65 Los Angeles Celebrity Summit Cruise Reviews

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
THE SUMMIT.  Hawaii Circle Cruise  9th  23rd April 2006. It has been over 25 years, since we last visited The Hawaiian Islands; so for something different, we chose a 14-night roundtrip cruise from Los Angeles with Celebrity Cruises ... Read More
THE SUMMIT.  Hawaii Circle Cruise  9th  23rd April 2006. It has been over 25 years, since we last visited The Hawaiian Islands; so for something different, we chose a 14-night roundtrip cruise from Los Angeles with Celebrity Cruises on their ship  The Summit. We chose the air/sea programme from the United Kingdom. Travel documentation arrived well ahead of departure. The information supplied was relevant and ticketing was correct. There was no shore excursion information, but details of these were found on the Celebrity web site. On arrival at Los Angeles International Airport, we were met and welcomed by a Celebrity Representative, immediately having cleared the Customs area. This rep was extremely professional and advised us as to the best places to eat and visit in San Pedro where our overnight accommodation was located. She escorted us to the Super Shuttle pick up point and remained with us until the arrival of the shuttle  gone are the days where guests travelling with Celebrity are transferred to their hotel by limousine, taxi or private coach. After two or three circles of the entire airport terminals and the many drop-offs in San Pedro, we eventually arrived at our hotel, a distance of 25 miles from the airport, some 90 minutes later. On arrival at the hotel, there was a letter from Celebrity advising us as to departure arrangements the next morning to join the ship. Luggage was collected from our rooms at the indicated times and the coach departed on schedule at 1.30pm for the short ride of about five minutes to the terminal building. On arrival at the pier side, the first thing that one noticed was the massive queue, which snaked in many directions. We were advised that this was the queue or line for security. Some 125 minutes later we eventually reached the security control and were quite surprised that only two facilities were open for the search of some 1950 guests and their hand baggage. It is obvious that Celebrity are only too well aware of such delays, as, whilst waiting in the queue, sandwiches, savories and drinks were provided to waiting passengers. Fortunately, the weather was fine. Whilst one fully appreciates the need for meaningful security in this day and age, consideration should be given to providing additional search facilities and that Celebrity transfer guests overnighting on their air/sea package at an earlier time to the terminal, prior to the inbound departure day flight passengers arriving at pier side directly from the airport, bearing in mind that check-in and boarding commence much earlier. After clearing security, check-in was swift and professional and a short time later we boarded the ship. The Summit, a Millennium Class ship, of some 91,000 tons entered service in October 2001. For this cruise, we had chosen Concierge Class accommodation. Our cabin, or stateroom was located on deck 9. On entering the vessel, we were given a luke warm half glass of champagne and we were offered the opportunity to be escorted to our cabin. Initial observations were that the cabin was clean, spacious and comfortable. Not having travelled in this class of cabin before, we were not fully aware of what benefits this entailed so sought guidance from the Concierge in this regard. We were advised that these included - Stateroom Amenities Welcome Champagne. Fresh Flowers Selection of Fruit. Afternoon canapEs Leather key holder Binoculars for use on board. Personalized stationery. Oversized tote bag Umbrella to use throughout the cruise Tensions-absorbing pillow-top mattresses Plush duvets Designed room service breakfast menu Bathroom amenities: Plush bath rugs Oversized Egyptian cotton towels Double-thick Frette bathrobes Two hairdryers A Hansgrohe showerhead Selection of fine shampoos, body lotions, soaps, shower cap, breath mints and sewing kit. A Menu of Pillows Sofa Pillows. Priority Services Express Luggage Delivery Laundry and Pressing Service Shoe Shine Service. Extended Room Service Dining and seating preferences VIP invitation to events Preference on Shore Excursions Early Embarkation and disembarkation Priority Tendering. Most of the above were available, others we had to ask for. It took six hours from our arrival at the pier until our luggage appeared at our stateroom  you could hardly call this express service! After having settled in the stateroom and on closer examination, we saw that there was dust everywhere  on shelves, on ledges, in cupboards, on the pictures. A Gideons Bible was on top of the bedside unit  I was able to run my finger along it a leave a trace. In the wardrobes, there were plastic bags and other items obviously having been discarded by previous guests. Under the bed there were crumbs, and empty biscuit packagings, whilst on the balcony there were empty cardboard coffee cups and discarded cocktails sticks. Not the standard that one expects from Celebrity, and being perfectly honest, this was the first time in over a dozen cruises that I have ever encountered a problem of this nature onboard any of the Celebrity fleet. Another most noticeable thing was in respect of the balcony. Owing to the design of deck 10, (the deck above ours)  an open deck - this deck extends well over the sides of the ship, thus preventing the sun nearly all of the time from actually reaching the balcony areas  not much use to those who want to spend time sunning themselves in the privacy of their own balcony. Incidentally, very few of the balcony cabins on this ship have total privacy; most can be seen in one way or another from other decks/balconies. Beware too of cabins with connecting doors - This decreases the insulation levels thus noise travels and one can hear your neighbours conversation even if they chat in low voices  also if your neighbours are smokers  the smoke can magically make its way into the adjoining cabin. We spoke with the Steward who apologised and explained that on turnaround days things are hectic and he did not have the time to pay attention to the smaller details as indicated by myself. I queried if such an amount of dust could gather within 24 hours? In fairness to him, while at dinner, he did clean the areas identified, but others not mentioned remained untouched. We also had to request simple items, like, a do not disturb sign, note paper, laundry lists  things that should automatically be checked prior to any new occupation of staterooms. We then went to the show and our first dinner on board. Previously the entertainment offered on Celebrity ships was good but nothing to write home about. However on this cruise, the entertainment on board this cruise was excellent. There was something for everyone. Special mention must be afforded to The Celebrity Singers and Dancers, the Celebrity Orchestra and those who presented the Cirque du Soleil and the Master Ventriloquist whose performances and presentations were outstanding. Music provided by other groups/solo acts in the various lounges throughout the ships was acceptable  though more variation would have been welcomed  3 `strings` groups  a Harpist, a Guitarist and a String Quartet, is a wee bit of an over kill. On many of the evenings, life on the Summit appeared to die at around 10.30pm  we found too many pre-dinner shows for 2nd seating guests. Unlike other ships where something major is happening in each lounge offering guests a choice, this just did not happen on the Summit. The `featured` entertainment programme although excellent was indeed limited. Timing of events in particular was badly planned  the Chocoholics Buffet and the Hawaiian Fruit Deck buffet were scheduled for 10.15pm, a time when guests on second seating were still at dinner. The Entertainments Staff were highly visible throughout the ship. The Programme of events for the following day  Celebrity Today was delivered to the cabins each evening. This was informative, but unfortunately did not appear to be checked for omissions or errors. On Easter Day, the biggest day in the Christian Calendar, the notification of the time and location of the Catholic Mass was omitted  this caused many who missed this most holiest of celebrations a lot of personal distress. Omissions such as this and other minor matters gave an overall impression that there was a `lack of attention to detail` in many aspects on this cruise. Others being, that whilst the ship is spotlessly clean, `streak` marks could be clearly seen on glass, dark wood, and mirrored surfaces and especially on stainless steel surfaces in and around the elevators. Though when this was pointed out to staff, they indicated this was due to the materials being used to prevent gastro infections and these could not be wiped off for some 48 hours after application. Ashtrays remained un-emptied and litter bins the same. Clocks not advanced after time changes etc. Chairs are badly soiled and showing signs or wear and tear especially in the Rendez-Vous Lounge. Meals served from the main menu in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant, were again excellent  well presented, well prepared and expertly served by a most professional waiter and assistant waiter who quickly learned and always remembered our likes and dislikes. At each meal, they welcomed us with a smile and took a genuine interest as to how our day had been etc. However if one chose have as an alternative of steak, chicken or salmon for their main course, (these items are always available) - this was very much a hit and miss affair. On a number of occasions, we were unable to eat our steaks as they were either too tuff, fatty and/or tasteless. The Assistant Maitre d' for our sector in the dining room did visit the table each evening and gave a well-rehearsed spiel. If you did ask him a question about something not included in this spiel, or complained about the meal, this caused him complete confusion, panic and seemed to send him into a thither, which caused him to disappear from the main dining room floor until the next evening. There are a number of tables for two. Chairs throughout the restaurant do not have armrests. It amazes me that when booking a cruise, passengers are always asked as to what size of a table they wish to be seated at for dinner?  Why?  