106 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Celebrity Summit Cruise Reviews

I can say only wonderful things about Celebrity and the Summit. Yes, it's true that the majority of passengers are older....but we had no problem relating to our fellow passengers or having a good time ourselves. (We are in our 30s.) ... Read More
I can say only wonderful things about Celebrity and the Summit. Yes, it's true that the majority of passengers are older....but we had no problem relating to our fellow passengers or having a good time ourselves. (We are in our 30s.) We took the Summit for our 10th anniversary cruise and it lived up to all the planning and anticipation. The entertainment did not suit our tastes, but the Aqua Spa and the Thalasotherapy pool more than made up for that. We enjoyed lingering over dinner with our friends (also on their 10th anniversary) and talking more than we would have enjoyed a show anyway. We spent our days enjoying room service for breakfast on our balcony. (The concierge class cabins have an expanded room service menu that we really enjoyed.) We then went to the gym for a Yoga class (Have you ever tried to do Yoga on a moving ship? That in itself was pretty entertaining!) Or to the spa for a massage. We spent our days lounging in the thalasotherapy pool and jacuzzi or in the beautiful teak loungers by the pool. This area of the ship and the spa are its' crowning glory. The Rasul mud treatment has to be the best couple's treatment anywhere! The food on the ship was excellent. We have sailed with Royal Caribbean and Disney - and preferred the Celebrity fare hands down. The spa cuisine by the pool was superb. The daily lunch buffet was generally very good. We enjoyed the daily sandwich selections at the back of the buffet line the best. We did try the buffet and the dining room for breakfast, but much preferred ordering room service...it was more relaxing and the food was better. We also enjoyed the grilled hamburgers very much....and my husband and I rarely eat red meat....so that's saying quite a lot! We had the late seating, so many nights we would grab a sushi snack, do some shopping (quite a nice selection for on-board shops), and then dress for dinner. The sushi was not the best I've ever had, but it was fresh and flavorful. The dining room was superb simply because of our waitstaff. Our head waiter, Alex was so warm and friendly. We quizzed him on what to do in the upcoming port at every meal....and his recommendations were always right on the mark! Our assistant waiter, Keyan, was great too, and always in such a good mood that it was contagious. The first night of our cruise, we were seated at a table for 6. We talked to Fabio, the maitre d' and explained that since we had not seen each other in 10 years, we would prefer a table for 4. The next evening, we were moved to a table for 4. Not only that, but Fabio, Alex, Keyan, and Maggie (our sommelier) all came over to sing 'Happy Anniversary' when our dessert was served! We hadn't said a word! Fabio had filled our new waitstaff in on our story. On the last formal night at sea, he also arranged for us to sit at the Captain's table! Our hostess was the Assistant Hotel Manager, Ms. Hautaniemi. It was a lovely evening. Ms. Hautaniemi was the perfect hostess. At the end of the night, we truly felt like actors in one of the Celebrity commercials talking about how they were treated famously! The Normandie restaurant was so exceptional that we dined there twice. It is well worth the cover charge and more. The goat cheese souffle was to die for. The itinerary of this sailing was also excellent. Our husbands enjoyed the 12 metre sailing regatta and scuba diving in Barbados. We all took the shore excursion to St. John from St. Thomas and loved it. The St. John excursion still left plenty of time to explore St. Thomas. Next time, we would definitely do an excursion in St. Lucia (not enough to see on our own, wish we had gotten a better look at the Pitons) and Barbados. While our husbands enjoyed the scuba excursion, my friend and I decided to take a taxi to one of the nearby beaches to relax while the guys were gone. The port is VERY commercial, the taxi stand was chaos, and the drivers were quite rude. I am sure there are beautiful experiences on Barbados, but I would NOT try to find them on my own again. St. Maarten is great and it's so easy to reach the charming shopping area from the ship. (Taloula Mangos has a great vista of the beach and the ship and wonderful fried gouda cheesesticks!) I hope this review was helpful. We will book another Celebrity vacation as soon as our schedules allow! Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
Embarkation went very smoothly. We arrived about 11:30 that morning from a directly flight from Washington DC which I booked independently from the cruise line. We did not purchase transfers because a cab ride is less that $20 for two ... Read More
Embarkation went very smoothly. We arrived about 11:30 that morning from a directly flight from Washington DC which I booked independently from the cruise line. We did not purchase transfers because a cab ride is less that $20 for two people from the airport to the docks. Advice is to make sure that you have a passport. It will make the embarkation and debarkation go much smoothly. I traveled with a passport and my husband did not and he was the one they questioned. He was traveling with a government identification but it nearly became necessary for him to have a "birth certificate" in addition to his government ID. Word to the wise, have a passport. The ship was having a special event that afternoon in the Celebrity Theater which we attended before being able to get in our room at 1:00. The buffet was ready to serve all those that arrived early in the Waterfall Cafe. Our room was a balcony room, mid ship, and our cabin stewards were terrific. Our every wish was fulfilled. We asked that a pool lounge chair be put on our veranda when we checked in at the Guest Services desk and it was there when we arrived in our room. There were always fresh towels and ice in the bucket whenever we left our room for the entire 11 days. There was only one night that they forgot to leave for us the Daily Newsletter so that we could plan our activities for the next day, but it was not a problem to get one at Guest Services. You will want to study this newsletter at night or in the morning to make sure you don't miss any of the instructions or activities of the day. You can stay as busy as you want with the variety of activities, or just sit at the pool and bake like a fish. Remember to stuff your luggage under the bed. There is plenty of room. The rooms also have refrigerators and safes. You can also take sodas on the ship. We stopped at the local market before boarding, carried an extra duffel bag in our carryon and packed it with sodas for the week. You can join a soda program which is $5 per day. The AquaSpa was a wonderful area to hang out. We loved the AquaSpa Cafe for lunch. We ate there everyday. It made us feel better about not gorging ourselves in the middle of the day. If we needed a snack in the afternoon, there was always Tea Sandwiches, Hamburgers and hot dogs, french fries, ice cream, pizza or pasta. Believe me we tried them all. They also have veggie burgers and turkey burgers which are prepared on request and we did that a bit. The hydrospa was great after returning from a tour on the islands. We did not participate in any SPA body treatments, however we did use the gym nearly on a daily basis. There was a need to reserve treadmills on sea days which we did and had no problem. One day there was actually a gentleman waiting for me to get off mine when my time was up. What can I say about The Bar at the End of the Earth, Cirque du Soleil. It was wonderful. You either like it or hate it. It is a very interactive "event" and my husband and I became interactive with the characters and it really made for an enjoyable evening on more than one night. The entertainment on the ship was outstanding. The Celebrity Singers and Dancers, the Orchestra and the sets were unbelievable for a cruise ship. There was special entertainment with a comedian one night and he was terrific. He really spoke frankly about some of the experiences on ship and believe me when I say, you could relate to everything he was saying. Just to give you an example, when you flush the toilets it is a very strong suction noise. He made the comment during his performance that we should all flush the toilet at midnight. It would jet propulsion us right to the next port of call in a matter of minutes. Brooks Aeron an accomplished pianist was also there and we had heard him before when cruising on the Millennium. He gave two additional concerts on ships days in the mid afternoon and the Celebrity Theater was packed for a sunny afternoon. THE FOOD....We ate at the Cosmopolitan Restaurant every night. This is an event that you don't want to miss. There are other venues to eat dinner throughout the ship, but we enjoyed getting to know our waiter and assistant waiter on a personal level. We had requested a table for two when we booked the cruise 8 months in advance and when we arrived the first night we were paired with two couples that could have been our parents. Well, needless to say, that was not going to work for us. We were given a table for two that night and the Restaurant was very accommodating to find us a table for two (which was really a table for 6) however we were the only ones sitting there for the entire rest of the cruise. We don't particularly like to share our evening meal with people we don't know, and didn't care to make lasting friendships on a boat if you know what we mean. The one sad thing about the restaurant were there were many couples who never bothered to show up the entire cruise. People were assigned to the tables around us, however, they never came one night to the Restaurant. The waiters and assistant waiters make their livelihood on the tips they receive for the service they perform and if there is no one at their tables, their cruise is not as profitable as it could have been. It does not affect their level of service which was OUTSTANDING our entire cruise. We hope to stay in touch with both our waiter and the assistant waiter. The ship is beginning to show a little age. Our carpets were a bit faded in our room, the bed covering was a bit soiled, but not worn in any way and the toilet was missing a couple of pieces of paint. The wood railings on our veranda were in need of a new coat of varnish and there were small spots of rust that could easily have been maintained. Some of the ports of call were good and some were OUTSTANDING. Key West was fun and definitely a place where more time needs to be spent. Lots of eclectic shops that you will want to visit within walking distance of the dock. This is a tendered port and that experience was not hard at all. Cozumel was a bit drear. Puerto Limon, Costa Rica was also a bit drear around the port. We did not take tours at either of these ports. The Panama Canal trip is well work the money. We started by bus and traveled to the Pacific Ocean and then came through 3 locks back toward the Atlantic, docked and then bussed back to the ship. It was an experience you will not want to miss. This trip is 7 hours long, but once you are in the locks, you understand, why it is such a long trip. It is a very interesting trip that you will remember for a long time. Aruba was beautiful. Nothing like you would expect since one-half of the island is uninhabitable. The Natural Bridge is not to be missed. Pictures there will make great Christmas Cards. Grand Cayman was fine. We are not snorkelers or divers and I am sure there is a wonderful world below the surface that we did not see. Definitely would like to explore this further and then back to Ft. Lauderdale. Disembarkation was a breeze. We would recommend an afternoon flight to return home that day. Our flight was at 4:00 and we left the ship around 11:00. By that time almost all the luggage was gone from the holding area, customs was a breeze too because we picked up our luggage and were out of the building catching our cab to the airport in no more than 10 minutes. If you leave the ship early in the morning it is very crowded with everyone's luggage and you having to find yours in this room completely packed. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
The cruise was nice but not exceptional. Here are some areas most people are interested in when picking a cruise - I hope they are helpful as you make your decision. Feel free to email me with questions. 1) Food - varies by meal. ... Read More
The cruise was nice but not exceptional. Here are some areas most people are interested in when picking a cruise - I hope they are helpful as you make your decision. Feel free to email me with questions. 1) Food - varies by meal. Breakfast: We ate in the "cafeteria" all but 1 day. Decent selection, but pretty much the same every day. Some days there was smoked salmon, other days pickled herring (strange for breakfast, but good). All days, they offered bacon, sausage, corned beef hash, scrambled eggs, hot and cold cereal, cheese, breads, pastries, fruit. There was an omelet station, which was good, and sometimes a belgium waffle station, which wasn't so good. Even though there was usually 2-4 paths to get the same food, the traffic flow was pretty poor since everyone comes in from the same end of the room. The other aggravation was toasting - if you want toast or a bagel, you have to ask 1 person in a central place to do it. With 2 lines feeding into this single person, it got backed up and often the rest of your food would be cold by the time you got your toast. We went to the dining room once - less selection, not really relaxing, and you can't wear shorts. Lunch: varied significantly by day in the cafeteria. Some days were lousy, like day 1, other days were very good (American theme day). Mexican was awful, Chinese was OK. Admittedly, we didn't eat there daily - we really liked the "healthy choice" offering near the spa. The food there was beautiful and delicious, even if you need to supplement it with fries or a burger from the grill (fries are GREAT!) Dinner: Dining room is nice but kind of noisy. It seems there were a lot of large tables for 10. We travelled with family and had a table for 6. All tables seem relatively near a server station where dishes clang, etc. Don't get up during dinner else you will be mowed down by a waiter! The food was pretty good most nights. Better than other cruises I've been on. As with most cruises, if you order 1 item from each category (appetizer, soup, salad, entree, dessert) you will have plenty, even if 1 or more of your choices aren't to your liking. Salads are very small - get 2 if you are a salad fan. They bend over backwards to make you happy here, so for example, we asked for escargot every night even though it wasn't on the menu, and they accommodated. As I said, most meals were pretty good. Rack of lamb was excellent, as was the chicken. Don't get excited about the lobster tails though - they were dry and chewy (not Maine Lobster). Deserts: lots of selection in the cafeteria and dining room - most look better than they are, but nothing to complain about. Desserts at the healthy area were very good - not sweet but really fresh. Cabins: We had a balcony cabin on the Penthouse deck. It had plenty of storage space - even the biggest luggage fits under the bed. You can remove the items in the minibar and use the fridge. The room looked a lot more "worn" than I expected given the ship is only 3-4 yrs old. Need new bedspreads, curtains, and deck furniture. The bed was very comfortable, although I needed more pillows and was able to request feather. The bathroom got musty towards the end of the week - we should have asked for the shower curtain to be washed mid-week. Lousy hair dryer (like a shopvac on blow). Bring one. The vanity was chipped, but the bathroom had plenty of storage and the shower had a hand-held shower head. TV choices were very limited. A bunch of ship stations with pitches for the auctions and ports, plus CNN (not headline), TNT, Cartoon Network, and one other station. Movies are pay per view and very expensive compared to home. Ports of call: I don't cruise for the ports, I cruise for the experience. That being said, I did like Costa Rica and Panama since I'd never been, and we did some nice excursions at most stops - contact me for more details. General: I don't recommend this cruise unless you are 65+, since that's the avg age I'd guess. There was very little to do during the 4 days at sea, and the entertainment was positively AWFUL. There was a good comedian 1 night, but other than that, it was mostly song and dance similar to a high school production. Don't get fooled by the Cirque du Soleil stuff - there are 2 "aerialists" who do a short performance on 2 nights as part of the show. They are very good but sitting for nearly an hour to see 7 minutes of good performance is not a viable trade-off. There is also a funky bar on deck 11 that features Cirque theses some night. It's odd, and not suited to the cruise passenger population. Shopping: decent selection of stores, auctions (art and wine), etc. Casino: good - big, lots of tables and machines - decent payouts, and fun competitions during sea days Movies: they have a theater but play 3rd rate movies only a few times a day that generally conflict with other activities (like dinner or excursions) Health Spa: double or triple the cost of home, but you'll get a 40% off coupon for 1 service if you book an excursion. They also have specials. Bottom line - we had a good time because it was vacation, but I won't sail Celebrity again until I'm in my 60s. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
Embarkation - Quick and easy. Celebrity has a separate check-in area for people in suites. We were on the ship in 15 minutes, even though we had a cabin change and new room cards had to be made. Crew/Staff - Exceptional. Our Butler and ... Read More
Embarkation - Quick and easy. Celebrity has a separate check-in area for people in suites. We were on the ship in 15 minutes, even though we had a cabin change and new room cards had to be made. Crew/Staff - Exceptional. Our Butler and other room service staff treated us like a king and queen. Our dining room waiter and assistant waiter were friendly, humorous and extremely efficient. Crew members we encountered in passing, on stairways, in hallways, on decks, all had a friendly smile and cheerful hello. Dining/Food - Wonderful. Portion sizes were just right in the dining room. Many cruise lines serve too large of portions. Special requests were granted with no problem. Dining in our stateroom was just as wonderful as in the dining room. Even though some items weren't on the room service menu, such as eggs benedict or Belgian waffles for breakfast, we had no problem getting them and everything, including the eggs over-easy, were still hot and delicious. The fresh fruit was sweet and juicy. The homemade ice creams (large variety from day to day) were marvelous. All the sauces were excellent, as were the fresh vegetables. Ports of Call/Shore Excursions/Getting on and off ship - Great ports of call and numerous shore excursions to choose from. Trip in Costa Rica to La Paz Waterfalls was unbelievable. Easy to get on and off ship, even at tender ports. Shore excursions were clearly marked, plus most left and returned on time. Ship was on-time or early at every port. Cold towels were wonderful when getting back on the ship. Stateroom - We were upgraded to an incredible stateroom and found it spacious, well-appointed and a pleasure to be in, especially on sea days. Loved the goose down on the beds and the "pillow menu," the thick robes and towels, fresh flowers, afternoon "treats," private spa on the deck, in-room entertainment system and in-room computer station. Public areas/lounges - All were very comfortable and non-glitzy; plenty of seating, pleasant music, appropriate to the main age group of guests. We didn't care for the "Cirque" experience or the decorations in Reflections - too much "hype" and not much substance. Entertainment - Above average; very talented singers and dancers. Spa/Gym facilities - Spa specials were wonderful and the staff very professional; no one tried to shove spa "products" down my throat. The gym is much larger and has much more equipment than on any other ship we've been on - never crowded. Persian Garden was a bargain at $99 for the 14-day cruise and is almost a secret. It was never crowded and the 2 steam rooms and 1 dry sauna were marvelous. The lounge area was tranquil and relaxing. Best cruise and best ship we've ever been on! Would definitely go on this ship or any other "Millennium" class ship with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
Celebrity Summit Panama Canal Transit 22 April 2005 Thank you Celebrity Summit for an excellent cruise. People made the difference. To our new Cruise Critic friends, we enjoyed our time together alligator spotting, water bus riding, ... Read More
