643 Celebrity Summit Cruise Reviews

Loved the cruise, but had very inadequate service in the cosmopolitan dining room for breakfast and lunch... mentioned it to our waiter Mario... who was wonderful... and he told us to complain, because they did not have enough kitchen ... Read More
Loved the cruise, but had very inadequate service in the cosmopolitan dining room for breakfast and lunch... mentioned it to our waiter Mario... who was wonderful... and he told us to complain, because they did not have enough kitchen help.. that's why everything was so slow.... the last time we tried it for breakfast we waited over 15 minutes for coffee....without stopping at our table ..... we had to flag waiters down....and the service staff was surly and gumpy...it was not up to Celebrity status.... also felt the Island tours were poor... we took a great one in St Maarten... and art tour, so we were so excited to sign up for others on St Kitts, st Thomas and St, Lucia.... on St Thomas and Kitts... the tours just led us to places that sold tacky items.... every stop!!!!also both tour guides had poor english and did not know anything... on St Kitts the guy would read all the signs... never explaining anything... nor could he answer questions.... we like to stay with the ship tours but these were expensive and disappointing... then in St Lucia... I found on a website the recommendation of jungle tours with Gerald Lecompte.... do not sign up with him...., the tour was awful... almost made us late for the boat and we missed one of the sites.... it cost us $80 per person... what a rip off.... never again will I take a recommendation from a website...not only that ...the tour guide drank rum punch the whole day... and fell asleep on the wild trip home.... I also thought that celebrity should have offered more snorkeling tours... I waited to sign up due to weather and stuff... and all were sold out immediately.... that's why we ended up with the island tours... in Barbados we rented our own cab and also rode the bus from the beach to the ship.... that turned out to be one of our better days... Needless to say.. it is buyer beware and I have certainly learned my lesson.... we cruise a lot and travel a lot... so this was a hard experience to have.., I thought I knew it all.... what a mistake that was.... Love celebrity line and will continue to use them... but with the understanding that I have to lower my expectations...I feel the cruise lines have to take a bit more responsibility for the trips they recommend... and should clarify that drivers need to speak english... Last year on the Infinity tour thro the Panama Canal... we had a young female student guide us through a full day trip in Costa Rica... she was grand and got a huge tip from all of us....Once again... I have just had such high quality from Celebrity in the past... that this experience has shaken my confidence... I hope all readers learn from my experience and do more research on the offered tours.... and fort lauderdales parking and baggage pickup was awful.... Read Less
Sail Date January 2004
THE SUMMIT We boarded at 11:30 Friday morning, June 11th,. Embarkation was quick, friendly and efficient. Posed for the Welcome Aboard picture and up the gangway we went. Service staff was available with a tray of champagne and OJ. We were ... Read More
THE SUMMIT We boarded at 11:30 Friday morning, June 11th,. Embarkation was quick, friendly and efficient. Posed for the Welcome Aboard picture and up the gangway we went. Service staff was available with a tray of champagne and OJ. We were handed an information sheet on what was open and told that our Sky Suite would be available after 1 pm. As we had had a late breakfast, we decided a tour of the ship was in order, and off we went to explore. The Stateroom We were in SS 6125, Penthouse Deck. The room was very well maintained, had a large bathroom, and extra room on the veranda due to location. Gene, our butler, appeared very shortly after our arriving in our room; our Cabin Attendant, Milford, showed up about an hour later. Both individuals were very friendly and quietly maintained the cabin throughout the cruise. Note to Celebrity: 1 bath towel, 1 hand towel and 1 wash cloth per person is a bit chintzy, don't you think? Women use 2 bath towels (1 for wrapping up their wet head and 1 for the ol' body). I know we can ask for more; but really, couldn't ample towels be provided from day one and then replaced as necessary? Also, it's time to replace some of the "suite" robes. Both of our robes showed wear; and one had a ripped pocket. It would also be nice if the cabin attendant would replace a robe that is obviously soiled (mine ended up with quite a bit of makeup on the front the 3rd day out). I put it in the tub with the wet towels thinking it would be replaced, but returned to find it had just been hung back up on the door. The Public Rooms: Overall, attractive and very well maintained. There was plenty of comfortable seating in the various bars; our 2 favorite hang-outs were the Martini Bar and Michael's Lounge. What we found "cheap", however, were the same plain peanuts and borderline stale breadsticks that were passed out each night with your drinks. Come on Celebrity! At least spring for the premium mixed nuts and maybe throw in some pretzels or "chex" mix. The Casino was a different issue, smoke-filled with only a very small designated non smoking space at one end with a few slot machines; if one wanted to play the tables you would have to sit in the middle of all the smoke. The Aqua Spa: Sheer indulgence, outstanding service -- what more need be said? Restrooms: What happened to cloth hand towels? Other than finding them in a restroom the first day, the only restroom I found for women that had hand towels - and not paper towels - was in the Aqua Spa. My husband, on the other hand, said that there were cloth towels in each of the men's restrooms he used. And as for hot, running water in the ladies rooms, it was virtually non existent in most of the public bathrooms I used. Restaurants & Food: Good selections in both main dining room, cafes and buffets. Variety of choices was good, with always a fish, poultry and beef selection at dinner. Top of the list - the chef's Coq o'Vin and roasted quail; fish selections were usually quite good, but tended to be fairly boring in presentation. The lobster is not particularly great (spongy and tasteless). Soups were also lacking in imagination and taste. The same consommE broth was recycled each night into a different "flavor", and the cream soups tasted more like the flour thickener instead of the asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower that was listed. Soup chef needs to pop up the flavor! Celebrity Staff Other than the Aqua Spa staff who provided 5 star service and attitude, both my husband and I felt that while service was efficient, there was no effort to go "above and beyond" what was expected. Bar staff, with the exception of one waiter, could not remember your name or what you were drinking (even though we showed up in the same place every night). On HAL, the bar staff "nailed" our names and drinks after one night. Our dining service was actually very good, with the exception of the Assistant Maitre'd assigned to our area. Our first encounter was on the 3rd night when he appeared at our table and introduced himself. He began asking how we were enjoying our cruise experience. We told him that we were finding Alaska a wonderful place. He then inquired as to the type of "experience" we were having on Summit. We replied that we found service to be adequate, but not stellar. We asked him if there was a lot of new staff onboard, thinking that this could be the "problem" as staff in several areas seemed unsure of what they should do and when. Mr. M'd stated "no" and said that Summit staff was exceptionally experienced. Obviously, our response was a bit troubling to him and from that night on he persisted in showing up at our table and going through lengthy discussions of how we were perceiving staff and service. No matter how we changed our answers to his inquiries (we got to the point that when he said hello, we immediately said "EVERYTHING IS GREAT!), he continued to ramble on and on. I actually hid behind a menu one night in hopes that he would pass us by -- he didn't. And lastly, but actually our first Staff encounter was with Jessica, the Social Hostess. She introduced herself while we checked in; and upon retiring the first night, we found an invitation to dine with the Chief Engineer the following evening, the first formal night. Only problem was, the invitation was for the early seating and we were "late shift." As such, I had already made appointments at the Aqua Spa that I really didn't want to cancel (my vacation, my stress relief time, my dining choice). First thing the next morning, we went to Guest Relations and offered our regrets to the invitation. We returned later to our stateroom and had a phone message from Ms. SH. I called her and again expressed our apologies and tried to explain, but she was not interested in a reason. She was extremely curt and dismissive in tone and hung up the phone after saying, "I got your message from Guest Relations." Ms. SH was also the person in charge of scheduling the Cruise Critic gathering. Once again, her timing was way off - she scheduled our party at 1:30 pm, exactly the time we were entering Hubbard Glacier (and all wanted to be out on deck). So, from a reserved group of 28, we had about 12 people show up, stay for 10 minutes and leave to go see the glacier. Lastly - The "Rules" Celebrity needs to decide whether or not to enforce their own rules: no jeans in the main dining room at dinner and no children in the Aqua Spa/T-Pool. Blue jeans appeared in the DR every night except the 2 formal nights; and children were in the T-pool every day. The spa staff would run the kids off when someone complained (I did one day), but unless someone said something, kids continued to be in the pool. Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that children are allowed to "eat" in the Spa Cafe, but not swim in the hot tub or pool. Maybe this whole, one area should be designated Adults Only? Perhaps since Alaska is a very casual environment, jeans should be allowed in the DR except on formal nights? Will we sail Celebrity again? It's likely, but not on Summit. There are many comments on this board supporting a great cruise experience on the other X ships. Chances are, we will give one of those ships a try next year. Overall Alaska experience? Phenomenal! Our comments on the Ports of Call are posted on the "Boards." Read Less
Sail Date June 2004
Introduction: This was our second cruise aboard a Celebrity Ship and was looking forward to a "different" type of cruise. For those thinking about Alaska, know that an Alaskan cruise is not for you if you are looking for a ... Read More
Introduction: This was our second cruise aboard a Celebrity Ship and was looking forward to a "different" type of cruise. For those thinking about Alaska, know that an Alaskan cruise is not for you if you are looking for a relaxing type of vacation typical of a Caribbean or Mexican cruise. The tours are longer and the weather is usually cool (mid to lower 60s) and damp (good chance of clouds and light rain). While the ship does have a lovely indoor area with its own swimming pool, saunas and deck chairs, there is little time to relax because Alaska is a sightseeing destination (unlike the Caribbean and Mexico where ports are generally the same). Embarkation: Celebrity needs to work on this. We took the train from Anchorage to Seward (about 130 miles) and while the train personnel did take our luggage to the ship, most if not all passengers had to walk the mile from the train to the ship. Seward has about three taxis. Walking to the ship was an adventure. There were no directional signs and the area where the ship was located had a cinder parking lot full of potholes filled with water. My carry-ons took a beating. I would recommend taking the train from Anchorage. It is a beautiful ride through the Kenai National Park, You can have breakfast on board - with their famous reindeer sausage. The sausage was very good but I had this continuing urge to sing Christmas songs (Sorry - My attempt at humor). Getting on board was very easy and fast. I would suggest you fill out your paperwork before you leave home and have your birth certificate/passport and picture ID ready when you arrive at embarkation. It also helped that those on the train were the first passengers to arrive at the ship. The ship: Very lovely and clean. You board amidship, third deck. Since you arrive before your luggage, take a walk around and get familiar with the amenities and locations of such places as the dinning room, spa, night club, and your cabin. Cabin: Clean, but surprisingly had less storage space than I am use to on a Celebrity ship. This might be due to the type of clothes that needs to be taken on an Alaskan cruise. They tend to be bulkier and probably took more room than usual cruise clothing. Cabin attendant was very nice and was readily available. We did have problems with our safe and had to call for help on three separate occasions to have the safe opened. On all three occasions it took a long time for ship personnel to arrive. We almost missed one of our tours because it took nearly 1/2 hour for someone to come. Food: As I said this was our second experience aboard a Celebrity ship and, once again, we were disappointed. Celebrity has a reputation for their outstanding cuisine. The food was just OK. Not that the food was not good, but it was nothing special. In fact, on two occasions I sent back my entree. The breakfasts were plentiful and the lunches were adequate, but, once again, nothing to write home about. One segment of the food was terrific. Every evening they had a Sushi bar. I strongly recommend it. It was some of the best I've ever eaten. Service: Very good. Always available. Met our needs. Entertainment: Outstanding. Night club shows were great. Comedian was very funny. Daily activities were wonderful. There was so much to do that we had to choose one activity we wanted to do over the other. Shopping: Anyone who says there is no shopping in Alaska is uninformed. Imagine getting off the ship and seeing Little Switzerland, Caribbean Gems, and Del Sol in every port! It was like coming home. I call Alaska St. Thomas with jackets and sales tax. Trust me - there's plenty of shopping. Ports: Juneau: Mendenhall Glacier and Salmon Hatchery were very interesting. Also recommended is the a tram to the top of the mountain overlooking the city and bay. The tram is less than a 1/4 mile off the ship. Easy walk. Hubbard Glacier/Glacier Bay: Outstanding. One of the highlights of the trip. This was one of our sunnier days. The mountains, ice flows and glacier were magnificent. The ship was able to get close to the glacier. I can only say - absolutely amazing. The ship allowed passengers to view the glacier from the helicopter pad located on the front of the ship. Take advantage. It afforded you a wonderful view. Skagway: To me this was the highlight of the trip. The history of the Klondike is told through the historical maintenance of the buildings, the White Pass and Yukon Railroad, the Red Dog Saloon (and brothel), and the people living there. Don't miss the small Klondike museum located in the railroad station and be sure to take a tour of the Red Dog Saloon's brothel - no its not currently in use. While we took the railroad to the top of White Pass, our friends hired a local taxi driver who took them along the White Pass trail by car. They had the advantage of periodically stopping, and getting out of the car to view the various highlights along the road to the top. The history of the Klondike is fascinating. Don't miss it! Icy Straits: This was advertised as an opportunity for visitors to see how native Alaskans live unspoiled by commercialism. As you disembark from the tender, the first thing you see is the "native" souvenir shop with soap imported from China and baseball caps with Icy Straits on the brim. It does have a lovely trail through a tall pine forest, but that's about it unless you want to pay $70 per person to see Indian dances. Ketchikan: St. Thomas of the north! Never saw so many stores since we were in St. Amelia. We probably had the most fun here. We got off the ship and saw a taxi with the sign "affordable tours". Yes that was the spelling. We looked inside and I swear the driver was a reincarnation of Gabby Hayes - crumpled hat, white beard and all. He took us all around the town and showed some fascinating places. Was terrific. Vancouver: One of the most beautiful cities I've ever seen. Took the double decker bus all around the city. Be sure to stop at Stanley Park and the Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden. When planning your trip be sure to stay at least two days so you can see the entire city and travel to Victoria to see the gardens. Disembarkation: Typical. The evening before you are given colored tags to place on your luggage. You wait in a designated area for your color to be called and then you stand in a long line and wait. Vancouver has a very modern and large embarkation building so finding your luggage was easy. By the way, unlike most destinations, luggage carts are free. Take advantage. Read Less
Sail Date July 2004
Ship: Summit Cruise: Alaska 7 Day Northbound Date: Aug 2004 I will try to evaluate the different aspects of this particular cruise as best I can. Embarkation: Somewhat slow cattle-call type operation. We completed all of our ... Read More
Ship: Summit Cruise: Alaska 7 Day Northbound Date: Aug 2004 I will try to evaluate the different aspects of this particular cruise as best I can. Embarkation: Somewhat slow cattle-call type operation. We completed all of our documents online, but still waited about 45 minutes between checking in and going to customs. My advice: Be early! (We thought we were, but I guess not) Room: Very nice accommodations! Our 1A cabin was perfect for the two of us. The balcony is essential if you like spending time alone enjoying the scenery. Early morning in the Inside Passage is not to be missed. We were on the ocean side of the ship, but our views and scenery were just as good as the land side, so starboard or port, either is great. Like a bus driver in Juneau told us, there is nothing on that ship that you have not seen before, so look outside! Food: Frankly we were disappointed. Food is supposed to be a highlight of most cruises, but not this one. Buffet: The buffet was never what we could call "good". The food was mediocre at best. We often joked that what was served in the main dining room one night would be found on the buffet the next. We were not wrong. Main Dining Room: Dinners were mostly just average. (We missed one night because we were too late, and one b/c of my wife's sea sickness) We had two "very good" meals out of five dinners in the main dining room. One of those meals was filet mignon- hard to foul up a good cut of meat unless you burn it. None of the meals were really bad, but not one single meal really stood out as excellent either. We tried a wide selection of main courses but found most to be bland. I guess the food was geared towards a less adventurous palate than mine. My wife and I enjoy wine with meals and ordered bottles off of the wine list. The list is not bad, but seems to be focused at persons who may not enjoy wine with dinner regularly. Wine also expensive (just like a restaurant, but with about a 20-30% premium). Surprisingly, lunch in the main dining room was where we had our best meal of the cruise. A creative curry lamb dish was excellent! Don't ever eat the buffet if the main dining room is available. Breakfast in the main dining room was the choice for my wife and I after the 2nd day at sea. Hands down superior to the buffet. Selections are constant throughout the week but eggs benedict one day and a bagel with lox and cream cheese the next is not a bad rotation. Sushi: Not a bad substitute when you miss your main dining room sitting. Good quality, but low selection. Highlight: The bread on the ship was all excellent. Every meal! Overview: Nothing was spectacular except the bread. Buffet was not good. Main Dining room should also always be the cruiser's first option on this ship. Service: The staff of the ship were all excellent at their jobs! The persons that we had the most contact with were our room steward and our wait staff. Both were excellent. Our waiter and assistant waiter were both top notch and would have been at home working in the finest restaurants in the world. I cannot say enough about these guys! Sylvanus (waiter) and Cosmo (asst. waiter) were both so attentive and helpful! They made sure that their end of the dining experience was all that it could be. Our assistant maitre'd was also very good at his job. He checked with us every night! Our room steward was attentive and efficient. We always returned to a clean room after breakfast and dinner. Very efficient. Shore Excursions: My wife and I both enjoy "going and doing", but we made some poor choices of shore excursions. Almost all are overpriced for what you get. We spend close to $1000 for 3 excursions for 2 persons. Too Expensive! This must be how they make up the profit margin for cruise tickets. We did enjoy the excursions we booked through the ship, but they were all a little too regimented and follow the leader for my wife and I. Crab feed in Ketchikan was not nearly as adventurous as it sounded. We enjoyed the experience, but we would try something else if we had the opportunity. White Pass Railroad in Skagway was beautiful, but 4 hours on a hot train with obnoxious people can be too much. Ditto about trying something else. We had the most fun on our independent and self guided trip to the Mendenhall Glacier. Also the cheapest! Juneau is a do-it-yourself town, so save money and book activities when you go ashore. We also really enjoyed the ATV expedition in Hoonah (Icy Strait Point). This was "going and doing" as my wife says. The guides and the activity were fun and exciting. I recommend trying to do some excursions on your own through the independent operators on shore. Some excursions will not be cheaper, but some will save you money! In Juneau and Ketchikan, there are tour operators on or around the cruise ship dock. Skagway and Hoonah will be a cruise-ship-only excursion towns. Disembarkation: Painfully slow! There must be a more efficient way! Waiting in the corral area for your color to be called is not fun especially when things are running slowly. Help yourself and be late for this. After Cruise Activities: We were do-it-yourselfers after the cruise. We planned 4 more days of activities after the cruise and had lots of fun in Alaska. We fished and toured and had a great time. Don't be afraid to do it yourself. The only thing we fill we missed out from a cruisetour was the train ride north from Seward, but our activity schedule was more conducive to rental car travel. Likes: - Excellent wait staff!!! - Being catered to - Having our food arrangements made (even though not spectacular dining, no thought to where we were going was needed) - Having a room steward to answer questions and take care of our needs! - Seeing sights that can only be seen by cruising Disappointments: - Very regimented life aboard ship - Very expensive activities and excursions - Disappointing food and expensive drinks - Embarkation / Disembark slow and arduous Overall: We enjoyed some aspects of the cruise and grew to dislike others. Nothing against Celebrity, but we probably will not cruise again for some time. After you have a few drinks and go on some excursions, cruising is not such a great deal financially. The style of vacation doesn't really suit our interests or our desires. We were much happier on shore after the cruise when we had a loose itinerary and a more freewheeling approach. We are already thinking about our next trip to Alaska! Read Less
