rent a car from the ship by Hertz. They were just awful or didn't show at all and we had to use alternate rental agencies. The port calls were not planned well and because of bad weather previous to our stay, they should have made alternate plans. They knew what was going on in these ports and could change as other cruise lines do, they had plenty of warning. Then on the best island of Maui they told us if we were not on a tour we couldn't get off until 10- 10:30 and had to be back by 2. We just got off at 8 AM., but we knew they couldn't stop us, but for others is was not a good stop. They took us to ports where you could do nothing but shop, you couldn't rent a car, all excursions were cancelled and you couldn't go swimming because of polluted water. We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center where we expected to spend the day. Left at 9 AM stopped at a lookout point, at the bus drivers friend's store. Got to the center at noon had lunch and ended up with 2 1/2 hours of the center that needed at least 6. The bus driver had to stall time going. We had to leave at 3 and then stopped at a beach and the Dole factory and back at the boat at 5:30. This was an expensive trip. Go on your own and rent a car and spend the evening there which is a much better take. The buses do not have lifts and it made it difficult for people with special needs and also took a great deal of time boarding. The art auctioneer was very boring and long winded. Sitting through it was torcher. The crew did everything possible to make our stay pleasant but they were not responsible for the problems. They took us to 5 ports in 5 days, not well planned. There were a lot of complaints from other people on board. Unless you do not care to get off the ship and really see the island I would not recommend this kind of a cruise. Try to plan one that gives you an overnight in a few ports, or go to an island like Maui a few days early and then a cruise and maybe stay on an island after the cruise. They now have inter island ferries. We have future cruises planned for Australia, Alaska and the Mediterranean, I can't say that I won't go on Celebrity again, but I will investigate my choices very carefully. Happy cruising. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
The Basics Itinerary: 14 day Hawaii Circle Cruise from Los Angeles (San Pedro) Departure Date: 03/12/06 Ship: GTS Summit Stateroom: 6116 (Sky Suite) Background -- We are a married couple in our late 30s (ok, one of us turned 40 ... Read More
The Basics Itinerary: 14 day Hawaii Circle Cruise from Los Angeles (San Pedro) Departure Date: 03/12/06 Ship: GTS Summit Stateroom: 6116 (Sky Suite) Background -- We are a married couple in our late 30s (ok, one of us turned 40 somewhere between L.A. and Hilo) and live in the Washington, D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia. This was our second cruise on Celebrity, third overall. We sailed Infinity to Alaska in May of 2005 and our first cruise was on the SS Atlantic of the now defunct Premier Cruise line way back in 1991. So it is fair to say that our only cruising experience to date has been with Celebrity. We thoroughly enjoyed our Alaska cruise and were looking forward to another great experience going to Hawaii. Pre-Cruise -- We arrived in LA the day prior to the cruise and did a Hollywood walking tour with Red Line Tours. I highly recommend this tour as you get to see a lot of the famous Hollywood landmarks up close and it really doesnt require a lot of walking. We spent the night at the Long Beach Hilton using Hilton HHonors points. Hotel was clean and modern and close to the Queen Mary and waterfront in Long Beach. On the morning of our departure, we took a walk from the hotel to the Queen Mary and back (approx. 3 miles). It was a nice walk, but there really arent any sidewalks or paths out to the Queen Mary, so you have to do some walking on the edge of the highway. Since it was a Sunday morning, we didnt have to contend with a lot of traffic. Our rental car from Hertz had a navigation system in which came in real handy even though I know my way around the area pretty well. It was a big help when we were looking for Trader Joes in Long Beach to stock up on wine prior to the cruise. One note on renting from Hertz  When I initially made my reservation, they had a drop off location in downtown Long Beach with reimbursement on cab fare to the cruise terminals. I found out shortly before our cruise that the downtown location is now closed on Sundays and the nearest drop off is at the Long Beach airport. Not to fear, as the Hertz web site stated that cab fare to the pier would reimbursed up to $25.00 with a receipt. Anticipating difficulty with this, I printed out this information prior to dropping the car off. Sure enough, the agent at LGB had never heard of this policy and would only give me a $10.00 credit on the rental rather than give me a voucher or some other method to get reimbursed. Nevertheless, Hertz had arranged a shuttle from the airport to the piers and we were off within 15 minutes of dropping off the car. Embarkation -- We arrived at the pier in San Pedro at approximately 1:00PM and my best guess is that we were on board in less than an hour. I had heard of some nightmare embarkations in L.A. recently and was anticipating the worst. I was pleasantly surprised as we only had a short wait after we checked in and received our SeaPass cards. Everyone was given a piece of paper with a number and told to wait, as there had been a backup of people getting on board. We sat for a short time until our number was called and before we knew it, we were on board. Summit -- Since we had sailed on Summits sister ship, Infinity, just nine months ago, we found Summit to be very familiar and easy to get around. The only differences I noted were the location of the Computer Lab and Acupuncture at Sea in the across from the midship stairs. On Infinity, they were located near the movie theater. Overall, I found the Summit to be in great condition and there always appeared to be someone cleaning the public areas of the ship. Most notably, there was one member of the housekeeping staff who seemed to be constantly cleaning the railings on the stairs. There were a few areas where I noticed some wear, but it is what I would expect for a ship that had been in pretty much constant use for five years. One noticeable change from Infinity was the presence of hand sanitizing stations near every eating area. With the recent outbreaks of Norovirus, Celebrity certainly wasnt going to take any chances. Stateroom -- Sky Suites are the smallest category of suites on the Millennium class ships and they are really just a little bit bigger than a veranda or Concierge Class cabin (approx. 50 sq. ft. according to Celebritys stats). That being said, we found the extra space came in real handy for our two weeks on board. Compared to the Veranda stateroom we had on Infinity, the Sky Suite had enough extra storage room for us to put two weeks of clothing and belongings away without having to use the couch to permanently store items. While the closet is not a true walk-in, it is pretty large and had plenty of space to hang all of our items. That alone made the cabin seem a lot bigger. The Sky Suite also has a larger television than the standard cabin and ours was equipped with a DVD player, which we never used. The room was in very good condition overall. There were a few minor things like scuffs in the woodwork on the cabinets (probably from all that vacuuming) to tiles in the bathroom that probably could have used some new grout. To us, these were minor things that had no impact on our experience one way or another. Food/Service -- Since food is highly subjective, Ill keep it brief. We thought the food was very good (main dining room, buffet) to great (Normandie). No complaints or returned meals from anyone at our table. One of our tablemates did meet someone on shore in Maui who had a complaint about the food  there wasnt enough! Go figure. Service on board was outstanding. Our butler, room steward, waiter, assistant waiter, and assistant maitred were all great. A special mention goes to our assistant maitred, Danuta. We had the pleasure of meeting her on Infinity last year and were pleasantly surprised to see her again on Summit. She really goes out of her way to take care of people at her table and makes a point to visit each of her tables at every dinner. The cheers she got on the last formal night show just how popular she is with her guests. Of course, you cant talk about the Summit crew without mentioning Happy Happy and Sal who were constantly greeting passengers throughout the cruise. Entertainment -- We did not attend as many shows as we had hoped, but the few we did attend were great. The taste of Cirque de Soleil was exactly that, a taste that left you asking for more. Kind of like the whole trip to Hawaii. We heard good things about both the comedian and ventriloquist. Ports/Shore Excursions -- This being our first time to Hawaii, we decided to stick with the Celebrity shore excursions rather than rent a car and explore on our own. Here is a summary of what we did at each of the island: Hilo  Lava Viewing Hike  This trip required a 45 minute drive to Volcanoes National Park where we made a few stops at some of the scenic areas inside the park such as the Thurston lava tube. We then drove to the end of Chain of Craters road and began the hike at the ranger station which is conveniently built on pallets in the event it has to be moved quickly. The hike on the lava was less than a mile each way, but because of the uneven surface, it seemed a lot longer and was fairly strenuous but well worth it as we got a great view of the lava entry point into the ocean with its huge steam plume. On the ride back to the ship, we made a stop at the Mauna Loa Macadamia nut plantation, which conveniently has a gift store located on site. Note: You can find most of the gifts in this store cheaper at places like Wal-Mart. Some of the macadamia nut items are probably harder to find elsewhere. Grade: A+ Kona  Valley Waterfall Hiking Adventure - We were going to rent a car in Kona, but since we enjoyed the lava hike so much, we decided to try another hike. This one promised a walk along a historic Cliffside trail 1000 feet above the valley floor. Along the way encounter waterfalls and panoramic views. It delivered exactly that, so I cant complain too much. However, this tour required a 1.5 hour drive each way (which we knew about going in) and our guide seemed to be in a hurry to get us back to the ship so we can go shopping. I think he was more interested in attending the UB40 concert that night which created a big traffic jam as we returned to Kona. Grade: B- Kauai  Waimea Canyon Tour  Due to the heavy rains which had fallen before our arrival, numerous roads were closed on the island causing the cancellation of many tours, including ours. We were disappointed, but considering the loss of life and property that had occurred, it seemed like a minor inconvenience. Since the beaches were closed to the threat from bacteria in the water due to runoff, most of the in water excursions were cancelled as well. I did hear that some people were able to get on Helicopter tours in the afternoon once the skies cleared. Most passengers either stayed on board or took one of the local shopping shuttles into town. On our sailaway from Kauai, we got a peek as to the true beauty of this island, well definitely have to come back here. Grade: Incomplete Honolulu  Arizona Memorial and City Sightseeing  We decided to do the Celebrity sponsored tour since we felt it offered us the best chance to get to the USS Arizona memorial early before the crowds got too bad. This strategy worked out pretty well as we had about an wait after getting our tickets. This provided us plenty of time to check out the museum and other exhibits at this much too small facility. We did find out that some people made it to the Arizona Memorial faster by getting off the ship at the first opportunity and grabbing a cab. So you may want to think about that strategy when planning your visit to Pearl Harbor. The rest of the tour was a very good tour via bus through some other scenic and historic parts of Honolulu including Punch Bowl, Pali lookout, and downtown Honolulu with a final stop at Hilo Hatties. We had an excellent guide/bus driver, Sula, who really added a lot of insight and humor to the trip. Grade: A Maui  Whale Watching  We booked this excursion through Celebrity since our time in Maui was so brief (approx. 6 hours) that we didnt want to take any chances. We took our assigned tender to shore only to find out that our excursion had been cancelled. Apparently the tour operators other boat had an emergency of some sort, maybe a fire, and that the boat scheduled to take us was unavailable. Not to worry, as there are plenty of vendors on the shore providing many different types of excursions. We ended up with tour from Pacific Whale Foundation which turned out to be a great excursion  and we saved approximately $10 pp. Grade: A Cruise Critic Events -- We had a very active roll-call thread, which led to several planned activities before and during our cruise that really enhanced the cruise experience for us. In addition, Celebrity threw us not one, but two Cruise Critic parties. The first party was held on our third sea day, not the first one as we had come to expect. We received invitations for a second party on the second Tuesday of our cruise, which coincided with our last port day in Maui. Since our stay in Maui was only six hours, this wasnt a popular choice. Fortunately we received new invitations to a rescheduled party on Wednesday, a sea day, and all was well. In addition to the Celebrity sponsored parties, we had several get-togethers throughout the cruise including a sail away party, cabin crawl and an open house in one of the fabulous Penthouse suites. Also, quite a few of us went to the Luau at the Royal Hawaiian in Honolulu which I enjoyed. No part of it was fantastic and it seemed a little short, but it was a good time and I can now say I went to a Luau. After talking to some of the people who went to the Paradise Cove Luau, it appeared we made the better choice. Disembarkation -- A much smoother process than what we experienced in San Francisco last year. We did have to wait a while in the Celebrity theater as there were only three officials checking peoples docs. They added three more just as we got to the front of the line which sped the process up greatly. Our number was called almost precisely at the time we were expected to disembark. Once off the ship, we found a taxi to take us back to LAX rather than using the Celebrity transfer coach bus. For $45 (a little less since we shared a ride), we were at LAX in less than 45 minutes, plenty of time for our 1:00PM flight home. Conclusion/Summary -- Would we do this cruise again? Definitely. We would probably like to take a land-based trip to the islands to spend more time in Hawaii, but you cant beat this itinerary for the amount of relaxation you get with the sea days combined with all that you see in your all too short stay in Hawaii. If the prospect of four days in a row at sea without seeing land isnt your thing, then you should stay away. However if youre looking for 2 weeks of relaxation and pampering with five great port stops in the middle, then this is the cruise for you. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
