65 Los Angeles Celebrity Summit Cruise Reviews

WOW! That is the best word I can think of to sum up the total cruise to Hawaii on the Summit. The ship was lovely, BIG, and very clean. We had a Concierge Class cabin number 9102. We loved having breakfast on the balcony from the expanded ... Read More
WOW! That is the best word I can think of to sum up the total cruise to Hawaii on the Summit. The ship was lovely, BIG, and very clean. We had a Concierge Class cabin number 9102. We loved having breakfast on the balcony from the expanded breakfast menu for Concierge Class only. They set it up on your balcony with tablecloths and everything, just like the dining room. The food was good, hot and came on time. Room service was very fast and the best out of all 17 cruises that we have taken. The nice extras that you get in Concierge Class was worth the extra price. We will always choose this class on our future cruises. Some of the little extras are, Fresh fruit everyday. Extra nice bedding and towels. Flowers in the sitting area and the bathroom was a very nice touch. Priority tender passes in the ports where you have to tender is worth the extra price, you get to go before anybody else, straight to the head of the line. Really loved that one as we had a very short time in Kona and didn't have to wait. Four o'clock every night Canapes were delivered to the room. Nice to have with cocktails before dinner. On past postings people have said that they didn't like them, all I can say is those persons are not gourmets. No need to pack a hairdryer as there are 2 in the room. The shower was larger than in most bathrooms in the past. There was plenty of closet and places to unpack for the 13 night cruise. You might want to bring extra hangers for the longer cruises. There is a mini bar/frig thing stocked with liquor and soda. We took everything out of it and just used it to keep our soda and water that we brought on with us cold. The balcony is a nice size and has a clear glass wall so your view is not blocked. Salt spray builds up on it, but you can have your room stewart clean it. Enough about the room, lets move on to the food. The buffet was nice. There is 2 sides to it and the main item on each side was different so make sure you walk each side before getting in line. The Summit has many different serving stations. Pizza, Pasta, waffles and pancakes, omelette, deli type sub sandwiches, pastries, Ice cream (which is all made on the ship and really good. The sherbets are a most to have),sushi, healthy food from the Spa CAfe, and last but not least the Grill where you can get hotdogs and hamburgers and some of the best fries around. The Normandie Restaurant is a most for at least one night. It was a 5 star plus. The food was tasty and service great. The main dining room food was good, but I think they could do a little better on presentation. We didn't use the dining room for breakfast as we had it in our room or at the buffet. We did have lunch there and it was good. We loved the buffet for lunch as we liked to spend our time by the pool and didn't have to change clothes for it, just use a coverup over your swimwear. The dinning room has a dress code for all meals. Shore excursions had a lot to pick from or you could just wait till you got into port and find something on your own on the dock. They are lots of free shuttles to different shopping places. The shows were great and there was something for everyone. They even have a movie theater. You can also charge in room movies, which I liked. They have CNN and TNT so you can always find something to watch on TV if you were having a lazy day in your room. I can't say enough good about this cruise. Just remember that the 4 days at sea will be a little rough during the winter months, so be prepared for some rocking and rolling, both on the way over and the way back. Just want to close with saying we are in our late 50's and we had a great time. There was lots of things to do all day long, or you could do nothing. We had a bad time on embarkation, but it was the ports fault as they had a power failure and the ramp would not work. This was not the fault of the cruise line. So book this cruise and enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
My husband and I have been on 10 cruises, this was absolutely the worst nightmare from start to finish. This was our 2nd and absolute last cruise on any RCCL cruise line, especially Celebrity. We had the Penthouse and let me tell you ... Read More
My husband and I have been on 10 cruises, this was absolutely the worst nightmare from start to finish. This was our 2nd and absolute last cruise on any RCCL cruise line, especially Celebrity. We had the Penthouse and let me tell you what the brochures and Celebrity tell you that you receive for FREE or plain receive is not the truth!! Butler was there to serve....you had to ask him to do anything and everything, nothing was volunteered. Stateroom attendant spent maybe 10 minutes in the room...1,200 sq feet of it cleaning. Never clean the bathroom floor, never changed the sheets until I took them off (even asked and was told NO not on long enough..this was after 5 nights and 3 of those we were seasick in the bed!) Brochure says we were suppose to receive free internet (changed since our cruise on the Internet where it now says you pay)....get it free on Princess with the room. Get free dry cleaning and laundry service on Princess with the Big Suites. Service overall was the worst. The employees were rude, arrogant and would just tell you anything to get you off the phone or away from their desk. Entertainment was fantastic though, actually top 5 star in that area, but you only had one every night to chose from in the big theatre. Princess has 2 and sometimes 3 entertainment (usually more than one entertainment theatre on the ship) nightly and you can see all 3 if you plan your evening well. Food - for 13 nights we were offered the same dinners over and over, no variety. Prime rib after 5 times is boring. Fish was the same every night, just a different sauce. No buffet after 2:45 pm....only hamburgers and hot dogs or room service. Lunch buffets were very limited on variety....nothing like peel and eat shrimp, fishes, no potato entrees but 2-3 varieties of rice, mainly cheap pasta, lettuce salads, watered/milked down soups, etc. Princess has buffets round the clock, too many entrees to chose from and nice personnel to assist you. Bought the all you can drink Coke and all they would bring me was 4 or 6 oz juice glasses (mainly ice) to drink, and that was a chore to receive that even. Since they don't get any tips in serving this, they didn't want to do it and would take up to 10 15 minutes to get you this drink....you rarely had time to ask for 2. On Princess, you get 8 or 12 oz and gladly serve you. Summit ship itself was not fancy, elegant on the inside. It was plain color walls, not all the elegance of past ships we have been on. The glass elevators are on the water side and this leaves the center of the boat and the open foyer area plain, plain. There was just plain round tubes going up 3 floors and a stair case out of no where that went just up and down....nothing out of ordinary. We had thought Celebrity was the Lincoln version of RCCL, and Princess was not that elegant, glamorous....WRONG. Princess is the only way to go and we are now a confirmed Princess customer. Please understand, we are not snotty, high fashioned stuck up people, just run of the mill, middle class that saved for this "cruise of a lifetime" for a long time and was thoroughly disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
Summit Review Jan 29-Feb 12, 2006 To Hawaii and Back! This is likely to be long so Ill use headings to help you skip to parts that may interest you. OUR BACKGROUND -- This was our second cruise, our first being on Royal Caribbean last ... Read More
Summit Review Jan 29-Feb 12, 2006 To Hawaii and Back! This is likely to be long so Ill use headings to help you skip to parts that may interest you. OUR BACKGROUND -- This was our second cruise, our first being on Royal Caribbean last year to the Mexican Riv. We are 40 and 41, not partiers or drinkers but we do love good company, music, food and due to living in Northern Canada we especially love the sun! We were joined by my parents, both 63 who enjoyed their 4th cruise. PRECRUISE -- We arrived a day early as per everyones advice and once again stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn LAX. Their shuttle met us minutes after we called for it and delivered us to their lovely hotel. Again, we were duly impressed with the cleanliness, and friendliness of this establishment. After settling in, their shuttle driver took us to Manhattan Beach where we did the usual touristy adventure of walking the pier, watching surfers, looking in a few little shops and then enjoying a scrumptious dinner at Rock N Fish. Dont miss their roasted corn and crab cakes. We had arranged for the Hiltons shuttle driver to pick us up again, which he did. We tipped him generously and agreed it was much more convenient and pleasant than taking a cab. After enjoying the Hiltons complimentary, huge, warm, white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, soaking in their hot tub and checking our e-mail in their complimentary office (which was loaded with complimentary office supplies) we went to bed. Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny, so we walked to Ralphs groceries and stocked up on some Diet Coke (which we later carried on in our hand luggage with no problem at all) and a few things we had forgotten, then walked back for a delicious complimentary buffet breakfast. Did I mention that I like this Hotel? We had called Golden West Express the night before to arrange for an 11:30 pick up to take us to San Pedro. We requested a van due to the copious amounts of luggage we had. Cost was $58 plus tip. ARRIVAL AT SAN PEDRO -- We arrived at 12:00 and wondered what we were in for! As it turned out Summit had arrived late due to fog, so the disembarking passengers were still there  trying to get cabs, porters etc  as well, Vision of the Seas and an Oceania Ship were in port. My husband is persistent, big and friendly and in no time we had a porter taking very good care of us with our huge pile of luggage. Remember a smile and a tip go a long way. There were some grumpy and mean people there that day and they were not getting porters. The line to board looked a mile long but it was a lovely day and we were on holidays so who could complain? Eventually the line reached a tent that offered shade and a few chairs for the elderly, then we reached security and finally Celebrity check-in. We had done the online paperwork and honestly I dont know how it could have been quicker. We had a second line to go in being we are Canadian but that only took a couple minutes. We then had our picture taken, but had to wait again in another line up to actually board the ship. I think that was because Celebrity likes to have someone take you to your room, which takes extra time. If everyone herded on the ship like a pack of wild elephants it would likely be quicker. FIRST HOURS ON BOARD and ROOM 6018 -- We were offered a lovely drink upon boarding, were delivered to our room which was ready and dropped off our hand luggage. Room 6018 is very far forward and is one of the secret rooms with an extra large balcony. It is the middle of three rooms that are surrounded by the metal cladding that youll notice if you look at a picture of the Millennium class ships. I was worried about the metal cladding interfering with sunlight and our view but this was unfounded. I was also worried about the motion from being so far forward however I cant comment on this because our sailing was virtually like glass all the way there and back. Finally, it had been mentioned that staying so far forward meant a lot of walking to get anywhere. Perhaps, but this didnt hurt us. The theatre was right below us which was handy in the evenings. We will definitely book one of these rooms again and would not hesitate to book 6018. The room was spotless, roomy and there were plenty of hangers although I had brought skirt hangers from home which I used. There are loads of drawers and shelves. The washroom was roomy and the shower big enough to do the hula if you so desire. Lots of shelves here too. Some have mentioned mold, cracked tiles, and worn upholstery but we saw none of that in our room. After a little walk around a spotless ship, we headed to the delicious buffet. Walking through the pool area, the loungers were still vacant and had been aligned using a rope, so they were in perfect rows! Each lounger had a perfectly folded yellow towel on it. The care in which this area was prepared was stunning! All the staff were most pleasant everywhere we went, particularly in the buffet and we found the buffet to be a definite step up from Royal Caribbeans. This cruise was off to a good start& and it got better. FOOD  ROOM SERVICE AND BUFFET -- Everyone asks about the food on a cruise, so Ill get right to the point. We ordered room service every morning for our pre-breakfast/ breakfast (juice and coffee, - ok a Danish too). It arrived promptly every time, was hot, cold or however it was meant to be! Dont order anything else for breakfast though! Twice we tried the eggs, bacon etc and they were absolutely terrible. My parents had the very same experience. The eggs were in a puddle of sludge and the bacon in a slick of grease. Really gross. After a workout we would rush to the buffet before 10:00 when the waffle station closed. These waffles are melt in your mouth fantastic. With cherries and yogurt, it is divine. My family loved the fresh danish, made to order omelets, and the fresh fruit but the rest was fairly ordinary buffet fair. What more can you ask than fresh waffles and fresh omelets? My only complaint is the coffee. It was hard to get it hot and those dumb little cups are useless. I suggest bringing your own full size insulated coffee mug. The room service coffee and juice was far superior to the buffets. LUNCH BUFFET We intended to try the dining room for lunch, but honestly the buffet was lovely for lunch and therefore we never made it to the dining room. On Royal C. we were sick of the buffet almost right away and ended up eating most of our meals in the dining room. Not so on the Summit! There was a daily theme buffet down one side of the buffet and a usual lunch buffet down the other side. Some of the themes I remember were, Mexican, American, Oriental, and Hawaiian. The Pasta Bar kept calling my name but I never made it. I did however, make it to the Home Made Pizza Station, the Sandwich Deli and the Caesar Salad Station  no complaints, except that I gained 7 lbs in 14 days. SPA CAFÉ  At the THALASSOTHERAPY POOL is amazing. Apparently the staff from the Normandy work there during the day (??). If only I had eaten there all the time. The food is low fat, low cal and amazing. It is presented beautifully and couldnt be yummier. The only problem is that there arent very many tables to sit at so sometimes you end up wandering quite a ways with your tray. The coffee there is terrible though  dont bother. THE NORMANDY is the specialty restaurant. It costs $30 each, and you need to make reservations  DONT miss it. Much has been said about the goat cheese soufflE which I would never have even taken a second glance at had it not been for cruise critics high recommendation it is all it is praised to be. We were surprised with a lovely smoked salmon and caviar treat to start with, then the soufflE, then my mom and I shared the Chateau Briand  perfect. My dh and pop had the lamb which they said was the best they had ever had. Then the cheese course, then the dessert. We went for the six mini desserts. I wish we could have just taken a doggy bag but that just didnt seem right! We were soooo stuffed. THEN, came the petit fours. We did not do the wine pairing which is 5 glasses of wine (each) to go along with your meal for another $30 and is a terrific value they said. While Im sure it is great value, I would not be able to find my room afterwards if I had 5 glasses of wine, value or not! THE COSMOPOLITAN DINING ROOM -- We were at a table for 6 and were ironically seated with Joe and Judy the very best couple ever to sit with  we knew them from CruiseCritic so could hardly believe that with 2300 others on the ship we were seated with them! I did love a table for 6 although we had asked for a table for 8. Conversation was intimate and service was terrific. Our meal however always seemed to be really, really slow coming and dinner took 2 ½ hours every night. That was fine being we were in good company but if you were anxious to get on with the evening you might have been become annoyed  we love the leisurely time to visit. Celebrity Secrets Thread suggests many hot tips that we enjoyed: Shrimp cocktails nightly and a plate of blue cheese to go along with salads every night (thanks a lot Judy, now we are all addicted!! ;) & fresh berries with dessert every night, Crème Brulee kindly made special just for us, andplainsalmon for me one night when I just didnt feel like anything else on the menu. I didnt feel that meals were superior to Royal C but certainly they were great. I did get a little tired of saucy things but that is the problem with a two week cruise  such a problem to have! Desserts were fine  the only outstanding menu item was the Crème Brulee. However, the Cherries Jubilee was just heated up Cherry pie filling! Not to complain though, we waddled away from the table every night and many times our waiter insisted that we try several desserts! Meat is on the rare side so order accordingly, pork was very tough both times I had it, salmon was delish, chicken ordinary, lamb gross (but my husband absolutely loves lamb and said it was amazing!!!). Other fish was always moist and tender. Soups were hot and tasty  however is mint pea not a little weird? The cold soups seemed like melted ice cream or like juice to me but each to their own. The Corn Carolina was amazing. The salad dressings are great, especially Celebrity dressing. My dh just likes a plate of lettuce which he then doctored it up with blue cheese and dressing. They brought this for him each night. COVA CAFÉ is a lovely coffee house where the string quartet plays and where you have to pay for your coffee. A latte is $2.50 and comes with a yummy wrapped chocolate. Although it seemed rather dumb to pay for coffee when I could walk a ways and get one for free elsewhere, as I have mentioned it was hard to get a good cup of coffee on this ship, and this was good coffee. Plus there was the lovely ambiance. In the afternoon there are beautiful cookies, which are complimentary (and pastries in the mornings). Just before dinner they pass around hors dd'oeuvres as well (sometimes). Do not miss the quartet. CASUAL DINING is more than it sounds  it is something you make reservations for and takes place in the buffet area, however you sit at white tablecloth covered tables and have your order taken. It is a 4 course meal and 3 different menus rotate. This was my BEST meal. I had the salmon dinner and it was marvelous. I would have eaten here every night but our dinner companions Joe and Judy were so lovely we hated to miss them in the main dining room  as well our waiters in the dining room were great. The waiters in the Casual Dining seemed to be understudies for the main dining room and they tried really, really hard but were real nervous. We enjoyed them too. The dress code is casual (surprise, surprise) and therefore this venue is very popular after a day in port. Our day at Kauai was followed by a Formal Night  rather a nuisance if you ask me  so casual dining was booked right up. Call a few hours ahead and remember to let them know in the main dining room that you wont be there. ENTERTAINMENT  Being younger than the average age by about 20+ years, we expected the entertainment to be a little slow for us and we were in fact correct. That is not to say we didnt enjoy it. When we filled out our comment cards rating each evenings show, we surprised ourselves when we realized we had filled out 11 excellent! There were 4 Broadway productions which were 3 too many for me  however& their costumes and dancing skill are a sight to behold. Pearl Kaufmann, pianist for over 250 movies, gave us two shows, as did Ping Xing Xu a dulcimer player. The comedian was certainly very funny as was the Newly Wed- Nearly Dead game. The very best show was on the last night, Darren Williams and his Poparatic Program. How he can sing Phantom and sound like all three parts including imitating Sarah Brightman perfectly is just amazing. I hadnt expected much out of the Talent show but I was pleasantly surprised at how talented our fellow guests were  put me to shame for sure. If you are a night owl, dont expect much to be happening after 11:30. We just loved the pianist/ singer in Michaels Club, but he shut down at 11:30, as did the quartet at the Cova Cafe. We arent dancers/drinkers but the one night we went to the Bar at the Edge of the Earth, the Karaoke was really, really bad and it shut down shortly after 12:00 due to lack of interest! Speaking of the Edge  it is a really interesting bar area decorated seemingly in an underwater ?? theme.  