15 Los Angeles to Alaska Celebrity Summit Cruise Reviews

This was a very disappointing cruise and not at all what we expected from Celebrity Cruises. Our first cruise was last year on Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas to Eastern Caribbean, which was fabulous. We chose Celebrity to Alaska this ... Read More
This was a very disappointing cruise and not at all what we expected from Celebrity Cruises. Our first cruise was last year on Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas to Eastern Caribbean, which was fabulous. We chose Celebrity to Alaska this year because we thought it would be spectacular and of an even higher standard but, oh boy, were we wrong; it was dreadful! The embarkation was disorganised and confused with Celebrity staff looking flustered and check-in being suspended for quite a while. The ship looked 'tired' and in need of some refurbishment both inside and out. Varnish was well worn on hand rails, paint was flaking, carpets were stained and communal area toilets had broken seats and faulty taps. The cabin was pleasant enough but the wardrobe cupboards didn't fit properly and there was much creaking of the cabin fixtures when the ship was at sea. We spent the first few days stuffing wads of paper in various gaps to stop the creaks so we could get some sleep. The cruise itinerary was substantially changed when the ship suffered a damaged starboard propeller-pod bearing right at the start of the cruise. Two significant ports were missed altogether, most other port calls were shortened and the two special sea days at the Hubbard Glacier and Inside Passage were so badly degraded they were barely worth doing at all. Celebrity handled the issue appallingly and caused widespread anger amongst the passengers. Discontent became so bad that Celebrity embarked two Customer Service Representatives at the first Alaskan port to try and calm the situation. In reality they worsened things as they had no authority and no proper plan of how they were going to deal with the large community of disgruntled passengers. The entertainment provided in the Celebrity Theatre was poor at best. We did try it out but generally left after ten or fifteen minutes because it was so amateurish and juvenile. Given that we ended up having more days at sea than initially scheduled, there was no additional entertainment laid on and there was little to do. All very boring really. The only saving grace of the entire cruise was the serving staff. They were great but the ships officers were morose and unfriendly. The staff assigned to our second sitting dinner table were just the greatest and looked after us really well and helped compensate for all the other shortfalls Celebrity accomplished. Our cabin butler was also fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he was always cheerful and helpful. The excursions booked through Celebrity were rushed and somewhat disorganised. We always felt under time pressure having to see and experience things in a hurry. The best excursions were the ones we organised ourselves once ashore. The final excursion was a Vancouver city tour before being dropped off at the airport for the journey home. We waited over two hours at the assigned meeting point aboard the ship before disembarking and then another hour clearing customs formalities and awaiting a bus. By the time we got going there was very little time left for the tour so we had a very rushed tour of Vancouver in order to get to the airport on time. NEVER AGAIN WITH CELEBRITY. The after sales service from Celebrity is virtually non-existent. Despite numerous letters and telephone calls they have failed to communicate with us at all. The local UK Customer Service Manager refuses to speak with us on the phone and will not reply to our letters. Customer service just isn't their priority once they've got your money. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
Arriving in LA to board this ship at three in the afternoon is a good idea, arriving later is better. The two o'clock crush turned literal on this cruise when a pile up occurred at the top of the escalator because the upper level ... Read More
Arriving in LA to board this ship at three in the afternoon is a good idea, arriving later is better. The two o'clock crush turned literal on this cruise when a pile up occurred at the top of the escalator because the upper level was filled but the people kept coming up with no place to go when they reached the top. The food was excellent and always served with a smile in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant. My visits to the buffet were rare, but what I ate was good. Buffet fans I spoke with complained only about the chopped up arrangement of the buffet, and the lack of a full dinner buffet. All of the staff from every department were courteous and seemed to go out of their way to greet you as you passed by. It seemed like they were all genuinely happy you were on board. Entertainment in the public areas was quite good and diverse. Some nights in the Celebrity Theatre the entertainment was exceptional and the other nights it was standard cruise fare. This specific cruise got into a problem that originated from the propulsion system but led to mistakes, miscalculations and a near passenger mutiny that ultimately left a bad feeling with everyone, but the ship itself is beautiful and sparkling clean with a wonderful group of people in all the departments that I encountered.I plan on sailing on the Summit again in December for a round trip to Hawaii out of LA and I hope they have new mattresses by then. My first mattress was very lumpy and worn to the point you could not find a smooth surface on it. The second mattress was not nearly as bad but it, too, had seen better days (or nights, as it were). Overall, it's a good cruise for the over 50 group who prefer a more traditional, elegant cruise experience. If you have kids, book on Carnival or RCCL where far more is offered for the young families to do. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
We planned our trip meticulously. Because of my husband's ill health, we flew independently to LA & stayed three days in a hotel where we talked & planned what to do whilst on our trip. On the 7th of May, we headed for the ... Read More
We planned our trip meticulously. Because of my husband's ill health, we flew independently to LA & stayed three days in a hotel where we talked & planned what to do whilst on our trip. On the 7th of May, we headed for the port. Seeing the GMT Summit from a distance was impressive & the staff who noted our disabilities were pleasant & very helpful. We were ushered to the front of the embarkation line. This is where things started to go wrong. We spent almost two hours & numerous denials of already having received our cabin keys to eventually be escorted on deck (no chance of a photo call for us) by a crew member to the guest relations desk. Here we were given a key & asked to return the following day for duplicate keys as they could not do them at the time as the printer was not working. Nor was it working the following day. We eventually made it to our cabin. It was clean, tidy & adequate. The wardrobe needed some tender loving care, but we had made it to our first big cruise. It would have been lovely to make ourselves a cup of drink but there were no other facilities available except housekeeping. Our experience in the dining room was pleasant, the staff were very polite & attentive & we were made to feel welcome. After spending the next day at sea, it was announced from the bridge that evening that the ship would be docking later at night in San Francisco & not as expected the next morning. We arrived just after 1am so no Golden Gate Bridge. Because we left later than planned the same day, we did not get to see it when we left either as it was dark when we went under the bridge. The captain informed the passengers that an inspection of the ship was carried out successfully whilst in port. On the 10th of May at approximately 13.00 hrs the captain again addressed the ship & announced from the bridge that due to a problem with one of the steering pod bearings, we had to greatly reduce our speed from 22.5 knots to a maxium of 17.5 knots. The reduced speed meant that the ship could continue on its course to Vancouver, however we would not be able to go into the ports of Seattle or Sitka. It also meant that our visits at the ports we did go into would be considerably shorter. He also informed us that the Summit was due to go into dry dock at the end of our cruise 20th May in Victoria. Whilst in the port of San Francisco, the ship had been inspected by a Rolls Royce Engineer & a Lloyds Inspector (who had been flown out from the UK to examine the ship) & was certified safe to continue cruising at the reduced speed until reaching Vancouver. He then went on to say that as compensation, each cabin would receive $200.00 which would be added to our onboard account to spend on board, this detail was later changed but as we were at sea it would get spent anyway. We immediately submitted to the guest relations desk our request to have this money removed from our account but was told this could not be done. I left a written statement that I did not accept this money as compensation for what was fast turning into a diasterous holiday, especially as I received information from friends who where to join the ship on the 20th May that their cruise had been cancelled & that they had got a full refund plus a free cruise to be taken any time up until october 2007. We were disgusted. We felt extremely insulted. A very large proportion of the passengers were angry & upset at the announcement & eventually the captain & some of his crew took a questions & answers session in the packed theatre. The cruise director John addressed the guests in such a patronizing way that he added more fuel to the problem of missing out some ports of call. People were very upset at his attitude. As the situation was not calming, we were advised that the company would be sending out representatives from Miami to the ship when it docked in Ketchikan to deal with individual complaints. Did they really think that the guests would be fobbed off with a denial of not knowing the ship had a problem before it left San fransico. Why then were staff due to leave the ship in Seattle told to leave in San Francisco? No golf pro left on board. On the 12th of May it was again announced that the captain had agreed to 2hrs of complimentary drinks (very nice but neither of us drink) & the captain & some of his crew mingled with the guests & encouraged photo shoots. It was obvious that they were trying to get the spirits of the guests lifted, it worked for a few for a short while, but more disappointments to come as it did not last. On the 13th, we were fortunate to have our meeting with the company representatives from Miami. We had waited almost three hours to see them, still we had nothing else to do. This was a total waste of our time, we gained nothing & Carlos told us that we should be grateful for the cruise we were having. I think not, this could possibly be the last time my husband & I spend a holiday together & we did not plan to be stuck at sea for so long especially for the money we had paid to get on the cruise. The evening of the 15th of May