319 Celebrity Summit Cruise Reviews

Sail Date February 2004
Our first cruise: Celebrity Summit. I had contacted Celebrity with concerns and as of Oct '04 (five months later) have not heard back from them. Poor customer service! First, we paid for the Concierge Class, not just for the ... Read More
Our first cruise: Celebrity Summit. I had contacted Celebrity with concerns and as of Oct '04 (five months later) have not heard back from them. Poor customer service! First, we paid for the Concierge Class, not just for the balcony, but for the service. It was our stateroom attendant's first cruise and he was clueless. I spent my own vacation time trying to educate him that champagne should not be left on the small table for three days after being opened. He would not remove it. As far as room service goes, I had looked forward to picking up the phone and getting shrimp cocktails in the afternoon. Three out of four times I called, I was told that shrimp was being offered at dinner and that it would not be available for us in the afternoon? Then why print it on the menu? Canapes that were left in the rooms were room temperature, not a good thing for caviar and cream cheese. Who knows how long they had been warm? There were dark stains on the room carpet. We had to repeatedly ask for our promised assortment of pillows to choose from. Flowers in a vase were wilted when we came on board and were probably not changed for the next occupants when they arrived. Our toilet seat had peeling paint and was not repaired or replaced. I would never recommend the highly touted Concierge Class to anyone. Get a room with a balcony on the deck below,it would be a much better value. We had dinner in the Normandie, the highlight of the cruise ship. Simon was the cruise director and lived up to his reputation of being entertaining. Belize: took a wonderful bus tour to Xunantunich Mayan ruins, arranged by the cruise line. The tour guide was a former school teacher and kept the wanderers in line and was very informative. It was a long ride, several hours there, lunch at a local motel restaurant, and the long ride back. The local Belizians do not have indoor plumbing, and I was astonished to find clean, flushing toilets at the entrance to the ruins. The long climb uphill is steep, temp hot and the humidity high; need to be healthy to do this trip. There were local citizens, positioned in small covered stalls near the river raft after we came down from the ruins, selling hand made goods that were the best quality we saw in Belize. They were clean and sweet: glad to do business with them. We purchased hand carved small replicas of the exposed Xunantunich ruins, dated and signed on the back by the artist. Roatan, Honduras: We did not take an organized tour here. Rather, we disembarked and walked on a muddy road to the cameo shop proclaimed to be wonderful by the cruise "shopping director." First, we were flanked by two children who were not in school at that time, and knew we were being eyed by adults, gave us a very uneasy feeling. We walked in the middle of the road, walked very fast, protected our pockets, tipped the children when we arrived at the cameo shop, and were relieved to be there without our throats being slit. We have traveled the world and not felt this unsafe anywhere else. The cameo shop was not even interested in talking to and doing business with the few of us who had checked them out. We met up with some strangers who also felt threatened, and collectively hailed a cab to take us back to the tenders. We had the cab driver take us down through the main street of Roatan where we witnessed a drunken man beating a large, bloody pig in front of a house, a dog strangled with thin wire and left to die on the sidewalk, and the stench of raw sewage. It was a horrible experience. Some of our dinner companions had prearranged tours for the opposite side of the island and had a good day. We would certainly say this: ignore what the cruise "shopping director" tells you is a good place to check out, and do not go anywhere in Roatan unless you are with a tour guide of good repute. As for Celebrity, we went to the Concierge Desk and reported our experience. So did a handful of other cruisers when we were at the desk. Sill have never heard one word about it back from Celebrity. We actually felt that the shopping recommendation put us in mortal danger. Aqua Spa: Okay, but I can get a better massage at the local gym. The Aqua Spa Cafe was excellent, perhaps the best every-day dining spot on the ship. Beautifully presented fresh fruit and salmon, salmon, and more salmon. Public areas were clean, expect for the last two days when the crew seemed excited about leaving the ship for their time off. Towards the end things got smudgy. As far as the ship's shops are concerned: the jewelry shop manager was overheard complaining he was not being paid in a timely manner by management... the merchandise in all the shops seemed fingered and not fresh. Was not refreshed or rotated. Would I do another cruise with Celebrity? No. Would I do another cruise with a different cruise line? Yes. This probably seems harsh, but we have stayed at five star hotels, and the Summit's Concierge Class seemed more like a worn Ramada Inn. And where is the Customer Service piece of this cruise line? Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
This was our 6th cruise - our first with Celebrity. Our others have been Festival Mistral, Royal Caribbean Voyager and Explorer, Norwegian Star and Costa Atlantica. Our experience didn't start off too well, when we discovered ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise - our first with Celebrity. Our others have been Festival Mistral, Royal Caribbean Voyager and Explorer, Norwegian Star and Costa Atlantica. Our experience didn't start off too well, when we discovered Celebrity had booked my wife and myself onto our American Airlines, Heathrow-Miami flight, in a group of 6 (with 4 others). This meant we were allocated seats in the middle block of 5 and would have had restrictions had we not found the Celebrity agent to complain. I am 6'4" tall so really needed an aisle seat. We arrived at Miami to find the baggage reclaim belt had broken, which changed our very quick 10 minute immigration passage into an inconvenient 1hr+ wait. This was obviously not the fault of Celebrity, but did cause frustration. The transfer bus took us to our hotel - the Sheraton at Ft Lauderdale airport (unfortunately, not the ones at the beach which would have been much better). The reception staff gave us a copied sheet with details of our ship transfer for the following morning. Although the sheet was headed Royal Caribbean and not Celebrity, we were assured it was the correct sheet. It stated to meet at 11am for the transfer bus. We left our bags in our room and took a taxi which dropped us at Los Olas, an area we enjoyed for the evening. If you are staying pre/post cruise in Ft. Laud, we can recommend walking the length of Los Olas Boulevard. On embarkation morning, we went to the lobby area at the appointed time of 11am and sat with the other cruise guest (around 150 others). What we didn't know - and what nobody told us - was that we should have registered with the Celebrity staff on duty, in order to be allocated a bus (there were 6 buses). We also didn't need to be at the meeting point until 12 noon. As none of this had been explained, we were allocated the last bus. We then had to wait nearly 3 hours for our bus to arrive. This time could have been better spent exploring the Ft Lauderdale area for the morning rather than having to sit in the hotel lobby. We were very disappointed with the handling of the transfers. Once we arrived at the ship, things went very smoothly - we were onboard in around 20 minutes. This would have been even quicker had people completed the various forms before arriving at the desk!, but we could hardly complain at 20 minutes as we have waited over an hour with some previous cruises. We then boarded the ship and a staff member "escorted" us to our cabin - except that he couldn't read our stateroom number and didn't know the way. When we got to our cabin (8094) we were pleasantly surprised that it was larger than the normal balcony cabins we've experienced before. However, there was a connecting door to the adjoining cabin, which had coloured tape around all of the gaps (apparently to cut down on the noise of the TVs between the two cabins). The toilet seat was also very badly worn. These were not going to ruin our cruise experience but were not expected in a ship of this class. We enjoyed the ship for the afternoon and then got ready for dinner (late sitting at 8:30pm). We had requested to be seated at a large table of 10, but were allocated a table for 2 (420). This table was situated next to the serving area and was in the main run of the waiters. We spent most of the evening expecting a plate to come crashing down on our heads from the busy waiting staff running past - this table was in a very noisy area. We decided to speak with the maitre to enquire about being moved. The food was of very good quality, excellently presented - although limited in choice, with not that much variety thrum the cruise. We had pre-booked our excursions before we left the UK. Unfortunately, of the six tours we booked, two were cancelled and one (St Kitts Railway) ended prematurely due to a breakdown. We had read of a previous problem with the St Kitts Scenic Railway (aka The Sugar Train), but had booked already so continued with the tour. Unfortunately, we soon discovered why the train is called the Sugar Train - if it rains and you have to sit in the downstairs carriage, all you will see is sugar cane! The train was painfully slow as it had trouble gripping the tracks, until it finally broke down with engine trouble. We cant complain too much as we had got three-quarters of the way and were immediately informed that a full refund was being given. Alas, the guests waiting for the 12:30 tour had already boarded buses and were sat at the station before being informed their tour was cancelled - this was a wasted day for them. Our other cancelled tours were Grenada Flight-seeing (mechanical trouble) and Ft Lauderdale Highlights (poor sales). We questioned why the Ft Lauderdale tour had been cancelled (due to poor sales) with 4 days of the cruise still to go - we spoke to many people who were yet to think about final day excursions and would possibly have booked. We can't accept that tours needed to be finalized so quickly. As we had done the Everglades Tour (which was the only other option) several times previously, we didn't want to do it again. We asked the Concierge desk to try to source any alternatives for us. They suggested that as we had a hotel transfer and day room booked at the Miami Hilton, they would forward our bags so that we could enjoy our day in Ft. Lauderdale without the hassle of carrying bags. This was a good idea, so we spent some time in the internet cafe locating things to do in Ft Lauderdale - this cost $15 in internet fees. Unfortunately, when we approached Guest Services on our final day, they informed us that we had to physically go with our bags to the hotel - this totally ruined our plans again! Regarding the cruise in general :- We found that despite 20% of the guests being British, it was still very much a US-focussed cruise (quizzes etc on US TV shows and personalities etc). The age range was definitely much higher than previous cruises we've enjoyed. I would say the average being 55+. The entertainment was generally good - the production shows were excellent and SoulD Out were fantastic. Some of the others were definitely aimed at the target audience of oldies. The food was good in the main restaurant, although a little limited in choice over the cruise. The buffets were much better although something should be done to extend the lunchtime from 2:30pm to 3:00pm or so. Bars were OK, but the staff were a little slow to spot customers at times and the ship ran out of draft beers on the last day. In-cabin air conditioning - this was very noisy. Our final complaint of the ship was the smell. At several times during the cruise the front part of the ship (especially around Revelations and the Theatre) smelled of what can only be described as sewage. Would we cruise with Celebrity again - No. Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
Well, it was an interesting cruise. Some background: * We were brave and travelled with our 9 month old son. * Our son caught a cold on the way down. We all ended up sick on the cruise. * We were with my in-laws. In light of all of that, ... Read More
Well, it was an interesting cruise. Some background: * We were brave and travelled with our 9 month old son. * Our son caught a cold on the way down. We all ended up sick on the cruise. * We were with my in-laws. In light of all of that, we had a good time. To borrow from Clint Eastwood, I'll talk about the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The Good: * We got the Family Suite, which was very nice from a space standpoint. * Our cabin attendants were great and very efficient. They worked around our son's nap schedule very nicely. * The ship was very pretty. The gym never crowded (however, judging by the condition of most of the passengers, it's easy to why). * Our son had a wonderful time. He was the only one under 1 year old, so he was adopted by all of the grandparents and female crew members. * The service staff went WAY out of their way to try to accommodate his meal requirements. They were very patient with the mess he made (we tried to minimize it but it still looked like an explosion in the grocery store). * The Panama Canal tour where you sail through the locks is well worth the $150 per person. You got to see the rain forest and really appreciate how much you have by seeing the poverty of the interior. * Aruba is always nice. We really liked Curacao as well. Cozumel was OK but not great. * They offer casual dining on the 10th deck. We ended up doing that because it was the easiest way we could get dinner with our son. The staff was great but the food was just OK. * We all caught colds. We had to take our son to the ship's doctor. They were all very nice and they didn't kill us on the price (we have to file for our insurance). * They offer portraits in the photo area. No sitting fee and buy only what you want. Very nice! Also, they don't bombard you with roving photographers. * Our in-laws were in the Sky Suite -- although it's not a suite. They had a butler but weren't quite sure what to do with him. The butler service includes canapes and apertiffs (sp?). They said they'll get Concierge Class next time -- the Sky Suite wasn't worth the money. The Bad: * I wish the 10th floor dining area opened a little earlier (ie, 5 or 5:30) and served a buffet. The only options you had were a la carte or sit down. None of them started before 6 p.m.. * Despite what the reservation line tells you, children under 3 are not allowed or cared for in the Fun Factory. Very disappointing to find out when we boarded. * The ventilation system processes air from the bow to stern. So, if somebody is smoking up the hall from you, you're going to smell some smoke. Ugh. * The back of the boat (which is where we were) really sways with the motion of the ocean. If you get sea sick easily, watch out. * Our room was very worn. The carpet had stains. The sink showed marks where cigarettes had burned into the marble. The air was stale (see above). We heard that the ship was going into dry dock for an overhaul in Jan 05 -- which it needs. * I thought the Promenade staff was hit or miss. One person was nice but many weren't. Don't buy T-shirts on the pool deck. If you have to return one it's a real pain. They aren't very accommodating. * Regarding kids, they were there but Celebrity is not geared toward children. Yes, they have the Fun Factory but the kids always looked bored. I suggest to anybody that they don't cruise with children under 3 years of age. Next time, we'll look at Disney or Royal Caribbean -- lines that have more for kids. The Ugly: * I was really looking forward to Costa Rica. We planned to walk around town and check everything out. Once we left the port area, we were swarmed by people wanting us to hire them for cab rides or tours. We couldn't shake them (they literally followed us) so we ended up heading back to the boat. Very disappointing. * Some of the sites (read: people) around the pool. Some modesty would have been really appreciated. There should be a weight limit for those who want to wear string bikinis/Speedos. * Unfortunately, tendering was required in Key West. With 5 foot swells, we didn't go. Many passengers reported that they waited 45 minutes just to get on the boat (coming and going). Once on, the swells made many of them sea sick. * I used to be able to get cash against my ship account on Celebrity. They now send you to the casino (where they charge you a percentage on how much you get) or to an ATM machine which charges you a flat rate. I don't think I should be charged for the privilege of giving Celebrity money. * Disembarking the ship was insane. They dump everybody off at the terminal, everybody has to scramble for their bags, and you have the scramble to get a cab (please remember that many of the passengers are older and all of this is physically demanding). Then, Ft. Lauderdale airport was just as bad with a REALLY long wait to get through the security check. Conclusion: The ship was very nice and the service was good. The food was a little bland but OK. However, I don't think we'll cruise Celebrity again. I don't think it was their fault per se -- we just need to find a cruise line that is more kid friendly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
My wife and I joined the Celebrity Cruise 7 night cruise/4 night land Tour Southbound commencing 29th August, 2005. Unfortunately my baggage was lost for 4 days so it didn't start well. We can only say we were extremely disappointed ... Read More