Celebrity Summit Panama Canal Transit 22 April 2005 Thank you Celebrity Summit for an excellent cruise. People made the difference. To our new Cruise Critic friends, we enjoyed our time together alligator spotting, water bus riding, snorkeling, shopping, canopy walking, zip-lining, sharing cocktails and dinner, dinner, dinner, etc. From the Celebrity Staff we appreciated great overall service with smiles and excellence in food and entertainment. We had a great time and based on our experience, we would choose Celebrity again in the future. Several things are most notable during the 14-day cruise. Our critique is based on an experience base of only 3 Cruises of which this was the most recent. It was also our first time on Celebrity. The Summit's number one differentiator from our other cruises is the quality of entertainment. John Howell, Cruise Director, executed his responsibilities with creativity (Beach Party), caring (Cruise Critic gatherings), competence (Nightly Show Host), flexibility (modified schedules based on cruise dynamics) and genuine friendliness (he convinced us that we were a part of his family). He visibly led his staff by example and their teamwork was evident throughout the cruise. Our heart-felt well done and a nod of the hat to John. We would sail again with him even if he were the Cruise Director of the Titanic! (Just kidding). His service was beyond excellent and definitely outstanding (Not kidding). The second kudo is for the dinner cuisine and service in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant. We were at late seating (Table 407) and under the watchful care of Vernon from South Africa and his assistant Rafael from Honduras. The food quality and diversity was a credit to the chef and food service staff. Everything was always fresh, hot and delicious. But this acknowledgement doesn't stop with the preparation and great taste. The personal delivery, cheerful good humor and overall ambiance were first class. Vernon and Rafael turned dinner into a dinner theatre experience with fun ventures into the art of pepper grinding, defining "Hearts of Iceberg Lettuce", the science of tableware positioning (and repositioning), and Rafael's now famous toothpick games and napkin folding. We looked forward to their service every night. Even Zanna from Lithuania, our sommelier, added to the experience (remind her she promised to provide us a fashion show). Not to be forgotten, our tablemates from Manchester, England and San Diego, CA made each meal an event of memorable camaraderie and day-in-review. (What time is it Margaret?) The Normandie dinner was extraordinary. In addition to great co-diners Ronni and Frank, we were very impressed with the 6-course menu, the chef's accommodation of our entrEe requests, the food quality and the accompanying wines. I can't think of a way they could improve this experience. It was perfect. The public areas of the Summit were well maintained and pleasantly staffed. A big round of applause for the daily "March of Sorbet" around the pool decks. But Celebrity! Please let those poor guys and gals wear shorts and polo shirts as they serve us instead of uniforms! 90+ degrees and high humidity should be factors in their attire selection. Cliff - thanks for the attention to detail on Mauricio's tour. You can be our tour guide anytime. Andrew - thanks for arranging the follow up meeting for CCs. John H. - thanks for your time and participation in Michael's Club CC sessions. The following observations are provided to Celebrity to consider in further improving the cruise experience. We consider these items minor in the context of our entire cruise, but detailed them so they would be better understood: 1. The Concierge Class Room and service were barely 3 Star hotel quality. Our critique in this area is a bit harsh, but Princess set that bar pretty high on both the Tahitian Princess and the Dawn Princess. The personal service we received on Princess set our cabin expectations for cruising. In perspective, our past experience was that the Room Steward met you in the hall on arrival, introduced himself, offered service at all times of the day and night (rarely needed), was constantly visible in the halls, and assured the room was 100% at all times without reminder or prodding. We found personal, attentive cabin service sorely lacking in our Celebrity experience. Although a special concierge number was provided if we needed assistance, we just didn't feel it was worth the time from our vacation to chase after our room attendant. Bottom line? We would not spend extra for Celebrity Concierge Class in the future. These are some specifics: · Upon arrival in Room 8102 we opened the curtains to find smudged, greasy windows. On this occasion we did chase down the room attendant to have the windows washed so we didn't have to have to see this every time we looked outside. · Once we could see outside, we discovered that 8102 has the smallest balcony imaginable, and angled with the contour of the ship. It's hard to believe that two chairs and a table fit on it. The adjoining suite obstructed part of our aft view. Our neighbors were very kind and kept the blinds closed overlooking our balcony so we could have privacy. The balcony definitely did not meet our Concierge Class expectations. In fact, we found ourselves consciously seeking time on the public ship deck rather than on the cabin balcony. · A cover plate from an electric outlet was lying on the desk and the 110v receptacle was pushed into the wall and unusable. It took a full week before it received attention from maintenance, and by the end of the cruise, it was back to its original state of disrepair. · Two ceiling lights were burned out on arrival as well. These also took a week to replace. · We never received the advertised Concierge pillow menu for a selection. · The daily fruit bowl was concerning in terms of freshness. The apples were bruised and mushy. The pears on multiple occasions had surface cuts from handling. On the last two days, the strawberries had mold on them. · CanapE delivery was unreliable. On two nights we had to hunt for the room attendant to get delivery. Delivery ranged from about 4:15 pm to 7 pm. On several occasions, the bread was stale. The selection was also quite repetitive. · Laundry Service was slow and expensive. We requested next day service. It took two days, returning late the second day. A 50% surcharge was added to our bill. If Celebrity is going to add a surcharge, why not just put the charge in the price to begin with. · Turndown service was inconsistent. On one night the Celebrity Today was not delivered. On two nights there were no weather cards or chocolates. Since Celebrity puts most planning information in the Celebrity Today and Weather on the Weather cards, we had no planning information on port arrival or weather conditions for our excursion the next day. · On several occasions we had to personally get ice to replenish the melted supply. · During one day, we returned to our cabin to change into swimming suits. The bathroom service attendant opened the door without knocking (Fast retreat followed). · Priority Tender privileges were overrated. We tried to go ashore for a brief visit to Fuerte Amador, and waited over 45 minutes before giving up and leaving in order to participate in other planned activities. When we left, the Concierge passengers were still waiting. Later in the week at a Cruise Critic meeting, John H. convincingly explained that the Port Authority was the culprit. For the sake of the customer facing staff however, Celebrity needs to provide them that information to convey in real time. They faced a fairly frustrated group of cruisers, and the only information they could give was "soon". They need to be better informed. It's not fair to put them in that situation.· Water in the bathroom sink on multiple occasions was light brown in color. · We experienced a sour smelling shower for several days. It was finally bleached once, which helped for a day or two. · We visited with CC friends in the Penthouse and Royal Suites, and found that the room service we were lacking was surely provided to some. Of special note, the suite butler service we observed was extraordinary (Xavier - A+). · Frankly, the highlight of our Concierge Class Service was the bottle of champagne on arrival. 2. Waterfall Cafe: · Not much to say about the Buffet. Breakfast and lunch were unremarkable. This is not solely a Celebrity deficiency. Princess has the same problem with repetition, cold food and lax preparation. On the Summit, the mixed fruit bowl contents were frozen on several days and you had to beat a chunk off and let it thaw before eating. Toast came in one flavor - burnt). The salvations for Summit Cafe eating were the omelet bar, waffle bar and in the afternoon, the pasta bar. · As a dinner alternative, the Sushi Bar was great. We went there when the CanapEs were late or inedible. Recommend that Celebrity expand the hours from 4 pm to 10 pm. · The Ice Cream bar was also great. Easily accessible, quick service, good choices of flavors. 3. The Aqua Spa · I used this every other day. The pool area and changing rooms were clean and well maintained. Towels were readily available and so were deck chairs. · The pool temperature was very acceptable. · The pool water was not very clean. This is likely due to the large number of people using it, the bubble jets and the power showers. Hair, skin and band-aids were in the mix. Perhaps the filters were not functioning properly? · The selection of light faire foods at the spa cafe was excellent. Nice job. 4. Shore Excursions through Celebrity · Kukoo Kanuku - Very good tour, dinner and bar selection. Only downside was we purchased a CD from the tour guide and when we got home to play it, the case was empty. Hope this isn't a regular occurrence. · ACA Beach Club - Very good tour, excellent pool facilities, lunch and drinks. Recommend the duration of this excursion be stretched to 3 pm. 5. Cirque "Experience" · Several months ago, as we searched for our next cruise, the hook that brought us to Celebrity in the first place was an expectation of the excellence of Cirque through a cruise media presentation of originality, performance and music. I think both Celebrity and the cruisers got a raw deal from Cirque in the "delivery" of the experience. The experience was not up to Cirque standards and we got the impression from the crew that it was not up to Celebrity's standards either. Regardless, we were disappointed. · White Night was over hyped. Expectations for a black-light florescence from the white clothing were much higher than reality. · The Cirque highlight was the balloon performance. · The Bar at the Edge was also over hyped. The drinks were very expensive, as they were throughout the cruise. As counterpoint, Princess has 3 size drink selections, and their drink of the day has a special price. Recommend you consider this option and give more value for the money. 6. Photos · Photographers did a great job using ad-hoc and staged backdrops. · We would have bought many more pictures if the price wasn't so blasted expensive. · We recommend package sales, e.g., Best of Formal Nights: One picture from each night to capture the Lady's different outfits; Best Individual Picture: Husband, Wife, Children, etc. individually; Best Port Pix: Pirates, Hombres and more. Get the price down, and capture sales up front so you don't waste prints needlessly. · We bought the cruise in review video. There were sound problems and an abundance of stock video from other cruises. Particularly noticeable was the acrobatic section from a previous voyage. Stock video does not enhance the memory of a personal cruise experience. Neither does an extended hula-hoop competition. Also, the photo shop showed video clips in the displays during the cruise. Many clips were edited out in the final product. Expectations were such that if you saw it on a clip, it would be on the video. Not so. In conclusion, our critique highlighted the excellent services we received and detailed some areas that we think could be improved. This does not imply the negatives were a major factor to detriment our cruise enjoyment. Based on our overall very positive experiences, we would choose Celebrity again for a future cruise (But we already said that). Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
We had a wonderful time aboard the summit- we loved the fun factory and our kids didn't want to leave! The youth staff is exceptional- they have the ability to know the kids quickly and adapt according to their different ... Read More
We had a wonderful time aboard the summit- we loved the fun factory and our kids didn't want to leave! The youth staff is exceptional- they have the ability to know the kids quickly and adapt according to their different personalities. The food was less than desirable at breakfast- in the main restaurant food was always cold- my daughter had pancakes two different days that were hard. Breakfast was usually cold- go to the buffet instead! Even in room breakfast was delivered cold, though very promptly. Lunch was also average. Dinner was very good but not outstanding. The service was wonderful, our kids thought they had their own personal waiters. When you needed a hand at the buffet line a server was in tow quicker than you needed to request it. The entertainers work really hard- but don't have much talent. The activities director johnny was hysterical and had lots of fun with guests. They had ample activities over Easter for everyone. The family suites at the aft were exceptional! great veranda with 3 lounge chairs, a table, and 2 chairs as well as a small side table! Great for families- great for kids- with glass barrier at edge- No rails to climb- cleverly designed at an angle. the divider between the rooms was great for privacy. There was tons of storage for the 4 of us and suitcases stored neatly under the bed. The view from the veranda was worth the extra price 7199 next to us was the choice suite- with full views of the back and one side and a slightly larger balcony. we couldn't have been happier with the room, service or kids activities- the food could have been better or at least hot. The aqua spa was also below expectations. my husband and I had a couples massage they provided us no robes or slippers ushered us into a room with nowhere but a small hook to hang our clothes- the massages themselves were ok not great. then we had to get a towel and ask for robes to use the sauna, showers, etc. for 120 a piece for a 50 minute massage- not worth it I complained but they looked at me as if I had no idea what I was talking about- considering I have been to spas all over the place- this was the first where I wasn't encouraged to use facilities and given a robe and slippers. Disappointing. Overall a wonderful stay with great ports of call-Panama and costa rica were beautiful! Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
Summit Review 3/22/05-4/1/05 Overall impression of ship: Very good. Embarkation: This was a breeze even if not traveling in a suite. The lines moved quickly and efficiently the entire time I watched them. Cabin # 6099 (Sky Suite) ... Read More
Summit Review 3/22/05-4/1/05 Overall impression of ship: Very good. Embarkation: This was a breeze even if not traveling in a suite. The lines moved quickly and efficiently the entire time I watched them. Cabin # 6099 (Sky Suite) This is a nice suite; small for a suite but well-kept and tastefully decorated. Balcony is more than adequate in size with wood flooring and wooden chairs covered in fabric chair pads. There is also a wooden coffee table. When decks are washed chair pads become damp but that is quickly resolved by sea winds. Lifeboats are one deck below us which we find to be fine however there is a ramp to the lifeboats that has a light on it that shines right onto the balcony at night. This detracts from stargazing a bit however we did not find it particularly problematic. The queen size bed is very comfortable with 2 pillows per person. Sofa is comfortable also without being too soft or too hard. Suite layout is excellent with room to stretch and furniture placed strategically for best movement around suite. Bathroom, although small, affords a tub and shower, sink and pretty storage area behind door. Towels are thick and look new. Suite is cleaned twice a day (once in morning to make up bed, etc. and once in evening for turndown service). Two thick terrycloth robes are hanging in the bathroom for use during the cruise. Sliding glass door to balcony works smoothly. Temperature controls in suite work well and quickly. Wood paneling is on the walls, one wall is mirrored and another mirror is above the desk area. There is a glass coffee table between the comfortable chair and sofa. There is a walk-in closet with ample space and the room safe within. Lighting is more than adequate in cabin for daytime or night time use. There is a Phillips 20" TV set and DVD player, a stocked mini-bar in the refrigerator all underneath the TV set. Public areas: Everything is clean, clean and more clean. This is the cleanest ship I have been on. The dEcor is elegant and understated; no neon lights here except close to the cafe. The public restrooms are kept clean and ample soap; paper towels and lotion are available. Fortunes Casino is the usual, noisy tight area that most casinos at sea are however, this one as far as space between the tables is not bad. There is a lot of smoke in the casino however it is well-ventilated and the staff for the most part is extremely friendly. There are some non-smoking table games and slot machines. The Cosmopolitan Restaurant is also nicely decorated. It is two stories tall with elegant woods and plenty of windows for viewing while dining. The service is very good and the entrees are also good for the most part. I had trouble with some of the concoctions served that reminded me of yesterday's leftovers put in a blender with perhaps gelatin added (this was for some of the no sugar added desserts and appetizers) but in general, the food was in my humble opinion, over rated. Three other cruise lines have surpassed the food in this dining room in my opinion. The Waterfall Cafe and Grill was an impressive layout of buffet style food. Being diabetic I could not eat a lot of the entrees but there was always some entrEe that I could eat and plenty of fresh fruit and salad. The hours could be more extensive than they are (burgers and hot dogs are not served after 6PM) and this dining area is not open for supper with the exception of a reservations-requested casual dining restaurant toward the back of the Cafe. The Aqua Spa Cafe offers healthy eating and is quite good; presentation of the food is excellent however what one considers "healthy" may not be so healthy for everyone. For instance, sodium content in all dining venues is high. If asked, the staff will leave off sauces and added salt though. In this cafe there is a lot of fruit offered and fish. The emphasis here is on low-fat selections and not necessarily low calorie or low sodium. I cannot comment on the Sushi Restaurant as I did not eat there but it seemed fairly busy and appeared to have a nice variety. Online@Celebrity is well-run and the satellite is quick most of the time. Again, dEcor is understated and simple. There are classes offered (some for a fee; some not) in different areas of computer usage. The going rate is .75 per minute although there are packages you may purchase for the duration of your cruise. With your own laptop you may connect to the internet however difficulties were found by guests connecting from their staterooms; some needed to be out in the hallways or other areas of the ship other than their staterooms. The Conservatory is very pretty although we found it not to be what we expected. The sea views are beautiful amongst all the foliage however this is also another way for the ship to get you to spend your money on buying (expensive) flowers. If you want to buy flowers, this is your place, but not ideal for curling up with a book in as it really is more of a shop than anything else. Shops onboard are the usual run of the mill cruise ship shops, running sales here and there. The merchandise is pretty much the same as I've seen on other ships also. They are nicely decorated and the clerks are courteous and friendly and not pushy. The hair salon did a good job on my hair; I went on the afternoon of the first formal night to have my hair put up. I have no complaints other than the usual hawking you to buy every beauty product and treatment onboard. I gently declined and was not pushed hard to buy. This I appreciated as on other ships I have been pressured hard to buy more things. The Rendezvous Lounge is a wonderful hideaway to sip drinks and dance to a duo. The chairs are comfortable and inviting, again with the same quiet dEcor. The Pizza & Pasta areas are opposite each other on the aft part of the ship. The pizza is pretty much run of the mill; the pasta bar offers four different sauces and toppings and is good for a late night snack. At times the pasta looked a bit old however. The casual dining venue off the Waterfall Cafe was very delightful with great ocean views and very good food and service. It is a nice alternative to the main dining room, serving "dining room food" in a more casual setting where you don't have to dress up. The area is small and reservations are suggested. The Bar At The Edge Of The Earth is the most unusual spot I found on the ship. We visited the night before the Cirque De Sole had its performance and some of the dEcor was up on the ceilings already for the next night. The staff was friendly, seating very comfortable again, offering many sea views. This bar can be difficult to find but worth the trip. It is on