after the show in the theatre, it was announced by John that as we would be entering the Hubbard Glazier Bay the next day, the captain had agreed to the helipad being opened for use by the guests in order to get the best possible views. Unfortunately, on the 16th of May whilst sailing towards the Bay, it was announced by a tour guide who had joined the ship with his aunt & was to give a commentary whilst cruising the Bay, that the ship was unable to proceed any further as there was already a ship in the bay. It was the next day that the captain informed the ship that due to local regulations, the Summit could go no further because entering would cause danger to the ship already in the bay. I am afraid that we came to the conclusion that we did not enter because of concern for the proplusion propeller & maneuverability of the ship. So we sat bobbing about at sea for close to 5hrs. whilst we waited for a pilot to board to take us down the inside passage. Again, what a disappointment. Dense fog prevented us from seeing the scenery & as we had to wait until 17.00hrs to sail, it was time to go to the main seating dining for a formal dinner, so again we did not see anything. The night before we disembarked, we received a letter in our cabin offering us a 30% discount off a future Celebrity Cruise if it was booked before we left the ship. This offer was to make up for the disappointment at not seeing the Hubbard Glasier Bay. Had we have gone to the travel office at any time during this fiasco we could have obtained 30% off any cruise just the same. So what favours did they think they were doing us? To sum it all up...a ship advertising 5-star quality but providing less that 3-star treatment to its guests. Although the crew for the most were friendly & helpful, there were those who continually insulted & patronised the guests. The food in the dining room was appetising, but the menu was staid & unimaginative. As for the Buffet, the food was almost always cold to luke warm. There was very little fresh fruit & vegetables available. The lack of sanitization was blantantly obvious. Although there were dispensers available for general use, we were not encouraged to use them. This from a ship that had already had outbreaks of the Norwalk Virus. Although at sea longer than was planned, there was no extra entertainment provided. The shows at best were mediocre, and the final evening with the comedian was diabolical. The shore excursions were disorganised, but the ones we did go on were good. However, we lost 6 excursions due to the change in itinerary. Disembarkation was a total disaster. We were glad to be off the ship because it was an extremely disappointing holiday, which we feel we may never have the opportunity to repeat. It was very expensive travelling from the UK & we will certainly never recommend this cruise line to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
Summit Cruise to Alaska May 5, 2006 We. too, were on this cruise and had a wonderful relaxing time. The service, pampering and food were very special. It was just a wonderful time for us as a couple of reconnecting and celebrating 45 ... Read More
Summit Cruise to Alaska May 5, 2006 We. too, were on this cruise and had a wonderful relaxing time. The service, pampering and food were very special. It was just a wonderful time for us as a couple of reconnecting and celebrating 45 years of marriage. The entertainment that we chose to attend was of very good quality. While it was disappointing to not be able to see the Hubbard Glacier up close, it did not ruin our trip. We intend to do an Alaska cruise in 2007 and hope to get in closer. We enjoyed our relaxing at sea days so much that it wasnt a biggy to us to not see some of the ports with their incessant tourist traps. The scenery was awesome everywhere we went and weather was exceptional. It could be understood that some folks were meeting family or friends in the ports that had to be cancelled. BUT, the huge upsurge of anger and ugly feelings were not even reasonable in trying to be considerate of the captain and crew. Nothing at all could pacify the crowd that spent nearly 12 days raising a ruckus and trying to make everything into a terrible calamity. We have much doubt that these folks would have chosen to get off the cruise in San Francisco. They enjoyed the same dining that we did and all the service that is exceptional. The cruise was not shortened at all. Once that atmosphere was spreading, the complaints were against the food, the upholstery in the dining room and many irrational observations that had little grounding. Some of the shore excursions we took were great and one a little disappointing. The White Pass Scenic Railway was a very worthwhile trip. We would do it all over again, even with some of the changes that unfortunately happened. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
I was on the "ill-fated" Summit cruise that was affected by pod issues, resulting in two missed ports and various other "problems" including only a distant view of the Hubbard Glacier and a late (night-time) sail ... Read More
I was on the "ill-fated" Summit cruise that was affected by pod issues, resulting in two missed ports and various other "problems" including only a distant view of the Hubbard Glacier and a late (night-time) sail through the inside passage. While these issues were disappointing, they were not enough to significantly hamper my enjoyment of the trip. More troubling (to me, at least) was the pervasive negativity of a large group of disgruntled passengers who met frequently and publicly to complain about the situation and discuss possible courses of action. Still, I found the ship, the trip, and the entire experience to be quite good to excellent. Just as some background, I'm a 37-year-old guy traveling with my 64-year-old father. I have cruised twice before (both times on Carnival), and my dad has cruised twice before, (once on Cunard many years ago, and more recently on Princess). I think that both of us are relatively easy to please, although we are certainly not lacking in all standards... EMBARKATION - We showed up way earlier than we had been told to, and the ship had arrived a bit late from Hawaii, which led to some waiting. Interestingly enough, the very first people I spoke to while waiting happened to be from our roll call! So already, before even boarding, I had some Cruise Critic friends! We waited outside for about an hour, then were allowed inside to do our paperwork. This step took no time at all. We then were handed "A" cards (first group to board) and asked to wait in a seating area. This wait turned out to be quite long (at least 45 minutes). Because the line kept moving and more people (group B, group C) came over to the seating area, all the chairs were soon full and there was barely room to stand. Finally, they allowed group A to make their way onto the ship. If they hadnt been ready (or close to ready) to allow people onto the ship, I think it would have been better to keep them outside... We got our picture taken and then proceeded up an escalator to make our way onto the ship. Shortly after we got up there, we heard a commotion behind us. We couldn't see what had happened, but it turns out that people kept boarding the escalator even though there was no room at the top to clear away, and a pile-up with some injuries resulted. I never did learn how serious these injuries were, but I hope a lesson is learned and that security guards (from the port, I would think, rather than from Celebrity) are placed at this escalator. We entered the ship, I got a mimosa, but we were told that we couldn't go to the room yet. I would have loved to have at least dropped off my carry-on, but I didn't want to inconvenience the room steward, so I waited. We went to the spa first to purchase Persian Garden passes (as I thought - incorrectly - that there were only a limited number available at the $99 rate). We then went to the excursions desk to book a tour that hadn't been available online. Next was the Normandie, where we reserved a dinner for later in the week, and finally, the computer lab where I signed up for a class and my father signed up for a package plan of internet minutes. In a very short time, we had spent an AWFUL lot of money!!! We then went to the Buffet for lunch (which was just average -- more on that later). CABIN - After lunch we made our room down to our room, Aft corner FV #7199. Well, I had been told that this was a great room, but I wasn't really prepared for how great it would be. It is really a suite with two completely separate rooms as well as an ENORMOUS balcony. My dad and I were going to have two twin beds, but after seeing the room, he decided that he would be happier sleeping on the fold-out couch in the sitting room with me in the queen bed in the bedroom. Fine by me!!! The room was very smartly designed, making it even roomier than it would otherwise have been. There was an abundance of counter space, drawer space, and closet space. I had been concerned about having room for all the stuff I had packed for a 13-day Alaskan cruise, but it was no problem at all. Even the tiny bathroom was functional. My only problems there were the fact that you had to lower the toilet lid to flush (what a stupid design, but that was the case throughout the ship) and the fact that the temperature in the shower was very difficult to regulate (either scaldingly hot or a bit too cold with very little middle ground). I wouldn't say that the decor of the room was fantastic. It was fine, clean and everything was in reasonably good shape, but it clearly hadn't been decorated with the highest of standards. That was fine with me, but I expected Celebrity (with all of the hype) to be better than Carnival in this regard. Instead, it was pretty even between the two lines (and I haven't sailed with Carnival since they upgraded the bedding). My cabin steward was Elizabeth and she was EXCELLENT. She wasnt the most warm and fuzzy cabin steward I have seen, but she had a great personality and a nice sense of humor. She far exceeded our needs and expectations. SAIL AWAY  After a very easy and uneventful muster drill, I got to enjoy the sail away with a group of Cruise Critic folks from the roll call on the 10th floor aft deck. It was a beautiful afternoon, and aside from a blowing flag that was determined to attack us, it couldnt have been more lovely. I was very glad to meet some of these people here (and again at the CC party the next morning), but with a couple of exceptions (notably, my T-Pool buddy Carol), I didnt get to hang out much with these people over the course of the cruise. Next time, I hope. FOOD: DINING ROOM  At our first late-seating dinner, we were taken to our table, and I have to admit, I was not pleased. Our table was close to the entrance of the Cosmopolitan on deck 5, and you couldnt even see most of the beautiful room. I would have MUCH preferred to have been seated more aft in the main part of the restaurant. Moreover, we were at a 6-person table, and I would have preferred a bigger one, as I really enjoy meeting my tablemates. The four tablemates we had seemed perfectly nice, but quiet. They all spoke English fine, but it wasnt a first language for any of them. I dont think we had much in common. I considered asking to switch tables, but I didnt