Pre Cruise: Flew into Long Beach airport and stayed at the Guesthouse in Long Beach. Rented a car and left the car in downtown Long Beach the car rental called us a taxi to the port. Had a wonderful day sightseeing and shopping for last ... Read More
Pre Cruise: Flew into Long Beach airport and stayed at the Guesthouse in Long Beach. Rented a car and left the car in downtown Long Beach the car rental called us a taxi to the port. Had a wonderful day sightseeing and shopping for last minute things in Long Beach. Embarkation: Went through the initial line very fast. Then it was hurry up and wait. They started to hand out tickets for entering the ship. I think it was in groups of 100. We were told the staff cannot handle more than that at a time. But at least we waited inside the terminal so not so bad. Wait time: 50 minutes We were the 5th group to board. Ship: Beautiful ship our room was very small but bright. Had plenty of room to store our stuff after we asked our steward to take out the extra blankets and other stuff we didnt want in there. The Champagne bar was gorgeous. The dining room was lovely. I was especially delighted with the ceiling in the dining room! Staff: We had a wonderful staff. Our room steward Felipe and his assistant Sidney were awesome! One thing that bothered me was on the tip envelopes it was the same envelope for both Felipe and Sidney. I did not have a suite just a plain room so I was not aware I had to pay for two room stewards. It was not that big of a problem just hate to be unaware. It was not posted anywhere that we would have two room stewards(even though one was labeled as an assistant on the tip envelope). Wait staff was very good. Our Assist Maitred was Larry and he was very friendly and helped make our dinner very entertaining. Our Waiter Wawan was good but he did have trouble remembering some things. (I do not like fish and I had told him I do not like fish my steak tasted like fish, I had my husband taste it and he said yes tasted like fish. They probably cooked it next to fish. Anyway, I asked for a new steak, our waiter brought me back fish and when I looked at him like it was a joke he said fish is good yes? I said no I do not like fish. At this point everyone was done eating so I told him to never mind. I would go get a slice of pizza or something. Not a good experience. He was extremely friendly and a great guy but you had to tell him a couple times. Our assistant waiter was Joseph and he was a blast to have around. Always remembered ice tea for dinner for some of us. He let my husband clean our table and set up for dessert. We had a hoot that night! Food: Was good the beef was excellent. Lamb was good. Sorry not a seafood person, but everyone else at the table thought the seafood was good. I had heard a lot about the food on Celebrity so I thought it would be spectacular but it wasnt. I would have to say it was good but not star quality. I do have a complaint about the buffet. On Royal Caribbean they have stations set about and that seems to work well. That way no one station is a wait in line for all. On Celebrity I felt like it was a high school cafeteria line I was waiting in. The waiters taking the trays afterwards was nice then they could seat you and you didnt have to wander around wondering where you were going to sit. They communicated with each other and knew where you could sit. Things to do on the Ship: Basically, most cruise lines are the same. But things did seem to die down about 10pm. We are late 40's and I would have to say we were the minority on this cruise, but we were on the cruise to relax and with this cruise that is exactly what you do! Karaoke: ( I know a lot of people dont like this form of entertainment but) My husband and I go to cheer on anyone who is brave enough to go up there. If either one of us had any kind of voice we would be up there. Marriage Game: Seen one you have seen them all. But you always have to love the people braving it to answer the embarrassing questions. Art Auction: umm I will pass on this one my husband spent a ridiculous amount of money there. He loved it! Bingo: was always well attended. We had a Cruise Critic Connections meeting and it was so well attended that the CD stated he wanted us to all get together at the end of the cruise and talk about our experiences. So please sign up for your meet and mingle parties and attend! They do like to see us having a good time! Shore Excursions: I would certainly do the Na Pali Expedition again and again! The scenery is spectacular, along with the whales, dolphins, seal monks, sea turtles, and all the different birds etc you see. Hilo was a big hit with Volcanoes National Park. Kona we wondered ourselves and had a blast talking to all the people. Honolulu was a great tour going to the North Shore and seeing Sunset Beach and Turtle Beach and a wonderful Macadamia Nut Factory. Be sure to try the Cinnamon ones DELICIOUS! Then Maui was suppose to be the Maui Whale Watch but it was canceled due to the boat being on a rescue mission. Which I heard they did a fantastic job saving three people from a burning boat! So we spent the day meandering through town again and spending more money on trinkets! Debarkation: Smooth as silk. They are a little confused though. They state you do not have to bring any of your carry on luggage to the immigrations part but when you get there they are calling out do not go back to your room stay in the public areas so you can hear when your color is called. I think they need to get themselves straight on this. Total impression of the trip: Relaxing trip. The four and one half days to get to Hilo was long. So be prepared to like sea days a lot. But once you get to the islands time seems to speed up and by then you know people better and the four and a half days going home is too short! They had a scavenger hunt which was fun but way too short only 10 items. They need to make it something a little longer. They did enjoy some of the imagination used to get some of the items on the list! We met some very nice people and All in all I would and have recommended this trip. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
This was our 5th cruise but first with Celebrity. Our experience has been with Norwegian and Royal Caribbean in the past. My wife and I are in our early 50s from Central Maine. I am in Sales and my wife works in human resources. We ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise but first with Celebrity. Our experience has been with Norwegian and Royal Caribbean in the past. My wife and I are in our early 50s from Central Maine. I am in Sales and my wife works in human resources. We generally take a Cruise in our slow winter months enjoying warm weather climates. We arrived in LA at 10am in a massive rain storm. Winds were fierce and it was evident this was not the norm for the area. We hired a town car out of Road Runner Shuttle to meet us and transport us directly to the port (we found the cost to be slightly higher than other methods of transfer, but well worth it). The driver was entertaining and skillful at negotiating the traffic and flooded ramps off the highway to the port by 11am. Arriving at his time would normally be OK but because of the weather and high winds we found the port to be disorganized. Apparently the gangway was twisted by the winds and caused a long delay in passengers disembarking. Arriving passengers was forced to wait outside in adverse weather waiting to board. Embarkation: 1 Star due mostly to Los Angeles Port Authority and adverse weather. We found the Summit to be very clean and comfortable with lots of space, never seeming crowded. It didnt have the WOW factor that the Royal Caribbean Ships has but is a beautiful ship and very clean (4 stars). We boarded the Summit at 3pm finding our stateroom #9144 was all that was promised. Very nicely laid out with plenty of storage, nice balcony and very clean. Best cabin yet for the money (5 stars)! Edwin our cabin attendant was outstanding! We departed LA at midnight (6 hours late). We woke up the next morning to a very rough cruise. I swear the stabilizers were not in operation. We were looking for the seat belts for the bed. I have been on 4 previous cruises and never sick. This was the exception. I couldnt keep down the sea sickness pills that were being handed out like candy to most passengers. Be aware, this is apparently normal for this time of year heading out of LA to Hawaii. Be prepared! The rough seas continued for 3 days but the pills kicked in on the 2nd day, and my voyage improved greatly. Edwin, our cabin attendant really paid attention to me and my sickness, catering to every request with real concern for my health. The return cruise sea days were just fine. We ate great dinners in the Cosmopolitan dining room (table for 2) and had Carlos as our head water, and Bond his assistant. Both were very attentive and catered to every request with such pleasure. Both had a great sense of humor. Meals in the dining room were outstanding! Good selection and always cooked to perfection and served hot. I rate the Cosmopolitan (5 stars). We did try the Normandy one night and did not find it worth the extra fee. We enjoyed the Cosmopolitan and company of the neighboring tables the best choice of the restaurants. Luncheon buffets in the Waterfall Cafe (4 stars) were good but not great. Pizza was very good. Burgers at the Waterfall Grill was also good. We went to most every show and found the entertainment and theater outstanding. The comedian was great, the Broadway style production shows was the best we have found on any ship. There was very comfortable seating with good views. Rating 5 stars! Casino: Very typical for a Cruise Ship (3 Stars). It did seem to be paying out better than previous cruises. We found the Wheel of Fortune Slot that seemed to be paying off very well. Fellow gamblers were friendly, talkative and helpful in the Casino. Dealers tended not to be as helpful or talkative. Shore Excursions: Secrets of Puna, Hilo (4 ½ Stars) very informative female guides on the Volcano and Lava fields and they took us in a GMC Yukon XL luxury SUV into areas you would never consider but did enjoy once you arrived. We did do some snorkeling in fresh water/salt water inlet. You did learn a lot of history on the volcanic activity of the island. Explore the North Shore, Honolulu (2 Stars) this excursion you are bused to the north shore and visit the Dole Plantation. We did get to see a large sea turtle and Surfing. This was a somewhat boring excursion. Valley Waterfall Hiking Adventure, Kailua Kona (5 stars) very informative and entertaining guide takes you by 4x4 up a mountain in very rough muddy terrain to a 3 mile hike on a nice mountain trail up an older volcano to explore amazing waterfalls, plant life and animals along with an overview of the Hawaiian language and culture. Fellow passengers: The friendliest we have experienced but also the oldest. Average age on this cruise is late 60s. Complainers were seldom noticed once we were over the rough seas. Most everyone we found to be very pleased with their experience. A ship full of complaining people can ruin an entire voyage for everybody. Basically, this ship is beautiful. The ship is in great shape. Cold towels and juice when you return from a port is great. Cushions on deck chairs are nice. Service is amazing; they really mean being Treated Famously. All of Summits employees seem to love their job, friendly and take a personable interest in your experience. It really feels like they want to help you and give you great service, not like they have to. At 91,000 tons, the Summit only has 1950 passengers and close to 1000 employees. This ship never seems to be crowded and crew members are always available for any request. Overall I give this experience 4 ½ stars and most likely higher if it wasnt for the rough seas. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