however there are beds and cushions here and there  for what purpose, Ill let you decide. Many have said it is ugly, but I beg to differ. It is just different. PUBLIC AREAS  An understated elegance best describes the ship. The Centrum is not nearly as breathtaking as that of The Vision of the Seas  but lovely just the same. The Art Work aboard has been called controversial. Different and unusual, it is, however there was nothing that offended my tender sensibilities. The Casino never seemed very busy and not nearly as smoky as on the Vision where I would walk outside the ship to avoid walking thru the Casino. The flooring is truly beautiful everywhere, both carpet and tile work. We enjoyed the variety of shops but found the staff thoroughly bored and rather unpleasant. This is one of the very few places where staff could have improved in moral. POOLS  Yes, there was the typical chair hogging around the pool BUT there were always lots of chairs on the upper deck and sitting beside the pool isnt that important to me anyway. On the two cooler sea days there were lots of Alaskan blankets so the pool decks were always in use. The pool stewards were in full force and didnt have a problem moving towels off chairs. If you wanted to save a chair you needed to leave something personal on the chair or you would lose your chair for sure. The T-POOL is wonderful. On the warmer days it would have been great if that roof would have retracted. The ambiance is beautiful and the fat granite lady that overlooks everything is really something! There are far too few loungers here but there really isnt room for anymore so I wouldnt know what the solution would be. The negative is the strange smell that gagged me every time we entered the area. I did get used to it in time but it certainly wasnt a fresh air smell. ENRICHMENT SERIES  A chef, astronaut and a naturalist from UBC were on board and their seminars were well attended. In fact the naturalists series had to be moved from the cinema to the main theatre due to popularity. I found the timing a little early in the day for me and only attended one but I only heard good things about them. FITNESS CENTRE/SPA  Im happy to say that we did use the fitness center and it was great. The excellent treadmills overlook the front of the ship and were always available within a few minutes wait (actually I never did have to wait). The room was always full but not over-full. Exercise classes were in full force (for a fee). I must say that the change rooms were spectacular. We used them for morning showers after our work-outs and after using the T-Pool as the showers were just beautiful with rain-shower heads, nice soap and shampoo etc. The sauna has a huge window as does one of the showers  rather exotic. We did the SPA tour when we boarded the ship (recommended) and although tempting I couldnt justify the high prices. In comparison to what I would pay at home it was 2 3 times the price. PORTS -- HILO  It was good to land after four days at sea and we were able to watch our arrival for an hour or so. Of course it was pouring rain being Hilo is one of the wettest cities in the U. S. We exited the ship into a huge warehouse building where security personal go thru your backpacks, purses etc to look for contraband. We had brought sandwiches and fruit off the ship (ordered from room service) with us for our lunch and that seemed fine with them. There are lots of tour operators and flower sellers right there at your service but we had rented a car so didnt need a tour. We did, however, buy two $10 gorgeous arrangements of flowers to bring back to our cabins. The vendors kept them for us for the day. My husband left with the car rental shuttle to pick up the car whilst we waited  being we were the first people off the ship, he was the first to do the paperwork at the rental company and thus the first back. Dont dilly dally or you will get behind 500 others doing paperwork and waste your day. We took off for the Volcanoes National Park. The way is well marked and once you are there you pass thru a toll booth and they give you a map of the park on which there are suggested outlooks on Crater Rim Drive (the main circle drive) and Chain of Craters Road (the road that branches off CR Drive and takes you to the ocean). We stopped at Kilauea Visitor Center first to see the displays and watch the movie and then proceeded to most of the stopping points. The Chain of Craters Road is a long drive but dont miss it  it is beautiful, but it is likely to be hot by the time you make it to the sea. We saw the lava hitting the ocean in the distance. It would have been a 7 hour walk to reach lava the day we were there though. Once back on the Crater Rim Drive, we stopped at the Thurston Lava Tube  very cool. The ferns are enormous making you feel like youre in a Disney movie. Heading back to the ship we took a quick pass thru the town of Hilo just to see it and then stopped at Hilo Hatties and ran into Wal-Mart for some essentials. Although it poured in Hilo the whole day, it was on and off at the Park and it really was a wonderful day. KONA  We loved Kona! This is a tender port and we were on the first tender. Just get yourself out of bed and to wherever it is they announce you are suppose to be and pretend you have #1 tender priority and youll find yourself on tender #1!!! If you wait around until they load all the tour passengers and gold passengers etc. youll be all day. Face it  they want to get everyone off the ship as fast as possible and if you are there and ready to go, theyll put you on the next tender (trust me). We hailed a cab immediately and went to KAHALUU BEACH PARK. It is like a natural aquarium complete with giant turtles. We were there by 8:30 a.m. so practically had the place to ourselves (note& this park gets very, very busy as the day goes on - GO EARLY). This was our very first try at snorkeling and it was a piece of cake for my dh and for my Pop but it was a challenge for me. I ended up doing great but nearly had heart failure when a huge turtle went right underneath me  not what I was expecting! It was amazing  lots of gorgeous sea life. By 10:00 we were quite tired so bought a smoothy-drink and relaxed on the beach (not powder sandy but nice just the same). Then called the cab back to town (about $12 each way). We were starved by now and went to BUBBA GUMPS for a wonderful lunch. Dont miss it. It is right on the main drag and has a gorgeous view. Ask for a patio table of course. Then we went to the market right across the way from Bubbas  bought a few souvenirs, then walked to Hilo Hatties (not a good walk if you are infirm as it is up hill all the way. There is a shuttle that will take you from the ship but we wanted the exercise). We stopped briefly at Hulihee Palace, which is right close to the pier as well. A great day. KAUAI  We love Kauai too! Another stop where we had rented a car. This is where you have to avoid the chickens  they are everywhere. We had friends in Hanapepe to meet in the morning so drove the main hiway there, stopping at a little cafe in Hanapepe called Grinds for a Danish and coffee which was terrific. Called our kids at home in Edmonton and it sounded like we were next door. After a morning with friends we left at about noon for Waimea Canyon. It was a gorgeous day and the road winding up the Canyon was really lovely. The views are breathtaking. I have not seen the Grand Canyon but I surely feel like I have now. We only went to the PUU HINAHINA LOOKOUT as we were now running into time constraints  therefore we did not see clear to the Napili Coast which we may have seen had we gone on further. However I cant imagine what better views we could have seen of the canyon itself. This lookout offers washrooms and refreshments (including yummy coconuts on ice) and excellent picture taking opportunities. Dont miss this stop. We then turned around and headed back on the hiway to Poipu Beach. (just follow the signs). We went to the MARRIOTT WAIOHAI RESORT and used their beach (the public beach is right there as well but the Marriott is worth a look at  it is beautiful). Here, we snorkeled again. I admit to being a total chicken this time. The fish here are used to being fed and somehow they know when a new person enters the water and they swarm you  that freaked me out completely! I eventually got over it once they realized I didnt have rice for them and they left me alone. However I was nervous as the currents and waves were strong that day. I dont believe it is usually that way according to the guide books. We did have a real treat as a very rare and endangered Monk Seal was on the beach right there with all hundreds of us tourists. He was fenced in by the conservation officers to protect him as he will lay there for hours and people tend to think they need to be pushed back into the ocean like a beached whale! Now we had to return our car to Budget which turned out to be an adventure because they had written down the mileage wrong when we picked up the car and now claimed we had driven 3600 miles in one day. Considering the whole island is less than 200 miles around  that would be quite the driving. The idiot girl at the desk insisted she was charging us excess mileage  we said we had a ship to catch and she should use common sense and realize the error. We didnt want to leave her with our credit card until it was sorted out but our time was cutting fine by now  anyway a manager finally came and sorted it out. Note to self  leave extra time for idiots. OAHU  I guess we are easy to please because we loved Oahu too. Be sure to get up for arrival (actually dont miss any arrivals). Arriving in Oahu as the day breaks is spectacular. As the Summit docks the Hula Dancers sing and dance just for you and you feel like you are in a dream. We disembarked and caught a cab right away to Waikiki. Now, it may be cheaper to catch a bus and many do. However we are only here for one day and we didnt want to waste time waiting for a bus. Grab another couple and share the taxi fare if money is an issue. We mosied thru The Royal Hawaiian , the Sheraton Ala Moana Surfrider, walked the beach (wonderful to do right away before it gets busy), had an ice cream at Baskin Robbins, did the shops etc. Also went to the International Marketplace.  this place has become a real dump. Reminded me of Mexico. I would expect that this prime piece of real estate will soon be remodeled into another resort. Many of the stalls are empty and they all have the same stuff anyway. Then we had lunch at DUKES in the Outrigger on the Beach (right next to the Royal Hawaiian  the pink one). It was great  ask for a table on the patio obviously. For the afternoon we sunbathed on the beach and swam a little then headed back to the ship via cab. My parents were tired out so decided to stay on the ship but dh and I showered and disembarked again to spend the evening at the Aloha Tower Mall which is right there at the pier. It is a lovely outdoor mall where you can easily spend a few hours browsing, having coffee, listening to music etc. The ship doesnt leave until 11 p.m. so we wanted to enjoy Honolulu as along as possible but were too tired by now to tour the city. This was a good alternative. Sailaway at night was lovely as we left the lights of the city. MAUI - Now that we have been home a couple months we have decided that Maui was our favorite  if we could only return to one island. That is NOT to diminish any other island though  Hawaii is simply gorgeous! Arrival in Lahaina is very pretty as it is a lovely little former whaling village. We haled a cab immediately again and went to KAANAPALI BEACH where the cab driver dropped us off at the SHERATON (far end of Kaanapali Beach at BLACK ROCK). Here we found a perfect spot on the beach and began our third round of snorkeling. This is lovely calm, safe spot with tons of fish and turtles again. This is where we saw the whales breach right in front of us. After a couple hours we walked to WHALERS VILLAGE outdoor mall where we shopped and enjoyed more Kona Coffee  the view here at the mall is terrific. We had planned to bus to Lahaina but once again the bus service was poor and we werent about to wait so jumped in a cab. (about $15 each way) Lahaina has dozens of shops and galleries (Dont miss Wylands Gallery of ocean paintings). Now came the fiasco many have talked about. Somehow the lines got mixed up for tenders and there were terrible verbal fights and I feared for the poor traffic officer. I dont understand how there could be confusion when cruise ships dock there all the time and Im not sure whos fault it was but it was terrible. It was also very, very hot and the line was soooooso long. In the end we were 2 hours late leaving and there were a lot of MAD passengers. Many people were mad that Celebrity only offers part of the day in Maui  well I say read your itinerary. If you dont like it, dont book. I would like to have been all day in Maui too but Im not going to complain after the fact. Actually, by 2 we were all exhausted after 5 port days in a row and happy to get on the ship. Not to mention that the next 4 hours of sailing by the coast of Maui was absolutely beautiful and not to be missed. If we left at night you would not see that. DISEMBARKATION -- Was very frustrating and it needn't have been. The line up to reach immigration stretched the length of the entire ship _I'm not kidding. Although we had all been given official times to be there - that seemed irrelevant to everyone else! People were queue jumping, complaining, the very old were forced to stand for a long time etc... There has to be a better system. The other odd part is how you are dumped into the big warehouse to find your luggage - how more luggage doesn't go 'missing' is beyond me! Those thousands of pieces of black luggage are really a sight to behold. Remember to decorate your luggage! So there is my review. Would I go Celebrity again? Definitely!!! However I will likely look at Royal C for taking our kids as it caters to a younger crowd. I have to admit the extra Celebrity touches are awfully nice though! Here is a link to our pictures on WebShots  hope you enjoy them. http://community.webshots.com/myphotos?action=viewAllPhotos&albumID=549390828&security=pqWVnS If this link doesnt work  go to www.webshots.com and click on community  then our name is plaqster1 Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
The embarkation was very slow - this was our 5th cruise with Celebrity and we have never seen it that bad - probably due to the San Pedro port facilities being the worst we have seen. The dining was excellent. The theme meals were good ... Read More
The embarkation was very slow - this was our 5th cruise with Celebrity and we have never seen it that bad - probably due to the San Pedro port facilities being the worst we have seen. The dining was excellent. The theme meals were good and the midnight buffet around the pool area was a lot of fun. In addition to the main dining room, the buffet and other eating choices such as sushi, pasta and sandwich bars were very well laid out and the food was great although the breakfast menu in the buffet area was repetitious after the 11th day. The alcoholic beverage prices (wine, hard liquor) are becoming prohibitive (martini $10) for alcohol that is supposed to be duty free. Our stateroom was comfortable and efficient. The ships' cleanliness overall was excellent. The entertainment was the best we have seen so far. The dancers were energetic and the variety of comedians, ventriloquist and singers a welcome change. The islands we visited were interesting although it would have been better if we spent less time on the big island and more time in Maui which was really beautiful. Service as usual was outstanding and everyone was in tip top shape and doing their best to please. The tours and special considerations for "select" members (more than 5 cruises) were great. We got a backstage tour, galley tour, special cocktail with Captain and officers to mention a few. The daily activities were a bit weak and repetitious. Celebrity should work on offering more variety - you can only play trivial pursuit and bingo so many times! Especially since this cruise had 8 days at sea. Disembarkation was a disaster. The ship docked 45 minutes late and this caused chaos for those who had a early flight to catch. We were each given specific times to clear customs and this procedure was "out the window" once the chaos of docking late occurred. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
This was a 14 day round trip from Los Angeles to Hawaii and back on Celebritys Summit with 3 of my cousins and their husbands We had 4 sea days going and coming. Our plan was to arrive a day early just in case of inclement weather in ... Read More