Deck 11, fore. There were many complaints heard about Cirque Du Soleil. The guests did not like it for the most part. As the show evolves one becomes part of it and I do not think people were comfortable in being part of the performance itself; rather preferring to be entertained instead of being the entertainment. The Celebrity Theatre offers wonderful shows in the evenings; I attended 2 throughout the cruise and was impressed. The Broadway show is not to be missed. The theater itself again, is not tackily decorated and it is easy to see the stage no matter where you are sitting. The Tower, for teens to hang out in is very pleasant and on my visit a couple of them were playing ping pong and one was stretched out on the teen-style furniture listening to music. Nice spot for teens to escape. The Cinema shows movies at different times during the evening; the movies are generally recent releases. The Champagne and Martini Bars are very nicely decorated in lighter hues of beige and the drinks not overly-priced. Either is a great place to meet and mingle before or after dinner. Michael's Club is a nice, intimate setting with luxurious furnishings and dark woods. A very cozy spot on the ship. Pool Area, Deck 10 is really a great place to spend sea days or go for a dip. On this particular cruise, there are a lot children aboard and they are in the pools a lot but there is a decent amount of room for the adults, also. There are padded deck chairs on this deck and everything is kept very clean. There are a lot of shaded areas for those who don't wish to be out in the sun. The whirlpools are large and also well-maintained, although the pools all close at 9PM so if you are looking for a late night swim you won't find it on this ship. The T-Pool is a wonderful retreat. It's a domed area, quiet and very pretty. The pool is larger than I thought it would be and never seems to be overly crowded. Words is a nice library tucked on Deck 9 with a variety of classics, new books and reading for all ages. You can either check out your book or read in Words. A very nice hideaway from the hustle and bustle of the ship. Notes is nice for listening to music and escaping the crowds onboard also. There are many venues of music to choose from and nice ocean views. This area was never crowded during our cruise. Staff onboard is extremely courteous and friendly. For instance, when I had a problem with a bar serving me a Coke instead of a Diet Coke (I am a diabetic) I called guest services and they were most gracious and followed up numerous times to be sure that I was being served only diet drinks. Also, the Maitre d in the dining room followed up with me. Our stateroom attendant was very friendly when we saw him and kept the suite sparkling clean. The furniture was vacuumed every day which I found unusual but quite nice. The casino staff is generally friendly and helpful when learning new games. Drink service to the tables is a little slow as I noticed only one server in the casino however the server did a great job considering his task. Our waiter and assistant waiter were wonderful, quick and after a night or two, more relaxed with us, realizing that we were a fun group. They were both a delight and the service on the whole in the Cosmopolitan was quick and efficient. At the Waterfall Cafe and Grill, I found a horrid language barrier. The staff was efficient though, and full of smiles. It was just very difficult to understand them, and they did not understand us well. The same went for the pizza and pasta bars. I cannot comment on the Shore Excursion staff because I did not interact with them; having booked my shore tours online before the cruise. I will mention that this was very convenient and our tickets were in our suite upon our arrival for our review. Our butler, Xavier, hailed from India and has been a butler for many years considering his young age. Everything was always done with flair, professionalism and even when I would spring a surprise on him (for example, one night my friends and I wanted a party in the suite and I called Xavier an hour beforehand, and he had everything ready in time). After getting to know us, he was outgoing and very friendly. He seemed to take a keen interest in us as people outside of the ship and was a great listener. Fellow guests: We found our fellow passengers to be a diverse group; ranging in age from toddlers up to folks in their eighties. A lot of the guests are very well-traveled and educated people. We really enjoyed the variety of nationalities and cultures amongst our fellow guests. The one exception was a large Spanish-speaking family which was horribly rude and loud. I think the whole ship knew about them! Shore Excursions: The ones that we took were well-organized and we had knowledgeable, friendly guides. Our tours were most enjoyable. There were problems re-boarding the ship in Grand Cayman which is explained below in "Cons on this ship." Debarkation: A nightmare. We had priority disembarkation and a Celebrity rep pointed to where our luggage was supposed to be and it was no where close to where he said it was. By this time we could not find a porter and when we did find one, it was an hour after we had disembarked and he was very rough with our luggage. Pros on this ship: Public areas, staterooms (Our friends were in a Concierge Class room and it was great for 2 people but crowded for any more. The amenities and special breakfasts served in this room were very delightful), and the staff. The pool area is very pleasant and I was always able to find a deck chair even with chair hogs around. The T-Pool was never crowded when I visited and quiet and pleasant. Cons on this ship: The food I did not think was up to the standard that I expected; I have had better food on other cruise lines. Perhaps, though, I hit a "bad cruise" as can sometimes happen. This won't prevent me from cruising Celebrity again. In Grand Cayman, the pier was so crowded to get back to the ship by tender that it took two hours waiting in the hot sun to board a tender back to the ship. This is not necessarily Celebrity's fault; I believe that Georgetown lets too many ships anchor in a day. Pros for this itinerary: The destinations are varied and there are enough sea days tucked in between to catch your breath and relax. Cons for this itinerary: If you do not like a port-intensive cruise this is not for you! We did enjoy this itinerary very much ourselves, though. __________________ "Do these elevators go to the front of the ship???" 2000 Carnival Imagination 2001 Carnival Triumph 2002 Carnival Pride 2003 Norwegian Dream 2004 Mariner Of The Seas 2005 Celebrity Summit Pics of Mariner of the Seas, May/June 2004 Pics of Norwegian Dream, December 2003 Summit-Panama Canal Sky Suite Deck 6 Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
The Summit is different -she is white-the service though is still the same, excellent. I was expecting much after the dry dock period but it seems that only the hull was repainted CduS was not ready but hey who cares we are back cruising. ... Read More
The Summit is different -she is white-the service though is still the same, excellent. I was expecting much after the dry dock period but it seems that only the hull was repainted CduS was not ready but hey who cares we are back cruising. Embarkation was a dream and for all those wondering about CC Don't bother, (Only so I can make sure its available when I book again). Seriously, you are treated special from the moment you arrive at the pier it took us 20 minutes and we were on board sipping our welcome champagne and reacquainting ourselves with the ship. This was very easy as the deck plans are very easy to understand and the Summit is so easy to get around. Our cabin on Sky deck 9125 was perfectly placed for the elevators and also the stairs -- the extra touches from CC class were nice and the room was light clean and the bathroom was well fitted with nice big towels and bathrobes, the flowers were a nice extra. The Cabin Steward whilst smiling and friendly was not as attentive as those we have experienced previously and needed to be reminded and asked 2/3 times before some things were sorted and he just did not seem to do the job as well. Maybe I have been spoilt in the past but hey he was 7/10 and was always smiling. The overall service on Summit is 1st class in my opinion, and the in room service is the best I have experienced. Breakfast on the balcony was superb, you can choose from the full menu and it was always delivered on time and hot take advantage of this service. The food as you would expect was very good, plenty of choice and a good selection of Entrees-our waiter and Asst. were probably the best we have had and also the Maitre D' was informative and did not just visit at the end to get his tip!! Visit the Normandie --The food and service are second to none and would cost an arm and leg ashore. Expect very fine dining the food is rich and flavoursome the Soups are delicious as is the Cheese board, well worth $30. The Buffet dining was also quite good and the pasta and Soup and Sandwich stations are good options. The area at the back of the ship is a great place to have lunch, there is nothing better than enjoying a nice lunch with wine watching the wake from the stern of the ship as you sail to your next Caribbean destination. I will not talk about itinerary as I think this is a personal choice and also most have been covered in depth previously. The deck areas are spacious and we always found a bed the pool was freezing and maybe Celebrity should think about heating it a little as there was hardly anyone using the pools even though the temperatures were in the 80's. The Spa is great and the extra touches like shaving cream etc. in the changing rooms/Sauna was good to see. The entertainment around the pool was normal cruise type -join in if you want or sit and read, the band was quite good played all the usual pool songs and also did spots in the rendezvous lounge. There was also a duo here that played before dinner again the usual soup music to dance to but of good quality. The bar staff were always friendly, they made you feel like you were at home in your local bar-and nothing was too much trouble. Michaels Club -no longer a cigar lounge -was our favourite venue. The entertainer was 1st class and this reminds me of a Vegas Cabaret Lounge, I cannot speak for the Theatre Shows as we did not see any but all the Artists we did see perform were 1st Class. As you would expect from Celebrity. Disembarkation was as usual like a Cattle-market, get a porter to take your bags through customs, you will sail through. Overall this was an excellent cruise Summit is a beautiful ship and the staff and crew deserve a lot of praise for their hard work and attention to their passengers comforts. Hope this has been of use. Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
This was our second cruise with Celebrity and was our best of the 15 we have done. We stayed the day before at the Marriott Marina an excellent hotel with great views of the ships so we couldn't wait to go. We arrived at the ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Celebrity and was our best of the 15 we have done. We stayed the day before at the Marriott Marina an excellent hotel with great views of the ships so we couldn't wait to go. We arrived at the terminal at 11:15 and were walking to our veranda cabin by 11:45. Embarkation was a breeze with online doc's etc.. Our cabin wasn't ready,but we were allowed to leave our carryons and use the safe. After lunch and exploring we were greeted by our steward Santano,we discussed our daily needs with him and never had to ask for another thing for 11 days. THE SHIP--Summit is a very easy ship to get around on, our cabin was plush and plenty of storage space, the veranda was angled in due to location next to Xsuite, but never a problem. Having just come out of dry dock everything looked new and fresh, this is a modern design ship with soft lighting and colors that don't hit your face. Plenty of comfortable seating everywhere padded seating at the pool, teak chairs at the waterfall bar, padded teak loungers at the thasolltherapy pool. These are some of the things that set X apart. DINING AND FOOD-- We ate breakfast and lunch most days at the waterfall,the food was always fresh and a nice variety. Don't miss the omelette station or the waffle station in the morning. Pasta bar at lunch was good and the burgers at the pool cafe were the best at sea. Tried the aqua spa several times at lunch and was very surprised at the offerings and the excellent quality. Dinner was just what you would expect from X. Table 416 almost stern with great view. Our waiter Mushi was excellent and knew what was the best choice that night and never missed a beat. Wine steward Antonio had our bottle waiting everyday and was a great conversationist. THE Normandy-- Not going to the Normandy at least once during a cruise would be missing a 5* Epicurean delight. The service, food, presentation, and conversation with the staff was the best we had at a specialty cruise restaurant. Try the goat cheese souffle, caesar salad, any entree, dessert surprise, you won't be sorry. The surcharge is really small for the experience. CRUISE CRITIC PARTY-- Held in the morning with coffee, tea and donuts. We were hosted by the cruise director John Hall & ships Activity Officer. The discussion after meet and greet was mostly about Cirque and what we had to say about it both + & -. THE STAFF-- Everybody seemed to have a smile and hello from the ships officers to the early morning cleaning crew. The entire staff on this ship really seemed to enjoy their jobs. ENTERTAINMENT-- We can't give a rating as we really didn't go to the shows or bar areas that often to give an opinion. SHIP EXCURSIONS-- Tortugero Canals, very nice view of the rain forest and wildlife. Dome Train Panama-- book it early and you will learn more in 5 hr. with Marty than a semester in Geography or politics. On your own in Cozumel--Paradise Beach OVERALL--Best cruise so far, just booked Summit for '06 Hawaii 14 days SAY ALOHA Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
This was our sixth cruise, previously cruising twice on Princess and three times on RCCL. Three of those were my wife and I by ourselves and two were with out two daughters in their late teens/early twenties. I am writing this review for ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise, previously cruising twice on Princess and three times on RCCL. Three of those were my wife and I by ourselves and two were with out two daughters in their late teens/early twenties. I am writing this review for people that are planning a cruise and trying to select a cruise line and ship that best suits their age and lifestyle and have broken my review into the sections that I believe are key in that selection. The Ship. The ship was built in 2002 and is about 92,000 tonnes yet it seemed no bigger than the Princess and RCCL ships we cruised on earlier in the 75,000 tonne range. There was no atrium to speak of nor a grand mall such as the RCCL Voyager class ships boast. The ship was very understated which I assume is to make it "classier" than some of the competition, but I preferred the artwork and a bit more glitz on some of our earlier cruises. Overall we were a bit disappointed in the ship itself, perhaps because our expectations were higher since Celebrity is advertised as a premium line. The one feature that we loved was the glass covered indoor pool/spa. The water was about 95 degrees F and had jets and recliners around the perimeter. There were also two hot tubs and a sauna that were not over crowded at all. Restaurants. The main restaurant was nice but certainly no nicer that those on our previous cruises and not in the same class as the three story restaurant in the Voyager. The Waterfall grill and cafe on the pool level (where we ate breakfast and lunch each day) were long and narrow which seemed unusual because the other ships all had a round restaurant at the top. This resulted in long walks to inspect the buffet lines and to find a table. The upside was that all tables were close to a window. There was also an outside section at the back which we enjoyed. We found that the various sections along the buffet lines were closed and covered a great deal of the time which we found somewhat frustrating. A number of people commented that the buffet was more refined than other ships because the serving trays had white linens on them and because there were servers to dish out the food rather than spooning it out yourself. I suppose that's a nice touch but wasn't a big deal for me. One evening we missed the early seating in the main dining room and didn't want to wait till 8:45 for the late seating so we decided to try the Waterfall grill/cafe for supper. We were surprised to find there was no buffet, but rather a section had been cordoned off and that full service meals were offered. After a bit of a lecture from a self-important restaurant manager about the need for a reservation (who knew?) we were seated and had a very nice meal and still made the early show. Food quality. The food was very good in general, but again, nothing out of the ordinary compared to our past experiences. Each night there was a fish dish, chicken, beef and one other like lamb, pork or veal. I don't know if it was the selection or just me, but I found myself having the steak more often than I usually do on cruises - I get great steaks at home and like to try different things on my cruises. We didn't eat in the Normandy Room because we couldn't see paying $60 when the meals in the main dining room were more than adequate. We did get feedback from others and I would say they were split 50/50 between those who loved it and those who were very disappointed. The food quality in the Waterfall grill was the same as other buffets. The hamburgers by the pool were great and the pizza was good as well. One of our favourite touches was the sushi bar but it was opened from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. only - and since we had the early sitting at 6 p.m. and the show ran till 10 p.m. our only option was to go after dinner, load up a plate and take it back to our room to enjoy after the show - probably "frowned upon in better circles". The Shows. Far and away the best entertainment of any cruise we've been on. The four Broadway style shows were the best we've seen and they had two male and two female singers - one of each was outstanding. Other shows included a female soloist who had been the lead in Les Mis and Evita in London's West End; a young woman in her 20's who played violin, clarinet and saxophone and had played an Prince Charles' 50th birthday party; and a pianist who we truly enjoyed. Of course there was a magician and a comedian the other two nights - both quite good. The Itinerary. The itinerary was great and probably the main reason we selected this cruise. We had not been to Costa Rica, Panama or Aruba and found them all very interesting, particularly Costa Rica and Panama since they were not simply Caribbean tourist stops. One suggestion I would offer is to do some research and try to book excursions privately ahead of time. You will save money, Get a more personalized service and see things you wouldn't see on the ships' excursions. You can do so safely by reading reviews and following chat rooms to find the local providers who get the positive comments. The Demographics. We found this cruise had the oldest group of cruisers that we have yet encountered. Apparently out of 2000 passengers there were 18 children. We saw almost no teenagers or young adults. If we had brought our daughters on this cruise it would have been a disaster, both because of the lack of people their age and the lack of fun activities around the pool or after the shows - there was some but very little compared to other ships we've been on. It was a bit too quiet for us as well, but clearly their target audience was retirees who want peace and quiet to have a relaxing vacation Conclusion. We very much enjoyed the cruise because of the itinerary, the shows and because we enjoyed our table mates (all of whom were older than us - a couple of pups at 52). However we probably wouldn't go with Celebrity in the near future simply because we're not really their target audience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
This was our second cruise, the first being on Princess 15 years ago. I thought this cruise was much better than 15 years ago, maybe they have just improved how to handle the large number of people on these new big ships. There was no ... Read More