My wife and I joined the Celebrity Cruise 7 night cruise/4 night land Tour Southbound commencing 29th August, 2005. Unfortunately my baggage was lost for 4 days so it didn't start well. We can only say we were extremely disappointed by Celebrity's Land Start. The day trip to Denali (THE PARK WAS FANTASTIC) was to say the least terrible. The bus was an old school bus and we were on it for 8 hours, with only 4 rest stops for about 10-15 minutes each - no air conditioning, toilets or facilities. LUNCH (AND I USE THAT WORD LOOSELY) was a disgraceful cardboard lunch box that only one person ate (and was then sick in the afternoon), we were supposed to eat on the bus as we drove. We did see a few animals. We renamed our selves "DLB" Denali Lunch Box Group. The White Water Rafting trip was cold but great as was the dog sled homestead tour. On the second day we then commenced our trip back towards Seward by Coach, again, another lunch box, but at least a better quality and we stopped by the side of the road at a war veterans memorial and just found somewhere to sit to eat. RATE THIS LAND CONTENT OF THE TRIP: 1 OUT OF 5. We would not recommend this to anyone and our Tour director (Chrystal) treated us like children throughout the trip. We then headed back off to Seward, the train trip was really enjoyable, especially after the coach. The booking in at the ship left a lot to be desired, after boarding we were just handed over to a crew lady (who could speak very little English and told to follow her to our room - no welcome or smile or anything - who then guided us to our room and then just left us. On the first day we sent my brand new suit to be pressed as it was crushed from all the travelling. Upon having it returned we discovered it had been pressed with too hot a press and was shiny and the pockets hadn't been straightened out and were showing on the pants - after 3 tries at pressing the pants they concluded that they couldn't fix them and from then on we were in a continual discussion with "Guest Relations" who really weren't that helpful and I had to keep chasing them - Bottom Line they told us to have our Travel Agent (in Australia) talk to Celebrity Cruise Head Office (in USA) about compensation. Still no resolution. Overall the food was plentiful and good quality but the service was very ordinary in most areas, except for Winston and Darwin at the aft bar who were excellent. We booked a couple of tours and one in particular we were looking forward to was the "Glacier View Kayaking" (don't bother) we were kayaking on a lake approximately 12 miles from the glacier - talk about false and misleading advertising. Another major issue was the automatic 15% gratuities added to all beverage purchases which we found extremely hard to justify when a majority of the waiters and bar persons couldn't understand our requests. The fellow passengers we met were the saving grace of the cruise as the majority all were complaining about similar issues. After travelling from Australia specifically to take Celebrity Cruises to see Alaska we were very disappointed and for the first time in our travelling lives completed a critical guest questionnaire and surprise/surprise have heard nothing back from Celebrity at this time. Would we travel Celebrity Again? Depends on the response of Celebrity as we have planned to go cruising to the Caribbean in 2006. But I really doubt that we would spend a lot of money for so little or no enjoyment with this cruise line who treated us like second class citizens. Read Less
Sail Date August 2005
The ship is very spacious and beautiful, if you discount the roaches in the buffet. Public areas are plentiful, if you like to drink. Cabins are fairly spacious, but no drawer space. Cabin attendant was outstanding and so was dining room ... Read More
The ship is very spacious and beautiful, if you discount the roaches in the buffet. Public areas are plentiful, if you like to drink. Cabins are fairly spacious, but no drawer space. Cabin attendant was outstanding and so was dining room waiter. That's the good stuff. The bad, this was a cruise over the Christmas/Chanukah/New Year holiday and there were over 600 children on board, about 2/3 were teens who had too much energy for senior citizens and more importantly, for their parents, who either didn't care or didn't care. Food was just food, nothing outstanding. The chefs suggestions were the worst, with much of it almost sickening. Deserts were just that, and we had ice cream most nights (vanilla, since chocolate was not available, except on special occasions?) Service in the buffet was spotty. Often they left tables dirty for an hour or more, and they never came around for a coffee refill until the last two days, (prior to the gratuity time). The pasta station was weak and we had to complain about the sandwich makers, who seemed to feel that a spread of tuna or egg salad made a sandwich. Breakfast and lunch in the dining room was uninspired and listless. The production shows were good, and so was most of the talent, (ie: singers and pianist and jazz violinist). The magician and juggler were third rate. The Circus de Soule was very weak, not at all like the Las Vegas shows. We would have a hard time returning to this line, and never, never, never on a holiday cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
Let me say first this was the only celebrity cruise we have been on and have only cruised once before with Royal Caribbean. We booked this 9 months in advance and got a very good deal. There were four of us 2 adults(early 30's) and 2 ... Read More
Let me say first this was the only celebrity cruise we have been on and have only cruised once before with Royal Caribbean. We booked this 9 months in advance and got a very good deal. There were four of us 2 adults(early 30's) and 2 boys (6,13) in an inside cabin (9159). I will try to be as unbiased as possible. Embarkation: Disaster! We stayed the night at the Best Western Sunrise ($100) that has a free shuttle to the pier. We were informed that there were problems so we could not board until 1:00pm. We got to the pier around that time but it was total mayhem. Thousands of people standing around not knowing what to do or where to go. The gangway was broken and the X-ray machine was broken so there was a huge delay with the people getting off and we could not get on. We sat in the cold and rain for over 4 hours with two children. I saw NO ONE from Celebrity to even help at all. This was very poor service on their part. Everyone has very angry. There were lines that went no where, people just wondering what to do. They dropped the ball on this one. They may not have caused the problems but they handled in the worst way. First four days at sea: The boat is GORGEOUS! It is very elegant but understated. It is a little confusing at first but in no time you figure everything out. Our cabin was inside on the skydeck (9). There is some noise from the restaurant and deck above so bring earplugs. There is also a sewage smell every once in a while but I don't know if that was around all the boat. I only smelled it on our deck. The cabin was small but fine but we were crowded with 4 people (our choice). Our cabin steward was great (Jose). I could not ask for anything better in this arena. He was efficient and quick as we rarely ever saw him. The sea was rough for the first couple of days so a lot of people were sick, myself included. The meclezine cleared it up for me. The activities on board were in one word BORING. They have a commercial you watch were it says that Bingo is the official sport of Celebrity, they mean it! There is lots of bridge playing (Bridge?)I don't even know anyone who plays. They had financial lectures (yawn), computer classes (interesting, but this is my vacation!),oceanographer series, and a "Hawaiian ambassador" (he was nice). I did the trivia, which was fun but the questions were strange and very age based. I played Bingo (because there was nothing else to do), the Newlywed game was very fun but just one night. The kids program was great for my six year old. He spent every minute there and had a blast. My teenager had a hard time finding the other teens as they did not so a lot to bring the older kids together but they eventually found each other so then there was a small pack of teens hanging out. After that we never saw him at all. The ports: Hilo: I highly recommend renting a car (Thrifty) and seeing things yourself. The ship's excursion is about $100 per person and they went to the same places we did but we spent just $35 for the car and they pick you up at the pier. We ate at a place called the coconut grill that was yummy ($50). The macadamia nut factory is on the way to Volcanoes Natl. Park so you can make a very easy trip of it. Kauai: My favorite, we should have rented a car. We went to the Fern Grotto and did the river cruise $60 for the fours of us, I really enjoyed this, it is truly beautiful. Taxis are hard to come by but there is a shuttle to and from the Coconut Grove Marketplace from the pier. Rent a car! Also if you arrange your tour from the pier or throughout the little freebee magazine. You can get a helicopter tour for half what the boat charges. Honolulu: Yuck is this LA? We rented a car ($35) and did the Arizona which was nice but not as moving as I had hoped. We got there about 9:30 and got tickets for 10:45am, not too bad. The film was great but the museum was so crowded you could hardly even look at anything. We skipped the Mighty Mo and the Bowfin (which I wish we would have done). We went to the Dole Plantation, skip it! The cost to go on the train ($30)was ridiculous and boring. We did the Paradise Cove Luau, Which was a lot like a Vegas night club act. I am glad we saw one but I don't ever need to see another. The food was so-so. We had the Entertainment book coupon which saved us $100. Kona: The only port that was tendered and we had a super short day there 8-3. Considering how long it took you get off the boat, you really only had about four hours to spend. The boys went parasailing with UFO parasail (BOGO w/entertainment book) which was great! The weather was the best in Kona at about 85F and sunny. I snorkeled right off the pier which surprisingly had a lot of fish and things. You can take a free shuttle to the better snorkeling beach as well. Kona was very nice and not too touristy like Honolulu. The last days at sea: We watched Cirque du Soliel and it was good. The shows were good as well but the movies, could they get any older? As I was desperate for activities we went to all of them. I enjoyed the library and the spa. I wish they would have had a laundry mat so we could have packed less. We lost quite a bit in the Casino but there was not a whole lot to do so we spent a lot of time there. The seas was great on the way home but not a lot of sun on the whole trip. The Normandie: We ate there and it was so worth the extra $60 The food was very good but there is not evening buffet which really limits your choices. The casual evening restaurant was lousy. The pasta bar is great but my kids only ate hamburgers by the pool side. The sushi bar was good and the pizza OK. The service of the wait staff is impecible (Kumar/Julian). I will cruise again but not with this company. This is tailored for the over sixty crowd. I didn't mind being in the minority but I would have begged for some fun things to do. Our last cruise had midnight buffets with conga lines and great bands and lots of fun. This had Bingo and bridge and lectures. The whole ship was in bed by 10:30. I was hoping for a little more rounded experience of luxury and partying. I hope I have been fair. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
In March of 2006 we left LA to cruise to Hawaii on the Celebrity Summit. We are seasoned cruisers and heard a lot about Celebrity. So we tried it. The cabin was like most ships and the service was good. The people friendly and did their ... Read More
In March of 2006 we left LA to cruise to Hawaii on the Celebrity Summit. We are seasoned cruisers and heard a lot about Celebrity. So we tried it. The cabin was like most ships and the service was good. The people friendly and did their jobs well. The food was not great. Dinner the selection was fair, they could not even make onion soup. Breakfast was average and more could have been offered. Lunch buffet was not great. You felt like you were eating leftovers, the selection was poor, the food tasteless, and there were fruit flies flying around. The sandwich bar couldn't make a sandwich. They had some specialty lunches, again unappealing and tasteless. We did a carnival Mexican last year at the urging of our agent and the food was by far so much better. Hard to believe. The pools you couldn't get into for the 2 weeks they were so cold. The hot tubs weren't hot, and it is hard to get 2000 people into 1 indoor pool where no one under 18 is allowed. For the most part the entertainment was good. As usual the Casino is in the middle of the floor and for those with breathing problem you had to go to dinner either by the floor above or the floor below. Smoking in all the lounges made sitting around and talking or listening to entertainment very uncomfortable. DO NOT rent a car from the ship by Hertz. They were just awful or didn't show at all and we had to use alternate rental agencies. The port calls were not planned well and because of bad weather previous to our stay, they should have made alternate plans. They knew what was going on in these ports and could change as other cruise lines do, they had plenty of warning. Then on the best island of Maui they told us if we were not on a tour we couldn't get off until 10- 10:30 and had to be back by 2. We just got off at 8 AM., but we knew they couldn't stop us, but for others is was not a good stop. They took us to ports where you could do nothing but shop, you couldn't rent a car, all excursions were cancelled and you couldn't go swimming because of polluted water. We went to the Polynesian Cultural Center where we expected to spend the day. Left at 9 AM stopped at a lookout point, at the bus drivers friend's store. Got to the center at noon had lunch and ended up with 2 1/2 hours of the center that needed at least 6. The bus driver had to stall time going. We had to leave at 3 and then stopped at a beach and the Dole factory and back at the boat at 5:30. This was an expensive trip. Go on your own and rent a car and spend the evening there which is a much better take. The buses do not have lifts and it made it difficult for people with special needs and also took a great deal of time boarding. The art auctioneer was very boring and long winded. Sitting through it was torcher. The crew did everything possible to make our stay pleasant but they were not responsible for the problems. They took us to 5 ports in 5 days, not well planned. There were a lot of complaints from other people on board. Unless you do not care to get off the ship and really see the island I would not recommend this kind of a cruise. Try to plan one that gives you an overnight in a few ports, or go to an island like Maui a few days early and then a cruise and maybe stay on an island after the cruise. They now have inter island ferries. We have future cruises planned for Australia, Alaska and the Mediterranean, I can't say that I won't go on Celebrity again, but I will investigate my choices very carefully. Happy cruising. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
This was our 6th cruise. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean 4 times and we decided to cruise on the Parent company line, so we booked with Celebrity. What a disappointing experience this was. We did the online check in and express and ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean 4 times and we decided to cruise on the Parent company line, so we booked with Celebrity. What a disappointing experience this was. We did the online check in and express and we still waited outside in the sun for 2 hours. Our room was fine, but you can see the wear and tear on the couch, curtains, and spread. Our room steward was great, our room was always clean and everything we wanted was taken care of. Our Dinning experience was fine. Nothing special to write home about. Our wait personnel were great, there just was not the atmosphere we were accustom to on Royal. There were not special nights for dinner, no parade except on Baked Alaska night. Activities were not sufficient just a lot of lectures. The entertainment was adequate. No big entertainer as we were accustom on our other cruises. The public restroom were awful, cleanliness and adequate supplies were lacking. This was in all public areas not just main floors. The public areas show a lot of wear as well, stains on carpets and chairs. They ran out of coffee and we served instant. We had an excursion to Pearl Harbor and not enough time was given to see the museum and other outside exhibits before we were herded to our bus for a city tour. We will have to think long and hard before cruising with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
We stayed in cabin 2052 and were pleased with this basic outside class cabin. This ship has many rooms with balconies which are nice for this type of cruise. This was our first time with Celebrity and our third time cruising SE Alaska. ... Read More
We stayed in cabin 2052 and were pleased with this basic outside class cabin. This ship has many rooms with balconies which are nice for this type of cruise. This was our first time with Celebrity and our third time cruising SE Alaska. The ship had mechanical problems with the starboard stabilizer requiring the vessel to reduce maximum speed to 17 knots. We were informed of this fact after departing San Francisco on the fourth day at Sea. We were to skip Seattle and Sitka (which were important ports to us) and given $200 credit as fair compensation. Despite the media reporting 4 or 5 unsatisfied customers aboard, that number was much larger when you consider a packed theater meeting and daily public meetings in the foyer. Company representatives were sent to us in Ketchikan and we had an opportunity to express our unhappiness. The corporate staff was unconcerned about their reputation or repeat customers. They listened, but made no offer for reasonable compensation. We missed two ports and did not get close to Hubbard Glacier. We left prematurely due to icy water and another ship that was in the bay. If they had not changed the schedule, we might have gotten in during our allotted time. They missed the pilot to cruise the Inside Passage during the day so we sat at sea until 5 pm waiting for the next one. We cruised The Passage in the evening missing many scenic views. We came into San Francisco and Vancouver early (1 AM) docking where pier lighting and noises disturbed your rest on the starboard side of the ship. We spent more days at sea and where many activities are very costly. Drinks and activities were much higher than our past cruises. The attitude of the crew was very good but I grew tired of the cruise director and his lip service. I did not trust him after the fifth day. Embarking was okay but disembarking was frustrating. They have a smooth get off the ship that is favorable for the cruise line, but a real pain after you get to the airport. You will lug your bags around along time going through immigration, security, and customs. Bottom line on this cruise is: The cruise line is in control of the schedule and you are going to be subject to their best interest and schedules. Long itineraries are open to changes and you have no control. The food and service crew was exceptionally good. They took very good care of us during dining. The ship had many lounges and places to sit. Weather was clear and snow covered the mountains. Towns were crowed when you unload 4 ships in a port. Elevators worked well to move people about the ship. Room Service was fair. We enjoyed the cruise but will consider this experience on future vacations. People that were not there have no room to attack cruisers that went through this experience. People can chose to hear the truth or disregard it...We won't do it again with Celebrity or a long sailing. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
This was our second cruise and a cruise that we had been looking forward to, especially the shore excursions. We booked through an Internet company better than 60 days in advance but were told the only thing available was a Veranda ... Read More