Sail Date August 2004
First Cruise --- so excited --- spending 25th anniversary on a ship for 10 nights! Flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before - stayed at Embassy Suites - great hotel, easy complimentary shuttle service to Pier and free breakfast! Got to Pier ... Read More
First Cruise --- so excited --- spending 25th anniversary on a ship for 10 nights! Flew into Ft. Lauderdale the day before - stayed at Embassy Suites - great hotel, easy complimentary shuttle service to Pier and free breakfast! Got to Pier earlier than tickets reported - and glad we did. Waited in outside line (moving smoothly) for about 1/2 hour, and then got into the terminal building, and snaked through more lines and then sat for about 45 minutes. Went through all the security drills, then finally got on the Ship at about 1:30 and into cabin. Had balcony cabin - IA category guaranteed (might not do in the future). Had a tower/ladder off to the left side of our balcony that obstructed our view of the ocean/sunsets. Bathroom way too small, and shower stall too confining w/shower curtain! Celebrity can do better on their bathroom sizes! Bed comfy - king size! Room attendant was friendly and responsive to more bed pillows, ice, etc. Some nights - 5 p.m. rush - ice never came before our late seating dinner time though. Entertainment on the ship - we thought it was entertaining. Some shows/entertainers were better than others, but overall, the ship did a good job at providing a variety of entertainment. The Cruise Director, Simon, was the best (well, it was our first cruise) and we thought he was great! We were often rushing through the final bites of dessert just to get to his next "Music Trivia" game in the Lounge! Yes, we are easily entertained! The Acapella Group on board - SOULD OUT were excellent too - so we followed their schedule all week to hear more! Food - well, the dinners were great, not too much food though (unless you asked for seconds, etc.). The Belgian waffles were good - but we found the lunch foods at the "buffet" to not be worth much! Lunch at the Cosmo Restaurant was better. Room service worked well too - asked for items not on menu and got them! Husband ate burgers several days (timing bad for main restaurant lunch due to ports and activities on shore). Pizza was OK. The Gala buffet was gorgeously displayed and delicious (but those coming from late dining just couldn't eat much -- and then most of it went to waste, due to lack of interest by cruisers??). As non-smokers and coming from CA, we really noticed the smokers on the Port side --- and tried to stay away, but sometimes, you couldn't help passing through - especially walking through the casino. We attempted to use the outside decks as much as possible, just to avoid the smokers. Ports of call - well, the islands pretty much looked alike. We focused on shopping during most of the stops, and took 1 shore excursion on St. Lucia which took us on a short island tour, Batik Factory/Shop, and Beach stop. Watch out for the locals who bombard you at the beaches - (guilt trips ---tourists, money, help our economy, etc.) If you can, take the ferry from St. Thomas to St. John and tour that island. The beaches are less crowded and you can actually relax and enjoy yourself without getting hounded to buy something. Sea days were well spent on the ship, as there was always something going on that interested us. The pool area lounge chairs were in high demand on sea days - can't report on the pool, spa, hot tubs - never used them. We did notice that the over 55/60 crowd was the majority on the Summit - so if you enjoy low-key cruising, the Summit was the place to be. For our first cruise, that's what we chose, and we were happy with that decision -- it was a memorable trip, and we would recommend Celebrity again -- keeping in mind what type of experience you are looking for. Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
We thought we try another cruise line to see where they stand compared with RCI. The ship is the Summit and we were told by a lot of people that you will have great food and a real good time. The rooms are great and the people took care ... Read More
We thought we try another cruise line to see where they stand compared with RCI. The ship is the Summit and we were told by a lot of people that you will have great food and a real good time. The rooms are great and the people took care of us all the time. The main setting for dinner was 8:30 for us. We like to take our time and enjoy the day. We asked for a table for two, but received a table for 8? We booked in June of '04 and thought we would have no problem. Wrong! T he service was good and the table was very interesting. The food was ok, but not what we were told. I cook and I can tell you, not enough food to start and a very simple foods. The pool chairs were gone before 8:30 in the a.m. Celebrity line needs to do a better job in letting people hold 5 to 8 chairs. Their pools were good except for all the loose tile in one of them. I did find someone to tell and he said they knew about the problem three cruise ago???? So why not fix it? You could have cut your foot if you stepped on them wrong. My wife and myself felt let down on this cruise. We have gone on 12+ and the age difference was far older than a good mix of young and older people. There was no tv to see sports shows (Red Sox). The one they had was at the slots mech. The ship went to sleep by 9 p.m. there were no people around. That tells you how old most of them were. I have to say one thing. Boy can they dance!! We will see what the Star Princess has to offer this month. Have a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
Celebrity Summit November 15, 2004 - W. Caribbean - 11 Day Cruise Ship: Am comparing this ship to previous cruises the past 4 years (CostaAtlantica; RCI Radiance of the Seas; Norwegian Sun; Carnival Spirit and Legend and HAL Oosterdam). ... Read More
Celebrity Summit November 15, 2004 - W. Caribbean - 11 Day Cruise Ship: Am comparing this ship to previous cruises the past 4 years (CostaAtlantica; RCI Radiance of the Seas; Norwegian Sun; Carnival Spirit and Legend and HAL Oosterdam). This three-year-old ship is tastefully decorated in a low-key way. It does not exhibit the glitz and gaudiness of the new ships we have been on in the past four years. All common areas are coordinated in terms of color and fabrics, most pleasing to the eye. At 91,000 tons she is indeed large and very spacious. Much varied and beautiful art work throughout the ship. Very nice common areas including Celebrity theatre .. one of the nicest, best decorated and well set up in terms of rows, fixed tables, and space for people to get by those already seated. Revelations lounge ... large area for dancing on deck 11 (where the DJ and band plays every night. Waterfall cafeteria (breakfast and lunch) - light, bright and nicely decorated; Cosmopolitan main dining room. Elegant in a word! I also felt that the ride was a little bit smoother than most ships! Had no problems with the much publicized gas turbine engines. Ship's guests: Only 30 children on this ship! More mature average age than most ships. All well behaved! Many many dressed up on the ship's three formal nights. Most men wore tuxes. Could not help but notice that there was a significant number of British residents on this ship. Room: 7193 far aft, port side is spacious 1B category (190 sq. ft.) with small balcony. Lots of storage room. Larger stall shower than most ships. Lots of shelves in bathroom, below the sink. Hair dryer in bathroom above the commode. Balcony room is comfortable though not as large as we had on HAL's Oosterdam last Xmas. Balcony is cramped and confining. Note: the balcony rooms at the dead back of the ship have larger balconies. Route: Key West; Costa Rica; Panama; Aruba; Curacao (substituted for Grand Cayman). Key West: Took the $22 Conch train tour that we booked on land. Same price as ship .... but 30 minutes longer than ship's tour. Nice way to get the flavor and feel of the whole area. Did a $25 pp private taxi tour of Costa Rica with the Tortuguero canal. When you get off the ship go past the tour vendors and walk into air-conditioned building right before the main road. Tours are cheapest there ... by almost half. Canal ride is mostly a very pleasant boat ride. We did see a few sloths and a lot of birds and lizards. No crocs. Nice shopping at the pier -- numerous vendor stalls ... offering beautiful wood products, cutting boards, entire salad bowl sets for $25. Your can certainly find some nice souvenirs there ... and some bargaining can be done. Probably the best souvenirs of the whole trip! Transportation vehicles were on strike the day we pulled into Panama. All ship's tours were cancelled. Shopped at the pier. Not much there, except large, local supermarket where we bought inexpensive souvenirs. Heineken Draft beer was only 65 cents per can at liquor store right at pier (vs. $4.50 on board). Needless to say we brought cans on the ship. Most interesting thing at the Panama pier were the miniature monkeys children were passing around ... $1 for a picture. Sweet little creatures. Enterprising young children. Missed Aruba due to virus or food poisoning (from meal the night before? ... Scallops) .. very ill the whole next day. Was not the only one who got sick on the ship. The last four days we heard many comments about people who were sick. First ship I have been on where I got sick.. Fernette Branca (bitters) did not help. That's a first. In Curacao we took a local (group bus) tour of the island $25 pp.- 2 hours. Although we did not shop downtown, the bus did drive through many streets. Looked like a lot of shops. Island is charming, upscale, very European in feel and yes, those colorful painted houses are everywhere on the island. Shopping at the pier is dismal. Walk from the pier to downtown is easily 15-20'. It was definitely the rainy season in Curacao. Service: High point of this ship is its service. Superb! Employees seem genuinely happy, eager to meet and greet and willing to help out in anyway they can. Mendes our room attendant was the most efficient we have ever had. Our waiters/assistant (table 484)- Erol and Clikson were wonderful. Clikson even performed a magic trick every night at the end of the meal and shared the secrets of the magic with us. We tipped all of these individuals beyond the suggested gratuity (which we charged to the room). Entertainment: This got better as the cruise went on and overall was very good. Four shows by Celebrity singers and dancers ...each one was better and better and incorporated more sets. Two female vocalists had superb voices. Samantha Jay ... talented British musician (plays 3 instruments) and Tommy Bond (pianist) were great entertainers. Kevin Flynn was a good comedian, but we have seen funnier on most ships. Celebrity band players were great. Very versatile players. Cruise Director: Don. Very nice addition to the ship. He is the right age (maturity) related well to passengers of all ages, particularly the mature audience that is prevalent on this ship. He is most visible at night in the Celebrity theatre and the various venues. He was in a word ... a most gracious host. His young assistants could learn a lot from him. Ship's newsletters: Best of any ships. The most informative, the longest and simply well done. You were never lacking for information even on a ship where there were very few PA announcements. Embarkation/Debarkation: Smoothest, easiest and quickest of all the ships! Wonderful and greatly appreciated! I doubt that this system will ever be topped anywhere else. Food: Unfortunately this is a very weak point of this ship and perhaps shocking since everything else is so well done. It was not only our opinion, but also that of our table mates and many people we met. The only exceptions being the Aqua Spa Cafe and the The Normandie alternative restaurant, which I will cover further down. The food in the Waterfall Cafe (breakfast and lunch) was mediocre at best. Not appetizing, not great tasting. Pizzas were good if you got a slice fresh out of the oven. The pasta bar always had overcooked pasta and weak tasting sauces. Hamburgers and hot dogs ok, nothing special. French fries were good if you got them right out of the deep fryer. Did not sample the sandwich station, which is at the back end of the ship, not conveniently located. Many of the meals in the Cosmopolitan restaurant ultimately were disappointing. Soups consistently over salty, appetizers nothing special. Entrees .... Roast beef repeated constantly ... fish not a forte. Desserts were also nothing special. There were a few exceptions ... Rack of Lamb (offered two nights out of 11) was very good, but overcooked each time. Rack of Veal (last night) was actually good. Lobster (tail) was ok. Not mushy as described by other reviews, firm but lacking a good taste that one would expect. It was nice size, however. Exceptions: Coffee onboard is very good. Gratis beverages: tea; lemonade; punch and guava juice. If you like soppresata salami ... the real stuff ... it usually was at the Waterfall cafe every morning. No prosciutto until the last night at the Cosmopolitan ... on melon as an appetizer. One meager slice. I asked for more. We found the lunches at the Cosmopolitan restaurant even more disappointing than the Waterfall cafe. Bread was good on this ship! Aqua Spa cafe: This is a separate low calorie, cold plate area located past the pool where creative and light breakfasts and gourmet looking lunch plates are created. Very nice touch. Cold soups also available. Appetizing in looks and taste. No other ship has this upscale menu. The Normandie: The $30 pp alternative dinner. Don't miss it. It will be the only best food you will have on this ship. Room is beautifully decorated. Service is supreme and food the best you will have anywhere. Try the warm goat cheese soufflE. The Chateaubriand for two ... most divine cut of meat ... and any of the desserts ... especially the Bombe (white and chocolate mousse). Don't miss the cheese trolley with the finest aged cheeses that you can sample. Make sure to pick the aged goat cheese! Again, those of you who rebel at paying additional for a meal ... don't let the meager $30 cause you to miss the best meal you will have on any ship ... or even on land. It is that special. Pools: High marks for decent pools. Large salt water pool 15' x 35' - could actually do laps when it was not too crowded. Thalassotherapy pool .. adjacent to main pool is next to Aqua Spa cafe and actually is a very large Jacuzzi that has three forms of stimulating, pulsing action: on each side ... a set of pipes that you lay on that bubble and pulsate; in the center .... One very large pulsing stream that you "try to stand in front of" and get the biggest blast of bubbles from ... and four sky high spigots that come down on your shoulders and give you one heck of a shoulder massage. This gratis pool is a godsend for adults ... and it is free. No $15 a day charge. Thank goodness. Gym: Well equipped ... as nice as you will see on any ship. With appropriate amount of weight bearing equipment! Which most ships do not have? Nice workout, exercise floor. A lot of exercise classes (free and paid for ... are offered.). Can't comment as we did not use ... but the spa services were always busy. Since it is next to the gym we could easily see this. The ship appears to offer a myriad of spa packages. Overall Rating: 1-5 (1 being the lowest; 5 the highest) Ship: 4 Food: 1- 2 Service 5+ Route/Ports: 4 Entertainment: 4 Cruise Director (Don): 4- 5 Ship's Events: 4-5 Ship's Newsletter: 5 Embarkation/Debarkation: 5 Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
This was cruise #13. Others include the Norway, Norwegian Wind, Ocean Princess, Grandeur of the Seas, Carnival Destiny, Celebrity Horizon, Celebrity Mercury, and others whose names have passed from memory. Maybe I am getting jaded but ... Read More
This was cruise #13. Others include the Norway, Norwegian Wind, Ocean Princess, Grandeur of the Seas, Carnival Destiny, Celebrity Horizon, Celebrity Mercury, and others whose names have passed from memory. Maybe I am getting jaded but they seem to be losing their lustre. The ports on this last cruise were not the most memorable, especially Costa Rica and Panama. Costa Rica is very poor and does not encourage solo trips outside the port area. Panama could not protect the cruise line tours from labour problems forcing the cancellation of all tours. Took a taxi to the canal on our own, not much to see other than the canal locks that we could tell. Not even pleasant scenery. The tall ship tour in Key West was cancelled without notice. Finally we were told on the pier after waiting for some time. We purchased the tour on board but after being spoken to like we were less than human by one of the tall ships crew members, we were then told that the tall ship never ever had offered a tour at that time of day. Celebrity, hello there !! Key West and Aruba are good stops, Curacao is a bit iffy. Embarkation is slow, probably due to the staff resembling that of the cast of Cocoon but not as fast moving. Debarkation was quite good compared to others we have experienced. Food was just acceptable to O.K. Buffets were nothing special. The dining room service was very good, probably gratuity driven but whatever it was good. Entertainment was very good, especially the singers and dancers. The cruise director was invisible except at the end of each show in the theatre. Perhaps he felt he might have to mingle with the passengers, heaven forbid. He certainly paid a great deal of attention to the officers at the special Celebrity hosted functions. One member of the staff in the shopping area of the ship, not sure of his name but he had a British accent and gelled black hair, was probably the most arrogant and useless clerk I have encountered anywhere. Nice ship and cabin staff but most ships offer the same features to some degree or other (with the exception of the Norwegian Wind, what a mess). Not the best cruise I have been on but probably due to the choice of ports, so so food, and the ridiculously high average age of the passenger list, which appeared to be much higher than we have experienced in the past. I believe one of our table mates was called Methusaleh. Two members of our dining room table were on dialysis and one managed to spoil every ones dinner by being sick at the table just before the main course. Not done on purpose of course but it certainly didn't do much to enhance anyone's appetite. Maybe it is time to look at an island/golf vacation at a nice resort for a change. Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