Very seldom does anyone take any notice of this. On this particular cruise this was plainly obvious with many guests playing musical chairs for the first week of the cruise. Other single guests found themselves alone at tables as other table companions who had asked for large tables, as had the single guests, demanded and were moved, but the solo guests request was like a cry in the wilderness. This was indeed bad restaurant management. Incidentally some guests had to ask if there was actually a Maitre d'Hotel/Restaurant Manager on board and in charge of the Dining Room. We never saw him on the ground floor level of the restaurant at any time, nor did he visit either our or any tables in our immediate vicinity throughout the cruise. One thing that really sticks out on the Summit, is the immaculate dress and turnout of all staff from the cleaners right through to the senior officers on board and the friendliness of all the staff. In saying that it was only on a very rare occasion that you saw any of the senior officers other than the Captain and Staff Captain around the ship. I endeavoured to arrange a meeting with the Hotel Director on at least two occasions to discuss, what I considered to be fairly important matters, but he declined to meet with me. So now for our first nights sleep on board. As previously mentioned, deck 10 is an open deck and each time anyone even walked or worse, ran along this deck, - boom  boom boom  the noise  when deck loungers were being moved early in the morning  most probably for cleaning purposes  the clatter and the bang that these movements made was unbelievable  them seemed to echo and probably with the stillness of the night the noise was magnified, but enough to keep us from sleeping. The next morning, I mentioned this to the Concierge that I was unhappy with our cabin and outlined to her some of the difficulties to date. Later that afternoon, there was a message from the front desk offering us an alternative cabin on a lower deck. This cabin was far more suitable and much more quiet. Full marks to Celebrity. Periodically for the remainder of the cruise, Guest Relations checked to see that `everything was in order` and could they do anything in addition to assist in making our cruise more enjoyable. Unfortunately, we weather on the voyage out to Hawaii, was not kind to us. It was cold, wet and windy. There was noticeable movement throughout the ship and lots of empty places each evening in the Dining Room - this voyage did route us right across to Pacific Ocean One has to remember that The Summit is a flat bottomed boat and not a ship especially designed for oceanic crossings, thus increased movement can be expected. The weather did improve when we reached the islands, and on the return voyage. There is a vast wine list on board, with reasonable prices. Well-stocked bars and lounges are dotted throughout the ship. A Vodka and Coco-cola was $6.33 including gratuities, somewhat more expensive than on other cruise lines, especially British Ships, but in saying that, you could really taste or should I say feel the alcohol in the drink. Throughout the cruise it was pleasing to note that none of the staff, either in the bars or the photographers were aggressive in their approach  unlike so many other ships. At each Port of Call, there were many organised tours, offered by the Shore Excursion Staff  these represented value for money, were good in content and operated on time. There are a number of alternative options for dining, from Room Service which is available 24 hours a day, to the more casual Waterfall Cafe, A Hamburger Station, Pizza, Pasta and Salad Bar, a Sushi Cafe and of course the Aqua Spa Cafe for healthy choice all day dining. Each of these serveries offered the same type of fayre to be found on other cruise ships of similar ratings. The one main noticeable difference between other lines and Celebrity is that there is an abundance of staff available to assist in the carrying of trays to seating areas not only on the Summit, but also on all Celebrity Ships. The operation of the Waterfall Cafe is well executed, however food each day became repetitive and after a time all began to taste the same. The selection of fruit on this cruise was disappointing, just the basic melons, pineapples, grapes and oranges as core fruits. These on the whole were not ripe and were tasteless. Bring back the days when guests were offered as the norm, papaya, mango, kiwi fruit and the like. There seemed to be great use of canned and frozen fruits. The selection of breads and cheese was reasonable. However to make up for these `weaknesses` the range of deserts available was outstanding. For that Special Occasion  the Normandie Restaurant for A La Carte Dining is open each evening, a cover service of USD$30.00 per person is added to each guests account who visit this restaurant. We did not eat in the Normandie, but reports from those who did were encouraging. There is no 24-hour dining in any of the restaurants on board, though coffee, tea and juices are available 24 hours a day from the Waterfall Cafe. There are no Midnight Buffets, but waiters roaming the various lounges each evening serving `Gourmet Bites` On a ship of this size, there is the usual range of facilities available  an Aqua Spa, a Casino, Childrens Facilities, Shops, an Acupuncture at Sea Clinic, an Art Gallery and an Internet Cafe and Computer Centre. Though do be aware that Internet access is charged at $0.75. Per minute  though packages can be bought to reduce this cost down to about $0.50. Per minute - not cheap at all. Being an inquisitive sort of a guy, having learned about Concierge Class, curiosity got the better of me and I just had to find out what extras, other than space, you received if you booked a Suite on a Celebrity ship  hereunder are the amenities provided for suite guests Welcome Champagne. Butler Assistance with packing and unpacking. Platinum Cards. Personalised stationary and cards. Butler Service. Dining room seating preference. Fresh fruit each day. Fresh Flowers (1) for Penthouse suite only. CanapEs at 5.00pm or 7.00pm each day  according to dining seating. Complimentary cappuccino and espresso, only inside the suite. Complimentary use of bathrobes. Celebrity Suite tote bag. Delivery of requested board games, videos, CDs from your Butler. Full breakfast, lunch and dinner service in suite. In suite afternoon tea, coffee with cookies and cake service at 4.00pm. Newspaper delivery. Opportunity to book in suite massage for $149.00 plus 10% tip. Priority embarkation and disembarkation. Express Luggage delivery. Private Portrait sitting  not complimentary. Priority tendering tickets. Shoeshine service from your Butler. 100% cotton oversized towels. As can be seen, there are not too many differences between Concierge Class and Suite Class, other than the size of stateroom and the price. I also understand the in-suite breakfast menu in Concierge Class has a wider choice than the breakfast menu offered to guests in suites. One thing missing though in both Concierge and Suite Class is that guests are not provided with slippers. On other 5* lines, even guests in the cheapest of cabins are provided with these. Also guests who I spoke with who were occupying suites which were equipped with baths, indicated that bath oils or some type of water softener to be added to the water would have been welcome. Celebrity Cruises, like most other cruise lines offer a loyalty club. With Celebrity its called The Captains Club. There are three levels  Classic (1  5 cruises)  Select (6 10 cruises) and Elite (11+ cruises). Even as `elite` members, we were not offered all of the benefits that we were entitled to. When we enquired as to why these were not offered, we were rudely advised by the Hostess - `subject to availability`. The benefits at all levels are basic compared to other programmes offered by other cruise lines. This is an area, which needs to be seriously looked at and revaluated. Like most other people in this age of increased competition, natural instincts direct most of us to go where we get the best value for our money and currently with Celebrity, this is one of their weakest areas of operation. If people thought that embarkation arrangements were bad, disembarkation was a total fiasco. Unorganized, chaotic and lack of any officer to make decisions or to take command and control of the situation. It did not help that the ship was late arriving in Los Angeles. 1950 passengers had to pass through US Immigration  all queuing at the same time thus resulting in snake like lines all around deck 4. Then a short time after the Immigration Inspection commenced, Celebrity announced the commencement of disembarkation whilst many of the guests being called to disembark still hadnt passed through Immigration. Utter confusion reigned and not an officer in sight to take charge or make decisions. This was the worst disembarkation at any port in all of my cruising career. Having sailed with Celebrity many times, some areas of this cruise caused disappointment but not to such an extent to ruin the overall cruise experience. Once in a while someone is disappointed and on this occasion it was us. The weaknesses identified are not typical of the usually excellent Celebrity standards and product. Knowing Celebrity management and their policies to provide excellence in all aspects of cruising for guests, appropriate action will no doubt be taken to avoid repetition. In summary, a reasonably good cruise experience but lacking in attention to detail in some areas. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
This was our 6th cruise. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean 4 times and we decided to cruise on the Parent company line, so we booked with Celebrity. What a disappointing experience this was. We did the online check in and express and ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean 4 times and we decided to cruise on the Parent company line, so we booked with Celebrity. What a disappointing experience this was. We did the online check in and express and we still waited outside in the sun for 2 hours. Our room was fine, but you can see the wear and tear on the couch, curtains, and spread. Our room steward was great, our room was always clean and everything we wanted was taken care of. Our Dinning experience was fine. Nothing special to write home about. Our wait personnel were great, there just was not the atmosphere we were accustom to on Royal. There were not special nights for dinner, no parade except on Baked Alaska night. Activities were not sufficient just a lot of lectures. The entertainment was adequate. No big entertainer as we were accustom on our other cruises. The public restroom were awful, cleanliness and adequate supplies were lacking. This was in all public areas not just main floors. The public areas show a lot of wear as well, stains on carpets and chairs. They ran out of coffee and we served instant. We had an excursion to Pearl Harbor and not enough time was given to see the museum and other outside exhibits before we were herded to our bus for a city tour. We will have to think long and hard before cruising with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
After many cruises on Celebrity, we looked forward to this Hawaii cruise per usual. What we experienced, was by far less than the Celebrity Experience We flew in the day before, and arrived in San Pedro about noon. The line was long ... Read More
After many cruises on Celebrity, we looked forward to this Hawaii cruise per usual. What we experienced, was by far less than the Celebrity Experience We flew in the day before, and arrived in San Pedro about noon. The line was long and seemed somewhat disorganized. However, the weather was nice, and although it took us more than one hour to get to the area for check in, I had read where this was a problem on other cruises leaving there, so we just waited our turn and visited with other people in line. Finally we arrived at check in, and since we were in a Celebrity Suite, 9096 were able to board quickly. Needless to say the ship did not look well cared for. It was shabby to say the least, and when we arrived at our suite, I was appalled at the condition of the room. The furniture was faded, dirty, and worn. It looked like they were trying to use this ship up until the last minute before spending a dime on repairs. The bathroom had mold in the corners and in the tub. We had plastic flowers that were glued down in a vase on the counter and tables. Very tacky and dusty I might add. After three days I ask our cabin steward to run the vacuum as it had not been done. That was the only time the carpet was cleaned in two weeks. The carpet had holes in it, stains, and the toss pillows on the sofa were so dirty that they should have been thrown away. The CS has a very nice layout, but this was not up to standards, and was shocking to see on Celebrity. We had a butler who was very poor by comparison to others. He did nothing, complained about the location of his station when I mentioned having dinner in our room. Obviously he did not want to be bothered, so we did not ask. I must mention, that 9096 has a major noise problem. It starts about 9pm and goes on all night. We contacted guest relations, and they said there was nothing they could do about it, as it was coming from a pantry that was being restocked. However, there was nothing above us that was open. The room steward did say that he had been on that ship for 8 months, and there had always been a problem. It was the sound of running, stamping feet, carts rolling and slamming. Needless to say it was impossible to get a decent nights sleep.. Everyone wants to know about the food. It was fair, and that was the best I could say. If they would turn the catering over to Applebees it would have been much better. We did enjoy the specialty restaurant and found it to be absolutely perfect. On the 14 night cruise we had dinner there two nights and enjoyed their outstanding food and service. Activities--Well, Celebrity has really started the nickel and time routine. My husband likes to work about for two hours every morning. Much to his surprise, there were no seats on the spin cycles&&guess what $10 charge to use them. Just a year ago, there was no charge. The bikes, $10, a yoga class $10, and so on. This was a very bad move on the part of the cruise line, and when my husband complained, there was no response from the guest services for the two weeks. This was a very poor experience, and will be our last Celebrity cruise. The whole attitude was not to care about anything, and you could tell by the worn furniture all over the ship, and general attitude of the staff. After 25 cruises, this will be the last one for a long time, and never again on Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