This was a 14 day round trip from Los Angeles to Hawaii and back on Celebritys Summit with 3 of my cousins and their husbands We had 4 sea days going and coming. Our plan was to arrive a day early just in case of inclement weather in Chicago, but all of our flights were on time. We arrived in LA to worse weather than we had left behind in Chicago, a bit warmer but raining. We stayed at the Hyatt Long Beach and met my cousins there for a drink in the lobby bar once we had all arrived on our different flights. We were all very excited and talking about our upcoming cruise. We also got to see our friends, Tom & Pam who live in San Pedro, and they treated us to for a lovely dinner that night. By the time we got to bed @ 1 AM-Chicago time, we had been up for 21 hrs. We didnt find out until after we got back that the Hyatt had wanted to bump us to another hotel because they had 3 conventions and needed the rooms. Our travel agent, Donna refused to let them move us and talked to the hotel manager who finally relented and let us stay there. That explained the complimentary bottle of wine, the chocolate covered strawberries and the note in our ship cabins apologizing for the inconvenience from Hyatt. Apparently several people were moved to the other facility and they still had our names on the list. The Hyatt was a lovely property however and the room was very comfortable. We would definitely stay there again. They did provide a shuttle to the pier which was a large coach bus. Embarkation was quite busy and slow as the computers needed to scan our pre-boarding documents that we had done online were not working. As a result, everything needed to be done over with a resulting backlog of passengers. Once on board, we were greeted with champagne or mimosas and found our own way to our cabins. This was about 11:30 AM and I imagine it was the busiest time to be boarding. We waited in the Martini lounge while one of our number went to see if the rooms were ready. When he didnt return we headed up one deck to our Category 2-C cabins in the center of the ship. We had been given our sign and sail cards and we were in our rooms at last! I found out later that these cards with their useful magnetic strips can be erased! I was carrying my cell phone with me all the time in a little purse with my room card and after about a week, I couldnt unlock the room door! I went down to customer relations where they issued me a new one and asked if I had it next to a cell phone or digital camera. When I said I had a cell phone, they said that cards were frequently erased by the batteries of these devices. Since I had promised my daughter to keep my phone with me at all times so she could notify me in case of an emergency, I ended up needing to get a third card before we finished the cruise. The ship was as beautiful as we remembered it. Still had the funky modern art which evoked much comment from the passengers, especially my cousin, Sharon, who couldnt stand it! Summit looked to be in excellent shape inside and out. I did not notice any signs of wear and tear in any of the public areas. Our cabins all had a balcony which was really cool to sit out on and enjoy the view both at sea and while in port. The first night out and the first day were quite bouncy and 2 of my cousins became ill. It turned out that Marilyn had a serious sinus infection and was treated by the ships doc. The medical facility was quite busy as 90% of the passengers were over 70. (If I thought this crowd was old, I guess the last one was even older. Even the comedian made a joke that the last group consisted of very old people and their parents.) The nurse told Marilyn that there was a lot of pneumonia on the ship. I was holding my breath anytime someone got on the elevator and started coughing. The food was superb as always and they have expanded the options for you to stuff yourself. It was lets belly up to the trough one more time. For breakfast, they had 4 buffet lines going and someone on each side making omelets and eggs to order. In the back by the casual dining area, there were waffles and pancakes available 8-10 am. This caused quite a backlog as there was only one waffle maker and people did not want to wait. Lunch was a specialty buffet on the port side on sea days and a station to make your own sandwich in the casual dining area. They actually made it for you according to your directions. They also had French fries which were quite good. The specialty buffets were ok but the only one that looked appealing was the American with fried chicken and corn on the cob. The Chinese buffet was said to be good but I never got to it. The Mexican that I did try was pretty bland for tacos, without any real taste to them. Also on each side was a pasta station which got a good work-out. From Noon to 10 pm there was pizza on the far starboard side. You could design you own pizza but they always had some kind already made up for you to try. It was ok, but the crust was really lacking in taste. The Spa Cafe by the Thalassotherapy pool was very good for light choices for breakfast and lunch. As usual, the pool grill had hot dogs, hamburgers and a specialty choice of those each day. They did have the best pickles I have ever eaten. Since we were changing time going and coming, people were constantly adjusting to the new time but the ship stuck to their schedule and by 11 am only one buffet line was open for breakfast and it was usually quite crowded as was the omelet station. Forget about the waffles, it closed at 10 am, too bad for the passengers who slept in. We did order coffee and rolls in our cabin a few times just to have a little something in our stomachs before going to work out. It was very pleasant to sit by the open veranda door while we watched the ocean go by. Dinner was at late seating and I think this will be the last time we will do it that way. Since most of the late seating shows were at 7:00, when you were done eating it was go to the casino or to bed. No one wanted to hit the sheets with a full stomach. The dinner menus were the same as I recalled from our last 14 day cruise. Since 2 of my cousins are very picky eaters, they kept the waiter and his assistant on his toes throughout our cruise but they were very accommodating even to offering Thousand Island dressing at every dinner since that was the only one they would eat! A few times they tried the chicken breast with baked potato and it was always presented as nicely as the other meals. Karl commented that they really earned their tips with our group. Marilyn asked for corn a few days before the end of the cruise and after that we had corn on the cob each day. We also chose to try the Normandie specialty restaurant on what we thought would be an Informal night. Turned out to be the first formal night and the room was not crowded at all. It was the regular menu though without any specials by the chef for formal night. Since I was a Captains Club member, I could make our reservation in advance through the Captains Club desk. It took 2 phone calls and 2 e-mails before I received a confirmation of our reservation. It was stated in the message that the largest table they had was for a party of six, so we thought that we would be split up. When we arrived, they had set a table for eight and it was fine. The tables are pretty spacious and even with all the plates and silverware, we were fine. We elected the regular menu and not the wine-pairing menu since 2 of my cousins would not have drunk the wine anyway. Karl and I decided that we would try it for ourselves the next time. The food was superb and they were very accommodating with separate checks for the 4 couples. Since we were family, it would not have been a big deal to have one couple pay the whole thing and everyone else settle with them later. Two people chose the rack of lamb-Wellington style and it looked wonderful but it was a very large portion with at least 3 chops. We had the shrimp and scallops w/pasta and it was very tasty. The portions are much larger than in the regular dining room so you dont miss all the courses. Of course there is the cheese course and some of the guys had some port w/that. The chocolate soufflE looked wonderful and my cousins said it was. I tried the sampler desserts by Michel Roux and they were great except I expected them to be much smaller. There was no way I could eat all of them. Karl had to help me out. I was still on Chicago time the first few days and was waking up at 5 AM ship time. I thought that I would be the only one in the gym when it opened at 6 AM, but was I surprised! Everyone else was up too and had the same idea. We were religious about working out every day in the well-equipped workout room and finally found that going around 9-9:30 AM was the best time to get a machine. The day we pulled into Hilo (which was our first stop) we could see whales surfacing in front of us as we walked on the treadmills. The gym is at the top of the ship in the front so you have the Captains-eye view as you pull into port. It was interesting to note that we left Los Angeles at 5:00 PM on Sunday and even doing 17 knots during the day, we didnt arrive in Hilo until 10:00 Friday morning. According to the Summit Daily, it is 2400 miles from the west coast to Hawaii. Sure makes you respect those early sailors! In Hilo we did the Circle of Fire and Waterfalls Helicopter tour so we saw the active volcanoes and the lava pouring into the ocean. (Well it was more like trickling) But it still was very cool. We have the video so we can bore all of our friends. They make you get on a scale at the dock so as to balance the load in the aircraft before the bus took us to the airport. If you can stand the humiliation, it is a great tour. If you are thin, no problem. We bought an orchid lei at the airport which was only $6. I did wear it for at least 4 days. I never thought to stick it in the fridge in the room to keep it fresh. On our last trip to Hawaii, we boarded in Honolulu and everyone received an orchid lei. This didnt happen on this trip. Maybe it was because that trip in 2002 was Celebritys first trip to Hawaii. We had already seen Pearl Harbor the last time so we tried to go to see the Polynesian Cultural Center but we were too late for a tour and the rental cars were all taken. Here you should probably take the ships tour. We really had no idea how far away this attraction was. The taxi driver quoted us $120 one way! So I ended up shopping and walking around Honolulu for part of the day. You cant believe how you are sweating and how hot you feel and it probably was only 82 degrees. The historical section is walking distance from the pier and so is Chinatown. Considering we were there from 7 am to 11 pm, we should have seen a lot more. The cousins did go to see Pearl Harbor, the Missouri battleship and the Bowfin submarine. They left the ship about 7:45 and didnt get back until almost 4:00. So no matter what you do, it is time consuming and you will not see everything you want to see. There isnt too much to see in Kauai but the beach is walking distance from the pier and the waves were great. There are only ships tours here to be had. I wish we had done the helicopter tour here or gone to see Waimea Canyon. I guess we will have to put that down for a future cruise. We tendered ashore at Kona and did the requisite shopping at Hilo Hatties. Karl bought me a beautiful black Tahitian pearl slide to go on my omega chain. What a nice surprise! I was not expecting anything at all. The cousins hit Hilo Hatties at every stop. They did have the best prices on Aloha wear and other souvenirs. Maui was our last stop and I went whale watching with Captain Steves tours. I was too late to get on the ships excursion but I remembered reading about this excursion so I called from Honolulu on my cell phone and got directions to Mala wharf. Good thing I took a cab there as I would never have found it by myself. That 5 minute cab ride cost me over $7 but it was worth it as there was no signs indicating where you were or that Captain Steve came there. Luckily a family was there and confirmed that I was in the right place. Our vehicle was a zodiac boat that seated 24 and all the other passengers were from resorts. I was the only one off the ship. We saw lots of whales and they came quite close to the boat. I think we saw more whales than the people who took the Pacific Whale Foundation tour from the ship. This boat was more maneuverable and able to go to the whales location easier. They really want you to see a lot and tell others. Since I now knew where I was in location to Lahaina, I just walked back to the town and the ship. It took me about 20 minutes not counting the shopping I did on the way. The entertainment was certainly the best I have ever seen on a cruise. Its seems that they pull out the stops on the longer cruises. There were three big production shows with very talented singers and dancers. The featured acts were all great, especially Pearl Kaufman, a pianist, Taste of Cirque du Soleil, Jeri Sager, singer, & Jeff Nease, comedian. The one thing they could have done was bring back the entertainers for an afternoon show. On the sea days that would have been very well attended. I think they might have had an afternoon show by the dulcimer player, Ping Xu, but we would have skipped that one. We saw him on our Alaska cruise and he played the same songs he played 3 yrs ago! The Celebrity Orchestra was outstanding. What a bunch of very talented guys. The casino was pretty well attended also and I cant complain since I won $1300 playing 3-card Poker over the 14 days. My cousin won about $800 on different slot machines and we all won playing Bingo with prizes from $90-140. I won $100 early in the cruise and Karl won $140 the last morning. That put us even on Bingo until that evening when I won the big prize of $3400 which I had to share with another lady. That was just the frosting on the cake! All of my cousins were my cheering section. (I was wondering who was cheering and applauding since everyone around me looked very unhappy.) The family joke was that Karl had to book me on the next cruise so I wouldnt have to get off the boat and break my winning streak. Disembarkation was a problem in that the ship was late getting to Los Angeles and as a result, the Vision of the Seas had our dock spot so the port had to makeshift something so we could exit the ship. Since we had to go thru customs (that stop in Ensenada) before leaving, we lost our opportunity for breakfast. Our color was Beige-1 and we were second off the ship due to our plane leaving at 12:15. Some people were really enraged that they just couldnt grab their luggage and go. As it happened we boarded the bus for the airport and sat for 20-30 minutes while he filled it up. By the time we signed in, got our boarding passes, went through Security and found our gate (the last one of course), we barely had time to grab a Burger King and board the plane. But all in all, this was a really great cruise and that one little glitch at the end certainly didnt ruin it for us. It looks like Celebrity has a winner with these round trips that spare you the long flight from your home city to Honolulu. Getting home was easy since we are all in Chicago and didnt have to change planes to continue our trip. Picked up all the luggage, called the limo and we were home and back to reality after 2 weeks of luxury. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
This was our second cruise on Celebrity and it certainly will not be our last. We had a wonderful cruise. Embarkation was a bit problematic, as high winds at the Port of LA damaged the gangway and x-ray screening equipment. That resulted ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Celebrity and it certainly will not be our last. We had a wonderful cruise. Embarkation was a bit problematic, as high winds at the Port of LA damaged the gangway and x-ray screening equipment. That resulted in delayed disembarkation and thus delays and long lines to board. The fact that the weather was poor made it even less pleasant. This was the New Year's Day holiday, so the Port of LA had no one available to fix the problem. Once inside the terminal building, after an admittedly long wait, Celebrity did its usual efficient job of getting us on board. I strongly recommend using their on-line registration, it really speeds things up. We were greeted with a glass of champaign or a mimosa to sip, then escorted to our cabin. We had the least expensive outside cabin, since our view is that we spend so little time in the cabin that up grading isn't important to us. The cabin was actually significantly larger than on other lines (e.g. HAL, Princess) at 176 sq. feet, and is thoughtfully designed. Not spacious, but completely comfortable. The ship itself ins lovely, well designed and maintained, but there is some wear and tear showing in some furnishings. For us this was the ideal vacation. Four sea days to Hawaii, four port days, then four more sea days. I am at a loss to understand why some passengers were complaining about the number of sea days. Didn't they read the itinerary for this cruise? We find this on every cruise - some folks who just must find something to complain about. Celebrity really shines in the area of service - cheerful, helpful and polite describes the entire staff. That was especially true of our dining staff. The food was very good to excellent. Again, I am amazed at the folks who don't factor in the fact that the kitchen is producing 1800+ dinners every night, while the average fine restaurant does only 100 or so. Given that, the food was varied, well prepared and well presented. I must comment especially on the beef, which both my wife and I though was just outstanding. The sushi bar was a nice touch and not very busy. Since we had late seating for dinner, we were able to enjoy the hot tub, then have a bite of sushi and relax. Breakfast was good, with fresh waffles, eggs and omelets to order and a good buffet. Lunch was fair to good at the buffet (just not my thing) but the pasta station was good, as was the deli station that prepared fresh deli-style sandwiches. Burgers and fries were available poolside for those who just can't live without them. This was not a cruise for the go-go-go crowd. I found the lectures to be wonderful, including a faculty member from Temple Univ. who lectured on American composers playing and singing many of their songs. His were the best attended lectures I've ever encountered at sea, with 500+ attending. Also, an emeritus professor from the Univ. of Hawaii provided wonderfully informative talks on various subjects ranging from reef ecology to the geological origins of the islands. There are the usual activities, such as bingo, bridge,etc. but no rock climbing wall, no artificial surfing etc. For us (and we are in our 50s) this was just what we wanted. We had the chance to relax, read, play some backgammon and generally recuperate from our hectic lives. Evening entertainment was good, not great, but enjoyable. The casino is the usual cruise ship affair. Our shore excursions were terrific, including the volcano national park on Hawaii. Obviously, you have only a day in each port, so if you really want to see Hawaii a cruise such as this isn't the way to do it, but if you want to enjoy your days ashore, and have a wonderful time getting there and back this cruise was the way to go. disembarkation was a breeze. Well organized, no problems. We came at our appointed time, waited less then 15 minutes, went down the gangway, found our luggage and were in a cab to the airport in 15 minutes. Overall an outstanding cruise experience. We will cruise Celebrity again - probably on the Summit. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
The ship is very spacious and beautiful, if you discount the roaches in the buffet. Public areas are plentiful, if you like to drink. Cabins are fairly spacious, but no drawer space. Cabin attendant was outstanding and so was dining room ... Read More
The ship is very spacious and beautiful, if you discount the roaches in the buffet. Public areas are plentiful, if you like to drink. Cabins are fairly spacious, but no drawer space. Cabin attendant was outstanding and so was dining room waiter. That's the good stuff. The bad, this was a cruise over the Christmas/Chanukah/New Year holiday and there were over 600 children on board, about 2/3 were teens who had too much energy for senior citizens and more importantly, for their parents, who either didn't care or didn't care. Food was just food, nothing outstanding. The chefs suggestions were the worst, with much of it almost sickening. Deserts were just that, and we had ice cream most nights (vanilla, since chocolate was not available, except on special occasions?) Service in the buffet was spotty. Often they left tables dirty for an hour or more, and they never came around for a coffee refill until the last two days, (prior to the gratuity time). The pasta station was weak and we had to complain about the sandwich makers, who seemed to feel that a spread of tuna or egg salad made a sandwich. Breakfast and lunch in the dining room was uninspired and listless. The production shows were good, and so was most of the talent, (ie: singers and pianist and jazz violinist). The magician and juggler were third rate. The Circus de Soule was very weak, not at all like the Las Vegas shows. We would have a hard time returning to this line, and never, never, never on a holiday cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