Let me say first this was the only celebrity cruise we have been on and have only cruised once before with Royal Caribbean. We booked this 9 months in advance and got a very good deal. There were four of us 2 adults(early 30's) and 2 ... Read More
Let me say first this was the only celebrity cruise we have been on and have only cruised once before with Royal Caribbean. We booked this 9 months in advance and got a very good deal. There were four of us 2 adults(early 30's) and 2 boys (6,13) in an inside cabin (9159). I will try to be as unbiased as possible. Embarkation: Disaster! We stayed the night at the Best Western Sunrise ($100) that has a free shuttle to the pier. We were informed that there were problems so we could not board until 1:00pm. We got to the pier around that time but it was total mayhem. Thousands of people standing around not knowing what to do or where to go. The gangway was broken and the X-ray machine was broken so there was a huge delay with the people getting off and we could not get on. We sat in the cold and rain for over 4 hours with two children. I saw NO ONE from Celebrity to even help at all. This was very poor service on their part. Everyone has very angry. There were lines that went no where, people just wondering what to do. They dropped the ball on this one. They may not have caused the problems but they handled in the worst way. First four days at sea: The boat is GORGEOUS! It is very elegant but understated. It is a little confusing at first but in no time you figure everything out. Our cabin was inside on the skydeck (9). There is some noise from the restaurant and deck above so bring earplugs. There is also a sewage smell every once in a while but I don't know if that was around all the boat. I only smelled it on our deck. The cabin was small but fine but we were crowded with 4 people (our choice). Our cabin steward was great (Jose). I could not ask for anything better in this arena. He was efficient and quick as we rarely ever saw him. The sea was rough for the first couple of days so a lot of people were sick, myself included. The meclezine cleared it up for me. The activities on board were in one word BORING. They have a commercial you watch were it says that Bingo is the official sport of Celebrity, they mean it! There is lots of bridge playing (Bridge?)I don't even know anyone who plays. They had financial lectures (yawn), computer classes (interesting, but this is my vacation!),oceanographer series, and a "Hawaiian ambassador" (he was nice). I did the trivia, which was fun but the questions were strange and very age based. I played Bingo (because there was nothing else to do), the Newlywed game was very fun but just one night. The kids program was great for my six year old. He spent every minute there and had a blast. My teenager had a hard time finding the other teens as they did not so a lot to bring the older kids together but they eventually found each other so then there was a small pack of teens hanging out. After that we never saw him at all. The ports: Hilo: I highly recommend renting a car (Thrifty) and seeing things yourself. The ship's excursion is about $100 per person and they went to the same places we did but we spent just $35 for the car and they pick you up at the pier. We ate at a place called the coconut grill that was yummy ($50). The macadamia nut factory is on the way to Volcanoes Natl. Park so you can make a very easy trip of it. Kauai: My favorite, we should have rented a car. We went to the Fern Grotto and did the river cruise $60 for the fours of us, I really enjoyed this, it is truly beautiful. Taxis are hard to come by but there is a shuttle to and from the Coconut Grove Marketplace from the pier. Rent a car! Also if you arrange your tour from the pier or throughout the little freebee magazine. You can get a helicopter tour for half what the boat charges. Honolulu: Yuck is this LA? We rented a car ($35) and did the Arizona which was nice but not as moving as I had hoped. We got there about 9:30 and got tickets for 10:45am, not too bad. The film was great but the museum was so crowded you could hardly even look at anything. We skipped the Mighty Mo and the Bowfin (which I wish we would have done). We went to the Dole Plantation, skip it! The cost to go on the train ($30)was ridiculous and boring. We did the Paradise Cove Luau, Which was a lot like a Vegas night club act. I am glad we saw one but I don't ever need to see another. The food was so-so. We had the Entertainment book coupon which saved us $100. Kona: The only port that was tendered and we had a super short day there 8-3. Considering how long it took you get off the boat, you really only had about four hours to spend. The boys went parasailing with UFO parasail (BOGO w/entertainment book) which was great! The weather was the best in Kona at about 85F and sunny. I snorkeled right off the pier which surprisingly had a lot of fish and things. You can take a free shuttle to the better snorkeling beach as well. Kona was very nice and not too touristy like Honolulu. The last days at sea: We watched Cirque du Soliel and it was good. The shows were good as well but the movies, could they get any older? As I was desperate for activities we went to all of them. I enjoyed the library and the spa. I wish they would have had a laundry mat so we could have packed less. We lost quite a bit in the Casino but there was not a whole lot to do so we spent a lot of time there. The seas was great on the way home but not a lot of sun on the whole trip. The Normandie: We ate there and it was so worth the extra $60 The food was very good but there is not evening buffet which really limits your choices. The casual evening restaurant was lousy. The pasta bar is great but my kids only ate hamburgers by the pool side. The sushi bar was good and the pizza OK. The service of the wait staff is impecible (Kumar/Julian). I will cruise again but not with this company. This is tailored for the over sixty crowd. I didn't mind being in the minority but I would have begged for some fun things to do. Our last cruise had midnight buffets with conga lines and great bands and lots of fun. This had Bingo and bridge and lectures. The whole ship was in bed by 10:30. I was hoping for a little more rounded experience of luxury and partying. I hope I have been fair. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
This was a 14 day round trip from Los Angeles to Hawaii and back on Celebritys Summit with 3 of my cousins and their husbands We had 4 sea days going and coming. Our plan was to arrive a day early just in case of inclement weather in ... Read More
This was a 14 day round trip from Los Angeles to Hawaii and back on Celebritys Summit with 3 of my cousins and their husbands We had 4 sea days going and coming. Our plan was to arrive a day early just in case of inclement weather in Chicago, but all of our flights were on time. We arrived in LA to worse weather than we left behind in Chicago, a bit warmer but raining. We stayed at the Hyatt Long Beach and met my cousins there for a drink in the lobby bar once we had all arrived on our different flights. We were all very excited and talking about our upcoming cruise. We also got to see our friends, Tom & Pam who live in San Pedro, and they treated us to for a lovely dinner that night. By the time we got to bed @ 1 AM-Chicago time, we had been up for 21 hrs. We didnt find out until after we got back that the Hyatt had wanted to bump us to another hotel because they had 3 conventions and needed the rooms. Our travel agent, Donna refused to let them move us and talked to the hotel manager who finally relented and let us stay there. That explained the complimentary bottle of wine and the note in our ship cabins apologizing for the inconvenience from Hyatt. Apparently several people were moved to the other facility and they still had our names on the list. Our cabins all had a balcony which was really cool to sit out on and enjoy the view both at sea and while in port. The first night out and the first day were quite bouncy and 2 of my cousins became ill. It turned out that Marilyn had a serious sinus infection and was treated by the ships doc. The medical facility was quite busy as 90% of the passengers were over 70. (If I thought this crowd was old, I guess the last one was even older. Even the comedian made a joke that the last group consisted of very old people and their parents.) The nurse told Marilyn that there was a lot of pneumonia on the ship. I was holding my breath anytime someone got on the elevator and started coughing. The food was superb as always and they have expanded the options for you to stuff yourself. It was lets belly up to the trough one more time. For breakfast, they had 4 buffet lines going and someone on each side making omelets and eggs to order. In the back by the casual dining area, there were waffles and pancakes available 8-10 am. This caused quite a backlog as there was only one waffle maker and people did not want to wait. Lunch was a specialty buffet on the port side on sea days and a station to make your own sandwich in the casual dining area. They actually made it for you according to your directions. They also had French fries which were quite good. The specialty buffets were ok but the only one that looked appealing was the American with fried chicken and corn on the cob. The Chinese buffet was said to be good but I never got to it. The Mexican that I did try was pretty bland for tacos, without any real taste to them. Also on each side was a pasta station which got a good work-out. Also from Noon to 10 pm was pizza on the far starboard side. You could design you own pizza but they always had some made up to try. It was ok, but the crust was really lacking in taste. The Spa Cafe by the Thalassotherapy pool was very good for light choices for breakfast and lunch. As usual, the pool grill had hot dogs, hamburgers and a specialty choice of those each day. They did have the best pickles I have ever eaten. Since we were changing time going and coming people were constantly adjusting to the new time but the ship stuck to their schedule and by 11 am only one buffet line was open for breakfast and it was usually quite crowded as was the omelet station. Forget about the waffles, it closed at 10 am, damn the passengers who slept in. Dinner was at late seating and I think this will be the last time we will do it that way. Since most of the late seating shows were at 7:00, when you were done eating it was go to the casino or to bed. No one wanted to hit the sheets with a full stomach. I was still on Chicago time the first few days and was waking up at 5 AM ship time. I thought that I would be the only one in the gym when it opened at 6 AM, but everyone else was up too. We were religious about working out every day in the well-equipped gym and finally found that going at 9-9:30 AM was the best time to get a machine. The day we pulled into Hilo (which was our first stop) we could see whales surfacing in front of us as we walked on the treadmills. The gym is at the top of the ship in the front so you have the Captains-eye view as you pull into port. In Hilo we did the Circle of Fire and Waterfalls Helicopter tour so we saw the active volcanoes and the lava pouring into the ocean. Very cool. We have the video so we can bore all of our friends. They make you get on a scale at the dock so as to balance the load in the aircraft and then the bus took us to the airport. If you can stand the humiliation, it is a great tour. If you are thin, no problem. We also bought an orchid lei at the airport which was only $6. I did wear it for at least 4 days. I never thought to stick it in the fridge in the room to keep it fresh. On our last trip to Hawaii, we boarded in Honolulu and everyone received an orchid lei. This didnt happen on this trip. Maybe it was because that trip in 2002 was Celebritys first trip to Hawaii. We had already seen Pearl Harbor the last time so we tried to go to see the Polynesian Cultural Center but we were too late for a tour and the rental cars were all taken. Here you should probably take the ships tour. We really had no idea how far away this attraction was. The taxi driver quoted us $120 one way! So I ended up shopping and walking around Honolulu for part of the day. You cant believe how you are sweating and how hot you feel and it probably was only 82 degrees. The historical section is walking distance from the pier and so is Chinatown. Considering we were there from 7 am to 11 pm, we should have seen a lot more. The cousins did go see Pearl Harbor, the Missouri battleship and the Bowfin submarine. They left the ship about 7:45 and didnt get back until almost 4:00. So no matter what you do, it is time consuming and you will not see everything you want to see. There isnt too much to see in Kauai but the beach is walking distance from the pier and the waves were great. There are only ships tours here to be had. I wish we had done the helicopter tour here or gone to see Waimea Canyon. I guess we will have to put that down for a future cruise. We tendered ashore at Kona and did the requisite shopping at Hilo Hatties. Karl bought me a beautiful black Tahitian pearl slide to go on my omega