This was our second cruise, the first being on Princess 15 years ago. I thought this cruise was much better than 15 years ago, maybe they have just improved how to handle the large number of people on these new big ships. There was no massive back up to get into dinner, the 2 deck and four entrances really helped. There were always plenty of tables at the buffet. There was always staff around to help with whatever was needed. We had a Concierge Class cabin, and unlike some other reviews I read, I did think it was worth it. The bottle of champagne at embarkation, the fresh flowers and hors d'oeuvres every afternoon, the special room service breakfast menu were all great. The best thing was preferential treatment when you are in a tender port. I recommend that everyone book shore excursions with shoretrips.com rather than through the ship. However, if you are not booked through the ship and you don't have a way to guarantee you are on an early tender, it can be nerve wracking. I recommend not booking through the ship because other companies are usually cheaper, the groups are much smaller, the destinations can be different and they don't cancel as easily as the ships. For example, our first port was Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We booked tubing on the White River and Dunn's River Falls. We were the only 3 on the tour and the only 3 on the river. Great way to get away from the crowd! We caught up with them at the Falls, of course. In Grand Cayman, we booked the Sting Ray City snorkel trip. Due to somewhat choppy seas, all 5 cruise ships in port canceled their trips to Sting Ray City. We were out there on a boat with a total of 7 people on board and only one other small boat was there. It was really great -- highly recommended. But most people on the ship were disappointed. One other note about the room. We were on the 9th deck, just below the pools, spa and buffet. We were midship and had no noise at all. It was great just to be able to walk up a flight to the pool, etc. Our 18 year old daughter slept on the sofa bed. Due to the design of the bed -- no metal bar -- she said the bed was great. The space was tight, but do-able. Read Less
Sail Date January 2005
Researching this ship and Cruise Critic for over a year in advance of our sailing left us dismayed at our experience. The evening before we spent at the Hyatt Pier 66. At noon the following day we boarded the less than inviting ship. As ... Read More
Researching this ship and Cruise Critic for over a year in advance of our sailing left us dismayed at our experience. The evening before we spent at the Hyatt Pier 66. At noon the following day we boarded the less than inviting ship. As our first cruise, we expected the white gloved-champagne service to our room. Yes, a tray of Champagne was apparent ... No they did not offer us a glass nor, did they extend the "welcome" previously written about. A less then enthusiast person half heartedly guided us to our stateroom. Our first stop was to make reservations with the Normandie for three evenings. Sam Aivaras was making reservations on their behalf. We gave our nights, he said "no" to each, leaving us more than disappointed. He seemed more than arrogant, plainly rude. He truly was our first impression of Celebrity and not a good one. We were then introduced to our Butler "Desmond" ... things suddenly changed. He put everything into order, including our reservations at the Normandie; then "why" our "Bon Voyage" items: champagne, flowers, shrimp etc., never arrived. In a word: indispensable. The Sky Suite became worth every penny. Our stateroom was simple but adequate. Celebrity continued to drop the ball several more times. Desmond picked the ball up and ran with each mistake to solve it. When we did dine at the "Normandie" however; it was the "Cirque du Soleil" so advertised. The new simply watered down menu being installed that evening for those who never dine and don't need a Sommelier was shocking. Yes, Celebrity has watered down the menu for those who don't understand (including Celebrity) the tradition/duty of a Sommelier. Celebrity sommelier's are expected to serve "water" in the Normandie ... and on the side if so asked ... provide wine service. French dining ... please? Sorry, we have traveled in France ... not even close, such a facade. In addition Chief Michel Roux decided that evening to introduce the: 20 min. Choc. Souffle (less the decadence). Perhaps Chief Roux needs to dine with Master Exec. Chef Gerard Boyer of Reims and order his with the egg yoke for reference. Not to mention adequate time for the sommelier to discuss/decant a $325 bottle of 1989 Chateau Lynch Bages without being pressured to tend to everyone's water? Celebrity never cared/nor recovered ... nor will we ever give Celebrity another chance ... it WAS JUST our 20 year anniversary. We never had a chance to relax and sit by the pool or the "spa." The "SPA?" Not a quiet/relaxing area. Crystal ... we understand now the difference and apparently, would have been a better "first" choice. Live and learn. Celebrity's loss ... From what we were told we gave them the largest order on board for Emilo Robba on the Summit. Celebrity a premium cruise line? I don't think so. They need to make up their minds who they want to be honestly ... and provide that service they advertise. Celebrity and the Summit was a waste of vacation time, money and in our opinion, more than a disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date January 2005
The Summit was everything we expected & then some. The embarkation was so fast I was shocked. We basically went through as fast as we could walk! We were of course greeted with wine and champagne and found our cabin ready and waiting. ... Read More
The Summit was everything we expected & then some. The embarkation was so fast I was shocked. We basically went through as fast as we could walk! We were of course greeted with wine and champagne and found our cabin ready and waiting. We were traveling with our 24 year old daughter who spent the first 2 nights with us until I managed to pay to upgrade her to her own inside cabin down the hall. Surprisingly, we got all three of our clothes into the cabin without any problem! Quite an accomplishment as both my wife and daughter always opt for the "take it if you might need it" philosophy. I also quickly realized that 8003 is quite a bit larger than the average cabin. I am guessing about 240 square feet, plenty of room for the three of us. Our cabin steward was an Indian fellow named Luis who was very accommodating, quickly figured out our idiosyncrasies. The food on the Summit was truly outstanding. We had escargot that was as good as I've had anywhere, and the service was also superb. We ate in the Normandy one night, and found it to be equal to any fine New York restaurant, La Cirque, etc. Well worth the $30 per person. I brought my own wine and was happy to pay the $15 corking fee each night. My only complaints were somewhat minor, but here they are. The piano player in Michael's was mediocre and his taste in music was lousy. I requested a couple of songs, which he played in short versions whereupon he got the only applause he had received. That is probably why Michael's was never even a little crowded. In Cozumel, we had to wait 30 minutes to board the tender because they had only one person checking IDs and he took forever. If you were younger than 65 and wanted to dance, you had to wait until after midnight in Revelations before the dance music started. They had a great guitar player on the back deck, but he only played 45 minutes before each seating and then from 10 until 11:30. If you wanted to hear him from 6-7:45 or from 8:30 until 10 there was nobody there. That's it! Virtually everything else was absolutely great, food, service, cabins just a class act! Read Less
Sail Date January 2005
We just got back from our first cruise and everyone in our party loved the experience, to the point that 2 days after our return, my parents booked again with Celebrity: a 14 day TransPanamanian cruise. Colleagues of mine have long ... Read More
We just got back from our first cruise and everyone in our party loved the experience, to the point that 2 days after our return, my parents booked again with Celebrity: a 14 day TransPanamanian cruise. Colleagues of mine have long trumpeted the great experience of cruise ships, Celebrity in particular. So I finally decided to organize a trip to try it out with my wife and my parents. My wife and I are 40 and 39 respectively, My parents are both 60. In preparation for booking my first cruise, I spent a lot of time reading ship reviews and readers comments on bulletin boards. I found the information invaluable and I was grateful for the time people spent writing. In thanks, here is my small contribution (pay it forward). Before I begin, I would like to say that I have tried as mush as possible to give an even handed and constructive critique of our experience. Cruise: 6 day West Caribbean cruise -- January 16th to 21st, 2005. Ship: Celebrity Summit room 8043 and 8056. Port of departure: Fort Lauderdale. Destination: Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel. Embarkation (A): Our package included the transfer from airport to ship. Celebrity people were waiting with their placard held high as we got to the airport luggage area. They told us to gather under a particular sign once we recovered our luggage. Once everyone was gathered (about 12 people) they walked us to the next terminal (3 minute walk). We were then handed to another friendly Celebrity staff member. After a 5 minute wait we were ushered to the bus and drove for 15 minutes to the port terminal. There we went rapidly through security, the check in counter to receive our cruise pass, pictures for security and souvenir pictures to commemorate the beginning of our trip. About 40 minutes elapsed from the time we had our luggage in hand to being in our cabin. Room quality (B): We all found the ship to be very clean. Our room was a nice size. There was plenty of storage space (including under the beds). The shower size was decent (we could squeeze in 2 together). Some people might find the beds a bit too firm, but we slept like babies. Noise was not an issue with the hallway or the adjacent rooms. Surprisingly there were some cleanliness issues: -- There was a quarter size stain on our bedspread. -- As I had previously read on a review, the toilet seat seemed weather beaten. The seat was clean but some of the enamel was cracked and chipped (how this comes to be I don't know). -- As I had previously read on a review, there was some mild mould in the shower area and a rust stain in one corner of the bathroom. Personally it wasn't bad enough to bother my wife and I. I've seen worse in 3 star Caribbean resorts (I guess the heat and humidity of the tropics makes it a recurring problem). In comparison, my parent's room and bathroom were spotless. Note: A couple at our dinner table had room 8048 and told us they had a mobile cleaning platform stored in front of their balcony. I later took the time to check this out and found that they did indeed have these platforms on every floor . They slide on rails that circumvent the ship and seem to be stored at the extremities of each ship section (where the ship's width changes). Something to look at before you book. The couple complained, But they were stuck with it for the duration of the trip. Service (A): We found all the staff to be friendly and helpful. Here are a few anecdotes: On the first formal night we ordered room service to hold us over as we got ready for our 8:30 late seating. As our steward was delivering our food I was taking out my shirt only to realize it was quite wrinkled. I knew there was a laundry service on the boat, but you had to ask for it before 9:00 a.m. With my steward before me, I asked him if he had a iron I could borrow in a pinch. He promptly took my shirt and told me he would fix it if I was willing to pay the regular 2$ ironing fee. Within 15 minutes I had a beautifully pressed shirt delivered in person. Now to me, that is service. I lost my credit card in Grand Cayman. I saw the 8$ minute fee for ship to shore phone calls in my room and decided to see the concierge (before spending 100$ waiting on hold for a Visa agent.) The concierge called the phone number on my wife's credit card and then handed me the phone. In 5 minutes my card was cancelled and a new one sent to my home. All at no cost. I then went to the ship's bank and had the credit card information changed for our billing. Our waitress in the main dining room was fantastic (Magdelena from Poland). On our first night of dining, my wife ordered some sort of breaded veal that was not to her liking. I promptly told my wife that she should not be shy about asking for something else. As soon as she asked our waitress for something different apologies were given and a different meal quickly replaced. The maitre d' then came over to make sure that everything was to her liking. Apart from that incident the food during the whole cruise was great. During morning and lunch buffets staff were usually there to assist you with carrying your tray to your table. Service for drinks at lounges was not always quick but adequate. On the 2 first dinners of our cruise a couple at our table was ordering wine by the glass. However, when it came time to order a second glass, the sommelier was nowhere to be found. The couple would inform our waitress of their desire to order wine and she would go running in search of the sommelier. On the 3rd night the maitre d' came over to our table apologizing about the wine service and informing us that a new sommelier had been assigned to our table. One morning I sat down with my wife for breakfast and noticed that music was playing on the speakers. Normally the setting was quite peaceful in that area of the ship. But listening to Eminem and other rap impresarios at 7:00 a.m. was a bit much for me. Within 2 minutes a server came to refill our coffee cups. I politely asked him if it would be possible to turn down the music a notch. He immediately went to the galley and turned off the music. (I guess this was their motivational music while setting up shop, waiting for the first customers to roll in.) Rule of thumb: if something bothers you, don't sit there fuming and complaining on how terrible things are. My experience has been that the crew wants to please, unfortunately they are not psychic. Furthermore each client is different: one passenger's nirvana is another passengers hell. In most cases: ask and you shall receive. Food (A-): The quality and variety of food was very good. The food at the Cosmopolitan restaurant (5 course meal) was usually very good. There was only one dish during the whole week where I found that the meat was a bit tough. If you go with the chef's recommendation you won't go wrong. We ate at the Normadie restaurant (30$ premium) for my wife's birthday. Well worth the extra money. Food, service and ambiance were excellent. Reserve quickly though. The restaurant was already fully reserved for the week when I enquired at 10 p.m. on the first day of our cruise. Only by being first on a reserve list and by inquiring daily did I manage to get in. The healthy eating menu at the Aquaspa Cafe and the sushi bar (aft part of the Waterfall Cafe) were wonderful. For those that lack imagination or a culinary pallet, there is always the Waterfall Grill where you can get burgers, pizza and fries. There is also a pasta bar at the Waterfall Cafe. One thing that surprised me (since I didn't read about it in the forums) was to find out that one could reserve casual dining during the entire cruise. So if dressing up isn't your thing, don't fret, there a place for you every night at the Waterfall Cafe. So there is something for everybody. Entertainment (B): I found all the shows done by the Celebrity singers and dancers to be delightful. The aerialists were at times amazing (could work for Cirque du Soleil anytime). There were also 2 special guests during the week (I forget their names). One was a British stage singer that was very good. The second was another Brit, versatile on 4 different instruments. She seemed nervous, her jokes floundered and she could have done with a bit more practice (the couple at our dinner table however found her wonderful). We only spent the first day poolside (with all other days on excursions). I found the pool area relatively restful. The activities staff made a few forays at entertaining but the crowd's enthusiasm was mild. If you are looking for poolside with fun fun fun and staff blaring encouragement on loudspeakers all day, this isn't a ship for you. The band Prodigy played a few sets in the afternoon and I found them to be of average quality. For total peace and quiet lounge at the AquaSpa. Note: there was some lounge chair hogging by the pool (but plenty of space on the upper deck). Personally, I don't take a towel laying on a chair as an indication of possession. So I am not shy about taking a deck chair that has a towel on it. At worst I would apologize and move on (IF the person ever shows up). I found that most lounge chairs with towels on them stayed empty for hours on end, so why not take advantage of it. Ports of Call: Ocho Rios: Dunn's River Falls. Only 3 miles from the ship, my wife and I took a taxi (10$ US) there and paid 10$ US each to get in plus 10$ US taxi back to the ship. That's 40$ US for 2. Celebrity wanted 37$ US per person. Do things on your own, it's a lot cheaper and you can keep your own schedule. The falls themselves are beautiful and worth the trip, but be ready for the mass of people climbing them. From the ship we walked into town to do some shopping. For the uninitiated this could be an uncomfortable experience since the Jamaicans are continually harassing you. Even once you are in the gated shopping areas, the salespeople are relentless. Grand Cayman: Celebrity had no excursion on the internet for Stingray City, so I booked with Captain Marvin via internet. This outfit is 2 blocks from the pier and therefore convenient. Once on the Celebrity Summit, Stingray City was offered (46 versus my 39$ excursion). Unfortunately the trip was cancelled (for the 3rd straight day) because of the swells in the bay. So from the pier we took a 15$ minivan ride to Hell and the Turtle Farm and got off at 7 Mile Beach (which was sheltered from the waves) and snorkeled. I was surprised to still se so much destruction 4 months after the hurricane. There are still several establishments waiting for available labour and construction materials. Cozumel: This was my 5th time on the island. If you like to Scuba, this is the place. It has changed since the last time I was here in 1992. My jaw dropped as we arrived in port to find that we were EIGHT cruise ships visiting that day. My wife and mother did the swim with dolphins experience at Chankanaab. Under the advice of a colleague who previously missed out on the dolphin experience, I booked this excursion well in advance with Celebrity. I was disappointed but not surprised to see how commercial the dolphin experience has become. I did it at Puerto Aventuras 13 years ago and it was a personable experience with only 12 people in a huge basin (it is no longer like that). At Cozumel (same dolphin company) you have a basin half the size with different sections cordoned off: 5 groups of 12 doing the dolphin touch and 3 groups of 12 doing the swim with dolphins. So you've got almost 100 people in the water, with another 100 on the docks waiting their turn. But what you don't know won't hurt you: my wife and mother absolutely loved the experience. We all spent the rest of the day lounging in the sand, snorkeling and visiting the rest of Chankanaab. We all found it to be an enjoyable place (not overly crowded despite all the cruise ships). Debarkation (D): What a bad way to end an enjoyable experience. We were told to congregate at the cinema at 9 a.m. for debarkation. After an hour of waiting with no crew member present and no announcements on the intercom, people were getting restless (some had early flights to catch). Finally at 10 a.m. someone shows up to guide us off the boat. As we were walking out of the cinema the crew member was almost mauled by the scores of people sitting impatiently on the floor in the hallway. Reason: as we walked past them his walkie-talkie blared a voice saying ''Whatever you do, keep them under control as best you can.'' In all honesty I don't think the delay was Celebrity's fault (although they could have handled it better). There were only 2 immigration officials to handle all 2000 passengers. Once we got thru customs we got our bags (which were real easy to find since there were hardly any left), we waited 20 minutes for the bus to drive us to the airport. (At this point Celebrity is out of the picture.) The airport was pure chaos, the bus had trouble pulling in at each terminal because of the traffic. The bus driver told us that on weekends Fort Lauderdale can receive up to 14 cruise ships a day. Clearly the airport doesn't have the infrastructure to handle the volume of transfers. Once we got off the bus we were amazed to find that the check-in counter for our airline was OUTSIDE ON THE SIDEWALK. After that line up we encountered another line-up for the X-ray of our check-in luggage. Again the system was completely overwhelmed, with suitcases piled all around the machines that just couldn't keep up. We finally got to the boarding gate at 1 p.m. for our 2 p.m. flight. That's a 4 hour transfer. We were lucky, because most people were having their flights delayed or cancelled as a winter storm was hitting the east coast. I hope this review was helpful. P.S. Too often I have read scathing comments from a disgruntled reader who is willing to trash a whole cruise because of one bad experience. You will probably find that your cruise enjoyment will reflect your view on life. If you are easy going and enjoy life, chances are you'll enjoy your cruise. If you have an axe to grind or you are bitter and disappointed in life or you think you deserve better because you feel you got a bum rap in life, then you'll probably find something drastically wrong with your cruise. Also, perspective is the key. What value did you get for the dollar. Some people seem to want to pay for a Pinto and then complain that it doesn't drive like a Porshe. The mid-range cruise ship offers transportation (ports of call), lodging, meals and entertainment for 100$ to 150$ a day per person. You will be disappointed if your expecting the same experience as if you had gone to Vegas and spent 300$ on a room, 200$ a ticket for a show (Cirque du Soleil, Celine Dion) and 100$ per person for a 5 course French meal. That's 450$ per person (double occupancy), not 150$. Read Less