This was our second cruise and a cruise that we had been looking forward to, especially the shore excursions. We booked through an Internet company better than 60 days in advance but were told the only thing available was a Veranda handicap room. We were told to be "happy" with this because they are larger than the regular Veranda room. I called Celebrity several times prior to sailing to ensure they wanted us to have this stateroom over another and to make arrangements for our anniversary celebration. We were told to keep that cabin and that the anniversary arrangements were in order. Onboard, there were disabled everywhere. I felt terrible keeping that cabin. Embarkation was mostly organized with the moving of a gangplank and numerous senior citizens taking their place in front of us. (This was an issue throughout the cruise, especially when it came to dining and viewing Hubbard Glacier. Seniors that I saw who could barely get around, became sharks during these two times.) My advice to anyone reading this is to thoroughly complete the online registration to streamline the embarkation process. I missed one step and it took several minutes longer thanks to the late arrival of a passport. Our cabin was clean and our luggage arrived piece by piece until time sail. It was at that time that we meet our cabin steward who was helpful at first, but strange. Over the next 7 days we often found him just outside our door, only to have him say, "Mr. ****, is there anything I can do for you"? The service was nice but then he twice walked in to our stateroom without announcing himself, both times we were undressed, both times just to drop off a brochure that he had days before slid under the door. In the bathroom we laid out our toiletries intending for them to remain in those places but they got moved under the sink, daily. The sink leaked into one of the shave kits ruining everything inside. We found the bed to be extremely uncomfortable. If you can afford a massage in the absolutely beautiful Spa, the metal cot with a 4 inch mattress won't matter. Our steward was gracious enough to bring another blanket but it just didn't make it better. When asked for additional hangers he returned with several horribly bent metal dry cleaning hangers that obviously belonged to his shipmates, not the cruise line hangers like I had requested. Every day he would place our change, tie clips and misc. items in our wine glasses.(???) Good thing we didn't need those in the room. Notes to the steward didn't help. He was just creepy, violating and didn't do his job. The food was great as was the service in the dining areas. We found it to be some of the best service anywhere in all service industries. Our waiters were entertaining and down to earth. They were part of the dinner party at our table every night and we truly looked forward to seeing them and seeing what the night would bring. The Waterfall Café had good food for on the spot eats, that is if you don't mind pizza and pasta. They could, however, use a change of menu throughout the week. They could also use a good floor, mirror, window and wall cleaning. Disembarkation day, it was nasty- almost too nasty to eat in there. The carpet and glass portholes were sticky and had the same food around the portholes that I'd seen days before. If you drink soda, get the 35.00 soda pass. It will get you unlimited sodas during the cruise. If not, sodas are costly. Be careful when approached by someone asking you if you want a drink in a fancy glass. Their slick sale and your excitement will cost you at least 10.00. You do get to keep the fancy glass. Shore excursions were a disappointment overall as far as price vs. value goes. The industry has the monopoly on port tours so it is tough to find activities to do on your own and fully catch the history and nature of the area. The gold panning is a blast and Mendenhall Glacier & Salmon Bake in Juneau is a must! Stay away from the Eagle Preserve Wildlife River Adventure Jetboat cruise in Skagway/Haines. This will cost you $173.00 each and you see nothing but a few eagles nests from a very long way away. Our boat broke down in the middle of the river after making everyone onboard, including the captain who had to be replaced, sick from gas fumes. Then they had to race around looking for birds finally getting us back to camp for a hurried hot dog and reckless bus ride back to the ship. In Sitka, the Russian and Raptor tour was the best tour we took for the money and the education of Alaska. Sea Otter & Wildlife Quest was also a fantastic tour for the price but be careful scheduling this and other whale watching tours. We saw several whales on this tour thanks to our superb captain but were scheduled to take another whale watching tour in Icy Strait Point the next day. (Cancelled due to gale force winds.) The Sea Otter tour more than satisfied our whale watching needs without needing another tour and should be considered by everyone seeing Sitka. Hubbard Glacier is remarkable but claim your viewing spot early and stay there. Some folks will do anything to see a chunk of ice thousands of years old. If you have a balcony cabin, stay there. You will get a premiere viewing without the pushing and shoving. The entertainment was geared towards the seniors. It's hard to sing Karaoke to 70's songs when you are sitting in a crowd of 70 and 80 yr olds. It is also hard to stomach a swing lounge band playing Grunge Metal at half beat, worse yet those same seniors are slow dancing to it. Kurt Cobain is rolling over in his grave. Yes, give the seniors a place to play. We want a place to play when we are seniors. But we ask for the same in return. Give us a 30-50 something's that like a beat a lounge and a band. We also don't play Bingo and Bridge. How about some ship board activities designed for us? The Cova Café is a Starbucks Pub on the high seas. No caffeine withdrawals here. They can make any coffee drink with or without alcohol and include a fresh Parisian pastry on the side. Of course, all of this comes at a price, a high price. Our happiest experience on this entire cruise would have to be with one staff member from the Security Dept. He greets everyone coming on and off the ship and only says, "Happy, Happy, Happy". He is known ship wide as Mr. Happy and even if you are having a bad port experience he is there to brighten up the day. The last item on this review is going to be Norovirus. Per Celebrity Reps. after our return, there were cases of Norovirus on our ship during our cruise. Midway through the cruise, PSA's started running explaining the virus and whenever we entered the ship we were watched and forced to use hand sanitizer. We had done this all along. Within 24 hours after returning home, both my husband and I became VERY ill with what we now know to be NOROVIRUS or Norwalk virus. Thankfully, we didn't get ill on the cruise but this is one heck of a stomach virus no matter where you are. Celebrity explained that unless greater than half of the ship gets ill it is not obligated to disclose it to others onboard, but that they would take our info and add it to theirs. Nice, and right now someone else is sleeping in that bed in that room. Disembarkation was a snap, done within 1 hour. We took the train to Anchorage. Eat before you get on the train as snacks are the only thing served. Your tour guide will keep you entertained for the entire 4 hour ride so keep your camera ready. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise, Norovirus, strange steward and being mid 40's in a mid 70's crowd. Your cruise is what you make of it and even though Celebrity forgot my anniversary altogether, we celebrated, saw great creatures and learned about one of the last pristine areas, Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date August 2006
This was our fifth cruise, and we have sailed with Carnival, Norwegian, Princess and this was our first Celebrity. Pros. Dining room service. The main and assistant waiter have only a few tables to supervise, so they have plenty of ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise, and we have sailed with Carnival, Norwegian, Princess and this was our first Celebrity. Pros. Dining room service. The main and assistant waiter have only a few tables to supervise, so they have plenty of time for each table and they do an excellent job. Our sommelier Stephan was fantastic and very knowledgeable. Once he knew what we like he did a great job with new recommendations, and even warned us against some of our choices (and he was always correct). Disembarkation. Celebrity has introduced a plan that allows you to check your baggage with certain airlines before leaving the ship, as well as receiving boarding passes for $15 per person. We received special tags for our luggage, and we simply left it outside our stateroom. We didn't have to bother with it until we arrived at our final destination, which made leaving the ship extremely easy. Room service food was good and generally on time. They also called 1 minute before they arrived at your door to wake you up and give you time to unlock the door. The library is well run. The casino added its first Texas hold em table. Cons. Dining room food. The general quality and finish of the food is about the same as other big lines, such as Princess. Nothing about the food is special enough to distinguish it from other cruise lines. Three food related items in the dining room became very tiresome. The first is their cheese plate. It consisted of a processed pepper cheese, a cold bree (that was only correctly served room temperature once), and a simple cheddar. This same trio never changed for two weeks, even on days when other nice cheeses happened to make it to the lunch buffet or were parts of other entrees. The second boring element was their bread baskets, which were identical for the full cruise. They consisted of a baguette, breadsticks, a soft rye slice and a country roll. They were prepared correctly, but this quartet of bread was unchanging for the entire two week cruise. Princess, Norwegian and Carnival all vary their breads daily. Breakfast. The third repetitive thing in the dining room is their limited and pedestrian breakfast menu, which is the same everyday. There is not even one special to make breakfast interesting. Finally, there was not a single souffle offered for the entire cruise. The dining room really shows its age, and needs a refurbishment. The chairs are threadbare and missing their darning buttons. Embarkation. The embarkation process is the worst we have ever experienced. It took hours and consisted of standing in line after line because there was insufficient staff at each point in the process. The final disappointment was standing in line for yet another 35 minutes just to board the ship so that each guest can be escorted to their room by someone from the ship. We would have preferred to get out of that line and find our own room. Shore excursions. We booked our shore excursions two months early on line, and had confirmation numbers. But on board, there was no record of our reservation, and the excursions were full. We started to make it clear they needed to fix the problem, and we were rudely questioned regarding how many times we had cruised, the implication being we were at fault. Before we erupted the supervisor came over and intervened. They eventually solved the problem, but they were unprofessional about the whole thing Logistics and Timing. The timing of most aboard ship events was poorly planned. Trivia and other games. They started at unusual times, and sometimes several overlapped. There was clearly no organization or planning about when events were to be held. Evening live music, such as the quartet, started at different times, and didn't correspond with seating in the main dining room. Late night music in the disco was mostly karaoke instead of dancing. The afternoon tea was held at 4 pm, just two hours before dinner. The hot tubs closed early, some at 6 pm and the remainder at 10 pm. Movie times. Movies were not shown in the afternoons, only in the evening. They generally started about 30 minutes before the shows in the main theater. Itinerary. The itinerary was generally good, especially a really long day in Maui, but two changes were made. The first is that that Kuwai was removed and instead we had two full days in Honolulu. The second is that from Kona to Hilo the captain chose to go north around the island so there would be better conditions for his gala party (which was stupid). Instead, he should have gone around the south side to see the lava (which we've done before, and thats fantastic). Bar service. Bar service was generally terrible. Most of the smaller bars had incompetent bar tenders that couldn't even make gin and tonic correctly. There were exceptions, such as the martini bar (but that only opens at 5 pm), and the one bar tender in the waterfall bar at the back of the ship, Binoy. There is no bar service on the upper decks around the pool area in the daytime, only during dinner hours. The lack of bar service was irritating, and the only way to get a drink was to wait in line at the bar. None of the bars offers peanuts or snacks, except those next to the dining room that open at 5 pm. Normandy specialty restaurant. The stemware was beautiful, and a nice change from the main dining room. The service wasn't as good as the main dining room, and the food was exactly the same. For example, we were seated near a corner, and the waiters would annoyingly squeeze behind our chairs instead of just reaching from the other side. The assistant waiter poured half a liter of water in our over sized water glass, which made it almost impossible to drink out of. The food was the same. For example, anywhere on the ship anything involving salmon comes as smoked lox, which is nice, but it might be described on paper in a different way. Our salmon tar-tar was in fact that same smoked lox with mayonnaise. (The steamed fresh salmon in the main dining room was also more of the same smoked lox). We would definitely avoid the Normandy in the future. The stateroom. The stateroom was the smallest we've had anywhere, but the shower was by far the largest shower. There are two problems with the room. The first is that there's no closet light (or closet hallway light), so to see into the closet one must turn all the room lights on full brightness. The second is that there's inadequate places to hang damp clothes, so we ended up draping them over the place, which was ugly. The main theater entertainment. This was fine if your like old show tunes. Only two nights out of two weeks was there a more interesting variety or comedy show offered. Read Less
Sail Date December 2006
Just got back from our first and, I fear, our last cruise to Alaska. Celebrity Summit, Concierge Class, one week, Northbound to Alaska, May 2007. Alaska impressed us beyond words. Celebrity did not. I'll admit right away that the ... Read More
Just got back from our first and, I fear, our last cruise to Alaska. Celebrity Summit, Concierge Class, one week, Northbound to Alaska, May 2007. Alaska impressed us beyond words. Celebrity did not. I'll admit right away that the vast majority of passengers had a wonderful time. I'll also admit that at a basic level, Celebrity does a very good job: the new, larger ships have a remarkably smooth ride (when they don't break down...we'd originally been scheduled for last year's cancelled Summit cruise to Alaska), even on high seas, the cabins are of good size, with ample storage and nice amenities, the balconies are worth the extra cost, the beds are comfortable, the food is both good (as has been stated before on the Cruise Critic Boards, we're talking high-class hotel catering good, not three-to-four star restaurant good...but I had no complaints here!) and plentiful, the gym was first rate, and most facilities and functions were clean and in working order throughout. But Celebrity sells itself as more than the basics. Celebrity is about the "experience," about the service and the attitude and feeling like your being taken care of (especially for a Concierge Class passenger). The service we "experienced" ranged from barely adequate to utterly thoughtless. And this put a serious crimp on what was supposed to be a special occasion. Our original room had placed us next to a suite on deck 8. Based on reports we heard through Cruise Critic, we became suspicious that this meant a smaller balcony. Celebrity assured our travel agent this was not the case, but we persisted and changed to another cabin. I've now got photographic proof that, in fact, those balconies ARE smaller. Our travel agent was MOST interested in the picture. Where I come from, we call this "not telling the truth." That pretty much set the tone from then on. It started with our air travel: the cruise air plan had us flying home at a bad hour, with multiple stops, for a trip that would have taken almost twelve hours. We were able to cancel this and book through our travel agent, which cut our travel time in half, gave us a full day in Anchorage, and ended up saving us $100 even after penalties. When we arrived at our hotel in Vancouver (by the way, Vancouver is an AMAZING city...you could easily spend a week there, and we'll post about it on the Boards), we were told that they couldn't give us the king bed we'd requested...this is a 600-room hotel, and we arrived at noon...yeah, right. They at least gave us a 30th-floor room. Embarkation was a complete fiasco. Concierge Class lists "expedited embarkation" as one of the perks...too bad the folks running the show didn't know which line was which, and held us up while they whisked the folks who HADN'T paid the extra $100 for their room through in record time. I finally accosted someone to find out what was going on, at which point they admitted the error. They were not the least bit apologetic; more like annoyed. And even then, they kept it up for a while before expediting properly. GREAT WAY to start your relaxing vacation. While the ship is clean and well maintained, anyone expecting luxury needs a dose of reality: this 1900-passenger ship is in constant use throughout the season, with a four-hour turnaround between cruises, and the wear and tear shows. Our cabin had stains on the carpet, wine stains on a robe, the bath mat was visibly frayed, the TV and telephone occasionally malfunctioned, there was litter in the corner of the balcony...and the room STANK of cleanser when we embarked (smelled like there'd been a fire in the room). It took two days to fully air it out. And let's also be realistic about the staff: most (even the staff members with several years' experience) speak only rudimentary English, which makes anything other than basic requests an exercise in repetition (our next-door neighbors locked themselves on their balcony the first day out, and it took me almost five minutes to explain to the cabin steward that they needed to be rescued). They are not particularly well trained (the sommelier was a joke). And they have an incredible amount of work to do, so while they were very good at responding to direct requests, we didn't have a single instance during the entire trip when someone actually took the initiative to ask us what we wanted, list options that were available to us, or offer a moment's time. A lot of people mention how, once they request something, it keeps happening for the rest of the trip. Well, yes, this does occur. But that's not service. Service is asking. I had coffee set up after dinner