chain. What a nice surprise! I was not expecting anything at all. The cousins hit Hilo Hatties at every stop. They did have the best prices on Aloha wear and other souvenirs. Maui was our last stop and I went whale watching with Captain Steves tours. I was too late to get on the ships excursion but I remembered reading about this excursion so I called from Honolulu on my cell phone and got directions to Mala wharf. Good thing I took a cab there as I would never have found it by myself. That cab ride for a 5 minute trip cost me over $7 but it was worth it as there was no signs indicating where you were or that Captain Steve came there. Our vehicle was a zodiac boat that seated 24 and all the other passengers were from resorts. I was the only one off the ship. We saw lots of whales and they came quite close to the boat. I think we saw more whales than the people who took the Pacific Whale Foundation tour from the ship. This boat was more maneuverable and able to go to the whales location easier. They really want you to see a lot and tell others. The entertainment was certainly the best I have ever seen on a cruise. Its seems that they pull out the stops on the longer cruises. There were three big production shows with very talented singers and dancers. The featured acts were all great, especially Pearl Kaufman, a pianist, Taste of Cirque du Soleil, Jeri Sager, singer, & Jeff Nease, comedian. The one thing they could have done was bring back the entertainers for an afternoon show. On the sea days that would have been very well attended. I think they might have had an afternoon show by the dulcimer player, Ping Xu, but we would have skipped that one. We saw him on our Alaska cruise and he played the same songs he played 3 yrs ago! The Celebrity Orchestra was outstanding. What a bunch of very talented guys. The casino was pretty well attended also and I cant complain since I won $1300 playing 3-card Poker over the 14 days. My cousin won about $800 on different slot machines and we all won playing Bingo with prizes from $90-140. I won $100 early in the cruise and Karl won $140 the last morning. That put us even on Bingo until that evening when I won the big prize of $3400 which I had to share with another lady. That was just the frosting on the cake! All of my cousins were my cheering section. (I was wondering who was cheering and applauding since everyone around me looked very unhappy.) The family joke was that Karl had to book me on the next cruise so I wouldnt have to get off the boat and break my winning streak. This was a really great cruise and it looks like Celebrity has a winner with these round trips that spare you the long flight from your home city to Honolulu. Getting home was easy since we are all in Chicago and didnt have to change planes to continue our trip. Picked up all the luggage, called the limo and we were home and back to reality after 2 weeks of luxury. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
My wife and I have sailed on Celebrity cruises before but this was our first on the Summit. Overall this was an excellent cruise and we would not hesitate to sail on the Summit again. We are professionals in our mid-50s and I would ... Read More
My wife and I have sailed on Celebrity cruises before but this was our first on the Summit. Overall this was an excellent cruise and we would not hesitate to sail on the Summit again. We are professionals in our mid-50s and I would estimate that we were at or slightly under the mean age of our fellow passengers. As expected on a 13 night cruise in January, there were few children aboard. We flew from JFK to Long Beach on Jet Blue, which in my opinion is far and away the best of the low-cost airlines. Embarkation was problematic, not through any fault of Celebrity, but as a result of damage to the gangway at the Port of Los Angeles due to high winds. Since we sailed on a holiday (January 2nd) the port was not able to repair the problem and that resulted in long delays in boarding and in loading luggage. There was much complaining among the passengers but those complaints seemed to me to be directed toward the wrong party. Celebrity has no control of the port or the dock and once onboard we were treated wonderfully. If the Port of LA wants to increase cruise ship traffic, as is their stated aim, then they need to be more attentive to the needs of those customers. A delay that would not be a problem for a cargo ship is a big deal to passengers waiting to board their cruise. I hope other passengers did as I did and wrote a letter of complaint directly to the commissioner of the LA Port Authority. Once on board the service was top notch: Friendly with out being familiar, professional with out being stiff. We are used to that from our waiters, but we found it true with all of the ships personnel. We also noted an abundance of supervisor personnel, at the buffet for example, and they not only made sure that things went smoothly they jumped in to help when it was appropriate. Food is always a big issue on a cruise and I think the Summit does a fine job. Dining in the Cosmopolitan restaurant was a delightful experience with good food and outstanding service. The beef ranked among the best I have ever had. Of course, some items were not as good as others, but overall the standard was high. I sometimes think that we pass angers need to keep in mind that on a cruise the kitchen is preparing 1900 meals, far more than any top flight restaurant would prepare in a week, and yet they do so with a high level of quality. So, I agree with those who say that the food on the Summit is not equivalent to a 5-star restaurant, but it is of very high standard and really did provide us with a most enjoyable dining experience. I should also mention that the wine list was adequate and had some very interesting choices at prices that were the equivalent of shore-based restaurants (which is still too high, but that is another issue. Our wine steward as knowledgeable and actually recommended a less expensive wine after we discussed our preferences with him. We did not try either the casual dining venue or the specialty dining room, since we were completely satisfied with the experience in the Cosmopolitan restaurant. The Summit is a lovely ship, with art everywhere, and generally very well maintained. We did notice some wear and tear on chairs and upholstery in the lounges and bars. Every aspect of the ship was sparking clean and well kept, including fresh flowers in the public restrooms. Our cabin was the lowest class ocean view, which is fine with us as we dont plan to spend much time in the cabin except to sleep. It was standard, but big enough and well designed. This was a 13 night cruise with only four port days in Hawaii. We booked this cruise for exactly that experience, we look forward to relaxing at sea, reading and listing to music, talking and just enjoying a break from the hectic world. If you want excitement, rock climbing, constant activities and a jammed disco every night you will not find it on the Summit. We heard from several passengers that there were too many sea days, a complaint that surprises me since the itinerary was clear. If you didnt want to spend that much time at sea why did you book this particular cruise? There were the standard at sea activities, most of which we ignored, but the lectures were of the highest caliber and were a daily highlight. We love the absence of annoying PA announcements on Celebrity, but heard some complaints that more information would have been appreciated. Hawaii was lovely, and we agree with many of our companions that more time ashore, especially at Kona, would be nice. We booked shore excursions, which were generally good (esp. to the volcano on the Big Island) but, as usual, over priced. Extending this to a 15 night cruise, with two more days in the islands would really appeal to us. Debarkation was a breeze, far the most efficient we have encountered. Overall this was an excellent cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
WOW! That is the best word I can think of to sum up the total cruise to Hawaii on the Summit. The ship was lovely, BIG, and very clean. We had a Concierge Class cabin number 9102. We loved having breakfast on the balcony from the expanded ... Read More
WOW! That is the best word I can think of to sum up the total cruise to Hawaii on the Summit. The ship was lovely, BIG, and very clean. We had a Concierge Class cabin number 9102. We loved having breakfast on the balcony from the expanded breakfast menu for Concierge Class only. They set it up on your balcony with tablecloths and everything, just like the dining room. The food was good, hot and came on time. Room service was very fast and the best out of all 17 cruises that we have taken. The nice extras that you get in Concierge Class was worth the extra price. We will always choose this class on our future cruises. Some of the little extras are, Fresh fruit everyday. Extra nice bedding and towels. Flowers in the sitting area and the bathroom was a very nice touch. Priority tender passes in the ports where you have to tender is worth the extra price, you get to go before anybody else, straight to the head of the line. Really loved that one as we had a very short time in Kona and didn't have to wait. Four o'clock every night Canapes were delivered to the room. Nice to have with cocktails before dinner. On past postings people have said that they didn't like them, all I can say is those persons are not gourmets. No need to pack a hairdryer as there are 2 in the room. The shower was larger than in most bathrooms in the past. There was plenty of closet and places to unpack for the 13 night cruise. You might want to bring extra hangers for the longer cruises. There is a mini bar/frig thing stocked with liquor and soda. We took everything out of it and just used it to keep our soda and water that we brought on with us cold. The balcony is a nice size and has a clear glass wall so your view is not blocked. Salt spray builds up on it, but you can have your room stewart clean it. Enough about the room, lets move on to the food. The buffet was nice. There is 2 sides to it and the main item on each side was different so make sure you walk each side before getting in line. The Summit has many different serving stations. Pizza, Pasta, waffles and pancakes, omelette, deli type sub sandwiches, pastries, Ice cream (which is all made on the ship and really good. The sherbets are a most to have),sushi, healthy food from the Spa CAfe, and last but not least the Grill where you can get hotdogs and hamburgers and some of the best fries around. The Normandie Restaurant is a most for at least one night. It was a 5 star plus. The food was tasty and service great. The main dining room food was good, but I think they could do a little better on presentation. We didn't use the dining room for breakfast as we had it in our room or at the buffet. We did have lunch there and it was good. We loved the buffet for lunch as we liked to spend our time by the pool and didn't have to change clothes for it, just use a coverup over your swimwear. The dinning room has a dress code for all meals. Shore excursions had a lot to pick from or you could just wait till you got into port and find something on your own on the dock. They are lots of free shuttles to different shopping places. The shows were great and there was something for everyone. They even have a movie theater. You can also charge in room movies, which I liked. They have CNN and TNT so you can always find something to watch on TV if you were having a lazy day in your room. I can't say enough good about this cruise. Just remember that the 4 days at sea will be a little rough during the winter months, so be prepared for some rocking and rolling, both on the way over and the way back. Just want to close with saying we are in our late 50's and we had a great time. There was lots of things to do all day long, or you could do nothing. We had a bad time on embarkation, but it was the ports fault as they had a power failure and the ramp would not work. This was not the fault of the cruise line. So book this cruise and enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
My husband and I have been on 10 cruises, this was absolutely the worst nightmare from start to finish. This was our 2nd and absolute last cruise on any RCCL cruise line, especially Celebrity. We had the Penthouse and let me tell you ... Read More
