14 Los Angeles Celebrity Summit Cruise Reviews

Overall - This was our third cruise, but first on Celebrity. Our other two cruises were on Royal Caribbean. We enjoyed our first cruise on X and would recommend it to anyone who wants a relaxed experience and doesn't need to have an ... Read More
Overall - This was our third cruise, but first on Celebrity. Our other two cruises were on Royal Caribbean. We enjoyed our first cruise on X and would recommend it to anyone who wants a relaxed experience and doesn't need to have an exciting nightlife. Even though the passengers on our cruise tended to be older, bringing children on this cruise was not an issue at all - they had plenty of fun. Embarkation - We drove to the pier from our home in Orange County. We arrived about 1:00 pm and found unloading our luggage and parking our vehicle to be very easy. We waited inside for about 15 minutes before boarding the Summit. The entire process was very smooth and easy. So with the exception of not being offered champagne upon boarding, we were quite happy. Public Areas - We found all the public areas to be clean and maintained very well. After taking previous cruises on Royal Caribbean Grandeur and Rhapsody, we found the central area of the ship to be rather disappointing and not very elegant. Wear and tear of the carpets, furniture, etc. were what we would expect given the amount of traffic in these areas and were rather surprised at the number of negative comments in the member reviews regarding this. The pool area was laid out very nice and having the Waterfall Grill at one end of the pool area was very convenient. One complaint that we have concerned the hot tubs on the pool deck - the water temperature was very tepid, even cold sometimes. This problem seemed to go away once we arrived in the warmer climate around the islands, but during the days at sea they were too cold to enjoy. They close at 6 pm, which is too early. The indoor pool and hot tubs were always warm and very comfortable. The gym was excellent. They had very good equipment and lots of it. I had no problem finding a bike and my wife could always find an elliptical to work out on. The weight machines seemed new and were very nice. Everything was extremely clean and didn't notice any locker room smell. Most people were very good at cleaning up the machines after they used them, and I noticed that crew would come by and clean the machines periodically. Room - We were very disappointed in the size of the room. It was smaller than either room we had aboard RC. Granted, the rooms we had on RC both had balconies, so they seemed bigger. On previous cruises we had been on decks 8 and 9, so we were concerned about having a room on such a low deck (deck 2). But it turned out that except for the lack of a balcony there wasn't much of a difference in terms of noise and movement. We booked our Summit cruise late and didn't have much of a choice in rooms that would accommodate five people and frankly, we were very surprised that Celebrity would put five people in a room that small. The furnishings were clean and not very worn; however the decor was done in very unattractive shades of orange and yellow. Yuck. That being said, we did not spend much time in our room and really only found the small size to be a detriment when we were getting ready in the mornings and before dinner. We had no complaints about the comfort of the beds/bunks. The bathroom was small and could accommodate two people only if one of them were in the shower at the time. Service - Overall the service was very good. Our wait staff in the dining room was excellent and very entertaining for our children. They were very good at accommodating our children's food choices - they knew what our children liked to drink with dinner and would have their drinks waiting for them when we arrived at our table. We encouraged our children to try new foods and our waiters were very good about substituting other dishes if they found ones they didn't care for. Our cabin attendant was very attentive and responded to our requests very quickly. It seemed like we always had fresh towels in our bathroom. Even if we took showers during the day, we would have fresh towels in the evening. We usually went to the martini bar in the evenings before dinner, and our waitress would bring us mixed nuts and bread sticks, and even cherries over ice for the children. We were slightly disappointed in the pool deck service and would have liked the attendants to come around more frequently, although the service did seem to improve somewhat later in the cruise. The entire staff was very good at remembering our names and trying to personalize our experience as much as possible, such as remembering our drink preferences and how we liked our food prepared, etc. Food - Reviewing the food is very difficult. We had dinner in the main dining room almost every night. We thoroughly enjoyed our meals, but we don't recall raving over any particular dish. The fish was good, the soups were good, the salads were good, etc. The beef, however, was usually excellent. Desserts were almost always disappointing. Overall, we did not notice a big difference in the quality of the food on the Summit and the food we enjoyed on our previous RC cruises. The Summit fare did tend to be more gourmet, with pate, escargot, frog legs, etc. Perhaps that is why we are not raving about it, as our tastes tend to run more simple. As an aside, the late seating was not a good option for our children, although they handled the late meal very well. Our personal preference is to go to the shows after we eat dinner rather than before, but the show times seemed geared for the early diners. The sommelier in the main dining room was not very good. He offered few suggestions and no descriptions of the wines we were interested in. He clearly had too many other diners to attend to as it usually took him at least ten minutes after we were seated to bring us the wine from the bottle we had not finished the night before. The midnight buffet was amazing to look at, but with our late dinner seating we were not able to sample any of the food since our dinner ended only about an hour and a half before the buffet started. The breakfast food at the Waterfall Cafe was very good. We had freshly made waffles almost every morning, as well as Omelets made to order. We rarely ate there for lunch and never for dinner. There generally seemed to be a lot of different choices such as sushi, stir fry, and always lots of different sandwiches. Many days we would stop by in the afternoon for some ice cream. The hamburgers at the Waterfall Grill were good and the fries were excellent. The light fare in the indoor pool area was delicious. Entertainment – We didn’t see any shows other than the talent show and a movie in the cinema, so we really can’t comment on their quality overall. The lounge band in the Rendezvous was below average, but then again, like most entertainment on the ship seemed geared toward the older crowd. My wife and I are in our late 30’s, so we were a little disappointed in the night life. The “Party Band” was fun, although their selection of tunes was very limited. I hope to never hear YMCA again, but my wife and kids loved it. The crowd in the disco was usually very small and reluctant to get up and dance unless the ship activities staff was there to encourage them. Kids Activities – The kids club was clean and well maintained, with plenty of toys and activities including a ball pit and slide. There were plenty of children ages 3 to 12. Our 6 year old had a fantastic time playing and meeting new friends, as did our 9 year old although she did get bored at times with the “leap frog” games. Overall, they enjoyed the staff and the program and even wanted to stay for the late night session (10:00 pm to 1:00 am). Our 14 year old was concerned about the lack of teenagers upon arrival on the Summit, but soon met some great friends and ended up having an excellent time. He enjoyed playing card games and dancing in the Teen Tower. He also had a great time playing basketball on the sports deck and liked the video arcade. He still maintains contact with a small group of teens he met onboard. Overall, 2 weeks was a little long for our teenager, as he missed his friends, etc. at home. Our younger ones seemed fine with the whole experience and were well entertained. Excursions – Hilo was our least favorite destination. We took the “Best of Hilo” excursion to the Mauna Loa Nut Factory, the gardens and to Akaka Falls. The gardens were beautiful and the falls were a highlight. Other passengers went on volcano excursions and seemed to enjoy them. There did not appear to be much else on that side of the island of interest. The area near the ship was fairly industrial and not conducive to exploring. Most passengers went to either Wal-Mart or Hilo Hatties to shop. Maui was very enjoyable. We loved snorkeling and trying snuba at Molokini Crater. The town of Lahaina is great for shopping and dining. We really enjoyed eating at the Lahaina Fish Company…..great Mai Tai’s! Everyone needs to visit the big Banyan tree. Kona was our favorite excursion! We went on the Zodiac and Snorkel excursion. If you enjoy snorkeling, this is a must. The amount of unique and beautiful sea life in Kealakekua Bay was incredible. And Chad from Captain Zodiac was a riot! After several hours of incredible snorkeling and sightseeing, we had a very good lunch at the Fish Hopper restaurant near the tender dock. In Honolulu we went on the Arizona/Mighty Mo excursion. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing both memorials, although the tour was rather disorganized. We heard of people renting cars or taking taxis and doing the tours themselves, and that seems to be the way to go. We recommend going early as the wait at the Arizona Memorial can be very long. We also did the Paradise Cove Luau later that evening. The activities and dancing were very enjoyable, but very long lines for drinks. The food was okay. Our only other luau experience at the Royal Lahaina Luau was better overall, but Paradise Cove was fun. In closing, even though we experienced some minor disappointments, this cruise is well worth going on and our family had a wonderful time! Read Less
Sail Date March 2007
Our 13th cruise celebrating our 30th anniversary. We are 57 and 60. This was our 6th X cruise. We arrived in LA on Feb. 1 so we could relax and look around before we sailed on Feb. 3. We got our air and our hotel (Doubletree) on our own. ... Read More
Our 13th cruise celebrating our 30th anniversary. We are 57 and 60. This was our 6th X cruise. We arrived in LA on Feb. 1 so we could relax and look around before we sailed on Feb. 3. We got our air and our hotel (Doubletree) on our own. The hotel we got through Priceline as suggested on one of the boards. Doubletree was quite comfortable and just redone. They have a shuttle to the ship for free and took our luggage over in the morning before we left the hotel so when we got on the ship later in the day it was in our room. We were pleased with the Doubletree. Embarkation was probably the easiest I have ever experienced. There were lots of people on duty to check us in. And we had filled out all the necessary paperwork online before we arrived. The staff was most cordial and helpful. The ship is quite nice, very laid back, more of an English Country retreat decor, certainly nothing glitzy but elegant in it's own way. The art was a little too sophisticated for our taste. We've bought art on other ships but didn't find this appealing. It is different! Our cabin was well maintained and appeared to have just had the couch recovered. Others reported that their couches needed attention. Our cabin stewart was wonderful. He made sure we had crackers and cheese and a fruit platter in the afternoon after I complained about the inedible snacks served in Concierge Class rooms. Haven't heard anything good about those snacks yet, you would think X would notice. The flowers in the room were kept fresh. The towels were spa type towels. The robes were rough, scratchy and uncomfortable. The regular X robes are much more comfy. We enjoyed the extra room the CC room provided more than the extra amenities(?). They advertised quite extensively that the main sport of the Summit is bingo - enough said. The entertainment was good. The sidewalks rolled up quite early so to speak. We took a ship's tour in Cabo San Lucas. Wish we had gotten a car and a driver. In Huatulco, we got a boat and a driver and spent 3 hours touring the little private beaches, having lunch at a restaurant accessible only by boat. Just the two of us and we loved it. We were on the Cone. It was bringing a snorkeling tour from the Summit back at about 11 and we asked the driver if he would take us out. Loved Huatulco, still in it's undeveloped stages and not completely overrun with commercialism yet. Would love to return soon. We had vacationed in Acapulco before and since we were both picking up a cold that seemed to affect lots of passengers, we decided to take it easy and not get off the ship. Ship's staff was wonderful about making sure all hands were clean, ship kept everything sanitary but this was a plain old air born cold. Even the buffet was served to eliminate the spread of germs. No fault of X, just one of those things. Costa Rica and our tour with Charlie Soto was great. Enjoyed that as much as any tour on any ship. Just didn't buy enough coffee and vanilla. The Canal was fascinating. We were advised to stay on the ship since this was our first transit. I'm glad we did. My husband spent most of his time on the helipad which opened really early to accommodate passengers viewing. I went to the bar at the top of the ship. Once we figured out how to tie the dreaded curtains back (untie both sides and push all of the curtain to one side and wrap it around the pole) lots more people had a great view. Summit could have prepared that and washed the windows to make it better. Really enjoyed the Canal transit. We