This was our sixth cruise, previously cruising twice on Princess and three times on RCCL. Three of those were my wife and I by ourselves and two were with out two daughters in their late teens/early twenties. I am writing this review for ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise, previously cruising twice on Princess and three times on RCCL. Three of those were my wife and I by ourselves and two were with out two daughters in their late teens/early twenties. I am writing this review for people that are planning a cruise and trying to select a cruise line and ship that best suits their age and lifestyle and have broken my review into the sections that I believe are key in that selection. The Ship. The ship was built in 2002 and is about 92,000 tonnes yet it seemed no bigger than the Princess and RCCL ships we cruised on earlier in the 75,000 tonne range. There was no atrium to speak of nor a grand mall such as the RCCL Voyager class ships boast. The ship was very understated which I assume is to make it "classier" than some of the competition, but I preferred the artwork and a bit more glitz on some of our earlier cruises. Overall we were a bit disappointed in the ship itself, perhaps because our expectations were higher since Celebrity is advertised as a premium line. The one feature that we loved was the glass covered indoor pool/spa. The water was about 95 degrees F and had jets and recliners around the perimeter. There were also two hot tubs and a sauna that were not over crowded at all. Restaurants. The main restaurant was nice but certainly no nicer that those on our previous cruises and not in the same class as the three story restaurant in the Voyager. The Waterfall grill and cafe on the pool level (where we ate breakfast and lunch each day) were long and narrow which seemed unusual because the other ships all had a round restaurant at the top. This resulted in long walks to inspect the buffet lines and to find a table. The upside was that all tables were close to a window. There was also an outside section at the back which we enjoyed. We found that the various sections along the buffet lines were closed and covered a great deal of the time which we found somewhat frustrating. A number of people commented that the buffet was more refined than other ships because the serving trays had white linens on them and because there were servers to dish out the food rather than spooning it out yourself. I suppose that's a nice touch but wasn't a big deal for me. One evening we missed the early seating in the main dining room and didn't want to wait till 8:45 for the late seating so we decided to try the Waterfall grill/cafe for supper. We were surprised to find there was no buffet, but rather a section had been cordoned off and that full service meals were offered. After a bit of a lecture from a self-important restaurant manager about the need for a reservation (who knew?) we were seated and had a very nice meal and still made the early show. Food quality. The food was very good in general, but again, nothing out of the ordinary compared to our past experiences. Each night there was a fish dish, chicken, beef and one other like lamb, pork or veal. I don't know if it was the selection or just me, but I found myself having the steak more often than I usually do on cruises - I get great steaks at home and like to try different things on my cruises. We didn't eat in the Normandy Room because we couldn't see paying $60 when the meals in the main dining room were more than adequate. We did get feedback from others and I would say they were split 50/50 between those who loved it and those who were very disappointed. The food quality in the Waterfall grill was the same as other buffets. The hamburgers by the pool were great and the pizza was good as well. One of our favourite touches was the sushi bar but it was opened from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. only - and since we had the early sitting at 6 p.m. and the show ran till 10 p.m. our only option was to go after dinner, load up a plate and take it back to our room to enjoy after the show - probably "frowned upon in better circles". The Shows. Far and away the best entertainment of any cruise we've been on. The four Broadway style shows were the best we've seen and they had two male and two female singers - one of each was outstanding. Other shows included a female soloist who had been the lead in Les Mis and Evita in London's West End; a young woman in her 20's who played violin, clarinet and saxophone and had played an Prince Charles' 50th birthday party; and a pianist who we truly enjoyed. Of course there was a magician and a comedian the other two nights - both quite good. The Itinerary. The itinerary was great and probably the main reason we selected this cruise. We had not been to Costa Rica, Panama or Aruba and found them all very interesting, particularly Costa Rica and Panama since they were not simply Caribbean tourist stops. One suggestion I would offer is to do some research and try to book excursions privately ahead of time. You will save money, Get a more personalized service and see things you wouldn't see on the ships' excursions. You can do so safely by reading reviews and following chat rooms to find the local providers who get the positive comments. The Demographics. We found this cruise had the oldest group of cruisers that we have yet encountered. Apparently out of 2000 passengers there were 18 children. We saw almost no teenagers or young adults. If we had brought our daughters on this cruise it would have been a disaster, both because of the lack of people their age and the lack of fun activities around the pool or after the shows - there was some but very little compared to other ships we've been on. It was a bit too quiet for us as well, but clearly their target audience was retirees who want peace and quiet to have a relaxing vacation Conclusion. We very much enjoyed the cruise because of the itinerary, the shows and because we enjoyed our table mates (all of whom were older than us - a couple of pups at 52). However we probably wouldn't go with Celebrity in the near future simply because we're not really their target audience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
Part 2: Just finished a review asking Celebrity to manage its passenger list better. More positive and achievable is to ask them to manage their passengers better when they're on the ship. People who wear swimsuits to dinner in ... Read More
Part 2: Just finished a review asking Celebrity to manage its passenger list better. More positive and achievable is to ask them to manage their passengers better when they're on the ship. People who wear swimsuits to dinner in the dining room when others are in sport coats, or people wearing beach wraps on formal night could certainly be discretely "managed." The man who complained that his granddaughter's underpants were soiled as he set her on the Martini bar and ordered a "Ketel One and don't be cheap with the pour..." could have had a discrete word with Security, and all of us would have been healthier. The men and women of a certain age and size who insisted on wearing string bikinis and smoking cigars in the non-smoking section could have been pleasantly reminded that these are publicly-shared spaces... So much of the displeasure I displayed in a previous review could have been discretely managed as a discreet hotel in Europe or a big Casino in Vegas would have done. Perhaps Celebrity doesn't find this "tasteful." Well, as a victim of these fellow-travelers, I can tell you it's less tasteful to witness and attempt to recover from their grossness. A Perfect Guest. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
The cruise was nice but not exceptional. Here are some areas most people are interested in when picking a cruise - I hope they are helpful as you make your decision. Feel free to email me with questions. 1) Food - varies by meal. ... Read More
The cruise was nice but not exceptional. Here are some areas most people are interested in when picking a cruise - I hope they are helpful as you make your decision. Feel free to email me with questions. 1) Food - varies by meal. Breakfast: We ate in the "cafeteria" all but 1 day. Decent selection, but pretty much the same every day. Some days there was smoked salmon, other days pickled herring (strange for breakfast, but good). All days, they offered bacon, sausage, corned beef hash, scrambled eggs, hot and cold cereal, cheese, breads, pastries, fruit. There was an omelet station, which was good, and sometimes a belgium waffle station, which wasn't so good. Even though there was usually 2-4 paths to get the same food, the traffic flow was pretty poor since everyone comes in from the same end of the room. The other aggravation was toasting - if you want toast or a bagel, you have to ask 1 person in a central place to do it. With 2 lines feeding into this single person, it got backed up and often the rest of your food would be cold by the time you got your toast. We went to the dining room once - less selection, not really relaxing, and you can't wear shorts. Lunch: varied significantly by day in the cafeteria. Some days were lousy, like day 1, other days were very good (American theme day). Mexican was awful, Chinese was OK. Admittedly, we didn't eat there daily - we really liked the "healthy choice" offering near the spa. The food there was beautiful and delicious, even if you need to supplement it with fries or a burger from the grill (fries are GREAT!) Dinner: Dining room is nice but kind of noisy. It seems there were a lot of large tables for 10. We travelled with family and had a table for 6. All tables seem relatively near a server station where dishes clang, etc. Don't get up during dinner else you will be mowed down by a waiter! The food was pretty good most nights. Better than other cruises I've been on. As with most cruises, if you order 1 item from each category (appetizer, soup, salad, entree, dessert) you will have plenty, even if 1 or more of your choices aren't to your liking. Salads are very small - get 2 if you are a salad fan. They bend over backwards to make you happy here, so for example, we asked for escargot every night even though it wasn't on the menu, and they accommodated. As I said, most meals were pretty good. Rack of lamb was excellent, as was the chicken. Don't get excited about the lobster tails though - they were dry and chewy (not Maine Lobster). Deserts: lots of selection in the cafeteria and dining room - most look better than they are, but nothing to complain about. Desserts at the healthy area were very good - not sweet but really fresh. Cabins: We had a balcony cabin on the Penthouse deck. It had plenty of storage space - even the biggest luggage fits under the bed. You can remove the items in the minibar and use the fridge. The room looked a lot more "worn" than I expected given the ship is only 3-4 yrs old. Need new bedspreads, curtains, and deck furniture. The bed was very comfortable, although I needed more pillows and was able to request feather. The bathroom got musty towards the end of the week - we should have asked for the shower curtain to be washed mid-week. Lousy hair dryer (like a shopvac on blow). Bring one. The vanity was chipped, but the bathroom had plenty of storage and the shower had a hand-held shower head. TV choices were very limited. A bunch of ship stations with pitches for the auctions and ports, plus CNN (not headline), TNT, Cartoon Network, and one other station. Movies are pay per view and very expensive compared to home. Ports of call: I don't cruise for the ports, I cruise for the experience. That being said, I did like Costa Rica and Panama since I'd never been, and we did some nice excursions at most stops - contact me for more details. General: I don't recommend this cruise unless you are 65+, since that's the avg age I'd guess. There was very little to do during the 4 days at sea, and the entertainment was positively AWFUL. There was a good comedian 1 night, but other than that, it was mostly song and dance similar to a high school production. Don't get fooled by the Cirque du Soleil stuff - there are 2 "aerialists" who do a short performance on 2 nights as part of the show. They are very good but sitting for nearly an hour to see 7 minutes of good performance is not a viable trade-off. There is also a funky bar on deck 11 that features Cirque theses some night. It's odd, and not suited to the cruise passenger population. Shopping: decent selection of stores, auctions (art and wine), etc. Casino: good - big, lots of tables and machines - decent payouts, and fun competitions during sea days Movies: they have a theater but play 3rd rate movies only a few times a day that generally conflict with other activities (like dinner or excursions) Health Spa: double or triple the cost of home, but you'll get a 40% off coupon for 1 service if you book an excursion. They also have specials. Bottom line - we had a good time because it was vacation, but I won't sail Celebrity again until I'm in my 60s. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
About Us My husband and I are both 32 with no children. We have cruised 5 times before (on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and now Celebrity). This was our first Celebrity cruise. We lived in Maryland for 10 years before moving to the West ... Read More
About Us My husband and I are both 32 with no children. We have cruised 5 times before (on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and now Celebrity). This was our first Celebrity cruise. We lived in Maryland for 10 years before moving to the West coast a few years ago. We currently reside in Las Vegas, Nevada where I am a web site designer and he is an attorney. Type of Room Booked: Concierge Class stateroom, Cabin 8143. Cruise: 10 Day Mexican Riviera, round-trip from Los Angeles. September 29 - October 10, 2005. Ports of Call / Shore Excursions I am not reviewing the ports of call since the Summit sails all over the world and has such a varied itinerary. We have never booked a shore excursion on a cruise and prefer to "do our own thing " while on vacation. Embarkation Out of all the cruises I've been on, embarkation was the absolute smoothest. We arrived at the pier a little after 12:30 in the afternoon and we were standing on our stateroom balcony within 20 minutes. Since we were booked in Concierge Class, we had a special line and the service was very fast. After a quick scan of our carry on baggage and a check of our passports and ids we were stopped for the standard embarkation photograph and headed on board. Once on board, Celebrity's reputation for the highest levels of elegant service began! We were greeted by a white-gloved, tuxedoed employee (the first of many on this voyage). He handed us each a glass of champagne and escorted us to our stateroom. while a talented harpist played quietly in the atrium. Our stateroom was ready with the door open. Inside we found fresh flowers, a bowl of fresh fruit, chilled ice and water, and a bottle of champagne on ice. Concierge Class Let me say that the charge for Concierge Class was absolutely, 100% worth it! We received special service in all areas on this cruise. We had priority use of the Concierge desk (though we only used this once, it was still great to know it was there). We had complimentary use of a pair of binoculars that came in handy from our balcony stateroom. Fresh flowers in a modern flexible vase adorned the desk area and on formal nights, a single long-stemmed rose appeared in a stainless steel vase in the bathroom. Each day a large bowl of fresh fruit was delivered to our room as well as evening canapes (an assortment of 6 small toast rounds topped with a variety of goodies, from shrimp to caviar to proscuitto and melon). Every day we had a fresh bucket of ice and a carafe filled with chilled water. The fluffy robes were nice as well, as was the super soft, high thread count Egyptian cotton sheets, fluffy duvet, and the menu of pillows (we chose an extra foam and a down pillow). The high power massaging showerhead was a pleasure to use too. The use of a large golf umbrella came in handy as well when the rain started pouring down in port! A decent Celebrity tote bag came in handy too and on the last night before the cruise ended, a very nice nylon collapsible bag and small overnight makeup bag were delivered to our stateroom for our overnight items. Our luggage was also delivered to us within one hour of sailing. Most people didn't get their luggage until much later. The one thing that absolutely made CC worth the price was the priority tender service. This saved us so much time in port! Every morning when tender service was required, two VIP vouchers were delivered to our stateroom. These were like magic tickets! You flashed them and you were put on the first available tender immediately. One morning, they even held a tender until we arrived! I was shocked! The early embarkation and debarkation was great too, though debarking was a nightmare as you'll read below. Everything Celebrity promises to CC guests in their promotional literature was delivered, though the only disappointment was the "personalized stationery. " It was more like paper with a laser printout of your name and cabin number, though it, too, did come in handy! Staterooms We were impressed with the layout of our stateroom. The design gave it a true sense of spaciousness and we never lacked for storage space or room to move around. The balcony was large with a nice big table and a small side cocktail table. The chairs had nice, thick blue cushions on them. I also loved how the balcony had clear glass on the bottom so you had an unobstructed view of the ocean. We found that the balconies weren't as private as on other ships. You could easily see the folks on each side of you, below you and above you. there are also "portholes " on the floor in the Waterfall Cafe upstairs, so if someone decided to get on the hands and knees and look down the hole, they could see right on your balcony and with the position of the mirrors, right into your stateroom. So make sure you keep your curtains closed when you aren't dressed! The bed was very comfortable and the upgraded luxury bedding was great. Soft sheets and fluffy pillows made it feel like a true floating resort. The fluffy towels were nice as well, and we also had a soft cotton bath rug in the bathroom. We found the bathroom to be not in the best of shape, but it was nothing to seriously complain about -- just a cracked tile here and there. The shower had a curtain and it would have been nicer if it was an actual door, but the shower was large and could accommodate 2 people! Our bathroom had a large container of cotton balls and swabs, mints, a sewing kit, shower cap and an array of small bottles of shampoo, lotion and more. There were also shampoo and lotion dispensers on the wall. Stateroom Attendant Our attendant was the best we have ever had on any cruise anywhere, period. Jose was like a ghost -- we hardly ever saw him, but no matter when we left, we came back and our room was spotless. After the first day, he easily adapted to our lazy schedule with no problem. On the first day at sea, we wanted some extra ice and water. After that, he brought extra ice and water every day. We never, ever had to ask for anything else again! It was weird -- it was almost like he could "sense " what you needed and when you needed it before you even knew you needed it yourself! I am not kidding. We'd come back from the pool deck and he would have even folded our dirty clothes and placed them in a neat pile! When you order room service, 9 times out of 10 your stateroom attendant will deliver your food. He would never take individual tips for that (we usually give $5 cash each time someone brings our food) so we more than made up for it in a large extra tip at the end of the cruise. Oh, and there are no animals made out of towels like on other cruise lines, but you do get yummy mocha flavored chocolate on your pillow each night! Dress Code There's been a lot of