We traveled with three other couples and all of us had a great time. Embarkation was slow and there were long lines, but Celebrity personal explained the reasons. We live in a post 911 world, pluses the bird flu scare and Norwalk Virus. ... Read More
We traveled with three other couples and all of us had a great time. Embarkation was slow and there were long lines, but Celebrity personal explained the reasons. We live in a post 911 world, pluses the bird flu scare and Norwalk Virus. Celebrity takes the necessary precautions that we understand, and it was worth the wait. The ship was clean and the crew magnificent. The dinning experience is something to remember. Julio our waiter was a genuine person who took pride in the job he did, he made this a memorable vacation. The presentation and quality of food was excellent. We have been on many cruises, but can not rave enough about this dinning experience. We enjoyed the four day trip on the open seas to Hawaii. The weather was nice, the cruise director John did a great job on deck each afternoon. The captain would come on the PA system each day and explain the weather conditions, distanced traveled, etc. What a professional the captain was, and very reassuring. You would see the captain and staff captain around the ship each day, having sailed on Celebrity before we knew we were in safe hands - these officer's are the best. We did not go to the Celebrity theater, but the entertainment around the ship was very good. The vocalist and band at the Rendezvous Lounge made every night pleasurable - Frank Sinatra has returned. Our first stop was at the big island "Hilo" Here we did an excursion, and the bus driver was worth the price of admission. We went to Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory and Nami Maui Gardens, and the Akaka Falls. This excursion gave us a good taste of "Hilo." Our second stop was also on the big island "Kona." The ship docked, it was a hot and beautiful day. Everything was in walking distance, we shopped and enjoyed the sights for an enjoyable day. Our third stop was "Kauai." We did an excursion to the Fern Grotto and in the afternoon we had a luncheon Luau. Everyone who goes to Hawaii should do a Luau, don't miss this. Our fourth stop was "Honolulu." We were there from 7am to 11pm. We did a morning excursion to Pearl Harbour and the Mighty MO, please don't miss this it's something we will never forget. In the afternoon we went to Wauiki Beach - shopping, walking the beach and enjoying the beautiful city. This was a day to remember and it was capped of on the deck of the ship when we were leaving at 11pm with Hawaii night. We want to thank John the cruise director for this special evening. Our last stop "Maui was just too short. We were there from &am to 3pm, but by the time we tendered this left us only a few hours to shop and look around on this gorgeous day. Coming home was a good time to wind down. The service and entertainment were at peak performance and we enjoyed the trip. For some reason we were an hour and half late coming into port at LA, however everything went well and we had plenty of time to catch our flight to Boston that left LAX at 12:55pm. We can't wait to sail Celebrity again, I don't believe any cruise line can beat them for the value. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
This was our sixth cruise on Celebrity, our first on Summit, and it very well may be our last on Celebrity. As a 14 night cruise roundtrip from Los Angles to Hawaii, it disappointed in almost all respects. The Summit shows severe wear, ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise on Celebrity, our first on Summit, and it very well may be our last on Celebrity. As a 14 night cruise roundtrip from Los Angles to Hawaii, it disappointed in almost all respects. The Summit shows severe wear, long overdue for refurbishing. Fabric was worn throughout the public areas. The 11th deck, with a large pleasant public lounge by daytime and bar by night, has been converted into a tastelessly crude "Bar at the Edge of the Earth" where waiters harass customers to buy drinks. This hard sell in pushing drink sales is prevalent throughout the ship. And the hard sell carries over into many other areas of the ship, the Spa in particular. Many cruise companions told horror stories of paying for a Spa treatment and then being bombarded by a masseuse or trainer on their paid time with hard sell pitches to buy further Spa treatments and products. Although the waiters and assistants provided excellent, cordial service, most meals were a far distance from fine dining. Fresh vegetables and fruits were scarce, a real disappointment in view of the abundant supply which could have been found at this time of year. And beginning on the next to last day, there was not even brewed coffee. Large bowls of instant coffee were substituted when the coffee supply ran out. Entertainment during the 14 days was very uneven; there were 2 finely talented aerobic dancers and an excellent concert pianist, but the company of singers and dancers performed at the level of a junior high school talent show. The cruise director was pompous and endlessly in love with his own voice; during disembarkation, his longwinded hype actually brought forth several rounds of loud, sustained booing from hundreds of cruise guests who had been too polite to vent their real feelings up until the last dreadful moment. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
The ship is beautiful. As this was our first cruise we did not have any expectations. The crew was very courteous and anxious to please. We were so fortunate to have a superb waiter and assistant waiter in the dining room. Erbay and Ali ... Read More
The ship is beautiful. As this was our first cruise we did not have any expectations. The crew was very courteous and anxious to please. We were so fortunate to have a superb waiter and assistant waiter in the dining room. Erbay and Ali could not do enough to make sure that we were satisfied with our meals. They seemed to anticipate our every request. A major improvement would be to review the ports and length of stay. When we were tendered, a long process, we did not have enough time ashore. We took two excursions offered by Celebrity and were satisfied with them. We did notice that some areas of the ship need refurbishing. The stuffed chairs in one of the lounges were worn and needs to be replaced. The bedspreads in our cabin showed signs of wear. The commode needs to be replaced. The hose on the hair dryer was repaired after a wait of three days. The buffet was OK. They seemed to recycle some of the entrees from the previous night's dinner. Rack of lamb became lamb stew, etc. The passengers were predominately seniors. Entertainment was varied and good. All in all, this was a good experience for us and look forward to another Celebrity cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
In March of 2006 we left LA to cruise to Hawaii on the Celebrity Summit. We are seasoned cruisers and heard a lot about Celebrity. So we tried it. The cabin was like most ships and the service was good. The people friendly and did their ... Read More
In March of 2006 we left LA to cruise to Hawaii on the Celebrity Summit. We are seasoned cruisers and heard a lot about Celebrity. So we tried it. The cabin was like most ships and the service was good. The people friendly and did their jobs well. The food was not great. Dinner the selection was fair, they could not even make onion soup. Breakfast was average and more could have been offered. Lunch buffet was not great. You felt like you were eating leftovers, the selection was poor, the food tasteless, and there were fruit flies flying around. The sandwich bar couldn't make a sandwich. They had some specialty lunches, again unappealing and tasteless. We did a carnival Mexican last year at the urging of our agent and the food was by far so much better. Hard to believe. The pools you couldn't get into for the 2 weeks they were so cold. The hot tubs weren't hot, and it is hard to get 2000 people into 1 indoor pool where no one under 18 is allowed. For the most part the entertainment was good. As usual the Casino is in the middle of the floor and for those with breathing problem you had to go to dinner either by the floor above or the floor below. Smoking in all the lounges made sitting around and talking or listening to entertainment very uncomfortable. DO NOT rent a car from the ship by Hertz. They were just awful or didn't show at all and we had to use alternate rental agencies. The port calls were not planned well and because of bad weather previous to our stay, they should have made alternate plans. They knew what was going on in these ports and could change as other cruise lines do, they had plenty of warning. Then on the best island of Maui they told us if we were not on a tour we couldn't get off until 10- 10:30 and had to be back by 2. We just got off at 8 AM., but we knew they couldn't stop us, but for others is was not a good stop. They took us to ports where you could do nothing but shop, you couldn't rent a car, all excursions were cancelled and you couldn't go swimming because of polluted water. We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center where we expected to spend the day. Left at 9 AM stopped at a lookout point, at the bus drivers friend's store. Got to the center at noon had lunch and ended up with 2 1/2 hours of the center that needed at least 6. The bus driver had to stall time going. We had to leave at 3 and then stopped at a beach and the Dole factory and back at the boat at 5:30. This was an expensive trip. Go on your own and rent a car and spend the evening there which is a much better take. The buses do not have lifts and it made it difficult for people with special needs and also took a great deal of time boarding. The art auctioneer was very boring and long winded. Sitting through it was torcher. The crew did everything possible to make our stay pleasant but they were not responsible for the problems. They took us to 5 ports in 5 days, not well planned. There were a lot of complaints from other people on board. Unless you do not care to get off the ship and really see the island I would not recommend this kind of a cruise. Try to plan one that gives you an overnight in a few ports, or go to an island like Maui a few days early and then a cruise and maybe stay on an island after the cruise. They now have inter island ferries. We have future cruises planned for Australia, Alaska and the Mediterranean, I can't say that I won't go on Celebrity again, but I will investigate my choices very carefully. Happy cruising. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
The Basics Itinerary: 14 day Hawaii Circle Cruise from Los Angeles (San Pedro) Departure Date: 03/12/06 Ship: GTS Summit Stateroom: 6116 (Sky Suite) Background -- We are a married couple in our late 30s (ok, one of us turned 40 ... Read More