shopped at the docks at the end of the day and found lots of souvenirs to bring home. Only thing there was shopping that we saw. Aruba wasn't new to us so we walked around, got hot and sweaty, arrived back on ship to find a do not use until tomorrow sign in our shower. They had done grout maintenance. It would have been better if we had been told ahead of time that we were not going to be able to shower before formal night. Upset with the lack of communication, not the shower repair. The first night in the dining room there was a page on the left side of the menu which told the things that were available all of the time. Luckily I read it carefully because it was never there again, replaced by a suggested choices from regular menu. I did enjoy escargot almost every night. And everyone at our table enjoyed the shrimp cocktails and caesar salad in lieu of regular menu items. The service in the dining room was excellent our medium table with 6 other very nice people. The food was good. Some items were excellent. Our waiter got fresh berries for me for dessert most evenings and I really enjoyed those. I would give the dining room in general an A. Room Service was great! Would have liked a bigger menu but food was served in a timely manner and was temperature appropriate and good. Breakfast was great on our balcony most mornings. The CC choices were nice. And now for the buffet. I probably shouldn't comment since there is little positive to say. When it appeared a great table was available for seating one would go over and realize it wasn't occupied because the trays had been moved but the table had not been wiped. I pointed this out to the assistants in charge on several occasions when there were at least 4 messy tables. I compared it to taking my grandchildren out for fast food and having to wipe the tables before sitting. We did that several times. Others seemed to not mind the crumbs, etc. left over from the previous diners and just put their trays right on top. The servers were quick to clear the trays from the tables just not to wipe them off. Disembarkation was a joke. There were no disembarkation privileges for those booked Concierge Class except to sit in a crowded theatre where the speaker worked half the time. Took forever to disembark. Instead of the 8:30 am we were promised, it was closer to 11. There was no X rep in the theatre with us. She appeared when they came to take the water and coffee away so they could prepare for those coming on board. There seemed to be little concern for those disembarking. We enjoyed the cruise. I'm glad we went. The negatives I pointed out are because I hope X is reading this and starts paying more attention to detail. We were much younger than most on the ship. I should have realized that because it is a longer cruise. My husband was bored with the ship and doesn't want to cruise X again for a long while. The ship is fine, Cruise is wonderful but quite quiet. Read Less
Sail Date February 2007
My wife(57) and I(61) booked the cruise as a winter "get away" and for the interesting itinerary. Although we have been to Europe many times, we have never visited Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean. The only other cruise ... Read More
My wife(57) and I(61) booked the cruise as a winter "get away" and for the interesting itinerary. Although we have been to Europe many times, we have never visited Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean. The only other cruise that we had taken was on the old Radisson Diamond to the Aegean. We made many friends from the Cruise Critic message board, and sat with two other couples from the message board at the early seating. Passengers: Mostly Americans and Canadians who were elderly. There was a large contingent of British and some other Europeans, who were generally younger than the Americans. The staff said there were 28 children on board. Embarkation & Disembarkation: We arrived at the pier in San Pedro at 1:00PM and were whisked aboard with no wait except for the fact that there was no boarding card for me. This was quickly taken care of, and we were in our Concierge Class cabin by 1:15. Unfortunately it took over 7 hours to get our luggage! When we called the useless concierge desk they uttered platitudes but did nothing to help us. Leaving the ship was the opposite experience. Priority exiting in reality did not exist, and we waited on a huge line to leave the ship; this was caused by the large number of passengers who were not US citizens and were slowed down by the immigration process. Once we entered the terminal there was no line and we quickly got our luggage. The Cabin: It was very clean and well-maintained by our steward. There was however, a large stain on the bedspread which was changed when I requested it. But, why was it there in the first place??? I ordered flowers for the cabin and they lasted two weeks; the other flowers that were part of the package were replaced as needed. Every evening we received 6 hors d'oeuvres which occasionally were edible. The fresh fruit was nice as was the champagne (sparkling wine). The other amenities were OK but they do not provide hair conditioner...bring your own! The private stationary were 4 pieces of pathetic paper. In fact, they don't sell pads or decent paperback books on the ship. (perhaps they don't want you taking notes?) The cabin had enough storage space for the contents of our seven bags which we were able to place under the bed! The balcony was essential to us, but I did not like the overhang from deck ten. The supporting stanchions got in the way of taking pictures, and although we had lots of shade (a premium on a cruise ship)it had a heavy, oppressive feeling. Public Areas: These were clean and in very good condition. Food: Believe it or not, we both lost weight on the cruise! We had coffee in our cabin and ate most breakfasts and lunches (followed by ice cream) in the Aqua Spa cafe which features excellent lighter fair. I had pancakes once in the buffet, but what they claimed was maple syrup was awful "breakfast syrup". The food in the lunch buffet was on the quality of good cafeteria food; but not really appetizing; the pizza tasted like microwave pizza. Dinners were good; we ate all five courses served in the main dining room. The problem was the food often was incredibly bland; nothing had an interesting or memorable flavor. Perhaps this was because most passengers were elderly and don't want spicy food? Dinner in the Normandie Restaurant was excellent and superbly served by its Turkish staff; make sure you get the menu with the wine included. When we ate in the Normandie there were only 6 passengers eating. Service: Service was superb on the ship. The entire staff went out of their way to make the experience a wonderful one for the guests. They seemed to really care about you. We both purchased "soda cards" and had no trouble being served; in fact the servers knew our tastes, approached us and asked if we wanted our sodas! Entertainment: By 11:00 at night we felt that we were on a "Ghost Ship". We would go to the wonderful Edge of the World Bar on the 11th floor to dance to the super band "Great Ideas" and listen to their lead singer. There usually were about 12 people, and one night by 12:00 there were just 4 of us! The production shows at night were very good; ranging from the quality of good regional theater to Broadway. The comics were OK if you like bathroom humor. The "Diamonds Quartet" was bizarre, and seemed to be unhappy. The string quartet was very nice. Activities: This was the greatest disappointment. I was barely able to stop myself from screaming when every evening the jerky cruise director would say "Where are my bingo players!!" Somehow, I survived. I wonder if he was responsible for the "culture and history" part of the daily bulletin. It was replete with errors. Activities were aimed at elderly people who like to play bingo and sit by a pool. The signs in the Aqua Spa Thalassatherapy pool said no one was allowed under 18 and diapers were not permitted! We did partake of the ballroom dance (taught by Laura) and computer classes. The activities staff seemed to go out of their way to ruin good events. The 50's Sock Hop, the Mexican Fiesta, the Western Night were all ruined when they stopped the people who were already dancing and screamed out "Line Dancing" "Macarena Time" "Twist Contest". The Casino was a smoke-filled area that I could not enjoy. Excursions: In Cabo (expensive yet tacky) we just walked around. Acapulco was fascinating. We walked up to the old fort and along the beach watching fishermen clean and sell their catch. Huatulco was also great for walking, and we walked into the interesting local villages. (These self-directed walks saved us about $150) We had excellent ship purchased tours in Costa Rica (in Manuel Antonio National Park we saw a variety of wild life) and Aruba (the submarine ride; 150 feet down!) The trip through the Panama Canal was a memorable experience, particularly thanks to two of the people at our table who hosted a wonderful party in their cabin at the stern of the ship. Internet: My wife's Cingular phone with international service worked well on ship and on shore. We purchased the 500 minute internet package. We were warned that the service was slow, and it was. This was due to the nature of their routers and how the satellite service went thru their server on the mainland. The wireless "hotspots" were very limited to a few areas. Cost Cutting: Celebrity has cut down on amenities and services to raise profits. Food seemed to lack spices and portions in the main dining room were small (although seconds were available). The fact that they no longer have real maple syrup is indicative of their attitude. "Notes", the music room no longer exists (although still on their web site) and has been replaced with revenue generating rooms: Acupuncture and Computer Instruction. Cirque De Soleil is gone. Michael Roux is gone at the end of the month; and there was a rumor that they were firing the sommeliers. This is a ship on which they sell you water when you leave. Will I go on another cruise? Certainly. Will I go on Celebrity? possibly Read Less
Sail Date January 2007
We are a mid-50s married couple. This was our first cruise on Summit, though we have cruised on other Celebrity ships. We used Celebrities air travel arrangements and were satisfied. We had to travel from the DC area to LA to board ... Read More
We are a mid-50s married couple. This was our first cruise on Summit, though we have cruised on other Celebrity ships. We used Celebrities air travel arrangements and were satisfied. We had to travel from the DC area to LA to board Summit. Doing it all in one day was somewhat nerve racking, because every travel segment had to work as planned. Next time I will travel the day before and know there is some slack. We arrived at Summit about 3:30 PM. There were no lines. We completed the check-in and walked aboard Summit. Initially, I thought the bathroom smelled bad, but found the same smell all around the ship. I concluded the smell was from a disinfected cleaner. After the first night, the bathroom never smelled again, but I continued to smell the cleaner now and then...nothing obnoxious. We found that we like the many days at sea between port calls. It allowed us to relax. Overall, Summit was very clean. As Captain's Club Select members, we were able to participate in a galley tour...actually just one of the four galleys. We were very impressed on the cleanliness of the galley...it seemed spotless. We like Celebrity because we think the food is quite good. The food on Summit was on par with our previous Celebrity cruises. My only complaint was the ice tea in the buffet area was consistently way too strong...I had to dilute it about 3 to 1. We thought the pastries at breakfast were better than those we had on previous Celebrity ships. We thought the entertainment was generally better than we had on previous Celebrity sailings. The Panama Canal transit is the reason for such a cruise. The other port calls were not exciting. Huatulco was the nicest port on the Pacific portion of the cruise. For us the Canal transit was the highlight of the trip. The locks are of course very interesting, but the transit through Gatun Lake and Culebra Cut is also quite beautiful. Debarkation was easy, but once off the ship it is somewhat of a zoo. Hundreds of people trying to board buses to the airport. Then at the airport (Ft lauderdale), people from 6 or 7 ships are trying to check in for their flights. A small price to pay for 14 relaxing days. Read Less
Sail Date January 2007
Panama Transit Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale on Summit January 2007 The Panama Canal Cruise is an incredible journey. Bill (65) and Sandy (62) actually "started" our holiday six months previous to the cruise and before ... Read More