every night after the first evening. I don't WANT coffee every night. No one ever asked my wife if she wanted tea, which she often does. This is not great service. It's MINDLESS service. I'm not slagging the staff; they work very hard at a job that is strenuous, monotonous and often humiliating (would YOU want to spend four hours in a fuzzy dolphin costume hawking disembarkation picture, or sit in a men's room that no one visits offering men spritzes of aftershave?). I AM slagging Celebrity, which promises a level of service they don't deliver. Their prime directive is to serve Celebrity's needs, not yours. Concierge Class does offer some nice amenities (the towels are particularly good), but the cabin steward? Fuggedaboudit. We had one meeting during which we asked for the things that hadn't (and should have) been placed in the cabin, and that was the last we saw of him (beyond the hallway). So no, there were no extra tips on this trip. Which brings us to the other reality of cruising on Celebrity: relentless, relentless marketing to induce you to spend more money. EVERY conversation with a Celebrity employee seems directed at some additional expenditure which he/she just HAS to bring to your attention. This all led up to the intriguing spectacle of the Baked Alaska Parade (actually Neapolitan ice cream in a gooey meringue) on the last formal night, which was followed by a prolonged spiel from our waiter soliciting extra tips. Waiters actively soliciting tips? Tacky, tacky, tacky. Of course, this might explain why we got the vouchers for the two bottles of wine our travel agent sent us AFTER dinner on the third night. We bought a bottle on the second night. Wonder when we'd have gotten them if we hadn't. The one excursion we booked through the ship, a late trip on the White Pass Railway, almost left without a bunch of people. The trains have tracks that extend out near the ships, and the early trips left from there. Ours, it turns out, did not. We passed a knot of people, including a woman in a wheelchair, waiting at that spot. Being suspicious, we continued down the dock to the ship...which is where we were supposed to go. If we hadn't told the White Pass representative (no one from Celebrity was around) about the other people (she was very surprised), and gone back and told them, they all would have missed the trip. Also, the trip started way late, and since there was no one from Celebrity around, there was no way to verify whether or not the ship was going to leave without us. We ended up back on board two minutes before they pulled the gangplank. Fifth day, my wife opened one of her drawers before bedtime to discover that two plastic bags (one for Scott's bubble wrap and the other for Barnes and Noble) had been put IN the drawer during turndown. Kinda creepy, since WE didn't bring those bags into the room. We had requested a walkoff disembarkation (Celebrity has a press release claiming this is offered on all cruises). In response to an item in the daily schedule specifically telling us to verify with the Guest Relations Desk if we wanted to do this, we filled out a request....only to be told it wasn't going to be offered. We asked them to double-check this and get back to us, which they did...at HALF PAST MIDNIGHT, waking us out of the first sound sleep of the trip. When we were assigned disembarkation, despite having told them on three separate occasions that we wanted to get off as early as possible, we were assigned to the LAST group to leave. They did, when we went to the Service Desk, fix this. The last night, we decided that we wanted to do a room service dinner. Too bad they'd already removed the cabin book so they could update it for the next trip. They told us to use the TV, but it was on the fritz. When I finally, after about three tries, convinced the cabin steward over the phone that we needed the room service menu back, he finally, grudgingly, showed up...with the dining room menu, not the room service menu. This was another example of the English-language problem, but it was also another example of a Cabin Steward who had better things to do that pay attention to a passenger. My wife wanted a pizza, not a pork chop. Just how far did they go to get you to spend? The hot tubs next to the outdoor pools (the free ones) ran throughout the cruise. The water was never above tepid, and often stone cold. A stone cold hot tub in Alaska? But hey, the hot tubs in the Thalassatherapy room next door were nice and warm. Of course, you have to PAY to use those one.... I could go on, there's more. But you get the drift. If you can look past all this, the cruise is fine. But you shouldn't have to look past this. Celebrity promises more, and they don't deliver. We payed a lot of money to spend a few days with OTHER people taking care of the details...and I'm sorry, cruise prices may have dropped a lot, but this was still a very expensive vacation. And we never felt that we could trust anyone to do anything. So next time we visit Alaska, we'll take the road. Even though it's a long, and not a very winding, road. Read Less
Sail Date May 2007
My husband and I are retired and travel extensively, taking 1-2 cruises annually. Celebrity was our favorite cruiseline. The Dec 7-21, 2007 Panama Canal Cruise on the Summit had highs and lows. We had air included. The flights to Ft. ... Read More
My husband and I are retired and travel extensively, taking 1-2 cruises annually. Celebrity was our favorite cruiseline. The Dec 7-21, 2007 Panama Canal Cruise on the Summit had highs and lows. We had air included. The flights to Ft. Lauderdale from Seattle were on the red eye and changed by the airline which rebooked us in middle seats - awful. To make matters worse when we arrived Celebrity's airport reps were disorganized. About 130 people arrived at the same time and we had to wait 2.5 hours for the busses to arrive to take us to the ship. Check in wasn't bad since we are Captain's Club and had a suite. The cruise itself was typical with the expected ports of call and tours. The entertainment was fantastic - better than the Jersey Boys production we saw in Seattle the night of our return. The musicians on board were very good but their repertoires were limited - we heard the same 10-12 songs for 14 days. Dining room and stateroom attendants were excellent. The crew in general was courteous and respectful. The food was a big disappointment - of the 14 nights there were only 4 I found something on the menu I would eat and then it was overcooked. My husband said the meats were very fatty and tough. Even the vegetarian menu was unappetizing. The ice cream was gritty. Quite a letdown from what we were used to on Celebrity. They changed executive chefs in 2007 and it shows. We were also disappointed with all the smoking allowed on board. Second hand smoke was every where and we frequently had ashes flying in our balcony from other staterooms. Security was lax all over the ship - in the theater people were permitted to sit in the aisles and take pics; poolside people saved chairs for hours; the dress code was ignored at night so after a couple nights my husband stopped wearing a coat and tie on informal evenings. We probably won't travel on Celebrity again although we like the suite class and entertainment. Bad food and second hand smoke outweigh the pluses. Read Less
Sail Date December 2007
Background My family has been on many cruises, though this was our first on Celebrity. We consisted of myself, my husband, our 13 year old daughter and my in-laws. We booked 2 cabins on deck 2, both ocean view. Flights and pre-cruise ... Read More
Background My family has been on many cruises, though this was our first on Celebrity. We consisted of myself, my husband, our 13 year old daughter and my in-laws. We booked 2 cabins on deck 2, both ocean view. Flights and pre-cruise hotel My in-laws traveled from El Paso, Texas while we came from Colorado Springs, CO. We met up in Houston and flew together to Fort Lauderdale, FL the day before the cruise. I made independent air and hotel arrangements and was very pleased with our flights on Continental. We arrived in FLL and called the hotel, Sleep Inn and Suites in Dania for our free shuttle. I'd read many mixed reviews on this hotel, but with the free shuttle and breakfast, decided to try them out. It took 2 phone calls to finally get them to send the shuttle. My in-laws were surprised at check-in by their oldest friends who happened to be in Florida and spent the night at the hotel. All 3 of us had rooms on the second floor. We were surprised by how nice our rooms were, based on previous reviews, both from Cruise Critic and other sources. We did immediately check the bedding and found it to be fine. Sleep Inn and Suites is in a residential area. However, there is a Walgreen's next door and a strip-mall across the street. There is a Publix grocery store (they don't sell hard liquor, only beer and wine), a Chinese restaurant, a Mexican restaurant, an Italian restaurant (where we ate... the food was mediocre), and a "Dollar Tree" store in the mall. We set up our port shuttle at check-in, as did others who would become friends on this cruise. Make sure to reserve space for your trip to the port, or you will need to make your own arrangements! The pool was a bit chilly...this from my 13 year old daughter who will swim anywhere. The hot tub looked dirty. Breakfast was fine with an assortment of juices, coffee, hot chocolate, milk, fresh fruit, cereals, make-your-own waffles, breads and pastries, and hot biscuits and gravy. Fine fare for the price. We used our AAA card and got our rooms for $89 each. Embarkation The shuttle arrived as promised and took us on a 10 minute (or so) trip to the port. When we arrived, our luggage was dropped off with a porter who produced luggage tags for us (we were e-ticketed and didn't get our tags beforehand). We were leery about leaving our luggage, but did so anyway. We were then directed to the first of MANY LONG lines. I had expected check-in to be quicker and less painful than it was. And, though I knew that there would not be many children on this trip, I was as surprised as my daughter at the age of our fellow passengers. Even my in-laws who are in their late 70's were surprised by the elderly crowd. I'd guess that the median age on our trip was 70 years old. In all, there were 34 passengers on our trip who were younger than 18. More about that later. We spent over 1 ½ hours in lines to board the ship. We arrived at noon, and were onboard a bit before 2PM. Our first welcome to the ship was with a hand-sanitizer wipe....the first of hundreds we were handed. No welcome champagne or escort to our cabins was offered. Cabins, part one We moved in the direction we were pointed and found our way to our cabins. My in-laws were in cabin 2023 and we had cabin 2014. Very convenient for us to be so close yet so far apart! Our cabin was smallish, but serviceable. We immediately met Corazon who agreed to remove "anything that costs extra" from our cabin, including overpriced water, a bottle of wine, and the contents of our fridge. The cabin had been prepared for the three of us with 3 life jackets, beach towels, robes, etc. I was very pleased with our first room stewardess. MAJOR point here....while unpacking, I got out our power strip. This was not a brand new one, but one which we've used both in our house and on trips. Plugged it in (no, not in the bathroom "shaver only" outlet OR in the European plug...duh) and heard a pop, fizz sound and watched it as it began to smoke and melt. Unplugged it and tossed it across the bed to my husband who threw it into the shower and doused it with water. After that, we tried the nightlight (the least expensive plug in item we had) before we plugged in camera chargers, laptop, etc. Have NEVER had that result when plugging a power strip in. As I'd done a lot of research on the ship and prices, we had visited Publix the day before and used our spare "roll up" suitcase which we always pack to bring our own water, soda pop (I'm a Pepsi girl and the ship carries limited Coke products), and fruit juices (in case I'd somehow packed some rum in our suitcases for in-room drinks). This suitcase came to our room quickly, as did all of our other bags and fit well under our bed. Our daughter had a pull-out chair as her bed...smaller than a twin and probably not great sleeping for anyone over 5'2" and 100 LBS. After finding our rooms, we went to the Waterfall Cafe and Grill (aka: the buffet) for lunch. Seating was horrible for the number of guests trying to eat. More on that later, as well..... The Ship I'd expected the ship to be in much worse condition than I found it to be. Yes, there was some frayed carpet and peeling paint, but I spent the first day wondering why it was scheduled for dry-dock. I figured it out later, though! We split up from the in-laws and started at the top of the ship. It's a ritual we always do when we first arrive on-board. Since I prefer going DOWN stairs to climbing up, we took the elevator to deck 11 and started at the top. This tour allowed us to see some of the worst artwork I've ever imagined. Luckily, we didn't use most of the stairwells from then on. My daughter peered through the windows of The Tower and looked forward to going there. Unfortunately, they never did open the tower...even though the "meet and greet" the first evening was scheduled to be there. After waiting for 10 minutes for it to open, we were directed to the Fun Factory. I'd read that there would always be 6 counselors on any cruise, but there were actually only 3. Therefore, they didn't have the staff to open the Tower. So, we tried to find the Fun Factory. Be advised that it's difficult to find and can only be accessed by either passing though the Waterfall Cafe or by using the aft bank of elevators to level 11. It took 4 of us about 10 minutes and a lot of misdirection to find the place. Most of the ships public areas were nice. There were a number of nooks and crannies so that you rarely had the feeling of being on an overcrowded ship. Although I'd read that the Bar at the Edge of the World had horrid dEcor, we actually LIKED it. It was usually a pretty quiet place. Lifeboat Drill A fact of life onboard a ship. However, I fear that if this ship ever needs to use the lifeboats, it'll be absolute chaos! We mustered in the Celebrity Theater (along with hundreds of other passengers). My husband commented that on all of the cruises we've ever taken, it was by far the worst. We mustered, heard instructions, and were herded to a lifeboat. No roll-calls, so I suppose that anyone who chose to could skip this ordeal, if they found a place to hide-out. Dining I'd come onboard expecting marvelous food. Boy, was I ever disappointed! There were only two or three exceptional items served throughout the whole cruise. One night, my "medium rare" filet came out as VERY well done. Our server offered to send it back, but since we sat each night for nearly 2 hours at dinner, I refused. One night, my husbands' lamb dish came out with no meat! My in-laws ate most of their breakfasts and lunches in the dining room. We chose to eat in the buffet. Standard fare with little variety. We got late-seating dinner (though we'd been wait-listed for early). Hence, our daughter either had to skip evening kids' activities or eat elsewhere. She loved getting room service for dinner, but had little room to eat in our cabin. Entertainment The Party Band seemed to know 15 songs (and not too well). Jefferson Ang was a guitarist and we spent many evenings listening to his music. He. too, had a limited repertoire. Karaoke was a joke, with 2 guys who were pretty good and some truly awful singers, besides. Our daughter really enjoyed the juggler, but he off-loaded after only doing one show. There was a singer who was good, but she made sure that everyone knew that she was selling her CD's outside of the theater. The Acapella group was pretty good, but they reminded me of a small Mormon-boys-choir. I enjoyed them once, then skipped future shows. Also, there was a ventriloquist who was funny the first night and really stale by the second show. Mostly, the entertainment was geared towards the median age....slow during the day and nearly non-existent come night-fall. Enrichment There were a couple of lecture-series. One was an expert on the canal who got many of her facts wrong (though her slide show was correct). We sat through only one of her 3 part series. She also sold a book and map outside of the theatre. There was also a mystery writer. We skipped her talks. Activities Huh? The only great activity that we did was a kids-club "Family Scavenger Hunt". We were the only family to show up, so they pitted 4 teens against us. My daughter won a backpack filled with "X Club" merchandise. Otherwise, the activities were slow to dead. Kids Club Again, with so few kids, the kids' club activities were "modified". Apparently, they continued to offer the activities, but if the kids weren't interested, they let them pick what to do. I didn't bring our daughter on this trip to sit and watch movies and play endless rounds of "Guitar Hero". She, however, had a blast! DD notes that I haven't said enough "good" about the Fun Factory. So, to be fair to her, I'll add that they had a long wall filled with Playstations and they offered 30 minutes of free play in the arcade. They also had a ball pit and a small outdoor wading pool. When fully staffed, I'd say that the Fun Factory is probably a blast for the 7-12 y/o set. Photographers They were out in force. More photo opportunities than I've ever had. However, they didn't do a "hard sell" once the pics were done. Also, my daughter decided to get a "Mom and me" shoot done, and specifically asked to pose us, herself. Once the photographer understood what she was after, he did the best job I've ever seen, actually having us lay on the floor with him taking pictures on his stomach! That sure got a lot of watchers, and sold many more pics, as folks started requesting "special poses". Prices were high for photos ($19.95 for an 8x10), but we bought 8 (and I usually HATE getting my pictures taken). Service/Staff Second in my cruises only to Regent. Our room stewardess/stewards were good to excellent (more on that later). Our waiter was great…. Although the assistant was only fair. We were all surprised to see the Maitre'D each night…that's a first in all of our 20+ cruises. We had a very drunk and loud lady at the table next to us each night and by mid-cruise I asked him to intervene. From then on, she and the table-mate she argued with took turns in the dining room and it became much more peaceful. Our daughter LOVED the Ice cream lady. She put up with a lot of rude passengers, yet remained lovely. Guest Relations staff were terrific, within their abilities. The shipboard medical crew were a very mixed bag…from lovely to horrid…read on for details about that! Daughter and I availed ourselves of the spa one day. We did the "hands and feet" service. I've never done a spa treatment on a ship, and likely won't again. Our attendants were Jamaican and spoke to each other during the whole treatment in a language we didn't understand. Internet Cafe In a word….SLOW. Once, it took 7 minutes to load up their Yahoo front page. (I had their expert watching and he offered me a credit, but then I had to push