speculation on many travel boards about the dress code on board Celebrity. Let me start by saying that probably 99.9% of cruisers on our voyage respected and honored the dress code each evening. On formal nights there were more tuxedos than suits and more gowns than cocktail dresses, at least on the first formal night. It was fun to dress up for dinner and everyone looked so nice in their gowns and tuxedos. If you do not own a tuxedo, I highly recommend that all gentlemen rent one. The one thing I hated about the dress code is that it applied to all public areas on the ship after 6 p.m. We found it pretty unpleasant to be sitting in a bar at midnight in a stifling tuxedo and itchy beaded dress. But we, like most others on board, happily complied with the dress code. Each night at the dining room, the Maitre'D would greet everyone entering but I never saw him turn anyone away. I also never saw anyone turned away at the shows either, however, most people respected the dress code. Another thing to note: no jeans are allowed in the Cosmopolitan dining room at any time -- not for breakfast, lunch or for dinner. You can wear shorts to breakfast and lunch, but NO JEANS, EVER. Casual is the order of the day at all other times. I'm not a cruise snob -- I say let people wear whatever they want since they are on vacation. But at the same time, I believe in respecting cruising traditions when appropriate, and it wasn't hard for us to pack our tuxedo, suits, cocktail dresses and gown. And it's not hard for you, either! Common Areas / Public Rooms This ship is loaded with privately commissioned modern artwork and it is gorgeous. From sculptures to paintings to photographs, the ship is a floating modern art gallery! Even the hallways to the cabins (and our stateroom) had original photographs / artwork on the walls. Fresh flowers abound on this ship too. Our stateroom had long stemmed roses and fresh flowers, and the public bathrooms on each deck always had fresh flowers in them! The most inspired area on the ship was the Bar at the Edge of the Earth. Unfortunately, it was woefully underutilized except for the $40 bingo games. The bar was co-created by Cirque du Solei and is the funkiest place you'll ever see. Be sure to check out the oversized cabanas at the back of the club -- snag one of those and you can lie down and look out the front of the ship. A perfect activity just before the sun sets. The other bars were decent. Celebrity hypes the Summit as having a Martini Bar and Champagne Bar, but it's actually the same bar and isn't that great. We were disappointed in this. The pool deck was great with plenty of lounge chairs and two large pools and spas. The Thalassotherapy pool had a very nice area as well. Use of this pool was free. The shopping boulevard was adequate with the requisite onboard liquor shop (if you buy the liquor, they hold it until the last night of your cruise -- though we had no trouble brining liquor onboard after a day in port), several jewelry and watch shops, a couple of clothing and souvenir shops, and a super Bijou Turner store where everything is $10. My favorite part of the ship were the glass elevators. This is something I've never seen on a cruise ship. It was so fun to be able to ride up and down while you were looking out at the sea. The showroom was one of the nicest I have ever seen at sea. The ship itself was spotlessly clean and Celebrity seemed to be very concerned with keeping it that way. Automatic hand sanitizers were placed around the ship near dining areas and on the gangway. The Waterfall Cafe was a nice eating area. Make sure you sneak a peek at the portholes that are on the floor in parts of the Cafe -- you can stand on them and look straight down at the ocean! Our stateroom was in very good condition (just a couple of cracked tiles in the shower). I have to say that we also found the ship to be extremely warm -- they seemed to have a problem keeping the public areas well cooled, especially the Waterfall Cafe, the dining room and the bars. We were fine in our stateroom and the air conditioner worked great. Just something to note. All in all, the decor was very understated and muted and was not gaudy or tacky in any respect. Anyone who loves the glitz and glamour will be disappointed in this ship. Anyone looking for 5 star hotel decor will love it! Activities Maybe this is because I am young, but I am not exaggerating when I say there was absolutely nothing to do on this cruise! My husband loved it and loved just relaxing. I got a bit antsy on the third day at sea. While we knew this ship attracted an older crowd, I really wasn't prepared at the lack of activities. I didn't want Carnival (too rowdy for us), but I didn't want a floating retirement village either. THAT WAS NOT MEANT TO BE DEROGATORY -- I love older folks and we met some super elderly friends during the voyage. I just want to make sure other young couples are prepared for this before they book a Celebrity cruise. We would 100% book another Celebrity cruise when we want to relax and do nothing, which was one of our main goals on this trip. Let me give you an example of activities offered during one of the days at sea (this is typed directly off my Celebrity Daily paper): Catholic Mass, Walk-A-Thon, Catholic Mass, Veterans' Get Together, Shuffleboard, Men's Doubles Ping Pong, Computer Classes, Informal Bridge Play, Scrabble, Chess, Backgammon, Paddle Tennis Court, Movie Time (theater showed new- to- video films), Afternoon Bridge Play, Silk Flower Arrangement Workshop, Arts and Crafts (I'm not making this up), Sunset Cocktail Hour, Bingo (at a whopping $30 per person to play), Vineyard at Sea Wine Auction, Art Auction, and Volleyball. On some days there were line dancing classes and there were 2 events on the pool deck at night -- a " Melons on Parade " fruit buffet with Caribbean line dancing and a country themed night with -- you guessed it -- line dancing! I thought the activities on this ship were severely lacking in both creativity and general appeal. We weren't the only ones who felt this way either. The one night they had karaoke for just one hour, it was standing room only. A few fun nighttime activities were a masquerade ball and a 50s sock hop (though few people participated). The casino was adequate and the dealers were friendly. Entertainment I won't mince words: the entertainment on this ship was absolutely abysmal. We were shocked at how truly terrible Celebrity's entertainment program was onboard the Summit! I do not feel we are being overly harsh. Let me explain why I would rate their entertainment an "F." 1. Lack of live music. There was hardly any live music onboard this ship and the music that was live was just atrocious. With the exception of the Martini Quartet, a lovely string quartet that played classical instruments in the Cova Cafe, the entertainers were not that talented. Most of the entertainers were the kind you just feel so sorry and embarrassed for. The "party band " Headlines was so awful they routinely "forgot " the words to the songs they were singing. Maybe this wasn't such a bad thing since they couldn't carry a tune. The singers at the karaoke show were much better. Michael's Club featured Betsy Bogart, a cabaret singer and piano player who specialized in easy listening favorites (think James Taylor, Carole King, Carly Simon). Betsy was great the first few nights, but her repertoire was so limited that after hearing "Both Sides Now " and "How Sweet it Is " no fewer than 3 times per night each show, it got old very fast. Paul Strowe was an average guitarist who played Jimmy Buffet songs by the pool, though he sounded like your father in law singing along with the radio. The Savoy Duo was by far the worst. This band sounded like a bad 70s synthesizer organ. Just awful! In most other bars and lounges, prerecorded music was the order of the day. We didn't expect rock and roll, but we expected better than this. 2. Production Shows. The production shows were horrible too. They were just so terribly outdated! In ExtravaDanza, the singing and dancing was pretty good, but halfway through the show, the California Raisins came out and started singing "I Heard it Through the Grapevine."! Yes, the CALIFORNIA RAISINS! They were popular 20 years ago! I wish I could say that is as low as the entertainment sunk, but I'm afraid it gets much, much worse. The next night we were treated to the "artistry " of a Xylosynth. Yes, a man playing a synthesized xylophone. Shall I continue, or are your sides busting from laughing? You would be laughing, since you didn't sit through the actual performances! The comedian Rich Pupura was funny and not the worst I have ever seen. The one bright star was Atonio Salci, a pianist who was the first honest-to-goodness talent on the ship. His music wasn't the best but he was a very good entertainer. 3. See the Activities review above. Food All in all, it was hard to get a good, satisfying meal on this ship and it is darn near impossible to get something to eat after midnight. The Waterfall Cafe did not have good food. Each day they would serve a run of the mill breakfast and lunch buffet. The lunch buffet would have a different theme each day, like Mexican or Asian, but it was never anything special. The buffet was closed for dinner and became the casual dining restaurant with table service and a menu. You had to make reservations for this service if you chose not to eat in the main Cosmopolitan dining room. We did not try this alternative casual dining as we were so happy with the service in the main dining room, though the menus for the casual dining restaurant looked very good (and served less gourmet and more "picky eater " foods such as shrimp cocktail, roast beef and pastas). The Waterfall Cafe did have delicious homemade sorbet and ice cream in a variety of exotic flavors, but it was very melty all the time and hard to eat. It also had a made to order pasta station and pizza station, but I found the pizza to be very plain (Carnival's pizza is much better -- yes, that is a fact) except for the individual make your own pizzas (you get a choice of gourmet toppings like blue cheese and sun dried tomatoes) and the pasta bar was disgusting and made the whole grill smell like rotten garlic (my stomach is turning now just thinking about it). One some days the grill would run a deli sandwich stand but I found the sandwiches weren't tasty either! A huge disappointment. In the evenings for a short period of time, a sushi bar was open. The Poolside Grill did not have good food but each day they had a special menu item (chili cheese hot dogs, fish sandwiches, chicken parmesan sandwiches) and great french fries. The burgers and hot dogs are what you would expect on a large cruise ship; edible but not gourmet. The main dining room had very good food. If you are a picky eater, or even remotely adverse to trying new things, you will have trouble eating in the dining room. The menu choices were not too varied and were often "strange " to most folks. If you love duck, frog legs, rack of lamb and the like, you will love the dining room. Every poultry dish I had on board this ship was excellent. I only ate seafood twice and it was good too, as well as the pasta dishes in the dining room. The beef dishes were quite good and the steaks were incredible. The fish selections are unusual -- not your usual mahi mahi or salmon or flounder. The soups were unusual too but very good. There was also a chilled soup selection each night, the most inspired being the "chilled cherry " soup. Duck was on the menu every night. My personal memorable meals on this voyage were a seafood kabob (with fish, scallops and shrimp) served with fragrant basmati rice and a fork-tender filet mignon. My husband loved the escargot, specialty salads and prime rib. The best foods on board were the homemade salad dressings and the pastries. I cannot rave enough about how great they were! Be sure to try every dressing that is offered -- you will not be disappointed (are there any other diehard Celebrity dressing / Goombay dressing fans out there)? And yes, on the final formal night, lobster tails are served. And they are huge! Room Service had an inspired menu but uninspired food. The vegetable lasagna sounded good but was just a bowl with mushrooms, peppers and onions with one lasagna noodle spread across the top and cheese melted on top. The chicken noodle soup was awful -- more like a Japanese soup with clear broth and a small amount of thin noodles. The sandwiches were mediocre. As a Concierge Class guest, we had a special expanded breakfast menu that was absolutely fabulous! We ordered full breakfasts in our stateroom. The menu was varied and the food was good. My favorite was the yogurt and granola parfait, a large goblet layered with vanilla yogurt, homemade granola, blueberries and strawberries. I ate about 7 of those during the cruise! And it should be noted that each night's dinner in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant can be ordered and delivered to your stateroom. Just ask your stateroom attendant for the evening's menu and he will bring it in and set it up for you. My favorite part of the cruise was the nightly serving of Gourmet Bites. From 11:30 pm until after midnight, white gloved employees wander the common areas with trays of tasty hors d'oeuvres. They circle first with a tray of cold items, then hot items, then desserts. This was one of my favorite parts of the entire cruise. Miniature beef wellington, fish, caviar, croissants, mini pastries, tempura shrimp, miniature pizzas...everything you could imagine. There was a different selection each night and they were not served on themed buffet nights. I know food reviews are extremely subjective, but I have tried to be as honest and descriptive as possible. Service The service on this ship was impeccable. I have never been treated so "famously " as I was on this cruise. Celebrity gets the service aspect of their cruises 100% right on the nose. From the housekeeping staff to the bar staff to security and casino dealers, the service was incredible. The service even extended to days in port -- as we disembarked in Acapulco, there was a rainstorm. Celebrity employees held your umbrellas as you walked off the ship so you could hand over your keycards without getting soaked. In the steamy Puerto Vallarta, a valet was present with ice cold towels to help cool you down while you waited for the ship's tenders. (The towels made appearances in each port and in Zihuatanejo where the tender line was quite long, a server carried around a silver tray of ice cold water and juices). I felt like everyone on board truly enjoyed their jobs, from the clerks in the shops to the auctioneers to the room stewards and waiters. This is the first time on any cruise that we have tipped well above and beyond the recommended standard. We even gave the dining room maitre'd extra cash -- he was at our table promptly every dinner to chat and see how our meals were. The bar waitress promptly brought our glasses of Coke each night in the dining room. The first night I commented how much I loved the lemon that adorned the glass and each night our Coke glasses became more fanciful (with miniature umbrellas, lime swirls, triple cherries, etc.). A bunch of fun. Our waiters, Lloyd and Glen, were fabulous as well. After our first meal they learned our eating patterns to a "t. " They knew what we would order. Amazing. We tipped them 100% more than was suggested, as I'm sure most guests onboard did. The service was that incredible. When I wasn't feeling well one night and missed dinner, our head waiter called our stateroom to make sure we were okay. When I told him I wasn't feeling well, he showed up with a glass of ginger ale! The next morning when I was walking around the ship, I had no less than 4 employees come up to me to ask how I was feeling BY NAME (the cabin steward, our assistant waiter, and two of the bar waitresses). It was like I was a part of the family. If you want to be pampered in every way imaginable and be called by name as soon as your second day at sea, then book a Celebrity Cruise and you won't be disappointed. I have so many super service stories to tell that I could fill 30 pages. Disembarkation This was, I'm sorry to report, a complete disaster. I'm sure there will be many posts about this particular cruise and the disembarkation mess. I don't blame the cruise line -- the hold up was obviously with U.S. Customs. They had to clear everyone on board the ship. Once you cleared customs, you were given a pass and were able to disembark as soon as your color was called. As a Concierge Class passenger, we were the 5th color called off the ship (great since we were just driving from L.A. back home to Las Vegas). We were off board by 10:30 a.m. Read Less
Sail Date September 2005
My wife and I sailed on Summit from LA on 12 Feb for the eastbound trip to Ft Lauderdale through the Panama Canal. We have cruised on 10 occasions with three cruise lines; Celebrity, Carnival and RCCL. We had an outside view stateroom on ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on Summit from LA on 12 Feb for the eastbound trip to Ft Lauderdale through the Panama Canal. We have cruised on 10 occasions with three cruise lines; Celebrity, Carnival and RCCL. We had an outside view stateroom on the Continental deck. Embarkation: There was a long lineup at the pier but it moved quickly and we were aboard the ship about a half hour after arrival at San Pedro. Documentation etc was done quickly and in a friendly manner. We have had faster boarding processing in San Diego and Vancouver but the system at San Pedro was certainly acceptable. Food. This was our fourth cruise with Celebrity and the quality of food has remained excellent over the years. The Waiter and his Assistant (an Indian and Thai, respectively) assigned to our table were the most efficient, polite and capable that we have ever had. Their memories for "the little things" and their good humor were very much appreciated. Stateroom. Although the stateroom was well laid out with ample storage and met our needs, the daily maintenance of the room was not satisfactory. Our stateroom attendant (a Filipino female) was consistent in her absence and made no effort to introduce herself or request if we had any special needs. The bathroom glasses had the same lipstick stains for four consecutive days. The beds were poorly made with badly wrinkled sheets and blankets. A disappointment to be sure. Staff. The multi-national staff on this ship were outstanding with the exception of the Stateroom Attendant. Waiting staff in the lounges, cafeterias, theatre and other areas were friendly and helpful in every respect. Facilities. The lounge on the eleventh deck that was once called "Revelations" before being changed to accommodate Cirque de Soleile has a decor that can only be described as gawd-awful ugly. With the demise of the Cirque we certainly hope the old decor is restored. The most popular lounge on the ship, Rondez-vous, was comfortable and relaxed in spite of furniture that looked to be a day or two removed from a rummage sale. The chairs were worn, torn and tattered and seemed to be screaming for replacement or rejuvenation. When we arrived in Ft Lauderdale we were told by a staff member that the ship had not been in that port (with the Head Office in nearby Miami) for about 9 months and an inspection was scheduled to take place shortly after our arrival. Hopefully, the discrepancies noted above will be seen and rectified at the soonest possible opportunity. Ports. Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Huatulco, Cristobal and Oranjestad were just fine and the only disappointment was Puntarenas which had all the charm and dignity of a garbage dump. Costa Rica touts itself as an environmental paradise but Puntarenas screams otherwise. Trash was everywhere with bins overflowing. Plastic bottles, cups and bags were strewn from one end of the town to the other including the beach area and greatly detracted from what could otherwise be a beautiful town. Disembarkation. We can't comment on this matter as we were scheduled for a shore tour to the everglades and our departure from the ship was arranged to meet the tour schedule. Summary. We were on Summit for 14 days which gave us plenty of time to find things to whine about but despite those anomalies mentioned above we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and believe we received good value for our money. Any complaints we have can be easily rectified and we expect the appropriate action will be taken. Celebrity certainly remains as our "preferred" cruise line and we will have no hesitation in selecting Celebrity for our next cruise with all things being equal with other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
THE SUMMIT.  Hawaii Circle Cruise  9th  23rd April 2006. It has been over 25 years, since we last visited The Hawaiian Islands; so for something different, we chose a 14-night roundtrip cruise from Los Angeles with Celebrity Cruises ... Read More