This was my first cruise on Celebrity, and it blew me away. I've cruised on Royal Caribbean and Carnival before, and this was the best. Embarkation was on October 10, 2005 in Los Angeles Birth 91 (i think) at the World Cruise ... Read More
This was my first cruise on Celebrity, and it blew me away. I've cruised on Royal Caribbean and Carnival before, and this was the best. Embarkation was on October 10, 2005 in Los Angeles Birth 91 (i think) at the World Cruise Terminal. Not the smoothest thing to do in the world, but it wasn't horrible. We got there at about 11am. We went in some doors and were told to go outside, but not really what the procedure was. This was by a port employee. Once outside, we assumed we were to line up in a line that was forming. Eventually, we found someone who gave us luggage tags we filled out. Then a porter came and took our bags. The only bad thing I can say here is it would have been nice to have a Celebrity employee there we could ask and confirm what the proper procedure was. The line started moving at 11:30am, and we were on the ship by 12:30pm. Was greeted with champagne and orange juice. We were told our room would be ready at 1pm and it was. We just hung out at the buffet before then, and toured the ship a bit. Later in the day, our bags were delivered to our room, one before the lifeboat drill at 4:30pm, and the rest after. There was lots of activity and give away's going on the first afternoon before departure. We didn't stick around for that as we mostly relaxed, toured the ship a bit, and ate. Food was good to excellent. Of course some things are better than others. If you don't like anything, ask for something else. Our waiter was very accommodating. If we wanted two things on the menu, it was no problem. Often we would get the beef or chicken dish with a side of lobster tail, or whatever else we wanted that night. Our table was 502 which is right at the back of the dinning room on the upper level by the window. Amazing view. Igor was a great waiter and Beata (I know im misspelling it) was a amazing wine steward. She was very friendly and can't say enough good things about her. Our table was for 8, and we sat with some great people. If you can, don't miss dinner in the dinning room. I think it is a big feature of any cruise, and it is fun to get to know the people you sit with, if they aren't total jerks, which I think is rare. You can request a change if it's ever a problem, and as a last resort, there are other dinning options. The sushi bar was open 5:45pm to 10pm. Mostly standard rolls, and sushi. Not a huge selection, but good for a cruise ship. Waterfall Cafe (think Windjammer on Royal) was great. Food was very good quality for a buffet, better than Royal Caribbean. Service is high for such a casual dinning venue. Waiters to take your tray to your table, bartenders, etc. Views are great. You can almost always find a seat at the back out on the patio. Again, great view. The Normandie is great. The food is amazing. Service can't be beat. Price is $30 per person plus $27.95 if you do a wine pairing with each course which is well worth it. It's easy to get reservations there. I don't think they were full any nights. If you want, do it on a casual night since the dinners on formal nights tend to be a bit nicer in the main dinning room, so don't miss those! Our stateroom was 7060, inside cabin. It was very nice. Every morning/night our room steward did our room, like any other cruise line. We also always had our ice bucket refilled and a crate of fresh water. It was great. Before our first stop at Puerto Vallarta, beach towels were delivered to our stateroom we could use for free or if we wanted to buy them, keep them and be charged to our account (or they would deliver new ones). We didn't want to bother ironing all our shirts before we went on the trip, so left these to our stateroom attendant. $2 a shirt or $3 for express (pressing only, no cleaning). It was easy. The shows onboard were average for any cruise. Actually, it would have been nice to see some more variety. 5 of the nights was the Celebrity singers/dancers. One night there was a comedian, Rich Papurra (bad spelling again). Another night a piano player. We were in the main seating for dinner, so our show was always around 9pm. If you're in the late seating, your show is either at 6:30pm or some nights it's not until 10:30pm or so. Pools are great on this ship. I thought they were big for a cruise ship. The outdoor pool was good, warm water, but not sure if it was heated. It was great weather and Mexico is very hot, so it might have been that warm on its own. Lots of deck chairs, never had a problem with finding one in the sun or shade, even on sea days. The thalasotherapy pool was very nice. Adults only which is great (not that I ever saw kids in the outdoor one either, few kids on this ship it seemed). The lounge chairs by the windows are very comfortable, and the area has air conditioning so it is very comfortable. Spa music is played, and you can fall asleep to it no problem. I liked reading in this area by the lounge chairs at the window. There's not many, so between about 11-3, it's more difficult to find one of those chairs. By the pool itself, you'll find a teak chair no problem. The casino was fun on this ship, my partner enjoyed playing the blackjack tables. The dealers were all very friendly. We ended up getting to know the regular blackjack players, and enjoyed striking up conversation with them and running into them on the ship and asking how they were doing. The slots don't pay out that great. It's not like vegas. Tendering was a bit challenging. We all had to go in the theatre, and you were given a number. When they called your number, you could go. We had to wait in the theatre for 45 min one morning, but that was probably the longest wait. By 11am, you won't have to wait at all. Just be patient. Some people we know missed their shore excursion because they said they waited over an hour for tendering. They got their money back no problem, but of course were a little pissed. They arrived at the theatre when they were told to, but it took too long. Not sure all the circumstances around this, but be warned. Our ship went to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. Apparently Cabo San Lucas was the best, small, everything is close to the tender pier, and great beaches. We had so much fun on the ship, we only got off in Puerto Vallarta to go to Blue Chairs. Quickly got annoyed with the number of vendors asking us to buy crap. It wasn't a busy time I guess, so the vendor to beach bum ratio was higher. Literally every 30-60 seconds we were being asked to buy something. Hope I'm not missing anything. Basically, this ship is beautiful. The art is weird, but fun to look at. There's lots of it. The ship is in great shape. Cold towels and juice when you return from a port is great. Cushions on deck chairs are an great thing. Service is amazing. I think I'd go crazy working on a ship, but these people seem to love it, and are very friendly. 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 max capacity. A Radiance or Vision class ship, similar in size or small or Royal Caribbean would have 2400+ passengers. It makes a difference. The atmosphere on the ship is more formal and classic. In general, you'll have a great cruise experience with Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
Master: Captain Panagiotis Skylogiannis Hotel Director: Daniel llias Cruise Director John Howell PRELIMINARY THOUGHTS Cruising, like everything, is subjective. A wonderful cruise for one person is not necessarily for another. Sometimes ... Read More
Master: Captain Panagiotis Skylogiannis Hotel Director: Daniel llias Cruise Director John Howell PRELIMINARY THOUGHTS Cruising, like everything, is subjective. A wonderful cruise for one person is not necessarily for another. Sometimes it's timing or simply our moods at the time. Some of us look for one experience, others look for something else. So with minor flaws, this is a rave review for Celebrity. This was was the cruise that sealed the deal for us -- we are now Celebrity loyalists. This is our third Celebrity cruise -- the first being on Horizon to Bermuda in 1997, the second on Millennium in the Western Caribbean in 2003 and now this 2-week adventure through the Canal on Summit. We booked another 10-day cruise in the Southern Caribbean in December 2006. We decided longer cruises are for us and cancelled our scheduled 7-day cruise on the Mercury in October 2006. Our experience with HAL, thus far, simply does not compare in service. Even visually, Summit is more appealing as we traveled about the ship. However, when I find a longer itinerary on HAL we will likely give them another try because I don't think it's quite fair to compare the 2 experiences without a longer cruise in the mix. It takes about 2 days to get "into the swing" of the cruise. And the last 2 days I anticipate its sad end. So a 7 day cruise only affords me about 3 days of total relaxation. A longer cruise gives us the opportunity to just revel in the absolutely joyous experience of cruising. I have never enjoyed being on the sea as much as I did these past 2 weeks. PRE-CRUISE INFO: We flew into LAX, rented a car and drove to Long Beach where we stayed at the Coast Hotel. We love the location; the hotel was clean and quite nice right on the water. The Queen Mary was within walking distance so that was a wonderful way to spend a part of Saturday. Finding the hotel was very difficult, but if we were to sail out of San Pedro again, I would stay here. OVERALL OBSERVATIONS ~ CELEBRITY VS. HOLLAND AMERICA: This cruise made Celebrity our #1 cruise line of choice. However, I've never done a 2 week cruise on HAL so this may not be a completely fair observation. But I can honestly say that other than some issues with a couple of shore excursions, there is absolutely nothing we didn't love about this cruise. We've cruised 15 times since the early '80s -- not a ton of experience. But we've cruised on Cunard, Regency, HAL, Celebrity, NCL, Royal Viking Line, Seawind Cruises and Windstar so we have a lot of compare. First to compare the ships Oosterdam (sailed 11/04) and Summit -- personally I feel the design, layout and general architectural details are far superior on Summit. The outside elevators alone and so much more open and encompass superior views as you glide up and down. There are 4 of them vs. Oosterdam's 2 and glass practically all around. I can't even compare the onboard shops. Oosterdam's were sparse and broken up in such a way that it reminded me of a maze. Summit has magnificent shops laid out similarly to walking down an avenue with two kiosks in the center where the merchandise is changed daily. The cabin's appointments are far superior. The dressing table/desk on the Oosterdam also held a TV and had little cabinet space. The Summit's dressing table is much larger and more usable. This was the most amazing cruise we've ever taken in every way. EMBARKATION: We arrived at the pier by taxi around 11:15 a.m. If there was a short line, I don't even remember it. We were Concierge Class so had "priority" boarding, but it would have made no difference at all. We were on the ship by 11:30 and able drop our carry-ons in our stateroom. Our cabin attendant, Lorna, apologized that it wasn't "quite ready," but promised it would be within half an hour. We happily headed to the Waterfall Cafe for lunch. STATEROOMS: We were in Concierge Class #6135 on Penthouse Deck (6th). As you may know, because 6135 is between 2 Royal Suites, the deck is considerably deeper than most CC class staterooms. There is plenty of room for 2 cushioned chaises and a small table plus 2 cushioned chairs and a round dining table. This cabin is also about 20 sq. ft. larger, I think, than a standard verandah cabin. The "living" area seemed a lot roomier than our cabin on the Millennium which was midships on the same deck. The closets are not great, but we were still able to somehow fit everything in. Unlike the HAL ships, there are 6 drawers and roomy shelf below the safe. But there is only one closet for hanging clothes for us. Luckily DH doesn't pack too heavy and there was room for all my "stuff." I do prefer the verandah furnishings on the Oosterdam (wicker) -- this furniture was not as nice, but the size made up for it and the cushions helped. Had we stepped up to a Sky Suite, I think we would have had wood which was really very nice. One thing I loved on the Summit was when you've ordered Room Service for Breakfast (CC gets the full menu); Lorna would always call me to say the tray was on its way. So much better than the knock on the door. I did love the little "extras" we got in CC class -- the fresh fruit everyday, the 2 pillows each were heavenly. The comfort of the bed was heavenly and I loved the duvet. Have to admit it didn't quite measure up to HAL's beds, but was so far superior in every other way that I overlook that completely. I'll use this opportunity to mention the Royal Suites. We had Cruise Critic friends who were lucky enough to grab one for a really great rate and they invited us for a party one night. This is an AWESOME suite with a huge verandah with hot tub, separate bedroom, dressing area and large bath. The living/dining area was beautifully furnished with luscious woods. They had large plasma screen TVs in both the bedroom and living room. I was sooooo jealous! PASSENGERS: A word about the passengers as a whole. I would say the age range was definitely in the over 60 department. But there were many in their 40s and 50s and a few younger. We had (I think) 5 small children who were so well behaved I thought they might be robots. There were also many Europeans onboard. We were fortunate that the ship was not completely full with about 1900 passengers (Summit can actually hold up to almost 2300 when used to capacity). Some of you might say "so old!!!" Sometimes someone might walk a bit slower than you might like, but everyone on this ship seemed to be having an equally wonderful time and I heard little or no complaining. Maybe I walked in a dream world, but I didn't hear it. We had a really nice Roll Call before we left and we knew 40+ had signed up for the Celebrity Connections party. Several of us also decided to hook up at Sail Away at the Mast Bar. The person who began the roll call made wonderful nametags for us and we all gathered there in wonderful moods ready for a great cruise. San Pedro was unseasonably cold that day, but our hearts were sure warm! We gathered the next day at Michael's Club for our party and what an amazing turnout! And what a fun, wonderful group with ages across the board from young to very old. But the very old guy just happened by! When I asked him what his CC name was, he said he just saw it was a party and decided to come on in! John Howell, the most wonderful amazing CD on the face of the oceans, came to greet us. When we had to break up because another party was coming in, they promised us another party the 2nd week. They came through for us and that party was equally well attended and enjoyed. Throughout the cruise, close bonds were made among several CC members and we really enjoyed getting together, sharing tours together and other activities. And because we had made contact on Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas Roll Call before we left (knowing they'd be on a similar itinerary), we had fun shouting across the ships a couple of times ... especially as we made our way through the Panama Canal. Early on, one CC'er suggested that on Sea Days anyone interested in eating in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant should meet outside at 12:30. We did this a few times and were particularly pleased when we invited John Howell to join us one day after our second party. He graciously accepted and I was fortunate to have him sitting next to me. He shared a lot of fun stories and information we wouldn't ordinarily have. I said it before and I'll say it again: John Howell is, without question, the best CD I've ever known. It almost seemed he was everywhere at once, always accessible and always there with a smile. He's raised the bar for me -- that's for sure. DINING Cosmopolitan Restaurant Before dinner we would always go to the Rendezvous Lounge or Martini Bar for the Virgin drink of the day. If we wanted to watch the dancing, the Lounge was the place to be. But we really liked the Martini Bar and the Champagne Bar when we wanted to talk. We often didn't get to do this because the show was so frequently at 7:00. We had Table #436 right in the center of the dining room beside the Ms Rotterdam statue. We could not have had a better table. I thought the food was really good although I had much more beef than I would generally enjoy. I'm much fussier about food than many people are, but everyone else felt the food was really top notch. Personally I didn't like the potatoes except a couple of rare occasions, but the beef was amazing. Everyone who had fish said it was always wonderful as well ... even though we had never heard of any of the varieties they offered. For us, it was our Waiter, Julio, and Asst. Waiter, Francisco, who really made our dining experience the best of a lifetime. Their service was beyond description. And this was where Celebrity shines so far above HAL which doesn't begin to compare. I still fault HAL management decisions for this, but Julio had 3 tables during Late Seating so he had the time to give us so much. Both Julio and Francisco were so happy, so willing to meet our every whim. For our sitting, everyone seemed to adhere to the dress code throughout the week although I must admit it seems that "Informal" is a word not everyone quite "gets." To top off this amazing experience, we also had the only Assistant Maitre D' who has ever bothered with us at all. From the very first night Celito (sp?) came to our table and spent time with us. He would fulfill any request or desire we might have. The extras that we got which included a magnificent array of cheeses and biscuits every single night were just fantastic. The Normandie (Specialty Restaurant) We only dined here once because we were invited by 4 other CC'ers to join them one night. I'm so glad we did because just the "show" is worth the $30/pp cover. We had an 8:00 pm reservation and we left the restaurant at 11:30. It was superb from start to finish. Waterfall Cafe and Grill Everything here was so good. The Pasta Bar (made to order) was exceptional and so fresh. The pizza was terrific. I especially loved the vegetable one. I like the HAL ice cream better, I have to say. But Celebrity has improved their burgers, etc., and these were absolutely amazing. All the desserts here were so good. I also loved the Deli section with the "make your own but they'll do it for you" sandwiches. Which reminds me! The