Sail Date January 2005
Well, it was an interesting cruise. Some background: * We were brave and travelled with our 9 month old son. * Our son caught a cold on the way down. We all ended up sick on the cruise. * We were with my in-laws. In light of all of that, ... Read More
Well, it was an interesting cruise. Some background: * We were brave and travelled with our 9 month old son. * Our son caught a cold on the way down. We all ended up sick on the cruise. * We were with my in-laws. In light of all of that, we had a good time. To borrow from Clint Eastwood, I'll talk about the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The Good: * We got the Family Suite, which was very nice from a space standpoint. * Our cabin attendants were great and very efficient. They worked around our son's nap schedule very nicely. * The ship was very pretty. The gym never crowded (however, judging by the condition of most of the passengers, it's easy to why). * Our son had a wonderful time. He was the only one under 1 year old, so he was adopted by all of the grandparents and female crew members. * The service staff went WAY out of their way to try to accommodate his meal requirements. They were very patient with the mess he made (we tried to minimize it but it still looked like an explosion in the grocery store). * The Panama Canal tour where you sail through the locks is well worth the $150 per person. You got to see the rain forest and really appreciate how much you have by seeing the poverty of the interior. * Aruba is always nice. We really liked Curacao as well. Cozumel was OK but not great. * They offer casual dining on the 10th deck. We ended up doing that because it was the easiest way we could get dinner with our son. The staff was great but the food was just OK. * We all caught colds. We had to take our son to the ship's doctor. They were all very nice and they didn't kill us on the price (we have to file for our insurance). * They offer portraits in the photo area. No sitting fee and buy only what you want. Very nice! Also, they don't bombard you with roving photographers. * Our in-laws were in the Sky Suite -- although it's not a suite. They had a butler but weren't quite sure what to do with him. The butler service includes canapes and apertiffs (sp?). They said they'll get Concierge Class next time -- the Sky Suite wasn't worth the money. The Bad: * I wish the 10th floor dining area opened a little earlier (ie, 5 or 5:30) and served a buffet. The only options you had were a la carte or sit down. None of them started before 6 p.m.. * Despite what the reservation line tells you, children under 3 are not allowed or cared for in the Fun Factory. Very disappointing to find out when we boarded. * The ventilation system processes air from the bow to stern. So, if somebody is smoking up the hall from you, you're going to smell some smoke. Ugh. * The back of the boat (which is where we were) really sways with the motion of the ocean. If you get sea sick easily, watch out. * Our room was very worn. The carpet had stains. The sink showed marks where cigarettes had burned into the marble. The air was stale (see above). We heard that the ship was going into dry dock for an overhaul in Jan 05 -- which it needs. * I thought the Promenade staff was hit or miss. One person was nice but many weren't. Don't buy T-shirts on the pool deck. If you have to return one it's a real pain. They aren't very accommodating. * Regarding kids, they were there but Celebrity is not geared toward children. Yes, they have the Fun Factory but the kids always looked bored. I suggest to anybody that they don't cruise with children under 3 years of age. Next time, we'll look at Disney or Royal Caribbean -- lines that have more for kids. The Ugly: * I was really looking forward to Costa Rica. We planned to walk around town and check everything out. Once we left the port area, we were swarmed by people wanting us to hire them for cab rides or tours. We couldn't shake them (they literally followed us) so we ended up heading back to the boat. Very disappointing. * Some of the sites (read: people) around the pool. Some modesty would have been really appreciated. There should be a weight limit for those who want to wear string bikinis/Speedos. * Unfortunately, tendering was required in Key West. With 5 foot swells, we didn't go. Many passengers reported that they waited 45 minutes just to get on the boat (coming and going). Once on, the swells made many of them sea sick. * I used to be able to get cash against my ship account on Celebrity. They now send you to the casino (where they charge you a percentage on how much you get) or to an ATM machine which charges you a flat rate. I don't think I should be charged for the privilege of giving Celebrity money. * Disembarking the ship was insane. They dump everybody off at the terminal, everybody has to scramble for their bags, and you have the scramble to get a cab (please remember that many of the passengers are older and all of this is physically demanding). Then, Ft. Lauderdale airport was just as bad with a REALLY long wait to get through the security check. Conclusion: The ship was very nice and the service was good. The food was a little bland but OK. However, I don't think we'll cruise Celebrity again. I don't think it was their fault per se -- we just need to find a cruise line that is more kid friendly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
My wife, our two sons (age 24 and 20) and my wife's parents went on the 9-day Christmas cruise aboard the Summit departing Ft. Lauderdale on December 17th. This was our 9th cruise ... our second on Celebrity with the first on the ... Read More
My wife, our two sons (age 24 and 20) and my wife's parents went on the 9-day Christmas cruise aboard the Summit departing Ft. Lauderdale on December 17th. This was our 9th cruise ... our second on Celebrity with the first on the Century in 1998. Past cruises being on RCI, Carnival, NCL Norway and Dolphin. This is also our second Christmas cruise with the previous one on RCI Brilliance of the Seas in December of 2002. There were some Christmas decorations but not nearly as many as on the Brilliance. We brought along a 3-foot tree for our cabin. What a wonderful cruise. There really is a difference on Celebrity. While food and entertainment are usually good on most major cruises, Celebrity does the little things that set them apart. Things like cold towels when returning to the ship from shore excursions, cloth hand towels in public bathrooms, welcome aboard champagne and mimosas, no annoying announcements and photographers who are not always in your face. CABIN -- Our cabin was on the 8th deck, midship and included a verandah. Very roomy with about 190 square feet and an additional 40+ feet verandah. Celebrity has some of the best laid out cabins and includes hair dryers, safes, mini bar refrigerators plus plenty of closet and storage space. PUBLIC SPACES -- No neon or glitz here. Just very classy colors and wood accents. The atrium is only 3 decks high and not as large as on other new ships but, like many things with Celebrity, understated and elegant. The Celebrity Theatre is beautiful with great sightlines and state of the art sound and stage. The Rendez-Vous Lounge, Champagne and Martini Bar, Revelations Lounge and all public lounges are classy and very seldom crowded. The pool decks are crowded on sea days as expected. However, the indoor therapy pool is for adults only and not usually crowded. DINING -- We did not eat in the Normandie speciality restaurant because the food in the Cosmopolitan was always excellent. I had read that the food quality was not as good as in the past on Celebrity but that was not our experience. The entrees were especially good and cooked to order. Soups were usually very good as were desserts. The only negative is that the portions are sometimes small. However, in terms of quality, the food was better than the 5-star Four Seasons Hotel vacation we just returned from. The casual Waterfall Cafe food was varied and good although sometimes seemed to fancy for a casual buffet. You sometimes have to go to two or three different lines to get everything you want. For lunch they usually had two pasta stations, a deli station, a featured food of the day station (Mexican, Italian, etc.) and the buffet line with various meats and vegetables. They always had two ice cream stations open in the waterfall so don't miss these. They also served burgers, hot dogs and pizza at a pool station. 24-hour room service is also available and service was fast. They even call just before they are to deliver to give you a heads up. SERVICE -- In a word ... excellent. Our cabin steward was efficient and friendly but very unobtrusive. No towel animals here. Service in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant was probably the best we have ever had. Vlaho, our waiter from Croatia, was formal in his service and friendly. These guys really work hard to make your cruise even more enjoyable. Several nights he brought salmon or another entree that was not on the menu if someone wanted something different. Everyone was friendly and always spoke. ENTERTAINMENT -- Again, some people think Celebrity is far behind in stage shows. Our entertainment was very good with a couple of excellent singers. It was much better and more professional than that on the Carnival Pride last year. However, it was probably not quite as good as on the Brilliance. It would be nice on longer holiday cruises if they had some name entertainment like RCI but we had none. Music in other lounges was very laid back with a 4-piece string quartet, singing quartet, a guitarist and a duo in the Rendez-Vous. Pool entertainment was typical Caribbean. Shopping is very good on this ship with some excellent bargains on jewelry, watches and liquor. They do have a movie cinema that is nice but the screen is small and the movies were not very recent. Casino is like most others on ships. PORTS OF CALL -- St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts and St. Thomas. EMBARKATION - DEBARKATION -- Stayed at Springhill Suites prior to cruise and were able to park at the hotel free. They have transportation to and from the port. There was no cost to drop us off but we had them pick us up after the cruise and it costs $6 per person since we were not checking back into the hotel ... still cheaper than port parking. We arrived at the port at about 12:15 and within 15 minutes were in line to get checked in and on the ship by 12:45. Debarkation was easy and we were off the ship by about 9:45. CHRISTMAS HAPPENINGS -- On Christmas eve, cruise entertainment staff and guests gathered around the atrium and sang Christmas carols for about 45 minutes. On Christmas morning, every cabin received a gift from Celebrity ... a small piece of luggage that was actually pretty nice. One thing that really bugged me though. On Christmas morning, Santa gave out gifts to all children in the Atrium. Santa was a FEMALE. Come on guys. Surely there was a man on board who could have played the part. OVERALL -- An excellent cruise and would do it again in a minute. If you have questions feel free to send me email at blueboro@msn.com Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
This was our 6th cruise - our first with Celebrity. Our others have been Festival Mistral, Royal Caribbean Voyager and Explorer, Norwegian Star and Costa Atlantica. Our experience didn't start off too well, when we discovered ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise - our first with Celebrity. Our others have been Festival Mistral, Royal Caribbean Voyager and Explorer, Norwegian Star and Costa Atlantica. Our experience didn't start off too well, when we discovered Celebrity had booked my wife and myself onto our American Airlines, Heathrow-Miami flight, in a group of 6 (with 4 others). This meant we were allocated seats in the middle block of 5 and would have had restrictions had we not found the Celebrity agent to complain. I am 6'4" tall so really needed an aisle seat. We arrived at Miami to find the baggage reclaim belt had broken, which changed our very quick 10 minute immigration passage into an inconvenient 1hr+ wait. This was obviously not the fault of Celebrity, but did cause frustration. The transfer bus took us to our hotel - the Sheraton at Ft Lauderdale airport (unfortunately, not the ones at the beach which would have been much better). The reception staff gave us a copied sheet with details of our ship transfer for the following morning. Although the sheet was headed Royal Caribbean and not Celebrity, we were assured it was the correct sheet. It stated to meet at 11am for the transfer bus. We left our bags in our room and took a taxi which dropped us at Los Olas, an area we enjoyed for the evening. If you are staying pre/post cruise in Ft. Laud, we can recommend walking the length of Los Olas Boulevard. On embarkation morning, we went to the lobby area at the appointed time of 11am and sat with the other cruise guest (around 150 others). What we didn't know - and what nobody told us - was that we should have registered with the Celebrity staff on duty, in order to be allocated a bus (there were 6 buses). We also didn't need to be at the meeting point until 12 noon. As none of this had been explained, we were allocated the last bus. We then had to wait nearly 3 hours for our bus to arrive. This time could have been better spent exploring the Ft Lauderdale area for the morning rather than having to sit in the hotel lobby. We were very disappointed with the handling of the transfers. Once we arrived at the ship, things went very smoothly - we were onboard in around 20 minutes. This would have been even quicker had people completed the various forms before arriving at the desk!, but we could hardly complain at 20 minutes as we have waited over an hour with some previous cruises. We then boarded the ship and a staff member "escorted" us to our cabin - except that he couldn't read our stateroom number and didn't know the way. When we got to our cabin (8094) we were pleasantly surprised that it was larger than the normal balcony cabins we've experienced before. However, there was a connecting door to the adjoining cabin, which had coloured tape around all of the gaps (apparently to cut down on the noise of the TVs between the two cabins). The toilet seat was also very badly worn. These were not going to ruin our cruise experience but were not expected in a ship of this class. We enjoyed the ship for the afternoon and then got ready for dinner (late sitting at 8:30pm). We had requested to be seated at a large table of 10, but were allocated a table for 2 (420). This table was situated next to the serving area and was in the main run of the waiters. We spent most of the evening expecting a plate to come crashing down on our heads from the busy waiting staff running past - this table was in a very noisy area. We decided to speak with the maitre to enquire about being moved. The food was of very good quality, excellently presented - although limited in choice, with not that much variety thrum the cruise. We had pre-booked our excursions before we left the UK. Unfortunately, of the six tours we booked, two were cancelled and one (St Kitts Railway) ended prematurely due to a breakdown. We had read of a previous problem with the St Kitts Scenic Railway (aka The Sugar Train), but had booked already so continued with the tour. Unfortunately, we soon discovered why the train is called the Sugar Train - if it rains and you have to sit in the downstairs carriage, all you will see is sugar cane! The train was painfully slow as it had trouble gripping the tracks, until it finally broke down with engine trouble. We cant complain too much as we had got three-quarters of the way and were immediately informed that a full refund was being given. Alas, the guests waiting for the 12:30 tour had already boarded buses and were sat at the station before being informed their tour was cancelled - this was a wasted day for them. Our other cancelled tours were Grenada Flight-seeing (mechanical trouble) and Ft Lauderdale Highlights (poor sales). We questioned why the Ft Lauderdale tour had been cancelled (due to poor sales) with 4 days of the cruise still to go - we spoke to many people who were yet to think about final day excursions and would possibly have booked. We can't accept that tours needed to be finalized so quickly. As we had done the Everglades Tour (which was the only other option) several times previously, we didn't want to do it again. We asked the Concierge desk to try to source any alternatives for us. They suggested that as we had a hotel transfer and day room booked at the Miami Hilton, they would forward our bags so that we could enjoy our day in Ft. Lauderdale without the hassle of carrying bags. This was a good idea, so we spent some time in the internet cafe locating things to do in Ft Lauderdale - this cost $15 in internet fees. Unfortunately, when we approached Guest Services on our final day, they informed us that we had to physically go with our bags to the hotel - this totally ruined our plans again! Regarding the cruise in general :- We found that despite 20% of the guests being British, it was still very much a US-focussed cruise (quizzes etc on US TV shows and personalities etc). The age range was definitely much higher than previous cruises we've enjoyed. I would say the average being 55+. The entertainment was generally good - the production shows were excellent and SoulD Out were fantastic. Some of the others were definitely aimed at the target audience of oldies. The food was good in the main restaurant, although a little limited in choice over the cruise. The buffets were much better although something should be done to extend the lunchtime from 2:30pm to 3:00pm or so. Bars were OK, but the staff were a little slow to spot customers at times and the ship ran out of draft beers on the last day. In-cabin air conditioning - this was very noisy. Our final complaint of the ship was the smell. At several times during the cruise the front part of the ship (especially around Revelations and the Theatre) smelled of what can only be described as sewage. Would we cruise with Celebrity again - No. Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
This was our third Celebrity cruise, with the previous two being on Infinity. We're in our late twenties and cruise for the relaxation, the time together, the food and the pleasure of being on a ship. The ports are not our first ... Read More