THE SUMMIT.  Hawaii Circle Cruise  9th  23rd April 2006. It has been over 25 years, since we last visited The Hawaiian Islands; so for something different, we chose a 14-night roundtrip cruise from Los Angeles with Celebrity Cruises on their ship  The Summit. We chose the air/sea programme from the United Kingdom. Travel documentation arrived well ahead of departure. The information supplied was relevant and ticketing was correct. There was no shore excursion information, but details of these were found on the Celebrity web site. On arrival at Los Angeles International Airport, we were met and welcomed by a Celebrity Representative, immediately having cleared the Customs area. This rep was extremely professional and advised us as to the best places to eat and visit in San Pedro where our overnight accommodation was located. She escorted us to the Super Shuttle pick up point and remained with us until the arrival of the shuttle  gone are the days where guests travelling with Celebrity are transferred to their hotel by limousine, taxi or private coach. After two or three circles of the entire airport terminals and the many drop-offs in San Pedro, we eventually arrived at our hotel, a distance of 25 miles from the airport, some 90 minutes later. On arrival at the hotel, there was a letter from Celebrity advising us as to departure arrangements the next morning to join the ship. Luggage was collected from our rooms at the indicated times and the coach departed on schedule at 1.30pm for the short ride of about five minutes to the terminal building. On arrival at the pier side, the first thing that one noticed was the massive queue, which snaked in many directions. We were advised that this was the queue or line for security. Some 125 minutes later we eventually reached the security control and were quite surprised that only two facilities were open for the search of some 1950 guests and their hand baggage. It is obvious that Celebrity are only too well aware of such delays, as, whilst waiting in the queue, sandwiches, savories and drinks were provided to waiting passengers. Fortunately, the weather was fine. Whilst one fully appreciates the need for meaningful security in this day and age, consideration should be given to providing additional search facilities and that Celebrity transfer guests overnighting on their air/sea package at an earlier time to the terminal, prior to the inbound departure day flight passengers arriving at pier side directly from the airport, bearing in mind that check-in and boarding commence much earlier. After clearing security, check-in was swift and professional and a short time later we boarded the ship. The Summit, a Millennium Class ship, of some 91,000 tons entered service in October 2001. For this cruise, we had chosen Concierge Class accommodation. Our cabin, or stateroom was located on deck 9. On entering the vessel, we were given a luke warm half glass of champagne and we were offered the opportunity to be escorted to our cabin. Initial observations were that the cabin was clean, spacious and comfortable. Not having travelled in this class of cabin before, we were not fully aware of what benefits this entailed so sought guidance from the Concierge in this regard. We were advised that these included - Stateroom Amenities Welcome Champagne. Fresh Flowers Selection of Fruit. Afternoon canapEs Leather key holder Binoculars for use on board. Personalized stationery. Oversized tote bag Umbrella to use throughout the cruise Tensions-absorbing pillow-top mattresses Plush duvets Designed room service breakfast menu Bathroom amenities: Plush bath rugs Oversized Egyptian cotton towels Double-thick Frette bathrobes Two hairdryers A Hansgrohe showerhead Selection of fine shampoos, body lotions, soaps, shower cap, breath mints and sewing kit. A Menu of Pillows Sofa Pillows. Priority Services Express Luggage Delivery Laundry and Pressing Service Shoe Shine Service. Extended Room Service Dining and seating preferences VIP invitation to events Preference on Shore Excursions Early Embarkation and disembarkation Priority Tendering. Most of the above were available, others we had to ask for. It took six hours from our arrival at the pier until our luggage appeared at our stateroom  you could hardly call this express service! After having settled in the stateroom and on closer examination, we saw that there was dust everywhere  on shelves, on ledges, in cupboards, on the pictures. A Gideons Bible was on top of the bedside unit  I was able to run my finger along it a leave a trace. In the wardrobes, there were plastic bags and other items obviously having been discarded by previous guests. Under the bed there were crumbs, and empty biscuit packagings, whilst on the balcony there were empty cardboard coffee cups and discarded cocktails sticks. Not the standard that one expects from Celebrity, and being perfectly honest, this was the first time in over a dozen cruises that I have ever encountered a problem of this nature onboard any of the Celebrity fleet. Another most noticeable thing was in respect of the balcony. Owing to the design of deck 10, (the deck above ours)  an open deck - this deck extends well over the sides of the ship, thus preventing the sun nearly all of the time from actually reaching the balcony areas  not much use to those who want to spend time sunning themselves in the privacy of their own balcony. Incidentally, very few of the balcony cabins on this ship have total privacy; most can be seen in one way or another from other decks/balconies. Beware too of cabins with connecting doors - This decreases the insulation levels thus noise travels and one can hear your neighbours conversation even if they chat in low voices  also if your neighbours are smokers  the smoke can magically make its way into the adjoining cabin. We spoke with the Steward who apologised and explained that on turnaround days things are hectic and he did not have the time to pay attention to the smaller details as indicated by myself. I queried if such an amount of dust could gather within 24 hours? In fairness to him, while at dinner, he did clean the areas identified, but others not mentioned remained untouched. We also had to request simple items, like, a do not disturb sign, note paper, laundry lists  things that should automatically be checked prior to any new occupation of staterooms. We then went to the show and our first dinner on board. Previously the entertainment offered on Celebrity ships was good but nothing to write home about. However on this cruise, the entertainment on board this cruise was excellent. There was something for everyone. Special mention must be afforded to The Celebrity Singers and Dancers, the Celebrity Orchestra and those who presented the Cirque du Soleil and the Master Ventriloquist whose performances and presentations were outstanding. Music provided by other groups/solo acts in the various lounges throughout the ships was acceptable  though more variation would have been welcomed  3 `strings` groups  a Harpist, a Guitarist and a String Quartet, is a wee bit of an over kill. On many of the evenings, life on the Summit appeared to die at around 10.30pm  we found too many pre-dinner shows for 2nd seating guests. Unlike other ships where something major is happening in each lounge offering guests a choice, this just did not happen on the Summit. The `featured` entertainment programme although excellent was indeed limited. Timing of events in particular was badly planned  the Chocoholics Buffet and the Hawaiian Fruit Deck buffet were scheduled for 10.15pm, a time when guests on second seating were still at dinner. The Entertainments Staff were highly visible throughout the ship. The Programme of events for the following day  Celebrity Today was delivered to the cabins each evening. This was informative, but unfortunately did not appear to be checked for omissions or errors. On Easter Day, the biggest day in the Christian Calendar, the notification of the time and location of the Catholic Mass was omitted  this caused many who missed this most holiest of celebrations a lot of personal distress. Omissions such as this and other minor matters gave an overall impression that there was a `lack of attention to detail` in many aspects on this cruise. Others being, that whilst the ship is spotlessly clean, `streak` marks could be clearly seen on glass, dark wood, and mirrored surfaces and especially on stainless steel surfaces in and around the elevators. Though when this was pointed out to staff, they indicated this was due to the materials being used to prevent gastro infections and these could not be wiped off for some 48 hours after application. Ashtrays remained un-emptied and litter bins the same. Clocks not advanced after time changes etc. Chairs are badly soiled and showing signs or wear and tear especially in the Rendez-Vous Lounge. Meals served from the main menu in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant, were again excellent  well presented, well prepared and expertly served by a most professional waiter and assistant waiter who quickly learned and always remembered our likes and dislikes. At each meal, they welcomed us with a smile and took a genuine interest as to how our day had been etc. However if one chose have as an alternative of steak, chicken or salmon for their main course, (these items are always available) - this was very much a hit and miss affair. On a number of occasions, we were unable to eat our steaks as they were either too tuff, fatty and/or tasteless. The Assistant Maitre d' for our sector in the dining room did visit the table each evening and gave a well-rehearsed spiel. If you did ask him a question about something not included in this spiel, or complained about the meal, this caused him complete confusion, panic and seemed to send him into a thither, which caused him to disappear from the main dining room floor until the next evening. There are a number of tables for two. Chairs throughout the restaurant do not have armrests. It amazes me that when booking a cruise, passengers are always asked as to what size of a table they wish to be seated at for dinner?  Why?  Very seldom does anyone take any notice of this. On this particular cruise this was plainly obvious with many guests playing musical chairs for the first week of the cruise. Other single guests found themselves alone at tables as other table companions who had asked for large tables, as had the single guests, demanded and were moved, but the solo guests request was like a cry in the wilderness. This was indeed bad restaurant management. Incidentally some guests had to ask if there was actually a Maitre d'Hotel/Restaurant Manager on board and in charge of the Dining Room. We never saw him on the ground floor level of the restaurant at any time, nor did he visit either our or any tables in our immediate vicinity throughout the cruise. One thing that really sticks out on the Summit, is the immaculate dress and turnout of all staff from the cleaners right through to the senior officers on board and the friendliness of all the staff. In saying that it was only on a very rare occasion that you saw any of the senior officers other than the Captain and Staff Captain around the ship. I endeavoured to arrange a meeting with the Hotel Director on at least two occasions to discuss, what I considered to be fairly important matters, but he declined to meet with me. So now for our first nights sleep on board. As previously mentioned, deck 10 is an open deck and each time anyone even walked or worse, ran along this deck, - boom  boom boom  the noise  when deck loungers were being moved early in the morning  most probably for cleaning purposes  the clatter and the bang that these movements made was unbelievable  them seemed to echo and probably with the stillness of the night the noise was magnified, but enough to keep us from sleeping. The next morning, I mentioned this to the Concierge that I was unhappy with our cabin and outlined to her some of the difficulties to date. Later that afternoon, there was a message from the front desk offering us an alternative cabin on a lower deck. This cabin was far more suitable and much more quiet. Full marks to Celebrity. Periodically for the remainder of the cruise, Guest Relations checked to see that `everything was in order` and could they do anything in addition to assist in making our cruise more enjoyable. Unfortunately, we weather on the voyage out to Hawaii, was not kind to us. It was cold, wet and windy. There was noticeable movement throughout the ship and lots of empty places each evening in the Dining Room - this voyage did route us right across to Pacific Ocean One has to remember that The Summit is a flat bottomed boat and not a ship especially designed for oceanic crossings, thus increased movement can be expected. The weather did improve when we reached the islands, and on the return voyage. There is a vast wine list on board, with reasonable prices. Well-stocked bars and lounges are dotted throughout the ship. A Vodka and Coco-cola was $6.33 including gratuities, somewhat more expensive than on other cruise lines, especially British Ships, but in saying that, you could really taste or should I say feel the alcohol in the drink. Throughout the cruise it was pleasing to note that none of the staff, either in the bars or the photographers were aggressive in their approach  unlike so many other ships. At each Port of Call, there were many organised tours, offered by the Shore Excursion Staff  these represented value for money, were good in content and operated on time. There are a number of alternative options for dining, from Room Service which is available 24 hours a day, to the more casual Waterfall Cafe, A Hamburger Station, Pizza, Pasta and Salad Bar, a Sushi Cafe and of course the Aqua Spa Cafe for healthy choice all day dining. Each of these serveries offered the same type of fayre to be found on other cruise ships of similar ratings. The one main noticeable difference between other lines and Celebrity is that there is an abundance of staff available to assist in the carrying of trays to seating areas not only on the Summit, but also on all Celebrity Ships. The operation of the Waterfall Cafe is well executed, however food each day became repetitive and after a time all began to taste the same. The selection of fruit on this cruise was disappointing, just the basic melons, pineapples, grapes and oranges as core fruits. These on the whole were not ripe and were tasteless. Bring back the days when guests were offered as the norm, papaya, mango, kiwi fruit and the like. There seemed to be great use of canned and frozen fruits. The selection of breads and cheese was reasonable. However to make up for these `weaknesses` the range of deserts available was outstanding. For that Special Occasion  the Normandie Restaurant for A La Carte Dining is open each evening, a cover service of USD$30.00 per person is added to each guests account who visit this restaurant. We did not eat in the Normandie, but reports from those who did were encouraging. There is no 24-hour dining in any of the restaurants on board, though coffee, tea and juices are available 24 hours a day from the Waterfall Cafe. There are no Midnight Buffets, but waiters roaming the various lounges each evening serving `Gourmet Bites` On a ship of this size, there is the usual range of facilities available  an Aqua Spa, a Casino, Childrens Facilities, Shops, an Acupuncture at Sea Clinic, an Art Gallery and an Internet Cafe and Computer Centre. Though do be aware that Internet access is charged at $0.75. Per minute  though packages can be bought to reduce this cost down to about $0.50. Per minute - not cheap at all. Being an inquisitive sort of a guy, having learned about Concierge Class, curiosity got the better of me and I just had to find out what extras, other than space, you received if you booked a Suite on a Celebrity ship  hereunder are the amenities provided for suite guests Welcome Champagne. Butler Assistance with packing and unpacking. Platinum Cards. Personalised stationary and cards. Butler Service. Dining room seating preference. Fresh fruit each day. Fresh Flowers (1) for Penthouse suite only. CanapEs at 5.00pm or 7.00pm each day  according to dining seating. Complimentary cappuccino and espresso, only inside the suite. Complimentary use of bathrobes. Celebrity Suite tote bag. Delivery of requested board games, videos, CDs from your Butler. Full breakfast, lunch and dinner service in suite. In suite afternoon tea, coffee with cookies and cake service at 4.00pm. Newspaper delivery. Opportunity to book in suite massage for $149.00 plus 10% tip. Priority embarkation and disembarkation. Express Luggage delivery. Private Portrait sitting  not complimentary. Priority tendering tickets. Shoeshine service from your Butler. 100% cotton oversized towels. As can be seen, there are not too many differences between Concierge Class and Suite Class, other than the size of stateroom and the price. I also understand the in-suite breakfast menu in Concierge Class has a wider choice than the breakfast menu offered to guests in suites. One thing missing though in both Concierge and Suite Class is that guests are not provided with slippers. On other 5* lines, even guests in the cheapest of cabins are provided with these. Also guests who I spoke with who were occupying suites which were equipped with baths, indicated that bath oils or some type of water softener to be added to the water would have been welcome. Celebrity Cruises, like most other cruise lines offer a loyalty club. With Celebrity its called The Captains Club. There are three levels  Classic (1  5 cruises)  Select (6 10 cruises) and Elite (11+ cruises). Even as `elite` members, we were not offered all of the benefits that we were entitled to. When we enquired as to why these were not offered, we were rudely advised by the Hostess - `subject to availability`. The benefits at all levels are basic compared to other programmes offered by other cruise lines. This is an area, which needs to be seriously looked at and revaluated. Like most other people in this age of increased competition, natural instincts direct most of us to go where we get the best value for our money and currently with Celebrity, this is one of their weakest areas of operation. If people thought that embarkation arrangements were bad, disembarkation was a total fiasco. Unorganized, chaotic and lack of any officer to make decisions or to take command and control of the situation. It did not help that the ship was late arriving in Los Angeles. 1950 passengers had to pass through US Immigration  all queuing at the same time thus resulting in snake like lines all around deck 4. Then a short time after the Immigration Inspection commenced, Celebrity announced the commencement of disembarkation whilst many of the guests being called to disembark still hadnt passed through Immigration. Utter confusion reigned and not an officer in sight to take charge or make decisions. This was the worst disembarkation at any port in all of my cruising career. Having sailed with Celebrity many times, some areas of this cruise caused disappointment but not to such an extent to ruin the overall cruise experience. Once in a while someone is disappointed and on this occasion it was us. The weaknesses identified are not typical of the usually excellent Celebrity standards and product. Knowing Celebrity management and their policies to provide excellence in all aspects of cruising for guests, appropriate action will no doubt be taken to avoid repetition. In summary, a reasonably good cruise experience but lacking in attention to detail in some areas. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
Arriving in LA to board this ship at three in the afternoon is a good idea, arriving later is better. The two o'clock crush turned literal on this cruise when a pile up occurred at the top of the escalator because the upper level ... Read More