The Basics Itinerary: 14 day Hawaii Circle Cruise from Los Angeles (San Pedro) Departure Date: 03/12/06 Ship: GTS Summit Stateroom: 6116 (Sky Suite) Background -- We are a married couple in our late 30s (ok, one of us turned 40 somewhere between L.A. and Hilo) and live in the Washington, D.C. suburbs of Northern Virginia. This was our second cruise on Celebrity, third overall. We sailed Infinity to Alaska in May of 2005 and our first cruise was on the SS Atlantic of the now defunct Premier Cruise line way back in 1991. So it is fair to say that our only cruising experience to date has been with Celebrity. We thoroughly enjoyed our Alaska cruise and were looking forward to another great experience going to Hawaii. Pre-Cruise -- We arrived in LA the day prior to the cruise and did a Hollywood walking tour with Red Line Tours. I highly recommend this tour as you get to see a lot of the famous Hollywood landmarks up close and it really doesnt require a lot of walking. We spent the night at the Long Beach Hilton using Hilton HHonors points. Hotel was clean and modern and close to the Queen Mary and waterfront in Long Beach. On the morning of our departure, we took a walk from the hotel to the Queen Mary and back (approx. 3 miles). It was a nice walk, but there really arent any sidewalks or paths out to the Queen Mary, so you have to do some walking on the edge of the highway. Since it was a Sunday morning, we didnt have to contend with a lot of traffic. Our rental car from Hertz had a navigation system in which came in real handy even though I know my way around the area pretty well. It was a big help when we were looking for Trader Joes in Long Beach to stock up on wine prior to the cruise. One note on renting from Hertz  When I initially made my reservation, they had a drop off location in downtown Long Beach with reimbursement on cab fare to the cruise terminals. I found out shortly before our cruise that the downtown location is now closed on Sundays and the nearest drop off is at the Long Beach airport. Not to fear, as the Hertz web site stated that cab fare to the pier would reimbursed up to $25.00 with a receipt. Anticipating difficulty with this, I printed out this information prior to dropping the car off. Sure enough, the agent at LGB had never heard of this policy and would only give me a $10.00 credit on the rental rather than give me a voucher or some other method to get reimbursed. Nevertheless, Hertz had arranged a shuttle from the airport to the piers and we were off within 15 minutes of dropping off the car. Embarkation -- We arrived at the pier in San Pedro at approximately 1:00PM and my best guess is that we were on board in less than an hour. I had heard of some nightmare embarkations in L.A. recently and was anticipating the worst. I was pleasantly surprised as we only had a short wait after we checked in and received our SeaPass cards. Everyone was given a piece of paper with a number and told to wait, as there had been a backup of people getting on board. We sat for a short time until our number was called and before we knew it, we were on board. Summit -- Since we had sailed on Summits sister ship, Infinity, just nine months ago, we found Summit to be very familiar and easy to get around. The only differences I noted were the location of the Computer Lab and Acupuncture at Sea in the across from the midship stairs. On Infinity, they were located near the movie theater. Overall, I found the Summit to be in great condition and there always appeared to be someone cleaning the public areas of the ship. Most notably, there was one member of the housekeeping staff who seemed to be constantly cleaning the railings on the stairs. There were a few areas where I noticed some wear, but it is what I would expect for a ship that had been in pretty much constant use for five years. One noticeable change from Infinity was the presence of hand sanitizing stations near every eating area. With the recent outbreaks of Norovirus, Celebrity certainly wasnt going to take any chances. Stateroom -- Sky Suites are the smallest category of suites on the Millennium class ships and they are really just a little bit bigger than a veranda or Concierge Class cabin (approx. 50 sq. ft. according to Celebritys stats). That being said, we found the extra space came in real handy for our two weeks on board. Compared to the Veranda stateroom we had on Infinity, the Sky Suite had enough extra storage room for us to put two weeks of clothing and belongings away without having to use the couch to permanently store items. While the closet is not a true walk-in, it is pretty large and had plenty of space to hang all of our items. That alone made the cabin seem a lot bigger. The Sky Suite also has a larger television than the standard cabin and ours was equipped with a DVD player, which we never used. The room was in very good condition overall. There were a few minor things like scuffs in the woodwork on the cabinets (probably from all that vacuuming) to tiles in the bathroom that probably could have used some new grout. To us, these were minor things that had no impact on our experience one way or another. Food/Service -- Since food is highly subjective, Ill keep it brief. We thought the food was very good (main dining room, buffet) to great (Normandie). No complaints or returned meals from anyone at our table. One of our tablemates did meet someone on shore in Maui who had a complaint about the food  there wasnt enough! Go figure. Service on board was outstanding. Our butler, room steward, waiter, assistant waiter, and assistant maitred were all great. A special mention goes to our assistant maitred, Danuta. We had the pleasure of meeting her on Infinity last year and were pleasantly surprised to see her again on Summit. She really goes out of her way to take care of people at her table and makes a point to visit each of her tables at every dinner. The cheers she got on the last formal night show just how popular she is with her guests. Of course, you cant talk about the Summit crew without mentioning Happy Happy and Sal who were constantly greeting passengers throughout the cruise. Entertainment -- We did not attend as many shows as we had hoped, but the few we did attend were great. The taste of Cirque de Soleil was exactly that, a taste that left you asking for more. Kind of like the whole trip to Hawaii. We heard good things about both the comedian and ventriloquist. Ports/Shore Excursions -- This being our first time to Hawaii, we decided to stick with the Celebrity shore excursions rather than rent a car and explore on our own. Here is a summary of what we did at each of the island: Hilo  Lava Viewing Hike  This trip required a 45 minute drive to Volcanoes National Park where we made a few stops at some of the scenic areas inside the park such as the Thurston lava tube. We then drove to the end of Chain of Craters road and began the hike at the ranger station which is conveniently built on pallets in the event it has to be moved quickly. The hike on the lava was less than a mile each way, but because of the uneven surface, it seemed a lot longer and was fairly strenuous but well worth it as we got a great view of the lava entry point into the ocean with its huge steam plume. On the ride back to the ship, we made a stop at the Mauna Loa Macadamia nut plantation, which conveniently has a gift store located on site. Note: You can find most of the gifts in this store cheaper at places like Wal-Mart. Some of the macadamia nut items are probably harder to find elsewhere. Grade: A+ Kona  Valley Waterfall Hiking Adventure - We were going to rent a car in Kona, but since we enjoyed the lava hike so much, we decided to try another hike. This one promised a walk along a historic Cliffside trail 1000 feet above the valley floor. Along the way encounter waterfalls and panoramic views. It delivered exactly that, so I cant complain too much. However, this tour required a 1.5 hour drive each way (which we knew about going in) and our guide seemed to be in a hurry to get us back to the ship so we can go shopping. I think he was more interested in attending the UB40 concert that night which created a big traffic jam as we returned to Kona. Grade: B- Kauai  Waimea Canyon Tour  Due to the heavy rains which had fallen before our arrival, numerous roads were closed on the island causing the cancellation of many tours, including ours. We were disappointed, but considering the loss of life and property that had occurred, it seemed like a minor inconvenience. Since the beaches were closed to the threat from bacteria in the water due to runoff, most of the in water excursions were cancelled as well. I did hear that some people were able to get on Helicopter tours in the afternoon once the skies cleared. Most passengers either stayed on board or took one of the local shopping shuttles into town. On our sailaway from Kauai, we got a peek as to the true beauty of this island, well definitely have to come back here. Grade: Incomplete Honolulu  Arizona Memorial and City Sightseeing  We decided to do the Celebrity sponsored tour since we felt it offered us the best chance to get to the USS Arizona memorial early before the crowds got too bad. This strategy worked out pretty well as we had about an wait after getting our tickets. This provided us plenty of time to check out the museum and other exhibits at this much too small facility. We did find out that some people made it to the Arizona Memorial faster by getting off the ship at the first opportunity and grabbing a cab. So you may want to think about that strategy when planning your visit to Pearl Harbor. The rest of the tour was a very good tour via bus through some other scenic and historic parts of Honolulu including Punch Bowl, Pali lookout, and downtown Honolulu with a final stop at Hilo Hatties. We had an excellent guide/bus driver, Sula, who really added a lot of insight and humor to the trip. Grade: A Maui  Whale Watching  We booked this excursion through Celebrity since our time in Maui was so brief (approx. 6 hours) that we didnt want to take any chances. We took our assigned tender to shore only to find out that our excursion had been cancelled. Apparently the tour operators other boat had an emergency of some sort, maybe a fire, and that the boat scheduled to take us was unavailable. Not to worry, as there are plenty of vendors on the shore providing many different types of excursions. We ended up with tour from Pacific Whale Foundation which turned out to be a great excursion  and we saved approximately $10 pp. Grade: A Cruise Critic Events -- We had a very active roll-call thread, which led to several planned activities before and during our cruise that really enhanced the cruise experience for us. In addition, Celebrity threw us not one, but two Cruise Critic parties. The first party was held on our third sea day, not the first one as we had come to expect. We received invitations for a second party on the second Tuesday of our cruise, which coincided with our last port day in Maui. Since our stay in Maui was only six hours, this wasnt a popular choice. Fortunately we received new invitations to a rescheduled party on Wednesday, a sea day, and all was well. In addition to the Celebrity sponsored parties, we had several get-togethers throughout the cruise including a sail away party, cabin crawl and an open house in one of the fabulous Penthouse suites. Also, quite a few of us went to the Luau at the Royal Hawaiian in Honolulu which I enjoyed. No part of it was fantastic and it seemed a little short, but it was a good time and I can now say I went to a Luau. After talking to some of the people who went to the Paradise Cove Luau, it appeared we made the better choice. Disembarkation -- A much smoother process than what we experienced in San Francisco last year. We did have to wait a while in the Celebrity theater as there were only three officials checking peoples docs. They added three more just as we got to the front of the line which sped the process up greatly. Our number was called almost precisely at the time we were expected to disembark. Once off the ship, we found a taxi to take us back to LAX rather than using the Celebrity transfer coach bus. For $45 (a little less since we shared a ride), we were at LAX in less than 45 minutes, plenty of time for our 1:00PM flight home. Conclusion/Summary -- Would we do this cruise again? Definitely. We would probably like to take a land-based trip to the islands to spend more time in Hawaii, but you cant beat this itinerary for the amount of relaxation you get with the sea days combined with all that you see in your all too short stay in Hawaii. If the prospect of four days in a row at sea without seeing land isnt your thing, then you should stay away. However if youre looking for 2 weeks of relaxation and pampering with five great port stops in the middle, then this is the cruise for you. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