a couple of times to get said credit. When it finally showed up, it was at $.65/minute as opposed to the plan I'd bought at $.42/minute. Wasn't going to hassle it for a couple of bucks….Also, we weren't able to access any computer until well over halfway through the trip. That sure felt weird on top of the other "events" which were happening to us, by then. Casino I've never seen such a stingy casino. Celebrity should up the payoffs on the machines. Very few people were in there, unless it was cold outside and they wanted to smoke. The casino is divided into smoking and non-smoking. Half the slots and all of the table games are non-smoking, while portside slots were for smokers. Surprisingly, the non-smoking part wasn't terribly smoky. Good ventilation, I guess. More on Smoking Many of the public rooms were divided into smoking/non-smoking. I'm pretty sensitive to smoke, but didn't seem to be bothered much by it (unless I was on the port side). I saw some horribly rude folks sit down on the smoking side in lounges and proceed to fan/hold their noses/etc. Hey, if it bothers you, go starboard! Also, in our final cabin (deck 7 balcony) we had a cigar smoker next door. Now, that's strictly prohibited, but as we were told numerous times by staff…."unless a passenger complains and can pinpoint an offender, we won't do anything about it". Funny, but EVERYONE who walked past the cigar smoker at the pool bar chose not to complain. Nor did folks complain about people in jeans and t-shirts at dinner…. Shore excursions We booked 2 prior to our trip. The first was the "Semi-submersible" in Grand Cayman. What a great trip for the family! Our daughter got to swim, husband and I got to snorkel, and the in-laws got to see loads of fish from the comfort of 6' below water benches. I'd highly recommend this to families. Our second Celebrity excursion was the interactive sea-turtle release program in Acapulco. My in-laws didn't sign up for this one, so it was just the three of us and 29 others. It was a long (boring) bus ride to the farm, but once there, we had a great time. My husbands' turtle won the race and his prize was a silly plastic turtle which he treasures. We did the other stops on our own, and generally hired a cab for city tours. I'd read to speak rapid-fire English in Columbia to get a good driver. It was great advice. However, the guide had his own ideas of where to go and had 11 of us in his van (fully air-conditioned, my behind!) Although none of us wanted to shop, many stops at shops still happened. Advice for the whole trip: If you have the advantage of speaking/understanding some Spanish, don't give away your secret too quickly. I found the drivers and "guides" discussing things which never would have been talked about had they known I understood them so well. Debarkation I'd heard that this goes well…. We were supposed to be called around 9:15, so had an early breakfast and went back to our staterooms. We were asked to go to public areas by 9AM and there we sat for over an hour. LONG lines, again. They never did call for our group to leave the ship, so eventually lots of us just left. Could have been much better. San Pedro to LAX I had researched this and decided to not take Supershuttle or Celebrity's shuttle. Instead, we got a cab after debarkation and spent $52 for all of us and our luggage to get to LAX. Was VERY disappointed with US Airways, as our flight to Phoenix was delayed over an hour, my husband, daughter, and I were removed from the plane because they gave our seats away to stand-by passengers, and our connecting flights were delayed, as well. We didn't get home until 2:30AM when we were supposed to be home at 9:30. I'm not sure I'll ever fly with them again. The Buzzards and the Vultures A strange title, but certainly the feeling I had when dealing with crew and fellow passengers. The Vultures were the folks who sold the gold-by-the-inch, "special priced t-shirts", art auctions, amber, spa treatments, etc. I was shocked by the "nickel and diming" throughout the cruise. I'd expected more refinement. The Buzzards were the ones who pulled the only XL tee-shirt left out of my hands, butted in the buffet line, etc. It was the feeling of being a "mark" to one group or the other for much of the trip. There were some nice folks on this trip. And then, there were the rest of them. There were a LOT of motorized scooters and their drivers were reckless, to say the least! I've never seen so many obese people in one place as I did on this trip. I also can't remember EVER meeting so many entitled and rude people in one place. The median age also affected us…I'm in my late 40's and felt like a kid. Now, to the dirty details of our trip and why I'm unhappy with X….. 12/7 FLL Embarked 12/8 At sea I woke up with some bites on my legs. Had our Cruise Critic Connections party and met a couple of the staff. We hadn't been "in" on the CC list for long, and I didn't feel really welcomed (besides the fact that the connections boards told me in no uncertain terms that folks didn't want kids on this cruise). 12/9 Grand Cayman MISERABLE night. Spent most of the night in tears with the feeling of being eaten alive. Took Benedryl at 4AM and slept until 8. Went to Guest Relations and was told to go to Medical between 9AM-noon. Since we had booked an excursion, I wasn't willing to skip the paid-for excursion, but had my complaint in prior to our first debarkation. They also said that they'd be changing out our mattresses while we were onshore. 12/10 at sea Went to medical, signed a sheet of paper which said I'd pay for all charges, and was told that I was allergic to bedbugs. Was told that I wouldn't have to pay for the consultation, after all. Apparently, I was the second passenger to have this problem, although it's an ongoing problem with the crew. This was by a lovely female doctor from Peru. (By this time, I had over 100 welts all over my body). Many folks in and out of the infirmary while I was there….Big problem with a virus which quarantined the sick person for 3 days and anyone else in the cabin for one. Nothing on the ship about sickness, but suddenly many more hand wipes showing up. I was put on Benedryl, Prednisone, and cortisone cream. We were told to stay out of our cabin for 2 hours while they removed our luggage to get it fumigated. Also was told to stay out of the sun and not drink alcohol until I was done with the Prednisone (3 days). Well, we got done with lunch and went back to cabin 2014. One whiff at the door, and our asthmatic daughter went into an attack. We kept her out of the room. Once we opened the door, we were assaulted by so much insecticide throughout the room that we could only stay in the cabin for minutes at a time. DH interjects here with "There were puddles of white liquid everywhere". My Mother-in-law got some wonderful pictures of wet EVERYTHING (and slipped in the bathroom while doing so) while I went directly to Guest Relations and brought back Janine, the manager. She was aghast at the amount of insecticide used (and all over…our daughters' lap-top screen is ruined, our toothbrushes were completely sprayed, and an assistant head-housekeeper was busily trying to wipe everything down while telling us that we were going to lose him his job). He proceeded to go the aft elevator area and cough so badly that I worry even now for the effects of his time spent in our cabin. Janine told us that the room was now uninhabitable, so we were asked to leave our luggage (which had not been removed) and move our belongings to room 3008. Of course, most of our clothing was wet, so X offered to launder 8 pieces of laundry for free. Our daughters' stuffed Snoopy was slathered, as well, and they put a rush on washing him so that she could sleep that night with her stuffed animal. We submitted about 15 of the worst of the wet, and didn't get a bill (though I haven't checked my Visa statement since I got home). So, we packed up everything in about 10 Celebrity bags and a bunch of Wal-Mart bags which we use to carry our shoes in. Talk about feeling like hillbillies! The stewards carted everything to our new cabin, but we had to spend a LOT of time in a poison-saturated room to get it all together. Had to make another trip to Medical, as the prednisone tablets had been put into an envelope which was doused with insecticide. I couldn't take those pills. People might say that all cabins are the same size, but 3008 was much smaller than 2014. Our daughters' bed went from small to what she fondly called her "big kid bed"….referring to it as a toddler bed. The table had to be removed, as it didn't fit with the bed pulled out. Also, I continued to itch in that cabin, so I asked Janine for help. She told me that if, in Columbia, a couple failed to catch up with the ship, we'd be moved again. 12/11 Cartagena The itching was nearly intolerable last night, so back to Medical. This time, I sat and waited a LONG time before seeing the chief doctor. Although his tag read that he was from the United States, he barely spoke English. He stated that it was NOT bedbugs, but was a contact dermatitis because while we waited, he went to 2014 and found no signs of bedbugs…well DUH! between the insecticide and replacement of the mattresses TWICE, do you think they'd have been dancing around in the sheets mid-day? Now, I'm told to avoid sun, alcohol, tight clothing (underwear!), and turkey and pork (the turkey is apparently basted in pork juices for flavor). I broke down and cried about the restrictions. The doctor informed me that since he doesn't drink alcohol, it shouldn't be an issue for me. Hey, it is my VACATION! Well, actually, it became my livers' vacation….. What a way to detox one's body. He put me on a triple dose of prednisone, use a "special soap" twice a day (which doesn't lather and smells a LOT like cabin 2014 did after the fumigation), and told me to use ice packs to numb the itching. He said that if it were bedbugs, everyone in our cabin would have the same reaction. By the end of the cruise, everyone in our group had welts…. Also, I spoke with one of the waiters stationed to pass out anti-bacterial hand wipes about their ineffectiveness against viruses. Within an hour, announcements began that nothing replaces hand washing. However, the staff now begins to wear gloves, some wear masks, and the ship is being wiped down with bleach. (Many folks later complained to Guest Relations about ruined clothes. New announcements commence about not leaning on wet surfaces.) In the meantime, the couple doesn't make the ship and we're moved again to 7047. We've got a balcony and I'm not getting any new bites in our cabin. Also, the second move was so much easier as our stuff wasn't wet with insecticide. The card room seems to have bugs, though, as each time we go there, we all get new bites. In our newest room, the steward does not remove contents of fridge, add another robe, or bring us an extra beach towel. He does get us the third life-jacket, though. He was a fair steward, but I'm fed up. Oh, by this time, I've had 6 room keys….2014, a replacement as my new one won't access the internet (nor does this one….couldn't get online until after Acapulco), 3008, a replacement because I can't charge anything (dh says he had to pay extra for that card!), 7047, a replacement because my key won't let me off the ship in Columbia….. Days pass with my liver on vacation and myself being in the shade and they're finally admitting a "Norwalk-like virus is on the ship and hand washing is the best way to deal with it". 12/14 Back to medical asking for a copy of my records. Request refused. 12/15 Late last night, we hear that one of the bar servers has bedbugs. I gave her some benedryl and dh told her to see the female doctor. She reports today that she's cleaning her cabin, but her cabin-mate won't let her go to medical, as it would mean the ruin of a lot of their things. Apparently, they all know what the fumigation team is capable of! Note from dh in our daily log: "12/15 There is noro-virus on the ship. All of their cleaning programs will be ineffective as long as people are keeping their symptoms to themselves. They have seen others go into quarantine, so they don't mention their diarrhea. Instead, they use the pool and public restrooms along with the healthy cruisers. I saw evidence today in the men's room by the T-Pool. Oh, by the way, I now have visible and itchy bites". 12/16 Waitress-friend goes to medical and gets diagnosis of bed-bugs. (More details which I've deleted to protect her privacy. Do have her name and that of another passenger on this trip and am awaiting response from corporate.) Also, have now heard that we're "Code Red". However, reading these boards tells me that "code red" means different things on different X ships. Still self-serve at buffet, still have salt/pepper shakers. However, no staff may leave the ship in LA and even back-to-back must debark in LA and won't be allowed right back on the ship. Has me wondering what time they began loading folks for the next trip. 12/16-12/19 Liver's still on vacation, but the "special soap" is helping. Still itching, though…. 12/19-12/20 Quit the prednisone and drink heavily of the fruit-juice I brought!!! Quit the soap and immediately start getting numerous new bites in multiple public areas. 12/21 OFF THE SHIP and headed home. Conclusion We're all of the firm belief that nobody has the power to ruin your day but yourself. Hence, it was a good trip. We hadn't seen the in-laws in 4 years and to get the experience of the Panama Canal with them was priceless…. The staff on this trip put up with some of the rudest people I've ever encountered, and (for the most part) handled them graciously. I saw a woman berate one of the guys at guest services and he stood and took it. (I made a point of going to Guest Relations daily just to say, "HI". After all they dealt with regarding my issues, I felt it important to show them my gracious side). HOWEVER, I expected X to immediately contact me. They haven't. Nor have they responded to my e-mail. I've asked my TA to find a remedy for this trip, but he's on vacation. Right now, though, I'm still trying to find out what the insecticide was, as our asthmatic daughter has had non-stop coughing since the fumigation and her doctor needs the information. No word yet….. Karen Jones Read Less
Sail Date December 2007
This past holiday season my wife and I decided to combine our 40th anniversary, a desire to finally make it to Hawaii and a chance to celebrate Christmas and New Years on the high seas... We have traveled on Celebrity transatlantic and ... Read More
This past holiday season my wife and I decided to combine our 40th anniversary, a desire to finally make it to Hawaii and a chance to celebrate Christmas and New Years on the high seas... We have traveled on Celebrity transatlantic and through the Panama Canal, and it truly was our only choice of a line, after having tasted Holland America and Carnival on other occasions. My son had traveled on one of Celebrity's sister ships to the Summit, and for the last two years extolled the virtues of having booked a Concierge Class room, with the additional service and amenities. We had always booked a balcony room, but this time we were convinced to go all out and book into Concierge Class (CC). .. for which we paid a premium. It ran us nearly $8k for the two of us, without shore excursions. Boarding at LA was a pain... We were told we had priority boarding with CC, and to show up no sooner than 1 PM to board for a 5:00 sailing. We got their about `12:30 and found many lines and much confusion. When I asked about priority, I was told to just get in the line!.. I am on a cane, and standing isn't my strong point, but we managed to get through and then were told to go sit on a bench with the rest of the hundreds. I again asked about priority boarding and was greeted with.. " That was at 11:00 this morning... sit down and wait until your number is called. I asked about my handicap and was asked if I needed a wheelchair. I said no, and was told to have a seat... only there were no available seats. I found a sign marked elevator in the back of the room, and my wife and I worked our way there and up the elevator, where we found a line, about 100yds long leading up to the gangplank! We got up to the ship in about 50 minutes time. It was LA, but windy and cool. Once onboard we were handed a quick champagne and sent to our rooms. Even on the infinity we were offered to be escorted. The whole front lobby was crowded and looked fairly disorganized, We finally made it to the room and found our rooms to be the same size as the balcony rooms we had on the other 2 ships. They were up under the Pool deck so the noise was fairly heavy at all hours, and the overhang of the above deck sheltered the skyline and set us in shade for most of the trip. The cabin staff was great as always on Celebrity... But, the only amenities that Concierge brought us were some stale snacks at 5 (6 each day!) and a bottle of cheap champagne on the first day. There were a lot of kids on this trip, but that is to be expected on all vacation cruises. They over ran the Spa's thermospa pool however and we didn't get a chance to use it. Food at the special restaurant was first class as was the service, I wish I could say the same for the dining room, however. The food was not well prepared, though it looked great, but the service was just fine. Spa Food for lunch was the best! This was the best entertainment we'd seen on a ship, but the shops were full of a lot of touristy junk, unlike the other cruises on Celebrity. The worst part of the cruise was shuttling to shore on the launches. It was totally disorganized and PRIORITY tickets left on our bed in the Evening before were worthless. We waited 3 hours to get into port, one time. Another was 1 ½ hrs. The itinerary was everything we expected and more. I rate this a 3, Could have enjoyed it more by flying out there. And spending the extra $ of great dining Read Less
Sail Date December 2007
We have cruised many times before and this one has to be one of the worst we have ever taken. We arrived in San Juan on Saturday and were bused to the ship after some delays. We just got to the ship in time to enjoy the lunch buffet before ... Read More