My husband and I have been on 10 cruises, this was absolutely the worst nightmare from start to finish. This was our 2nd and absolute last cruise on any RCCL cruise line, especially Celebrity. We had the Penthouse and let me tell you what the brochures and Celebrity tell you that you receive for FREE or plain receive is not the truth!! Butler was there to serve....you had to ask him to do anything and everything, nothing was volunteered. Stateroom attendant spent maybe 10 minutes in the room...1,200 sq feet of it cleaning. Never clean the bathroom floor, never changed the sheets until I took them off (even asked and was told NO not on long enough..this was after 5 nights and 3 of those we were seasick in the bed!) Brochure says we were suppose to receive free internet (changed since our cruise on the Internet where it now says you pay)....get it free on Princess with the room. Get free dry cleaning and laundry service on Princess with the Big Suites. Service overall was the worst. The employees were rude, arrogant and would just tell you anything to get you off the phone or away from their desk. Entertainment was fantastic though, actually top 5 star in that area, but you only had one every night to chose from in the big theatre. Princess has 2 and sometimes 3 entertainment (usually more than one entertainment theatre on the ship) nightly and you can see all 3 if you plan your evening well. Food - for 13 nights we were offered the same dinners over and over, no variety. Prime rib after 5 times is boring. Fish was the same every night, just a different sauce. No buffet after 2:45 pm....only hamburgers and hot dogs or room service. Lunch buffets were very limited on variety....nothing like peel and eat shrimp, fishes, no potato entrees but 2-3 varieties of rice, mainly cheap pasta, lettuce salads, watered/milked down soups, etc. Princess has buffets round the clock, too many entrees to chose from and nice personnel to assist you. Bought the all you can drink Coke and all they would bring me was 4 or 6 oz juice glasses (mainly ice) to drink, and that was a chore to receive that even. Since they don't get any tips in serving this, they didn't want to do it and would take up to 10 15 minutes to get you this drink....you rarely had time to ask for 2. On Princess, you get 8 or 12 oz and gladly serve you. Summit ship itself was not fancy, elegant on the inside. It was plain color walls, not all the elegance of past ships we have been on. The glass elevators are on the water side and this leaves the center of the boat and the open foyer area plain, plain. There was just plain round tubes going up 3 floors and a stair case out of no where that went just up and down....nothing out of ordinary. We had thought Celebrity was the Lincoln version of RCCL, and Princess was not that elegant, glamorous....WRONG. Princess is the only way to go and we are now a confirmed Princess customer. Please understand, we are not snotty, high fashioned stuck up people, just run of the mill, middle class that saved for this "cruise of a lifetime" for a long time and was thoroughly disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
Summit Review Jan 29-Feb 12, 2006 To Hawaii and Back! This is likely to be long so Ill use headings to help you skip to parts that may interest you. OUR BACKGROUND -- This was our second cruise, our first being on Royal Caribbean last ... Read More
Summit Review Jan 29-Feb 12, 2006 To Hawaii and Back! This is likely to be long so Ill use headings to help you skip to parts that may interest you. OUR BACKGROUND -- This was our second cruise, our first being on Royal Caribbean last year to the Mexican Riv. We are 40 and 41, not partiers or drinkers but we do love good company, music, food and due to living in Northern Canada we especially love the sun! We were joined by my parents, both 63 who enjoyed their 4th cruise. PRECRUISE -- We arrived a day early as per everyones advice and once again stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn LAX. Their shuttle met us minutes after we called for it and delivered us to their lovely hotel. Again, we were duly impressed with the cleanliness, and friendliness of this establishment. After settling in, their shuttle driver took us to Manhattan Beach where we did the usual touristy adventure of walking the pier, watching surfers, looking in a few little shops and then enjoying a scrumptious dinner at Rock N Fish. Dont miss their roasted corn and crab cakes. We had arranged for the Hiltons shuttle driver to pick us up again, which he did. We tipped him generously and agreed it was much more convenient and pleasant than taking a cab. After enjoying the Hiltons complimentary, huge, warm, white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, soaking in their hot tub and checking our e-mail in their complimentary office (which was loaded with complimentary office supplies) we went to bed. Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny, so we walked to Ralphs groceries and stocked up on some Diet Coke (which we later carried on in our hand luggage with no problem at all) and a few things we had forgotten, then walked back for a delicious complimentary buffet breakfast. Did I mention that I like this Hotel? We had called Golden West Express the night before to arrange for an 11:30 pick up to take us to San Pedro. We requested a van due to the copious amounts of luggage we had. Cost was $58 plus tip. ARRIVAL AT SAN PEDRO -- We arrived at 12:00 and wondered what we were in for! As it turned out Summit had arrived late due to fog, so the disembarking passengers were still there  trying to get cabs, porters etc  as well, Vision of the Seas and an Oceania Ship were in port. My husband is persistent, big and friendly and in no time we had a porter taking very good care of us with our huge pile of luggage. Remember a smile and a tip go a long way. There were some grumpy and mean people there that day and they were not getting porters. The line to board looked a mile long but it was a lovely day and we were on holidays so who could complain? Eventually the line reached a tent that offered shade and a few chairs for the elderly, then we reached security and finally Celebrity check-in. We had done the online paperwork and honestly I dont know how it could have been quicker. We had a second line to go in being we are Canadian but that only took a couple minutes. We then had our picture taken, but had to wait again in another line up to actually board the ship. I think that was because Celebrity likes to have someone take you to your room, which takes extra time. If everyone herded on the ship like a pack of wild elephants it would likely be quicker. FIRST HOURS ON BOARD and ROOM 6018 -- We were offered a lovely drink upon boarding, were delivered to our room which was ready and dropped off our hand luggage. Room 6018 is very far forward and is one of the secret rooms with an extra large balcony. It is the middle of three rooms that are surrounded by the metal cladding that youll notice if you look at a picture of the Millennium class ships. I was worried about the metal cladding interfering with sunlight and our view but this was unfounded. I was also worried about the motion from being so far forward however I cant comment on this because our sailing was virtually like glass all the way there and back. Finally, it had been mentioned that staying so far forward meant a lot of walking to get anywhere. Perhaps, but this didnt hurt us. The theatre was right below us which was handy in the evenings. We will definitely book one of these rooms again and would not hesitate to book 6018. The room was spotless, roomy and there were plenty of hangers although I had brought skirt hangers from home which I used. There are loads of drawers and shelves. The washroom was roomy and the shower big enough to do the hula if you so desire. Lots of shelves here too. Some have mentioned mold, cracked tiles, and worn upholstery but we saw none of that in our room. After a little walk around a spotless ship, we headed to the delicious buffet. Walking through the pool area, the loungers were still vacant and had been aligned using a rope, so they were in perfect rows! Each lounger had a perfectly folded yellow towel on it. The care in which this area was prepared was stunning! All the staff were most pleasant everywhere we went, particularly in the buffet and we found the buffet to be a definite step up from Royal Caribbeans. This cruise was off to a good start& and it got better. FOOD  ROOM SERVICE AND BUFFET -- Everyone asks about the food on a cruise, so Ill get right to the point. We ordered room service every morning for our pre-breakfast/ breakfast (juice and coffee, - ok a Danish too). It arrived promptly every time, was hot, cold or however it was meant to be! Dont order anything else for breakfast though! Twice we tried the eggs, bacon etc and they were absolutely terrible. My parents had the very same experience. The eggs were in a puddle of sludge and the bacon in a slick of grease. Really gross. After a workout we would rush to the buffet before 10:00 when the waffle station closed. These waffles are melt in your mouth fantastic. With cherries and yogurt, it is divine. My family loved the fresh danish, made to order omelets, and the fresh fruit but the rest was fairly ordinary buffet fair. What more can you ask than fresh waffles and fresh omelets? My only complaint is the coffee. It was hard to get it hot and those dumb little cups are useless. I suggest bringing your own full size insulated coffee mug. The room service coffee and juice was far superior to the buffets. LUNCH BUFFET We intended to try the dining room for lunch, but honestly the buffet was lovely for lunch and therefore we never made it to the dining room. On Royal C. we were sick of the buffet almost right away and ended up eating most of our meals in the dining room. Not so on the Summit! There was a daily theme buffet down one side of the buffet and a usual lunch buffet down the other side. Some of the themes I remember were, Mexican, American, Oriental, and Hawaiian. The Pasta Bar kept calling my name but I never made it. I did however, make it to the Home Made Pizza Station, the Sandwich Deli and the Caesar Salad Station  no complaints, except that I gained 7 lbs in 14 days. SPA CAFÉ  At the THALASSOTHERAPY POOL is amazing. Apparently the staff from the Normandy work there during the day (??). If only I had eaten there all the time. The food is low fat, low cal and amazing. It is presented beautifully and couldnt be yummier. The only problem is that there arent very many tables to sit at so sometimes you end up wandering quite a ways with your tray. The coffee there is terrible though  dont bother. THE NORMANDY is the specialty restaurant. It costs $30 each, and you need to make reservations  DONT miss it. Much has been said about the goat cheese soufflE which I would never have even taken a second glance at had it not been for cruise critics high recommendation it is all it is praised to be. We were surprised with a lovely smoked salmon and caviar treat to start with, then the soufflE, then my mom and I shared the Chateau Briand  perfect. My dh and pop had the lamb which they said was the best they had ever had. Then the cheese course, then the dessert. We went for the six mini desserts. I wish we could have just taken a doggy bag but that just didnt seem right! We were soooo stuffed. THEN, came the petit fours. We did not do the wine pairing which is 5 glasses of wine (each) to go along with your meal for another $30 and is a terrific value they said. While Im sure it is great value, I would not be able to find my room afterwards if I had 5 glasses of wine, value or not! THE COSMOPOLITAN DINING ROOM -- We were at a table for 6 and were ironically seated with Joe and Judy the very best couple ever to sit with  we knew them from CruiseCritic so could hardly believe that with 2300 others on the ship we were seated with them! I did love a table for 6 although we had asked for a table for 8. Conversation was intimate and service was terrific. Our meal however always seemed to be really, really slow coming and dinner took 2 ½ hours every night. That was fine being we were in good company but if you were anxious to get on with the evening you might have been become annoyed  we love the leisurely time to visit. Celebrity Secrets Thread suggests many hot tips that we enjoyed: Shrimp cocktails nightly and a plate of blue cheese to go along with salads every night (thanks a lot Judy, now we are all addicted!! ;) & fresh berries with dessert every night, Crème Brulee kindly made special just for us, andplainsalmon for me one night when I just didnt feel like anything else on the menu. I didnt feel that meals were superior to Royal C but certainly they were great. I did get a little tired of saucy things but that is the problem with a two week cruise  such a problem to have! Desserts were fine  the only outstanding menu item was the Crème Brulee. However, the Cherries Jubilee was just heated up Cherry pie filling! Not to complain though, we waddled away from the table every night and many times our waiter insisted that we try several desserts! Meat is on the rare side so order accordingly, pork was very tough both times I had it, salmon was delish, chicken ordinary, lamb gross (but my husband absolutely loves lamb and said it was amazing!!!). Other fish was always moist and tender. Soups were hot and tasty  however is mint pea not a little weird? The cold soups seemed like melted ice cream or like juice to me but each to their own. The Corn Carolina was amazing. The salad dressings are great, especially Celebrity dressing. My dh just likes a plate of lettuce which he then doctored it up with blue cheese and dressing. They brought this for him each night. COVA CAFÉ is a lovely coffee house where the string quartet plays and where you have to pay for your coffee. A latte is $2.50 and comes with a yummy wrapped chocolate. Although it seemed rather dumb to pay for coffee when I could walk a ways and get one for free elsewhere, as I have mentioned it was hard to get a good cup of coffee on this ship, and this was good coffee. Plus there was the lovely ambiance. In the afternoon there are beautiful cookies, which are complimentary (and pastries in the mornings). Just before dinner they pass around hors dd'oeuvres as well (sometimes). Do not miss the quartet. CASUAL DINING is more than it sounds  it is something you make reservations for and takes place in the buffet area, however you sit at white tablecloth covered tables and have your order taken. It is a 4 course meal and 3 different