Pre Cruise: Flew into Long Beach airport and stayed at the Guesthouse in Long Beach. Rented a car and left the car in downtown Long Beach the car rental called us a taxi to the port. Had a wonderful day sightseeing and shopping for last ... Read More
Pre Cruise: Flew into Long Beach airport and stayed at the Guesthouse in Long Beach. Rented a car and left the car in downtown Long Beach the car rental called us a taxi to the port. Had a wonderful day sightseeing and shopping for last minute things in Long Beach. Embarkation: Went through the initial line very fast. Then it was hurry up and wait. They started to hand out tickets for entering the ship. I think it was in groups of 100. We were told the staff cannot handle more than that at a time. But at least we waited inside the terminal so not so bad. Wait time: 50 minutes We were the 5th group to board. Ship: Beautiful ship our room was very small but bright. Had plenty of room to store our stuff after we asked our steward to take out the extra blankets and other stuff we didnt want in there. The Champagne bar was gorgeous. The dining room was lovely. I was especially delighted with the ceiling in the dining room! Staff: We had a wonderful staff. Our room steward Felipe and his assistant Sidney were awesome! One thing that bothered me was on the tip envelopes it was the same envelope for both Felipe and Sidney. I did not have a suite just a plain room so I was not aware I had to pay for two room stewards. It was not that big of a problem just hate to be unaware. It was not posted anywhere that we would have two room stewards(even though one was labeled as an assistant on the tip envelope). Wait staff was very good. Our Assist Maitred was Larry and he was very friendly and helped make our dinner very entertaining. Our Waiter Wawan was good but he did have trouble remembering some things. (I do not like fish and I had told him I do not like fish my steak tasted like fish, I had my husband taste it and he said yes tasted like fish. They probably cooked it next to fish. Anyway, I asked for a new steak, our waiter brought me back fish and when I looked at him like it was a joke he said fish is good yes? I said no I do not like fish. At this point everyone was done eating so I told him to never mind. I would go get a slice of pizza or something. Not a good experience. He was extremely friendly and a great guy but you had to tell him a couple times. Our assistant waiter was Joseph and he was a blast to have around. Always remembered ice tea for dinner for some of us. He let my husband clean our table and set up for dessert. We had a hoot that night! Food: Was good the beef was excellent. Lamb was good. Sorry not a seafood person, but everyone else at the table thought the seafood was good. I had heard a lot about the food on Celebrity so I thought it would be spectacular but it wasnt. I would have to say it was good but not star quality. I do have a complaint about the buffet. On Royal Caribbean they have stations set about and that seems to work well. That way no one station is a wait in line for all. On Celebrity I felt like it was a high school cafeteria line I was waiting in. The waiters taking the trays afterwards was nice then they could seat you and you didnt have to wander around wondering where you were going to sit. They communicated with each other and knew where you could sit. Things to do on the Ship: Basically, most cruise lines are the same. But things did seem to die down about 10pm. We are late 40's and I would have to say we were the minority on this cruise, but we were on the cruise to relax and with this cruise that is exactly what you do! Karaoke: ( I know a lot of people dont like this form of entertainment but) My husband and I go to cheer on anyone who is brave enough to go up there. If either one of us had any kind of voice we would be up there. Marriage Game: Seen one you have seen them all. But you always have to love the people braving it to answer the embarrassing questions. Art Auction: umm I will pass on this one my husband spent a ridiculous amount of money there. He loved it! Bingo: was always well attended. We had a Cruise Critic Connections meeting and it was so well attended that the CD stated he wanted us to all get together at the end of the cruise and talk about our experiences. So please sign up for your meet and mingle parties and attend! They do like to see us having a good time! Shore Excursions: I would certainly do the Na Pali Expedition again and again! The scenery is spectacular, along with the whales, dolphins, seal monks, sea turtles, and all the different birds etc you see. Hilo was a big hit with Volcanoes National Park. Kona we wondered ourselves and had a blast talking to all the people. Honolulu was a great tour going to the North Shore and seeing Sunset Beach and Turtle Beach and a wonderful Macadamia Nut Factory. Be sure to try the Cinnamon ones DELICIOUS! Then Maui was suppose to be the Maui Whale Watch but it was canceled due to the boat being on a rescue mission. Which I heard they did a fantastic job saving three people from a burning boat! So we spent the day meandering through town again and spending more money on trinkets! Debarkation: Smooth as silk. They are a little confused though. They state you do not have to bring any of your carry on luggage to the immigrations part but when you get there they are calling out do not go back to your room stay in the public areas so you can hear when your color is called. I think they need to get themselves straight on this. Total impression of the trip: Relaxing trip. The four and one half days to get to Hilo was long. So be prepared to like sea days a lot. But once you get to the islands time seems to speed up and by then you know people better and the four and a half days going home is too short! They had a scavenger hunt which was fun but way too short only 10 items. They need to make it something a little longer. They did enjoy some of the imagination used to get some of the items on the list! We met some very nice people and All in all I would and have recommended this trip. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
Review of Celebrity Summit Panama Canal Transit 12-26 February 2006 Embarkation at Los Angeles was no problem as we had been staying in the area for a few days. After dropping our Hertz car at Long Beach Airport a helpful Hertz guy got ... Read More
Review of Celebrity Summit Panama Canal Transit 12-26 February 2006 Embarkation at Los Angeles was no problem as we had been staying in the area for a few days. After dropping our Hertz car at Long Beach Airport a helpful Hertz guy got us a shuttle bus to share with two other Cruise Critic members going on the same cruise, so we were there in no time and put faces to two Cruise Critic friends on the way. The lines at the terminal were quite long but we were on the ship and dropping our carry on bags in our cabins just after 1pm. My wife and I were in inside cabin 3071 on Plaza Deck and our friend travelling on her own was in the adjacent cabin 3067. We discovered that 3067 is alongside a staff access door that leads behind the cabin to a working/storage area and a metal staircase. Staff running up and down the staircase late at night and early in the morning sound like thunder in these cabins, but particularly in 3067. 3067 also suffers from noisy early morning staff activity in the storage/working area but this is not evident in 3071. After being woken at around 6am by the noise we complained. According to our cabin stewards notices were put up asking staff to take care to avoid noise. This had no effect. A second complaint resulted in more notices but we were still being woken up. On being woken at 6.10am again I rang guest services immediately whereas we had previously gone there on our way to breakfast. This resulted in parts of the area being taped off and staff were instructed not to use the access door adjacent to 3067 at night. We were each sent a bottle of wine and basket of fruit by Guest Services who also offered us a change of cabins further down the corridor, but we decided to see what effect the new regime had before facing the hassle of packing and moving. While there was occasional noise it was muted and we were never woken again. Ironically the cabins were exceptionally well insulated from noise in the corridors or between cabins. The cabin was quite spacious, with the beds arranged as a queen as we had requested, with a two drawer bedside unit on either side of the bed. There was a dressing table on one side of the cabin and a small two-seater convertible sofa on the opposite side. Then came the two double wardrobes, which were opposite the bathroom. There was a safe inside one of the wardrobes. The television and fridge were in an angled section of the wardrobe nearest the dressing table. We managed to find room for two weeks worth of clothes in the space provided, though with nothing to spare. Our cabin steward Sofyan from Indonesia and his assistant Godfrey from India kept the cabin spotlessly clean and were both very friendly. We had requested first sitting for dinner and were on table 529 on the higher level of the dining room. It was a table for six, though there were only ever five of us, my wife and I, our friend and Frank and his wife Yolande from Detroit. Sadly one of their cases went astray on the flight to LA and it never caught up with them. Our waiter Lloyd from India and his assistant Arnold were excellent and very friendly, which is more than could be said for the wine waiter. This was our third cruise on Celebrity so the menus and food no longer had the wow factor of our first Celebrity cruise but were nevertheless very enjoyable, even if spoiled as we have been there often seemed to be only one thing we fancied each night. We prefer to have breakfast and lunch at the buffet. The breakfast choices are a delight, especially the waffles. Lunch however, like our cruise on Galaxy last summer seems to cater more for those wanting yet another hot meal rather than those wanting cold choices. Fortunately the Aquaspa Cafe offered a small rotating selection of additional cold menu choices. In our view Celebrity still doesnt do as good a buffet as Holland America, even though it beats it hands down for the evening dining room food. The ship itself is spacious and attractively decorated and furnished with some whimsical artwork and statues. I discovered that I could use my wireless notebook anywhere in the Grand Foyer atrium to check my e-mail and the satellite connection was surprisingly fast. The Bar at the Edge of The Earth on deck 11 at the bow of the ship is its forward observation lounge, but its Cirque de Soleil beds diminish the available seating for busy times like going through the Panama Canal locks. The lounge was only used once for a Cirque de Soleil White Masquerade Party during the 14-night voyage. It is sometimes used for ballroom dancing, but is mainly used at nights as the disco. We spent more time in the Rendezvous Lounge on the Promenade Deck where a ballroom dancing duo or band could be found every night and where the two dance hosts were available to dance with unaccompanied ladies like our friend. We also enjoyed Paul Strowe singing to his own guitar accompaniment by the pool in the day and outdoors on the rear Lido deck at night. Like our cruise on Galaxy last summer we found the entertainment to be a mixed bag. The four production shows were superb, as was the first nights show by two of the production shows lead singers, the ventriloquist and the local Mexican Folkloric troupe in Acapulco. We failed to find a seat for the comedian as my wife was having a winning streak on the slots in the casino. The sound on the third level balcony was rather unclear but it was better lower down but we didnt feel like standing for the rest of the comedians show. The Cirque de Soleil show was disappointing. In fact the aerial artists in the production show Alex & Sally were far