want to hurt anybodys feelings. As it turned out, I grew to really like our tablemates a lot, and I wasnt disappointed that we had decided to stay. From the beginning, I really liked our waiter and assistant waiter. Our waiter was quite formal and stern, but the assistant was a big clown and VERY funny (although still extremely good at his job). It made for a good mix. The food selection was extremely good. I eat seafood, but no other meat, and I wasnt sure how many choices I would have. As it turns out, when I added the vegetarian menu to the regular menu, I nearly always had two or more choices I could eat per course. The food quality was mixed, although certainly much better than what I normally eat. Some courses were fantastic. Others were just good. I dont think I had more than one or two dishes over the entire cruise that I DISliked, so that was pretty good. My main comment for the dining room would be that I would have preferred to have SMALLER portions. I was usually getting full during the salad course, stuffed beyond capacity by the entrEe, and forced to skip dessert because there was just no room. With smaller portions, I could have eaten all five courses without feeling TOO stuffed. If others wanted more food than offered in the smaller portions, they could always order more than one of any given course& I also think this would cut back on waste. I find a great deal of waste to be downright IMMORAL, and I was distressed to see just how much food leaves the table uneaten (and thats not even considering how much is probably wasted behind the scenes). NORMANDIE ROOM  We dined here twice, and Im really glad we did it. The room is beautiful and the service is the best Ive ever experienced. The selection (for me, at least, given my limitations) was trickier. There were a number of appetizers that appealed to me, but not a lot of entrees. I think I exhausted them in my two visits, and would have had to repeat if we had gone back. I wonder if I had asked for a second appetizer instead of an entrEe, if that would have been acceptable? Given the size of the appetizers, it would have definitely been enough food& As for the quality of the food, I enjoyed it, but it was definitely not the best food I have ever had. I was disappointed by the goat cheese soufflE. Based on the word soufflE, I expected something light and airy with some kind of bread-like characteristics. Instead, it was very dense and custard-like. It was quite tasty, but I was expecting it to be the be-all-and-end-all the way I have heard it described. Other dishes were very good, but I wouldnt say great. My father would disagree. He ordered the same thing both times we went (foie gras and Dover sole), and said it was the best he had ever had. My favorite part was the cheese course. Im not a big cheese fan, and I simply let the cheese steward choose for me, and I was amazed at how much I enjoyed the variety. Bravo! SPA CAFÉ  This was one of my favorite places on board to eat. The food here (particularly the desserts) was quite yummy. Once again, portion size was too big, especially since they are trying to be light and healthy. I do think the set-up here was bad. There is just a narrow walkway between the serving area and the drink station. It often ended up congested as patrons getting food, getting drinks, waiters, and even just folks trying to cross to the other side of the T-Pool area jammed it up. If they ever re-design, they should move the drink area& BUFFET  I thought this was the worst food venue on board. Neither the selection nor the quality was particularly great, and the traffic flow was AWFUL (due largely to the waiters who were there to help people carry their trays). If people need to have their trays carried, they should hand them over promptly and GET OUT OF THE WAY. Instead, we ended up with crowds of people and waiters standing around waiting to move (should I get that extra roll?) oblivious to how much they were in the way! PASTA/PIZZA/DELI/WAFFLE/SUSHI/ICE CREAM STATIONS  I really appreciated this variety, and it was nice to know that there would always be something good to eat. I availed myself mostly of the sushi (basic, but pretty good quality), but when the mood struck, it was nice to get pasta made to order, etc. CASUAL DINING  Never did it, so I cannot report. COVA CAFÉ PASTRIES  I DID avail myself of several almond croissants. Yum! OTHER SHIP FEATURES: GYM/SPA/T-POOL  I spent a great deal of time in this part of the ship. I think they do a great job of utilizing the space to keep it functional and pleasant. The gym was busier than I expected, but at most times of day, it was very adequate for everybody. It was well laid out and very nice. I wasnt that thrilled with the Persian Garden, as it was kind of dull (although pleasant enough). It was almost always empty, so there was nobody to talk to, and it was too dark and moist except in the outer room to read or do anything else. If it were free, Id avail myself again, but I dont think Id pay for it. I would simply settle for the free sauna in the changing room, which was quite nice with a window out to the ocean. The locker room itself, though, was not maintained often enough. There were always wet floors and towels strewn about. The guests should clean up after themselves, but absent that, there should be cleaning staff checking in REGULARLY. I had two spa treatments (a facial and a seaweed wrap), and neither one was beyond serviceable. I have gotten facials at a number of spas, and this one did not compare favorably. I hadnt really understood what a Thallasotherapy Pool was before I experienced it, but it was actually really nice. I would prefer fresh water to salt, but the added buoyancy was interesting. The hot tubs here were nice, but Im not sure why there was so much sand in them. The area around the T-Pool was a great place to relax with a book or a friend& CASINO  I spent an inordinate amount of time here! I had horrible luck, but the dealers were SO nice (especially Helen) that they made losing money much easier to swallow! I dont play slots/video poker, so I cant really comment there. There were 4 blackjack tables  1 regular, 1 single deck, 1 non-smoking, and 1 higher limit (usually $10/hand), although they werent all open most of the time. There were also 2 Three-Card Poker tables, a Caribbean Stud table, 2 Roulette tables, and a craps table. I actually feel that they should have had MORE Blackjack tables. The Caribbean Stud table was almost always empty (if it was even open), the second Three-Card Poker table wasnt open EVER on the whole cruise (as far as I can remember). Even the second Roulette table rarely got any play. The blackjack tables, especially the sole regular table ($5, multiple-deck, smoking allowed) were FAR AND AWAY the most popular tables when they were open. COMPUTER LAB  It was really nice to be able to use their computers FREE to upload and organize photos. The interior computer room where they held classes was fine, and the instructors there were very helpful. The 24-hour computer room with windows overlooking the sea was GREAT. CINEMA  It was a great, comfortable room. Unfortunately, I didnt make it to any movies, but I did attend one lecture here. CELEBRITY THEATRE  It is an EXCELLENT space. I saw several of the shows here, as well as a few enrichment lectures. I almost always sat towards the front, but I think that all of the seats were pretty good. SHOPPING EMPORIUM  I was not impressed with this area (although Im not much of a shopper, and Im clearly not the one they are designing it for. I just found it confusing. The different stores are not clearly defined nor labeled. At one point, I wanted to buy some Chapstick. I had NO IDEA which store would have it  there wasnt one that was called Gifts and Sundries, for example. Eventually, I found it in the duty-free liquor store behind a display of Scotch. Right! That makes sense! ATRIUM AREA (INCLUDING COVA CAFÉ, GAME & CARD AREAS, ETC.)  This was a lovely part of the ship, but not one I utilized often (with the exception of the computer room). Part of the reason for this was that it was the preferred meeting area of the disgruntled passengers, so I tried to stay far away. LIDO DECK/SPORTS DECK  This, too, was a nice part of the ship that I never used because it was Alaska in May. On a Hawaiian or a Panama Canal itinerary, Im sure Id be there all the time! CONSERVATORY  I completely dont get this space. They advertise it like its such a great feature, but WHAT PURPOSE DOES IT SERVE?! Its not a place that guests can hang out or anything  there is basically no furniture. The two times I went up there, there was NOBODY THERE. Im confused& BARS & LOUNGES  My favorite one as far as the appeal of the room was THE BAR AT THE EDGE OF THE EARTH. I thought it was slightly over-the-top but still fun and beautiful. I sometimes went up to the beds at the front of the room overlooking the bow with a cup of coffee and a book and just relaxed there in the mornings. My favorite bar to DRINK was the Martini Bar. I have to admit, Im not a big drinker, and I maybe had 7 or 8 cocktails over the course of the 13-day cruise, but after I discovered the Martini Delight, that was the ONLY drink I had from then on& ENTERTAINMENT  I probably went to about half of the main shows. I would have gone to more, but too much of the time, they scheduled the show for late-seating guests for 7:00 (BEFORE dinner). Well, the reason I prefer late-seating is because I dont want to have to rush to get ready for dinner, and I CERTAINLY dont want to have to rush because of a show& I much preferred the nights when the shows were after dinner. To me, the taste of Cirque du Soleil was the best show. The production shows were mixed. The singers were quite talented, but not tremendously appealing or exciting. The dancers were just okay  rarely was the whole group in synch, and its not like they were doing such difficult dances! My favorite element of these shows was the aerialist team of Rebecca and Phillippe (and I doubt I am alone in that assessment). The stunts they do are so gorgeous and unbelievable that they took my breath away every time I saw them. Whatever Celebrity is paying them, it is NOT ENOUGH. I didnt see any of the musicians or comedians. ACTIVITIES  I didnt really participate in any of the trivia games/crafts/etc. Its just not my style. Fortunately, there were always other things I wanted to do. ENRICHMENT SERIES  I made it a point to attend 4 out of the 5 lectures given by Nature Lady Leneh Trowbridge. It would have been all 5, but the first one conflicted with my Cruise Critic party  I caught it later on TV. This was a real highlight for me. I learned so much, and it made the sights I saw in port so much more meaningful. I couldnt recommend this series enough. Im not sure if she will be with the ship throughout the season, but if she is, seek her out. There was also a physicist on board giving enrichment lectures, but I didnt go to his. PORTS: SAN FRANCISCO  My dad and I rented a car and drove out to Napa Valley, as he is a wine connoisseur. It was gorgeous, and I had a lot of fun (although I drank too much wine at the tastings). I would have liked to have seen more of San Francisco itself, as the weather was FANTASTIC, but by the time we drove back, it was almost time to leave. The docking location was