6 Celebrity Summit Hawaii Cruise Reviews

This past holiday season my wife and I decided to combine our 40th anniversary, a desire to finally make it to Hawaii and a chance to celebrate Christmas and New Years on the high seas... We have traveled on Celebrity transatlantic and ... Read More
This past holiday season my wife and I decided to combine our 40th anniversary, a desire to finally make it to Hawaii and a chance to celebrate Christmas and New Years on the high seas... We have traveled on Celebrity transatlantic and through the Panama Canal, and it truly was our only choice of a line, after having tasted Holland America and Carnival on other occasions. My son had traveled on one of Celebrity's sister ships to the Summit, and for the last two years extolled the virtues of having booked a Concierge Class room, with the additional service and amenities. We had always booked a balcony room, but this time we were convinced to go all out and book into Concierge Class (CC). .. for which we paid a premium. It ran us nearly $8k for the two of us, without shore excursions. Boarding at LA was a pain... We were told we had priority boarding with CC, and to show up no sooner than 1 PM to board for a 5:00 sailing. We got their about `12:30 and found many lines and much confusion. When I asked about priority, I was told to just get in the line!.. I am on a cane, and standing isn't my strong point, but we managed to get through and then were told to go sit on a bench with the rest of the hundreds. I again asked about priority boarding and was greeted with.. " That was at 11:00 this morning... sit down and wait until your number is called. I asked about my handicap and was asked if I needed a wheelchair. I said no, and was told to have a seat... only there were no available seats. I found a sign marked elevator in the back of the room, and my wife and I worked our way there and up the elevator, where we found a line, about 100yds long leading up to the gangplank! We got up to the ship in about 50 minutes time. It was LA, but windy and cool. Once onboard we were handed a quick champagne and sent to our rooms. Even on the infinity we were offered to be escorted. The whole front lobby was crowded and looked fairly disorganized, We finally made it to the room and found our rooms to be the same size as the balcony rooms we had on the other 2 ships. They were up under the Pool deck so the noise was fairly heavy at all hours, and the overhang of the above deck sheltered the skyline and set us in shade for most of the trip. The cabin staff was great as always on Celebrity... But, the only amenities that Concierge brought us were some stale snacks at 5 (6 each day!) and a bottle of cheap champagne on the first day. There were a lot of kids on this trip, but that is to be expected on all vacation cruises. They over ran the Spa's thermospa pool however and we didn't get a chance to use it. Food at the special restaurant was first class as was the service, I wish I could say the same for the dining room, however. The food was not well prepared, though it looked great, but the service was just fine. Spa Food for lunch was the best! This was the best entertainment we'd seen on a ship, but the shops were full of a lot of touristy junk, unlike the other cruises on Celebrity. The worst part of the cruise was shuttling to shore on the launches. It was totally disorganized and PRIORITY tickets left on our bed in the Evening before were worthless. We waited 3 hours to get into port, one time. Another was 1 ½ hrs. The itinerary was everything we expected and more. I rate this a 3, Could have enjoyed it more by flying out there. And spending the extra $ of great dining Read Less
Sail Date December 2007
This was our fifth cruise, and we have sailed with Carnival, Norwegian, Princess and this was our first Celebrity. Pros. Dining room service. The main and assistant waiter have only a few tables to supervise, so they have plenty of ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise, and we have sailed with Carnival, Norwegian, Princess and this was our first Celebrity. Pros. Dining room service. The main and assistant waiter have only a few tables to supervise, so they have plenty of time for each table and they do an excellent job. Our sommelier Stephan was fantastic and very knowledgeable. Once he knew what we like he did a great job with new recommendations, and even warned us against some of our choices (and he was always correct). Disembarkation. Celebrity has introduced a plan that allows you to check your baggage with certain airlines before leaving the ship, as well as receiving boarding passes for $15 per person. We received special tags for our luggage, and we simply left it outside our stateroom. We didn't have to bother with it until we arrived at our final destination, which made leaving the ship extremely easy. Room service food was good and generally on time. They also called 1 minute before they arrived at your door to wake you up and give you time to unlock the door. The library is well run. The casino added its first Texas hold em table. Cons. Dining room food. The general quality and finish of the food is about the same as other big lines, such as Princess. Nothing about the food is special enough to distinguish it from other cruise lines. Three food related items in the dining room became very tiresome. The first is their cheese plate. It consisted of a processed pepper cheese, a cold bree (that was only correctly served room temperature once), and a simple cheddar. This same trio never changed for two weeks, even on days when other nice cheeses happened to make it to the lunch buffet or were parts of other entrees. The second boring element was their bread baskets, which were identical for the full cruise. They consisted of a baguette, breadsticks, a soft rye slice and a country roll. They were prepared correctly, but this quartet of bread was unchanging for the entire two week cruise. Princess, Norwegian and Carnival all vary their breads daily. Breakfast. The third repetitive thing in the dining room is their limited and pedestrian breakfast menu, which is the same everyday. There is not even one special to make breakfast interesting. Finally, there was not a single souffle offered for the entire cruise. The dining room really shows its age, and needs a refurbishment. The chairs are threadbare and missing their darning buttons. Embarkation. The embarkation process is the worst we have ever experienced. It took hours and consisted of standing in line after line because there was insufficient staff at each point in the process. The final disappointment was standing in line for yet another 35 minutes just to board the ship so that each guest can be escorted to their room by someone from the ship. We would have preferred to get out of that line and find our own room. Shore excursions. We booked our shore excursions two months early on line, and had confirmation numbers. But on board, there was no record of our reservation, and the excursions were full. We started to make it clear they needed to fix the problem, and we were rudely questioned regarding how many times we had cruised, the implication being we were at fault. Before we erupted the supervisor came over and intervened. They eventually solved the problem, but they were unprofessional about the whole thing Logistics and Timing. The timing of most aboard ship events was poorly planned. Trivia and other games. They started at unusual times, and sometimes several overlapped. There was clearly no organization or planning about when events were to be held. Evening live music, such as the quartet, started at different times, and didn't correspond with seating in the main dining room. Late night music in the disco was mostly karaoke instead of dancing. The afternoon tea was held at 4 pm, just two hours before dinner. The hot tubs closed early, some at 6 pm and the remainder at 10 pm. Movie times. Movies were not shown in the afternoons, only in the evening. They generally started about 30 minutes before the shows in the main theater. Itinerary. The itinerary was generally good, especially a really long day in Maui, but two changes were made. The first is that that Kuwai was removed and instead we had two full days in Honolulu. The second is that from Kona to Hilo the captain chose to go north around the island so there would be better conditions for his gala party (which was stupid). Instead, he should have gone around the south side to see the lava (which we've done before, and thats fantastic). Bar service. Bar service was generally terrible. Most of the smaller bars had incompetent bar tenders that couldn't even make gin and tonic correctly. There were exceptions, such as the martini bar (but that only opens at 5 pm), and the one bar tender in the waterfall bar at the back of the ship, Binoy. There is no bar service on the upper decks around the pool area in the daytime, only during dinner hours. The lack of bar service was irritating, and the only way to get a drink was to wait in line at the bar. None of the bars offers peanuts or snacks, except those next to the dining room that open at 5 pm. Normandy specialty restaurant. The stemware was beautiful, and a nice change from the main dining room. The service wasn't as good as the main dining room, and the food was exactly the same. For example, we were seated near a corner, and the waiters would annoyingly squeeze behind our chairs instead of just reaching from the other side. The assistant waiter poured half a liter of water in our over sized water glass, which made it almost impossible to drink out of. The food was the same. For example, anywhere on the ship anything involving salmon comes as smoked lox, which is nice, but it might be described on paper in a different way. Our salmon tar-tar was in fact that same smoked lox with mayonnaise. (The steamed fresh salmon in the main dining room was also more of the same smoked lox). We would definitely avoid the Normandy in the future. The stateroom. The stateroom was the smallest we've had anywhere, but the shower was by far the largest shower. There are two problems with the room. The first is that there's no closet light (or closet hallway light), so to see into the closet one must turn all the room lights on full brightness. The second is that there's inadequate places to hang damp clothes, so we ended up draping them over the place, which was ugly. The main theater entertainment. This was fine if your like old show tunes. Only two nights out of two weeks was there a more interesting variety or comedy show offered. Read Less
Sail Date December 2006
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
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
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
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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