This was our third Celebrity cruise, with the previous two being on Infinity. We're in our late twenties and cruise for the relaxation, the time together, the food and the pleasure of being on a ship. The ports are not our first priority. Our last four cruises have been on a combo of Princess & Royal, so we were anxious to get back on a Celebrity ship again, and our expectations of it being a nicer all around experience were met. Embarkation/Disembarkation, Cabin, Ship, Service Embarkation was the easiest we've ever experienced. We flew to FLL on a Red Eye from California, got a taxi to the port and more or less walked right on the ship. I think this was a result of being Concierge Class or Founders Captain's Circle - I'm not sure, but I'll take it. Our rooms weren't ready, so we had lunch and a drink in the Waterfall Cafe, then headed downstairs to stow our bags. Disembarkation was truly a breeze - we were allowed to stay in our rooms until 9, which we did. At 9 we headed to a lounge, only to hear our color called. We walked along the hallway to the door and off the ship. No fuss, no muss. Collected our bags easily and made it to the taxi stand, which was a zoo, but not at all the fault of Celebrity. Our stateroom was pleasant - large enough for the two of us to not feel cramped, plenty of storage, always impeccably cleaned by our attentive cabin steward. The mattress pad and pillow menu were the most appreciated parts of the CC experience - the bed really was more comfortable than any other I've experienced on board a ship. The canapEs every afternoon were nice, and the towels, showerhead and robes were fine, but overall, we didn't think that the up charge for CC was worth the extra to us. Additionally, I prefer being a little lower on the ship, as I felt the balcony on deck 9 had a somewhat "closed in" feeling due to the overhang from Deck 10. If the up charge is minimal, we will choose CC again and enjoy the small touches, but we'll most likely spend the extra somewhere else on the ship and go for a basic balcony cabin in the future. The ship was well maintained and attractive. The color scheme is warmer and lighter than that of the Infinity, so although we knew the layout of the ship, we felt it had a bigger and more spacious feel because of the colors used in the decor. It was a very pleasant place to spend time. The layout was easy to navigate, and I never felt lost or trapped in one place. The pool areas were predictably busy, but we were always able to find a chair somewhere, and the Thalassotherapy pool was a wonderful place to relax, particularly in the late afternoon when the crowds dissipated. The fitness area had a nice view, and the saunas with their large porthole window were a wonderful place to sit (though they were often not warm enough). We felt the ship was well maintained and clean, and managed the traffic of a mostly full sailing quite well. The service on the Summit was, in our opinion, one of the highlights of the cruise. The staff was almost uniformly pleasant, cheerful, friendly and very, very competent. Our cabin steward and waiter were the best we've had in eight cruises. The staff in the Martini lounge knew us and went out of their way to make us happy. Even the cruise staff remembered us, and we had minimal exposure to them. The spa staff was the best and least pushy that I've ever encountered while cruising. Our assistant Maitre'd was excellent, and a perfect example of what such an individual should be. He told us that the crew of the Summit has been together for years and requests to return to the ship - this has paid off in spades for the customer experience. Food, Entertainment & Ports As I mentioned, the ports are not a selling point for us when choosing a cruise, but we did enjoy this itinerary. St. Kitts was our favorite, as it was the least developed. While at St. Thomas, we visited St. John (via ferry) and would highly recommend it. We did take a Celebrity excursion in Barbados, wreck snorkeling and swimming with the turtles. The excursion was good, the snorkeling and turtle interaction excellent and the coordination and transportation (and booking through the TV) all easy. We felt the food on board was quite good. The dinners each night in the main dining room were nice, and our waiter was very accommodating in making sure we had whatever we wanted or needed. The meats were all cooked to our specifications and tender. The soups and appetizers were always interesting and well prepared. The vegetables are probably the weak spot, as they were often of the "mixed, steamed" variety, but they weren't terrible either. Between the appetizers, soups (esp. the chilled soups, Celebrity does these very well), salads, breads, meats... the veggies were a side note. The desserts were quite nice, though they tended towards the drier, less sweet side. The Waterfall Cafe was usually better than it looked - though we felt that they often "try too hard" in the entrees they serve there, and would be better to prepare simpler dishes at lunch. The carved meats were always excellent, and we also enjoyed the pizza, the Spa cafe, the grill... it wasn't difficult to find a good meal or a good snack. We used room service for breakfast most mornings, and enjoyed the option of eating on our balcony. The Normandie was a wonderful experience, well worth the $30pp fee. The food was excellent - a bit more refined in flavor than the main dining room - and it was beautifully served. The sommelier did a wonderful job with the bottle we brought - I don't know if I've ever had such good wine service. The cheese cart here was particularly impressive, containing a few very nice French cheeses that we didn't expect to find. We were also impressed with their wine cellar - some very old bottles tucked away in there! The entertainment was fine. We really enjoyed SoulDOut, the a cappella group. The music in the Rendezvous Lounge often leaned toward the Muzak, which we were sorry to hear. The stage shows were, again, fine, but not spectacular - still, they were pleasant to watch. We ended up enjoying our table mates so much that we spent evenings talking with them rather than seeing all the shows, so I didn't get a complete picture of the entertainment. Honestly, the one thing I think Celebrity could improve on here is having better musical "entertainers" in the lounges. We felt the ship was quite quiet at night. We're not "partiers" but a slightly more lively atmosphere would have been nice. Often, we were the only people in the Martini Bar after 10:30. The Disco was empty. And people "watched" the Karaoke but didn't participate. This isn't Celebrity's fault, per se, and we certainly made our own fun and had a good time, but we wondered if there was some way Celebrity could make the lounges a little more appealing to people ... Overall Slight negatives: The future cruise sales rep was miserable. She more or less bad mouthed the Horizon & Zenith (we were interested in a Bermuda cruise) as she quoted us a fare for that 7 day cruise that was more per person than we had paid for our 10 day Summit. All the fares she quoted us were outrageously high, she was reluctant to offer any suggestions, and her general attitude was that we should be so lucky as to even get the deals she was offering. Further, we were told that we were more or less "too late" to book late summer/early fall cruises for 2005. We've rebooked onboard before and always been pleased with the experience, but she left such a bad taste (and high prices) that we spent that evening discussing giving Crystal a try - we figured if we had to pay $3000 and up a person, maybe we should be doing it elsewhere. Our sommelier in the Cosmopolitan restaurant was average, at best. We felt that for a $15 service charge each bottle (and we had one 9 of the 10 nights) we should at least get the basics of wine service, which we really didn't. To be fair, we did address this issue to the maitre'd, and the service improved slightly after that, but only slightly. I don't mind paying corkage, but I would like to at least have my wine served correctly if I do. In conclusion The cruise experience was wonderful. After two Princess and two Royal cruises, we were so pleased to return to Celebrity. We enjoyed the food, the atmosphere and the lack of announcements over the PA. We found the service to be excellent, the food to be very good and the overall ship attractive and comfortable. While we liked our Concierge Class cabin, we likely won't pay the up charge again. Our shore excursion experience was a good one, so I wouldn't hesitate to book another through Celebrity if it was the best way to do a certain activity (as we felt it was to swim with the turtles). We really enjoyed the four days at sea and the ten day itinerary in general, and would like to take a cruise of this length again. There are so many things going on that we never got around to doing them all. Certainly, there are grumps and chair hogs, as there are on every cruise, but we also met and saw pleasant people. Nothing is completely perfect, but a cruise on Celebrity, in our opinion, is one of the easiest, most pleasant ways to spend a vacation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
Summit's 11 night 11/15/2004 cruise to the Western Caribbean & Panama - a once in a lifetime experience. This is a long review. If you have questions, feel free to email me. I found that before booking a cruise one must do lots ... Read More
Summit's 11 night 11/15/2004 cruise to the Western Caribbean & Panama - a once in a lifetime experience. This is a long review. If you have questions, feel free to email me. I found that before booking a cruise one must do lots of research to learn the options about the ports and the cruise line as well as the particular ship. That way there are no surprises or disappointments. I stumbled online onto Cruise Critic and made friends there on our board before the cruise. They gave me lots of good information that I could not find in ads. It was nice to put names with faces in person when we met at the designated place prior to sail away. Celebrity furnished a half hour reception in Michael's Club for us to meet on a sea day, as well. The ship is more beautiful than photography can capture. It is meticulously maintained daily, full of light so one does not have to go outside to feel he is outside. There were so many special surprises. In the bay windows of the Waterfall Cafe, there were 2- 1/2 foot window circles on the floor that allowed you to see the water! The outside glass elevators also gave you a view of the sea. The windows in the Thelosotherapy pool and restaurant (which runs from starboard to port) afford you the ability to see from both sides of the ship, offering lots of light. The unexpected artwork between floors or in the Emporium are whimsical. There is clever use of mirrors which pick up yet more light, as well. Even the passages which contain only staterooms are beautiful. Some staterooms have mirrored panels on either side of the doors. It is so tastefully done. There are public restrooms outside all the restaurants , and they, too, are tastefully done. Boarding was very efficient from the moment you arrived at the pier. The bellmen took your luggage (there is a sign in Ft. Lauderdale saying no tip is required since the employees are paid a salary) and it miraculously arrived at our stateroom shortly thereafter. You enter the terminal and are ushered to a waiting room with lines of plastic chairs. (These were the ONLY plastic chairs we saw, and remember that this is Port Everglades and not Celebrity offering plastic chairs!) The wait was not long. There was just enough time to meet the people seated ahead of you to your left before the entire row was asked to move to the next station. From there you are ushered to a large room with not long lines (because there are so many desks) where you will be given your plastic sea pass (which is your room key as well as your credit card) since the ship is cashless except for what you spend in the casino or on tips) and a small folder showing the ship's layout, after your ID and tickets are checked. If you wish to upgrade your cabin, that is the place to do so. Any vacant staterooms can be had for a pittance compared to their original asking price. A friend in a booked sky suite upgraded to the royal suite for $600 total. The people behind them had a concierge class booking and upgraded to the now vacant sky suite for $300. Your photo is taken and is incorporated into your sea pass (but is not shown ON the sea pass), so that when you enter or exit the ship the person at the scanner can match you to your ID. You should carry some photo ID with you when you exit the ship. Although I never had occasion to show it except in reboarding, it is a safeguard. They recommend you make a copy of your passport photo page and carry it ashore, leaving your passport in your room safe. The room safe is large enough to accommodate many items, but probably not a woman's handbag. When you approach the ship, your photo will be taken (you can purchase it later) with your traveling companion(s). There is no pressure to take the picture or to purchase it. There is a photo gallery where you can find any photos of yourselves that you wish to purchase. There will be a photographer in the dining room on formal nights to take your picture if you wish it to be done. We did not purchase any "professional" photos. As soon as you are actually on board, you will be approached by a bellman to carry your hand luggage and direct you to the Waterfall Cafe (we arrived before 1 p.m. when the rooms are ready), and given a champagne or orange juice cocktail. Had we arrived after 1 p.m. he would have shown us to our stateroom, and we'd have gone to the buffet on our own. There was a crowd amassed around the champagne when we arrived, and before we were whisked to the restaurant, we could sit in a comfortable sofa and wait while the steward brought us our drinks. It was understandably a little bit rushed there. We deposited our hand luggage on the aft deck and went through the buffet line. There is so much food that you may not even see it all. My husband chose selections I had not seen! There are often signs above the food item, but not always. Some is self serve and other food is served to you on another plate. It was very crowded since that is the only restaurant open on embarkation day at lunch time. Other than embarkation day, you could always find a table. Only once during the cruise did a couple ask if they could share a table with us because they could not find one. The waiters are very efficient at cleaning the tables, so you do not have to sit at a dirty table at any time. Your trays are lined with a linen placemat and you have a linen napkin and cutlery on the napkin. Our mid ships cabin, 6093, a 2C, was perfect for us. We lacked nothing & were quite comfortable. We asked for extra pillows and they were brought. It was decorated in pale orange and brown, with matching draperies and bedspread. There is a sheer curtain behind the draperies you may use if in port if there is another ship beside you and want more privacy. We particularly enjoyed seeing the new ports from our verandah. The verandah was like a second room. If one wanted to watch tv and the other wanted to read, one only had to switch positions. I read 5 books on the cruise. There was adequate storage for our clothes and suitcases. There is a tie/belt rack, and many drawers besides the permanent hangers. We brought many hangers with us. The bathroom was just the right size. It was not cramped at all, and we are both tall. It is provided with Q-Tips, cotton swabs, a plug for a shaver, a hairdryer of sorts, shampoo and hand cream. There were always fresh towels and shower mat. There is a leather bound book in the stateroom enumerating all the services available. There is also a magazine rack filled with books about your ports of call, shopping, and about cruising in general. These you leave in the room. Tickets for your shore excursions booked previously on line, and invitations were on the dresser/table in the room upon arrival. People who had ordered special birthday or anniversary packages, or gifts from their travel agents found them in the stateroom, or if they didn't find them, asked, and they were found! Finding our way around the ship was not difficult. The beautiful elevators listed the public rooms on each floor, and as you stepped from the elevator there would be signs directing you. These postings are in good taste and never offensive. Everything is designed to blend in, and does that well. Our stateroom attendants were attentive without being obstreperous. There was always a pitcher of water, a bucket of ice and clean glasses. When my husband came down with a cold, they could be counted on to bring him hot water for gargling, and coffee for soothing his throat, or a partial meal if he felt like eating. Summit has been in service for 3 years and is still new. Its sanitation rating has been 100 and 98%. Returning from ports there is often a sanitizing agent in a clear liquid, dispensed similarly to soap in a public bathroom except that you do not have to touch it to receive the sanitizer. This is done to prevent any land bourne germs from entering the ship. There were advisories in Celebrity Today to wash your hands frequently, especially just after coming ashore. If the port had had warm weather, there were also cold wash cloths offered before reboarding. The mini bar in the stateroom was convenient, but expensive. We had brought on a 12 pack of diet 7-up which came in handy. We brought king size coffee mugs with lids, so could bring juices back to the cabin at breakfast which saved a bit of walking. Although the mini bar contains some snacks, I can't imagine being hungry enough to buy them since we were so well fed throughout the cruise! The choices for meals were numerous. Everyone on board is assigned an evening meal reservation, by table number, in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant. But there is a casual alternative meal served in the evening at the Waterfall Cafe, by reservation ($2 tip expected per person). There is also an alternative dining room, the Normandy, with a $30 per person surcharge, reservations required, and tip required. And if you wanted to skip dinner, food was still served up until 6 p.m. in the Aqua Spa buffet and the Waterfall Grill. For breakfast and lunch if you were in a hurry you could go through either side of the Waterfall Cafe, or through the Aqua Spa self-serve buffet, or the Waterfall Grill outdoors by the pool for burgers or hot dogs and fries at lunch (or all of the above!). If you wanted to meet people and have a leisurely meal you could choose the Cosmopolitan Restaurant where your selections will be cooked to order. That is the only place you can get eggs Benedict and banana pancakes. In all venues "floating" waiters would come around serving extra juices, coffee, pastries, etc. Or you can order room service 24 hours a day. There is a limited room service menu when the restaurant is not open (you may order it on your interactive tv or by phone), but during official meal times you may order from the restaurant menu from room service by phone. Sometimes it is brought by your room steward and other times by a person you have never seen. Tipping $2 is standard for this service regardless of the volume of food/beverage served. In the Waterfall Cafe, toward the outdoor seating aft, there is an omelet station at breakfast and a pasta/pizza station at lunch and later. There is also a Belgian Waffle station for breakfast with all sorts of berries, whipped cream, butter and jams for toppings (and syrup). On certain days this area would serve sandwich meats/cheeses/bread or an international theme menu. One day it served tacos. The international buffet was also served in the main line of the Waterfall Cafe. During our cruise there were Italian, Mexican and Oriental buffets. You will not find home cooking flavors in any of the restaurants, however (by my definition that means heavy on the onion and garlic!). Cooking for 2000 people every meal precludes excessive seasoning that you may be accustomed to at home. You will, however, find delicate and subtle flavors in the salad dressings and sauces. The Cosmopolitan is a wonderful opportunity to try foods you have never had before. Some you will like and others maybe not if they are too unfamiliar. Our assistant waiter knew I was interested in all the flavors and became accustomed to putting a small amount of a different salad dressing on my bread plate for me to try. A five course meal is served in the Cosmopolitan nightly (appetizer, soup, salad, entree and dessert). If you can't make up your mind, you may order several of any course, or skip any course. If you do not want anything from the menu, they can bring you a steak and baked potato, a shrimp cocktail, or a Caesar salad even when they are not listed on the menu. I found that if you ordered one of each of the 5 courses you had just enough to eat. But it is hard not to order more than one dessert. A few times I skipped the soup, salad and entree, knowing I was going to indulge in sweets! Your waiters call you by name and know your preferences. If you ordered decaffeinated coffee the first night, you would have it all through the cruise. There are numerous bars on the 4th, 5th, 10th and 11th decks where you can have an alcoholic drink, or a soda, or specialty coffee, at most hours of the day and evening. You can always order a drink through room service or make one in your stateroom with items in the mini bar. You may purchase a soda card which allows you to drink an unlimited number of cokes etc. each day. It runs a little over $5 per day. Live music is performed in the Cosmopolitan at dinner on deck 5, (the balcony where we dined), overlooking the larger part of the restaurant on the 4th deck. Music is also provided on deck 10 at the Waterfall Cafe in the evening, and throughout the various bars in the evening. We heard a harpist, a violin duo, the Mozart quartet (two violins, piano and keyboard), an a capella male vocal group & a guitarist. When the performers are taking a break recorded music is played. There are two nightly Broadway/Las Vegas type shows, one for each dining room seating. The seating facilities were excellent. Everyone had a clear view of the stage. Although the seating was theater style, in rows, there were tables for drinks like in a nightclub. The stores in the Emporium sell all kinds of items, from gold & diamond necklaces to duty free cigarettes and even made to order suits. I broke my manicure scissors and found a nice kit in a leather container for $10, about the price of just the scissors on land. On deck one you will find the medical facility. I saw people waiting for dialysis! There is a vending machine for common medications on the wall at its entrance, in case they are not open. Again, hours are posted, but are also listed in Celebrity Today. If you read Celebrity Today you will save yourself lots of walking and extra trips. There are hand rails (for stabilized walking during rough seas) on most walls in the halls by the staterooms. We did not experience any seasickness but we heard that a few did. some said they took Dramamine and the symptoms ceased. I had the prescription transpatch as a back up. There may be 3-4 things within any one hour that you would like to do, so reading Celebrity Today helps you plan out your activities. Some lectures and presentations are repeated, but mostly are not repeated. Art auctions and lectures concerning art are presented many times. There is no pressure to purchase. There are a couple of inspirational speakers, as well as the "shopping in port" lectures, some of which lure you by the offer of a free drink or gift. There were "Acupuncture at Sea" lectures, and