Panama Transit Los Angeles to Fort Lauderdale on Summit January 2007 The Panama Canal Cruise is an incredible journey. Bill (65) and Sandy (62) actually "started" our holiday six months previous to the cruise and before booking our cruise. Researching for cruises is an essential part of the experience for us. During this period, we stumbled upon the cruise critic site and this has added so much information and enjoyment for us as well as establishing contacts before boarding. As so many other reviews have already described Summit and the Ports of Call, this review is more of a chronicle of our experiences and impressions. January 5, 2007: We live on Vancouver Island, B.C. and left home in the dark in a rare early morning snowstorm. We dropped our dog at the kennel and then continued to Nanaimo for a ferry ride to the B.C. Mainland and then to our hotel in Richmond, B.C. We chose the Abercorn Best Western as we have stayed there before; it is close to the airport, offers shuttle service and provides free parking for our car while we are away. January 6: No wake up call was necessary! We woke at 4:00 a.m. and caught the 4:25 shuttle to YVR. The flight to LAX was good but after our arrival we had a long wait before being bussed to the ship. As Celebrity had handled our air, we knew we would eventually get there but it was frustrating to go all that way and then have to sit on our suitcases at curbside for a couple of hours. Other people complained that they were put on a bus right away but then were driven around to see the sights of Los Angeles for hours with no food or water being offered. Certainly there were some unhappy travelers but the Celebrity (X) ground staff at the terminal remained very pleasant and tried to be reassuring that no one would be left behind. Finally approaching the pier we could see Summit and she looked huge. Embarkation was easy and we were quickly through security and enjoying a second glass of champagne. We were starved and proceeded to the buffet. Sanitation stations were set up outside every dining venue and crew remained stationed at these places throughout the cruise to force passengers to use them. After filling our trays waiters were there to assist in carrying them, finding a table, and taking our drink orders. Our first impressions of the ship were its impressive size and beauty. Our second impression was of black water in the stateroom toilet bowl and from the taps! Our stateroom attendant came at about that time to introduce himself and assured us that the water problem had been fixed. They had been cleaning the pipes and the water cleared within a couple hours. We loved our stateroom (6003). It has an ocean view with a large porthole overlooking the center of the bow and the helicopter pad. We wanted this room, as it would enable us to watch the transit through the canal in air-conditioned comfort. The stateroom actually had more walk a round room than balcony rooms on the same deck. We had an apartment-sized sofa/hide-a-bed instead of the love seat in the balcony cabin. The room was very comfortable and had lots of storage space. A wall of mirrors made the room seem even larger. We did not like the food stained blue print carpet and the orange plaid bedspread. Carpeting is vacuumed regularly but it really needed cleaning. The shower was great and it was wonderful to shower two or three times a day and always have clean, fresh Egyptian cotton towels. The location of our stateroom ensured privacy, as there was only one cabin beyond ours on our side of the ship. The location also ensured that we would walk off some of the calories we planned to consume! The artwork throughout the ship is beautiful. The furniture in the public areas is attractive and comfortable. Of concern was the frequent smell of cigarette and cigar smoke in hallways, in the casino and in lounges. The staff was consistently helpful and friendly. Lifeboat drill at 16:30 was very efficient and was completed within about half an hour. Our CC friends and we had planned to meet at sail-away but only eight of us showed up. As it was time to dress for dinner, this was a brief visit but it was nice to actually meet some of the people we had been "talking to" on the boards. This group met repeatedly on board and became close friends. Two of the CC couples were our tablemates and we enjoyed excellent dinner conversation. Passengers in general were very friendly but most had never heard of cruise critic and some were quite interested. By dinner, all but one of our pieces of luggage had been delivered. We asked our stateroom attendant about it and he said he would check for us. After about an hour we started calling the guest relations desk and were assured that they would search the ship for it. Shortly before midnight a passenger only about 7 rooms down the hall, but on the other side of fire doors, called to ask if we were missing a suitcase. She said it had been in the hallway in front of her room for several hours. Bill called the desk to let them know it had been found. Jan 7: After breakfast we went to the guest relations desk and asked to speak to the guest relations manager. She was in a meeting but we made an appointment for later in the morning. The desk clerk had just called our room to see if we had found our luggage and was not aware that Bill had called to let them know that all was well. We expressed our concern to the manager that X tried to "pass the buck" concerning our piece of luggage. At first, the airline was to blame, then the bus driver and the staff continued to deny any blame. We assured the manager that we still loved X but their communications with us and with each other was a problem that needed to be fixed. In effect, with crew looking for our luggage for several hours, it had been sitting outside a stateroom not far from our room and a passenger retrieved it for us. We told her that we wanted the ship to do something nice for the lady who called us and the manager agreed to send a bottle of wine and a fruit basket. Soon after we returned to our stateroom a bottle of wine and a fruit basket arrived for us as well. It is nice to pack light for a trip but we were so glad that we had shared suitcase space in each bag. Each suitcase has "his' and "hers" clothing and a mix of casual and dressy so we can cope with a lost bag. We also take photos of our luggage and maintain lists of the contents in case of loss. Our Cruise Critic party was on Sunday morning in Michael's Club. We had a good turnout of about 25 people. At dinner that evening, another CC couple joined us as two of our regular tablemates were dining at the Normandie. This caused confusion for our waiter, Willie, but he handled the changes as efficiently as he handled everything else. Willie and his assistant, Rondel, were excellent. The staff really seem to enjoy their work and their passengers. We met Arif, our assistant Maitre' D, and as the cruise progressed we had a lot of contact with him. The dining room service throughout the cruise was excellent. The first theater production was very good but the sound system in the theater was poor and the sound level tended to be painful. It distorted sounds such that it was difficult to understand performers. We did not participate in shipboard games or spend time in the casino but others did and enjoyed them. Jan 8: Sunrise happens so quickly on the ocean! We woke in time to watch the sun come up and from a small bit of light the sun was fully up within a couple of minutes. Beautiful. As we cruised into Cabo San Lucas there were many dolphins playing around the ship. We tendered ashore on large, comfortable tenders which accommodate over 100 passengers. We had a very quick and smooth tendering process. Upon return to the Summit we were met with cool towels, cold drinks and hand sanitizers. In the evening I tested the thallasotherapy pool and whirlpools and enjoyed them. The pools were less used than I had expected, especially in the evenings. It is a great way to relax. Jan 9: We awoke to a clear sunny sky and had coffee and the famous almond pastry in the Cova Cafe which was a disappointment. There was poor service and the staff was not particularly helpful. We paid for our regular, black coffee and found a table but no coffee refills are included. We enjoyed some sun tanning until Bill had an adverse reaction to the sun! We needed to keep sunning sessions brief. For us the Great White North just means white skin. I went to the conservatory and was surprised at how small it is. In the virtual tour of Summit on Internet the conservatory looked quite large. I was looking forward to spending time there but it is very small. The highlight today was the impressionist in the theater who ran the gamut from ABBA to ZZ Top. Jan 10: Arrived in Acapulco at 0500 and enjoyed the city lights before dawn. We hired a cab (inexpensive) to take us to the market and then to Fort San Diego and felt that the museum in the fort is excellent. It was 110 degrees outside but comfortably cool inside the shelter of the fort's massive walls. The displays are awesome. We walked back to the ship, all downhill and a nice walk. The port building is large with a lot of shops as well as computer and telephone access. More water problems on the ship today and the water was turned off for 45 minutes while we were in port. Jan 11: Huatulco must surely translate as "to fall in love with". It is a beautiful little town with a relaxed pace. We walked on the beach, had cervesa (Mexican beer) under the palapas and enjoyed talking with local people. There were many crafts - everything from beautiful to tacky. Back on the ship we watched the pilot disembark - that was an acrobatic feat and passengers applauded when he jumped into the pilot boat! Huatulco is definitely on our list of places to return to, next time for an all inclusive resort stay. Jan 12: A day at sea and we took stock of what the ship provides in the staterooms. There were bathrobes hanging in the closet and large beach towels for shore excursion use. The bath was stocked with hand lotion, soap, shampoo (but no conditioner), a hair dryer, cotton balls, Q-tips, tissues and wonderful thick absorbent towels. We also found logo shopping bags and umbrellas. We were told that motion sickness pills were available at the desk. Extras that we found helpful: We took some suction hooks which attached to walls or ceiling for hanging things, a small plant mister and a battery operated fan for hot weather! We also took post it notes for reminders and notes to the room attendant. Jan 13: Punta Arenas. We spent the morning on the beach talking to the venders and buying souvenirs. We did not go on any tours as they were quite long. We wandered out of the tourist area and found ourselves in a poor area with a lot of thin dogs, scrawny cats, sewage smell and graffiti on the buildings. We returned to the pier area and spent over an hour in a pub/cafe across the street from the pier where we enjoyed talking to locals. Jan 14: Another relaxing day at sea. We were questioned by the Maitre D, Arif, concerning the quality of the food. He was disappointed that we rated it only as good. Bill found the food to be both bland and over cooked but the presentations were quite nice. Arif said that he would prepare curry for us at dinners. The chicken, beef and shrimp curries were excellent! We enjoyed a two-hour lunch with friends we had met prior to boarding our plane in Vancouver. That afternoon was the Captain's Club cocktail party. The party was elegant and everyone had an opportunity to talk with the Captain and have photos taken with him. The guests were served wine or bar drinks and the hors deuvers looked wonderful but we left shortly for our special dinner at the Normandie. Don't miss the opportunity to dine here as it is an amazing experience. Food, service and ambiance were superb. Our daughter had ordered a corsage and boutonniere for us as well as paying the $30/pp cover charge for Normandie. We paid the extra fees for the Menu Exceptional that includes a six course dinner with appropriate wine pairings for each course. The waiters serve the meal as a choreographed presentation responsible for one's table. The following day we received a formal thank you card from the Maitre D'Hotel for dining with them! Jan 15: Canal Day! We were up at 0400 and saw ships waiting for passage. The skyline of Panama City was impressive with its many skyscrapers. We had room service breakfast and watched as we approached the Mireflores Locks. Summit and the APL Egypt were the largest and therefore priority vessels and went through the locks first. Passengers filled the front of the bow at the helicopter pad to watch the process. It is fascinating that a system of locks so old and yet so simple is still working perfectly. We spent some time with friends who had an aft balcony suite and watched the canal passage slip by. Sandy went on the Embera Indian Village tour up the Chagress River and this was a high point of the entire trip for her. She also spent an enjoyable hour at Cristobal Pier but the next three hours at the Pier were not as happy but it was necessary to wait for Summit to dock. Some passengers were quite angry at the delay. Jan 16: Rough sea today with winds at 40 knots and 20-foot seas. The ship handled the conditions without us feeling any discomfort but a heavy banging noise in our cabin continued for hours {Bill thought it must be the Hammer of Thor}. Saltwater spray hit our porthole on Deck 6 and there was too much wind to comfortably walk on deck. Jan 17: Oranjestad today and again we were notified that water would be turned off for 45 minutes for regular maintenance which seemed to indicate that the ship still had a fresh water problem. We docked at 0900 and arranged a private 2+ hour tour of the island for $15 per person. We shared an air-conditioned van with eight passengers from a Princess ship. The driver took us all over the island stopping where people asked him to stop and at the normal tourist venues. The island is very barren and windswept on the Atlantic side with rocky shores and high surf. The Caribbean side has white sand beaches with luxury homes and resorts. Arubans are very nice people and the Dutch architecture is very pretty. We enjoyed Aruba but probably will not return. Jan 18 and 19: These were sea days and a time to begin packing. We had our third formal night, which featured the parade of waiters with baked Alaska. This was lively and entertaining and the crew especially seemed to enjoy their animated diners! The meal was disappointing for those who chose the lobster tails which were tough and bland. Our prime rib was excellent and cooked perfectly. The disembarkation talk in the theater included the farewell from the crew as they were introduced by departments and paraded up to the stage. These days also gave us a chance to hit the on board shops one more time. Jan 20: Disembarkation could have been staged for the Keystone Cops! We were told to be in the Champagne Bar at 0930 and when Bill called Guest Relations to see if there would be time to catch our 1225 flight he was assured that there would be lots of time. We waited a very long time