We have cruised many times before and this one has to be one of the worst we have ever taken. We arrived in San Juan on Saturday and were bused to the ship after some delays. We just got to the ship in time to enjoy the lunch buffet before it closed. All luggage were carried to our cabin. The size of the cabin was disappointing. We acknowledge that cabins are not luxurious unless you book a suite but this cabin was the same size as most staterooms but with a balcony. The said balcony was fairly small and we really did not enjoy it that much but were a bit frustrated because you pay higher prices for such a stateroom but little benefits in addition such as canapes being served at 16:00 hrs. The first dinner was open seating which takes away some of the pleasure of cruise traveling as the best feeling comes from leaving at see and and enjoy the ship's rocking. The boat drill took place at 21:45 h. which is quite late since we left at 5:00 h. on that day. We finally left San Juan at 23:00 that evening. The first port of call was St-Marteen at 9:30 the following day. Small but charming island. The following ports of call, namely Dominica, Granada and Bonaire are almost identical. We felt like running a 100 meters dash to see as many ports of call as possible in as few days as possible. I acknowledge that some of these islands had to deal with hurricanes in the past years but they are too much of the same. The bus excursion ride through the mountains was somewhat pleasant at the beginning but became real tiring at the end. The last port of call was Aruba and probably the best one. The last day was a day at sea. Overall, the food was so-so in the dining room and that label is even generous. One of the best dinners was the one we took at the Normandie. Entertainment was again at the low scale of entertainment except basically for the last show aboard. On the positive side, service at all levels was excellent. To conclude, the southern caribbean cruise provide by the Celebrity Summit was well below our expectations. Right from the embarkation on the bus with a waiting period way too long, to unsatisfied dining, to unappealing entertainment and to little interest in the ports of call, we definitely overpaid for that cruise. Lucky the nice weather accompanied us during the last five days of the cruise. We have taken Celebrity cruises before and were always happy until now. What a disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date January 2008
This was our first cruise and as yet we havent decided if we would do it again! If we did venture onto the seas it would be with another cruise line. We arrived at the Summit in Barcelona, we had arranged our own flights from Manchester as ... Read More
This was our first cruise and as yet we havent decided if we would do it again! If we did venture onto the seas it would be with another cruise line. We arrived at the Summit in Barcelona, we had arranged our own flights from Manchester as the Celebrity option was more expensive and went via Frankfurt!!! and also our own taxi to the port - saving us a fortune. We were met with a long queue to check in - again I was glad I had done it all online and so we had a quick trip onto the boat where we learnt we could not get into our cabin for another 3 hours!We sat beside the pool and have to say we were very dissappointed with the first impressions.The pool area was crowded and a bit shabby. When we got into our stateroom ( concierge class with balcony)we were again dissappointed as the room was shabby and the carpet was worn.The curtains had holes in the lining and the net curtain was torn.There was a stain and a small hole in the bedspread too.On the very small balcony were 2 chairs and a lot of rust!! It was also a tight squeeze when our son's bed was out and it was impossible to get onto the balcony if he was in bed.Our room steward was Peter, who was very good and solved any issue straight away but the room was not good!! The public area's are better on the whole and in particular the martini/champagne bar was nice. Breakfast was in the waterfall cafe and although it was ok it was a bit of a scrum and we had difficulty finding a chair on a couple of occassions so we opted for breakfast in our room which was ok but the order was never right! As said before the pool area could do with some improvement and was overun with spanish teenagers the whole time who were really noisy and rude.   Dinner in the main restaraunt was good overall although on some nights we were struggling for choice.Our waiter was excellent though and made it a good dining experience overall. Our wine waiter was also very good and attentive throughout.We didnt dine in the waterfall cafe at night as we dont like to do this on holiday( and it was $2 extra!!) - we were looking for a bit of luxury. The soda package is a rip off as it doesnt include water!!!!!! The wine was expensive too and we felt we were being ripped off the whole time - this included the trips we booked and any photo's we bought.Overall we felt Celebrity were trying to get as much money out of us as possible at every opportunity. Turning to the trips, we took 4 by celebrity, Rome on your own ( you got a coach there and back) which did give us some useful tips on how to beat the queue's, Pompeii which was really good due to the great guide and Athens which was dire, again due to the guide and Pisa which was really good although expensive. Disembarkation was slick and well organised. When we docked in Santorini - we gave up and spent the day on the boat as the queue for the cable car was huge and didnt seem to be reducing - due to the number of cruises in that day.Dubrovnik was fab and we will go back there again as was Venice.We took the summit tranfer which at $20 was very expensive but it was the last day and we were too tired to care! The destinations were definitely the high point of ths holiday. The entertainment was poor - the shows in the theatre were on at weird times so we werent able to catch many ( the last dinner sitting was changed to 9pm which was too late especially with children and the earlier one to 6.30 which is much too early in my view) The dancers were ok and the 'orchestra' were out of tune the whole time.The band around the pool were absolutely rubbish, they couldnt sing and were much too loud - very intrusive as was the music in 'Rendevous'it was like they were playing a stadium!!! Our son ( aged 9 ) was hoping to make some new friends but the kids programme was really poor and the kids club was taken over by sulky american teenagers - it was like 'so raven' i n real life.The club seemed poorly supported and the facilities for children were really poor, old and tired. Overall we had a nice time as we kept ourselves to ourselves and the service of the staff was excellent but Celebrity really need to upgrade the ship and the value for money.The staff also seemed very stressed to get a 'excellent' recommendation on the customer comment cards and we got the impression they would get in trouble if they didnt get it. Would we cruise again?? maybe.With Celebrity - probably not. Read Less
Sail Date January 2008
We are a family of four (2 adults and 2 kids (11 & 8) travelling with our parents in their 60's. We chose Summit for its great itinerary, that included Dominica, a generally hard to get to island, and Grenada, the Spice Island. ... Read More
We are a family of four (2 adults and 2 kids (11 & 8) travelling with our parents in their 60's. We chose Summit for its great itinerary, that included Dominica, a generally hard to get to island, and Grenada, the Spice Island. These are both islands with lots to do and intrigue. We are long time cruisers, having cruised on Carnival Liberty, Carnival Valor, Carnival Victory, Carnival Fascination, RCCL Sovereign of the Seas, and Majestic's MV Royal Majesty. Flew from Newark to San Juan on the noon nonstop flight and took a cab to Summit ($23.00). Embarkation was simple, since we arrived at 5:00 p.m. ship's time and most people boarded around 2pm. The ship was not scheduled to leave San Juan until 11:30 p.m., so this was no problem. Once on board, we immediately had a major problem. We had booked 2 balcony cabins for the four adults on deck 7 and one inside cabin for the kids--directly across the hall from the adults. I confirmed the cabin location with Celebrity and my travel agent in advance. To our surprise, the inside cabin was on the other side of the ship, nowhere near our cabin. The inside cabin also had a horrible smoke odor. I immediately complained to Celebrity and showed them the ship's map (which they provided) that showed that the inside cabin was across the hall. The guest relations people admitted that the map is wrong and that "Celebrity corporate people don't know the ship's real layout." Despite acknowledging their own mistake, they did nothing for us. My son and I slept in the inside room that night and I contemplated my next move. Despite promising to get back to me about the situation, they did nothing. At 8:30 a.m. the next day (after we arrived in St. Maarten), I demanded to see the hotel director. Instead, the front desk manager saw me. She was very helpful and understanding and apologetic. She advised me that there was an empty balcony room on the 7th deck and suggested that my inlaws move in there, so my kids could be next door to me. This worked for us and the problem was now solved. While the solution was eventually correct, I do not think Celebrity handled this appropriately. They were rude and obnoxious about it and had no intention of doing anything until I pushed very hard. This was their obvious mistake. After that crisis was solved, we ventured out to St. Maarten, which is a very developed and "Americanized" island on the Dutch side and very authentic french on the French side. We rented a jeep to the right of the port for about $60.00 US and ventured to Grand Case, the very French 2nd city on the French side. Had an awesome french/Caribbean lunch at the "lo-lo" (a beach side hut) and then sat on the beach and enjoyed the water for the entire day. A great first day after such a problem with the room! That night, the kids enjoyed the kids club, which had a very low key but fun program. Major annoyance: Celebrity charges $6.00 per hour per child for use of the kids club during meals and after 10pm. A better deal is the "vip pass", which gives you unlimited use of the kids club and a backpack of stuff for the kids and a bridge and backstage tour for $120.00 per kid. We got both kids the VIP pass--made financial sense. The adults enjoyed dinner. Generally, I would rate the food a "B". Service was great, but food was simply not what I had heard about regarding Celebrity. I thought the food was the same as Carnival or RCCL, though the buffets had fewer choices. The pool area, both outdoor and the semi-indoor spa pool, are awesome. On Monday, we spent a full day on Dominica. We hired the famous "Beno Tours" for $300.00 for all six of us. Beno put us in a new air conditioned van with our private driver Howard, who had the van stocked with juice, water, and cold beer. Howard took us to Emerald Pool (we were the 1st people there that day) and we swam under the waterfall. Awesome! Then we went to the falls, stopped at the famous Mr. Nice fruitstand, and swam in a river and hot spring. Howard then took us for lunch (we paid separately). This tour was about 7 hours and we could not get enough of Dominica. Don't miss it. Kids did the club again for dinner and loved it. Adults did the comedian, who was about a C+ On Tuesday, we got off in Grenada and had our private tour with Mandoo Tours, who gave us a private van with Allistar, our driver. Allistar again whisked us to the falls, a spice factory, and a general island tour. He was incredibly knowledgeable and proud. We then hit the beach while Allistar waited for us for about 2 hours. We went back to the ship around 2pm. Unfortunately, my son started running a fever and had a sore throat. Fearing strep, I took him to the ship's doctor, who was very nice. However, the Dr. told us that while my son did not have strep, he had "influenza" and that both he and I had to stay in our cabins (my son for 2 days, me for one). I was not happy. I had no symptoms and my son had a simple head cold. I understand Celebrity's need to keep germs under wraps, but this was overkill. We complied anyway. Stuck in our cabin, my son and I missed Bonaire, though everyone else really loved it. Celebrity sent a bunch of toys and games for my son to borrow while in the cabin--nice touch--but still overkill. Ate alot of C- room service and read my book. My wife and daughter loved the snorkeling, right in the middle of downtown. On Thursday, we arrived in Aruba and I was set free by the doctor. My wife and took turns staying with our son. I spent about 2 hours on the beach in Aruba, cab cost $10.00 each way. Aruba is an ugly dry island, but the weather and beaches are awesome. Friday was our final day, a long sea day. My wife and I again took turns watching our son. Our daughter (age 11), kept going to the kids club and made alot of friends. She loved the bridge tour. Final thoughts: Celebrity is NOT the luxury brand that Frommer's claims it is or that the cruise industry pitches. It was no better than Carnival. We loved the pool and ship layout and service was great. However, the food was average and I remain very annoyed over the flap with our room on the 1st day and how they handled us. Finally, I felt "nickeled and dimed" about the kids club cost, the charges for bottled water, and the unimpressive food. I still recommend the Summit for its awesome itinerary, but suggest that you not book Summit expecting some 6 star super deluxe trip. It's a mass market perfectly fine ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2008
We just came back from our 7 day Southern Caribbean cruise on the Summit. We have cruised with Celebrity 3 times before this one, once on the Galaxy and twice on the Constellation, once in the RC Adventure of the Seas, twice in the PC, ... Read More
We just came back from our 7 day Southern Caribbean cruise on the Summit. We have cruised with Celebrity 3 times before this one, once on the Galaxy and twice on the Constellation, once in the RC Adventure of the Seas, twice in the PC, Golden Princess and once on the PC new Crown Princess. We wanted to take our family to what we thought was the greatest experience of Celebrity Cruising. My in-laws, my brother in law, his wife, their 17 year old son, my husband, our daughter (17) and I embarked on March 22, 2008. The embarkation process in San Juan was excellent and very fast. Most of our luggage arrived fast but we had a suitcase missing almost until departure time. We all had a 2A balcony category cabin on the 9th floor just below the Aqua Spa. The cabin was fine and the bedding was the best. We had what it seemed to be a queen size bed for us and a twin sofa bed for our daughter. The closet space and the bathroom were smaller than on the Crown and Golden Princess, but fine. The gym was very well equipped, the aqua spa pool was great and even the 20 minute $15.00 massages by the pool were great. The sushi bar, the waffle station and the Cova cafe were excellent. The Cruise Director, Gary Walker was always around and when we asked for a 70's and 80's disco night he did schedule one and he made sure that he found us at the disco that night. Very nice detail! The ship does show that it needs some renovations, especially on the carpets, bedspreads, pool floor, etc. The service was good but taking into consideration that this is supposed to be a 5 star cruise line, the Crown Princess had better service in many areas. The waiters were not as friendly and looked as happy as on the Crown Princess. The first and second night at the Cosmopolitan Restaurant (5th floor) we had to wait for more than half an hour to get bread and water. The third night we had to complaint about it and from there on it was fine, not excellent, but fine. On the main restaurant, we remembered the food on the Constellation (5 years ago) to be excellent, both good in presentation and taste. On the Summit, in every restaurant we ate, to our taste, the food was lacking seasonings, salt and most of the meat dishes (not to say all) were over cooked. The soups, needed taste, seasonings, and to be hot, the croutons on the Caesar salad were the smallest you can buy at the market, not like the ones made with chunks of good bread. We found the main restaurant too hot every night; it seemed that the air conditioning was not working properly. We decided to try the Normandie! After the experience, we thought that thirty ($30.00) p/p for the Normandie Restaurant was excessive. We were very impressed by the service but the food was not as good as they claim. The only two things I found good were the goat cheese soufflE and the mint chocolate ice cream. The risotto was terrible, it was so overcooked that it looked like grits. Specialty restaurants on Royal Caribbean and Princess range between $15.00 to $20.00 p/p, and both, the service and the food were much better, they were excellent!! Overall it was a nice vacation for all of us but I was a bit disappointed because we had talked to our family so much about Celebrity that we felt that this time the Summit was not up to the best standards of Celebrity. We even wondered how Conde Nast can select the Summit as the second best ship! Read Less
Sail Date March 2008
BACKGROUND INFORMATION My husband and I have been on 21 cruises around the world, including France, Italy, Greece, China, Russia, Australia & New Zealand, the Panama Canal, Norway and of course the Caribbean. Needless to say that we ... Read More