Belgian Waffles in this section in the morning (only until 10 so get yourself up there!) with strawberries in syrup and whipped cream all over them were beyond description. All the fruit (especially the cantaloupe) was wonderful as well. OTHER SERVICE The service overall was absolutely amazing. Everyone everywhere on the ship greeted us with a smile, a "hello" and a "good morning" or "good night." I never encountered anyone who did not deliver the epitome in service from the Concierge, to Guest Relations to Captain's Club and to Future Sales (and you can bet I was in there booking another cruise!). Just that friendly "good morning" when we emerge from the midship elevators for breakfast is an added touch you don't soon forget. If I'm going to criticize, it's the Shore Excursion desk. I realize it's a tough job, but there were not pleasant when all I asked for was a comment form to let them know about my shore excursion problem. Lorna, our Stateroom Attendant, was always just outside my door with a greeting and a smile. ENTERTAINMENT Amazing! From one night to the next, they never repeated one act. Each show was fantastic and fun. When I judge shipboard entertainment, I don't compare it to Broadway -- I compare it to other cruises we've been on. We went to almost every show. And I loved that many nights they had the Late Seating Show at 7:00 so that we could enjoy other entertainment throughout the ship. It also gave us a chance to get to bed before 1:00 in the morning! Some of the talent was beyond amazing. The Aerialists, Alex and Sally, were magnificent to watch. The featured singers, Travis and Denise Turpin were wonderful and just seemed to enjoy themselves every minute. The Celebrity Singers and Dancers were fantastic. Noodles Levenstein was just plain funny, Antonio Salci (Pianist) was so good I bought his CD, Jack Walker's voice got better with every song and by the end of his show I was on the edge of my seat. I ran to be the first to buy his CD. There were many nights that these entertainers received and deserved a standing ovation. Both DH and I agreed that it was the best entertainment we'd seen on any cruise. "ACUPUNCTURE AT SEA" If you've ever considered acupuncture and just haven't done it, this is a wonderful time to try it. They had several lectures explaining the process and I decided to bite the bullet and try it. I found it very helpful and plan to continue now that I'm back home. AQUA SPA The only service I used here was a manicure. Josh was the most amusing and amazing manicurist I've ever had and the hand ritual treatment was beyond anything I've experienced. I didn't every have a manicure before that includes massaging my neck and shoulders, but I'll take it!!! SEA DAY ACTIVITIES (We had 7 of these!) These were heaven! We're not big "activities" people so unfortunately I can't report on that very much. I do know there were a heck of a lot of people up on the pool deck having "Fun In The Sun". And I loved the "Sorbet Parade". Yummy! SHIP'S PHOTOGRAPHERS AND PICTURES: Loved that the photographers were not "in your face". They would ask if we wanted a picture taken. This made it a lot easier to find our pictures when we did want them because so many people declined. The cost has gone off the charts and the only one I purchased was our table picture. I'm glad I did because the one taken with my camera came out blurry. But I don't know why they won't print up a simply 5x7 rather than attaching 2 wallet size and a 4x6 in order to jack the price to $19.95. We didn't bother with the "studio" shots either because those cost even more. In this world of digital photography, it's just not worth it. The only thing I regret was not asking the photographers to come to the "Connections" parties so we could get a group Cruise Critic shot. I would have loved that and it would have been worth the $20. But I just never thought of it and no one else did either. PORTS AND TOURS Upon returning to the ship in every port, we were greeting with cold water, punches or lemonade and ice cold hand towels. These were soooo welcome in hotter ports and particularly while waiting for the tenders. We had 2 days a sea (aaaaah sweet bliss as we relaxed into the journey of a lifetime) before arriving at Cabo San Lucas on Tuesday, 10/25. Sailing along the Baja in the early morning light is an awesome experience. Rounding Lands End, we dropped anchor the farthest from shore that you can without being the Pacific Ocean. Summit gets last dibs at every port from what we saw. I have no idea why. So it was a loooong tender ride into port. I hate tendering anyway. Luckily for us, we had tours in both tendered ports so it was a piece of cake. I will say that the tenders on Summit are far better than HAL. They're more open, with more air flowing through and much lighter. So it was as good as it could be. We took a ship's tour in this port called: "Land's End Boat Cruise & Beach Tour": If you want to giggle a bit, go to the Celebrity site and read their description of this tour focusing on the part about the "beach club." The boat portion of this tour was just as we expected and I have no complaint whatsoever. It was wonderfully enjoyable and I just wish they could have dropped us off at Lover's Beach and leave it at that. Instead we were taken back to the port where we were herded like cattle toward a bus to take us to the "beach club." The problem here was there was a guy in the front with a sign who walked very fast and appeared to lose half of us (somehow we all ended up where we were supposed to be). We got on a very clean and pretty bus and were driven the short distance to the beach. This was mere moments from the pier and we could see our Summit anchored off shore (if we were smart enough to bring our binoculars with us). The RCI and Crystal ships were clearly visible. But this is where the joke began for us. We walked down a very steep hill and were led onto a crowded beach there in the harbor. They had roped off a section where about 50 or so plastic lounge chairs had been place with a bunch of market umbrella. The chaises were so close together that the only way to sit on them was to stand at the foot of the chair and sort of fall backward hoping the other end would not pop up and kick you in the head. The chairs were on such an angle that I basically went behind it and dug it deep into the sand just so I could sit on it without sliding off. We were told that the roped off section would keep the vendors from bothering us -- that they could only come over to us if "invited." Well, they were very good at making you feel guilty if you didn't "invite" them. On top of that, they pretty much blocked any view of the water. They were so sweet, actually, that is was hard to be angry but it certainly wasn't quite what we expected. We couldn't wait to get back on the bus and return to the ship. After another day at sea we arrived Thursday in Acapulco which I was prepared to hate, but was pleasantly surprised. Here we had booked a tour called: "Mayan Palace Beach Getaway": This was an excellent and wonderful tour. The Mayan Palace is a timeshare resort in the "future" section of Acapulco. As you may know, Acapulco is divided into the "old" section, the "new" section, and the "future" section. This is a magnificent resort like none I have ever seen. We spent the day sitting by the pool by the sea and had a wonderful lunch at a restaurant there. We spent 4 hours there and then returned to the ship. It was a wonderful day shared with some of our new Cruise Critic friends. All the guys bonded standing in the pool. When I've posted my pictures, you will see all of this and the pictures speak a thousand words. On Friday we docked in Huatulco which is a charming and delightful town. I will say, however, that I had gone on this cruise prepared to by sterling silver in our Mexican ports. Forget that! I'm sure if I'd gotten out of the main part of town I could have done better, but I can find much nicer silver here in the states for at least half the price and I told the merchants that. When I saw a piece I liked for $250, the salesman said "let's talk." We talked, but when he realized I wanted something under $100, he led me to their souvenir table. I left empty handed. We did not do a tour here because I'd been told you can easily walk about town and there's a wonderful beach right next to the pier. I found this difficult to believe, but they were right. It's a beautiful, clean, white sand beach and I enjoyed my time there. Huatulco is named for its nine beautiful bays and I would think seriously about returning to enjoy one of their resorts. They are trying to entice tourism there and I'd like to enjoy the beauty of the area before it becomes the next Acapulco. After another wonderful sea day (did I mention that once we got away from the cold dampness of California our weather was magnificent throughout? -- well, a little misty on the Panama Canal, but that kept it cool) ... we arrived on Sunday, 10/30, at Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Here we had booked a tour called: "Aerial Tram Pacific": We docked at the far end of the pier (of course) even though there was no other ship at the pier. They had a trolley with a "toot toot" engine that shuttled everyone to the flea market area. Sadly, I never got to enjoy shopping there since we were so late returning to the ship from our tour. Many people told me they did their very best shopping by the pier in Puntarenas. The bus picked us up right by the ship and drove the 1 ½ hours + to the park in the mid-Pacific. I want to say first that the aerial tram portion of this tour was magnificent and so worthwhile. But the walking portion which we were told was "optional" seem to take up the better portion of the time allowed and quite truthfully I didn't come all the way to Costa Rica to see plants that were not even native to the area. They plopped them in the ground and put little signs on them. They also walked us ever so slowly to see various types of snakes being kept in glass cages along the path. I found this very upsetting. Here we are in the wild and these snakes are housed in little boxes just so we could stare at them in groups of 10 and 20. Because there was a huge back-up at the tram, our guide would walk us about 5 steps and stop us to prattle on about something. I was terribly disappointed in this aspect of the tour, but all was forgiven after our wait for the tram because we really enjoyed our ride up above the canopy of the forest. Even the rain made it all seem that much more beautiful. I was particularly excited when I saw a Fiery Billed Aracari (variety of Toucan) which I pointed out to our guide! I even got a picture of "my" bird giving me a little wave. So late returning to the ship all I had time for was a few quick shots of the sunset before we left this magnificent country. At sea on Halloween with all sorts of shenanigans going on about the ship, we reached the entrance to the Panama Canal and the Bridge of the Americas early in the morning Tuesday, November 1st. We did not tour here because we wanted the experience of cruising "from sea to shining sea" -- the Pacific to the Atlantic. It was more amazing, magnificent and awesome than I ever could have imagined. Seven or eight years ago we did the "half way" portion of the canal through the Gatun Locks, into the Lake and out again. But that paled in comparison to the entire canal. Any of you who have done this cruise know what I mean. I had read and studied a great deal about it so it made the experience that much better. Along the way there was a lot of sharing with Radiance of the Seas as she passed through the canal with us. Again, my pictures will tell a better story than I can. Another day at sea and then we arrived at sunny, warm Aruba on Thursday, 11/3. Docked right in town, I shopped a little in the morning and then joined Rich and Sandy (Our Dream) for a beach day. One of the things that Celebrity does is give you huge beach towels in your cabin for your use throughout the cruise. When you bring them back, they give you a nice fresh new one. I like this so much better than grabbing 2 or 3 smaller towels on HAL. At our second Cruise Critic party, John Howell had told us about a wonderful beach where it wouldn't be so crowded. It isn't even on the map. Since that conversation, John asked me not to publish the name so I won't. But if you're lucky enough to cruise with John, he just might tell you about it. It is a heavenly beach ... a hotel where we presumably were not supposed to be able to rent the thatched umbrellas and lounge chairs, but when we told them we were happy to pay, they were happy to accommodate us. We found a huge umbrella under which all 4 chaises fit. We were right by the water so could all easily swim without worrying about our things. The water felt like liquid silk and the color of the water was incredible to behold. Having come from the Pacific where we did not see waters like this, it was all that much more appreciated. We had a wonderful day there. After 2 more days at sea, we arrived back home in Ft. Lauderdale -- a very sad day for me because as I have said before, this journey could not have been more fun, more enjoyable, more fulfilling or any better in any way. CLOTHING AND ATTIRE Couldn't come up with a name for this section, but did want to mention that DH after much thought did take advantage of Cruise line Formals. He has his own tux so was reluctant to pay $85 for this service. He did not regret it! First, it fit better than his own since they used his current measurements as opposed to those of several years ago when he was just a wee bit smaller. But beyond that, the ease of having it delivered to the stateroom and leaving it there was worth every penny. The tux was quite stunning and he looked wonderful. When I post our pictures later on this thread, you'll see how nice it was. I highly recommend it. I packed perfectly for dinner, but took way too many casual clothes. When you pack for a 2-week, remember to remove 1/3 of what you plan on taking -- maybe even more. If all else fails you can throw on a cover-up and pretend you're on the way to the pool. On our 14 night cruise we enjoyed 8 Casual nights, 3 Informal and 3 Formal. This threw me a little because I thought it was 7 Casual nights, but luckily I had an Informal outfit that could pass for Casual. DISEMBARKATION: We were told we would have "priority" disembarkation, but all this meant in the end was that we had a special lounge to wait where Danish and coffee were served. There were so many Europeans on this cruise who needed to fly from Miami that we could not disembark until 10:00. This was not a problem since we live in West Palm Beach and friends were meeting us. The entire process was a "piece of cake." We went for breakfast at 8:15 and returned to our cabin. Lorna told us we could wait there, but at 9:30 we went to the Cinema so we would hear when "Red4" was called. Suddenly we felt we were in a James Bond film waiting for the code word "Red4!" Promptly at about 9:45 we were called and left the ship with no jamming, elbowing or anything. All the bags were organized in their color categories and while the line through customs appeared very long, we whisked through literally in minutes and were in our car and on our way by 10:15. FINAL THOUGHTS: It's the people who made this journey so absolutely amazing. Many of them were fellow CC'ers and many we just met along the way. You may think this rave review is just too good to be true. But this was 2 weeks of pure bliss. I'm not easy to impress and you should also know that the entire first week I was trying to reach someone back home in West Palm Beach, FL, to see if our house was still standing after Wilma. But despite that anxiety and the $200 spent on the internet trying to get news, I still managed to have on of the most wonderful times in my entire life. I won't be forgetting any of it anytime soon and I hope the friendships we made onboard will last a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
As we gathered at the Los Angeles cruise terminal prior to boarding Summit, rumors already abounded as to a quickly developing hurricane that was now threatening the Pacific coast of Mexico. This had, of course, been a particularly ... Read More
As we gathered at the Los Angeles cruise terminal prior to boarding Summit, rumors already abounded as to a quickly developing hurricane that was now threatening the Pacific coast of Mexico. This had, of course, been a particularly active (and tragic) storm season in the Atlantic, and we knew upon booking this cruise back in June that hurricane risk even in the Pacific could be a factor. Nonetheless we boarded with great expectations, glad to be back aboard Celebrity Cruises following the 18-month hiatus since we'd sailed sister ship Constellation. Glass of champagne in hand, we soaked in the Grand Foyer, then toured the ship to explore the similarities and differences Summit had to offer. Most notably changed on Summit was the Bar at the Edge of the Earth, a renovated space that was designed for performances by Cirque du Soleil. The Edge indeed has a bit of an edgy feel, with luminescent ceiling hangings and canopied lounges  this replacing the ship's night club area, top deck forward, but still offering panoramic 180-degree views. Later in the day, however, we were informed that Cirque du Soleil performances had been suspended on Summit from this sailing onward, and were in the process of re-tooling. Though this was of some disappointment to us, we'd heard mixed reviews of the Cirque experience on Celebrity thus far, and were satisfied to know they were responding to customer feedback. Perhaps they might heed our comments, then, regarding Summit's artwork. While Constellation has some nice art in its public spaces, from Peter Max in an elevator lobby to a Chihuly chandelier outside the nightclub. Summit, meanwhile, has unstimulating photography and minimal gallery-quality pieces on display around the ship, causing us to wonder whether they'd pulled the good stuff and replaced it with a high-school art project. That aside, however, Summit is a classy ship, with decor bright enough to invoke that special at-sea feeling but relatively subdued compared to her cruise industry counterparts. The colors of Summit's Martini Bar and Champagne Bar gave less aqua and more cremes and beige than her sister ship, while the woodwork and carpeting have been kept up immaculately. That afternoon we took to our stateroom, and thanks to a short-lived deal earlier in the summer, we were in a balcony cabin for the first time. They say that once you have a balcony you cannot go back, and this was immediately apparent to us. On two previous cruises we'd had inside staterooms, appreciating the pitch darkness for sleeping at night, but missing some contact with the sea. With this cabin, however, we would not be sorry. As you'll see in the pictures, we took in sunsets, sunrises, breakfast on the verandah, early morning port arrivals, late night drinks, and the soothing noise of the bow crashing into wave after wave, all from the privacy of our quarters. This was especially beneficial due to our itinerary, which had four days scheduled at sea. The rumors of the hurricane, meanwhile, would add a fifth sea day. Before these came to fruition, however, we'd depart Los Angeles at sunset, meeting some of our fellow CruiseCritic.com members at a sailaway get-together which meandered from Mast Bar to Martini Bar. Following this was second-seating dinner, casual for the first night, where we got to meet our table mates with whom we'd dine