without any communication from the crew. This was a time to make more new friends. At last we were herded to the disembarkation area where we again waited for a long time due to delays in U.S. immigration and customs. With the clock ticking down to flight time we got through disembarkation and lined up for a bus to the Fort Lauderdale airport. Luggage was slowly loaded and we got onto the bus where we waited until the bus was completely full of guests and extra luggage that did not fit into the luggage bays and which was placed in the aisle. On arrival at Terminal One, some passengers and all the luggage was off-loaded and reloaded. When people claimed their luggage the remaining luggage was reloaded onto the bus. Then a couple realized that this was their stop and they got off and all the luggage was again off-loaded. Then onto Terminal Two where all luggage was again off-loaded, more passengers got off, and the remaining luggage was reloaded onto the bus. At Terminal Three the bus driver locked the door so all passengers had to remain on the bus while he unloaded all the luggage. This was the terminal for our flight, which had already departed for DFW. After getting off the bus we had to arrange for a later flight which got us to DFW with a few minutes to spare to catch our original flight to Vancouver. No food was served on the flights and we had no time for dinner at DFW as we had anticipated. We flew back to Vancouver and another hotel night before loading our car for the ferry ride and drive back to our home on Vancouver Island. We enjoyed the cruise but feel that Celebrity needs to pay a lot more attention to the details. Our next cruise will be on Oceania in November with 27 nights from Rome to Singapore. We hope that this smaller cruise line and 684-passenger ship will pay better attention to the details, which make cruising what it should be. We have sailed on Celebrity prior to this cruise with the cuisine and attention to details being much better. It appears to us that Celebrity is cutting corners to increase profits. There was talk on the ship of the sommeliers being eliminated to save money. Also we had expected performances by Cirque du Soleil in the Bar at the Edge of the Earth (which had been terminated without notice to potential guests). It is also nearing the end of the relationship with Master Chef, Michael Roux Read Less
Sail Date January 2007
This was our 48th cruise in the past 25 years so this review is written with that in mind. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach for one night prior to departure, and were very satisfied with our accommodations. Took a taxi to San ... Read More
This was our 48th cruise in the past 25 years so this review is written with that in mind. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach for one night prior to departure, and were very satisfied with our accommodations. Took a taxi to San Pedro for embarkation which went very smoothly, arriving onboard at about 1:00. Our cabin was ready at about 2:00, the delay being due to the sanitizing and cleaning that was going on. Have learned since our return that there had been some Norovirus on the previous cruise....none on ours as far as we know. Lots of hand sanitizing and washing, however. We experienced heavy seas on the first night which continued all the next day..lots of rocking and rolling. By the second day, the seas had calmed down and we had glorious weather for the rest of the trip. Because we have become avid readers of the CC website, we were looking for "maintenance and cleanliness" issues on Summit. We found none worth mentioning. A general refurbishment is due soon, but we found no serious wear and tear on a vessel that carries so many passengers day in and day out. Our cabin was in excellent condition and was kept that way throughout our trip by our invisible cabin steward, Sebastian. The service by him and by our butler, Enrickkee was superior. It gave us great pleasure to add some extra to the automatic tips put on our seapass. We did not feel that our service in the dining room was excellent. It was adequate, but not up to our previous experience on X. The food, however, was very good, well prepared and presented. This is such a subjective thing that I hesitate to rave over any special dish but must submit that the prime ribs, rack of lamb, cold soups, and bread sticks were outstanding. We had a congenial table for 8 arranged by the cruiseline...a very good job selecting dinner mates..and wonderful table location on deck 4 at the foot of the stairs. We tend to enjoy the time at sea rather than the ports..and having been to Hawaii many times before..we decided to take the ships tours to places we hadn't been. We took the Valley of the Kings on Hilo, and the botanical garden tram on Maui and enjoyed both of them. Our excursion on Oahu was a not as good. We had selected it especially to visit the Byodu Temple and the driver got lost and we did not see it at all. The shore excursion desk gave us a 33% credit for that and we felt that was adequate compensation. A couple of criticisms: The lovely marble bathtub walls in the Sky Suite do not have any grab-bars. so, taking a shower in rough seas is difficult if not impossible. The addition of a grab-bar would be a big help. Captain Bergos appeared at the required functions but was not a people person apparently as we never saw him mingling with the passengers. By the way, it was interesting to see staff officers assisting people to find seats in the theatre. Very helpful, and a deterrent to seat-saving. Must mention the evenings entertainment...the shows in the theatre were terrific. The best group of Celebrity Singers and Dancers we have seen. The Casino was active with friendly, hospitable staff who were obviously happy with life onboard. Hubby used the fitness center daily and was very impressed with the equipment...good working treadmills..I used the salon once and has been my experience on all my cruises, the salon staff is not up to snuff, and the prices are outrageous compared to land based salons. $18 to change polish color compared to the $12 I pay for an entire manicure at home. This was a terrific cruise experience even disembarkation went smoothly. We had a wonderful time and can't wait for April and November when we will sail again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2006
I participated in the Cruise Critic Roll Call member board for the Dec 9 sailing and got to know some of my fellow passengers before the cruise ever began, so once on board it was as if we were travelling with people we already knew. On ... Read More
I participated in the Cruise Critic Roll Call member board for the Dec 9 sailing and got to know some of my fellow passengers before the cruise ever began, so once on board it was as if we were travelling with people we already knew. On the Roll Call I linked up with another couple from our area and we car pooled down to the port from our hometown 90 miles away and split the $12 per day cost of parking, which was a good way to start the cruise. We timed our arrival at the port so we'd get there at 3 o'clock and miss the early boarding crush. As a result, we took about twenty minutes to get from the car to our stateroom, saving us a lot of aggravation and waiting around. We had been on the Summit last May for a 13 day repo cruise LA-Alaska and so we had fairly fresh memories of the ship and staff for comparison. Overall, we again had an enjoyable cruise, but noticed some decline in public area cleanliness. Tables were not bussed and wiped, ashtrays were left overflowing, etc. We also were struck with the attitude of staff - indifferent and inattentive. unless it was your own waiter or cabin steward. This cruise had a vast majority of passengers over 60 with a wide spectrum of physical ability. In May, the staff were quick to hold open a door and lend a steadying hand to aid any passenger in need. On this cruise, staff more often than not, stood by and watched. It was up to the fellow passengers to look after and assist those in need. For coffee and tea drinkers, only one station out of eight on deck 10 was operating except during mealtimes, and it always seemed to be the station farthest from where you wanted to be. One station midship and one aft would have worked far better for the passengers, serving both the pool/Aqua Spa (midship) and rear deck/Waterfall Cafe (aft). The Cosmopolitan Restaurant(deck 4 & 5) continued serving high quality meals with wonderful wait staff in attendance. This is one area where there was no decline between May and December. All of our dinner choices were exceptional in their taste and presentation. There was no decline in service provided by the cabin steward, either. She was thorough, efficient and unobtrusive. We enjoyed the entertainment offered in the Celebrity theatre and found it a cut above that offered on HAL, Princess, and RCCL. In addition to the usual crew production numbers, we saw Scott Record (a singing comic impressionist), Lorraine Brown (a soul and blues singer from Britain), Brooks Aehron (a very entertaining classical and pop pianist), and "A Taste of Cirque Du Soleil". The lounge acts ranged from a string quartet at the Cova Cafe to the Diamonds in the Rendez Vous (Their spelling). Michaels Club had a pianist and the Waterfall Cafe had a rock guitarist accompanied by canned back up who could play just about anything requested from the 50's thru the 90's. Besides the casino (where you could easily rack up huge losses), there was a fair variety of daytime activities to occupy our 9 sea days. The enrichment series offered every afternoon in the Celebrity Theatre was both educational and entertaining, and there were the trivia games scattered throughout the day that you'd find on any cruise. This is a good cruise for people who like a more sedate pace and enjoy sea days and the onboard experience. There were 68 children on this cruise out of 1950 passengers. As the days wore on, the kids seemed to become more restless. Celebrity makes a token effort to provide children and teenagers with something to do, but like HAL and Princess, Celebrity is more focused on a mature and seasoned traveller. Perhaps Disney, Carnival or NCL would be more appropriate for kids as they seemed focused on a younger clientele. Read Less
Sail Date December 2006
We sailed on the Summit September 30th to October 14th, this being our 11th cruise, and the third with Celebrity. The ship left Los Angeles, cruised the Hawaiian Islands, and returned to Los Angeles. Embarkation could not have been any ... Read More
We sailed on the Summit September 30th to October 14th, this being our 11th cruise, and the third with Celebrity. The ship left Los Angeles, cruised the Hawaiian Islands, and returned to Los Angeles. Embarkation could not have been any smoother. We took the time to fill out our boarding papers on the computer prior to boarding, so we literally were aboard the ship within 10 minutes. I wish all embarkations were this easy. If you drive to the port, parking is right next to the ship, but unfortunately uncovered. Parking for the duration of the cruise was $165. Our room (9161) was a standard balcony room, with a decent layout and enough nooks & crannies to put everything away. The only negative feelings we had about the cabin was the bed and the location; the bed was lumpy and in need of a new mattress. As to the location, it was on the 9th deck located on the port side. This is significant in that smoking is permitted on the port side of the pool area (one deck up) and many of the port side rooms are smoking. When you sit on the balcony, the smell of cigarette smoke is sometimes quite strong, depending in the direction of the wind. Our room steward, Glory, did a fine job in keeping the room in order, and was usually found hovering somewhere in the hall waiting to get you something. Service is one of the main areas where Celebrity excels, and this cruise was no exception. The bathroom is a bit cramped, but hey, you are on a ship, so it is no big deal. My only complaint about the bathroom is that is doesn't have a decent 110 outlet that will handle a hair dryer (forget the built in one). My wife had to do her hair in the cabin, which can be somewhat annoying. No big deal, but still worth noting. The food in the main dining room was very good, but most cruise lines seem to get that right. The buffet food was just your average buffet food, but further down the line, the pasta bar was very good. They had five different sauces to choose from, along with three different pastas, and an assortment of items to add; they were very willing to make a plate in any manner that you requested. At the back of the ship was a fresh sandwich bar making Panini style sandwiches everyday, which were usually very good. We ate every night in the main dining room at the second seating, and the service was outstanding. As I said before, the food was very good, but the waiter will make or break the meal, and we had a great one. The waiter and busboy (Sol & Raymond) were on top of everything, and Marco, the Maitre'D stopped by our table every night at least once to make sure things were going right. If you eat at second seating, sometimes the shows are scheduled before dinner, which is annoying. One other annoying thing was the number of formal nights we had. This line tends to be a little more traditional in dressing for dinner, which we like, but they perhaps carried it a little too far. They define casual as slacks (no shorts) & sport shirts for men, informal as a suit/sport jacket & tie, and formal as a tuxedo or dark suit. On this cruise, there are seven causal nights, four informal, and three formal. Dressing up half the time for a Hawaiian cruise got to be a little too much; two formal nights and the rest casual would have been better for the tropics. Near the end, many of the men started skipping the jacket & tie on informal nights. The bar and pool staff do a very good job, remaining cheerful in the face of some pretty rude