Arriving in LA to board this ship at three in the afternoon is a good idea, arriving later is better. The two o'clock crush turned literal on this cruise when a pile up occurred at the top of the escalator because the upper level was filled but the people kept coming up with no place to go when they reached the top. The food was excellent and always served with a smile in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant. My visits to the buffet were rare, but what I ate was good. Buffet fans I spoke with complained only about the chopped up arrangement of the buffet, and the lack of a full dinner buffet. All of the staff from every department were courteous and seemed to go out of their way to greet you as you passed by. It seemed like they were all genuinely happy you were on board. Entertainment in the public areas was quite good and diverse. Some nights in the Celebrity Theatre the entertainment was exceptional and the other nights it was standard cruise fare. This specific cruise got into a problem that originated from the propulsion system but led to mistakes, miscalculations and a near passenger mutiny that ultimately left a bad feeling with everyone, but the ship itself is beautiful and sparkling clean with a wonderful group of people in all the departments that I encountered.I plan on sailing on the Summit again in December for a round trip to Hawaii out of LA and I hope they have new mattresses by then. My first mattress was very lumpy and worn to the point you could not find a smooth surface on it. The second mattress was not nearly as bad but it, too, had seen better days (or nights, as it were). Overall, it's a good cruise for the over 50 group who prefer a more traditional, elegant cruise experience. If you have kids, book on Carnival or RCCL where far more is offered for the young families to do. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
I was on the "ill-fated" Summit cruise that was affected by pod issues, resulting in two missed ports and various other "problems" including only a distant view of the Hubbard Glacier and a late (night-time) sail ... Read More
I was on the "ill-fated" Summit cruise that was affected by pod issues, resulting in two missed ports and various other "problems" including only a distant view of the Hubbard Glacier and a late (night-time) sail through the inside passage. While these issues were disappointing, they were not enough to significantly hamper my enjoyment of the trip. More troubling (to me, at least) was the pervasive negativity of a large group of disgruntled passengers who met frequently and publicly to complain about the situation and discuss possible courses of action. Still, I found the ship, the trip, and the entire experience to be quite good to excellent. Just as some background, I'm a 37-year-old guy traveling with my 64-year-old father. I have cruised twice before (both times on Carnival), and my dad has cruised twice before, (once on Cunard many years ago, and more recently on Princess). I think that both of us are relatively easy to please, although we are certainly not lacking in all standards... EMBARKATION - We showed up way earlier than we had been told to, and the ship had arrived a bit late from Hawaii, which led to some waiting. Interestingly enough, the very first people I spoke to while waiting happened to be from our roll call! So already, before even boarding, I had some Cruise Critic friends! We waited outside for about an hour, then were allowed inside to do our paperwork. This step took no time at all. We then were handed "A" cards (first group to board) and asked to wait in a seating area. This wait turned out to be quite long (at least 45 minutes). Because the line kept moving and more people (group B, group C) came over to the seating area, all the chairs were soon full and there was barely room to stand. Finally, they allowed group A to make their way onto the ship. If they hadnt been ready (or close to ready) to allow people onto the ship, I think it would have been better to keep them outside... We got our picture taken and then proceeded up an escalator to make our way onto the ship. Shortly after we got up there, we heard a commotion behind us. We couldn't see what had happened, but it turns out that people kept boarding the escalator even though there was no room at the top to clear away, and a pile-up with some injuries resulted. I never did learn how serious these injuries were, but I hope a lesson is learned and that security guards (from the port, I would think, rather than from Celebrity) are placed at this escalator. We entered the ship, I got a mimosa, but we were told that we couldn't go to the room yet. I would have loved to have at least dropped off my carry-on, but I didn't want to inconvenience the room steward, so I waited. We went to the spa first to purchase Persian Garden passes (as I thought - incorrectly - that there were only a limited number available at the $99 rate). We then went to the excursions desk to book a tour that hadn't been available online. Next was the Normandie, where we reserved a dinner for later in the week, and finally, the computer lab where I signed up for a class and my father signed up for a package plan of internet minutes. In a very short time, we had spent an AWFUL lot of money!!! We then went to the Buffet for lunch (which was just average -- more on that later). CABIN - After lunch we made our room down to our room, Aft corner FV #7199. Well, I had been told that this was a great room, but I wasn't really prepared for how great it would be. It is really a suite with two completely separate rooms as well as an ENORMOUS balcony. My dad and I were going to have two twin beds, but after seeing the room, he decided that he would be happier sleeping on the fold-out couch in the sitting room with me in the queen bed in the bedroom. Fine by me!!! The room was very smartly designed, making it even roomier than it would otherwise have been. There was an abundance of counter space, drawer space, and closet space. I had been concerned about having room for all the stuff I had packed for a 13-day Alaskan cruise, but it was no problem at all. Even the tiny bathroom was functional. My only problems there were the fact that you had to lower the toilet lid to flush (what a stupid design, but that was the case throughout the ship) and the fact that the temperature in the shower was very difficult to regulate (either scaldingly hot or a bit too cold with very little middle ground). I wouldn't say that the decor of the room was fantastic. It was fine, clean and everything was in reasonably good shape, but it clearly hadn't been decorated with the highest of standards. That was fine with me, but I expected Celebrity (with all of the hype) to be better than Carnival in this regard. Instead, it was pretty even between the two lines (and I haven't sailed with Carnival since they upgraded the bedding). My cabin steward was Elizabeth and she was EXCELLENT. She wasnt the most warm and fuzzy cabin steward I have seen, but she had a great personality and a nice sense of humor. She far exceeded our needs and expectations. SAIL AWAY  After a very easy and uneventful muster drill, I got to enjoy the sail away with a group of Cruise Critic folks from the roll call on the 10th floor aft deck. It was a beautiful afternoon, and aside from a blowing flag that was determined to attack us, it couldnt have been more lovely. I was very glad to meet some of these people here (and again at the CC party the next morning), but with a couple of exceptions (notably, my T-Pool buddy Carol), I didnt get to hang out much with these people over the course of the cruise. Next time, I hope. FOOD: DINING ROOM  At our first late-seating dinner, we were taken to our table, and I have to admit, I was not pleased. Our table was close to the entrance of the Cosmopolitan on deck 5, and you couldnt even see most of the beautiful room. I would have MUCH preferred to have been seated more aft in the main part of the restaurant. Moreover, we were at a 6-person table, and I would have preferred a bigger one, as I really enjoy meeting my tablemates. The four tablemates we had seemed perfectly nice, but quiet. They all spoke English fine, but it wasnt a first language for any of them. I dont think we had much in common. I considered asking to switch tables, but I didnt want to hurt anybodys feelings. As it turned out, I grew to really like our tablemates a lot, and I wasnt disappointed that we had decided to stay. From the beginning, I really liked our waiter and assistant waiter. Our waiter was quite formal and stern, but the assistant was a big clown and VERY funny (although still extremely good at his job). It made for a good mix. The food selection was extremely good. I eat seafood, but no other meat, and I wasnt sure how many choices I would have. As it turns out, when I added the vegetarian menu to the regular menu, I nearly always had two or more choices I could eat per course. The food quality was mixed, although certainly much better than what I normally eat. Some courses were fantastic. Others were just good. I dont think I had more than one or two dishes over the entire cruise that I DISliked, so that was pretty good. My main comment for the dining room would be that I would have preferred to have SMALLER portions. I was usually getting full during the salad course, stuffed beyond capacity by the entrEe, and forced to skip dessert because there was just no room. With smaller portions, I could have eaten all five courses without feeling TOO stuffed. If others wanted more food than offered in the smaller portions, they could always order more than one of any given course& I also think this would cut back on waste. I find a great deal of waste to be downright IMMORAL, and I was distressed to see just how much food leaves the table uneaten (and thats not even considering how much is probably wasted behind the scenes). NORMANDIE ROOM  We dined here twice, and Im really glad we did it. The room is beautiful and the service is the best Ive ever experienced. The selection (for me, at least, given my limitations) was trickier. There were a number of appetizers that appealed to me, but not a lot of entrees. I think I exhausted them in my two visits, and would have had to repeat if we had gone back. I wonder if I had asked for a second appetizer instead of an entrEe, if that would have been acceptable? Given the size of the appetizers, it would have definitely been enough food& As for the quality of the food, I enjoyed it, but it was definitely not the best food I have ever had. I was disappointed by the goat cheese soufflE. Based on the word soufflE, I expected something light and airy with some kind of bread-like characteristics. Instead, it was very dense and custard-like. It was quite tasty, but I was expecting it to be the be-all-and-end-all the way I have heard it described. Other dishes were very good, but I wouldnt say great. My father would disagree. He ordered the same thing both times we went (foie gras and Dover sole), and said it was the best he had ever had. My favorite part was the cheese course. Im not a big cheese fan, and I simply let the cheese steward choose for me, and I was amazed at how much I enjoyed the variety. Bravo! SPA CAFÉ  This was one of my favorite places on board to eat. The food here (particularly the desserts) was quite yummy. Once again, portion size was too big, especially since they are trying to be light and healthy. I do think the set-up here was bad. There is just a narrow walkway between the serving area and the drink station. It often ended up congested as patrons getting food, getting drinks, waiters, and even just folks trying to cross to the other side of the T-Pool area jammed it up. If they ever re-design, they should move the drink area& BUFFET  I thought this was the worst food venue on board. Neither the selection nor the quality was particularly great, and the traffic flow was AWFUL (due largely to the waiters who were there to help people carry their trays). If people need to have their trays carried, they should hand them over promptly and GET OUT OF THE WAY. Instead, we ended up with crowds of people and waiters standing around waiting to move (should I get that extra roll?) oblivious to how much they were in the way! PASTA/PIZZA/DELI/WAFFLE/SUSHI/ICE CREAM STATIONS  I really appreciated this variety, and it was nice to know that there would always be something good to eat. I availed myself mostly of the sushi (basic, but pretty good quality), but when the mood struck, it was nice to get pasta made to order, etc. CASUAL DINING  Never did it, so I cannot report. COVA CAFÉ PASTRIES  I DID avail myself of several almond croissants. Yum! OTHER SHIP FEATURES: GYM/SPA/T-POOL  I spent a great deal of time in this part of the ship. I think they do a great job of utilizing the space to keep it functional and pleasant. The gym was busier than I expected, but at most times of day, it was very adequate for everybody. It was well laid out and very nice. I wasnt that thrilled with the Persian Garden, as it was kind of dull (although pleasant enough). It was almost always empty, so there was nobody to talk to, and it was too dark and moist except in the outer room to read or do anything else. If it were free, Id avail myself again, but I dont think Id pay for it. I would simply settle for the free sauna in the changing room, which was quite nice with a window out to the ocean. The locker room itself, though, was not maintained often enough. There were always wet floors and towels strewn about. The guests should clean up after themselves, but absent that, there should be cleaning staff checking in REGULARLY. I had two spa treatments (a facial and a seaweed wrap), and neither one was beyond serviceable. I have gotten facials at a number of spas, and this one did not compare favorably. I hadnt really understood what a Thallasotherapy Pool was before I experienced it, but it was actually really nice. I would prefer fresh water to salt, but the added buoyancy was interesting. The hot tubs here were nice, but Im not sure why there was so much sand in them. The area around the T-Pool was a great place to relax with a book or a friend& CASINO  I spent an inordinate amount of time here! I had horrible luck, but the dealers were SO nice (especially Helen) that they made losing money much easier to swallow! I dont play slots/video poker, so I cant really comment there. There were 4 blackjack tables  1 regular, 1 single deck, 1 non-smoking, and 1 higher limit (usually $10/hand), although they werent all open most of the time. There were also 2 Three-Card Poker tables, a Caribbean Stud table, 2 Roulette tables, and a craps table. I actually feel that they should have had MORE Blackjack tables. The Caribbean Stud table was almost always empty (if it was even open), the second Three-Card Poker table wasnt open EVER on the whole cruise (as far as I can remember). Even the second Roulette table rarely got any play. The blackjack tables, especially the sole regular table ($5, multiple-deck, smoking allowed) were FAR AND AWAY the most popular tables when they were open. COMPUTER LAB  It was really nice to be able to use their computers FREE to upload and organize photos. The interior computer room where they held classes was fine, and the instructors there were very helpful. The 24-hour computer room with windows overlooking the sea was GREAT. CINEMA  It was a great, comfortable room. Unfortunately, I didnt make it to any movies, but I did attend one lecture here. CELEBRITY THEATRE  It is an EXCELLENT space. I saw several of the shows here, as well as a few enrichment lectures. I almost always sat towards the front, but I think that all of the seats were pretty good. SHOPPING EMPORIUM  I was not impressed with this area (although Im not much of a shopper, and Im clearly not the one they are designing it for. I just found it confusing. The different stores are not clearly defined nor labeled. At one point, I wanted to buy some Chapstick. I had NO IDEA which store would have it  there wasnt one that was called Gifts and Sundries, for example. Eventually, I found it in the duty-free liquor store behind a display of Scotch. Right! That makes sense! ATRIUM AREA (INCLUDING COVA CAFÉ, GAME & CARD AREAS, ETC.)  This was a lovely part of the ship, but not one I utilized often (with the exception of the computer room). Part of the reason for this was that it was the preferred meeting area of the disgruntled passengers, so I tried to stay far away. LIDO DECK/SPORTS DECK  This, too, was a nice part of the ship that I never used because it was Alaska in May. On a Hawaiian or a Panama Canal itinerary, Im sure Id be there all the time! CONSERVATORY  I completely dont get this space. They advertise it like its such a great feature, but WHAT PURPOSE DOES IT SERVE?! Its not a place that guests can hang out or anything  there is basically no furniture. The two times I went up there, there was NOBODY THERE. Im confused& BARS & LOUNGES  My favorite one as far as the appeal of the room was THE BAR AT THE EDGE OF THE EARTH. I thought it was slightly over-the-top but still fun and beautiful. I sometimes went up to the beds at the front of the room overlooking the bow with a cup of coffee and a book and just relaxed there in the mornings. My favorite bar to DRINK was the Martini Bar. I have to admit, Im not a big drinker, and I maybe had 7 or 8 cocktails over the course of the 13-day cruise, but after I discovered the Martini Delight, that was the ONLY drink I had from then on& ENTERTAINMENT  I probably went to about half of the main shows. I would have gone to more, but too much of the time, they scheduled the show for late-seating guests for 7:00 (BEFORE dinner). Well, the reason I prefer late-seating is because I dont want to have to rush to get ready for dinner, and I CERTAINLY dont want to have to rush because of a show& I much preferred the nights when the shows were after dinner. To me, the taste of Cirque du Soleil was the best show. The production shows were mixed. The singers were quite talented, but not tremendously appealing or exciting. The dancers were just okay  rarely was the whole group in synch, and its not like they were doing such difficult dances! My favorite element of these shows was the aerialist team of Rebecca and Phillippe (and I doubt I am alone in that assessment). The stunts they do are so gorgeous and unbelievable that they took my breath away every time I saw them. Whatever Celebrity is paying them, it is NOT ENOUGH. I didnt see any of the musicians or comedians. ACTIVITIES  I didnt really participate in any of the trivia games/crafts/etc. Its just not my style. Fortunately, there were always other things I wanted to do. ENRICHMENT SERIES  I made it a point to attend 4 out of the 5 lectures given by Nature Lady Leneh Trowbridge. It would have been all 5, but the first one conflicted with my Cruise Critic party  I caught it later on TV. This was a real highlight for me. I learned so much, and it made the sights I saw in port so much more meaningful. I couldnt recommend this series enough. Im not sure if she will be with the ship throughout the season, but if she is, seek her out. There was also a physicist on board giving enrichment lectures, but I didnt go to his. PORTS: SAN FRANCISCO  My dad and I rented a car and drove out to Napa Valley, as he is a wine connoisseur. It was gorgeous, and I had a lot of fun (although I drank too much wine at the tastings). I would have liked to have seen more of San Francisco itself, as the weather was FANTASTIC, but by the time we drove back, it was almost time to leave. The docking location was awesome  right next to Fishermans wharf. KETCHIKAN  Cute town with some nice little shops, but nothing too out of the ordinary. We did an excursion with a raft ride and a rainforest hike. The excursion itself was fun (we saw a BUNCH of bald eagles), but the drive to get there was quite long, and the fact that people were complaining ON THE TOUR BUS about the problems with our cruise was a bit much to take. Even if they were not willing to let it go and try to enjoy themselves, they should try to allow others to do so& Once again, we had absolutely gorgeous weather (a rarity in Ketchikan). JUNEAU  We bought a pass to ride up to the top of the mountain, saw some spectacular views, and watched a Tlinget film. I wanted to hike around on the trails up there, but my dad thought it was too dangerous given the snow levels. We then explored Juneau a bit before returning to the ship for lunch. After lunch, we took an excursion involving a helicopter ride and a landing on the Mendenhall Glacier with a hike (approximately 45 minutes) on the glacier. It was potentially quite fun, but we had an older gentleman in our group who was probably not up to the task physically. He was much slower and had a few problems (falling down and the like). None of this would have bothered me much, but on top of that, he would always dilly-dally around with his video camera and absolutely refused to follow directions, even when all of our safety was involved! Seriously, when we got off the helicopter and were told to proceed directly to a spot about 30 yards away where our gear and our guide were waiting, he took 3 steps from the helicopter, turned around, and started filming! We were still under the rotor, and him standing there blocked every other person from getting off and going where we were supposed to go. To me, that was dangerous. If I were running the tour, I would not have allowed him to proceed& While we hiked, he fell behind (partly due to his camera shenanigans), and we had to wait for him repeatedly, thus shortening the distance we covered on our hike& It was still a great trip, though. The glacier itself was fascinating, and my first helicopter