for the entire sailing. A waiter gave some caution as we approached the table for six, indicating that the other four diners didn't speak English. The Assistant Maitre D, a lively Serbian named Sasha, invited us to be seated, however, noting that we would always change the dining arrangements the next day. Much to our delight, however, no such arrangement was necessary. We would have the pleasure of dining with a lovely couple from the Bay Area, Florin and Camelia, who were joined by Camelia's parents visiting from Romania. I commented that my father's mother had come from Romania, and that much of his family was from nearby Kishinev, the Moldovan capital. Turns out the mother and father live not so far from Kishinev, and we had a good laugh about what a small world it is. And thus we broke the ice, and broke bread together. Well, more than just bread, of course, as every meal in the Cosmopolitan Dining Room was a five course affair. Overall we were quite pleased with Summit's gastronomy, with kudos going to the meat dishes, the salads and consommes, and appetizers such as escargots and shrimp cocktail. And our waiter, assistant waiter, and assistant maitre d were omnipresent in their drive to go above and beyond, accommodating our every request. Liked the escargots? They'd magically appear from off-the-menu on subsequent evenings. Order a side of tasty fries one night? They'd be brought to the table every night thereafter, even on the last formal night with prime rib and lobster. Reminded us of our waiter on Constellation, Janusz, whom we later saw on this cruise! Turns out this was his last cruise, his contract was up and he was headed back to Krakow. So we felt glad to have seen Janusz, and got his email and phone number for someday we'd like to visit Krakow. Since Celebrity prides itself on having food that's a cut above the other mainstream lines, however, it's only appropriate that we mention a few shortcomings. The chilled soups were more like an early dessert, fruity and extremely sweet. The seafood was inconsistent, with shrimp and scallops not always cooked to perfection. And we were not the only ones to comment on the general saltiness of the food on board, surprising in an era when even cruisers are more conscious of health and diet. The sushi is decent, though of course we had our fill of good sushi in LA both before and after the cruise. The buffets were also fine, though their theme offerings usually came up short. Pizza and pasta were better on Princess, and we missed their bay shrimp, calamari, and fish & chips; but we appreciate the smaller touches on Celebrity such as real plates and linen (as opposed to the Princess platter), and waiters who carry your tray to the table and then bring juice or iced tea for you. At breakfast they also come by with fresh pastries, coffee, and tea in the buffet seating area, another nice touch. Lunch in the Cosmopolitan dining room was adequate though not as succulent as dinner, and breakfast here was fine, though it was far more enjoyable when we ate al fresco on the verandah. We also enjoyed several meals, snacks, and drinks on the teak patio behind the buffet area, a largely shaded area with full views from the aft. Jen had brought tiramisu out here one windy afternoon, and the cocoa powder was flying everywhere; luckily Sacha had been helping Jen and brought another napkin. We also knew, prior to boarding Summit, that we'd dine at least once at her specialty restaurant, The Normandie. This was a refined experience we'd loved on Constellation, and so we'd made reservations for the last night of the cruise. Upon boarding we stopped by Normandie to see about adding a night earlier in the cruise, and lo and behold the man behind the podium was Mario, our waiter from Constellation's specialty restaurant. In the middle of our first meal at Normandie we then saw Ivo, our wonderful Sommelier from Constellation, and were happy to chat with him as well. Not to be forgotten ever is the dining experience itself, beginning with an amuse bouche of salmon in pastry, followed by a tableside preparation of caesar salad from scratch, complete with egg whites whisked for nearly ten minutes. The lobster veloute and goat cheese souffle were, as always, remarkable, and the Chateaubriand for two was the best we've ever had, complemented by foie gras seared to perfection and a hearty Australian shiraz. We each partook from the cheese cart, with mild, medium, bleu, and goat cheeses but even in two sittings still didn't get to all fifteen varieties that were offered. Care for a glass of port with your cheese? They wheel another cart over, just ports, and I have Graham's Malvados for the first time. My only regret is not getting a bottle of this stuff in LA afterwards, since the liquor stores neither in Ontario nor in Quebec carry it. The meal is completed by, of course, dessert. I'd pre-ordered the chocolate souffle, decadent but not too sweet, served in it's baking bowl, unlike on Princess (who unskilfully carve it out and serve it without appeal into a brown mound). No, Celebrity does it right. And Jen's ganache was a perfect marriage of flavors chocolate and banana, with coconut ice cream on the side, a taste of the tropics that we were now about to enter. Earlier in the day, this our first full day at sea, Captain Karatzas made his noon announcement and confirmed the rumors: due to the proximity and strength of Hurricane Otis (which had been elevated from Tropical Storm just yesterday  sorry, couldn't resist at least one Otis Elevator reference), we'd be skipping our first port call of Cabo San Lucas, steering around the storm, and hopefully returning to a course for Mazatlan on Monday. The shipboard television channel also featured a repeating announcement from the bridge, with the captain outlining our course on visual charts and assuring one and all that safety was of paramount concern (this despite some whining from a few idiot passengers upset that they'd miss Cabo). He and the crew had also prepared the ship for rough seas, with breakables stowed, production shows cancelled in the theatre, and passengers advised to exercise caution when walking. A grade of A goes to Celebrity for communicating all of this so well; in fact the worst of the storm was always well east of us, and even near the ship's bow we felt little more than nominal rocking. After a second day at sea, with a leisurely pace and high clouds but tropical temperatures, we shook off the rough seas at night and steamed into port on schedule Monday morning. The slowing of the ship must have woken me up, and as I stepped out onto the balcony, the lights of Mazatlan were giving way to a slowly unfading dawn. We sailed past the sportfishing docks, where I'd once hung a 167-pound marlin, with outriggers and shrimp boats passing us in the opposite direction, heading out for a day's catch. Today we shared the berth with Regal Princess, which at 15 years is the oldest member of the Princess Cruises fleet. An hour later we were off the gangway and onto a series of pickup truck, water taxi, and tractor, finally reaching the coconut groves of Isla Piedra. Here we saddled up and headed out to the beach on horseback, and, save for the sunblock which was now streaking into my eyes, it was a wonderful time. My horse preferred to walk through the water rather than on the higher beach, slowing us down a bit but hey (hay is for horses), what's the hurry anyway?! Following a beer in the thatched palapa that is Victor's, we opted to return to the ship, clean up, and head into town. Though they say that much of Mazatlan has changed, it was good to see that El Centro had stayed much the same, with the Mercado and Cathedral being the highlights. Many passengers complained that Mazatlan wasn't pretty or exotic enough, but what I'd remind them was that it's an actual town, not just a resort but a working city, complete with a busy port and an economy that involves more than tourism alone. The next day we called on Puerto Vallarta, definitely more of a resort town, with its picturesque bay and seaside promenade lined with sculptures. Like Mazatlan, PV was hot and muggy, and after walking around town for strolling and shopping and a side trip to the former home of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton we spent the rest of the day aboard ship, greeted with cold towels, water, and a warm welcome home from several staff members. One gets the feeling that this really is home for the thousand or so crew and staff of Summit, and they're happy to share it with us, eager to show us a good time, aiming to please at every turn. Sailing out of Vallarta we saw the storm clouds gathering, and the next day gave us a new twist on thunderstorms, with 360-degrees of lightning at sea. Particularly unique was having breakfast in the cantilevered Deck 10 dining area, with dark skies, bolts of lightning, claps of thunder, and a view of the churning seas below through the glass cut-outs in the floor. That day I attended the second of four screenwriting seminars, part of the enrichment series that Celebrity offers; also available were a motivational series, computer classes, and acupuncture. Of course no day at sea is complete without the requisite art auction, afternoon tea, trivia contests, jackpot bingo, and the like. A nicety on Celebrity, though, is that these are not in-your-face profit centers, unlike on Princess who feel compelled to announce something every ten minutes. On Celebrity it's one announcement a day, that being the daily update from the bridge. The rain followed us into Acapulco, where a taxi driver told us about the tormenta they'd been having. Still, the showers dissipated by the time we reached La Quebrada, and we were able to see the famed cliff divers  one of those must-dos that, well, you just do. After buying a ticket, we were seated in a cliffside location facing the divers, where we once again ran into our tablemates from dinner (we'd seen them in PV as well as every day aboard ship, this on a ship of 2,000 passengers). Later we took a taxi around the cliffs and up a hill to Hotel Los Flamingos, a once-swanky (much like Acapulco itself) joint that was a favorite of Hollywood legends such as Johnny Weismuller, who filmed Tarzan in Acapulco and spent much of his life here afterwards. Los Flamingos is one of the best places in town for pozole, a hearty soup-stew concoction made of pork, hominy, onions, and garlic, and served with fixings to add such as avocado, cilantro, small but potent limes, oregano, jack cheese, jalapeno, tortillas, chicharones (pork rinds) etc. And Thursday is the traditional day to eat pozole, so we lucked out on all counts. This was our only meal off the ship, and, along with an appetizer of tamales, it was well worth the venture. We'd even contemplated dinner elsewhere in town, for perhaps another bowl of pozole and some fresh seafood, but upon seeing the main dining room menu with escargots, filet mignon, and other enticing offerings, we opted to stay aboard. Later we sailed out of Acapulco Love Boat style, close to midnight with all the lights in this harbor as a backdrop that we'll never forget. And thanks to Mike and Mary, who hosted a get-together at their cabin  the balcony extends out from the aft of the ship, giving 270-degree views. The previous day we'd done a roving stateroom tour, where various CruiseCritic.com members opened up their cabins for all to see. It was like a giant conga line at one point, roaming through the ship, other passengers joining, and all of us getting to see the various rooms and suites that Celebrity offers. Of course there's not a bad cabin to be had on a cruise, but some of these were quite amazing, with balconies and views of varying sizes and angles, and in-suite features such as flat-screen TVs, marble bathtubs with a view, etc. The one product we didn't get to see up close was the Penthouse Suite, though from the balconies of Mike & Mary and Jan & Colin, we did see the Penthouse balcony, hot tub and all. Our last port was the sleepy town of Zihuatanejo, and we were fortunate to have had the skies clear up for this gem. We anchored out in the crescent-shaped, well-sheltered bay and tendered ashore, immediately realizing we were not in your standard port  no duty free shops, no Diamonds International, just palm-lined beachfront with thatched-roofed cafes, beaches that went on and on, and a small, snaking promenade that made for a relaxing morning. Later we ambled through the flea market, picking up some nice silver pieces in a low-pressure, relaxing environment. Sailing out of Zihua (with butterflies all around us) and past the resort-lined beaches of Ixtapa on Friday afternoon, we knew we'd reached our final destination and would have two and a half sea days in which to enjoy the duration of the cruise. Of course that time went all too quickly, relaxing on the verandah; eating our way through dinners at the Cosmopolitan and Normandie; looking at (completely content and unable at all to eat) the Magnifique Gala Buffet; taking in elegant tea in the Cosmopolitan; having martinis with our mates Jan & Colin, Larry & Sue, and Mike & Mary; all etching into our memories this great cruise. We'll most definitely sail Celebrity again. It was and remains our cruise line of choice, though we continue to explore others. Our next sailing is booked on Oceania Cruises, from Athens to Istanbul, and no balcony on that one, but somehow I think we'll survive. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
What a fantastic cruise! We booked the cruise for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and were not disappointed. The service on the ship was amazing. From our room steward, Felipe, and his asst., Encieto, to the dining room staff and everyone ... Read More
What a fantastic cruise! We booked the cruise for our 25th Wedding Anniversary and were not disappointed. The service on the ship was amazing. From our room steward, Felipe, and his asst., Encieto, to the dining room staff and everyone else working on the ship, they do try hard to treat you "famously". Booking a balcony in concierge class was certainly worth the money. Two of the ports we stopped at required tenders, so having priority tender service thru concierge class was great. We enjoyed the Aqua Spa Cafe for breakfast and lunch and ate in the main dining room for all the other nights except for a night in the Normandy specialty restaurant. The food on the whole was very good to excellent. We had late seating and one of our favorite spots was the 10 deck aft bar with a sushi bar(excellent), guitar player (ok), and a beautiful sunset each evening. There was a nice mix of ages on the ship with just a few children. We thought there would be a much older crowd, but there wasn't. We went to only a couple of shows in the theater that interested us and they were good, but the acts on the other nights didn't peak our interest. The late night activities at the bar at the end of the earth were enjoyable. I certainly would not call this ship a party boat, but there was enough going on at the casino & bar to keep you busy. During the day at sea, they were not a ton of activities going on, but that was fine with us because we just wanted to sit by the pool and relax. We booked our excursions on the internet taking the canopy tour in Puerto Vallarta and Randi's Happy Horses in Mazatlan. Both were great. Ship was in great shape, very clean. Pro's for the Summit: Service, Food & wonderful staff. Cons: Entertainment, Normandy specialty restaurant (food is just as good in the main dining room), Disembarkation (although the ship seems to be at the mercy of US Customs and how many people -- they send too few). Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
This is a review, not an online journal. After 33 cruises, 9 with Celebrity, this is probably best read by someone with a similar background. Had this been a first cruise, I'd probably say that EVERYTHING was wonderful. The downside ... Read More
This is a review, not an online journal. After 33 cruises, 9 with Celebrity, this is probably best read by someone with a similar background. Had this been a first cruise, I'd probably say that EVERYTHING was wonderful. The downside of cruising often is that it's difficult not to become picky. Celebrity is a great cruise line and they do a great job. Some of the negatives mentioned below may have a lot to do with the fact that Summit's itinerary varies(a plus) but certain issues become a problem because they aren't in the same place every week. This particular 14 day cruise originated in LA with stops in Cabo, Acapulco and Huatulco in Mexico as well as a stop in Costa Rica and Aruba along with Panama Canal transit and a stop at Cristobal Pier there. If you consider this itinerary, bear in mind that there are 8 days at sea and many activities repeat themselves. There's a lot of time to relax!! Embarkation in LA, for example would have been perfect had it not been for the fact that each bus coming from the airport was "held" at the pier with passengers still on the bus for almost 30 min. This may have been a "port of San Pedro issue" rather than Celebrity's. After being on a plane for most of the day, this was not a pleasant experience to begin the trip. The public rooms are lovely on the ship, but due to the nature of the "older crowd" aboard, many lounges, the cinema, and the theater were extremely crowded at the earlier times rather than the later. Again, this is not something that the cruise line could really control but rather, something to note when booking a long cruise at a time of year when older people tend to travel. The cabin was exactly as promised. In this case, the balcony is well worth paying extra for, although one should be aware that it is hardly "private" is not always cleaned well by the cabin steward. Celebrity's fitness center, part of the Aqua Spa, is top notch with excellent equipment and fitness instructors and not too crowded even at peak exercise times. However, that could vary from cruise to cruise depending on the demographics of the passengers aboard. Certainly on this cruise, it was a great place to go. A look at the daily schedule indicated many recreational activities for one to select. Dining was outstanding in both the Normandie Restaurant as well as the main dining room. The buffet was better than on other cruise lines with a large variety to select from. Special note should be made of the "healthy" buffet near the Aqua Spa. This was a nice variation from the main buffet. Entertainment was very, very good when presented in the lounges or the theater. Two things that might improve this category would be less use of "prerecorded music" in some lounges and a greater use of the cinema for first run films...doing "pay for view" in a small cabin on a 19" television is hardly worth it. I thought it strange that the cruise director's information broadcast on tv was not specific to the particular day. After being on two other Millennium class ships where the cruise director always broadcasted "live" from an area of the ship and repeated their program throughout the day, I expected the same here. This was not only entertaining on the other ships, but also very informative. One might argue that the cruise director's responsibilities are huge and this would be time consuming. However, since the television is an important source of information and communication, live broadcasting was missed. The same applies to shore excursion listings over the television where some tours were never advertised while others that were not offered were shown to the viewer. Both these issues