menus rotate. This was my BEST meal. I had the salmon dinner and it was marvelous. I would have eaten here every night but our dinner companions Joe and Judy were so lovely we hated to miss them in the main dining room  as well our waiters in the dining room were great. The waiters in the Casual Dining seemed to be understudies for the main dining room and they tried really, really hard but were real nervous. We enjoyed them too. The dress code is casual (surprise, surprise) and therefore this venue is very popular after a day in port. Our day at Kauai was followed by a Formal Night  rather a nuisance if you ask me  so casual dining was booked right up. Call a few hours ahead and remember to let them know in the main dining room that you wont be there. ENTERTAINMENT  Being younger than the average age by about 20+ years, we expected the entertainment to be a little slow for us and we were in fact correct. That is not to say we didnt enjoy it. When we filled out our comment cards rating each evenings show, we surprised ourselves when we realized we had filled out 11 excellent! There were 4 Broadway productions which were 3 too many for me  however& their costumes and dancing skill are a sight to behold. Pearl Kaufmann, pianist for over 250 movies, gave us two shows, as did Ping Xing Xu a dulcimer player. The comedian was certainly very funny as was the Newly Wed- Nearly Dead game. The very best show was on the last night, Darren Williams and his Poparatic Program. How he can sing Phantom and sound like all three parts including imitating Sarah Brightman perfectly is just amazing. I hadnt expected much out of the Talent show but I was pleasantly surprised at how talented our fellow guests were  put me to shame for sure. If you are a night owl, dont expect much to be happening after 11:30. We just loved the pianist/ singer in Michaels Club, but he shut down at 11:30, as did the quartet at the Cova Cafe. We arent dancers/drinkers but the one night we went to the Bar at the Edge of the Earth, the Karaoke was really, really bad and it shut down shortly after 12:00 due to lack of interest! Speaking of the Edge  it is a really interesting bar area decorated seemingly in an underwater ?? theme.  however there are beds and cushions here and there  for what purpose, Ill let you decide. Many have said it is ugly, but I beg to differ. It is just different. PUBLIC AREAS  An understated elegance best describes the ship. The Centrum is not nearly as breathtaking as that of The Vision of the Seas  but lovely just the same. The Art Work aboard has been called controversial. Different and unusual, it is, however there was nothing that offended my tender sensibilities. The Casino never seemed very busy and not nearly as smoky as on the Vision where I would walk outside the ship to avoid walking thru the Casino. The flooring is truly beautiful everywhere, both carpet and tile work. We enjoyed the variety of shops but found the staff thoroughly bored and rather unpleasant. This is one of the very few places where staff could have improved in moral. POOLS  Yes, there was the typical chair hogging around the pool BUT there were always lots of chairs on the upper deck and sitting beside the pool isnt that important to me anyway. On the two cooler sea days there were lots of Alaskan blankets so the pool decks were always in use. The pool stewards were in full force and didnt have a problem moving towels off chairs. If you wanted to save a chair you needed to leave something personal on the chair or you would lose your chair for sure. The T-POOL is wonderful. On the warmer days it would have been great if that roof would have retracted. The ambiance is beautiful and the fat granite lady that overlooks everything is really something! There are far too few loungers here but there really isnt room for anymore so I wouldnt know what the solution would be. The negative is the strange smell that gagged me every time we entered the area. I did get used to it in time but it certainly wasnt a fresh air smell. ENRICHMENT SERIES  A chef, astronaut and a naturalist from UBC were on board and their seminars were well attended. In fact the naturalists series had to be moved from the cinema to the main theatre due to popularity. I found the timing a little early in the day for me and only attended one but I only heard good things about them. FITNESS CENTRE/SPA  Im happy to say that we did use the fitness center and it was great. The excellent treadmills overlook the front of the ship and were always available within a few minutes wait (actually I never did have to wait). The room was always full but not over-full. Exercise classes were in full force (for a fee). I must say that the change rooms were spectacular. We used them for morning showers after our work-outs and after using the T-Pool as the showers were just beautiful with rain-shower heads, nice soap and shampoo etc. The sauna has a huge window as does one of the showers  rather exotic. We did the SPA tour when we boarded the ship (recommended) and although tempting I couldnt justify the high prices. In comparison to what I would pay at home it was 2 3 times the price. PORTS -- HILO  It was good to land after four days at sea and we were able to watch our arrival for an hour or so. Of course it was pouring rain being Hilo is one of the wettest cities in the U. S. We exited the ship into a huge warehouse building where security personal go thru your backpacks, purses etc to look for contraband. We had brought sandwiches and fruit off the ship (ordered from room service) with us for our lunch and that seemed fine with them. There are lots of tour operators and flower sellers right there at your service but we had rented a car so didnt need a tour. We did, however, buy two $10 gorgeous arrangements of flowers to bring back to our cabins. The vendors kept them for us for the day. My husband left with the car rental shuttle to pick up the car whilst we waited  being we were the first people off the ship, he was the first to do the paperwork at the rental company and thus the first back. Dont dilly dally or you will get behind 500 others doing paperwork and waste your day. We took off for the Volcanoes National Park. The way is well marked and once you are there you pass thru a toll booth and they give you a map of the park on which there are suggested outlooks on Crater Rim Drive (the main circle drive) and Chain of Craters Road (the road that branches off CR Drive and takes you to the ocean). We stopped at Kilauea Visitor Center first to see the displays and watch the movie and then proceeded to most of the stopping points. The Chain of Craters Road is a long drive but dont miss it  it is beautiful, but it is likely to be hot by the time you make it to the sea. We saw the lava hitting the ocean in the distance. It would have been a 7 hour walk to reach lava the day we were there though. Once back on the Crater Rim Drive, we stopped at the Thurston Lava Tube  very cool. The ferns are enormous making you feel like youre in a Disney movie. Heading back to the ship we took a quick pass thru the town of Hilo just to see it and then stopped at Hilo Hatties and ran into Wal-Mart for some essentials. Although it poured in Hilo the whole day, it was on and off at the Park and it really was a wonderful day. KONA  We loved Kona! This is a tender port and we were on the first tender. Just get yourself out of bed and to wherever it is they announce you are suppose to be and pretend you have #1 tender priority and youll find yourself on tender #1!!! If you wait around until they load all the tour passengers and gold passengers etc. youll be all day. Face it  they want to get everyone off the ship as fast as possible and if you are there and ready to go, theyll put you on the next tender (trust me). We hailed a cab immediately and went to KAHALUU BEACH PARK. It is like a natural aquarium complete with giant turtles. We were there by 8:30 a.m. so practically had the place to ourselves (note& this park gets very, very busy as the day goes on - GO EARLY). This was our very first try at snorkeling and it was a piece of cake for my dh and for my Pop but it was a challenge for me. I ended up doing great but nearly had heart failure when a huge turtle went right underneath me  not what I was expecting! It was amazing  lots of gorgeous sea life. By 10:00 we were quite tired so bought a smoothy-drink and relaxed on the beach (not powder sandy but nice just the same). Then called the cab back to town (about $12 each way). We were starved by now and went to BUBBA GUMPS for a wonderful lunch. Dont miss it. It is right on the main drag and has a gorgeous view. Ask for a patio table of course. Then we went to the market right across the way from Bubbas  bought a few souvenirs, then walked to Hilo Hatties (not a good walk if you are infirm as it is up hill all the way. There is a shuttle that will take you from the ship but we wanted the exercise). We stopped briefly at Hulihee Palace, which is right close to the pier as well. A great day. KAUAI  We love Kauai too! Another stop where we had rented a car. This is where you have to avoid the chickens  they are everywhere. We had friends in Hanapepe to meet in the morning so drove the main hiway there, stopping at a little cafe in Hanapepe called Grinds for a Danish and coffee which was terrific. Called our kids at home in Edmonton and it sounded like we were next door. After a morning with friends we left at about noon for Waimea Canyon. It was a gorgeous day and the road winding up the Canyon was really lovely. The views are breathtaking. I have not seen the Grand Canyon but I surely feel like I have now. We only went to the PUU HINAHINA LOOKOUT as we were now running into time constraints  therefore we did not see clear to the Napili Coast which we may have seen had we gone on further. However I cant imagine what better views we could have seen of the canyon itself. This lookout offers washrooms and refreshments (including yummy coconuts on ice) and excellent picture taking opportunities. Dont miss this stop. We then turned around and headed back on the hiway to Poipu Beach. (just follow the signs). We went to the MARRIOTT WAIOHAI RESORT and used their beach (the public beach is right there as well but the Marriott is worth a look at  it is beautiful). Here, we snorkeled again. I admit to being a total chicken this time. The fish here are used to being fed and somehow they know when a new person enters the water and they swarm you  that freaked me out completely! I eventually got over it once they realized I didnt have rice for them and they left me alone. However I was nervous as the currents and waves were strong that day. I dont believe it is usually that way according to the guide books. We did have a real treat as a very rare and endangered Monk Seal was on the beach right there with all hundreds of us tourists. He was fenced in by the conservation officers to protect him as he will lay there for hours and people tend to think they need to be pushed back into the ocean like a beached whale! Now we had to return our car to Budget which turned out to be an adventure because they had written down the mileage wrong when we picked up the car and now claimed we had driven 3600 miles in one day. Considering the whole island is less than 200 miles around  that would be quite the driving. The idiot girl at the desk insisted she was charging us excess mileage  we said we had a ship to catch and she should use common sense and realize the error. We didnt want to leave her with our credit card until it was sorted out but our time was cutting fine by now  anyway a manager finally came and sorted it out. Note to self  leave extra time for idiots. OAHU  I guess we are easy to please because we loved Oahu too. Be sure to get up for arrival (actually dont miss any arrivals). Arriving in Oahu as the day breaks is spectacular. As the Summit docks the Hula Dancers sing and dance just for you and you feel like you are in a dream. We disembarked and caught a cab right away to Waikiki. Now, it may be cheaper to catch a bus and many do. However we are only here for one day and we didnt want to waste time waiting for a bus. Grab another couple and share the taxi fare if money is an issue. We mosied thru The Royal Hawaiian , the Sheraton Ala Moana Surfrider, walked the beach (wonderful to do right away before it gets busy), had an ice cream at Baskin Robbins, did the shops etc. Also went to the International Marketplace.  