passengers. Hats off to them for performing a difficult job. The condition of the ship was very good with cleanliness being a priority. One exception to this being the Thaalostherapy Pool; we did not use it as there was usually a dirty scum on it. I do not know what the problem was with the filtering. Entertainment on board was generally very good. The pool band was a little weak, and the guy in the piano bar was like bad karaoke, but everything else was very good to great. The shows we attended were excellent, and quite varied. The shows we missed were enjoyed by all we talked to. The music in the bars (with the exception of the aforementioned piano bar) was very good, with a nice variety. You can't ask for much more than that. Celebrity has a good handle on the tipping. Near the end of the cruise, they give you a short form to fill out if you want them to deduct your tips from a credit card. If you do, they then give you an envelope with a slip to give to your waiter, etc. If you don't want automatic tipping, simply do not turn in the form and use the envelopes provided by your room steward. It is nice to have a couple of options, unlike a couple of other cruise lines we have sailed with. The photo staff is just average, and almost everything they print out is an 8 by 10. Who wants that many large prints? More 4 by 6 prints would have resulted in more purchases by us. One night the photographer came to our dinner table, and I asked her to take a group shot. She told me that the group shots would be on the last formal night only, and instead took individual pictures of each of us. Just what I have always wanted: a picture of myself sitting alone in front of a plate of food. It amazed everyone at our table. The port stop at Maui was way too short, arriving at 7 AM and we had to be back on board by 2:30 PM, as the ship sailed for Los Angeles at 3:00 PM; combine that with having to use a tender to get ashore, and you will not see much of the island. Poor scheduling that needs to be corrected. Debarkation was as terrible as embarkation was smooth. The line to get your customs pass was confusing and long, and exiting the ship even worse. You always want to end on a high note, and here Celebrity fell short. Overall, I would recommend this cruise and especially this line to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date September 2006
Arriving in LA to board this ship at three in the afternoon is a good idea, arriving later is better. The two o'clock crush turned literal on this cruise when a pile up occurred at the top of the escalator because the upper level ... Read More
Arriving in LA to board this ship at three in the afternoon is a good idea, arriving later is better. The two o'clock crush turned literal on this cruise when a pile up occurred at the top of the escalator because the upper level was filled but the people kept coming up with no place to go when they reached the top. The food was excellent and always served with a smile in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant. My visits to the buffet were rare, but what I ate was good. Buffet fans I spoke with complained only about the chopped up arrangement of the buffet, and the lack of a full dinner buffet. All of the staff from every department were courteous and seemed to go out of their way to greet you as you passed by. It seemed like they were all genuinely happy you were on board. Entertainment in the public areas was quite good and diverse. Some nights in the Celebrity Theatre the entertainment was exceptional and the other nights it was standard cruise fare. This specific cruise got into a problem that originated from the propulsion system but led to mistakes, miscalculations and a near passenger mutiny that ultimately left a bad feeling with everyone, but the ship itself is beautiful and sparkling clean with a wonderful group of people in all the departments that I encountered.I plan on sailing on the Summit again in December for a round trip to Hawaii out of LA and I hope they have new mattresses by then. My first mattress was very lumpy and worn to the point you could not find a smooth surface on it. The second mattress was not nearly as bad but it, too, had seen better days (or nights, as it were). Overall, it's a good cruise for the over 50 group who prefer a more traditional, elegant cruise experience. If you have kids, book on Carnival or RCCL where far more is offered for the young families to do. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
I was on the "ill-fated" Summit cruise that was affected by pod issues, resulting in two missed ports and various other "problems" including only a distant view of the Hubbard Glacier and a late (night-time) sail ... Read More
I was on the "ill-fated" Summit cruise that was affected by pod issues, resulting in two missed ports and various other "problems" including only a distant view of the Hubbard Glacier and a late (night-time) sail through the inside passage. While these issues were disappointing, they were not enough to significantly hamper my enjoyment of the trip. More troubling (to me, at least) was the pervasive negativity of a large group of disgruntled passengers who met frequently and publicly to complain about the situation and discuss possible courses of action. Still, I found the ship, the trip, and the entire experience to be quite good to excellent. Just as some background, I'm a 37-year-old guy traveling with my 64-year-old father. I have cruised twice before (both times on Carnival), and my dad has cruised twice before, (once on Cunard many years ago, and more recently on Princess). I think that both of us are relatively easy to please, although we are certainly not lacking in all standards... EMBARKATION - We showed up way earlier than we had been told to, and the ship had arrived a bit late from Hawaii, which led to some waiting. Interestingly enough, the very first people I spoke to while waiting happened to be from our roll call! So already, before even boarding, I had some Cruise Critic friends! We waited outside for about an hour, then were allowed inside to do our paperwork. This step took no time at all. We then were handed "A" cards (first group to board) and asked to wait in a seating area. This wait turned out to be quite long (at least 45 minutes). Because the line kept moving and more people (group B, group C) came over to the seating area, all the chairs were soon full and there was barely room to stand. Finally, they allowed group A to make their way onto the ship. If they hadnt been ready (or close to ready) to allow people onto the ship, I think it would have been better to keep them outside... We got our picture taken and then proceeded up an escalator to make our way onto the ship. Shortly after we got up there, we heard a commotion behind us. We couldn't see what had happened, but it turns out that people kept boarding the escalator even though there was no room at the top to clear away, and a pile-up with some injuries resulted. I never did learn how serious these injuries were, but I hope a lesson is learned and that security guards (from the port, I would think, rather than from Celebrity) are placed at this escalator. We entered the ship, I got a mimosa, but we were told that we couldn't go to the room yet. I would have loved to have at least dropped off my carry-on, but I didn't want to inconvenience the room steward, so I waited. We went to the spa first to purchase Persian Garden passes (as I thought - incorrectly - that there were only a limited number available at the $99 rate). We then went to the excursions desk to book a tour that hadn't been available online. Next was the Normandie, where we reserved a dinner for later in the week, and finally, the computer lab where I signed up for a class and my father signed up for a package plan of internet minutes. In a very short time, we had spent an AWFUL lot of money!!! We then went to the Buffet for lunch (which was just average -- more on that later). CABIN - After lunch we made our room down to our room, Aft corner FV #7199. Well, I had been told that this was a great room, but I wasn't really prepared for how great it would be. It is really a suite with two completely separate rooms as well as an ENORMOUS balcony. My dad and I were going to have two twin beds, but after seeing the room, he decided that he would be happier sleeping on the fold-out couch in the sitting room with me in the queen bed in the bedroom. Fine by me!!! The room was very smartly designed, making it even roomier than it would otherwise have been. There was an abundance of counter space, drawer space, and closet space. I had been concerned about having room for all the stuff I had packed for a 13-day Alaskan cruise, but it was no problem at all. Even the tiny bathroom was functional. My only problems there were the fact that you had to lower the toilet lid to flush (what a stupid design, but that was the case throughout the ship) and the fact that the temperature in the shower was very difficult to regulate (either scaldingly hot or a bit too cold with very little middle ground). I wouldn't say that the decor of the room was fantastic. It was fine, clean and everything was in reasonably good shape, but it clearly hadn't been decorated with the highest of standards. That was fine with me, but I expected Celebrity (with all of the hype) to be better than Carnival in this regard. Instead, it was pretty even between the two lines (and I haven't sailed with Carnival since they upgraded the bedding). My cabin steward was Elizabeth and she was EXCELLENT. She wasnt the most warm and fuzzy cabin steward I have seen, but she had a great personality and a nice sense of humor. She far exceeded our needs and expectations. SAIL AWAY  After a very easy and uneventful muster drill, I got to enjoy the sail away with a group of Cruise Critic folks from the roll call on the 10th floor aft deck. It was a beautiful afternoon, and aside from a blowing flag that was determined to attack us, it couldnt have been more lovely. I was very glad to meet some of these people here (and again at the CC party the next morning), but with a couple of exceptions (notably, my T-Pool buddy Carol), I didnt get to hang out much with these people over the course of the cruise. Next time, I hope. FOOD: DINING ROOM  At our first late-seating dinner, we were taken to our table, and I have to admit, I was not pleased. Our table was close to the entrance of the Cosmopolitan on deck 5, and you couldnt even see most of the beautiful room. I would have MUCH preferred to have been seated more aft in the main part of the restaurant. Moreover, we were at a 6-person table, and I would have preferred a bigger one, as I really enjoy meeting my tablemates. The four tablemates we had seemed perfectly nice, but quiet. They all spoke English fine, but it wasnt a first language for any of them. I dont think we had much in common. I considered asking to switch tables, but I didnt want to hurt anybodys feelings. As it turned out, I grew to really like our tablemates a lot, and I wasnt disappointed that we had decided to stay. From the beginning, I really liked our waiter and assistant waiter. Our waiter was quite formal and stern, but the assistant was a big clown and VERY funny (although still extremely good at his job). It made for a good mix. The food selection was extremely good. I eat seafood, but no other meat, and I wasnt sure how many choices I would have. As it turns out, when I added the vegetarian menu to the regular menu, I nearly always had two or more choices I could eat per course. The food quality was mixed, although certainly much better than what I normally eat. Some courses were fantastic. Others were just good. I dont think I had more than one or two dishes over the entire cruise that I DISliked, so that was pretty good. My main comment for the dining room would be that I would have preferred to have SMALLER portions. I was usually getting full during the salad course, stuffed beyond capacity by the entrEe, and forced to skip dessert because there was just no room. With smaller portions, I could have eaten all five courses without feeling TOO stuffed. If others wanted more food than offered in the smaller portions, they could always order more than one of any given course& I also think this would cut back on waste. I find a great deal of waste to be downright IMMORAL, and I was distressed to see just how much food leaves the table uneaten (and thats not even considering how much is probably wasted behind the scenes). NORMANDIE ROOM  We dined here twice, and Im really glad we did it. The room is beautiful and the service is the best Ive ever experienced. The selection (for me, at least, given my limitations) was trickier. There were a number of appetizers that appealed to me, but not a lot of entrees. I think I exhausted them in my two visits, and would have had to repeat if we had gone back. I wonder if I had asked for a second appetizer instead of an entrEe, if that would have been acceptable? Given the size of the appetizers, it would have definitely been enough food& As for the quality of the food, I enjoyed it, but it was definitely not the best food I have ever had. I was disappointed by the goat cheese soufflE. Based on the word soufflE, I expected something light and airy with some kind of bread-like characteristics. Instead, it was very dense and custard-like. It was quite tasty, but I was expecting it to be the be-all-and-end-all the way I have heard it described. Other dishes were very good, but I wouldnt say great. My father would disagree. He ordered the same thing both times we went (foie gras and Dover sole), and said it was the best he had ever had. My favorite part was the cheese course. Im not a big cheese fan, and I simply let the cheese steward choose for me, and I was amazed at how much I enjoyed the variety. Bravo! SPA CAFÉ  This was one of my favorite places on board to eat. The food here (particularly the desserts) was quite yummy. Once again, portion size was too