BACKGROUND INFORMATION My husband and I have been on 21 cruises around the world, including France, Italy, Greece, China, Russia, Australia & New Zealand, the Panama Canal, Norway and of course the Caribbean. Needless to say that we know our way around the world of cruising! We have been on Regent formerly Renaissance, Silver Seas, Princess and most of all Royal Caribbean. When Celebrity decided to (so-call) honor our RCCL Diamond status as equivalent to Captain's Club Elite status, we decided to try Celebrity. We both wanted to visit Morocco and Spain so we booked 12 Nights Best of Europe on the Celebrity Summit departing Southampton, England for Barcelona on April 29th, 2008. We book our cruises a year or 2 in advance, first on our own through the cruise line website and then we pass it on to our travel agent. A few months before departure Celebrity informed us of a port change. Morocco was dropped. We called Celebrity to get information as to why it was changed to Valencia. We were informed that Morocco was a security risk and some of the crew had been harassed. We called the State Department which promptly assured us that Morocco was NOT a security risk and there were no advisories against a US citizen traveling to Morocco. We called Celebrity back with the news and finally, after much haggling, got to the bottom of the reason for the change in ports. Dockage was now very expensive in Morocco and Celebrity decided not to pay the higher dockage fee. We should have known right there and then that the right thing to do was to cancel this cruise, but we decided to give Celebrity the benefit of the doubt. Next they cancelled 3 excursions and we had to pick different ones. One was changed from an excursion with lunch to one without lunch; we later realized the port time would have been too short to accommodate lunch. Another was simply cancelled because we were in port on a Saturday and the Lladro factory would not be opened for tours on the weekend. The third was cancelled while on the cruise because they decided to change ports from La Rochelle to Cherbourg...no previous information was given and no reason was given...so on May 1st, a European Holiday equivalent to our Labor Day, we were in Cherbourg with nothing opened! Celebrity only offered 3 excursions, each worse than the other. That day we would have been at sea which would have made sense considering the holiday. TRAVEL TO PORT OF EMBARKATION For the first time we decided to arrange the transfer from airport to dock with the actual cruise line. We usually get a private driver or taxi or stay in a hotel for one or two nights before the embarkation date. This time we decided to book with Celebrity. We arrived at the dreaded Terminal 5 at Heathrow on British Airways and had a great flight. After walking for 30 minutes from the plane to the luggage pickup area and collecting our luggage, we might add that we received our entire luggage; we met two young men from Celebrity. It had been an all night flight and it was now 6:30 AM. We had to wait for 45 minutes for the bus to arrive as it was in another area of the airport. We got on the FULL bus and were on our way on a 2 hour drive to Southampton. We had expectations that since the Summit had been in dry dock for the previous 21 days, we would be able to board as soon as we checked in, after all the ship was empty, no passengers had to disembark since it had just arrived from Hamburg the night before. Everything should have been ready to accept the passengers on arrival. We got in line, a long line, and I decided to ask about Elite status. They were not handling anyone in any special way unless you had booked a suite or were on the Concierge level. Once I mentioned our Elite level they shuffled us to the front of the line. We were processed and told to step into the lounge. The lounge was a huge waiting area with seats in rows, like an airport and not particularly comfortable. It was now about 11 AM and we were exhausted. We all had to wait until 1 PM to board. Meanwhile other passengers had to wait until 2 PM. All this time Celebrity offered only water and fruit punch starting at 12 noon. Once on board we headed for the 10th floor Waterfall Cafe and had lunch at the buffet. It was fair. At 2 PM we headed for our cabin #7171 and found our luggage all there. That was a pleasant surprise. STATEROOM #7171...what can I say...a little aft of center by the aft elevators...great location but SMALL by all other ships' standards. The same category on the Jewel, the Explorer, the Brilliance, etc., not to mention Regent's ships, is much larger. Our desk was small and could not hold a laptop with the ice bucket and had no drawers. The bathroom was adequate in size. Our shower had 3 holes in the wall, at the bottom above the tiles, about 3 inches in diameter each. They looked like mouse holes. In addition, one of the shower floor tiles was loose and flipped up when stepped on. While we always had hot water our neighbors on floors 9, 8 and 3 reported hours without hot water. Our sink had cigarette burn marks throughout. Our drapes had a hole/tear about 5 inches in diameter. Our table was dirty and rusty. Our sofa was more a chair and a half. Our bed had to be picked up to slide luggage under for storage. And the icing on the cake, our toilet had been used and not flushed! YUK! The verandah was tiny, though we had a somewhat larger one because of our location and the furniture had seen much better days. The glass slider doors needed cleaning. Our online TV access accounts NEVER worked, though we reported it every day of the 12 day cruise. One positive thing was that our cabin steward was very good. He had our room cleaned the minute we walked out and he always had ice and water available. We bought a liquor package with a 6 pack of diet Coke and did not receive it until the third day of the cruise. The night before disembarkation our refrigerator was promptly locked! The a/c did not work and we were frequently hot and uncomfortable. SHIP The dry dock for the Summit must have been for mechanical reasons for we saw no evidence that the ship had been refurbished. The 10th floor cafe had dirty chairs that badly needed painting or cleaning. The carpet was coming up at the seams at several points on every floor. The 11th floor men's bathroom had roaches. These were seen by my husband as they sprayed insecticide and the roaches ran up the wall. The Bar at the Edge of the World is now Revelations but the old sign is still there along with the new sign creating some confusion. I did not see the hole that some of you mentioned on the boards, but the dEcor was downright ugly. The theatre was pretty. The main dining room was also nice. There were buckets of paint with paint brushes and brooms and a ladder outside of the Rendezvous Lounge on the promenade. A real shame because it is a very pretty ship overall, with a beautiful staircase and quaint elevators. It is obvious that this ship has seen better days and needs some cosmetic work. ACTIVITIES The activities on board were pretty much status quo. Bingo was strange. We have always played for a percentage of the pot. On the Celebrity Summit, the prizes were paying off your shipboard bill up to $500. So what happens if you have a very low ship board bill? Well I guess you don't get a full $500 value. Another prize was moving you to a sky suite...half way through the cruise???? The enrichment lectures were excellent. The Captain's Club Activities were awful. First they were at the worst times, 11:30 AM. Who wants to go to a cocktail at that time of the morning? At that time you were usually off the ship on an excursion anyway. It was as if they did not want to see you! The Captain's Club activities were really lame! Even at the Captain's Night, the cocktail party had no introductions of any of the ship's officers. DINING The buffet restaurant was adequate, though one night that the ship left late they promptly closed up at 10:20 PM, when the closing schedule was at 11 PM, leaving many passengers without dinner due to late excursions. The main dining room was good. Our waiter and assistant waiter were excellent. The food was good. The Normandy Restaurant was very good with excellent service and great food. Room service for breakfast was always on time. The room service menu was very inadequate. There was only pizza for a late night order. Other ships have a more extensive room service menu where you can at least have a burger 24 hours a day. SHORE EXCURSIONS We took shore excursions at every port except Cherbourg. They were very good, including a lot of information for the time that they had. The local guides were great and very knowledgeable. However, the organization of how to get off the ship for these excursions and loading the buses left a lot to be desired. The excursion's staff on board was rude and infantile treating the passengers like children and idiots. One overly active and heavy-set young lady in charge actually used words like "dismiss" and phrases like "sit down and shut up!" There were moments of civil disobedience. Most people just wanted their excursion sticker to get off the ship on their own time and board the bus. The staff insisted on keeping total control as if we were prisoners. On other cruises, you receive your sticker and time of tour departure and as a responsible, intelligent adult you get off the ship and locate your bus. If you don't know, you ask and if you are not there for departure time, it is your responsibility. The Summit's excursion staff even went as far as to keeping the location of the buses secret at another gangway not mentioned on the public announcements or flyers so that those that would go off on their own would miss the buses. It was a silly, childish game of control and passengers were angry and upset. One time they made everyone wait at the gangway and sent all of those with tour stickers back to the theatre. Many of these were elderly that should not have been made to walk all the way back to the theatre. It was so bad that some passengers were in tears. At one time, my husband heard a reference made by the excursion staff to the civil disobedience that they suffered in Bonaire. We found out that there were many incidences of this nature on previous cruises. The excursion staff of the Summit needs serious retraining in being courteous and efficient. They were rude, condescending, downright nasty and unhelpful. This was the worst part of the whole cruise. They were even worse than the customer service staff. SERVICE As you can see from the previous sections we had many issues. We called many times and they would not return calls. The only way to get their attention was going to the customer service desk in person. At one port we were informed that 3 employees from the pursers' staff were let go so they were short at the money exchange. We only used that service once towards the end of the cruise and my husband had to wait over 45 minutes for the money. The concierge service was totally unacceptable. Our friends requested a rental car for Cherbourg and were rudely told that they should have thought about that earlier. They were promptly reminded that the port change had just been made and therefore there was no way that the rental car service could have been taken care off in advance. In addition it was Celebrity's call to change the port, not due to danger or weather by the way. They also had requested car rental for another port. The request had been made on the first day of the cruise. Once in port, they had to take a train, then a taxi to the car rental agency only to find that it was closed. They returned to the ship having lost their total day on that port. The rental reservation had been made for 2 days in the future, when we would have been at another port. They were never compensated or even addressed as to their lost day at that port. The concierge was totally inefficient, rude and useless. Our friends were not the only ones to have problems with this young man. We heard of other rude remarks and simple disregard to requests. The duty free shops on board were closed for the duration of the cruise. They were never opened. Something to do with European Union legalities. This would not have been the case had the ship made port in Morocco as in the original itinerary. Our Elite status was nonexistent but I must say that we did get our request for our dinner table being by a window and being only for two. We did have a lovely table. They served drinks at the Rendezvous Bar and at Revelations without cocktail napkins, which had the drinks dripping all over the table and your clothes. We have never had worse service on a cruise and we are so very disappointed with Celebrity. ENTERTAINMENT The Celebrity Singers and Dancers were very good as was the Band and the piano player in Michael's Club. The head liners were OK. The magician was really a comedian and not our cup of tea, but the singer was good and the acrobatic flyers were excellent. The a capella singers were also good. We found that the Celebrity Singers and Dancers needed some costume work as they looked a little threadbare. Over all the entertainment was good. We have seen worse. DISEMBARKATION We had purchased transfers from the ship to a hotel as a post cruise one night package through Celebrity when we booked and purchased the cruise. Again, we usually make these arrangements on our own with a driver and book our own hotel. We had been in Barcelona several times before and did not want to spend any extra time there, but our flight arrangements required an overnight stay. Unlike other cruise lines, when Celebrity gives out the luggage tags, they do not explain what the color means. Celebrity only tells you where and when to wait for disembarkation. We received purple ones. By this time I had lost total confidence in anything Celebrity, so I called customer service and asked what purple meant. It meant "Independent Traveler." So off I went to the customer service desk, again. They had no record of the transfer or hotel reservation. Not surprising by this time. I had all of my receipts and the passenger booklet with the vouchers so there was no question. They finally gave me the correct color, orange. At that time I requested to see the Customer Service manager...I had had it! She came out and I requested a private meeting or I would do my song and dance in front of all the nice people in line, about 20 passengers by now. I went into her office and went down the list...Don't think it ends here! We got off the ship, found our luggage and after 20 minutes finally found a porter to take our luggage to...where???? There were about 15 uniformed Celebrity agents in the luggage collection area, but not one of them could: A) find us a porter, B) direct us to where we had to catch our transportation to the Regina Hotel...No one knew anything! Once again they were totally useless, unprepared and just stood around talking to each other with little lists in their hands that meant nothing. My husband and I started asking around and also asking the other passengers that had deer caught in the headlights looks. Finally, after one hour my husband found a van on the other side of the parking lot with a paper sign with Regina on it...BINGO! This was our transport. The driver was never called to come and get us. The driver had a list of only 3 couples...there were 5 couples going to the Regina. Another couple had the same problem we had...no information on their post cruise package. We packed 5 couples with ALL the luggage into the van and finally got to the Regina. Needless to say, everyone was in a bad mood by then. Celebrity was the worse disembarkation that we have ever been on. We have been on 21 and they have ALL gone without any issues. HOTEL Since we were only staying one night, we chose the Regina Hotel. The service was a breath of fresh air. They were so helpful in every way. We needed a converter to charge our laptop and Blackberries and they found one for us. Then we promptly blew a fuse...twice! Each time they had the electrician up to fix the problem within 5 minutes! The room was spacious and had a Romeo and Juliette balcony overlooking the main street. It also had an in room refrigerator and a good sized TV. The location was fabulous, a block from Las Ramblas. We walked to La Plaza Universitaria and had dinner at a wonderful tapas bar with a great wine list, El Cellar de las Tapas. The Regina has a wonderful buffet breakfast included in the rate. It has a really efficient computer room with printers that we gladly used as we waited for our room to be ready to print our boarding passes. Rooms are usually ready at 3 PM. But we were able to check in at 11 AM. We were able to have the brunch at check in instead of the next morning because we were leaving at 4 AM for the airport and the dining room would not be opened at that time. The staff at the Regina was very accommodating in every way. The Regina also has a lovely bar at very reasonable prices. It is not a fancy hotel, but it is very adequate and clean and perfect for a short stay. Its location is fantastic and the service is flawless. SUMMARY I have never felt the need to write a review. I have logged on to Cruise Critic many times for information before booking or going on a cruise. This time our disappointment has been so complete that I felt the need to inform the rest of the community. On a scale of 1 to 10 this cruise was a 2...only saved by the country that we visited, Spain and Mont San Michel in Normandy, France. Our disappointment in the service and quality of our first Celebrity cruise is tremendous. We had the impression that Celebrity was a cut above RCCL. Though cruises can be like cars, you might get a lemon; we found that most of the passengers that we talked to were not impressed. Including a couple that had cruised 51 times on Celebrity; they stated to us that this was the worse Celebrity cruise that they had ever been on. We will not be recommending Celebrity to anyone. We will be sending a copy of this review along with a letter to the president of Celebrity and to our travel agent. Read Less
Sail Date April 2008
Left Norfolk, Virginia and connected in Philadelphia for our overnight flight to Madrid, Spain. We took the pre-cruise tour to Madrid and Barcelona. Our tour guide in both places was wonderful. We stayed in 2 different hotels. One in ... Read More
Left Norfolk, Virginia and connected in Philadelphia for our overnight flight to Madrid, Spain. We took the pre-cruise tour to Madrid and Barcelona. Our tour guide in both places was wonderful. We stayed in 2 different hotels. One in Madrid was a classy hotel with wonderful food in the morning. We loved Madrid (not so much the graffiti). Seeing the Palace de Royale and the Prado made this part of the trip. We were in Madrid for 2 nights and then left by hi-speed train to Barcelona. We also saw Flamenco dancers and had a real special dinner dockside in Barcelona. We arrived at the pier by about 11:30AM and went through check-in very quickly. Since we were in a celebrity suite, we were shown to our suite immediately. We met some of our group in the cafe. Up to this point all went well. All of the places that we visited were great, if expensive. We were constantly surprised at how dirty some of the places were (especially Naples and Istanbul). It was funny having to pay to use the restrooms (Athens) and not finding locked doors or toilet paper. We learned rather quickly about the prices in Italy. We sat down in a street cafe in Florence and ordered a soup, small pizza, coffee and a bottle of water that set us back almost 40 euro. We did love all the places that we saw, and loved Venice the most. We disembarked in Venice and stayed a few extra days at the Monaco & Grand Canal Hotel. Well worth the money and they too served a wonderful complimentary breakfast each morning. Loved all the places to shop in Venice. We allowed the concierge in the hotel to make our arrangements for a lovely gondola ride. The only glitch in Venice, was the fact that our luggage did not arrive from the port for hours. We left all of our things at the pier and were told that the water taxi was right behind us. Our itinerary included Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Turkey. Our suite was a great size, not as big a bathroom as I would have liked. Bigger bathrooms aboard Holland America and Royal Caribbean in the same class. The idea of having a butler was great. Manuel was our butler and he looked after our every need. He realized that my husband enjoyed the sushi and every night he brought him a plate. My biggest complaint was about the food. The specialty restaurant was fabulous (we ate there twice), but the regular food was way below the standards we had become accustomed to. Service in the cafe was so so. I finally found it just easier to always have the chicken salad for lunch and the pasta for dinner in the cafe. The Main Dining rooms food was just OK. The one time that the food was great was a Saturday Brunch. I remarked to our butler about where was that food and he just smiled. We only ate in the Main Dining room 5 times out of 14. By the end of the cruise many people came down with some type of virus. We felt that we should have been notified BEFORE we saw people wearing masks and being told that we could no longer serve ourselves. 3 of the couples that were in our group were actually quarantined. This cruise was the first time that we filled out a negative end of cruise survey. I even remarked on the survey that I was upset because we are sailing again on Celebrity's Millennium in April. No one ever called to address any of this with me. I followed up with our travel agent and she also received no response. Since we had already paid for our April trip, I pray that it will be better next time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2008
Thanks to everyone who takes the time to write a review, it helps a lot. My wife and I love cruising, although we are a little more restrictive now with two kids. Travelling with small children puts a whole different dimension to ... Read More