ride was interesting. Somebody else on the helicopter said he saw a family of bears crossing a stream, but he didnt bother mentioning it to the rest of us! Can you believe that?! SKAGWAY  I really enjoyed the tiny town of Skagway, and I thought it had the best souvenir shopping of any port we visited. We also took the BEST excursion here! We basically took a catamaran ride across the fjord (seeing eagles and mountain goats, along with amazing scenery) to the town of Haines, then rode a bus 25 miles upriver, then floated down the river in 8 person rafts through the heart of an eagle preserve. It was such a gorgeous day, and the feeling of being right in the middle of nature was unmatched (the rainforest we hiked in Ketchikan had an actual wooden boardwalk built through it so it wasnt so natural, and the glacier in Juneau constantly had people and helicopters coming in and out). This river felt isolated enough that you could feel like youre seeing the real Alaska. Moreover the guides who paddled the rafts were AWESOME. They are all young people who spend their Summers out there because they absolutely love it. Their passion is infectious, and they know SO MUCH about everything we saw& HUBBARD GLACIER  While this is not a port per se, it was a destination. We didnt get in close, and I wasnt particularly impressed. However, if people hadnt been complaining so much, I dont know that I would have realized how much we missed -- I will say that I learned (almost by accident) that they opened up the front of the ship where helicopters land for viewing of the glacier, and when I got there, it was a right party! Now, I dont think this was announced anywhere, and I think that most of the people there were Captains Club and suite guests -- If they were the only ones invited, Im a bit put off by that. I find that quite exclusionary. If everybody was invited, Im not sure why I didnt hear about it sooner. Does anybody know? INSIDE PASSAGE  Once again, not a port, but what was supposed to be a full day of phenomenal scenery turned into an hour or two of full-on gorgeousness before we had to go to dinner and then it turned dark. This was a disappointment to me, as I was really looking forward to the opportunity to see so much& VICTORIA  I absolutely loved this city, and could see myself living here. We shopped and explored in the morning, then did a whale-watching excursion in the afternoon. The excursion was VERY successful, as we got to see a huge pod of orcas over the course of close to an hour. We may have even seen all 26 members of the pod, and we got to witness a variety of behavior including 3 separate breaches! Wow!!! We also saw bald eagles, seals, and various other wildlife. The problem, though, was that this tour was TERRIBLY OVERBOOKED. They brought about 45 passengers, and the boat probably shouldnt have carried much more than 35 TOPS. Even if EVERY seat was utilized on the top deck, the back deck, and the interior cabin, there wasnt enough room for everybody to sit (I stood for most of the 3 hour + excursion). Never mind the fact that as crowded as it was, we certainly couldnt pick a preferred viewing location! I would have given this tour a very high ranking if there had been 25-30 people aboard& DISEMBARKATION  We ended up waiting quite a while in the Celebrity theater while they called tons of colors and numbers before ours. Im really not sure why we couldnt stay in the cabin till our number and color was called. I believe that is how they do it on Carnival. Still, it was no big deal and the process once they called us, including customs and immigration, was amazingly quick and efficient. I was very sad to end the trip, though, so I wasnt going to be happy on this day, no matter how well everything went! If only I could go back and do it all over again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
My wonderful experience on this cruise demands I address some of the negative comments appearing here. The ONLY negative thing about this cruise was the poor manners of some passengers. The vitriolic of some revealed their motive as pure ... Read More
My wonderful experience on this cruise demands I address some of the negative comments appearing here. The ONLY negative thing about this cruise was the poor manners of some passengers. The vitriolic of some revealed their motive as pure greed. Their critiques also demonstrate they do not understand the contract they entered with the cruise line and presume that all lines are the same. Each has a niche market. Just because you have a favorite detail from another cruise (e.g. children's programs), you can't assume it will be repeated by every line in the same manner. The printed and TV advertising of Celebrity clearly demonstrates it quietly elegant adult product. That's what I experienced and that's why I'll always choose Celebrity. Embarkation was interrupted by an accident on an escalator which resulted in many staff members rushing to aid the passengers affected. Since this happened outside the sight of most persons in line, the reasons for the temporary delays were unknown. DINING: The main dining rooms feature a menu by Michele Roux. The expectation is Continental fare. The choices were so varied as to create daily debates on what to choose. Vegetables are used more as a decoration with the protein. If a person wanted additional vegetables, a word to the waiter would produce a platter full. Our waiter IGOR was very knowledgeable about the menu and helpful in making choices. Some critics focus on the buffet. It seems that they were unaware of other wonderful dining options such as the SPA Cafe which offered fruit and vegetable based spa cruise for breakfast and from 12 to 8pm. If people read the daily paper or the brochures their travel agent provided, they would have realized that there were many more options available than they utilized. FRESH FRUIT was part of every dining venue and I personally brought whole fruits back to my room. The NORMANDE has a $30 upcharge. The quality of the service and food were 6 star! If you were fortunate enough to have a Restaurant on land available to you with the same fare and level of service, the meal would cost you at least $150. The Harpist and the String Quartet played a wide variety of selections from classics to popular show tunes. The harpist was happy to perform Bach-like variations on "Happy Birthday" for a friend. On another occasion, she played selections which subtly connected to my profession (she was aware of this through a conversation I had with her at breakfast in the Spa cafe). Entertainment: Good but did not attend all offerings. On the extra sea days, additional day time concerts were provided. Unfortunately, the demonstrations in the Atrium made it impossible for the musicians to function in the Cova cafe during the afternoon orgy of bad manners and greedy demands. Overall, a fabulous cruise was affected by a mechanical problem. The captain did everything he could to focus on preserving the major destination ALASKA. Our weather was fabulous. Having met the Captain personally he is a true gentleman. If Celebrity wants to improve its product, they need to develop a policy to prevent the unpleasant public meetings initiated by disgruntled passengers. I believe their contract would allow them to discharge disruptive persons at the next port FOR THE SAKE of the MAJORITY of passengers who were denied what they paid for, NOT by Celebrity but by other passengers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
This is a long review. If you want, you can just skip to the end and read the summary. We took our first cruise and first trip to Alaska on Celebrity. Since we were new to cruising and had heard about M-class ships engine problems, we ... Read More
This is a long review. If you want, you can just skip to the end and read the summary. We took our first cruise and first trip to Alaska on Celebrity. Since we were new to cruising and had heard about M-class ships engine problems, we booked air and pretour #1 through the cruise line. Pluses: We got transfers to and from airports, all transportation and hotels were arranged, and X had to get us home if the ship didn't turn up or had engine problems. Since the Summit missed the entire 5/20 voyage and was in drydock, that was a bigger worry than you might think. On the minus side, we had terrible flight schedules, spent too much time just waiting around, and missed things we would have enjoyed seeing. 5/23/06 Had to be to the airport by 5:45 AM, then sat in Seattle for 6 1/2 hours. The flight to Anchorage was behind schedule, so they let all the Fairbanks people off first. We rushed to the gate with 5 minutes to go, and found the plane sitting on the runaway empty with the seats on the tarmac. It was actually pretty funny. We watched the seats being installed and left about 40 minutes late. The air was perfectly clear and the view spectacular. When we got to Fairbanks, the X team was there, herded us to a waiting area, and asked one person from each group to go tag their luggage. Unfortunately, most of the luggage had been lost. We all sat for an hour hoping it would be on the next flight in (it wasn't), and at last the bus took us to Pike's Landing. At this point it was 11 PM Alaska time, we had been up 19 hours and were exhausted. We had to sit through a welcome talk, got our room key, and found the room occupied. Back to the desk, new room, to bed after midnight, and called at 4 AM to be told our luggage was on the way up. The sun was out when we went to bed and at 4. 5/24/06 Up early to rearrange luggage (one bag each checked for ship and 2 small bags each for land tour) and get to 7:45 meeting in lounge. The tour went on the riverboat Discovery. It was a nice trip, interesting but touristy. OK, but wouldn't do it twice. Lunch in Fairbanks, expensive restaurants, blah food. A quick trip to see the Alaska pipeline, then the bus headed to Denali. The roads were bumpy and there was lots of roadside trash, no views. A good time for a nap. We got to the hotel (McKinley Village Lodge) about 6 PM. Wonderful view, but lousy place to stay. We were the first customers of the season, but the room had dust in the corners and even old wrappers. The sheets wouldn't stay on the bed, and the restaurant was truly awful. High prices, and people were waiting a hour and a half for cold food and wrong orders. The place had all new staff and was in chaos. The hotel is miles from Glitter Gluch and the park. There is a shuttle that runs once an hour, but no signs at Glitter Gulch showing a pick up point. If you walk toward the road you'll find another inn with little cabins and a restaurant. Food is both cheaper and better. 5/25/06 River was high and fast with ice on sides, rafting trips canceled. Our tour left on the Tundra Wilderness tour at 7:25. The day was warm and sunny, with Denali in full view. The trip was about 7 hours long, but seemed like 1. Since the plants were just starting to grow, animals were down near the road. We saw a moose, lots of caribou, ptarmigan, snowshoe hares, Dall sheep, and 7 bears. Lots of wonderful scenery, truly a great day. 5/26/06 Sat around waiting all morning; bags had to be out by 7:30 and the bus didn't leave until 12. Shuttle not reliable enough to chance shopping at Glitter Gulch, so everyone just stood around. Record high temps yesterday and today. Arrived in Anchorage at 6 PM just as everything we wanted to see closed. We did walk around, but it was a wasted day. The itinerary says afternoon in Anchorage, don't believe it. The Alaska Experience was still open, enjoyed that. Good prices in their gift shop. 5/27/06 The train to Seward left at 6 AM. Beautiful cars, good breakfast on train. Enjoyed the trip a lot! If you want good photos, try the outside platform. It's cold, but you won't have window reflections. Sit on the right if you can. Great scenery, some animals, and the train was mooned by campers. We visited the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward. The 1 1/2 hours there is just about right, no need to rush. We boarded the Summit about 1:30, had lunch and a nap. BTW, yes, you need a passport. Glad we had ours and that we got on early. According to the papers X sent, you couldn't board until 6 PM. There was a big crush from 6-8, and when 9 PM sailing time came, there were still 3 truckloads of luggage on the dock. We headed for the Persian Gardens (extra charge sauna area - $35. a day or $99. for the week.) 5/28/06 Hubbard Glacier day - We booked a low inside midship room because I was worried about seasickness. I never had a bit of problem, and we ended up loving the room. We were hardly in it except to sleep, and it was just a left turn and down the hall when we got back on board after shore stops. Don't believe that "you have to have a balcony". There was adequate storage and the room was larger than I expected. Although the bathroom looked clean, it had a very strong musty smell. Even a fully opened air freshener couldn't hide it. Cruise Critic party at 10:30, enjoying meeting people in the flesh. Hubbard Glacier: Most people headed for upper decks or their balconies. We sat on deck 4. There were very few people, and we could sit in a lounge chair and enjoy the view. Members of the crew would step out, get a quick picture of themselves in front of the glacier and head back in. Glad to see they got to enjoy it too! Take a heavy jacket. It was cold and very windy. We had to stay well away from the glacier, but still got a good look. 5/29/06 Skagway - Ship arrived at 10. We went into town and looked around. Most of what we saw was tourists, t-shirt shops, and jewelry stores. The streets were very crowded. After lunch we took the Whitepass and Yukon train. That was well worth doing. Lots of beautiful scenery and an interesting narration. We missed a lot of it because we were out on the platform taking pictures. Probably would not do it again, though. First dinner in assigned seating - food was so-so. The Cirque de Soliel show that night was excellent. 5/30/06 Juneau - We arrived early. At 8:30 we took the Orca Enterprises whale watching tour with Captain Scotty. After all the rave reviews, I was a bit disappointed. We did see distant tails and blows, but that was it. A young man talked, but after the Capt. Larry build up I was expecting a naturalist or an expert. Later we stopped by an island with harbor seals and an area with eagles. The best part of the trip was seeing the eagles dive for food and seeing one sitting on a post back at the pier. After lunch we took 40 lbs. of dirty laundry, souvenirs, coats, etc. to the post office and mailed them home. Cost $40.00 for delivery in 2-3 weeks, but lovely having less to haul through the airports. We took the Mt. Roberts tram ($24), watched the film and walked the nature trail. Very enjoyable, good views, good film, and we saw a hoary marmot and a porcupine. A whole group of people were quietly watching the marmot when some idiot walked by yelling into his cell phone and scared it off. 5/31/06 Icy Strait Point - Easily my favorite port. They only allow one ship at a time, and shopping is limited, so it's not crowded. Great relief to find someplace that wasn't endless jewelry stores. I did buy a pair of mammoth ivory and jade earrings. You can shop, it's just not the main focus of the place. We took a bear watching excursion. The island has been heavily logged and replanted, so the forest is pretty sad; lots of big stumps and smallish trees. The bus goes through Hoonah, the main village, and over bumpy roads to a muskeg (peat bog). There's a boardwalk over the muskeg, which is a pretty interesting place in itself. We saw a couple deer, but that was it. The bear hunting season had just ended, and they were pretty wary. On the way back a sow and yearling walked in front of the bus and stopped just off the road. She stared at us a while, then calmly laid down and nursed the cub. It was an amazing sight. Afterwards we walked the nature trails and the beach. While we were bear watching, a humpback whale had been playing near the dock, but he didn't come back. 6/1/06 Ketchican - It was a long trip from ISP, so the ship didn't arrive until 1:00. We used some of the free time to download photos at the computer center on deck 4. You can download and burn a CD for $15.00. We had plenty of room on the memory cards, but considered it cheap insurance. When we got to Ketchican, it was drizzling, normal for the port. A rep from Southeast Kayaks met us on the dock and led us to the main office. It's about mile, but interesting. The sidewalk and part of the road is built over the sea, and our guide had lots of stories. They only take 6 people at a time. On arrival, we were outfitted with rain gear and life jackets, given dry bags for our possessions, and lead to a small covered boat. That took us to a larger boat where we got a Kayaking 101 lesson, fitted with skirts, and put in two man kayaks. While we were doing that, a whale was playing nearby, and we tried to follow it. Of course, none of us knew what we were doing and it gradually disappeared. By the end of our time, we got better and completely enjoyed the trip. Had to be my favorite excursion. Most things were closed when we got back to town, so we just walked to Creek St. and enjoyed the sights. We stayed up for the Grand Buffet at midnight, one of those things worth doing once. Beautifully presented food, mobs of people. 6/2/06 Inside Passage - Cruising all day, rainy. Good time to pack and finish getting photos burned to CDs. 6/3/06 Vancouver - had to be up early, so we took a few last pictures and reported to the assigned spot on time, 7:45. Take a book, you'll be sitting an hour or two before you get off the ship. We used the Express system. It's $20. a person, but the ship sends your luggage to the airline and you get a fast trip through customs. You do have to take the ship's bus to the airport, and can't visit Vancouver. The Ship The ship was lovely, a bit worn in spots, but not shabby. We spent a fair amount of time in the Bar at the Edge of the Earth just watching the world go by on cruising days. It seemed to be pretty quiet most of the day. The food was OK, but the presentation was better than the food itself. I preferred the casual buffet to the main dining room. I tended to eat less and got more things I wanted, like extra veggies. In Brief The land tour was less than I expected. Parts were great, parts were dismal. The worst was the morning sitting at McKinley Village (horrible in itself) just so X could flog one more set of excursions. We could have easily left early and had some time to tour Anchorage. Now that I've done it once and am more confident, I'd plan my own tour. The cruise was great, would recommend it. We used it more like a hotel than a cruise ship, skipped most of the activities and entertainment. Two of our excursions were independent, two through the ship, all worth taking. Pictures at http://community.webshots.com/album/551225706QmcEZD Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
My boyfriend and I sailed with Celebrity Summit on June 17, 2006. We booked the cruise portion through an online agency and handled our airfare separately. We arrived in Vancouver the evening before, and stayed at the Best Western ... Read More
My boyfriend and I sailed with Celebrity Summit on June 17, 2006. We booked the cruise portion through an online agency and handled our airfare separately. We arrived in Vancouver the evening before, and stayed at the Best Western Richmond, located near the airport. Several days before this, we booked the Vancouver Shuttle (888-941-2121), the cost was $12, and they took us directly from the hotel to our ship. We arrived at the ship at approximately 2:30, and embarkation was a breeze. We had room 6048 on the Penthouse Deck (Deck 6). It is the port side stateroom that has an extra large balcony as the ship gets wider just past our room. The room was clean and our preordered flowers and alcohol package were waiting for us. Dining was superb; we ate nearly every dinner in the Cosmopolitan restaurant. We did need to make a seating change the first night, but it was not a problem and the rest of the evenings were just perfect. They anticipated our beverage needs (we had a soda pass), and anything extra that we wanted. We did dine at the Normandie restaurant one evening. The food and service was wonderful, but if you miss it, no worries, the main restaurants food was excellent as well. One note, we loved everything except the breakfast in the Cosmo restaurant. It was awful, and we never ate there again. Room service was great. We had coco or tea every night with either cookies or crackers and cheese. On the last night, they were even able to get one of the desserts that I had enjoyed from the dining room. We are in our 30s and we felt that the activities were limited aboard the ship. We went to about half of the shows, but didnt feel like we missed out as the view from our balcony was a better show. We spent most evenings on the balcony just enjoying the view. My only serious complaints were the smokers who seemed like they were everywhere. One other complaint would be the AquaSpa. My boyfriend had a massage, and the entire time that he had his treatment, they were attempting to up sell him on other services. He found it difficult to relax while under hard sell tactics. I have mixed feelings about the shore excursions. We took the Gold Rush tour in Juneau, and while I enjoyed it, I feel that the Mendenhall glacier tour would have been much more appealing. In Skagway we took the Pilots Choice Helicopter tour. It was wonderful. I would definitely do this one again. You land right on the glacier and get to walk around. Sitka was the biggest disappointment. We took the Russian Historical Tour, believing that we would learn about the Russian history of Sitka. The tour was nothing more than a $43 pp bus, that took us to two sights that were well within walking distance, and then to a Russian dance performance that was very amateurish with standing room only. Icy Straight Point offered very little as far as culture. However, we did take the whale watching tour. We saw nearly a dozen humpback whales that surfaced, flipped there tails and flapped their arms in the water. One even jumped out of the water. It was amazing and completely unexpected. Disembarkation went smoothly enough with the exception that to take the train to Anchorage, we had to be out of our stateroom and in the meeting place by 5:45. The train was wonderful and we saw many different types of wildlife. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