treatments available for a fee. There is bingo twice a day most days, and the casino daily, which is closed when in port. There are cooking demonstrations, daily movies in the theater or on your room's tv. The room tv gives you several satellite stations such as ESPN and CNN, but no local channels. There are pay per view movies for $9.95. There were floral arranging seminars (standing only) in the Conservatory just off the pool area. There are pool games, trivia contests etc. which we did not attend, but were enjoyed by some of our associates. I do not like to sit in the sun, so did not experience the sorbet parade in the afternoon by the pool. Those who did "lay out" said it was quite impressive! Despite all the above activities, if you just want to be quiet, that is possible, too. One only attends what one wants to attend. There is no need to have your spouse with you, so singles are as welcome as couples anywhere on the ship. For relaxation there are treatments in the Aqua Spa. Specials are offered each day, advertised on the back page of Celebrity Today. There is free use of the Thelosotherapy pool on all Millennium class ships. This area also contains two hot tubs, but not very hot, and wooden chaise lounges, some with padded cushions. There is a gigantic sky light, so although you are indoors you have windows on both sides of the ship and from above. You may use the Persian Gardens for a fee. There are handicap facilities including staterooms, with wheelchair access to all public areas etc. Those in wheelchairs seemed to be having a good time. There is a book library and a music library on board, mid ships, each being a two level venue. Hours of operation are posted on the door as well as in Celebrity Today. Although the predominant language heard on board is English, many other languages were evident. Likewise, although we traveled to three Spanish speaking, and two Dutch speaking countries, all tour guides and sales persons spoke adequate English, and accepted dollars, so you did not have to convert your currency at any time. Prices on land were usually cheaper than on the ship. On shore excursions, it is wise to take water or canned soda with you. There may or may not be a place to purchase a beverage during the tour. Although it is autumn in the states, it was hot in Cozumel, warm in Key West and Costa Rica (take bug spray), pleasant in Panama since it was raining on and off, and warm in the Dutch islands of Aruba and Curacao. If you do not like hot weather, be sure your tour provides air conditioned transportation. If it doesn't say air conditioned, it won't be. And use sunscreen and/or carry a sun hat or visor if your tour takes you outside the bus. These ports of call, being so close to the equator, do not have seasonal changes that we have in the states and you may burn more easily than at home. We took the shortest tours possible, just to see the countryside and the towns without having to walk too much. How good your guide is will affect your enjoyment of the information/views you receive. Instead of pointing out various plants, rock formations, birds etc., our guide in Cozumel wanted us to sing La Cucaracha! Several of us wrote comments about the tour and were provided a half credit without our asking for a refund. Celebrity wants to know which are its good tours and which are lacking and they depend upon the passengers to provide the information. When booking your cruise you may have chosen a particular itinerary because you wanted to experience a particular thing. We booked this cruise because it went to Panama and Costa Rica. I had just read David McCullough's The Path Between the Seas and definitely wanted to experience the canal, so took a longer trip on a ferry. This shore excursion was the highlight of the trip for me. We drove to the Pacific Coast at Balboa to board our ferry. Our guide was completely fluent in English and kept us entertained and informed (telling us when we were crossing the Chagras River or the Continental Divide. The guide on the ferry was also well learned and fluent in English. When we disembarked at Gamboa, our bus arrived to take us back to the port. Both guides were amenable to questions, also. We had extra time due to a special crossing, not having had to wait for a cruise ship ahead of us, so we were taken to the Madden dam where we could exit the bus to take photos. When the driver would spy wildlife, he would pull off the road and allow us to take photos. We found that to be true of our guide/driver in Costa Rica on the Pontoon River Boat excursion whether we were in the boat or in the bus. We appreciated the bus stopping to see a monkey or a sloth. You may tip your guide at the conclusion of the trip, especially for this extra service. You can tell when a guide enjoys his job, because he wants you to love his country like he does. Our Costa Rica guide even picked about two dozen species of flowering plants to pass among us on our trip back to the ship. I found it interesting that the Cozumel guide wanted us to be sure that we understood that the Mayans were a peaceable people, and did not offer human sacrifice like the Aztecs had. He also made reference to the Spanish conquistadores trying to change their culture. He seemed proud of his Mayan roots that had not been corrupted by mixed marriages. Our guide in Costa Rica, on the other hand, pointed out that there were many Spanish descendents from the conquistadores who had white skin like he did, and many who were of native Indian descent, and combinations thereof. Our guide in Panama asked, "If you met me in the States, would you know that I am Pamanian?" She answered her own question by saying, "Of course not. There is no Panamanian 'look.' Our population is a compilation of descendents of the Spanish conquistadores, the native Indians and the black men from Jamaica and Barbados (whose ancestors had been brought to the West Indies as slaves) who came to Panama to build the Panama Canal." There was no talk about ancestry on the tours in the Dutch islands. There are no annoying public announcements made on board. If you want to attend a certain event, you just make note of it and go there. On this cruise, an announcement was made when the ship had been cleared and passengers could disembark (telling you, for instance, deck 1, mid ships or deck 3 aft). Other than that the Captain made one announcement when we were in sight of Cuba, giving us our bearings. This is one of the reasons I chose Celebrity! When we docked beside a "party ship" in Cozumel, we were awakened by the constant announcements being made there! The next day's weather forecast is presented in a card on your turned down bed (along with Celebrity Today for the following day) and a chocolate on your pillow when you return from dinner or a show. The weather, including UV forecast is run across the bottom of the screen on the channel which shows you the view from the bow. There is also a channel that shows a nautical map with the ship's current position and bearing. When you see that you are near any body of land, you need only go to the verandah to have a look with binoculars. There were whale and porpoise sightings on our trip, but no announcements, unfortunately. If you have not opted for tipping by credit card (there will be a notice left in your stateroom for this choice, with a deadline clearly stated) the next to last night of your cruise you will be provided envelopes for tips to be given on the last night, for your steward (split equally with his assistant), the asst. head housekeeper (who had to fix our safe once, and had to let me into the cabin once), the asst. maitre 'd who is the person responsible for your table assignment and any special needs you might have for dinner. Everyone at our table was approximately the same age, and we all lived on the same section of deck 6, your waiter and the assistant waiter. Guidelines are given, but you may tip extra if you feel your service was exemplary! You are also given two evaluation forms to fill out and drop at the Guest Relations desk in a drop box. Your servers rely upon your evaluations for their promotions! There is a shore excursions desk, a bank, & the concierge desk in case the Guest Relations personnel could not immediately fill your need. If Guest Relations says they'll have someone call you, you WILL receive the call! Very efficient and pleasant, whether in person or on the phone. Some hard working people take cruises to relax, and do not particularly care what are the ports of call. They enjoy the activities or doing nothing, relaxing in the warmth of the sunny skies and the sea breezes. The activities page in Celebrity Today, printed front and back for morning and afternoon into evening, are printed on a separate page so you can take it with you without carrying the entire document. A cruiser can appreciate all the organization and preparation made for each and every voyage so that the cruiser does not have to worry about anything. Like anything in life, you have to be able to go with the flow. If a port is closed to the ship because of rough waters, or in our case, because a hurricane had destroyed Grand Cayman, you will be given either another day at sea, or an alternate port of call. Usually this alternate port will be announced a few days before sailing (ours was Curacao). But you would have no prior notice if rough seas prevented docking. We had an unusual occurrence in Colon, Panama. Fortunate for me and a hundred others who were booked on the ferry through the canal excursion, our trip left at 7:15 a.m. so was not involved in any of the fracas that occurred about 7:20 a.m. Apparently another bus line protested Celebrity's using Aventuras as its shore excursion company, and blocked the gates, not allowing ANY tours to depart. (including the 4th bus that was to have been with us on the ferry). I was told that there were armed guards present, but no one knew if they were the police, or agents of the bus company. I was told by a friend that Celebrity immediately produced a revised activities sheet and distributed them to all passengers via their stateroom attendants, meaning that the activities staff has a few cards up their sleeves, so to speak, and can give you yet more to do! As our Panamanian guide told us, when she received this information by cell phone, the protesting company simply didn't understand that tourists would not be happy in an un-air conditioned bus in poor repair (she pointed out to us as we drove to the Pacific, the number of the competing bus line's busses which were off the road in a ditch etc. due to bad driving, or mechanical problems. Perhaps this bus line did not understand the contract that Celebrity makes with its shore excursion companies! And this reinforces the comment cards available when a tour is not all you expected it to be. On the Cozumel tour that did not include everything we expected, we also lost our transmission about a mile from the dock. A replacement bus was provided within 5-10 minutes, and we did not delay the departure of the ship! Celebrity wants its passengers to be happy with everything. Hence the reduction in fare for the Cozumel tour. When we returned to the dock in Colon, Panama, the gates were still closed (with all the Aventuras busses still locked inside), so we were told we would access the ship via an escalator inside one of the buildings. This was so, but I was accosted by a uniformed person (I do not know what his uniform signified) who did not speak English, who asked me several questions after he blocked the escalator so that I could not pass. I speak some Spanish and had great difficulty understanding what he wanted to know (in other words he was confrontative and did not use the pleasantries or usual phrases one would expect to have to respond to). I point blank asked him in Spanish, what he wanted to know, as I reached in my bag for my ID and purchases. He did not seem interested in identification which I showed him, nor what was in my shopping bag which he did not look into. He did not smile or act the least bit friendly, either. Only for a short moment did I question to myself whether I was in a jam and might be unable to rejoin the cruise! My husband had not taken this excursion, so I don't know if my presence alone was the reason for stopping me. No one else I talked to from the ferry excursion said they were stopped. I finally heard ONE word I recognized, "hizo" (what did I do) and I replied in Spanish that I'd been to see the Panama Canal. He did not ask by what means of transportation I got to the Canal, nor whether it had been the Colon side or the Panama City side, but he did step aside, reluctantly and begrudgingly. I still do not know the purpose of his stopping me other than to harass me. We did not have to use tenders in any port. Nor did we have to walk long distances to find our tours. We just had to show up 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time and everything ensued like clock work. No crowds, no pushing. Disembarkation was also a breeze. Depending upon your connecting flight time, you were assigned a time to be in a public room after breakfast on the last day. The evening before we were given new luggage tags, with a color and number, and the name of the public area we were to wait in (always with comfortable chairs). When purple 2 was called (not on a public address system, but by an employee of the ship) we all moved en mass to the customs line which had no delays, just a brief glance at the declaration, and into the baggage terminal which at first seemed to be chaotic because of the number of people there. But upon closer inspection I saw that all our bags were within 10 feet of our other bags, in good condition, all set upright, no bags piled on top of other bags etc. and that a porter was there to transport them to the street for our transportation. It was just rather crowded with so much luggage on the ground! Cruising is probably more pleasurable if you know others aboard. But even if you do not know a soul beforehand, you will meet other, diverse and interesting people if you put yourself into the situations where you will meet them, like the Cosmopolitan Restaurant's open seating at breakfast and lunch. I did not see much intermingling at the buffet, however. But I would join people I had met earlier when I saw they were finishing their meal, and could ask them what activities they'd been partaking of etc. It was nice to be able to call someone by name. Would I cruise again? If the price were right and the itinerary one I desired. Would I choose Celebrity again if I were to cruise? Definitely if the price is competitive. They have instituted a new policy in the last few months that means no reduced fares, or incentives by travel agents. Our original fare, purchased over 9 months ahead of departure, increased by almost $500 per person after the policy went into effect. No, I would not have booked this cruise for $1000 more per stateroom when I could book a comparable cruise on Holland America or Princess for less (or could take advantage of Radisson's half price sales for the same amount). I enjoyed everything about Celebrity and their employees but cost is a real factor! If I MUST say something negative, to be fair, it would be that I did not like having to walk through the Casino on the 4th deck in order to traverse that floor. I disliked it so much that I would take the elevator to the 5th floor, walk the length of the Casino through a lounge to the next elevator and go down a floor to resume my travels on deck 4. I did the same on deck 10 to avoid having to walk in the heat among the sun bathers while I was fully attired. But the ship has been built and that cannot be changed! Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
This was cruise #13. Others include the Norway, Norwegian Wind, Ocean Princess, Grandeur of the Seas, Carnival Destiny, Celebrity Horizon, Celebrity Mercury, and others whose names have passed from memory. Maybe I am getting jaded but ... Read More
This was cruise #13. Others include the Norway, Norwegian Wind, Ocean Princess, Grandeur of the Seas, Carnival Destiny, Celebrity Horizon, Celebrity Mercury, and others whose names have passed from memory. Maybe I am getting jaded but they seem to be losing their lustre. The ports on this last cruise were not the most memorable, especially Costa Rica and Panama. Costa Rica is very poor and does not encourage solo trips outside the port area. Panama could not protect the cruise line tours from labour problems forcing the cancellation of all tours. Took a taxi to the canal on our own, not much to see other than the canal locks that we could tell. Not even pleasant scenery. The tall ship tour in Key West was cancelled without notice. Finally we were told on the pier after waiting for some time. We purchased the tour on board but after being spoken to like we were less than human by one of the tall ships crew members, we were then told that the tall ship never ever had offered a tour at that time of day. Celebrity, hello there !! Key West and Aruba are good stops, Curacao is a bit iffy. Embarkation is slow, probably due to the staff resembling that of the cast of Cocoon but not as fast moving. Debarkation was quite good compared to others we have experienced. Food was just acceptable to O.K. Buffets were nothing special. The dining room service was very good, probably gratuity driven but whatever it was good. Entertainment was very good, especially the singers and dancers. The cruise director was invisible except at the end of each show in the theatre. Perhaps he felt he might have to mingle with the passengers, heaven forbid. He certainly paid a great deal of attention to the officers at the special Celebrity hosted functions. One member of the staff in the shopping area of the ship, not sure of his name but he had a British accent and gelled black hair, was probably the most arrogant and useless clerk I have encountered anywhere. Nice ship and cabin staff but most ships offer the same features to some degree or other (with the exception of the Norwegian Wind, what a mess). Not the best cruise I have been on but probably due to the choice of ports, so so food, and the ridiculously high average age of the passenger list, which appeared to be much higher than we have experienced in the past. I believe one of our table mates was called Methusaleh. Two members of our dining room table were on dialysis and one managed to spoil every ones dinner by being sick at the table just before the main course. Not done on purpose of course but it certainly didn't do much to enhance anyone's appetite. Maybe it is time to look at an island/golf vacation at a nice resort for a change. Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
Celebrity Summit November 15, 2004 - W. Caribbean - 11 Day Cruise Ship: Am comparing this ship to previous cruises the past 4 years (CostaAtlantica; RCI Radiance of the Seas; Norwegian Sun; Carnival Spirit and Legend and HAL Oosterdam). ... Read More