this place has become a real dump. Reminded me of Mexico. I would expect that this prime piece of real estate will soon be remodeled into another resort. Many of the stalls are empty and they all have the same stuff anyway. Then we had lunch at DUKES in the Outrigger on the Beach (right next to the Royal Hawaiian  the pink one). It was great  ask for a table on the patio obviously. For the afternoon we sunbathed on the beach and swam a little then headed back to the ship via cab. My parents were tired out so decided to stay on the ship but dh and I showered and disembarked again to spend the evening at the Aloha Tower Mall which is right there at the pier. It is a lovely outdoor mall where you can easily spend a few hours browsing, having coffee, listening to music etc. The ship doesnt leave until 11 p.m. so we wanted to enjoy Honolulu as along as possible but were too tired by now to tour the city. This was a good alternative. Sailaway at night was lovely as we left the lights of the city. MAUI - Now that we have been home a couple months we have decided that Maui was our favorite  if we could only return to one island. That is NOT to diminish any other island though  Hawaii is simply gorgeous! Arrival in Lahaina is very pretty as it is a lovely little former whaling village. We haled a cab immediately again and went to KAANAPALI BEACH where the cab driver dropped us off at the SHERATON (far end of Kaanapali Beach at BLACK ROCK). Here we found a perfect spot on the beach and began our third round of snorkeling. This is lovely calm, safe spot with tons of fish and turtles again. This is where we saw the whales breach right in front of us. After a couple hours we walked to WHALERS VILLAGE outdoor mall where we shopped and enjoyed more Kona Coffee  the view here at the mall is terrific. We had planned to bus to Lahaina but once again the bus service was poor and we werent about to wait so jumped in a cab. (about $15 each way) Lahaina has dozens of shops and galleries (Dont miss Wylands Gallery of ocean paintings). Now came the fiasco many have talked about. Somehow the lines got mixed up for tenders and there were terrible verbal fights and I feared for the poor traffic officer. I dont understand how there could be confusion when cruise ships dock there all the time and Im not sure whos fault it was but it was terrible. It was also very, very hot and the line was soooooso long. In the end we were 2 hours late leaving and there were a lot of MAD passengers. Many people were mad that Celebrity only offers part of the day in Maui  well I say read your itinerary. If you dont like it, dont book. I would like to have been all day in Maui too but Im not going to complain after the fact. Actually, by 2 we were all exhausted after 5 port days in a row and happy to get on the ship. Not to mention that the next 4 hours of sailing by the coast of Maui was absolutely beautiful and not to be missed. If we left at night you would not see that. DISEMBARKATION -- Was very frustrating and it needn't have been. The line up to reach immigration stretched the length of the entire ship _I'm not kidding. Although we had all been given official times to be there - that seemed irrelevant to everyone else! People were queue jumping, complaining, the very old were forced to stand for a long time etc... There has to be a better system. The other odd part is how you are dumped into the big warehouse to find your luggage - how more luggage doesn't go 'missing' is beyond me! Those thousands of pieces of black luggage are really a sight to behold. Remember to decorate your luggage! So there is my review. Would I go Celebrity again? Definitely!!! However I will likely look at Royal C for taking our kids as it caters to a younger crowd. I have to admit the extra Celebrity touches are awfully nice though! Here is a link to our pictures on WebShots  hope you enjoy them. http://community.webshots.com/myphotos?action=viewAllPhotos&albumID=549390828&security=pqWVnS If this link doesnt work  go to www.webshots.com and click on community  then our name is plaqster1 Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
The embarkation was very slow - this was our 5th cruise with Celebrity and we have never seen it that bad - probably due to the San Pedro port facilities being the worst we have seen. The dining was excellent. The theme meals were good ... Read More
The embarkation was very slow - this was our 5th cruise with Celebrity and we have never seen it that bad - probably due to the San Pedro port facilities being the worst we have seen. The dining was excellent. The theme meals were good and the midnight buffet around the pool area was a lot of fun. In addition to the main dining room, the buffet and other eating choices such as sushi, pasta and sandwich bars were very well laid out and the food was great although the breakfast menu in the buffet area was repetitious after the 11th day. The alcoholic beverage prices (wine, hard liquor) are becoming prohibitive (martini $10) for alcohol that is supposed to be duty free. Our stateroom was comfortable and efficient. The ships' cleanliness overall was excellent. The entertainment was the best we have seen so far. The dancers were energetic and the variety of comedians, ventriloquist and singers a welcome change. The islands we visited were interesting although it would have been better if we spent less time on the big island and more time in Maui which was really beautiful. Service as usual was outstanding and everyone was in tip top shape and doing their best to please. The tours and special considerations for "select" members (more than 5 cruises) were great. We got a backstage tour, galley tour, special cocktail with Captain and officers to mention a few. The daily activities were a bit weak and repetitious. Celebrity should work on offering more variety - you can only play trivial pursuit and bingo so many times! Especially since this cruise had 8 days at sea. Disembarkation was a disaster. The ship docked 45 minutes late and this caused chaos for those who had a early flight to catch. We were each given specific times to clear customs and this procedure was "out the window" once the chaos of docking late occurred. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
This was a 14 day round trip from Los Angeles to Hawaii and back on Celebritys Summit with 3 of my cousins and their husbands We had 4 sea days going and coming. Our plan was to arrive a day early just in case of inclement weather in ... Read More
This was a 14 day round trip from Los Angeles to Hawaii and back on Celebritys Summit with 3 of my cousins and their husbands We had 4 sea days going and coming. Our plan was to arrive a day early just in case of inclement weather in Chicago, but all of our flights were on time. We arrived in LA to worse weather than we had left behind in Chicago, a bit warmer but raining. We stayed at the Hyatt Long Beach and met my cousins there for a drink in the lobby bar once we had all arrived on our different flights. We were all very excited and talking about our upcoming cruise. We also got to see our friends, Tom & Pam who live in San Pedro, and they treated us to for a lovely dinner that night. By the time we got to bed @ 1 AM-Chicago time, we had been up for 21 hrs. We didnt find out until after we got back that the Hyatt had wanted to bump us to another hotel because they had 3 conventions and needed the rooms. Our travel agent, Donna refused to let them move us and talked to the hotel manager who finally relented and let us stay there. That explained the complimentary bottle of wine, the chocolate covered strawberries and the note in our ship cabins apologizing for the inconvenience from Hyatt. Apparently several people were moved to the other facility and they still had our names on the list. The Hyatt was a lovely property however and the room was very comfortable. We would definitely stay there again. They did provide a shuttle to the pier which was a large coach bus. Embarkation was quite busy and slow as the computers needed to scan our pre-boarding documents that we had done online were not working. As a result, everything needed to be done over with a resulting backlog of passengers. Once on board, we were greeted with champagne or mimosas and found our own way to our cabins. This was about 11:30 AM and I imagine it was the busiest time to be boarding. We waited in the Martini lounge while one of our number went to see if the rooms were ready. When he didnt return we headed up one deck to our Category 2-C cabins in the center of the ship. We had been given our sign and sail cards and we were in our rooms at last! I found out later that these cards with their useful magnetic strips can be erased! I was carrying my cell phone with me all the time in a little purse with my room card and after about a week, I couldnt unlock the room door! I went down to customer relations where they issued me a new one and asked if I had it next to a cell phone or digital camera. When I said I had a cell phone, they said that cards were frequently erased by the batteries of these devices. Since I had promised my daughter to keep my phone with me at all times so she could notify me in case of an emergency, I ended up needing to get a third card before we finished the cruise. The ship was as beautiful as we remembered it. Still had the funky modern art which evoked much comment from the passengers, especially my cousin, Sharon, who couldnt stand it! Summit looked to be in excellent shape inside and out. I did not notice any signs of wear and tear in any of the public areas. Our cabins all had a balcony which was really cool to sit out on and enjoy the view both at sea and while in port. The first night out and the first day were quite bouncy and 2 of my cousins became ill. It turned out that Marilyn had a serious sinus infection and was treated by the ships doc. The medical facility was quite busy as 90% of the passengers were over 70. (If I thought this crowd was old, I guess the last one was even older. Even the comedian made a joke that the last group consisted of very old people and their parents.) The nurse told Marilyn that there was a lot of pneumonia on the ship. I was holding my breath anytime someone got on the elevator and started coughing. The food was superb as always and they have expanded the options for you to stuff yourself. It was lets belly up to the trough one more time. For breakfast, they had 4 buffet lines going and someone on each side making omelets and eggs to order. In the back by the casual dining area, there were waffles and pancakes available 8-10 am. This caused quite a backlog as there was only one waffle maker and people did not want to wait. Lunch was a specialty buffet on the port side on sea days and a station to make your own sandwich in the casual dining area. They actually made it for you according to your directions. They also had French fries which were quite good. The specialty buffets were ok but the only one that looked appealing was the American with fried chicken and corn on the cob. The Chinese buffet was said to be good but I never got to it. The Mexican that I did try was pretty bland for tacos, without any real taste to them. Also on each side was a pasta station which got a good work-out. From Noon to 10 pm there was pizza on the far starboard side. You could design you own pizza but they always had some kind already made up for you to try. It was ok, but the crust was really lacking in taste. The Spa Cafe by the Thalassotherapy pool was very good for light choices for breakfast and lunch. As usual, the pool grill had hot dogs, hamburgers and a specialty choice of those each day. They did have the best pickles I have ever eaten. Since we were changing time going and coming, people were constantly adjusting to the new time but the ship stuck to their schedule and by 11 am only one buffet line was open for breakfast and it was usually quite crowded as was the omelet station. Forget about the waffles, it closed at 10 am, too bad for the passengers who slept in. We did order coffee and rolls in our cabin a few times just to have a little something in our stomachs before going to work out. It was very pleasant to sit by the open veranda door while we watched the ocean go by. Dinner was at late seating and I think this will be the last time we will do it that way. Since most of the late seating shows were at 7:00, when you were done eating it was go to the casino or to bed. No one wanted to hit the sheets with a full stomach. The dinner menus were the same as I recalled from our last 14 day cruise. Since 2 of my cousins are very picky eaters, they kept the waiter and his assistant on his toes throughout our cruise but they were very accommodating even to offering Thousand Island dressing at every dinner since that was the only one they would eat! A few times they tried the chicken breast with baked potato and it was always presented as nicely as the other meals. Karl commented that they really earned their tips with our group. Marilyn asked for corn a few days before the end of the cruise and after that we had corn on the cob each day. We also chose to try the Normandie specialty restaurant on what we thought would be an Informal night. Turned out to be the first formal night and the room was not crowded at all. It was the regular menu though without any specials by the chef for formal night. Since I was a Captains Club member, I could make our reservation in advance through the Captains Club desk. It took 2 phone calls and 2 e-mails before I received a confirmation of our reservation. It was stated in the message that the largest table they had was for a party of six, so we thought that we would be split up. When we arrived, they had set a table for eight and it was fine. The tables are pretty spacious and even with all the plates and silverware, we were fine. We elected the regular menu and not the wine-pairing menu since 2 of my cousins would not have drunk the wine anyway. Karl and I decided that we would try it for ourselves the next time. The food was superb and they were very accommodating with separate checks for the 4 couples. Since we were family, it would not have been a big deal to have one couple pay the whole thing and everyone else settle with them later. Two people chose the rack of lamb-Wellington style and it looked wonderful but it was a very large portion with at least 3 chops. We had the shrimp and scallops w/pasta and it was very tasty. The portions are much larger than in the regular dining room so you dont miss all the courses. Of course there is the cheese