26 Celebrity Summit Hawaii Cruise Reviews

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