better than the Cirque de Soleil show. Then there were four instrumentalists, which is too many for our tastes, no matter how talented they are. We would rather have had a little more variety such as a magician and a solo vocalist. Ports: Cabo San Lucas: This is a small but fast growing town at the southern tip of the California Baja Peninsular. It is set on a beautiful bay with the famous Les Arches rock formation (also called Lands End) marking the meeting of the Pacific and the Sea of Cortez. We took a ships tour of the area that took us along the coast to the supposedly less commercialised town of San Jose del Cabo. Like Cabo there are lots of condos and hotels being built and it will soon be just another tourist haunt, but for now it does still have some semblance of an old Mexican town. Acapulco: Set on a huge bay with mountains behind, Acapulco is a big city by comparison to all the other ports of call. We took the city tour that included the not-to-be-missed cliff divers. The city spreads for over 4 miles along the beaches in the bay. We enjoyed the visit but we are not city people so it is bigger than we prefer. We sailed from Acapulco at 11pm, which gave us a beautiful view of the twinkling lights of the city all the way up the mountains surrounding the bay. Huatulco: This is one of our two favourite ports. It was originally a small fishing village that is now the location chosen by the Mexican government to develop an ecological tourist destination covering 27 miles of coastline. One third of the entire area is to be a nature reserve and no buildings are allowed to exceed 6 stories high. The whole area that we visited on a ships tour is beautiful, both naturally and in the quality of the development. If you want to see it at its best go soon because by 2030 the Mexican government expect it to be bigger than Cancun. Puntarenas: We had expected more of this port of call after hearing how prosperous Cost Rica is compared to most Central and South American countries, but we were disappointed. The overwhelming impression was of garbage everywhere. It was a Sunday and the beach by the jetty was thronged with locals who seemed to delight in dropping garbage everywhere, despite plenty of bins to put it in. There were craft and souvenir stalls along the boardwalk at the back of the beach and we strolled among them looking at the goods on offer. The stallholders were very friendly and not at all pushy so it was a pleasant way of spending an hour or so, but the dirty condition of the town didnt encourage us to linger. All the ships tours were far too long to appeal to us, so after our stroll ashore we enjoyed a lazy day on the ship. Panama Canal: This was the purpose of the trip and it lived up to our wildest expectations. It is difficult to convey how fascinating it is to see it in real life and to take in what a colossal undertaking it was to build it ninety-nine years ago. I had read David McCulloughs book The Path Between The Seas  The Creation of the Panama Canal 1870 -1914 before the trip, (as I would advise anyone to do before making the canal cruise). So I knew the history of the 33 years of effort by the French and the Americans and the 25,000 lives that it cost to build it, but experiencing it gave it a whole new dimension. We went on deck before 6.30am so we could see Summit go under the Bridge of the Americas. The sun was just rising, reflecting off the skyscrapers of Panama City. Then we entered the first of the two locks at Miraflores at about 7.15am. After Miraflores we sailed the short distance to the Pedro Miguel lock which raised us the last step to enter the eight-mile passage through the mountains. The mountains looked surprisingly low, but this had been and remains the most difficult part of the construction effort. Landslides continue to this day, such is the unstable nature of the soil and rock in this area in the wet season. Then we arrived at Gatun Lake. Those going on shore excursions were tendered off about 2pm and the ship anchored for over two hours awaiting our 4.20pm slot through the three Gatun Locks. We came out of the final lock at 6.15pm just as we were starting dinner. The ship berthed at Cristobal at 7.15pm and after finishing dinner we went ashore to explore the craft and souvenir shops in the Duty Free area by the berth, bring to an end our long but fascinating day in Panama. Aruba: This was our other favourite port. It is so clean with pretty Dutch style architecture and the people are so friendly. We walked into town the short distance from the berth, which was right by the marina in Oranjestad. The walk by the marina was punctuated by stops at the many craft and souvenir stalls where we made a contribution to the local economy. Then we found the pretty boardwalk that took us in front of the Radisson Hotel to their private beach before exploring the stores in the Seaport Marketplace by the hotel. The Radisson is on both sides of the road so we crossed to the side away from the beach to explore the Renaissance Mall that is an extension of the hotel. After taking pictures of the Dutch style buildings we also explored the Royal Plaza Mall before heading back to the ship. We were amazed to realise that we had been happily exploring for four hours though we did have two coffee stops during that time! In summary it was a very enjoyable cruise. No cruise line we have been on so far is perfect, and we have experienced eight different ones on fifteen cruises, but Celebrity, despite its faults is the nearest to perfect for us. Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
My wife and I sailed on Summit from LA on 12 Feb for the eastbound trip to Ft Lauderdale through the Panama Canal. We have cruised on 10 occasions with three cruise lines; Celebrity, Carnival and RCCL. We had an outside view stateroom on ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on Summit from LA on 12 Feb for the eastbound trip to Ft Lauderdale through the Panama Canal. We have cruised on 10 occasions with three cruise lines; Celebrity, Carnival and RCCL. We had an outside view stateroom on the Continental deck. Embarkation: There was a long lineup at the pier but it moved quickly and we were aboard the ship about a half hour after arrival at San Pedro. Documentation etc was done quickly and in a friendly manner. We have had faster boarding processing in San Diego and Vancouver but the system at San Pedro was certainly acceptable. Food. This was our fourth cruise with Celebrity and the quality of food has remained excellent over the years. The Waiter and his Assistant (an Indian and Thai, respectively) assigned to our table were the most efficient, polite and capable that we have ever had. Their memories for "the little things" and their good humor were very much appreciated. Stateroom. Although the stateroom was well laid out with ample storage and met our needs, the daily maintenance of the room was not satisfactory. Our stateroom attendant (a Filipino female) was consistent in her absence and made no effort to introduce herself or request if we had any special needs. The bathroom glasses had the same lipstick stains for four consecutive days. The beds were poorly made with badly wrinkled sheets and blankets. A disappointment to be sure. Staff. The multi-national staff on this ship were outstanding with the exception of the Stateroom Attendant. Waiting staff in the lounges, cafeterias, theatre and other areas were friendly and helpful in every respect. Facilities. The lounge on the eleventh deck that was once called "Revelations" before being changed to accommodate Cirque de Soleile has a decor that can only be described as gawd-awful ugly. With the demise of the Cirque we certainly hope the old decor is restored. The most popular lounge on the ship, Rondez-vous, was comfortable and relaxed in spite of furniture that looked to be a day or two removed from a rummage sale. The chairs were worn, torn and tattered and seemed to be screaming for replacement or rejuvenation. When we arrived in Ft Lauderdale we were told by a staff member that the ship had not been in that port (with the Head Office in nearby Miami) for about 9 months and an inspection was scheduled to take place shortly after our arrival. Hopefully, the discrepancies noted above will be seen and rectified at the soonest possible opportunity. Ports. Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Huatulco, Cristobal and Oranjestad were just fine and the only disappointment was Puntarenas which had all the charm and dignity of a garbage dump. Costa Rica touts itself as an environmental paradise but Puntarenas screams otherwise. Trash was everywhere with bins overflowing. Plastic bottles, cups and bags were strewn from one end of the town to the other including the beach area and greatly detracted from what could otherwise be a beautiful town. Disembarkation. We can't comment on this matter as we were scheduled for a shore tour to the everglades and our departure from the ship was arranged to meet the tour schedule. Summary. We were on Summit for 14 days which gave us plenty of time to find things to whine about but despite those anomalies mentioned above we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and believe we received good value for our money. Any complaints we have can be easily rectified and we expect the appropriate action will be taken. Celebrity certainly remains as our "preferred" cruise line and we will have no hesitation in selecting Celebrity for our next cruise with all things being equal with other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
This was our 5th cruise but first with Celebrity. Our experience has been with Norwegian and Royal Caribbean in the past. My wife and I are in our early 50s from Central Maine. I am in Sales and my wife works in human resources. We ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise but first with Celebrity. Our experience has been with Norwegian and Royal Caribbean in the past. My wife and I are in our early 50s from Central Maine. I am in Sales and my wife works in human resources. We generally take a Cruise in our slow winter months enjoying warm weather climates. We arrived in LA at 10am in a massive rain storm. Winds were fierce and it was evident this was not the norm for the area. We hired a town car out of Road Runner Shuttle to meet us and transport us directly to the port (we found the cost to be slightly higher than other methods of transfer, but well worth it). The driver was entertaining and skillful at negotiating the traffic and flooded ramps off the highway to the port by 11am. Arriving at his time would normally be OK but because of the weather and high winds we found the port to be disorganized. Apparently the gangway was twisted by the winds and caused a long delay in passengers disembarking. Arriving passengers was forced to wait outside in adverse weather waiting to board. Embarkation: 1 Star due mostly to Los Angeles Port Authority and adverse weather. We found the Summit to be very clean and comfortable with lots of space, never seeming crowded. It didnt have the WOW factor that the Royal Caribbean Ships has but is a beautiful ship and very clean (4 stars). We boarded the Summit at 3pm finding our stateroom #9144 was all that was promised. Very nicely laid out with plenty of storage, nice balcony and very clean. Best cabin yet for the money (5 stars)! Edwin our cabin attendant was outstanding! We departed LA at midnight (6 hours late). We woke up the next morning to a very rough cruise. I swear the stabilizers were not in operation. We were looking for the seat belts for the bed. I have been on 4 previous cruises and never sick. This was the exception. I couldnt keep down the sea sickness pills that were being handed out like candy to most passengers. Be aware, this is apparently normal for this time of year heading out of LA to Hawaii. Be prepared! The rough seas continued for 3 days but the pills kicked in on the 2nd day, and my voyage improved greatly. Edwin, our cabin attendant really paid attention to me and my sickness, catering to every request with real concern for my health. The return cruise sea days were just fine. We ate great dinners in the Cosmopolitan dining room (table for 2) and had Carlos as our head