awesome  right next to Fishermans wharf. KETCHIKAN  Cute town with some nice little shops, but nothing too out of the ordinary. We did an excursion with a raft ride and a rainforest hike. The excursion itself was fun (we saw a BUNCH of bald eagles), but the drive to get there was quite long, and the fact that people were complaining ON THE TOUR BUS about the problems with our cruise was a bit much to take. Even if they were not willing to let it go and try to enjoy themselves, they should try to allow others to do so& Once again, we had absolutely gorgeous weather (a rarity in Ketchikan). JUNEAU  We bought a pass to ride up to the top of the mountain, saw some spectacular views, and watched a Tlinget film. I wanted to hike around on the trails up there, but my dad thought it was too dangerous given the snow levels. We then explored Juneau a bit before returning to the ship for lunch. After lunch, we took an excursion involving a helicopter ride and a landing on the Mendenhall Glacier with a hike (approximately 45 minutes) on the glacier. It was potentially quite fun, but we had an older gentleman in our group who was probably not up to the task physically. He was much slower and had a few problems (falling down and the like). None of this would have bothered me much, but on top of that, he would always dilly-dally around with his video camera and absolutely refused to follow directions, even when all of our safety was involved! Seriously, when we got off the helicopter and were told to proceed directly to a spot about 30 yards away where our gear and our guide were waiting, he took 3 steps from the helicopter, turned around, and started filming! We were still under the rotor, and him standing there blocked every other person from getting off and going where we were supposed to go. To me, that was dangerous. If I were running the tour, I would not have allowed him to proceed& While we hiked, he fell behind (partly due to his camera shenanigans), and we had to wait for him repeatedly, thus shortening the distance we covered on our hike& It was still a great trip, though. The glacier itself was fascinating, and my first helicopter ride was interesting. Somebody else on the helicopter said he saw a family of bears crossing a stream, but he didnt bother mentioning it to the rest of us! Can you believe that?! SKAGWAY  I really enjoyed the tiny town of Skagway, and I thought it had the best souvenir shopping of any port we visited. We also took the BEST excursion here! We basically took a catamaran ride across the fjord (seeing eagles and mountain goats, along with amazing scenery) to the town of Haines, then rode a bus 25 miles upriver, then floated down the river in 8 person rafts through the heart of an eagle preserve. It was such a gorgeous day, and the feeling of being right in the middle of nature was unmatched (the rainforest we hiked in Ketchikan had an actual wooden boardwalk built through it so it wasnt so natural, and the glacier in Juneau constantly had people and helicopters coming in and out). This river felt isolated enough that you could feel like youre seeing the real Alaska. Moreover the guides who paddled the rafts were AWESOME. They are all young people who spend their Summers out there because they absolutely love it. Their passion is infectious, and they know SO MUCH about everything we saw& HUBBARD GLACIER  While this is not a port per se, it was a destination. We didnt get in close, and I wasnt particularly impressed. However, if people hadnt been complaining so much, I dont know that I would have realized how much we missed -- I will say that I learned (almost by accident) that they opened up the front of the ship where helicopters land for viewing of the glacier, and when I got there, it was a right party! Now, I dont think this was announced anywhere, and I think that most of the people there were Captains Club and suite guests -- If they were the only ones invited, Im a bit put off by that. I find that quite exclusionary. If everybody was invited, Im not sure why I didnt hear about it sooner. Does anybody know? INSIDE PASSAGE  Once again, not a port, but what was supposed to be a full day of phenomenal scenery turned into an hour or two of full-on gorgeousness before we had to go to dinner and then it turned dark. This was a disappointment to me, as I was really looking forward to the opportunity to see so much& VICTORIA  I absolutely loved this city, and could see myself living here. We shopped and explored in the morning, then did a whale-watching excursion in the afternoon. The excursion was VERY successful, as we got to see a huge pod of orcas over the course of close to an hour. We may have even seen all 26 members of the pod, and we got to witness a variety of behavior including 3 separate breaches! Wow!!! We also saw bald eagles, seals, and various other wildlife. The problem, though, was that this tour was TERRIBLY OVERBOOKED. They brought about 45 passengers, and the boat probably shouldnt have carried much more than 35 TOPS. Even if EVERY seat was utilized on the top deck, the back deck, and the interior cabin, there wasnt enough room for everybody to sit (I stood for most of the 3 hour + excursion). Never mind the fact that as crowded as it was, we certainly couldnt pick a preferred viewing location! I would have given this tour a very high ranking if there had been 25-30 people aboard& DISEMBARKATION  We ended up waiting quite a while in the Celebrity theater while they called tons of colors and numbers before ours. Im really not sure why we couldnt stay in the cabin till our number and color was called. I believe that is how they do it on Carnival. Still, it was no big deal and the process once they called us, including customs and immigration, was amazingly quick and efficient. I was very sad to end the trip, though, so I wasnt going to be happy on this day, no matter how well everything went! If only I could go back and do it all over again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
My wonderful experience on this cruise demands I address some of the negative comments appearing here. The ONLY negative thing about this cruise was the poor manners of some passengers. The vitriolic of some revealed their motive as pure ... Read More
My wonderful experience on this cruise demands I address some of the negative comments appearing here. The ONLY negative thing about this cruise was the poor manners of some passengers. The vitriolic of some revealed their motive as pure greed. Their critiques also demonstrate they do not understand the contract they entered with the cruise line and presume that all lines are the same. Each has a niche market. Just because you have a favorite detail from another cruise (e.g. children's programs), you can't assume it will be repeated by every line in the same manner. The printed and TV advertising of Celebrity clearly demonstrates it quietly elegant adult product. That's what I experienced and that's why I'll always choose Celebrity. Embarkation was interrupted by an accident on an escalator which resulted in many staff members rushing to aid the passengers affected. Since this happened outside the sight of most persons in line, the reasons for the temporary delays were unknown. DINING: The main dining rooms feature a menu by Michele Roux. The expectation is Continental fare. The choices were so varied as to create daily debates on what to choose. Vegetables are used more as a decoration with the protein. If a person wanted additional vegetables, a word to the waiter would produce a platter full. Our waiter IGOR was very knowledgeable about the menu and helpful in making choices. Some critics focus on the buffet. It seems that they were unaware of other wonderful dining options such as the SPA Cafe which offered fruit and vegetable based spa cruise for breakfast and from 12 to 8pm. If people read the daily paper or the brochures their travel agent provided, they would have realized that there were many more options available than they utilized. FRESH FRUIT was part of every dining venue and I personally brought whole fruits back to my room. The NORMANDE has a $30 upcharge. The quality of the service and food were 6 star! If you were fortunate enough to have a Restaurant on land available to you with the same fare and level of service, the meal would cost you at least $150. The Harpist and the String Quartet played a wide variety of selections from classics to popular show tunes. The harpist was happy to perform Bach-like variations on "Happy Birthday" for a friend. On another occasion, she played selections which subtly connected to my profession (she was aware of this through a conversation I had with her at breakfast in the Spa cafe). Entertainment: Good but did not attend all offerings. On the extra sea days, additional day time concerts were provided. Unfortunately, the demonstrations in the Atrium made it impossible for the musicians to function in the Cova cafe during the afternoon orgy of bad manners and greedy demands. Overall, a fabulous cruise was affected by a mechanical problem. The captain did everything he could to focus on preserving the major destination ALASKA. Our weather was fabulous. Having met the Captain personally he is a true gentleman. If Celebrity wants to improve its product, they need to develop a policy to prevent the unpleasant public meetings initiated by disgruntled passengers. I believe their contract would allow them to discharge disruptive persons at the next port FOR THE SAKE of the MAJORITY of passengers who were denied what they paid for, NOT by Celebrity but by other passengers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
Arriving in LA boarding early in the afternoon is a good idea. There was a pile up at the top of the escalator because the upper level was filled, poor planing. The food was good and the service was excellent in the Cosmopolitan ... Read More
Arriving in LA boarding early in the afternoon is a good idea. There was a pile up at the top of the escalator because the upper level was filled, poor planing. The food was good and the service was excellent in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant. The buffet and burgers were not good, one step above leftovers. Buffet fans stay home, the chopped up mess was disappointing to say the least. The pizza was good and always open, great idea. The ice cream bar was great. Everyone complained about the chopped up disorganized arrangement of the buffet, and the lack of a full dinner buffet. All of the staff were friendly and seemed to go out of their way to greet you. It seemed like they were all genuinely happy you were on board. Entertainment was so, so. This specific cruise got into a problem with the propulsion system that was poorly handled by management which led to mistakes, miscalculations and a near passenger mutiny. We missed practically every sight seeing opportunity and many stops were skipped and also many short stays in ports. This left a bad feeling with everyone. In other words, the management on the ship and at headquarters LIED over and over again. I do NOT plan on sailing on the Summit again. The rooms and furniture were worn and faded. The rails were not varnished and the decks had rust marks, the patio furniture was discolored and smelly, it looked like a 20 year old ship. Several first time cruisers said they would never cruise again. I tried to explain this was not a good cruise experience, try another cruise line. Several passengers who enjoy cigars have been BANNED to the back deck, outdoors in the wind and rain, hardly a pleasant experience. My wife used to enjoy having a drink with me when I had my cigar after dinner, NOT ON THIS SHIP. Very unpleasant. After 67 cruises, this was the 9th cruise to Alaska, this was the WORST cruise I have EVER been on. But, I still enjoyed being with my wife on a cruise. Don't count on me next time, Celebrity. enter your review. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