big, especially since they are trying to be light and healthy. I do think the set-up here was bad. There is just a narrow walkway between the serving area and the drink station. It often ended up congested as patrons getting food, getting drinks, waiters, and even just folks trying to cross to the other side of the T-Pool area jammed it up. If they ever re-design, they should move the drink area& BUFFET  I thought this was the worst food venue on board. Neither the selection nor the quality was particularly great, and the traffic flow was AWFUL (due largely to the waiters who were there to help people carry their trays). If people need to have their trays carried, they should hand them over promptly and GET OUT OF THE WAY. Instead, we ended up with crowds of people and waiters standing around waiting to move (should I get that extra roll?) oblivious to how much they were in the way! PASTA/PIZZA/DELI/WAFFLE/SUSHI/ICE CREAM STATIONS  I really appreciated this variety, and it was nice to know that there would always be something good to eat. I availed myself mostly of the sushi (basic, but pretty good quality), but when the mood struck, it was nice to get pasta made to order, etc. CASUAL DINING  Never did it, so I cannot report. COVA CAFÉ PASTRIES  I DID avail myself of several almond croissants. Yum! OTHER SHIP FEATURES: GYM/SPA/T-POOL  I spent a great deal of time in this part of the ship. I think they do a great job of utilizing the space to keep it functional and pleasant. The gym was busier than I expected, but at most times of day, it was very adequate for everybody. It was well laid out and very nice. I wasnt that thrilled with the Persian Garden, as it was kind of dull (although pleasant enough). It was almost always empty, so there was nobody to talk to, and it was too dark and moist except in the outer room to read or do anything else. If it were free, Id avail myself again, but I dont think Id pay for it. I would simply settle for the free sauna in the changing room, which was quite nice with a window out to the ocean. The locker room itself, though, was not maintained often enough. There were always wet floors and towels strewn about. The guests should clean up after themselves, but absent that, there should be cleaning staff checking in REGULARLY. I had two spa treatments (a facial and a seaweed wrap), and neither one was beyond serviceable. I have gotten facials at a number of spas, and this one did not compare favorably. I hadnt really understood what a Thallasotherapy Pool was before I experienced it, but it was actually really nice. I would prefer fresh water to salt, but the added buoyancy was interesting. The hot tubs here were nice, but Im not sure why there was so much sand in them. The area around the T-Pool was a great place to relax with a book or a friend& CASINO  I spent an inordinate amount of time here! I had horrible luck, but the dealers were SO nice (especially Helen) that they made losing money much easier to swallow! I dont play slots/video poker, so I cant really comment there. There were 4 blackjack tables  1 regular, 1 single deck, 1 non-smoking, and 1 higher limit (usually $10/hand), although they werent all open most of the time. There were also 2 Three-Card Poker tables, a Caribbean Stud table, 2 Roulette tables, and a craps table. I actually feel that they should have had MORE Blackjack tables. The Caribbean Stud table was almost always empty (if it was even open), the second Three-Card Poker table wasnt open EVER on the whole cruise (as far as I can remember). Even the second Roulette table rarely got any play. The blackjack tables, especially the sole regular table ($5, multiple-deck, smoking allowed) were FAR AND AWAY the most popular tables when they were open. COMPUTER LAB  It was really nice to be able to use their computers FREE to upload and organize photos. The interior computer room where they held classes was fine, and the instructors there were very helpful. The 24-hour computer room with windows overlooking the sea was GREAT. CINEMA  It was a great, comfortable room. Unfortunately, I didnt make it to any movies, but I did attend one lecture here. CELEBRITY THEATRE  It is an EXCELLENT space. I saw several of the shows here, as well as a few enrichment lectures. I almost always sat towards the front, but I think that all of the seats were pretty good. SHOPPING EMPORIUM  I was not impressed with this area (although Im not much of a shopper, and Im clearly not the one they are designing it for. I just found it confusing. The different stores are not clearly defined nor labeled. At one point, I wanted to buy some Chapstick. I had NO IDEA which store would have it  there wasnt one that was called Gifts and Sundries, for example. Eventually, I found it in the duty-free liquor store behind a display of Scotch. Right! That makes sense! ATRIUM AREA (INCLUDING COVA CAFÉ, GAME & CARD AREAS, ETC.)  This was a lovely part of the ship, but not one I utilized often (with the exception of the computer room). Part of the reason for this was that it was the preferred meeting area of the disgruntled passengers, so I tried to stay far away. LIDO DECK/SPORTS DECK  This, too, was a nice part of the ship that I never used because it was Alaska in May. On a Hawaiian or a Panama Canal itinerary, Im sure Id be there all the time! CONSERVATORY  I completely dont get this space. They advertise it like its such a great feature, but WHAT PURPOSE DOES IT SERVE?! Its not a place that guests can hang out or anything  there is basically no furniture. The two times I went up there, there was NOBODY THERE. Im confused& BARS & LOUNGES  My favorite one as far as the appeal of the room was THE BAR AT THE EDGE OF THE EARTH. I thought it was slightly over-the-top but still fun and beautiful. I sometimes went up to the beds at the front of the room overlooking the bow with a cup of coffee and a book and just relaxed there in the mornings. My favorite bar to DRINK was the Martini Bar. I have to admit, Im not a big drinker, and I maybe had 7 or 8 cocktails over the course of the 13-day cruise, but after I discovered the Martini Delight, that was the ONLY drink I had from then on& ENTERTAINMENT  I probably went to about half of the main shows. I would have gone to more, but too much of the time, they scheduled the show for late-seating guests for 7:00 (BEFORE dinner). Well, the reason I prefer late-seating is because I dont want to have to rush to get ready for dinner, and I CERTAINLY dont want to have to rush because of a show& I much preferred the nights when the shows were after dinner. To me, the taste of Cirque du Soleil was the best show. The production shows were mixed. The singers were quite talented, but not tremendously appealing or exciting. The dancers were just okay  rarely was the whole group in synch, and its not like they were doing such difficult dances! My favorite element of these shows was the aerialist team of Rebecca and Phillippe (and I doubt I am alone in that assessment). The stunts they do are so gorgeous and unbelievable that they took my breath away every time I saw them. Whatever Celebrity is paying them, it is NOT ENOUGH. I didnt see any of the musicians or comedians. ACTIVITIES  I didnt really participate in any of the trivia games/crafts/etc. Its just not my style. Fortunately, there were always other things I wanted to do. ENRICHMENT SERIES  I made it a point to attend 4 out of the 5 lectures given by Nature Lady Leneh Trowbridge. It would have been all 5, but the first one conflicted with my Cruise Critic party  I caught it later on TV. This was a real highlight for me. I learned so much, and it made the sights I saw in port so much more meaningful. I couldnt recommend this series enough. Im not sure if she will be with the ship throughout the season, but if she is, seek her out. There was also a physicist on board giving enrichment lectures, but I didnt go to his. PORTS: SAN FRANCISCO  My dad and I rented a car and drove out to Napa Valley, as he is a wine connoisseur. It was gorgeous, and I had a lot of fun (although I drank too much wine at the tastings). I would have liked to have seen more of San Francisco itself, as the weather was FANTASTIC, but by the time we drove back, it was almost time to leave. The docking location was awesome  right next to Fishermans wharf. KETCHIKAN  Cute town with some nice little shops, but nothing too out of the ordinary. We did an excursion with a raft ride and a rainforest hike. The excursion itself was fun (we saw a BUNCH of bald eagles), but the drive to get there was quite long, and the fact that people were complaining ON THE TOUR BUS about the problems with our cruise was a bit much to take. Even if they were not willing to let it go and try to enjoy themselves, they should try to allow others to do so& Once again, we had absolutely gorgeous weather (a rarity in Ketchikan). JUNEAU  We bought a pass to ride up to the top of the mountain, saw some spectacular views, and watched a Tlinget film. I wanted to hike around on the trails up there, but my dad thought it was too dangerous given the snow levels. We then explored Juneau a bit before returning to the ship for lunch. After lunch, we took an excursion involving a helicopter ride and a landing on the Mendenhall Glacier with a hike (approximately 45 minutes) on the glacier. It was potentially quite fun, but we had an older gentleman in our group who was probably not up to the task physically. He was much slower and had a few problems (falling down and the like). None of this would have bothered me much, but on top of that, he would always dilly-dally around with his video camera and absolutely refused to follow directions, even when all of our safety was involved! Seriously, when we got off the helicopter and were told to proceed directly to a spot about 30 yards away where our gear and our guide were waiting, he took 3 steps from the helicopter, turned around, and started filming! We were still under the rotor, and him standing there blocked every other person from getting off and going where we were supposed to go. To me, that was dangerous. If I were running the tour, I would not have allowed him to proceed& While we hiked, he fell behind (partly due to his camera shenanigans), and we had to wait for him repeatedly, thus shortening the distance we covered on our hike& It was still a great trip, though. The glacier itself was fascinating, and my first helicopter ride was interesting. Somebody else on the helicopter said he saw a family of bears crossing a stream, but he didnt bother mentioning it to the rest of us! Can you believe that?! SKAGWAY  I really enjoyed the tiny town of Skagway, and I thought it had the best souvenir shopping of any port we visited. We also took the BEST excursion here! We basically took a catamaran ride across the fjord (seeing eagles and mountain goats, along with amazing scenery) to the town of Haines, then rode a bus 25 miles upriver, then floated down the river in 8 person rafts through the heart of an eagle preserve. It was such a gorgeous day, and the feeling of being right in the middle of nature was unmatched (the rainforest we hiked in Ketchikan had an actual wooden boardwalk built through it so it wasnt so natural, and the glacier in Juneau constantly had people and helicopters coming in and out). This river felt isolated enough that you could feel like youre seeing the real Alaska. Moreover the guides who paddled the rafts were AWESOME. They are all young people who spend their Summers out there because they absolutely love it. Their passion is infectious, and they know SO MUCH about everything we saw& HUBBARD GLACIER  While this is not a port per se, it was a destination. We didnt get in close, and I wasnt particularly impressed. However, if people hadnt been complaining so much, I dont know that I would have realized how much we missed -- I will say that I learned (almost by accident) that they opened up the front of the ship where helicopters land for viewing of the glacier, and when I got there, it was a right party! Now, I dont think this was announced anywhere, and I think that most of the people there were Captains Club and suite guests -- If they were the only ones invited, Im a bit put off by that. I find that quite exclusionary. If everybody was invited, Im not sure why I didnt hear about it sooner. Does anybody know? INSIDE PASSAGE  Once again, not a port, but what was supposed to be a full day of phenomenal scenery turned into an hour or two of full-on gorgeousness before we had to go to dinner and then it turned dark. This was a disappointment to me, as I was really looking forward to the opportunity to see so much& VICTORIA  I absolutely loved this city, and could see myself living here. We shopped and explored in the morning, then did a whale-watching excursion in the afternoon. The excursion was VERY successful, as we got to see a huge pod of orcas over the course of close to an hour. We may have even seen all 26 members of the pod, and we got to witness a variety of behavior including 3 separate breaches! Wow!!! We also saw bald eagles, seals, and various other wildlife. The problem, though, was that this tour was TERRIBLY OVERBOOKED. They brought about 45 passengers, and the boat probably shouldnt have carried much more than 35 TOPS. Even if EVERY seat was utilized on the top deck, the back deck, and the interior cabin, there wasnt enough room for everybody to sit (I stood for most of the 3 hour + excursion). Never mind the fact that as crowded as it was, we certainly couldnt pick a preferred viewing location! I would have given this tour a very high ranking if there had been 25-30 people aboard& DISEMBARKATION  We ended up waiting quite a while in the Celebrity theater while they called tons of colors and numbers before ours. Im really not sure why we couldnt stay in the cabin till our number and color was called. I believe that is how they do it on Carnival. Still, it was no big deal and the process once they called us, including customs and immigration, was amazingly quick and efficient. I was very sad to end the trip, though, so I wasnt going to be happy on this day, no matter how well everything went! If only I could go back and do it all over again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