could be related to the fact that the Summit does some many different itineraries the it's easier to offer the "generic" rather than the "specific." For example, it would have been nice on the day before our canal transit for passengers to know that the video about the canal which was shown 3 times in the cinema would also be broadcast round the clock on television. A "hint" of the evening entertainment broadcasted during the day would have been nice as well. Again, on other Millennium class ships this was a very nice way to stay informed. Service on the ship was generally excellent, although our assistant waiter often made it difficult for our incredibly professional and competent waiter to maintain his high standards..the assistant seemed more interested in "setting up" for the second seating rather than dealing with his first seating diners. Getting his attention was sometimes difficult. The gentleman in charge of our section of the dining room often took up the slack in these situations. In the cabin area, our room was always cleaned well but our steward never seemed to get in the routine of knowing when we were gone. It was annoying to leave the cabin as early as 7:30 and come back six hours later to shower before lunch to shower and discover that the room was not yet clean. He also felt compelled each evening to knock on the door with paper work rather than just slide it under the door. Perhaps it's no longer company policy to do that. Special note has to be made regarding the Normandie dining room which was outstanding on our first visit and TREMENDOUS on our second. Dining here is not to be missed and well worth the additional expense. Overall, the pleasant nature of the entire staff was a very nice part of the Celebrity cruise experience. Shore excursions were excellent, although there were some changes to the "Coastal Highlights" tour in Cabo San Lucas that were very disappointing (a visit to "Cactus World" was not a high point of the trip.) One was not informed of changes in the tour itinerary until we were "lined up" for the bus and no one was offered the opportunity to choose not to go. The visit to Tabacon Hot Springs and Spa at the Arenel Volcano in Costa Rica, though, more than made up for any disappointment in Cabo San Lucas. Our guide was a well spoken and charismatic young man who made the 3-1/2 hour bus ride in either direction very interesting and informative. I'd recommend this tour to anyone. Along with shore excursions, the issue of tendering rather than docking often comes up, and while NO ONE prefers a tender to a docking situation, I noticed that the crew of the Summit goes out of their way to make tendering as pleasant as they can. Just watching other passengers on other ships and then comparing their treatment to ours drove that fact home extremely well. The Summit crew seems to time the tenders well. If you've never been treated to those lovely "cold towels" at the pier, you have missed something very nice. Overall this was an excellent cruise and an excellent value for the money. Celebrity makes is difficult for this passenger to want to cruise with any other company. Being treated "famously" is a great way to go! Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
About Us My husband and I are both 32 with no children. We have cruised 5 times before (on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and now Celebrity). This was our first Celebrity cruise. We lived in Maryland for 10 years before moving to the West ... Read More
About Us My husband and I are both 32 with no children. We have cruised 5 times before (on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and now Celebrity). This was our first Celebrity cruise. We lived in Maryland for 10 years before moving to the West coast a few years ago. We currently reside in Las Vegas, Nevada where I am a web site designer and he is an attorney. Type of Room Booked: Concierge Class stateroom, Cabin 8143. Cruise: 10 Day Mexican Riviera, round-trip from Los Angeles. September 29 - October 10, 2005. Ports of Call / Shore Excursions I am not reviewing the ports of call since the Summit sails all over the world and has such a varied itinerary. We have never booked a shore excursion on a cruise and prefer to "do our own thing " while on vacation. Embarkation Out of all the cruises I've been on, embarkation was the absolute smoothest. We arrived at the pier a little after 12:30 in the afternoon and we were standing on our stateroom balcony within 20 minutes. Since we were booked in Concierge Class, we had a special line and the service was very fast. After a quick scan of our carry on baggage and a check of our passports and ids we were stopped for the standard embarkation photograph and headed on board. Once on board, Celebrity's reputation for the highest levels of elegant service began! We were greeted by a white-gloved, tuxedoed employee (the first of many on this voyage). He handed us each a glass of champagne and escorted us to our stateroom. while a talented harpist played quietly in the atrium. Our stateroom was ready with the door open. Inside we found fresh flowers, a bowl of fresh fruit, chilled ice and water, and a bottle of champagne on ice. Concierge Class Let me say that the charge for Concierge Class was absolutely, 100% worth it! We received special service in all areas on this cruise. We had priority use of the Concierge desk (though we only used this once, it was still great to know it was there). We had complimentary use of a pair of binoculars that came in handy from our balcony stateroom. Fresh flowers in a modern flexible vase adorned the desk area and on formal nights, a single long-stemmed rose appeared in a stainless steel vase in the bathroom. Each day a large bowl of fresh fruit was delivered to our room as well as evening canapes (an assortment of 6 small toast rounds topped with a variety of goodies, from shrimp to caviar to proscuitto and melon). Every day we had a fresh bucket of ice and a carafe filled with chilled water. The fluffy robes were nice as well, as was the super soft, high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, fluffy duvet, and the menu of pillows (we chose an extra foam and a down pillow). The high power massaging showerhead was a pleasure to use too. The use of a large golf umbrella came in handy as well when the rain started pouring down in port! A decent Celebrity tote bag came in handy too and on the last night before the cruise ended, a very nice nylon collapsible bag and small overnight makeup bag were delivered to our stateroom for our overnight items. Our luggage was also delivered to us within one hour of sailing. Most people didn't get their luggage until much later. The one thing that absolutely made CC worth the price was the priority tender service. This saved us so much time in port! Every morning when tender service was required, two VIP vouchers were delivered to our stateroom. These were like magic tickets! You flashed them and you were put on the first available tender immediately. One morning, they even held a tender until we arrived! I was shocked! The early embarkation and debarkation was great too, though debarking was a nightmare as you'll read below. Everything Celebrity promises to CC guests in their promotional literature was delivered, though the only disappointment was the "personalized stationery. " It was more like paper with a laser printout of your name and cabin number, though it, too, did come in handy! Staterooms We were impressed with the layout of our stateroom. The design gave it a true sense of spaciousness and we never lacked for storage space or room to move around. The balcony was large with a nice big table and a small side cocktail table. The chairs had nice, thick blue cushions on them. I also loved how the balcony had clear glass on the bottom so you had an unobstructed view of the ocean. We found that the balconies weren't as private as on other ships. You could easily see the folks on each side of you, below you and above you. there are also "portholes " on the floor in the Waterfall Cafe upstairs, so if someone decided to get on the hands and knees and look down the hole, they could see right on your balcony and with the position of the mirrors, right into your stateroom. So make sure you keep your curtains closed when you aren't dressed! The bed was very comfortable and the upgraded luxury bedding was great. Soft sheets and fluffy pillows made it feel like a true floating resort. The fluffy towels were nice as well, and we also had a soft cotton bath rug in the bathroom. We found the bathroom to be not in the best of shape, but it was nothing to seriously complain about -- just a cracked tile here and there. The shower had a curtain and it would have been nicer if it was an actual door, but the shower was large and could accommodate 2 people! Our bathroom had a large container of cotton balls and swabs, mints, a sewing kit, shower cap and an array of small bottles of shampoo, lotion and more. There were also shampoo and lotion dispensers on the wall. Stateroom Attendant Our attendant was the best we have ever had on any cruise anywhere, period. Jose was like a ghost -- we hardly ever saw him, but no matter when we left, we came back and our room was spotless. After the first day, he easily adapted to our lazy schedule with no problem. On the first day at sea, we wanted some extra ice and water. After that, he brought extra ice and water every day. We never, ever had to ask for anything else again! It was weird -- it was almost like he could "sense " what you needed and when you needed it before you even knew you needed it yourself! I am not kidding. We'd come back from the pool deck and he would have even folded our dirty clothes and placed them in a neat pile! When you order room service, 9 times out of 10 your stateroom attendant will deliver your food. He would never take individual tips for that (we usually give $5 cash each time someone brings our food) so we more than made up for it in a large extra tip at the end of the cruise. Oh, and there are no animals made out of towels like on other cruise lines, but you do get yummy mocha flavored chocolate on your pillow each night! Dress Code There's been a lot of speculation on many travel boards about the dress code on board Celebrity. Let me start by saying that probably 99.9% of cruisers on our voyage respected and honored the dress code each evening. On formal nights there were more tuxedos than suits and more gowns than cocktail dresses, at least on the first formal night. It was fun to dress up for dinner and everyone looked so nice in their gowns and tuxedos. If you do not own a tuxedo, I highly recommend that all gentlemen rent one. The one thing I hated about the dress code is that it applied to all public areas on the ship after 6 p.m. We found it pretty unpleasant to be sitting in a bar at midnight in a stifling tuxedo and itchy beaded dress. But we, like most others on board, happily complied with the dress code. Each night at the dining room, the Maitre'D would greet everyone entering but I never saw him turn anyone away. I also never saw anyone turned away at the shows either, however, most people respected the dress code. Another thing to note: no jeans are allowed in the Cosmopolitan dining room at any time -- not for breakfast, lunch or for dinner. You can wear shorts to breakfast and lunch, but NO JEANS, EVER. Casual is the order of the day at all other times. I'm not a cruise snob -- I say let people wear whatever they want since they are on vacation. But at the same time, I believe in respecting cruising traditions when appropriate, and it wasn't hard for us to pack our tuxedo, suits, cocktail dresses and gown. And it's not hard for you, either! Common Areas / Public Rooms This ship is loaded with privately commissioned modern artwork and it is gorgeous. From sculptures to paintings to photographs, the ship is a floating modern art gallery! Even the hallways to the cabins (and our stateroom) had original photographs / artwork on the walls. Fresh flowers abound on this ship too. Our stateroom had long stemmed roses and fresh flowers, and the public bathrooms on each deck always had fresh flowers in them! The most inspired area on the ship was the Bar at the Edge of the Earth. Unfortunately, it was woefully underutilized except for the $40 bingo games. The bar was co-created by Cirque du Solei and is the funkiest place you'll ever see. Be sure to check out the oversized cabanas at the back of the club -- snag one of those and you can lie down and look out the front of the ship. A perfect activity just before the sun sets. The other bars were decent. Celebrity hypes the Summit as having a Martini Bar and Champagne Bar, but it's actually the same bar and isn't that great. We were disappointed in this. The pool deck was great with plenty of lounge chairs and two large pools and spas. The Thalassotherapy pool had a very nice area as well. Use of this pool was free. The shopping boulevard was adequate with the requisite onboard liquor shop (if you buy the liquor, they hold it until the last night of your cruise -- though we had no trouble brining liquor onboard after a day in port), several jewelry and watch shops, a couple of clothing and souvenir shops, and a super Bijou Turner store where everything is $10. My favorite part of the ship were the glass elevators. This is something I've never seen on a cruise ship. It was so fun to be able to ride up and down while you were looking out at the sea. The showroom was one of the nicest I have ever seen at sea. The ship itself was spotlessly clean and Celebrity seemed to be very concerned with keeping it that way. Automatic hand sanitizers were placed around the ship near dining areas and on the gangway. The Waterfall Cafe was a nice eating area. Make sure you sneak a peek at the portholes that are on the floor in parts of the Cafe -- you can stand on them and look straight down at the ocean! Our stateroom was in very good condition (just a couple of cracked tiles in the shower). I have to say that we also found the ship to be extremely warm -- they seemed to have a problem keeping the public areas well cooled, especially the Waterfall Cafe, the dining room and the bars. We were fine in our stateroom and the air conditioner worked great. Just something to note. All in all, the decor was very understated and muted and was not gaudy or tacky in any respect. Anyone who loves the glitz and glamour will be disappointed in this ship. Anyone looking for 5 star hotel decor will love it! Activities Maybe this is because I am young, but I am not exaggerating when I say there was absolutely nothing to do on this cruise! My husband loved it and loved just relaxing. I got a bit antsy on the third day at sea. While we knew this ship attracted an older crowd, I really wasn't prepared at the lack of activities. I didn't want Carnival (too rowdy for us), but I didn't want a floating retirement village either. THAT WAS NOT MEANT TO BE DEROGATORY -- I love older folks and we met some super elderly friends during the voyage. I just want to make sure other young couples are prepared for this before they book a Celebrity cruise. We would 100% book another Celebrity cruise when we want to relax and do nothing, which was one of our main goals on this trip. Let me give you an example of activities offered during one of the days at sea (this is typed directly off my Celebrity Daily paper): Catholic Mass, Walk-A-Thon, Catholic Mass, Veterans' Get Together, Shuffleboard, Men's Doubles Ping Pong, Computer Classes, Informal Bridge Play, Scrabble, Chess, Backgammon, Paddle Tennis Court, Movie Time (theater showed new- to- video films), Afternoon Bridge Play, Silk Flower Arrangement Workshop, Arts and Crafts (I'm not making this up), Sunset Cocktail Hour, Bingo (at a whopping $30 per person to play), Vineyard at Sea Wine Auction, Art Auction, and Volleyball. On some days there were line dancing classes and there were 2 events on the pool deck at night -- a " Melons on Parade " fruit buffet with Caribbean line dancing and a country themed night with -- you guessed it -- line dancing! I thought the activities on this ship were severely lacking in both creativity and general appeal. We weren't the only ones who felt this way either. The one night they had karaoke for just one hour, it was standing room only. A few fun nighttime activities were a masquerade ball and a 50s sock hop (though few people participated). The casino was adequate and the dealers were friendly. Entertainment I won't mince words: the entertainment on this ship was absolutely abysmal. We were shocked at how truly terrible Celebrity's entertainment program was onboard the Summit! I do not feel we are being overly harsh. Let me explain why I would rate their entertainment an "F." 1. Lack of live music. There was hardly any live music onboard this ship and the music that was live was just atrocious. With the exception of the Martini Quartet, a lovely string quartet that played classical instruments in the Cova Cafe, the entertainers were not that talented. Most of the entertainers were the kind you just feel so sorry and embarrassed for. The "party band " Headlines was so awful they routinely "forgot " the words to the songs they were singing. Maybe this wasn't such a bad thing since they couldn't carry a tune. The singers at the karaoke show were much better. Michael's Club featured Betsy Bogart, a cabaret singer and piano player who specialized in easy listening favorites (think James Taylor, Carole King, Carly Simon). Betsy was great the first few nights, but her repertoire was so limited that after hearing "Both Sides Now " and "How Sweet it Is " no fewer than 3 times per night each show, it got old very fast. Paul Strowe was an average guitarist who played Jimmy Buffet songs by the pool, though he sounded like your father in law singing along with the radio. The Savoy Duo was by far the worst. This band sounded like a bad 70s synthesizer organ. Just awful! In most other bars and lounges, prerecorded music was the order of the day. We didn't expect rock and roll, but we expected better than this. 2. Production Shows. The production shows were horrible too. They were just so terribly outdated! In ExtravaDanza, the singing and dancing was pretty good, but halfway through the show, the California Raisins came out and started singing "I Heard it Through the Grapevine."! Yes, the CALIFORNIA RAISINS! They were popular 20 years ago! I wish I could say that is as low as the entertainment sunk, but I'm afraid it gets much, much worse. The next night we were treated to the "artistry " of a Xylosynth. Yes, a man playing a synthesized xylophone. Shall I continue, or are your sides busting from laughing? You would be laughing, since you didn't sit through the actual performances! The comedian Rich Pupura was funny and not the worst I have ever seen. The one bright star was Atonio Salci, a pianist who was the first honest-to-goodness talent on the ship. His music wasn't the best but he was a very good entertainer. 