We stayed at the Harbour Hotel in San Pedro, LA, less than 10 mins from the port. However, it took nearly three hours to board the ship. Having been picked up at 1.30, we waited at the dock in a holding area before joining a further queue ... Read More
We stayed at the Harbour Hotel in San Pedro, LA, less than 10 mins from the port. However, it took nearly three hours to board the ship. Having been picked up at 1.30, we waited at the dock in a holding area before joining a further queue to check in. Our stateroom, no. 2075, was located on deck 2 - it was clean and tidy, but no tea/coffee making facilities were provided. San Francisco - We arrived into port 7 or 8 hours early. Did not see Golden Gate Bridge as it was dark. Didn't leave San Fran until 20.00 hrs, so it was going dark again when we went under Golden Gate Bridge. Captain advised that a routine inspection had successfully taken place whilst we were in port. At around 13.00 hrs the following day whilst at sea, the Captain made an announcement that we would not be visiting the ports of Seattle or Sitka and that our remaining ports of call would be for shorter periods, due to there being a problem with a bearing. It would be necessary for the ship to reduce its speed from enable us to continue our course and then place the ship in dry dock on Saturday 20 May in Vancouver. He advised that engineers had been flown out from England and had given the ship a certificate to sail at a rate of 17.5 knots. Furthermore, the Captain advised that each Stateroom would receive an onboard credit of $200, not per person. We asked for this to be removed from our onboard account, we were told that this could not be done. Funny how they managed to put it onto the account, but couldn't remove it ! Passengers due to take a 7 day cruise commencing 20 May had been given a full refund, together with a free cruise. Due to the large number of guests complaining, we were advised that Guest Relations employees from Miami would be boarding at Ketchikan to deal with complaints on an individual basis. We personally overhead a member of staff on a telephone call to her family, during which she stated that there was a member of staff onboard the ship undertaking training, who was due to disembark at Seattle, but who had been advised to disembark at San Francisco. It was very apparent that the fault with the ship was known before we arrived or even left San Francisco. On 12th May the Captain announced that there would be 2 hrs of complimentary drinks available. The Captain and members of his crew mingled with guests and it was very obvious that this course of action had been taken to try and smooth over the actions of the previous day. On 13th May we met with the Guest Relations employees and put forward our complaint. We were told that they were unable to offer any compensation themselves and that details were being taken and forwarded back to the Head Office in Miami. The way in which appointments were handled was totally unsatisfactory, causing delays, confusion and irritation amongst the guests. On Tuesday 16th May we were due to sail to the Hubbard Glacier. Whilst sailing into the bay an announcement was made by an onboard tour guide that we were unable to travel any further into the bay as there was already another ship there. It was not until 12.30 the following day that the Captain announced that we could not go any further into the bay as local regulations did not allow two ships into the bay at any one time. He also stated that he was concerned for the ships safety. When we entered the bay there were two other ships there at the time, the Mercury and a Holland America ship. We feel that the reason for us not entering any further into the bay was more to do with the problems with the ship, maneuvering the ship would have been difficult. The final straw came on Thursday 18th May at 09.50, when the Captain announced that due to dense fog and the chance that we might miss the Inside Passage, it had been arranged with the Pilot that the ship would depart from its present location at 17.00 hrs as it would be clearer at that time. We were therefore stationary bobbing in the water for at least 7 hrs or more. The Guest Relations Desk advised that there was not a pilot onboard and there would not be one until at least 15.00 hrs. We were on main dining sitting at 18.00 hrs. It was also a Gala Dinner evening, which meant that again we missed most of our excursion down the Inside Passage. We received a letter from the Captain offering a 30% discount off a future Celebrity cruise for the disappointment we had experienced. When the Guest Relations employees arrived onboard, we were advised that each complaint would be dealt with on an individual basis, however the complaints appear to have been dealt with on a global basis. Entertainment - No significant additional entertainment was added to the itinerary for additional days at sea, unless you loved bingo, the casino, quizzes, art auctions or wine tasting (which was a chargeable event). The shows were not bad - not fantastic though. However, the show on the last evening was absolutely diabolical. Shore Excursions - In one word - disorganized. Although the excursions we did take were good, we were very disappointed with one particular excursion we were looking forward to taking - a helicopter landing on a glacier with dog sledging. We had booked our excursions back in January due to availability, but were not advised until several days into the cruise that the dog camp had not been set up and this part of the excursion was therefore unavailable. Had we been advised of this earlier, we would have been able to take another excursion which included this. Disembarkation - TOTALLY disorganized. It took 1.5 hours to finally disembark and then we had to stand a further 45 mins in the port whilst transport was arranged. This meant that we only had around 1.5 hrs in Vancouver. Were they not expecting people to disembark ! Sanitization  There was an obvious lack of it. If there were dispensers at the entrance to restaurants (which on occasions there werent), people were allowed to walk past without using them, even though members of the crew were standing at entrances. Food - Barely warm, never hot, apart from soup. Very little vegetable accompaniment. Fixtures & Fittings  Parts of the ship are in definite need of refurbishment. Chairs and upholstery are shabby and warn. Spa - treatments - expensive Summary - We feel very disappointed at our Celebrity experience. We expected a lot more from such a renowned leader in cruising. There is an advertisement onboard  First Impressions. We were left feeling very UNIMPRESSED with our first and LAST experience of Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
This was our twelfth cruise to Alaska. Ten were on Princess and the other was on Holland America. As you can tell we are both big Alaska fans. This was our second cruise on the Summit. Our embarkation was only about one-half hour, but ... Read More
This was our twelfth cruise to Alaska. Ten were on Princess and the other was on Holland America. As you can tell we are both big Alaska fans. This was our second cruise on the Summit. Our embarkation was only about one-half hour, but priority embarkation was one of the perks of a CC cabin. Some of those who did not have a CC or higher cabin had to wait up to three hours to embark. Our luggage arrived in almost record time. The cruise started out like it was going to be one of our best ever. Unfortunately the recurring problems with the propulsion system on the M-Class ships once again raised its ugly head. This initially caused us to miss two ports and cut time from other ports. As the cruise continued our visit to Hubbard Glacier was cut back to a peek from six miles away. Our Inside Passage cruise was delayed for eight hours due to Celebrity failing to arrange for a pilot to be on board. Were it not for missing over one-half of the Itinerary that we purchased it would have been a great cruise. The reaction of the majority of the passengers has been well documented on these boards, so I will not go into any more detail here in this review. The compensation by Celebrity is also well documented on these boards. Our service in the dining room was excellent. Little things mean a lot in the dining room, like having your favorite beverage on the table before you arrive. The food was very good and the menu offered a nice variety of selections. Service from our room steward was also excellent. Our refrigerator in our cabin was not cooling very well and I mentioned it to our room steward to see if he knew how to adjust it to a colder setting. That night when we returned to our cabin there was a brand new refrigerator in our cabin that worked perfectly. Entertainment was good. The Celebrity theater is one of the best show rooms that we have ever seen on any cruise ship. The highlight of the entertainment, for us, was seeing Brooks Aehron who is a concert pianist and Brooks was just outstanding. He only performs a few concerts per year on cruise ships. Disembarkation was supposed to also be priority for CC cabins or higher. Here the only perk was that you waited in the movie theater until your color was called. The wait in the movie theater was about two hours. The ship is beginning to show signs of its age, but the most obvious sign of neglect was the balcony railings which were in terrible condition with varnish peeled off exposing bare wood. In summary, we were very lucky with our fine service, good food and great weather, but were not so lucky with missing over one-half of our Itinerary. M-Class ships are good if you are lucky and not involved in the once every year, or so, canceling of a cruise for repair or told after you have sailed that you are not going to see what you paid for. I really liked the overall layout of the Summit and if ports and Itinerary are not important to you, I would recommend the Summit. Except for the on-going mechanical problems we will miss the Summit, but we are not willing to take another chance on M-Class failures curtailing our vacation enjoyment. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
We stayed in cabin 2052 and were pleased with this basic outside class cabin. This ship has many rooms with balconies which are nice for this type of cruise. This was our first time with Celebrity and our third time cruising SE Alaska. ... Read More