course and some of the guys had some port w/that. The chocolate soufflE looked wonderful and my cousins said it was. I tried the sampler desserts by Michel Roux and they were great except I expected them to be much smaller. There was no way I could eat all of them. Karl had to help me out. I was still on Chicago time the first few days and was waking up at 5 AM ship time. I thought that I would be the only one in the gym when it opened at 6 AM, but was I surprised! Everyone else was up too and had the same idea. We were religious about working out every day in the well-equipped workout room and finally found that going around 9-9:30 AM was the best time to get a machine. The day we pulled into Hilo (which was our first stop) we could see whales surfacing in front of us as we walked on the treadmills. The gym is at the top of the ship in the front so you have the Captains-eye view as you pull into port. It was interesting to note that we left Los Angeles at 5:00 PM on Sunday and even doing 17 knots during the day, we didnt arrive in Hilo until 10:00 Friday morning. According to the Summit Daily, it is 2400 miles from the west coast to Hawaii. Sure makes you respect those early sailors! In Hilo we did the Circle of Fire and Waterfalls Helicopter tour so we saw the active volcanoes and the lava pouring into the ocean. (Well it was more like trickling) But it still was very cool. We have the video so we can bore all of our friends. They make you get on a scale at the dock so as to balance the load in the aircraft before the bus took us to the airport. If you can stand the humiliation, it is a great tour. If you are thin, no problem. We bought an orchid lei at the airport which was only $6. I did wear it for at least 4 days. I never thought to stick it in the fridge in the room to keep it fresh. On our last trip to Hawaii, we boarded in Honolulu and everyone received an orchid lei. This didnt happen on this trip. Maybe it was because that trip in 2002 was Celebritys first trip to Hawaii. We had already seen Pearl Harbor the last time so we tried to go to see the Polynesian Cultural Center but we were too late for a tour and the rental cars were all taken. Here you should probably take the ships tour. We really had no idea how far away this attraction was. The taxi driver quoted us $120 one way! So I ended up shopping and walking around Honolulu for part of the day. You cant believe how you are sweating and how hot you feel and it probably was only 82 degrees. The historical section is walking distance from the pier and so is Chinatown. Considering we were there from 7 am to 11 pm, we should have seen a lot more. The cousins did go to see Pearl Harbor, the Missouri battleship and the Bowfin submarine. They left the ship about 7:45 and didnt get back until almost 4:00. So no matter what you do, it is time consuming and you will not see everything you want to see. There isnt too much to see in Kauai but the beach is walking distance from the pier and the waves were great. There are only ships tours here to be had. I wish we had done the helicopter tour here or gone to see Waimea Canyon. I guess we will have to put that down for a future cruise. We tendered ashore at Kona and did the requisite shopping at Hilo Hatties. Karl bought me a beautiful black Tahitian pearl slide to go on my omega chain. What a nice surprise! I was not expecting anything at all. The cousins hit Hilo Hatties at every stop. They did have the best prices on Aloha wear and other souvenirs. Maui was our last stop and I went whale watching with Captain Steves tours. I was too late to get on the ships excursion but I remembered reading about this excursion so I called from Honolulu on my cell phone and got directions to Mala wharf. Good thing I took a cab there as I would never have found it by myself. That 5 minute cab ride cost me over $7 but it was worth it as there was no signs indicating where you were or that Captain Steve came there. Luckily a family was there and confirmed that I was in the right place. Our vehicle was a zodiac boat that seated 24 and all the other passengers were from resorts. I was the only one off the ship. We saw lots of whales and they came quite close to the boat. I think we saw more whales than the people who took the Pacific Whale Foundation tour from the ship. This boat was more maneuverable and able to go to the whales location easier. They really want you to see a lot and tell others. Since I now knew where I was in location to Lahaina, I just walked back to the town and the ship. It took me about 20 minutes not counting the shopping I did on the way. The entertainment was certainly the best I have ever seen on a cruise. Its seems that they pull out the stops on the longer cruises. There were three big production shows with very talented singers and dancers. The featured acts were all great, especially Pearl Kaufman, a pianist, Taste of Cirque du Soleil, Jeri Sager, singer, & Jeff Nease, comedian. The one thing they could have done was bring back the entertainers for an afternoon show. On the sea days that would have been very well attended. I think they might have had an afternoon show by the dulcimer player, Ping Xu, but we would have skipped that one. We saw him on our Alaska cruise and he played the same songs he played 3 yrs ago! The Celebrity Orchestra was outstanding. What a bunch of very talented guys. The casino was pretty well attended also and I cant complain since I won $1300 playing 3-card Poker over the 14 days. My cousin won about $800 on different slot machines and we all won playing Bingo with prizes from $90-140. I won $100 early in the cruise and Karl won $140 the last morning. That put us even on Bingo until that evening when I won the big prize of $3400 which I had to share with another lady. That was just the frosting on the cake! All of my cousins were my cheering section. (I was wondering who was cheering and applauding since everyone around me looked very unhappy.) The family joke was that Karl had to book me on the next cruise so I wouldnt have to get off the boat and break my winning streak. Disembarkation was a problem in that the ship was late getting to Los Angeles and as a result, the Vision of the Seas had our dock spot so the port had to makeshift something so we could exit the ship. Since we had to go thru customs (that stop in Ensenada) before leaving, we lost our opportunity for breakfast. Our color was Beige-1 and we were second off the ship due to our plane leaving at 12:15. Some people were really enraged that they just couldnt grab their luggage and go. As it happened we boarded the bus for the airport and sat for 20-30 minutes while he filled it up. By the time we signed in, got our boarding passes, went through Security and found our gate (the last one of course), we barely had time to grab a Burger King and board the plane. But all in all, this was a really great cruise and that one little glitch at the end certainly didnt ruin it for us. It looks like Celebrity has a winner with these round trips that spare you the long flight from your home city to Honolulu. Getting home was easy since we are all in Chicago and didnt have to change planes to continue our trip. Picked up all the luggage, called the limo and we were home and back to reality after 2 weeks of luxury. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
This was our second cruise on Celebrity and it certainly will not be our last. We had a wonderful cruise. Embarkation was a bit problematic, as high winds at the Port of LA damaged the gangway and x-ray screening equipment. That resulted ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Celebrity and it certainly will not be our last. We had a wonderful cruise. Embarkation was a bit problematic, as high winds at the Port of LA damaged the gangway and x-ray screening equipment. That resulted in delayed disembarkation and thus delays and long lines to board. The fact that the weather was poor made it even less pleasant. This was the New Year's Day holiday, so the Port of LA had no one available to fix the problem. Once inside the terminal building, after an admittedly long wait, Celebrity did its usual efficient job of getting us on board. I strongly recommend using their on-line registration, it really speeds things up. We were greeted with a glass of champaign or a mimosa to sip, then escorted to our cabin. We had the least expensive outside cabin, since our view is that we spend so little time in the cabin that up grading isn't important to us. The cabin was actually significantly larger than on other lines (e.g. HAL, Princess) at 176 sq. feet, and is thoughtfully designed. Not spacious, but completely comfortable. The ship itself ins lovely, well designed and maintained, but there is some wear and tear showing in some furnishings. For us this was the ideal vacation. Four sea days to Hawaii, four port days, then four more sea days. I am at a loss to understand why some passengers were complaining about the number of sea days. Didn't they read the itinerary for this cruise? We find this on every cruise - some folks who just must find something to complain about. Celebrity really shines in the area of service - cheerful, helpful and polite describes the entire staff. That was especially true of our dining staff. The food was very good to excellent. Again, I am amazed at the folks who don't factor in the fact that the kitchen is producing 1800+ dinners every night, while the average fine restaurant does only 100 or so. Given that, the food was varied, well prepared and well presented. I must comment especially on the beef, which both my wife and I though was just outstanding. The sushi bar was a nice touch and not very busy. Since we had late seating for dinner, we were able to enjoy the hot tub, then have a bite of sushi and relax. Breakfast was good, with fresh waffles, eggs and omelets to order and a good buffet. Lunch was fair to good at the buffet (just not my thing) but the pasta station was good, as was the deli station that prepared fresh deli-style sandwiches. Burgers and fries were available poolside for those who just can't live without them. This was not a cruise for the go-go-go crowd. I found the lectures to be wonderful, including a faculty member from Temple Univ. who lectured on American composers playing and singing many of their songs. His were the best attended lectures I've ever encountered at sea, with 500+ attending. Also, an emeritus professor from the Univ. of Hawaii provided wonderfully informative talks on various subjects ranging from reef ecology to the geological origins of the islands. There are the usual activities, such as bingo, bridge,etc. but no rock climbing wall, no artificial surfing etc. For us (and we are in our 50s) this was just what we wanted. We had the chance to relax, read, play some backgammon and generally recuperate from our hectic lives. Evening entertainment was good, not great, but enjoyable. The casino is the usual cruise ship affair. Our shore excursions were terrific, including the volcano national park on Hawaii. Obviously, you have only a day in each port, so if you really want to see Hawaii a cruise such as this isn't the way to do it, but if you want to enjoy your days ashore, and have a wonderful time getting there and back this cruise was the way to go. disembarkation was a breeze. Well organized, no problems. We came at our appointed time, waited less then 15 minutes, went down the gangway, found our luggage and were in a cab to the airport in 15 minutes. Overall an outstanding cruise experience. We will cruise Celebrity again - probably on the Summit. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
The ship is very spacious and beautiful, if you discount the roaches in the buffet. Public areas are plentiful, if you like to drink. Cabins are fairly spacious, but no drawer space. Cabin attendant was outstanding and so was dining room ... Read More
The ship is very spacious and beautiful, if you discount the roaches in the buffet. Public areas are plentiful, if you like to drink. Cabins are fairly spacious, but no drawer space. Cabin attendant was outstanding and so was dining room waiter. That's the good stuff. The bad, this was a cruise over the Christmas/Chanukah/New Year holiday and there were over 600 children on board, about 2/3 were teens who had too much energy for senior citizens and more importantly, for their parents, who either didn't care or didn't care. Food was just food, nothing outstanding. The chefs suggestions were the worst, with much of it almost sickening. Deserts were just that, and we had ice cream most nights (vanilla, since chocolate was not available, except on special occasions?) Service in the buffet was spotty. Often they left tables dirty for an hour or more, and they never came around for a coffee refill until the last two days, (prior to the gratuity time). The pasta station was weak and we had to complain about the sandwich makers, who seemed to feel that a spread of tuna or egg salad made a sandwich. Breakfast and lunch in the dining room was uninspired and listless. The production shows were good, and so was most of the talent, (ie: singers and pianist and jazz violinist). The magician and juggler were third rate. The Circus de Soule was very weak, not at all like the Las Vegas shows. We would have a hard time returning to this line, and never, never, never on a holiday cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
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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