Thanks to everyone who takes the time to write a review, it helps a lot. My wife and I love cruising, although we are a little more restrictive now with two kids. Travelling with small children puts a whole different dimension to cruising. Kids that aren't potty trained are restricted from the pools, which makes sense. I think all parents should respect that, even if the staff are too reserve to mention it. I filled up the tub with water and put water shoes on the 2.5 year old and let the 8 month splash around in the sink. I've read some posting suggesting a inflatable pool. Back to the ship, beautiful ship, don't expect to have the facilities that the Royal Caribbean ships have. People cruise on Celebrity for a different experience, I choose Celebrity the last two times for the food. Unfortunately, the food was very good but not outstanding on the Summit. Service was again efficient but not outstanding except for our butler Manual. A little disappointed with the fun factory, my wife tried it once and they didn't really have toys for the under 3 year and she was turned off because they basically showed you the room and closed the door. Under 3 and not potty-trained children can only use the fun factory with their parents, which is fine but the staff could be a little more welcoming. They look disinterested and I wonder how they would handle 400 children on the Christmas cruise. Actually with a smaller area Celebrity Century Fun Factory is a definite 5+ but it's probably due to the center manager. The other crew on the Summit made up for the fun factory, from the captain down to the cleaning lady outside the dining room who would smile at our kids as they pass. Special thanks to the retail staff, especially Tam (sp?) who would stop and say hello to the kids, you know it doesn't take much to make a kid's day. There's almost too many port days on this cruise, although we appreciated the less travelled route. You would be wishing for a sea day in the middle of the cruise, instead of at the end of the cruise to enjoy the ship. Excursions (scuba diving for me) were all well run but of course about double what you would pay if you arrange it yourself. A few of the ports we were a little rush, especially if you tend to spend 4-5 hours out on the water. Never made it to the cruise critic get together because it was on the first port day before disembarkation, but what can you do with a 5 straight days of port. Yes, they did seem to have a few rude people on this cruise, but not enough to ruin your enjoyment. Another cruise, also out of SJ, I remember fellow cruisers let their kids loose well pass midnight, which is an issue for the parents and not the kids. Overall, I would say it was a good cruise, definitely recommend if for the first timer. It's either we are jaded or with the kids now, but it just didn't have the wow factor. For us you either need outstanding food, great facilities or great service, which again Summit was good but not outstanding in each of our categories. We probably try either Princess again or possible Celebrity's new ship, Solstice. For the young parents (or should I say parents with young kids), I heard that RC new Oasis (sp?) will have a nursery and will be taking care of 1+. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
This was our sixth cruise and our first on Celebrity. Previously we've cruised with Carnival, NCL and MSC PRECRUISE & EMBARKATION: We flew from NYC to San Juan the day before. We stayed at the Marriott in Condado; we got a ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise and our first on Celebrity. Previously we've cruised with Carnival, NCL and MSC PRECRUISE & EMBARKATION: We flew from NYC to San Juan the day before. We stayed at the Marriott in Condado; we got a good rate by bidding on Priceline. We highly recommend the Marriott. On a previous cruise a few years ago we used Priceline to book the Caribe Hilton, and the desk staff acted like we had leprosymaking us sit and wait in the lobby for hours even though other people were checking in. The Marriott checked us in even though it was only noon, and the entire property is top notch. We took a taxi to the cruise terminal and got there around 1 pm. Then we stood in a line to drop our luggage, sat in chairs and waited to be called, stood in another line to actually check in, stood in another line for security, and then stood in ANOTHER line to finally board the ship. It was the worst embarkation we've ever had, taking at least 90 minutes. At the end of the multiple lines, we were offered champagne or a mimosa. SHIP & CABIN: Celebrity Summit has been exhaustively described in other reviews, so we'll just say that on the whole we agree that it's a nice ship, well-maintained for the most part. The ship's art has been mentioned a lot; we didn't care for most of it, except the lovely Botero by the AquaSpa pool, and the interesting photography throughout. The library is very nice, although later in the week it was much more sparsely stocked than on the first day. (Passengers are informed that they'll be charged $50 for each book not returned, so hopefully the ship got all its books back. We always leave a few books of our own on each cruise after we read them.) Our balcony cabin on the Penthouse Deck was very small, and its design did not use space well. Placing the beds perpendicular to the door resulted in only about two feet of space at the foot of the bed. There was adequate storage. The balcony had two chairs and a little table, and was directly over a lifeboat. The bathroom had the largest shower we've had at sea, but the tile was moldy and the shower curtain stained. DINING: As we had more or less expected, we were placed at a table for six despite specifically requesting a table for two. The first night (open seating night) we spoke to someone who changed our assignment, while acting like he was doing us a giant favor. At least we got it done. The food in the main dining room was average to good. The service was good to excellent, and our waiters tried hard to be personable. Lots of tables had empty places, and it seemed like a good many passengers chose to dine in the buffet. The buffet, on the one occasion we tried it (the first day's lunch) was absolutely overwhelmed. Long lines, malfunctioning ice machines, running out of food, tables not cleared, and rude and pushy fellow passengers. Yikes. On the other hand, the dinner we had in the Normandie restaurant for our 25th wedding anniversary could not have been better. The service, food and wine were all impeccable. The goat cheese souffle was truly an amazing dish. We probably should have eaten there more than once. One place we didn't try was the Waterfall Bistro, which a number of our fellow passengers mentioned approvingly. We passed it one night and noted that, unlike the main dining room, it was quiet and peaceful. We should have tried it. The main dining room was not open for lunch. We asked a number of ship's personnel about this, and they all indicated it was a cost-saving measure. Well, even on mass-market ships like MSC, you can get a nice lunch in the dining room. On the one sea day, the dining room served "Brunch"....which was....you guessed it...a BUFFET. When we entered, there were no clean tables. We scrounged some silverware from other tables and ate at a dirty table. This was not the experience we expected from Celebrity. ENTERTAINMENT: The first production show, Broadway, was excellent. The other two are not as good. The theater is very nice, with good sightlines, and was rarely crowded. The comedian and magician were enjoyable as well. We don't stay up late or hang out in the bars, so have no idea how the other entertainment was. The cruise staff was personable, in the few interactions we had with them. PORTS: This is a port-intensive cruise. In St. Maarten we booked with George and Okeydokey tours. We drove all over the island and visited two beaches. We are not big shoppers (and it was Sunday anyway) but if we had wanted to shop it was available. We enjoyed St. Maarten. In Dominica we had a tour with Levi and Bumpiing Tours. Levi has become very popular (due in large part to favorable reviews on Cruise Critic) and he had about 20-30 people and two vehicles. He still did a great job. Dominica is VERY mountainous, and the roads are not for the faint of heart. The short hike to Titou Gorge is over very rough terrain, and it was raining heavily. Dominica is mostly RAINforest, and it rained all day. Most of our group didn't do the swim to the waterfall, as all the rain had caused a heavy current. Unfortunately the rain made snorkeling at Champagne Reef a no go as well. Still, Dominica is very interesting and beautiful. In Grenada we took a ship's tour. Every time we do that we wish we hadn't. It was a lot of riding around in a van, more hilly terrain (and really, after Dominica we'd had enough mountain roads), one waterfall, and a couple of stops to learn about nutmeg and spices. In Bonaire we took the water taxi (arranged through the ship, but reasonably priced) to Klein Bonaire beach, which is lovely. Be advised that it has no facilities at all; no water or bathrooms or anything. The coral is (apparently) mostly dead but there are a lot of fish and some people saw sea turtles. We liked Klein Bonaire a lot. In Aruba we took a taxi to Eagle Beach. It's a nice beach but somewhat crowded and the chairs and umbrella were expensive. DEBARKATION: One thing about this ship is that there are very few PA announcements. This can be a drawback; in Dominica we almost missed our tour because it was never announced that we could go ashore. However, on debarkation day it makes for a much calmer atmosphere. We waited a little while in the theater, then walked off the ship, waited in a short line at immigration, then got a taxi to the airport. It was handled well, but we like the way NCL lets you just walk off the ship anytime if you carry your own luggage. SUMMARY: There has been a fair amount of discussion about this cruise on the Celebrity boards. The fact that Celebrity apparently chose to fill up every unsold cabin (the ship was full) in Puerto Rico definitely created a certain atmosphere aboard ship. At least a third and possibly as much as half the ship were non-English speakers. That said, the only times the ship felt crowded were at embarkation and at the buffet (which we mostly avoided anyway). Because we docked everywhere and did not tender, getting off in port was never a problem even with a full ship. The theater was never crowded. There was always a place to sit and relax, although since we didn't use the ship's pool deck we can't comment on whether that was crowded. The one afternoon we looked in at the AquaSpa Cafe it was jammed and very noisy, and the food didn't look appetizing anyway. The spa pool, which could have been lovely and serene, was full of yelling young people every time we saw it. We feel that this was a good, solid mass-market type cruise. In no way was it a luxury product. Except for Normandie, it was not any better than the cruise we took on MSC Lirica ten months ago, and it was MUCH more expensive. Many people have told us that this cruise was not representative of Celebrity, but since it was our only experience, it's all we have to go on. Unless we get a really great deal, I doubt we'll sail Celebrity again any time soon. Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
We were 4 couples travelling together. This is our 3rd cruise. Carnivale, RCL and Celebrity. we travelled last year on RCL AOS and were expecting Celebrity to surpass RCL. We were disappointed. While i may mention that there are ... Read More
We were 4 couples travelling together. This is our 3rd cruise. Carnivale, RCL and Celebrity. we travelled last year on RCL AOS and were expecting Celebrity to surpass RCL. We were disappointed. While i may mention that there are definitely some areas where Celebrity are excellent, there are many more where they are not. i will attempt to go over them in this review... Embarkation was stressfree and efficient. no complaints in this area at all. upon entering the ship, we were greeted with a glass of champagne i believe, and escorted to our cabin. very nice. our cabin...bedding and linens were very good. cabin steward, Peter was the best we have ever had. He was always there and attended to our every need. bathrooms and shower area were very spacious, no complaints at all in this area. But there was a major, plumbing, sewer/drain problem on this floor, specifically in this area where our cabin and the surrounding ones were. the smell of bad sewage or for lack of a better word a nasty toilet smell was permeating throughout the hallway and really strong inside one of our co-travellers cabin right across from us. it was a repulsive smell. we didn't make too much fuss about it hoping that it would get attended to and be gone the following day. the next day, there were ceiling panels removed in front of our cabin and the others around us and it appeared that there were maintenance staff attempting to repair the problem. well, the problem was not ever repaired. this area of the ship smelled like a dirty toilet the entire week and to make things even worse, our other travel companions had no cold water once the maintenance staff "fixed" the problem and he was scalded in the shower that day. we had to let him use our bathroom to get ready for dinner that evening as he was midshower when the cold water suddenly stopped and he had to literally jump out of the shower to avoid burning himself further and he was not finished showering, bath suds all over him and all!! our friend ended up fixing the cold water problem himself as the maintenance staff didn't seem to know what was wrong, our now scalded friend is a plumber and figured it out right away. no one from Celebrity Guest Relations even contacted our friend to see if he was ok or offer any concern. The ship...i guess after being on AOS, this just was not impressive to me at all. i did realize ahead of time that it was a smaller ship, no problem, it was decorated nicely, and did not appear to be in bad condition except for the sinkholes in the dining room floor. quite dangerous and really surprising that a major cruise line would open themselves up to this type of possible liability in the event that a passenger could fall and injure themselves. but i just felt that this ship didn't have that sparkle or pizzazz that Carnival and RCL have. the main lobby area was mediocre. the bars/lounges were boring. there was not really much to the shops. mostly senior apparel and nothing impressive. there was no sundry shop to speak of. do they not want to make money?? we felt that after dinner, there was not really much to do except go to the casino. the service....excellent in the dining rooms and the staterooms but i did find that getting a drink of any kind was a monumental chore. if you had a pop card, good luck getting a drink in a timely fashion. also , some of the bars were not too swift getting drink orders either. what's wrong with Celebrity? do they not want to make any money?? i noticed on the last day, which was the sea day, there were more staff walking the ship offering drinks. the expensive ones too, not the drink specials.... dining.....the food in the dining room for breakfast and dinner was the best i've had on any cruise line. i found the selections and the variety very good. having said that, the chocolate buffet was a joke....nothing left but crumbs by the time we got there. not enough staff to serve the people. i didn't like that the dinning room was closed every day for lunch, what a rip off. and the buffet closed early so on a port day if you came back around 230-300pm and were hungry, too bad. pasta or pizza was all you got. ice cream was mushy all the time. i went without food a couple of days because the buffet was closed after 300pm and i didn't want pasta or pizza which looked like it had been sitting there for quite some time. dinners and breakfasts in the dinning room were great though. didn't take any shore excursions, did my own thing and found it to be cheaper and more to my liking. Do not get off the ship in Dominica. it is a very poor, dirty, little port. people bugging you as soon as you get off the ship to take their tour. most unsavory looking lot of people i might add. i did not feel safe at all and was afraid i might catch something so i went right back to the ship. i cant imagine why Celebrity would include this island as it is not ready to host tourists. no shops, no restaurants/bars/ just open air flea market kind of shopping. knock off perfumes boxed in the real deal boxes, drug paraphanalia for sale out in the open at the flea markets. just junk and people all around you begging and pestering you to take a tour. all the other islands were fantastic and tobago we didn't see as our cruise was shortened a day and this one was deleted from our itinerary. very few children on this cruise. did notice that they were taken care of doing activities though. entertainment.....?? went to one show, it was ok, all the rest of the shows were at 700pm and 900pm. our dinner was at 830pm. i question how we were supposed to take in a 700pm show and then rush to dinner? i guess we were supposed to get ready for dinner at 5-530pm, then go to the show and then go to dinner. we chose the late sitting for a reason, that being that we didn't have to rush to get back from port and rush to get ready for dinner or a show in this case. after all, we are on vacation and would like to take our time getting ready for dinner and show. but i guess not on this ship. what ever happened to the show being after dinner? it seemed that after our dinner, there was nothing to do on this ship. the casino was the only lively area. the bars/lounges were dead. no one in them. even the entertainers in the lounges we did attend were looking pretty tired by that time. we just ended up wandering around and passing through the casino and ended up in one of the bars and really felt like it was supposed to be bedtime and we should go back to our cabins. even the bar staff were not very welcoming when we entered the areas. the pool area during the day was like a funeral home. no music. none, at all. no one talking, everyone was just laying in their chairs like a bunch of dead fish. on the last day, the sea day. the band started up at 400pm!! it was almost depressing. good thing we had ourselves to keep company with and we made our own fun and conversation. i just felt that the cruise did nothing to offer any type of entertainment or attempt to create a pleasant atmosphere during the day or evening. it seemed that since it was a port intensive itinerary, that the days we were in port, there was not much to do, see or eat on board. disembarkation....again, very easy, organized, went quick, got our luggage and away we went. summary....all in all, it was a disappointment. we felt that we did not get the full cruise experience on this ship. maybe it was a fluke, maybe it is meant for a different kind of people than we are. who knows....i would not recommend this cruise to anyone who is looking to have fun. it was kind of boring. 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Sail Date January 2009
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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