We stayed in cabin 2052 and were pleased with this basic outside class cabin. This ship has many rooms with balconies which are nice for this type of cruise. This was our first time with Celebrity and our third time cruising SE Alaska. The ship had mechanical problems with the starboard stabilizer requiring the vessel to reduce maximum speed to 17 knots. We were informed of this fact after departing San Francisco on the fourth day at Sea. We were to skip Seattle and Sitka (which were important ports to us) and given $200 credit as fair compensation. Despite the media reporting 4 or 5 unsatisfied customers aboard, that number was much larger when you consider a packed theater meeting and daily public meetings in the foyer. Company representatives were sent to us in Ketchikan and we had an opportunity to express our unhappiness. The corporate staff was unconcerned about their reputation or repeat customers. They listened, but made no offer for reasonable compensation. We missed two ports and did not get close to Hubbard Glacier. We left prematurely due to icy water and another ship that was in the bay. If they had not changed the schedule, we might have gotten in during our allotted time. They missed the pilot to cruise the Inside Passage during the day so we sat at sea until 5 pm waiting for the next one. We cruised The Passage in the evening missing many scenic views. We came into San Francisco and Vancouver early (1 AM) docking where pier lighting and noises disturbed your rest on the starboard side of the ship. We spent more days at sea and where many activities are very costly. Drinks and activities were much higher than our past cruises. The attitude of the crew was very good but I grew tired of the cruise director and his lip service. I did not trust him after the fifth day. Embarking was okay but disembarking was frustrating. They have a smooth get off the ship that is favorable for the cruise line, but a real pain after you get to the airport. You will lug your bags around along time going through immigration, security, and customs. Bottom line on this cruise is: The cruise line is in control of the schedule and you are going to be subject to their best interest and schedules. Long itineraries are open to changes and you have no control. The food and service crew was exceptionally good. They took very good care of us during dining. The ship had many lounges and places to sit. Weather was clear and snow covered the mountains. Towns were crowed when you unload 4 ships in a port. Elevators worked well to move people about the ship. Room Service was fair. We enjoyed the cruise but will consider this experience on future vacations. People that were not there have no room to attack cruisers that went through this experience. People can chose to hear the truth or disregard it...We won't do it again with Celebrity or a long sailing. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
Celebrity Cruise: Summit, 13 Night West Coast and Alaska 07. May. 2006 Schedule -- Altered schedule and passenger experience May 7/Los Angeles/departure at 5pm May 7/Los Angeles/We took a room at Best Western in San Pedro, right next ... Read More
Celebrity Cruise: Summit, 13 Night West Coast and Alaska 07. May. 2006 Schedule -- Altered schedule and passenger experience May 7/Los Angeles/departure at 5pm May 7/Los Angeles/We took a room at Best Western in San Pedro, right next to the port. Went out with my camera gear to take pictures of the arrival of the GTS Summit, but the ship was late for reasons I dont know. Warm welcome on board, very friendly stateroom attendant (Isma). I am happy and enjoy sailing out of the port of San Pedro. May 8/At sea/ We enjoyed the life on board and were very fond of the captain, who seemed to be free of any arrogant manners and he proofed to be a great entertainer at welcome show. We were a little anxious about arrogant officers on the Summit because of such experience we made on this ship 9/2002. I was able to take pictures on whales, all was perfect. May 9/San Francisco/8am - 6pm/sailing underneath the Golden Gate Bridge when sun is rising, maybe a little fog on the waters, what a great picture that will be. May 9/San Francisco/midnight - 8pm/last night, before I went to bed, I went out on the balcony and couldnt believe my eyes. Golden Gate Bridge right ahead, in the middle of the night. San Francisco had not even gone to sleep by the time we arrived. I was wondering how we got to SF so very fast. Than I found the not very detailed map of the ships route on cabin-TV and was sure, that I could keep track from now on. Wrong, the computer routing on cabin-TV broke down several times during this trip (or was shut down, who knows). OK, I said to myself, missed that bridge at daylight, I will take a picture on our way out. Wrong, we were sailing late and it was dark when we reached the bridge. We were informed about an inspection which had to be done on the engines by US authorities. May 10/at sea/early this morning, we were informed by radio about the malfunction of the engine and that we only could make a speed of 17,5 knots instead of 22,5 knots. (It was here that we were offered a $200 per cabin as compensation - later it was altered to a $200 gift.) Therefore we could not hold to our original itinerary and were informed about the changes. Many passengers were angry, because they had appointments and arrangements for Seattle. Since the captains radio message was very brief, passengers (not the ships management) requested a meeting in the ships theatre to clear things. Some 1000+ passengers attended this meeting including my wife and me. I did not have any questions and up to this time I still said to myself: these things happen, happened before, will happen again and this will not ruin my holidays or my good mood. But already at this meeting I felt very strong a tense atmosphere between the ships management and passengers. We felt uncomfortable because of strong ships-security presence on all locations of the theatre as well as a huge crowd of ships officers around the stage. After the captain made clear how lucky we are that he came to this meeting to answer our questions (other captains would not do that) he in fact was very patient to answer everything. Only later I found out, that he is only a string puppet of the Celebrity Corporation and his word means nothing. Anyhow, here he admitted, and that was videotaped, that a full refund would be appropriate. He also told the passengers, that the engines problem only showed an hour or so after departure from SF?? Well, everyone on board knew better already. After this meeting I never have seen the captain again on board. He also did not show up on the photo session with captain!!! But back to the meeting, every second sentence was about that he can make no decisions and the big company has to decide (Blame not me, blame the ones out of reach). He promised that 2 company executives will be flown to Ketchikan (4 days later) to take care of this matter. Wrong again, the 2 company people were no executives, but office clerks who would report back to the company. Another very poor impression was left by the cruise director, who told 1000+ angry passengers, that we, the passengers, would not be the only ones missing on something. He was to celebrate an anniversary and for that reason expected his sister to come on board the Summit in Seattle. With grief he told us, that he is still very happy. I admit, I was thinking: wrong approach, really unprofessional, who cares. May 11/Seattle/we were scheduled to see the Boeing plant -- May 11/at sea/we have not been to Seattle so far, so it would have been our first time. Missing the Boeing plant hurts, but we still kept our good mood. Tension between passengers and ship management builds up. I feel like a school kid without any rights. May 12/at sea/I decided not to accept $200 as compensation and asked the reception to take the $200 off my board-account. I was told, that it is not possible to take the $200 off my board-account. Consequent I wrote a line, saying that I do not accept $200 as compensation and take it only under protest, handed it over to the reception and asked to acknowledge the receipt of my lines on a copy. Unbelievable, neither the lady in charge nor her supervisor did sign or chop the receipt. The company would not allow such action. I was just waiting for the argument, that the reception of my lines could not be acknowledged because of security reasons. Fortunately another passenger waiting in line stepped up and signed as witness. Thanks again to him. I was speechless but still kept up my good mood, only it was getting harder to be happy. May 13/Ketchikan/7am - 4pm -- May 13/Ketchikan/7am - 2pm/missing 2 hours. May 14 / Juneau / 7am - 10pm May 14 / Juneau / 8am - 10pm / missing 1 hour. May 15/Skagway/7am - 8pm -- May 15/Skagway/7am - 7pm/missing 1 hour but still enough time to ride the train and making sensational pictures. May 16/cruising Hubbard Glacier/9am - 1pm/we wanted to repeat the experience we made last August, cruising the Hubbard Glacier with the Radiance of the Seas --  May 16/cruising Hubbard Glacier/11am - 2pm/in fact the Summit did not even get over the entrance of Yakutat-Bay. The ship turned around once at an estimated distance of 5 to 7 miles away from the glacier and sailed away (pictures can be provided). We may just spend 30 minutes to watch an Holland-America cruise ship sailing very close to the glacier. I heard that the reason for this short turn should be, that there are no two ships allowed near the glacier. I do not believe that, because last years August, the Radiance of the Seas, with us on board, was not the only ship in Yakutat-Bay. I stood under the impression, that the Summit would make the most of what was left to see on this cruise. But the did exactly the opposite, they did everything to avoid to show their customers the many beauties of Alaska. At this point the water in my glass swept over, this was the end of my patience. Now I was certain, that they did not care at all about their paying customers. We were the fortunate ones who knew already about the beauty of this glacier from our last cruise in Aug, '06. We knew about the "out of this world sound" this glacier produces, we knew about the calving action and its fascination, we knew about the brilliance of the blue colour. But all that could not be experienced on this cruise. May 17/Sitka/7am-3pm -- May 17/at sea/the Celebrity Reps had been on board since Ketchikan, doing single??? interviews with the passengers. Today it was said, that the German passengers can take their interview. I went early to take a number and spend the whole day waiting for my turn. (Half an our reading a book, running back to 3rd floor looking if my number has been called already). But the 2 Reps accepted so many other passengers for interview in between (Passengers who did not have to pull a number) that it was after 8pm when I finally could see the Reps. Very polite people they were, but not allowed to say anything of any substance. Another lost day. May 18/Inside Passage/whole day -- May 18/daytime at sea - nighttime Inside Passage/this morning we were informed by the captain, that a pilot would be coming on board at 5pm that afternoon. Until than, we would stay on one spot somewhere in nowhere. The fog was blamed, but have an hour after this announcement, the fog was gone and we had pretty sunshine. Another lost day. The time we wasted there was more than scheduled for Sitka. Why did they not go to Sitka then? Did the captain forget to ask for a pilot? Why, why, why? And no answers. Right at dinnertime we went into the interesting part of the Inside Passage. I did not go to dinner just to catch the last rays for a good photo. Another wasted day. May 19/Victoria/8am - 5pm -- May 19/Victoria/8am - 5pm, we are already somewhat through with this cruise and enjoy only the beauty of Victoria and only the sight of the Summit makes me sick. And the bad experiences didnt stop. My wife wanted to send an birthday-mail to a friend. We had not used the internet so far, but in my documents, downloaded 1 week before cruise started, it said. As a "Select" member of the Captains Club, which we are (no more with pride), we were entitled to 10 minutes free internet access. Enough time to send a "Happy Birthday". In asking for this 10 Minutes at the desk of the Captain's Club, I must have forgotten for a moment were I was. "We changed policy", was what I heard from the lady in charge: "you have to buy now 100 minutes and than you get 15% off". What??? At least I had the guts to tell that lady that I actually did not expect anything different. Again the ship's management missed a chance to shine. This evening we got a written message, that we will receive, in 4-6 weeks time, an offer for 30% off any other cruise within the next 18 month. The passengers who were scheduled for the following cruise May 20, which was cancelled, received their money back and an additional free cruise on top. I was told by the Celebrity Reps. May 20/arrival Vancouver/7am/it will not surprise you, that we arrived in the middle of the night and Celebrity, as a last act, did not allow us to sail under Lions Gate Bridge and the beautiful port of Vancouver at daylight. This is our experience with Celebrity Cruise 07/05/2006. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
This was our first ever cruise and also our first ever flight, which was from the UK to Los Angeles. We were terrified on the plane and had to be given injections of tranquillisers by one of the Pilots who was also a trained neurosurgeon ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and also our first ever flight, which was from the UK to Los Angeles. We were terrified on the plane and had to be given injections of tranquillisers by one of the Pilots who was also a trained neurosurgeon and champion jockey (rode the Derby winner a few years ago). So the flight was somewhat hazy in our memories. On arrival at the port, after spending an uncomfortable night hitch-hiking from LAX to San Pedro, we spent several hours in line. Going up the escalator, my wife caught her expensive mink coat in the machinery and brought everything to a standstill. She was lost for words - a minor miracle. After having our welcome photos taken, I accidentally stumbled into the photographer and broke his camera - he was very nice about it and actually apologised to me ( well, I think he did. It was in Spanish and I couldn`t be sure.) On boarding the ship we eventually found our balcony cabin and proceeded to settle in. The ship, itself, is very big and it was quite easy to lose one`s way. In fact my wife disappeared on the first night and I haven`t seen her since. I found the casino very amenable and often slept there after spending pleasant evenings in the Champagne Bar, the Martini Bar, etc. Food was a huge disappointment. No decent chips, no meat pies, no tripe and onions. Just a range of snobby menus which even my French tablemates couldn`t understand. Ate most of the time in the crew`s cafe with the Chief Engineer and his mates. Some problem with the propellors affected the ship`s speed, but the Captain assured us that we would not sink and that even if we did we would be suitably compensated. He mentioned the "Titanic" much to everyone`s amusement. Ports of call were OK but isn`t Alaska cold ? No one warned us that we would need warm clothing and I found it distinctly chilly just wearing shorts and sandals. Still, the nice young ladies in the Red Onion Saloon at Skagway did their best. Embarkation was a breeze. Just got on the first bus at Vancouver and finished up in the middle of nowhere. All in all, a salutary experience which I would readily wish upon my worst enemy. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
My Wife, Barbara, and I are experienced travellers from the UK. We started cruising some years ago on the old Swan Hellenic ship "Orpheus". This initial cruise was a real baptism of fire! - but that`s another story. This cruise ... Read More
My Wife, Barbara, and I are experienced travellers from the UK. We started cruising some years ago on the old Swan Hellenic ship "Orpheus". This initial cruise was a real baptism of fire! - but that`s another story. This cruise on "Summit" was our 6th cruise, having travelled before with RCI ("Voyager of the Seas") and P&O ("Oceana", "Arcadia", "Adonia"). The flight out from London Heathrow started with two hours just sitting on the plane waiting for a "technical problem" to be fixed. Arrival at LAX started with the inevitable melee to get through immigration and then we had to scramble for the shuttle bus to Crowne Plaza Hotel. One night here and very comfortable. On arrival at San Pedro, the usual chaotic lines were encountered and I think the cruise line could certainly make improvements in this department. Eventually boarded the ship and were quite pleased with our inside cabin. Met our two stateroom attendants Tina and Holil who were extremely pleasant and efficient throughout the cruise. This cruise was meant to call at Seattle and Sitka, but due to problems with a bearing affecting one of the propellers, these ports had to be missed - apparently due to the ship having to proceed at a much slower speed. We were disappointed about this, but not as much as many other fellow passengers who, despite being given a 200 dollar per cabin refund, free drinks, and a discount off future cruises, decided to adopt a mutinous attitude and demand a full refund and a free cruise (chance would be a fine thing!). This aggressive atmosphere disrupted our enjoyment of some of the public rooms and became an unwelcome topic at mealtimes. The ship, itself, was lovely and a joy to sail on. We enjoyed all the facilities on offer and would certainly be pleased to do a repeat cruise on this ship. The food was of a good standard, although with mass catering you have to expect some areas of compromise. Our two waiters, Edwin and Sal, were truly excellent. Our evening dining companions included another couple from the UK (Yvonne and Reg), and another delightful couple from California (Joan and Greg). Gourmet dining was available, at extra cost, at the Normandie restaurant. The Cova Cafe was a splendid place to have a coffee and delicious pastry plus the added attraction of a string quartet playing popular classical music. Buffet fare was predictable with the usual jostling for position in the lines. Evening entertainment was plentiful and varied, with the main theatre putting on some fabulous shows. One highlight was a classical pianist from the UK who gave the most memorable and witty performances and who received a standing ovation at all his appearances. Ports of call were excellent, especially Skagway and Victoria, and although two destinations were cancelled, we did not feel that our cruise enjoyment had been diminished to any great extent. Disembarkation at Vancouver was a real drag and the subsequent fracas with the coach transfer to the airport was unwelcome. Again, something that should be addressed by the cruise line. General weather conditions were good and the seas, although choppy to begin with, soon settled down. This ship is big and stable and would be a nice introduction to cruising for anyone who has not yet tried this superb way of travelling. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
Summit, 7th may 2006 to 20th may 2006 LA to Vancouver via Alaska. Our annual, budget holiday was planned for 12 mths in advance, the itinerary seemed perfect for us travelling to the west coast for the first time from the UK. We Arrived ... Read More
Summit, 7th may 2006 to 20th may 2006 LA to Vancouver via Alaska. Our annual, budget holiday was planned for 12 mths in advance, the itinerary seemed perfect for us travelling to the west coast for the first time from the UK. We Arrived 2 days prior to embarkation for LA and arranged to stay 2 days in Vancouver to get the most our of our holiday. Arrival at port -- Summit was not in berth as ticketed. (Later we heard that it had arrived back late from Hawaii and RCL ship took the berth!) Long lines, as priority suites etc, hadn't been able to get on early. Waited 3 hours until number called, then another 1 hour in line. Lukewarm champagne/fizzy drink! on arrival and shown to cabin as on QE2. Balcony cabin adequate, but worn/tatty in places, cracked floor tiles in shower. Cabin steward lovely, but working against the tide. Room service poor, couldn't get it right ordered via TV menu, pretty straight forward or should have been. Although initial food seemed good in both Cosmopolitan and Waterfall,and other food station positions around the ship, after a few days, our experience was that it was no fresh vegetables at all and very little fruit. Buffet staff didn't understand a word, and because they had the Norwalk virus on the boat recently, most food was served to you in the buffet area, therefore causing more queues. The sanitation arrangements were left to chance, guests had choice of whether to use the alcohol hand wash or not as they entered the food area, we observed most did NOT. The wait staff everywhere do their best, but the majority have very poor basic English understanding and communication skills are poor. Our wait staff in the formal restaurant were excellent, as usual, but fighting a losing battle when the fare is poor. Although steak, chicken or salmon should be available at any time if the menu is not suitable, when we asked for chicken, it was not available. We only were offered it once on the 13 day menu and were refused it when asked for as an alternative. No themed nights as previously encountered on Royal Caribbean Legend of the Seas, Panama trip the year before. The atmosphere on the ship is nonexistent, it hasn't any, too many old people wanting the same thing year on year we suspect. Entertainment: WELL!!, the singers and dancers were good, the Cirque du Soleil short preview is excellent, comedian good, we should have had him on earlier in the cruise, he was needed. But other than that the shows were boring, short, 35 mins and other entertainment around the ship again not modern enough, (we are in our fifties) for our taste. Harpists, string quartets very nice but funereal. We found the ship's entertainment director John, to be pompous, irritating and patronising. Nothing extra organised on forced sea days after Seattle and Sitka cancelled even the cinema not showing until 6pm at night. We have all of the daily's to prove it if disputed!! Our impression from this cruise is that the line wants to SELL, SELL and SELL AGAIN, anything any time. ie: usual bingo, casino, extra large area, WINE TASTING CHARGE!, hire of equipment in Gym, Art Auctions, Wine Auctions, shopping seminars, A LA CARTE Normandie dining @ $30 per head, last year $25 we believe. We didn't use it, as we believed we were on a 5* cruise. CLASS OF SHIP:- Next level up from RC!! NOT our experience. Believed