My wonderful experience on this cruise demands I address some of the negative comments appearing here. The ONLY negative thing about this cruise was the poor manners of some passengers. The vitriolic of some revealed their motive as pure ... Read More
My wonderful experience on this cruise demands I address some of the negative comments appearing here. The ONLY negative thing about this cruise was the poor manners of some passengers. The vitriolic of some revealed their motive as pure greed. Their critiques also demonstrate they do not understand the contract they entered with the cruise line and presume that all lines are the same. Each has a niche market. Just because you have a favorite detail from another cruise (e.g. children's programs), you can't assume it will be repeated by every line in the same manner. The printed and TV advertising of Celebrity clearly demonstrates it quietly elegant adult product. That's what I experienced and that's why I'll always choose Celebrity. Embarkation was interrupted by an accident on an escalator which resulted in many staff members rushing to aid the passengers affected. Since this happened outside the sight of most persons in line, the reasons for the temporary delays were unknown. DINING: The main dining rooms feature a menu by Michele Roux. The expectation is Continental fare. The choices were so varied as to create daily debates on what to choose. Vegetables are used more as a decoration with the protein. If a person wanted additional vegetables, a word to the waiter would produce a platter full. Our waiter IGOR was very knowledgeable about the menu and helpful in making choices. Some critics focus on the buffet. It seems that they were unaware of other wonderful dining options such as the SPA Cafe which offered fruit and vegetable based spa cruise for breakfast and from 12 to 8pm. If people read the daily paper or the brochures their travel agent provided, they would have realized that there were many more options available than they utilized. FRESH FRUIT was part of every dining venue and I personally brought whole fruits back to my room. The NORMANDE has a $30 upcharge. The quality of the service and food were 6 star! If you were fortunate enough to have a Restaurant on land available to you with the same fare and level of service, the meal would cost you at least $150. The Harpist and the String Quartet played a wide variety of selections from classics to popular show tunes. The harpist was happy to perform Bach-like variations on "Happy Birthday" for a friend. On another occasion, she played selections which subtly connected to my profession (she was aware of this through a conversation I had with her at breakfast in the Spa cafe). Entertainment: Good but did not attend all offerings. On the extra sea days, additional day time concerts were provided. Unfortunately, the demonstrations in the Atrium made it impossible for the musicians to function in the Cova cafe during the afternoon orgy of bad manners and greedy demands. Overall, a fabulous cruise was affected by a mechanical problem. The captain did everything he could to focus on preserving the major destination ALASKA. Our weather was fabulous. Having met the Captain personally he is a true gentleman. If Celebrity wants to improve its product, they need to develop a policy to prevent the unpleasant public meetings initiated by disgruntled passengers. I believe their contract would allow them to discharge disruptive persons at the next port FOR THE SAKE of the MAJORITY of passengers who were denied what they paid for, NOT by Celebrity but by other passengers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
THE SUMMIT.  Hawaii Circle Cruise  9th  23rd April 2006. It has been over 25 years, since we last visited The Hawaiian Islands; so for something different, we chose a 14-night roundtrip cruise from Los Angeles with Celebrity Cruises ... Read More
THE SUMMIT.  Hawaii Circle Cruise  9th  23rd April 2006. It has been over 25 years, since we last visited The Hawaiian Islands; so for something different, we chose a 14-night roundtrip cruise from Los Angeles with Celebrity Cruises on their ship  The Summit. We chose the air/sea programme from the United Kingdom. Travel documentation arrived well ahead of departure. The information supplied was relevant and ticketing was correct. There was no shore excursion information, but details of these were found on the Celebrity web site. On arrival at Los Angeles International Airport, we were met and welcomed by a Celebrity Representative, immediately having cleared the Customs area. This rep was extremely professional and advised us as to the best places to eat and visit in San Pedro where our overnight accommodation was located. She escorted us to the Super Shuttle pick up point and remained with us until the arrival of the shuttle  gone are the days where guests travelling with Celebrity are transferred to their hotel by limousine, taxi or private coach. After two or three circles of the entire airport terminals and the many drop-offs in San Pedro, we eventually arrived at our hotel, a distance of 25 miles from the airport, some 90 minutes later. On arrival at the hotel, there was a letter from Celebrity advising us as to departure arrangements the next morning to join the ship. Luggage was collected from our rooms at the indicated times and the coach departed on schedule at 1.30pm for the short ride of about five minutes to the terminal building. On arrival at the pier side, the first thing that one noticed was the massive queue, which snaked in many directions. We were advised that this was the queue or line for security. Some 125 minutes later we eventually reached the security control and were quite surprised that only two facilities were open for the search of some 1950 guests and their hand baggage. It is obvious that Celebrity are only too well aware of such delays, as, whilst waiting in the queue, sandwiches, savories and drinks were provided to waiting passengers. Fortunately, the weather was fine. Whilst one fully appreciates the need for meaningful security in this day and age, consideration should be given to providing additional search facilities and that Celebrity transfer guests overnighting on their air/sea package at an earlier time to the terminal, prior to the inbound departure day flight passengers arriving at pier side directly from the airport, bearing in mind that check-in and boarding commence much earlier. After clearing security, check-in was swift and professional and a short time later we boarded the ship. The Summit, a Millennium Class ship, of some 91,000 tons entered service in October 2001. For this cruise, we had chosen Concierge Class accommodation. Our cabin, or stateroom was located on deck 9. On entering the vessel, we were given a luke warm half glass of champagne and we were offered the opportunity to be escorted to our cabin. Initial observations were that the cabin was clean, spacious and comfortable. Not having travelled in this class of cabin before, we were not fully aware of what benefits this entailed so sought guidance from the Concierge in this regard. We were advised that these included - Stateroom Amenities Welcome Champagne. Fresh Flowers Selection of Fruit. Afternoon canapEs Leather key holder Binoculars for use on board. Personalized stationery. Oversized tote bag Umbrella to use throughout the cruise Tensions-absorbing pillow-top mattresses Plush duvets Designed room service breakfast menu Bathroom amenities: Plush bath rugs Oversized Egyptian cotton towels Double-thick Frette bathrobes Two hairdryers A Hansgrohe showerhead Selection of fine shampoos, body lotions, soaps, shower cap, breath mints and sewing kit. A Menu of Pillows Sofa Pillows. Priority Services Express Luggage Delivery Laundry and Pressing Service Shoe Shine Service. Extended Room Service Dining and seating preferences VIP invitation to events Preference on Shore Excursions Early Embarkation and disembarkation Priority Tendering. Most of the above were available, others we had to ask for. It took six hours from our arrival at the pier until our luggage appeared at our stateroom  you could hardly call this express service! After having settled in the stateroom and on closer examination, we saw that there was dust everywhere  on shelves, on ledges, in cupboards, on the pictures. A Gideons Bible was on top of the bedside unit  I was able to run my finger along it a leave a trace. In the wardrobes, there were plastic bags and other items obviously having been discarded by previous guests. Under the bed there were crumbs, and empty biscuit packagings, whilst on the balcony there were empty cardboard coffee cups and discarded cocktails sticks. Not the standard that one expects from Celebrity, and being perfectly honest, this was the first time in over a dozen cruises that I have ever encountered a problem of this nature onboard any of the Celebrity fleet. Another most noticeable thing was in respect of the balcony. Owing to the design of deck 10, (the deck above ours)  an open deck - this deck extends well over the sides of the ship, thus preventing the sun nearly all of the time from actually reaching the balcony areas  not much use to those who want to spend time sunning themselves in the privacy of their own balcony. Incidentally, very few of the balcony cabins on this ship have total privacy; most can be seen in one way or another from other decks/balconies. Beware too of cabins with connecting doors - This decreases the insulation levels thus noise travels and one can hear your neighbours conversation even if they chat in low voices  also if your neighbours are smokers  the smoke can magically make its way into the adjoining cabin. We spoke with the Steward who apologised and explained that on turnaround days things are hectic and he did not have the time to pay attention to the smaller details as indicated by myself. I queried if such an amount of dust could gather within 24 hours? In fairness to him, while at dinner, he did clean the areas identified, but others not mentioned remained untouched. We also had to request simple items, like, a do not disturb sign, note paper, laundry lists  things that should automatically be checked prior to any new occupation of staterooms. We then went to the show and our first dinner on board. Previously the entertainment offered on Celebrity ships was good but nothing to write home about. However on this cruise, the entertainment on board this cruise was excellent. There was something for everyone. Special mention must be afforded to The Celebrity Singers and Dancers, the Celebrity Orchestra and those who presented the Cirque du Soleil and the Master Ventriloquist whose performances and presentations were outstanding. Music provided by other groups/solo acts in the various lounges throughout the ships was acceptable  though more variation would have been welcomed  3 `strings` groups  a Harpist, a Guitarist and a String Quartet, is a wee bit of an over kill. On many of the evenings, life on the Summit appeared to die at around 10.30pm  we found too many pre-dinner shows for 2nd seating guests. Unlike other ships where something major is happening in each lounge offering guests a choice, this just did not happen on the Summit. The `featured` entertainment programme although excellent was indeed limited. Timing of events in particular was badly planned  the Chocoholics Buffet and the Hawaiian Fruit Deck buffet were scheduled for 10.15pm, a time when guests on second seating were still at dinner. The Entertainments Staff were highly visible throughout the ship. The Programme of events for the following day  Celebrity Today was delivered to the cabins each evening. This was informative, but unfortunately did not appear to be checked for omissions or errors. On Easter Day, the biggest day in the Christian Calendar, the notification of the time and location of the Catholic Mass was omitted  this caused many who missed this most holiest of celebrations a lot of personal distress. Omissions such as this and other minor matters gave an overall impression that there was a `lack of attention to detail` in many aspects on this cruise. Others being, that whilst the ship is spotlessly clean, `streak` marks could be clearly seen on glass, dark wood, and mirrored surfaces and especially on stainless steel surfaces in and around the elevators. Though when this was pointed out to staff, they indicated this was due to the materials being used to prevent gastro infections and these could not be wiped off for some 48 hours after application. Ashtrays remained un-emptied and litter bins the same. Clocks not advanced after time changes etc. Chairs are badly soiled and showing signs or wear and tear especially in the Rendez-Vous Lounge. Meals served from the main menu in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant, were again excellent  well presented, well prepared and expertly served by a most professional waiter and assistant waiter who quickly learned and always remembered our likes and dislikes. At each meal, they welcomed us with a smile and took a genuine interest as to how our day had been etc. However if one chose have as an alternative of steak, chicken or salmon for their main course, (these items are always available) - this was very much a hit and miss affair. On a number of occasions, we were unable to eat our steaks as they were either too tuff, fatty and/or tasteless. The Assistant Maitre d' for our sector in the dining room did visit the table each evening and gave a well-rehearsed spiel. If you did ask him a question about something not included in this spiel, or complained about the meal, this caused him complete confusion, panic and seemed to send him into a thither, which caused him to disappear from the main dining room floor until the next evening. There are a number of tables for two. Chairs throughout the restaurant do not have armrests. It amazes me that when booking a cruise, passengers are always asked as to what size of a table they wish to be seated at for dinner?  