3. See the Activities review above. Food All in all, it was hard to get a good, satisfying meal on this ship and it is darn near impossible to get something to eat after midnight. The Waterfall Cafe did not have good food. Each day they would serve a run of the mill breakfast and lunch buffet. The lunch buffet would have a different theme each day, like Mexican or Asian, but it was never anything special. The buffet was closed for dinner and became the casual dining restaurant with table service and a menu. You had to make reservations for this service if you chose not to eat in the main Cosmopolitan dining room. We did not try this alternative casual dining as we were so happy with the service in the main dining room, though the menus for the casual dining restaurant looked very good (and served less gourmet and more "picky eater " foods such as shrimp cocktail, roast beef and pastas). The Waterfall Cafe did have delicious homemade sorbet and ice cream in a variety of exotic flavors, but it was very melty all the time and hard to eat. It also had a made to order pasta station and pizza station, but I found the pizza to be very plain (Carnival's pizza is much better -- yes, that is a fact) except for the individual make your own pizzas (you get a choice of gourmet toppings like blue cheese and sun dried tomatoes) and the pasta bar was disgusting and made the whole grill smell like rotten garlic (my stomach is turning now just thinking about it). One some days the grill would run a deli sandwich stand but I found the sandwiches weren't tasty either! A huge disappointment. In the evenings for a short period of time, a sushi bar was open. The Poolside Grill did not have good food but each day they had a special menu item (chili cheese hot dogs, fish sandwiches, chicken parmesan sandwiches) and great french fries. The burgers and hot dogs are what you would expect on a large cruise ship; edible but not gourmet. The main dining room had very good food. If you are a picky eater, or even remotely adverse to trying new things, you will have trouble eating in the dining room. The menu choices were not too varied and were often "strange " to most folks. If you love duck, frog legs, rack of lamb and the like, you will love the dining room. Every poultry dish I had on board this ship was excellent. I only ate seafood twice and it was good too, as well as the pasta dishes in the dining room. The beef dishes were quite good and the steaks were incredible. The fish selections are unusual -- not your usual mahi mahi or salmon or flounder. The soups were unusual too but very good. There was also a chilled soup selection each night, the most inspired being the "chilled cherry " soup. Duck was on the menu every night. My personal memorable meals on this voyage were a seafood kabob (with fish, scallops and shrimp) served with fragrant basmati rice and a fork-tender filet mignon. My husband loved the escargot, specialty salads and prime rib. The best foods on board were the homemade salad dressings and the pastries. I cannot rave enough about how great they were! Be sure to try every dressing that is offered -- you will not be disappointed (are there any other diehard Celebrity dressing / Goombay dressing fans out there)? And yes, on the final formal night, lobster tails are served. And they are huge! Room Service had an inspired menu but uninspired food. The vegetable lasagna sounded good but was just a bowl with mushrooms, peppers and onions with one lasagna noodle spread across the top and cheese melted on top. The chicken noodle soup was awful -- more like a Japanese soup with clear broth and a small amount of thin noodles. The sandwiches were mediocre. As a Concierge Class guest, we had a special expanded breakfast menu that was absolutely fabulous! We ordered full breakfasts in our stateroom. The menu was varied and the food was good. My favorite was the yogurt and granola parfait, a large goblet layered with vanilla yogurt, homemade granola, blueberries and strawberries. I ate about 7 of those during the cruise! And it should be noted that each night's dinner in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant can be ordered and delivered to your stateroom. Just ask your stateroom attendant for the evening's menu and he will bring it in and set it up for you. My favorite part of the cruise was the nightly serving of Gourmet Bites. From 11:30 pm until after midnight, white gloved employees wander the common areas with trays of tasty hors d'oeuvres. They circle first with a tray of cold items, then hot items, then desserts. This was one of my favorite parts of the entire cruise. Miniature beef wellington, fish, caviar, croissants, mini pastries, tempura shrimp, miniature pizzas...everything you could imagine. There was a different selection each night and they were not served on themed buffet nights. I know food reviews are extremely subjective, but I have tried to be as honest and descriptive as possible. Service The service on this ship was impeccable. I have never been treated so "famously " as I was on this cruise. Celebrity gets the service aspect of their cruises 100% right on the nose. From the housekeeping staff to the bar staff to security and casino dealers, the service was incredible. The service even extended to days in port -- as we disembarked in Acapulco, there was a rainstorm. Celebrity employees held your umbrellas as you walked off the ship so you could hand over your keycards without getting soaked. In the steamy Puerto Vallarta, a valet was present with ice cold towels to help cool you down while you waited for the ship's tenders. (The towels made appearances in each port and in Zihuatanejo where the tender line was quite long, a server carried around a silver tray of ice cold water and juices). I felt like everyone on board truly enjoyed their jobs, from the clerks in the shops to the auctioneers to the room stewards and waiters. This is the first time on any cruise that we have tipped well above and beyond the recommended standard. We even gave the dining room maitre'd extra cash -- he was at our table promptly every dinner to chat and see how our meals were. The bar waitress promptly brought our glasses of Coke each night in the dining room. The first night I commented how much I loved the lemon that adorned the glass and each night our Coke glasses became more fanciful (with miniature umbrellas, lime swirls, triple cherries, etc.). A bunch of fun. Our waiters, Lloyd and Glen, were fabulous as well. After our first meal they learned our eating patterns to a "t. " They knew what we would order. Amazing. We tipped them 100% more than was suggested, as I'm sure most guests onboard did. The service was that incredible. When I wasn't feeling well one night and missed dinner, our head waiter called our stateroom to make sure we were okay. When I told him I wasn't feeling well, he showed up with a glass of ginger ale! The next morning when I was walking around the ship, I had no less than 4 employees come up to me to ask how I was feeling BY NAME (the cabin steward, our assistant waiter, and two of the bar waitresses). It was like I was a part of the family. If you want to be pampered in every way imaginable and be called by name as soon as your second day at sea, then book a Celebrity Cruise and you won't be disappointed. I have so many super service stories to tell that I could fill 30 pages. Disembarkation This was, I'm sorry to report, a complete disaster. I'm sure there will be many posts about this particular cruise and the disembarkation mess. I don't blame the cruise line -- the hold up was obviously with U.S. Customs. They had to clear everyone on board the ship. Once you cleared customs, you were given a pass and were able to disembark as soon as your color was called. As a Concierge Class passenger, we were the 5th color called off the ship (great since we were just driving from L.A. back home to Las Vegas). We were off board by 10:30 a.m. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
We were very happy with our first Celebrity cruise on Summit. We would definitely cruise on Celebrity again and loved Summit. Embarkation: We waited a very long time (2 hours-some people had been waiting even longer) for our transfer to ... Read More
We were very happy with our first Celebrity cruise on Summit. We would definitely cruise on Celebrity again and loved Summit. Embarkation: We waited a very long time (2 hours-some people had been waiting even longer) for our transfer to the pier. There was very little direction or information while waiting or when the bus finally arrived. There was not a long wait at the pier, but Xpress pass or Concierge class didn't make any difference at all. Loved being greeted with champagne as we boarded and being shown to our cabin. Cabin: The cabin was gorgeous-plenty of room, large bathroom (nice to be able to turn around in the shower!). The bed was very comfortable. The balcony was adequate in size and had comfortable chairs. The cabin showed no wear at all. The steward and his assistant kept the cabin in immaculate condition. The refrigerator was well-stocked but the items were ridiculously expensive. Towels were rough and not absorbent. I think the Concierge Class cabin was worth it. Priority luggage delivery didn't happen. The cabin steward was attentive without being overbearing. You could hear pretty much everything going on in the hallway but little from adjoining cabins. Ship Decor: somewhat bland. Some nice art, some unattractive art as well. There was a lot of wear evident in the various public areas. The atrium was unremarkable. We found it easy to get around and got to know the layout quickly. The Waterfall Cafe and main dining room were very comfortable and attractive. Pool areas also showed a lot of wear. Although there were plenty of chairs, many were in need of new cushions. Pools and pool areas also unremarkable. The Bar at the Edge of the Earth was a striking place and we liked to spend time there (although we were quite disappointed that Cirque du Soleil was on hiatus). Plenty of comfortable and pleasant areas to sit around the ship. Easy to find quiet places-amazing on a ship this large with so many passengers. The promenade area rarely attracted people and it was a perfect place to go for quiet and a comfortable lounge chair. The shops were standard shops for a cruise line. Spa-this was my first use of a spa on a ship. I was very impressed with everything about this spa-the ambience, service and the fee was very reasonable. Highly recommend!!! Entertainment: Fair overall. The singers were excellent, the dancers were not very good. The musical entertainment was good, however, especially the Party Band and the string quartet. Cruise staff: most were aloof and rarely saw them. Food: EXCELLENT!!! The breakfast and lunch buffets were great at the Waterfall Cafe. Don't miss the waffle station. Also liked the pizza station and the free ice cream. Main Dining room food was incredible. Have had better desserts on other cruise lines but can't complain about this. Room service menu was much more extensive than I've ever seen on a cruise. The hamburger/hot dog grill not very good. Shore Excursions: limited choices compared to other lines and not well organized at all. Shore assistance was non-existent (i.e.-if you needed help with directions, suggestions, taxis etc. On the other lines I've been on, there have always been crew to help passengers with shore issues. Service: There is not enough I can say about the excellent service on this ship. I feel you cannot overestimate how important service is and the Summit crew far surpassed our expectations. There was a perfect balance of attentiveness and respect. Two areas of service that were particularly appreciated: in the dining room and deck service. Our waiter, his assistant, and the assistant maitre d' were attentive and extremely personable. Not only was the service superb but our interactions with them were enjoyable and relaxed. They really enhanced our dining experience. Deck service was plentiful, prompt and the deck staff were friendly and fun. The whole vibe of the ship was pleasant and I attribute this to the crew. Disembarkation: I loved how we didn't have to have out luggage outside the cabin until midnight. Immigration lines were a nightmare-the line wrapped around the interior of the ship TWICE. I am not saying this is Celebrity's fault-but there was NO ONE to direct people to the end of the line. There was so much confusion and no direction, no announcements about the problem. There were people with mobility problem who were having a lot of difficulty and people were very anxious about missing flights and if they were in the right place in line. Then when we got to the theater where the immigration people were, the cruise staff didn't seem to know what they were doing-it was very haphazard. Long lines also to disembark. Overall a great time and I recommend this ship to anyone looking for an attractive ship with excellent service and a relaxing atmosphere. This ship is not for people looking for a party atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
I was on the Summit cruise of 5/7. First I want to say the crew was GREAT. To our waiter Bobbo and assistant waitress Tamera, we miss you. I have read many of the comments from people calling many of us cry babies or so what if you were ... Read More
I was on the Summit cruise of 5/7. First I want to say the crew was GREAT. To our waiter Bobbo and assistant waitress Tamera, we miss you. I have read many of the comments from people calling many of us cry babies or so what if you were at sea, you had a cruise experience. The first thing I have to say is if I wanted days at sea, I would have taken a Cruise to Nowhere, out of New York and saved the airfare to the west coast. How much BINGO can one take at $30.00 a pop per person, twice a day ($120.00 a day) when at sea? How much Pictionary, Name That Tune or battle of the sexes trivia can you play? How much time are you going to spend in the pool sailing the North Pacific in May? I have to admit it was funny seeing people on lounge chairs around the pool dressed from head to toe and with a blanket. How many drinks can you down (at 5.95 to 9.95 per drink plus 15% gratuity) a day. I did enjoy the Martini Sampler Special they had twice during the cruise. Six varieties of martinis at 2 oz. each. After a couple of specials you forget about the rest of the day! Did I mention the Wine Auction, the Art Auction or the diamond and jade specials, how about the gold chain by the inch, starting at 99 cents per inch! If that does not interest you, the Casino is open when we are not in Port. This cruise was doomed from day one! I was told the ship got in late from Hawaii. When we went to board the ship, we had to go up an escalator and at the top was an enclosed area with a doorway going out to a walkway that led to the gangplank to board the ship. The line backed up and people piled on top of each other at the top of the escalator. People were screaming for help and to stop the escalator. Two people were cut up and hurt pretty badly. Celebrity had no personnel at the top of the escalator. A few days later we were talking to one of the people hurt and they told us Celebrity tried charging them $300.00 for medical care!! After we left port later that night, one of the crew members I was talking to told me they had a problem with the ship coming back from Hawaii and that is why they were late. We were to dock in San Francisco on Tuesday at 8 am, but on Monday night the Captain announced we would be docking at 12 am due to some maintenance needed. SF was nice and we were supposed to leave at 6 pm. We sat at the dock in San Francisco till about 7:00, when there was an announcement that it would be another hour till we left. The ship FINALLY left a little after 8:00 pm. Late Wed. morning the Captain announced that due to a bearing problem we would not be docking at Seattle or Sitka because the ship could only due 17.4 knots to be safe instead of 22 knots. Later the Captain stated that Lloyds of London inspected the ship and they were told if they kept the speed of the ship at no more then 17.4 knots per hour they could continue the cruise. The problem with that was at that speed, they could not make all the ports and had to cut time at the rest of the ports. People were very upset and they demanded a meeting. I have to give the Captain credit; he stayed at the meeting until every question was answered. When the captain was asked if he knew about the ship problems while we were in SF, his answer was I would not insult your intelligence and tell you no. When someone got up and asked for a show of hands how many people thought they should get a full refund, the Captain raised his hand. This was all on video tape. This meeting started about 1 pm PT on Tues. May 10. The same day, at 12:16 pm ET (9:16 am our time) it was posted by South Florida Business Journal; Celebrity will dry-dock Summit and cancel May 20 cruise to Alaska. Passengers will be given a full refund AND a FREE CRUISE!! We did not find out about this until the next day. Celebrity gave us a $200.00 credit per cabin. In Ketchikan we left at 2 pm instead of 4 pm so we had to cancel one of our excursions. We arrived in Skagway late. On May 16th we were supposed to arrive in Hubbard Glacier at 9:00 am and stay till 1:00 pm. We did not arrive until 11:00 am and then we never got near the Glacier. The Captain said it was because there was another ship in there and only one at a time could go in. We left there at 1:00 pm. The only way I could see the Glacier was with a pair of binoculars. On May 18th we were suppose to Cruise the Inside Passage. We did not cruise the first 775 miles of the passage, only the last 225 miles. We arrived at that point of the Inside Passage about 9:00 am. The Captain announced that because of the fog, and that we would not be able to see anything, we would sit in the Bay until 5:00 pm when the fog would lift. By 11:00 am the fog lifted, at 3:30 pm the fog rolled back in. We found out that was a lie, the reason we sat there was because they had no pilot to take us in and he would not arrive until 5:00 pm. At 4:52 pm I was standing on our balcony and watched the pilot boat drop off the pilot. He boarded right below me. Then we took off but you could not see more then 60 feet ahead due to fog. Our dinner was 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. When we left the dinning room the passage was clear so we got to see the Inside Passage for 1 hour then it got dark. There were other things that happened, there were meetings in the grand foyer each day we were out at sea with anywhere from 300 to 600 passengers at each meeting. Over 1000 people signed a petition to join a class action suit. On the last day Celebrity said they were giving us 30% off our next cruise. That means I have to save up the other 70% and the airfare to see what they took away from us. What are the highlights of a cruise to Alaska? The things you can only see from a ship, Hubbards Glacier, the 1000 mile trek along the Inside Passage with wondrous wildlife and waterfalls. Spotting whales and orca and just the natural beauty of it all from your balcony or up on deck. If anyone tries to tell me that Hubbards Glacier and the Inside Passage are days at sea I must say no way, those are spectacular sightseeing days. Why else did we take a cruise? To unpack once, and besides, its impossible to drive from town to town in Alaska. If I had been given the choice of disembarking in SF and taking another cruise, I would have. We saved for 2 years and booked 9 months in advance. I spent 9 months researching as much as I could so that we would have the best experience possible. Unfortunately I did not research Celebrity or the parent Royal Caribbeans corporate treatment of customers. I hope Celebrity does the right thing on their own without having to file the class action suit. Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
Celebrity Summit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.7
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.1

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