we would be getting that type of meal, a la carte, as standard, not army camp/holiday camp style fast food and service. As some of you will know, we had more than our fair share of problems on this trip with the thrust bearing going yet again and the company using us to get the ship up to dry dock in Victoria. Captive audience, a play on words, to get us spend, spend and spending again, at sea missing 2 ports, cut down on time in four and then the final straw, due to the SAFETY OF THE SHIP, NOT THE PASSENGERS FIRST AND FOREMOST. re the bearing, no close up of Hubbard, WE WERE AT LEAST 5 MILES OFF AND HAD TO WATCH HAL Zaandam 360 SEVERAL TIMES and only 1/4 of inside passage and that was at night! Shore excursions!! Well when we got them after being cancelled of course, they were cut to the minimum, due to time in port! We found that they were more expensive than booking on shore. Some were cancelled when under booked, but they didn't tell us until last minute! Poor value, poor organisation, book them yourselves on dock side is our advice to anyone brave enough to still book the Millennium class whilst burdened with the mermaid pod system. CHILDREN:- LESS THAN 10 ON BOARD, WE WOULD NEVER BRING THEM ON THIS CLASS OF SHIP, THEY DON'T WANT THEM. DISEMBARKATION:- Well another not organised debacle, people directed to wrong areas, waiting over an hour because they couldn't get the luggage ramp in place at a different dock than we should have been taken too, we were taken to Ballentyne, not Vancouver Central Cruise Terminal, we had a hefty taxi ride when we finally disembarked 90 minuted later than we should. By this time people from other later slots had joined us and it was chaos to get off, many very traumatised expecting to miss flights other connections etc. SUMMARY:- We are hard working, we own our own business for last ten years, this was our 4th cruise. We realise at our age, this mode will get us to see the world and enjoy top class hotel features on the journey. From this experience, we have realised also that maybe all cruise lines try to absolve themselves from any eventuality whatsoever and can change itineraries whenever they like to whatever they like especially under the guise of safety. We are moderate, discerning people, who also realise that things can go wrong, on our Panama last year passenger taken ill, captain tuned ship round back to Panama. We missed Costa Rica day, WE DIDN'T COMPLAIN, YES WE WERE DISAPPOINTED, BUT WE REALISED THAT HE HAD NO CHOICE AND ACCEPTED THAT. We got nothing from the company not even a drink and we personally asked for nothing. BUT when a known problem exists and it was known before we set off from LA we won't accept that. Passengers who didn't get their cruise on May 20th got full reimbursement and full free cruise for their disruption. We should have been told at San Francisco and been given a choice as to stay on with their offer or leave and make our own way where we wanted with money back, but that may have meant we would spend it with another line providing the holiday we had booked without any problems. They didn't want that did they. CAVEAT EMPTOR! Check your terms and conditions, book with a credit card and ring them to dispute the payment if you do not get what you paid for, and check out review sites and comments to gather all info you can to make an informed decision. DO NOT ASSUME THAT A FIVE YEAR OLD MODERN SHIP WILL BE PROVIDING YOU WITH THE BEST EXPERIENCE YET. We have made some wonderful friends following on from this debacle and we have experienced amazing scenes of people power and community spirit lifting our hearts in today's world of 'keep your distance' personas. We will never book with Celebrity again, the board and shareholders need to look long and hard at policies to survive, if they don't we hope they get what they deserve. ATTENTION TO DETAIL is their complaints system, lip service if you ask us, they do not implement it. Passengers speak with their feet please, if you want to be treated famously as a celebrity, you'll never get your 15 minutes with this line. Celebrity talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk. Sad, but we will not be intimidated and our group voice will be heard. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
I was on the Summit cruise of 5/7. First I want to say the crew was GREAT. To our waiter Bobbo and assistant waitress Tamera, we miss you. I have read many of the comments from people calling many of us cry babies or so what if you were ... Read More
I was on the Summit cruise of 5/7. First I want to say the crew was GREAT. To our waiter Bobbo and assistant waitress Tamera, we miss you. I have read many of the comments from people calling many of us cry babies or so what if you were at sea, you had a cruise experience. The first thing I have to say is if I wanted days at sea, I would have taken a Cruise to Nowhere, out of New York and saved the airfare to the west coast. How much BINGO can one take at $30.00 a pop per person, twice a day ($120.00 a day) when at sea? How much Pictionary, Name That Tune or battle of the sexes trivia can you play? How much time are you going to spend in the pool sailing the North Pacific in May? I have to admit it was funny seeing people on lounge chairs around the pool dressed from head to toe and with a blanket. How many drinks can you down (at 5.95 to 9.95 per drink plus 15% gratuity) a day. I did enjoy the Martini Sampler Special they had twice during the cruise. Six varieties of martinis at 2 oz. each. After a couple of specials you forget about the rest of the day! Did I mention the Wine Auction, the Art Auction or the diamond and jade specials, how about the gold chain by the inch, starting at 99 cents per inch! If that does not interest you, the Casino is open when we are not in Port. This cruise was doomed from day one! I was told the ship got in late from Hawaii. When we went to board the ship, we had to go up an escalator and at the top was an enclosed area with a doorway going out to a walkway that led to the gangplank to board the ship. The line backed up and people piled on top of each other at the top of the escalator. People were screaming for help and to stop the escalator. Two people were cut up and hurt pretty badly. Celebrity had no personnel at the top of the escalator. A few days later we were talking to one of the people hurt and they told us Celebrity tried charging them $300.00 for medical care!! After we left port later that night, one of the crew members I was talking to told me they had a problem with the ship coming back from Hawaii and that is why they were late. We were to dock in San Francisco on Tuesday at 8 am, but on Monday night the Captain announced we would be docking at 12 am due to some maintenance needed. SF was nice and we were supposed to leave at 6 pm. We sat at the dock in San Francisco till about 7:00, when there was an announcement that it would be another hour till we left. The ship FINALLY left a little after 8:00 pm. Late Wed. morning the Captain announced that due to a bearing problem we would not be docking at Seattle or Sitka because the ship could only due 17.4 knots to be safe instead of 22 knots. Later the Captain stated that Lloyds of London inspected the ship and they were told if they kept the speed of the ship at no more then 17.4 knots per hour they could continue the cruise. The problem with that was at that speed, they could not make all the ports and had to cut time at the rest of the ports. People were very upset and they demanded a meeting. I have to give the Captain credit; he stayed at the meeting until every question was answered. When the captain was asked if he knew about the ship problems while we were in SF, his answer was I would not insult your intelligence and tell you no. When someone got up and asked for a show of hands how many people thought they should get a full refund, the Captain raised his hand. This was all on video tape. This meeting started about 1 pm PT on Tues. May 10. The same day, at 12:16 pm ET (9:16 am our time) it was posted by South Florida Business Journal; Celebrity will dry-dock Summit and cancel May 20 cruise to Alaska. Passengers will be given a full refund AND a FREE CRUISE!! We did not find out about this until the next day. Celebrity gave us a $200.00 credit per cabin. In Ketchikan we left at 2 pm instead of 4 pm so we had to cancel one of our excursions. We arrived in Skagway late. On May 16th we were supposed to arrive in Hubbard Glacier at 9:00 am and stay till 1:00 pm. We did not arrive until 11:00 am and then we never got near the Glacier. The Captain said it was because there was another ship in there and only one at a time could go in. We left there at 1:00 pm. The only way I could see the Glacier was with a pair of binoculars. On May 18th we were suppose to Cruise the Inside Passage. We did not cruise the first 775 miles of the passage, only the last 225 miles. We arrived at that point of the Inside Passage about 9:00 am. The Captain announced that because of the fog, and that we would not be able to see anything, we would sit in the Bay until 5:00 pm when the fog would lift. By 11:00 am the fog lifted, at 3:30 pm the fog rolled back in. We found out that was a lie, the reason we sat there was because they had no pilot to take us in and he would not arrive until 5:00 pm. At 4:52 pm I was standing on our balcony and watched the pilot boat drop off the pilot. He boarded right below me. Then we took off but you could not see more then 60 feet ahead due to fog. Our dinner was 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. When we left the dinning room the passage was clear so we got to see the Inside Passage for 1 hour then it got dark. There were other things that happened, there were meetings in the grand foyer each day we were out at sea with anywhere from 300 to 600 passengers at each meeting. Over 1000 people signed a petition to join a class action suit. On the last day Celebrity said they were giving us 30% off our next cruise. That means I have to save up the other 70% and the airfare to see what they took away from us. What are the highlights of a cruise to Alaska? The things you can only see from a ship, Hubbards Glacier, the 1000 mile trek along the Inside Passage with wondrous wildlife and waterfalls. Spotting whales and orca and just the natural beauty of it all from your balcony or up on deck. If anyone tries to tell me that Hubbards Glacier and the Inside Passage are days at sea I must say no way, those are spectacular sightseeing days. Why else did we take a cruise? To unpack once, and besides, its impossible to drive from town to town in Alaska. If I had been given the choice of disembarking in SF and taking another cruise, I would have. We saved for 2 years and booked 9 months in advance. I spent 9 months researching as much as I could so that we would have the best experience possible. Unfortunately I did not research Celebrity or the parent Royal Caribbeans corporate treatment of customers. I hope Celebrity does the right thing on their own without having to file the class action suit. Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
Celebrity Summit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.7
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.1

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