Celebrity Summit November 15, 2004 - W. Caribbean - 11 Day Cruise Ship: Am comparing this ship to previous cruises the past 4 years (CostaAtlantica; RCI Radiance of the Seas; Norwegian Sun; Carnival Spirit and Legend and HAL Oosterdam). This three-year-old ship is tastefully decorated in a low-key way. It does not exhibit the glitz and gaudiness of the new ships we have been on in the past four years. All common areas are coordinated in terms of color and fabrics, most pleasing to the eye. At 91,000 tons she is indeed large and very spacious. Much varied and beautiful art work throughout the ship. Very nice common areas including Celebrity theatre .. one of the nicest, best decorated and well set up in terms of rows, fixed tables, and space for people to get by those already seated. Revelations lounge ... large area for dancing on deck 11 (where the DJ and band plays every night. Waterfall cafeteria (breakfast and lunch) - light, bright and nicely decorated; Cosmopolitan main dining room. Elegant in a word! I also felt that the ride was a little bit smoother than most ships! Had no problems with the much publicized gas turbine engines. Ship's guests: Only 30 children on this ship! More mature average age than most ships. All well behaved! Many many dressed up on the ship's three formal nights. Most men wore tuxes. Could not help but notice that there was a significant number of British residents on this ship. Room: 7193 far aft, port side is spacious 1B category (190 sq. ft.) with small balcony. Lots of storage room. Larger stall shower than most ships. Lots of shelves in bathroom, below the sink. Hair dryer in bathroom above the commode. Balcony room is comfortable though not as large as we had on HAL's Oosterdam last Xmas. Balcony is cramped and confining. Note: the balcony rooms at the dead back of the ship have larger balconies. Route: Key West; Costa Rica; Panama; Aruba; Curacao (substituted for Grand Cayman). Key West: Took the $22 Conch train tour that we booked on land. Same price as ship .... but 30 minutes longer than ship's tour. Nice way to get the flavor and feel of the whole area. Did a $25 pp private taxi tour of Costa Rica with the Tortuguero canal. When you get off the ship go past the tour vendors and walk into air-conditioned building right before the main road. Tours are cheapest there ... by almost half. Canal ride is mostly a very pleasant boat ride. We did see a few sloths and a lot of birds and lizards. No crocs. Nice shopping at the pier -- numerous vendor stalls ... offering beautiful wood products, cutting boards, entire salad bowl sets for $25. Your can certainly find some nice souvenirs there ... and some bargaining can be done. Probably the best souvenirs of the whole trip! Transportation vehicles were on strike the day we pulled into Panama. All ship's tours were cancelled. Shopped at the pier. Not much there, except large, local supermarket where we bought inexpensive souvenirs. Heineken Draft beer was only 65 cents per can at liquor store right at pier (vs. $4.50 on board). Needless to say we brought cans on the ship. Most interesting thing at the Panama pier were the miniature monkeys children were passing around ... $1 for a picture. Sweet little creatures. Enterprising young children. Missed Aruba due to virus or food poisoning (from meal the night before? ... Scallops) .. very ill the whole next day. Was not the only one who got sick on the ship. The last four days we heard many comments about people who were sick. First ship I have been on where I got sick.. Fernette Branca (bitters) did not help. That's a first. In Curacao we took a local (group bus) tour of the island $25 pp.- 2 hours. Although we did not shop downtown, the bus did drive through many streets. Looked like a lot of shops. Island is charming, upscale, very European in feel and yes, those colorful painted houses are everywhere on the island. Shopping at the pier is dismal. Walk from the pier to downtown is easily 15-20'. It was definitely the rainy season in Curacao. Service: High point of this ship is its service. Superb! Employees seem genuinely happy, eager to meet and greet and willing to help out in anyway they can. Mendes our room attendant was the most efficient we have ever had. Our waiters/assistant (table 484)- Erol and Clikson were wonderful. Clikson even performed a magic trick every night at the end of the meal and shared the secrets of the magic with us. We tipped all of these individuals beyond the suggested gratuity (which we charged to the room). Entertainment: This got better as the cruise went on and overall was very good. Four shows by Celebrity singers and dancers ...each one was better and better and incorporated more sets. Two female vocalists had superb voices. Samantha Jay ... talented British musician (plays 3 instruments) and Tommy Bond (pianist) were great entertainers. Kevin Flynn was a good comedian, but we have seen funnier on most ships. Celebrity band players were great. Very versatile players. Cruise Director: Don. Very nice addition to the ship. He is the right age (maturity) related well to passengers of all ages, particularly the mature audience that is prevalent on this ship. He is most visible at night in the Celebrity theatre and the various venues. He was in a word ... a most gracious host. His young assistants could learn a lot from him. Ship's newsletters: Best of any ships. The most informative, the longest and simply well done. You were never lacking for information even on a ship where there were very few PA announcements. Embarkation/Debarkation: Smoothest, easiest and quickest of all the ships! Wonderful and greatly appreciated! I doubt that this system will ever be topped anywhere else. Food: Unfortunately this is a very weak point of this ship and perhaps shocking since everything else is so well done. It was not only our opinion, but also that of our table mates and many people we met. The only exceptions being the Aqua Spa Cafe and the The Normandie alternative restaurant, which I will cover further down. The food in the Waterfall Cafe (breakfast and lunch) was mediocre at best. Not appetizing, not great tasting. Pizzas were good if you got a slice fresh out of the oven. The pasta bar always had overcooked pasta and weak tasting sauces. Hamburgers and hot dogs ok, nothing special. French fries were good if you got them right out of the deep fryer. Did not sample the sandwich station, which is at the back end of the ship, not conveniently located. Many of the meals in the Cosmopolitan restaurant ultimately were disappointing. Soups consistently over salty, appetizers nothing special. Entrees .... Roast beef repeated constantly ... fish not a forte. Desserts were also nothing special. There were a few exceptions ... Rack of Lamb (offered two nights out of 11) was very good, but overcooked each time. Rack of Veal (last night) was actually good. Lobster (tail) was ok. Not mushy as described by other reviews, firm but lacking a good taste that one would expect. It was nice size, however. Exceptions: Coffee onboard is very good. Gratis beverages: tea; lemonade; punch and guava juice. If you like soppresata salami ... the real stuff ... it usually was at the Waterfall cafe every morning. No prosciutto until the last night at the Cosmopolitan ... on melon as an appetizer. One meager slice. I asked for more. We found the lunches at the Cosmopolitan restaurant even more disappointing than the Waterfall cafe. Bread was good on this ship! Aqua Spa cafe: This is a separate low calorie, cold plate area located past the pool where creative and light breakfasts and gourmet looking lunch plates are created. Very nice touch. Cold soups also available. Appetizing in looks and taste. No other ship has this upscale menu. The Normandie: The $30 pp alternative dinner. Don't miss it. It will be the only best food you will have on this ship. Room is beautifully decorated. Service is supreme and food the best you will have anywhere. Try the warm goat cheese soufflE. The Chateaubriand for two ... most divine cut of meat ... and any of the desserts ... especially the Bombe (white and chocolate mousse). Don't miss the cheese trolley with the finest aged cheeses that you can sample. Make sure to pick the aged goat cheese! Again, those of you who rebel at paying additional for a meal ... don't let the meager $30 cause you to miss the best meal you will have on any ship ... or even on land. It is that special. Pools: High marks for decent pools. Large salt water pool 15' x 35' - could actually do laps when it was not too crowded. Thalassotherapy pool .. adjacent to main pool is next to Aqua Spa cafe and actually is a very large Jacuzzi that has three forms of stimulating, pulsing action: on each side ... a set of pipes that you lay on that bubble and pulsate; in the center .... One very large pulsing stream that you "try to stand in front of" and get the biggest blast of bubbles from ... and four sky high spigots that come down on your shoulders and give you one heck of a shoulder massage. This gratis pool is a godsend for adults ... and it is free. No $15 a day charge. Thank goodness. Gym: Well equipped ... as nice as you will see on any ship. With appropriate amount of weight bearing equipment! Which most ships do not have? Nice workout, exercise floor. A lot of exercise classes (free and paid for ... are offered.). Can't comment as we did not use ... but the spa services were always busy. Since it is next to the gym we could easily see this. The ship appears to offer a myriad of spa packages. Overall Rating: 1-5 (1 being the lowest; 5 the highest) Ship: 4 Food: 1- 2 Service 5+ Route/Ports: 4 Entertainment: 4 Cruise Director (Don): 4- 5 Ship's Events: 4-5 Ship's Newsletter: 5 Embarkation/Debarkation: 5 Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
First Cruise --- so excited --- spending 25th anniversary on a ship for 10 nights! Flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before - stayed at Embassy Suites - great hotel, easy complimentary shuttle service to Pier and free breakfast! Got to Pier ... Read More
First Cruise --- so excited --- spending 25th anniversary on a ship for 10 nights! Flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before - stayed at Embassy Suites - great hotel, easy complimentary shuttle service to Pier and free breakfast! Got to Pier earlier than tickets reported - and glad we did. Waited in outside line (moving smoothly) for about 1/2 hour, and then got into the terminal building, and snaked through more lines and then sat for about 45 minutes. Went through all the security drills, then finally got on the Ship at about 1:30 and into cabin. Had balcony cabin - IA category guaranteed (might not do in the future). Had a tower/ladder off to the left side of our balcony that obstructed our view of the ocean/sunsets. Bathroom way too small, and shower stall too confining w/shower curtain! Celebrity can do better on their bathroom sizes! Bed comfy - king size! Room attendant was friendly and responsive to more bed pillows, ice, etc. Some nights - 5 p.m. rush - ice never came before our late seating dinner time though. Entertainment on the ship - we thought it was entertaining. Some shows/entertainers were better than others, but overall, the ship did a good job at providing a variety of entertainment. The Cruise Director, Simon, was the best (well, it was our first cruise) and we thought he was great! We were often rushing through the final bites of dessert just to get to his next "Music Trivia" game in the Lounge! Yes, we are easily entertained! The Acapella Group on board - SOULD OUT were excellent too - so we followed their schedule all week to hear more! Food - well, the dinners were great, not too much food though (unless you asked for seconds, etc.). The Belgian waffles were good - but we found the lunch foods at the "buffet" to not be worth much! Lunch at the Cosmo Restaurant was better. Room service worked well too - asked for items not on menu and got them! Husband ate burgers several days (timing bad for main restaurant lunch due to ports and activities on shore). Pizza was OK. The Gala buffet was gorgeously displayed and delicious (but those coming from late dining just couldn't eat much -- and then most of it went to waste, due to lack of interest by cruisers??). As non-smokers and coming from CA, we really noticed the smokers on the Port side --- and tried to stay away, but sometimes, you couldn't help passing through - especially walking through the casino. We attempted to use the outside decks as much as possible, just to avoid the smokers. Ports of call - well, the islands pretty much looked alike. We focused on shopping during most of the stops, and took 1 shore excursion on St. Lucia which took us on a short island tour, Batik Factory/Shop, and Beach stop. Watch out for the locals who bombard you at the beaches - (guilt trips ---tourists, money, help our economy, etc.) If you can, take the ferry from St. Thomas to St. John and tour that island. The beaches are less crowded and you can actually relax and enjoy yourself without getting hounded to buy something. Sea days were well spent on the ship, as there was always something going on that interested us. The pool area lounge chairs were in high demand on sea days - can't report on the pool, spa, hot tubs - never used them. We did notice that the over 55/60 crowd was the majority on the Summit - so if you enjoy low-key cruising, the Summit was the place to be. For our first cruise, that's what we chose, and we were happy with that decision -- it was a memorable trip, and we would recommend Celebrity again -- keeping in mind what type of experience you are looking for. Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
This was our first Celebrity cruise. We have been on both Carnival and Royal Caribbean. I would say the Celebrity is a notch above these other lines. Embarkation: The embarkation went very smooth. The only hitch was the passengers from ... Read More
This was our first Celebrity cruise. We have been on both Carnival and Royal Caribbean. I would say the Celebrity is a notch above these other lines. Embarkation: The embarkation went very smooth. The only hitch was the passengers from the previous cruise got off the ship late so we were late getting on the ship. Once we were allowed to begin, things went very smoothly. We were greeted with champagne or orange juice. Public Rooms: Everything was very clean and well lit. The casino was very pleasant and had a great selection of slots and table games. We enjoyed the single deck Black Jack Table. The slot tournament was not very well organized and took a very long time to complete. The various bars on board were very nice. Prior to dinner each night they had soft dance music playing in the Rendez-Vous Lounge. The wait staff in this lounge was excellent. We barely got seated when they came to take our orders. After dinner we had drinks at the Martini Bar and that was very quiet and relaxing. Another quiet bar was Michael's. A quiet piano bar. The Water Fall bar was wonderful. Far aft on the ship it was a relaxing place to watch the sea go by. In the evenings there usually was a gentleman playing music and singing. We did not go into the Revelations bar in the evenings as we aren't "into" pop music. However, others who went there during the evening said it was tons of fun. We did go into this area during the day for some of the trivia games. We also sat there and watched the sea go by as there are windows overlooking the bow of the ship. It was also a quiet place to read and relax when no contests were going on. The Emporium Shops were some of the nicest shops I've seen on a cruise ship. The only confusing thing was trying to find sunscreen, lip balm, Tylenol etc... these were found where the alcohol was sold. Odd place to put these items. The Main Dining Rooms were very elegant. The staff was a bit slow at times but always friendly. They accommodated any special request any of us had. We were lucky to have a window table and could watch our ship leaving dock. The food was GREAT! They make all their food from scratch and you can tell. The Waterfall Grill had equally good food. One very nice thing they did in the buffet lines was there was ALWAYS someone to help you with your tray and drinks. Every day they carried my tray through the line to the table and then got our drinks for us. The Grand Foyer was very pretty but a bit dull. It was not the grand entrance that I have seen on other ships. The main staircase went up the center and was very nice. The pool areas were very nice. We did not use the pools but they did look very tempting. Our only complaint about anything on the ship was the Aqua Spa (Thelosotherapy pool). This was a terrible design. I am somewhat handicapped and could have really used this area but would have had difficulty getting into the pool. You had to walk up several steps to get into the pool area. The steps were slippery as was the hand railing. If you used a wheelchair there was NO access to the pool. Entertainment: We only attended 2 of the shows. One was a musical review type show of Broadway show tunes and the other was a comic. Both shows were good but typical of cruise entertainment. Going Ashore: We did not use the tours you could book on board. But getting on shore was not difficult (and I used a wheelchair on shore). Our ports included: Aruba, Panama, Costa Rica, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Key West. Originally we were to go to Key West first but our itinerary got changed and Key West was last. This is the only real complaint we had. We had to clear customs at Key West before going ashore. They called you buy deck to go through customs. Then called you again to go ashore. By the time they allowed us off the ship we only had a few hours left. THEN getting back to the ship you had to go through inspection as we docked at the Naval base. We were on the transport train for 45 minutes waiting at the gate to the dock. They cruise line published we would be in Key West from 10:00 - 6:00. What they didn't tell you was you couldn't leave the ship at 10:00. It was at least noon before the first passengers were allowed off and later for those who didn't have shore excursions booked through the cruise line. We got off the ship about 1:30. Since we wanted to be back on board in time for early seating dinner, this didn't leave us much shore time. One wonderful thing the cruise line does is they have chilled towels waiting for you at the gangway! After walking around in the hot sun all day - this felt wonderful! Our cabin steward was great. He even had a bottle of champagne waiting for me in the cabin on my birthday. It was a gift from him! He and his assistant kept our room very neat and clean. On 2 nights we ate dinner in our cabin and he was the one who took our order and brought the food. Overall - I would rate this cruise a 9 out of 10. The only reason I didn't give it a ten is due to the last day of our cruise when we went to Key West. Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
We arrived a day ahead of time and stayed at the Lago Mar - which was a very nice hotel. We arrived at the pier around 11AM and did not have a long wait. We sat in chairs for about 10 minutes and then proceeded into the lines for the ship. ... Read More
We arrived a day ahead of time and stayed at the Lago Mar - which was a very nice hotel. We arrived at the pier around 11AM and did not have a long wait. We sat in chairs for about 10 minutes and then proceeded into the lines for the ship. After we went through the "Picture" station, we asked for the pier coordinator (our TA suggested we do this for upgrade) and happily we were allowed to upgrade to the Penthouse. As we waited for the paperwork, I noticed a couple next to us and he was wearing orange. As a Cruise Critic member, we had agreed to wear orange to board, and I asked if he was hot. His facial expression was something to see....it turned out that they were indeed "hotters" and we had a good laugh about that. They were also looking for an upgrade, and were able to grab our cabin when we "vacated" it. Two happy families....Already, this cruise is good. We had to wait for our room, so we went up to the 10th deck and had a lunch. It was good and we enjoyed watching everyone getting on board. Without a doubt, the cabin was awsome. The Cruise Critic [Connections] party was set for Saturday morning, but we had arranged to meet around deck 11 port side and met up with a bunch of "hotters" that evening at sail away. We even made it into the cruise video. It just keeps getting better. The food: The food was good and a variety was available every meal and in-between. The ports days, it seemed we always wound up at the pasta bar - but I did not mind that. Normandie was wonderful as I remembered from 2000. We even met up with SAM who was with us in 2000 and he talked us into comming back a second time with promises of Steak Diane, which is not on the menu. We went back, of course. The butler we had, Roderick, was even better than others we had raved about. He anticipated every need, and was always available when needed. He helped me with several parties and he was always smiling. Maria, our room attendant and her helper were great and we enjoyed getting to know them. The public rooms were all very nice and never crowded. The shore excursions were on the whole very good, except for St. Kitts Railway disaster. That had more to do with the weather, though, so I cannot really say it would have been bad if the weather had co-operated. (See ports of call) Entertainment was exceptional. I always enjoyed it and my husband even became a part of it on one night. Naturally I will be able to show everyone when the cruise video comes. (He made it too) Fitness & Recreational was always available. There were no large lines, which made it nice to go when you wanted. Value for price was OUTSTANDING. I had a blast Overall cruise was really nice. I met a lot of great people and would love to cruise with them and Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
We thought we try another cruise line to see where they stand compared with RCI. The ship is the Summit and we were told by a lot of people that you will have great food and a real good time. The rooms are great and the people took care ... Read More
We thought we try another cruise line to see where they stand compared with RCI. The ship is the Summit and we were told by a lot of people that you will have great food and a real good time. The rooms are great and the people took care of us all the time. The main setting for dinner was 8:30 for us. We like to take our time and enjoy the day. We asked for a table for two, but received a table for 8? We booked in June of '04 and thought we would have no problem. Wrong! T he service was good and the table was very interesting. The food was ok, but not what we were told. I cook and I can tell you, not enough food to start and a very simple foods. The pool chairs were gone before 8:30 in the a.m. Celebrity line needs to do a better job in letting people hold 5 to 8 chairs. Their pools were good except for all the loose tile in one of them. I did find someone to tell and he said they knew about the problem three cruise ago???? So why not fix it? You could have cut your foot if you stepped on them wrong. My wife and myself felt let down on this cruise. We have gone on 12+ and the age difference was far older than a good mix of young and older people. There was no tv to see sports shows (Red Sox). The one they had was at the slots mech. The ship went to sleep by 9 p.m. there were no people around. That tells you how old most of them were. I have to say one thing. Boy can they dance!! We will see what the Star Princess has to offer this month. Have a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
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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