water, and Bond his assistant. Both were very attentive and catered to every request with such pleasure. Both had a great sense of humor. Meals in the dining room were outstanding! Good selection and always cooked to perfection and served hot. I rate the Cosmopolitan (5 stars). We did try the Normandy one night and did not find it worth the extra fee. We enjoyed the Cosmopolitan and company of the neighboring tables the best choice of the restaurants. Luncheon buffets in the Waterfall Cafe (4 stars) were good but not great. Pizza was very good. Burgers at the Waterfall Grill was also good. We went to most every show and found the entertainment and theater outstanding. The comedian was great, the Broadway style production shows was the best we have found on any ship. There was very comfortable seating with good views. Rating 5 stars! Casino: Very typical for a Cruise Ship (3 Stars). It did seem to be paying out better than previous cruises. We found the Wheel of Fortune Slot that seemed to be paying off very well. Fellow gamblers were friendly, talkative and helpful in the Casino. Dealers tended not to be as helpful or talkative. Shore Excursions: Secrets of Puna, Hilo (4 ½ Stars) very informative female guides on the Volcano and Lava fields and they took us in a GMC Yukon XL luxury SUV into areas you would never consider but did enjoy once you arrived. We did do some snorkeling in fresh water/salt water inlet. You did learn a lot of history on the volcanic activity of the island. Explore the North Shore, Honolulu (2 Stars) this excursion you are bused to the north shore and visit the Dole Plantation. We did get to see a large sea turtle and Surfing. This was a somewhat boring excursion. Valley Waterfall Hiking Adventure, Kailua Kona (5 stars) very informative and entertaining guide takes you by 4x4 up a mountain in very rough muddy terrain to a 3 mile hike on a nice mountain trail up an older volcano to explore amazing waterfalls, plant life and animals along with an overview of the Hawaiian language and culture. Fellow passengers: The friendliest we have experienced but also the oldest. Average age on this cruise is late 60s. Complainers were seldom noticed once we were over the rough seas. Most everyone we found to be very pleased with their experience. A ship full of complaining people can ruin an entire voyage for everybody. Basically, this ship is beautiful. The ship is in great shape. Cold towels and juice when you return from a port is great. Cushions on deck chairs are nice. Service is amazing; they really mean being Treated Famously. All of Summits employees seem to love their job, friendly and take a personable interest in your experience. It really feels like they want to help you and give you great service, not like they have to. At 91,000 tons, the Summit only has 1950 passengers and close to 1000 employees. This ship never seems to be crowded and crew members are always available for any request. Overall I give this experience 4 ½ stars and most likely higher if it wasnt for the rough seas. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
Let me say first this was the only celebrity cruise we have been on and have only cruised once before with Royal Caribbean. We booked this 9 months in advance and got a very good deal. There were four of us 2 adults(early 30's) and 2 ... Read More
Let me say first this was the only celebrity cruise we have been on and have only cruised once before with Royal Caribbean. We booked this 9 months in advance and got a very good deal. There were four of us 2 adults(early 30's) and 2 boys (6,13) in an inside cabin (9159). I will try to be as unbiased as possible. Embarkation: Disaster! We stayed the night at the Best Western Sunrise ($100) that has a free shuttle to the pier. We were informed that there were problems so we could not board until 1:00pm. We got to the pier around that time but it was total mayhem. Thousands of people standing around not knowing what to do or where to go. The gangway was broken and the X-ray machine was broken so there was a huge delay with the people getting off and we could not get on. We sat in the cold and rain for over 4 hours with two children. I saw NO ONE from Celebrity to even help at all. This was very poor service on their part. Everyone has very angry. There were lines that went no where, people just wondering what to do. They dropped the ball on this one. They may not have caused the problems but they handled in the worst way. First four days at sea: The boat is GORGEOUS! It is very elegant but understated. It is a little confusing at first but in no time you figure everything out. Our cabin was inside on the skydeck (9). There is some noise from the restaurant and deck above so bring earplugs. There is also a sewage smell every once in a while but I don't know if that was around all the boat. I only smelled it on our deck. The cabin was small but fine but we were crowded with 4 people (our choice). Our cabin steward was great (Jose). I could not ask for anything better in this arena. He was efficient and quick as we rarely ever saw him. The sea was rough for the first couple of days so a lot of people were sick, myself included. The meclezine cleared it up for me. The activities on board were in one word BORING. They have a commercial you watch were it says that Bingo is the official sport of Celebrity, they mean it! There is lots of bridge playing (Bridge?)I don't even know anyone who plays. They had financial lectures (yawn), computer classes (interesting, but this is my vacation!),oceanographer series, and a "Hawaiian ambassador" (he was nice). I did the trivia, which was fun but the questions were strange and very age based. I played Bingo (because there was nothing else to do), the Newlywed game was very fun but just one night. The kids program was great for my six year old. He spent every minute there and had a blast. My teenager had a hard time finding the other teens as they did not so a lot to bring the older kids together but they eventually found each other so then there was a small pack of teens hanging out. After that we never saw him at all. The ports: Hilo: I highly recommend renting a car (Thrifty) and seeing things yourself. The ship's excursion is about $100 per person and they went to the same places we did but we spent just $35 for the car and they pick you up at the pier. We ate at a place called the coconut grill that was yummy ($50). The macadamia nut factory is on the way to Volcanoes Natl. Park so you can make a very easy trip of it. Kauai: My favorite, we should have rented a car. We went to the Fern Grotto and did the river cruise $60 for the fours of us, I really enjoyed this, it is truly beautiful. Taxis are hard to come by but there is a shuttle to and from the Coconut Grove Marketplace from the pier. Rent a car! Also if you arrange your tour from the pier or throughout the little freebee magazine. You can get a helicopter tour for half what the boat charges. Honolulu: Yuck is this LA? We rented a car ($35) and did the Arizona which was nice but not as moving as I had hoped. We got there about 9:30 and got tickets for 10:45am, not too bad. The film was great but the museum was so crowded you could hardly even look at anything. We skipped the Mighty Mo and the Bowfin (which I wish we would have done). We went to the Dole Plantation, skip it! The cost to go on the train ($30)was ridiculous and boring. We did the Paradise Cove Luau, Which was a lot like a Vegas night club act. I am glad we saw one but I don't ever need to see another. The food was so-so. We had the Entertainment book coupon which saved us $100. Kona: The only port that was tendered and we had a super short day there 8-3. Considering how long it took you get off the boat, you really only had about four hours to spend. The boys went parasailing with UFO parasail (BOGO w/entertainment book) which was great! The weather was the best in Kona at about 85F and sunny. I snorkeled right off the pier which surprisingly had a lot of fish and things. You can take a free shuttle to the better snorkeling beach as well. Kona was very nice and not too touristy like Honolulu. The last days at sea: We watched Cirque du Soliel and it was good. The shows were good as well but the movies, could they get any older? As I was desperate for activities we went to all of them. I enjoyed the library and the spa. I wish they would have had a laundry mat so we could have packed less. We lost quite a bit in the Casino but there was not a whole lot to do so we spent a lot of time there. The seas was great on the way home but not a lot of sun on the whole trip. The Normandie: We ate there and it was so worth the extra $60 The food was very good but there is not evening buffet which really limits your choices. The casual evening restaurant was lousy. The pasta bar is great but my kids only ate hamburgers by the pool side. The sushi bar was good and the pizza OK. The service of the wait staff is impecible (Kumar/Julian). I will cruise again but not with this company. This is tailored for the over sixty crowd. I didn't mind being in the minority but I would have begged for some fun things to do. Our last cruise had midnight buffets with conga lines and great bands and lots of fun. This had Bingo and bridge and lectures. The whole ship was in bed by 10:30. I was hoping for a little more rounded experience of luxury and partying. I hope I have been fair. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
This was a 14 day round trip from Los Angeles to Hawaii and back on Celebritys Summit with 3 of my cousins and their husbands We had 4 sea days going and coming. Our plan was to arrive a day early just in case of inclement weather in ... Read More
This was a 14 day round trip from Los Angeles to Hawaii and back on Celebritys Summit with 3 of my cousins and their husbands We had 4 sea days going and coming. Our plan was to arrive a day early just in case of inclement weather in Chicago, but all of our flights were on time. We arrived in LA to worse weather than we left behind in Chicago, a bit warmer but raining. We stayed at the Hyatt Long Beach and met my cousins there for a drink in the lobby bar once we had all arrived on our different flights. We were all very excited and talking about our upcoming cruise. We also got to see our friends, Tom & Pam who live in San Pedro, and they treated us to for a lovely dinner that night. By the time we got to bed @ 1 AM-Chicago time, we had been up for 21 hrs. We didnt find out until after we got back that the Hyatt had wanted to bump us to another hotel because they had 3 conventions and needed the rooms. Our travel agent, Donna refused to let them move us and talked to the hotel manager who finally relented and let us stay there. That explained the complimentary bottle of wine and the note in our ship cabins apologizing for the inconvenience from Hyatt. Apparently several people were moved to the other facility and they still had our names on the list. Our cabins all had a balcony which was really cool to sit out on and enjoy the view both at sea and while in port. The first night out and the first day were quite bouncy and 2 of my cousins became ill. It turned out that Marilyn had a serious sinus infection and was treated by the ships doc. The medical facility was quite busy as 90% of the passengers were over 70. (If I thought this crowd was old, I guess the last one was even older. Even the comedian made a joke that the last group consisted of very old people and their parents.) The nurse told Marilyn that there was a lot of pneumonia on the ship. I was holding my breath anytime someone got on the elevator and started coughing. The food was superb as always and they have expanded the options for you to stuff yourself. It was lets belly up to the trough one more time. For breakfast, they had 4 buffet lines going and someone on each side making omelets and eggs to order. In the back by the casual dining area, there were waffles and pancakes available 8-10 am. This caused quite a backlog as there was only one waffle maker and people did not want to wait. Lunch was a specialty buffet on the port side on sea days and a station to make your own sandwich in the casual dining area. They actually made it for you