Why?  Very seldom does anyone take any notice of this. On this particular cruise this was plainly obvious with many guests playing musical chairs for the first week of the cruise. Other single guests found themselves alone at tables as other table companions who had asked for large tables, as had the single guests, demanded and were moved, but the solo guests request was like a cry in the wilderness. This was indeed bad restaurant management. Incidentally some guests had to ask if there was actually a Maitre d'Hotel/Restaurant Manager on board and in charge of the Dining Room. We never saw him on the ground floor level of the restaurant at any time, nor did he visit either our or any tables in our immediate vicinity throughout the cruise. One thing that really sticks out on the Summit, is the immaculate dress and turnout of all staff from the cleaners right through to the senior officers on board and the friendliness of all the staff. In saying that it was only on a very rare occasion that you saw any of the senior officers other than the Captain and Staff Captain around the ship. I endeavoured to arrange a meeting with the Hotel Director on at least two occasions to discuss, what I considered to be fairly important matters, but he declined to meet with me. So now for our first nights sleep on board. As previously mentioned, deck 10 is an open deck and each time anyone even walked or worse, ran along this deck, - boom  boom boom  the noise  when deck loungers were being moved early in the morning  most probably for cleaning purposes  the clatter and the bang that these movements made was unbelievable  them seemed to echo and probably with the stillness of the night the noise was magnified, but enough to keep us from sleeping. The next morning, I mentioned this to the Concierge that I was unhappy with our cabin and outlined to her some of the difficulties to date. Later that afternoon, there was a message from the front desk offering us an alternative cabin on a lower deck. This cabin was far more suitable and much more quiet. Full marks to Celebrity. Periodically for the remainder of the cruise, Guest Relations checked to see that `everything was in order` and could they do anything in addition to assist in making our cruise more enjoyable. Unfortunately, we weather on the voyage out to Hawaii, was not kind to us. It was cold, wet and windy. There was noticeable movement throughout the ship and lots of empty places each evening in the Dining Room - this voyage did route us right across to Pacific Ocean One has to remember that The Summit is a flat bottomed boat and not a ship especially designed for oceanic crossings, thus increased movement can be expected. The weather did improve when we reached the islands, and on the return voyage. There is a vast wine list on board, with reasonable prices. Well-stocked bars and lounges are dotted throughout the ship. A Vodka and Coco-cola was $6.33 including gratuities, somewhat more expensive than on other cruise lines, especially British Ships, but in saying that, you could really taste or should I say feel the alcohol in the drink. Throughout the cruise it was pleasing to note that none of the staff, either in the bars or the photographers were aggressive in their approach  unlike so many other ships. At each Port of Call, there were many organised tours, offered by the Shore Excursion Staff  these represented value for money, were good in content and operated on time. There are a number of alternative options for dining, from Room Service which is available 24 hours a day, to the more casual Waterfall Cafe, A Hamburger Station, Pizza, Pasta and Salad Bar, a Sushi Cafe and of course the Aqua Spa Cafe for healthy choice all day dining. Each of these serveries offered the same type of fayre to be found on other cruise ships of similar ratings. The one main noticeable difference between other lines and Celebrity is that there is an abundance of staff available to assist in the carrying of trays to seating areas not only on the Summit, but also on all Celebrity Ships. The operation of the Waterfall Cafe is well executed, however food each day became repetitive and after a time all began to taste the same. The selection of fruit on this cruise was disappointing, just the basic melons, pineapples, grapes and oranges as core fruits. These on the whole were not ripe and were tasteless. Bring back the days when guests were offered as the norm, papaya, mango, kiwi fruit and the like. There seemed to be great use of canned and frozen fruits. The selection of breads and cheese was reasonable. However to make up for these `weaknesses` the range of deserts available was outstanding. For that Special Occasion  the Normandie Restaurant for A La Carte Dining is open each evening, a cover service of USD$30.00 per person is added to each guests account who visit this restaurant. We did not eat in the Normandie, but reports from those who did were encouraging. There is no 24-hour dining in any of the restaurants on board, though coffee, tea and juices are available 24 hours a day from the Waterfall Cafe. There are no Midnight Buffets, but waiters roaming the various lounges each evening serving `Gourmet Bites` On a ship of this size, there is the usual range of facilities available  an Aqua Spa, a Casino, Childrens Facilities, Shops, an Acupuncture at Sea Clinic, an Art Gallery and an Internet Cafe and Computer Centre. Though do be aware that Internet access is charged at $0.75. Per minute  though packages can be bought to reduce this cost down to about $0.50. Per minute - not cheap at all. Being an inquisitive sort of a guy, having learned about Concierge Class, curiosity got the better of me and I just had to find out what extras, other than space, you received if you booked a Suite on a Celebrity ship  hereunder are the amenities provided for suite guests Welcome Champagne. Butler Assistance with packing and unpacking. Platinum Cards. Personalised stationary and cards. Butler Service. Dining room seating preference. Fresh fruit each day. Fresh Flowers (1) for Penthouse suite only. CanapEs at 5.00pm or 7.00pm each day  according to dining seating. Complimentary cappuccino and espresso, only inside the suite. Complimentary use of bathrobes. Celebrity Suite tote bag. Delivery of requested board games, videos, CDs from your Butler. Full breakfast, lunch and dinner service in suite. In suite afternoon tea, coffee with cookies and cake service at 4.00pm. Newspaper delivery. Opportunity to book in suite massage for $149.00 plus 10% tip. Priority embarkation and disembarkation. Express Luggage delivery. Private Portrait sitting  not complimentary. Priority tendering tickets. Shoeshine service from your Butler. 100% cotton oversized towels. As can be seen, there are not too many differences between Concierge Class and Suite Class, other than the size of stateroom and the price. I also understand the in-suite breakfast menu in Concierge Class has a wider choice than the breakfast menu offered to guests in suites. One thing missing though in both Concierge and Suite Class is that guests are not provided with slippers. On other 5* lines, even guests in the cheapest of cabins are provided with these. Also guests who I spoke with who were occupying suites which were equipped with baths, indicated that bath oils or some type of water softener to be added to the water would have been welcome. Celebrity Cruises, like most other cruise lines offer a loyalty club. With Celebrity its called The Captains Club. There are three levels  Classic (1  5 cruises)  Select (6 10 cruises) and Elite (11+ cruises). Even as `elite` members, we were not offered all of the benefits that we were entitled to. When we enquired as to why these were not offered, we were rudely advised by the Hostess - `subject to availability`. The benefits at all levels are basic compared to other programmes offered by other cruise lines. This is an area, which needs to be seriously looked at and revaluated. Like most other people in this age of increased competition, natural instincts direct most of us to go where we get the best value for our money and currently with Celebrity, this is one of their weakest areas of operation. If people thought that embarkation arrangements were bad, disembarkation was a total fiasco. Unorganized, chaotic and lack of any officer to make decisions or to take command and control of the situation. It did not help that the ship was late arriving in Los Angeles. 1950 passengers had to pass through US Immigration  all queuing at the same time thus resulting in snake like lines all around deck 4. Then a short time after the Immigration Inspection commenced, Celebrity announced the commencement of disembarkation whilst many of the guests being called to disembark still hadnt passed through Immigration. Utter confusion reigned and not an officer in sight to take charge or make decisions. This was the worst disembarkation at any port in all of my cruising career. Having sailed with Celebrity many times, some areas of this cruise caused disappointment but not to such an extent to ruin the overall cruise experience. Once in a while someone is disappointed and on this occasion it was us. The weaknesses identified are not typical of the usually excellent Celebrity standards and product. Knowing Celebrity management and their policies to provide excellence in all aspects of cruising for guests, appropriate action will no doubt be taken to avoid repetition. In summary, a reasonably good cruise experience but lacking in attention to detail in some areas. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
My wife and I sailed on Summit from LA on 12 Feb for the eastbound trip to Ft Lauderdale through the Panama Canal. We have cruised on 10 occasions with three cruise lines; Celebrity, Carnival and RCCL. We had an outside view stateroom on ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on Summit from LA on 12 Feb for the eastbound trip to Ft Lauderdale through the Panama Canal. We have cruised on 10 occasions with three cruise lines; Celebrity, Carnival and RCCL. We had an outside view stateroom on the Continental deck. Embarkation: There was a long lineup at the pier but it moved quickly and we were aboard the ship about a half hour after arrival at San Pedro. Documentation etc was done quickly and in a friendly manner. We have had faster boarding processing in San Diego and Vancouver but the system at San Pedro was certainly acceptable. Food. This was our fourth cruise with Celebrity and the quality of food has remained excellent over the years. The Waiter and his Assistant (an Indian and Thai, respectively) assigned to our table were the most efficient, polite and capable that we have ever had. Their memories for "the little things" and their good humor were very much appreciated. Stateroom. Although the stateroom was well laid out with ample storage and met our needs, the daily maintenance of the room was not satisfactory. Our stateroom attendant (a Filipino female) was consistent in her absence and made no effort to introduce herself or request if we had any special needs. The bathroom glasses had the same lipstick stains for four consecutive days. The beds were poorly made with badly wrinkled sheets and blankets. A disappointment to be sure. Staff. The multi-national staff on this ship were outstanding with the exception of the Stateroom Attendant. Waiting staff in the lounges, cafeterias, theatre and other areas were friendly and helpful in every respect. Facilities. The lounge on the eleventh deck that was once called "Revelations" before being changed to accommodate Cirque de Soleile has a decor that can only be described as gawd-awful ugly. With the demise of the Cirque we certainly hope the old decor is restored. The most popular lounge on the ship, Rondez-vous, was comfortable and relaxed in spite of furniture that looked to be a day or two removed from a rummage sale. The chairs were worn, torn and tattered and seemed to be screaming for replacement or rejuvenation. When we arrived in Ft Lauderdale we were told by a staff member that the ship had not been in that port (with the Head Office in nearby Miami) for about 9 months and an inspection was scheduled to take place shortly after our arrival. Hopefully, the discrepancies noted above will be seen and rectified at the soonest possible opportunity. Ports. Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Huatulco, Cristobal and Oranjestad were just fine and the only disappointment was Puntarenas which had all the charm and dignity of a garbage dump. Costa Rica touts itself as an environmental paradise but Puntarenas screams otherwise. Trash was everywhere with bins overflowing. Plastic bottles, cups and bags were strewn from one end of the town to the other including the beach area and greatly detracted from what could otherwise be a beautiful town. Disembarkation. We can't comment on this matter as we were scheduled for a shore tour to the everglades and our departure from the ship was arranged to meet the tour schedule. Summary. We were on Summit for 14 days which gave us plenty of time to find things to whine about but despite those anomalies mentioned above we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and believe we received good value for our money. Any complaints we have can be easily rectified and we expect the appropriate action will be taken. Celebrity certainly remains as our "preferred" cruise line and we will have no hesitation in selecting Celebrity for our next cruise with all things being equal with other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
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
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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