according to your directions. They also had French fries which were quite good. The specialty buffets were ok but the only one that looked appealing was the American with fried chicken and corn on the cob. The Chinese buffet was said to be good but I never got to it. The Mexican that I did try was pretty bland for tacos, without any real taste to them. Also on each side was a pasta station which got a good work-out. Also from Noon to 10 pm was pizza on the far starboard side. You could design you own pizza but they always had some made up to try. It was ok, but the crust was really lacking in taste. The Spa Cafe by the Thalassotherapy pool was very good for light choices for breakfast and lunch. As usual, the pool grill had hot dogs, hamburgers and a specialty choice of those each day. They did have the best pickles I have ever eaten. Since we were changing time going and coming people were constantly adjusting to the new time but the ship stuck to their schedule and by 11 am only one buffet line was open for breakfast and it was usually quite crowded as was the omelet station. Forget about the waffles, it closed at 10 am, damn the passengers who slept in. Dinner was at late seating and I think this will be the last time we will do it that way. Since most of the late seating shows were at 7:00, when you were done eating it was go to the casino or to bed. No one wanted to hit the sheets with a full stomach. I was still on Chicago time the first few days and was waking up at 5 AM ship time. I thought that I would be the only one in the gym when it opened at 6 AM, but everyone else was up too. We were religious about working out every day in the well-equipped gym and finally found that going at 9-9:30 AM was the best time to get a machine. The day we pulled into Hilo (which was our first stop) we could see whales surfacing in front of us as we walked on the treadmills. The gym is at the top of the ship in the front so you have the Captains-eye view as you pull into port. In Hilo we did the Circle of Fire and Waterfalls Helicopter tour so we saw the active volcanoes and the lava pouring into the ocean. Very cool. We have the video so we can bore all of our friends. They make you get on a scale at the dock so as to balance the load in the aircraft and then the bus took us to the airport. If you can stand the humiliation, it is a great tour. If you are thin, no problem. We also bought an orchid lei at the airport which was only $6. I did wear it for at least 4 days. I never thought to stick it in the fridge in the room to keep it fresh. On our last trip to Hawaii, we boarded in Honolulu and everyone received an orchid lei. This didnt happen on this trip. Maybe it was because that trip in 2002 was Celebritys first trip to Hawaii. We had already seen Pearl Harbor the last time so we tried to go to see the Polynesian Cultural Center but we were too late for a tour and the rental cars were all taken. Here you should probably take the ships tour. We really had no idea how far away this attraction was. The taxi driver quoted us $120 one way! So I ended up shopping and walking around Honolulu for part of the day. You cant believe how you are sweating and how hot you feel and it probably was only 82 degrees. The historical section is walking distance from the pier and so is Chinatown. Considering we were there from 7 am to 11 pm, we should have seen a lot more. The cousins did go see Pearl Harbor, the Missouri battleship and the Bowfin submarine. They left the ship about 7:45 and didnt get back until almost 4:00. So no matter what you do, it is time consuming and you will not see everything you want to see. There isnt too much to see in Kauai but the beach is walking distance from the pier and the waves were great. There are only ships tours here to be had. I wish we had done the helicopter tour here or gone to see Waimea Canyon. I guess we will have to put that down for a future cruise. We tendered ashore at Kona and did the requisite shopping at Hilo Hatties. Karl bought me a beautiful black Tahitian pearl slide to go on my omega chain. What a nice surprise! I was not expecting anything at all. The cousins hit Hilo Hatties at every stop. They did have the best prices on Aloha wear and other souvenirs. Maui was our last stop and I went whale watching with Captain Steves tours. I was too late to get on the ships excursion but I remembered reading about this excursion so I called from Honolulu on my cell phone and got directions to Mala wharf. Good thing I took a cab there as I would never have found it by myself. That cab ride for a 5 minute trip cost me over $7 but it was worth it as there was no signs indicating where you were or that Captain Steve came there. Our vehicle was a zodiac boat that seated 24 and all the other passengers were from resorts. I was the only one off the ship. We saw lots of whales and they came quite close to the boat. I think we saw more whales than the people who took the Pacific Whale Foundation tour from the ship. This boat was more maneuverable and able to go to the whales location easier. They really want you to see a lot and tell others. The entertainment was certainly the best I have ever seen on a cruise. Its seems that they pull out the stops on the longer cruises. There were three big production shows with very talented singers and dancers. The featured acts were all great, especially Pearl Kaufman, a pianist, Taste of Cirque du Soleil, Jeri Sager, singer, & Jeff Nease, comedian. The one thing they could have done was bring back the entertainers for an afternoon show. On the sea days that would have been very well attended. I think they might have had an afternoon show by the dulcimer player, Ping Xu, but we would have skipped that one. We saw him on our Alaska cruise and he played the same songs he played 3 yrs ago! The Celebrity Orchestra was outstanding. What a bunch of very talented guys. The casino was pretty well attended also and I cant complain since I won $1300 playing 3-card Poker over the 14 days. My cousin won about $800 on different slot machines and we all won playing Bingo with prizes from $90-140. I won $100 early in the cruise and Karl won $140 the last morning. That put us even on Bingo until that evening when I won the big prize of $3400 which I had to share with another lady. That was just the frosting on the cake! All of my cousins were my cheering section. (I was wondering who was cheering and applauding since everyone around me looked very unhappy.) The family joke was that Karl had to book me on the next cruise so I wouldnt have to get off the boat and break my winning streak. This was a really great cruise and it looks like Celebrity has a winner with these round trips that spare you the long flight from your home city to Honolulu. Getting home was easy since we are all in Chicago and didnt have to change planes to continue our trip. Picked up all the luggage, called the limo and we were home and back to reality after 2 weeks of luxury. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
My wife and I have sailed on Celebrity cruises before but this was our first on the Summit. Overall this was an excellent cruise and we would not hesitate to sail on the Summit again. We are professionals in our mid-50s and I would ... Read More
My wife and I have sailed on Celebrity cruises before but this was our first on the Summit. Overall this was an excellent cruise and we would not hesitate to sail on the Summit again. We are professionals in our mid-50s and I would estimate that we were at or slightly under the mean age of our fellow passengers. As expected on a 13 night cruise in January, there were few children aboard. We flew from JFK to Long Beach on Jet Blue, which in my opinion is far and away the best of the low-cost airlines. Embarkation was problematic, not through any fault of Celebrity, but as a result of damage to the gangway at the Port of Los Angeles due to high winds. Since we sailed on a holiday (January 2nd) the port was not able to repair the problem and that resulted in long delays in boarding and in loading luggage. There was much complaining among the passengers but those complaints seemed to me to be directed toward the wrong party. Celebrity has no control of the port or the dock and once onboard we were treated wonderfully. If the Port of LA wants to increase cruise ship traffic, as is their stated aim, then they need to be more attentive to the needs of those customers. A delay that would not be a problem for a cargo ship is a big deal to passengers waiting to board their cruise. I hope other passengers did as I did and wrote a letter of complaint directly to the commissioner of the LA Port Authority. Once on board the service was top notch: Friendly with out being familiar, professional with out being stiff. We are used to that from our waiters, but we found it true with all of the ships personnel. We also noted an abundance of supervisor personnel, at the buffet for example, and they not only made sure that things went smoothly they jumped in to help when it was appropriate. Food is always a big issue on a cruise and I think the Summit does a fine job. Dining in the Cosmopolitan restaurant was a delightful experience with good food and outstanding service. The beef ranked among the best I have ever had. Of course, some items were not as good as others, but overall the standard was high. I sometimes think that we pass angers need to keep in mind that on a cruise the kitchen is preparing 1900 meals, far more than any top flight restaurant would prepare in a week, and yet they do so with a high level of quality. So, I agree with those who say that the food on the Summit is not equivalent to a 5-star restaurant, but it is of very high standard and really did provide us with a most enjoyable dining experience. I should also mention that the wine list was adequate and had some very interesting choices at prices that were the equivalent of shore-based restaurants (which is still too high, but that is another issue. Our wine steward as knowledgeable and actually recommended a less expensive wine after we discussed our preferences with him. We did not try either the casual dining venue or the specialty dining room, since we were completely satisfied with the experience in the Cosmopolitan restaurant. The Summit is a lovely ship, with art everywhere, and generally very well maintained. We did notice some wear and tear on chairs and upholstery in the lounges and bars. Every aspect of the ship was sparking clean and well kept, including fresh flowers in the public restrooms. Our cabin was the lowest class ocean view, which is fine with us as we dont plan to spend much time in the cabin except to sleep. It was standard, but big enough and well designed. This was a 13 night cruise with only four port days in Hawaii. We booked this cruise for exactly that experience, we look forward to relaxing at sea, reading and listing to music, talking and just enjoying a break from the hectic world. If you want excitement, rock climbing, constant activities and a jammed disco every night you will not find it on the Summit. We heard from several passengers that there were too many sea days, a complaint that surprises me since the itinerary was clear. If you didnt want to spend that much time at sea why did you book this particular cruise? There were the standard at sea activities, most of which we ignored, but the lectures were of the highest caliber and were a daily highlight. We love the absence of annoying PA announcements on Celebrity, but heard some complaints that more information would have been appreciated. Hawaii was lovely, and we agree with many of our companions that more time ashore, especially at Kona, would be nice. We booked shore excursions, which were generally good (esp. to the volcano on the Big Island) but, as usual, over priced. Extending this to a 15 night cruise, with two more days in the islands would really appeal to us. Debarkation was a breeze, far the most efficient we have encountered. Overall this was an excellent cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
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 3.6
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.1

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