We did a 13 night land sea cruise. We were greatly disappointed with the air arrangements made with Celebrity. We flew from Vancouver to Seattle to Fairbanks arriving in Fairbanks at 1:30 A.M...We started our land tour at 7:55 the ... Read More
We did a 13 night land sea cruise. We were greatly disappointed with the air arrangements made with Celebrity. We flew from Vancouver to Seattle to Fairbanks arriving in Fairbanks at 1:30 A.M...We started our land tour at 7:55 the following morning this made for a very short night at the Sophie Station Hotel..accommodations at this hotel are just adequate...Restaurant: breakfast buffet was good but the dinner service was very poor. We were very fortunate to have an excellent tour director and bus driver for the land portion of our tour. They were both very knowledgeable and friendly. We enjoyed the Riverboat cruise and sights on the route, with the visit to an Indian village. The tour of the El Dorado Gold Mine was just a little bit of fun. Train ride on the Denali Wilderness Express was enjoyable with excellent breakfast and lunch offered at a reasonable price although we had to wait for good while for our turn to eat...we had a small breakfast early before we got on the train. Tour guide on train very informative. Denali Wilderness Lodge a very poor choice of lodging..rooms cheaply furnished, dining room service almost non existent and very over priced. Would not recommend to anyone. Wilderness tour was a little long in the school bus, saw some wild life..moose, Dall Sheep, black wolf, but no bears. In Talkeetna, we did the McKinley Glacier Flight, did get to see the face of Mt. McKinley even though snow storms were all around us, did not land on Glacier as an aircraft from another airline was stuck in the snow...we were all happy with our pilot and flight. Talkeetna Lodge was much better than Denali Anchorage Hotel O.K.  Free time to roam. Visited the Alaska Native Heritage Centre..We enjoyed this as it gave alot of history on the settling of the land by various tribes. Alyeska Prince Resort excellent accommodations, enjoyed dining at the Seven Glaciers on the mountain. A little pricey, but well worth the money. The next day was a lost day waiting to board the ship at Seward. Embarkation very rapid, stateroom al little smaller than on some other cruise ships. Dining Room experience excellent, waiters both very good,food delicious. Buffet Experience not as good...one person making omelettes one at a time, with line ups. Buffet stations somewhat disorganized butter not beside buns at omelette station etc. There didn't seem to be the natural flow so people could pass through the line as quickly as there is on some other ships.. there were alot of individual stations, you would have to wander to several different stations to get what you wanted. Food also was somewhat redundant with not a great variety, especially in the evening if you came back late from excursions and had missed the main seating. Entertainment shows were not as good as we have seen although did enjoy the Celebrity Orchestra and ventriloquist. Music in the other areas often very good but much to loud for our liking. WE did excursions from the ship and although pricey did enjoy them.. In Skagway did the 6 hour motorcoach and train tour into B.C.,with the visit to Liarsville for Alaskan Salmon, a theatre show, and a visit to THe Red Onion Saloon. In Juneau did the Helicopter Flight onto the Mendelhall Glacier...we were crowded in the helicopter, they should think about only putting 3 people into the back seat or less depending on the size of the individuals. Icy Strait Point was a stop of interest, but because of the rainy weather were not able to visit the village proper. Ketchikan was the most disorganized stop,with some of the clerks in the stores not as friendly as we had found people in other destinations. We toured the Saxman Village, the tour bus left a half hour late which then put us at the wrong time to go into the LumberJack Show which we had to wait almost an hour in very rainy weather. The LumberJack show was worth the wait. Lots of gift stores and jewellery stores in all the ports, but that is one's choice to visit or not... Skagway had some very interesting buildings could do a walking tour. Hubbard Glacier was beautiful with the icebergs calving etc. Disembarkation was much better than some of the other ships we have been on even though you did sit in the movie theatre and wait till your number was called. As for sailing with Celebrity again I am not sure, never say never! Read Less
Sail Date September 2006
This was our 7th cruise, first on Celebrity. Additionally, this was our first try at a 14-day cruise. We arrived in Vancouver the night before and stayed at the Riviera Hotel. Good location, but the hotel was "aged." ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise, first on Celebrity. Additionally, this was our first try at a 14-day cruise. We arrived in Vancouver the night before and stayed at the Riviera Hotel. Good location, but the hotel was "aged." Embarkation on the Summit was excellent, no delays in getting paperwork (as long as you completed the "X-pass" ahead of time) or in processing through U.S. Customs. We found our cabin, 7173, to be nice, and though we asked Elizabeth for an egg-crate mattress pad, none was to be found. The balcony was very nice, a little larger than normal, which came in handy while we were at Hubbard Glacier. The M-class ship was nice, not too big, not too small. The grand foyer was very drab/professional and not decorated for extended viewing. The Internet Cafe was fabulous - though some of the connections were a little slow, service (by Dennis) was exceptional. The Normandie was a very nice treat, and we were fortunate to get the "Wine Room" for our dinner. The food was great as well as the service, but honestly, since it took over 3-hours to accomplish the dinner, I was getting a little restless at the end. The Theater was fabulous, great seating, great shows. The cast had 5-singers with every one having a first-rate voice. Clear and above, the best singing group we've heard on the high seas. In the Main dining room, we had the late seating and a table of 10 (fellow CC members) that made evening dining a blast. Lets just say I didn't have a bad meal, and most were very, very good. Most of my selections were the beef, but i will add that several of the others had fish and poultry dishes and their reactions were different; some good, some bad. My advice is to choose wisely. I took out the Spa package to use the Persian Gardens, and really got my money's worth. The Thelassopy Pool was a real treat and loved the built in seats. The three steam rooms were very relaxing, thou one room only had enough for 4-adults. The fitness facility is one of the largest I've seen and the treadmills and bikes were always working. We did experience some medical issues, as Pebbles needed to use a wheelchair for several of the ports due to a leg injury shortly before the cruise. That cost us $171 to "rent" the wheelchair for 12 days. Then in San Francisco, I developed a mild ear infection and went to the infirmary at 9am and was second in line. At 11:30, I left the infirmary and missed my excursion. Bottom line, don't get sick on the Summit and don't be in a hurry with the Dr's Staff. The reason: All crew members go first, all followup visits go next, and new customers go last. As for the ports, all of the Alaska ports were fantastic. Individually beautiful with a multitude of things to do and see. The captain proceeded to amaze one and all by getting the Summit within 80-yards of Hubbard Glacier. We had a fantastic show of calving, cracking and shooters; in fact I ran out of film and had to switch over to the digital camera. Seattle, however, was another matter. Celebrity was at its worse as they required all passengers to get off the ship to clear US Customs. Well, that meant close to 2,000 folks getting off the ship and onto a port area that was not designed for this size of a crowd. Add to that the monstrously under-supply of buses (4-yep, that's right, 2000 people and 4-buses) that for $3 per person, we could catch a ride to any of 5-stops in Seattle. Well, 90 minutes after waiting in an unbelievable line, we finally got on a bus. The story was they couldn't get drivers; and when we got back to the cabin, we had a not saying they would refund the $3 per person charge. Would we sail on Summit again, maybe. Will we sail on Celebrity again, probably not as HAL, RCCI, and Carnival are all ranking higher on our list. The Summit is a well maintained, well staffed ship and folks will get their money's worth. But #5 in the world (Conde Nast 2006 rankings)???? Really... Read Less
Sail Date September 2006
We sailed on the Summit September 30th to October 14th, this being our 11th cruise, and the third with Celebrity. The ship left Los Angeles, cruised the Hawaiian Islands, and returned to Los Angeles. Embarkation could not have been any ... Read More
We sailed on the Summit September 30th to October 14th, this being our 11th cruise, and the third with Celebrity. The ship left Los Angeles, cruised the Hawaiian Islands, and returned to Los Angeles. Embarkation could not have been any smoother. We took the time to fill out our boarding papers on the computer prior to boarding, so we literally were aboard the ship within 10 minutes. I wish all embarkations were this easy. If you drive to the port, parking is right next to the ship, but unfortunately uncovered. Parking for the duration of the cruise was $165. Our room (9161) was a standard balcony room, with a decent layout and enough nooks & crannies to put everything away. The only negative feelings we had about the cabin was the bed and the location; the bed was lumpy and in need of a new mattress. As to the location, it was on the 9th deck located on the port side. This is significant in that smoking is permitted on the port side of the pool area (one deck up) and many of the port side rooms are smoking. When you sit on the balcony, the smell of cigarette smoke is sometimes quite strong, depending in the direction of the wind. Our room steward, Glory, did a fine job in keeping the room in order, and was usually found hovering somewhere in the hall waiting to get you something. Service is one of the main areas where Celebrity excels, and this cruise was no exception. The bathroom is a bit cramped, but hey, you are on a ship, so it is no big deal. My only complaint about the bathroom is that is doesn't have a decent 110 outlet that will handle a hair dryer (forget the built in one). My wife had to do her hair in the cabin, which can be somewhat annoying. No big deal, but still worth noting. The food in the main dining room was very good, but most cruise lines seem to get that right. The buffet food was just your average buffet food, but further down the line, the pasta bar was very good. They had five different sauces to choose from, along with three different pastas, and an assortment of items to add; they were very willing to make a plate in any manner that you requested. At the back of the ship was a fresh sandwich bar making Panini style sandwiches everyday, which were usually very good. We ate every night in the main dining room at the second seating, and the service was outstanding. As I said before, the food was very good, but the waiter will make or break the meal, and we had a great one. The waiter and busboy (Sol & Raymond) were on top of everything, and Marco, the Maitre'D stopped by our table every night at least once to make sure things were going right. If you eat at second seating, sometimes the shows are scheduled before dinner, which is annoying. One other annoying thing was the number of formal nights we had. This line tends to be a little more traditional in dressing for dinner, which we like, but they perhaps carried it a little too far. They define casual as slacks (no shorts) & sport shirts for men, informal as a suit/sport jacket & tie, and formal as a tuxedo or dark suit. On this cruise, there are seven causal nights, four informal, and three formal. Dressing up half the time for a Hawaiian cruise got to be a little too much; two formal nights and the rest casual would have been better for the tropics. Near the end, many of the men started skipping the jacket & tie on informal nights. The bar and pool staff do a very good job, remaining cheerful in the face of some pretty rude passengers. Hats off to them for performing a difficult job. The condition of the ship was very good with cleanliness being a priority. One exception to this being the Thaalostherapy Pool; we did not use it as there was usually a dirty scum on it. I do not know what the problem was with the filtering. Entertainment on board was generally very good. The pool band was a little weak, and the guy in the piano bar was like bad karaoke, but everything else was very good to great. The shows we attended were excellent, and quite varied. The shows we missed were enjoyed by all we talked to. The music in the bars (with the exception of the aforementioned piano bar) was very good, with a nice variety. You can't ask for much more than that. Celebrity has a good handle on the tipping. Near the end of the cruise, they give you a short form to fill out if you want them to deduct your tips from a credit card. If you do, they then give you an envelope with a slip to give to your waiter, etc. If you don't want automatic tipping, simply do not turn in the form and use the envelopes provided by your room steward. It is nice to have a couple of options, unlike a couple of other cruise lines we have sailed with. The photo staff is just average, and almost everything they print out is an 8 by 10. Who wants that many large prints? More 4 by 6 prints would have resulted in more purchases by us. One night the photographer came to our dinner table, and I asked her to take a group shot. She told me that the group shots would be on the last formal night only, and instead took individual pictures of each of us. Just what I have always wanted: a picture of myself sitting alone in front of a plate of food. It amazed everyone at our table. The port stop at Maui was way too short, arriving at 7 AM and we had to be back on board by 2:30 PM, as the ship sailed for Los Angeles at 3:00 PM; combine that with having to use a tender to get ashore, and you will not see much of the island. Poor scheduling that needs to be corrected. Debarkation was as terrible as embarkation was smooth. The line to get your customs pass was confusing and long, and exiting the ship even worse. You always want to end on a high note, and here Celebrity fell short. Overall, I would recommend this cruise and especially this line to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date September 2006
I participated in the Cruise Critic Roll Call member board for the Dec 9 sailing and got to know some of my fellow passengers before the cruise ever began, so once on board it was as if we were travelling with people we already knew. On ... Read More
I participated in the Cruise Critic Roll Call member board for the Dec 9 sailing and got to know some of my fellow passengers before the cruise ever began, so once on board it was as if we were travelling with people we already knew. On the Roll Call I linked up with another couple from our area and we car pooled down to the port from our hometown 90 miles away and split the $12 per day cost of parking, which was a good way to start the cruise. We timed our arrival at the port so we'd get there at 3 o'clock and miss the early boarding crush. As a result, we took about twenty minutes to get from the car to our stateroom, saving us a lot of aggravation and waiting around. We had been on the Summit last May for a 13 day repo cruise LA-Alaska and so we had fairly fresh memories of the ship and staff for comparison. Overall, we again had an enjoyable cruise, but noticed some decline in public area cleanliness. Tables were not bussed and wiped, ashtrays were left overflowing, etc. We also were struck with the attitude of staff - indifferent and inattentive. unless it was your own waiter or cabin steward. This cruise had a vast majority of passengers over 60 with a wide spectrum of physical ability. In May, the staff were quick to hold open a door and lend a steadying hand to aid any passenger in need. On this cruise, staff more often than not, stood by and watched. It was up to the fellow passengers to look after and assist those in need. For coffee and tea drinkers, only one station out of eight on deck 10 was operating except during mealtimes, and it always seemed to be the station farthest from where you wanted to be. One station midship and one aft would have worked far better for the passengers, serving both the pool/Aqua Spa (midship) and rear deck/Waterfall Cafe (aft). The Cosmopolitan Restaurant(deck 4 & 5) continued serving high quality meals with wonderful wait staff in attendance. This is one area where there was no decline between May and December. All of our dinner choices were exceptional in their taste and presentation. There was no decline in service provided by the cabin steward, either. She was thorough, efficient and unobtrusive. We enjoyed the entertainment offered in the Celebrity theatre and found it a cut above that offered on HAL, Princess, and RCCL. In addition to the usual crew production numbers, we saw Scott Record (a singing comic impressionist), Lorraine Brown (a soul and blues singer from Britain), Brooks Aehron (a very entertaining classical and pop pianist), and "A Taste of Cirque Du Soleil". The lounge acts ranged from a string quartet at the Cova Cafe to the Diamonds in the Rendez Vous (Their spelling). Michaels Club had a pianist and the Waterfall Cafe had a rock guitarist accompanied by canned back up who could play just about anything requested from the 50's thru the 90's. Besides the casino (where you could easily rack up huge losses), there was a fair variety of daytime activities to occupy our 9 sea days. The enrichment series offered every afternoon in the Celebrity Theatre was both educational and entertaining, and there were the trivia games scattered throughout the day that you'd find on any cruise. This is a good cruise for people who like a more sedate pace and enjoy sea days and the onboard experience. There were 68 children on this cruise out of 1950 passengers. As the days wore on, the kids seemed to become more restless. Celebrity makes a token effort to provide children and teenagers with something to do, but like HAL and Princess, Celebrity is more focused on a mature and seasoned traveller. Perhaps Disney, Carnival or NCL would be more appropriate for kids as they seemed focused on a younger clientele. Read Less
Sail Date December 2006
This was our 48th cruise in the past 25 years so this review is written with that in mind. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach for one night prior to departure, and were very satisfied with our accommodations. Took a taxi to San ... Read More
This was our 48th cruise in the past 25 years so this review is written with that in mind. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach for one night prior to departure, and were very satisfied with our accommodations. Took a taxi to San Pedro for embarkation which went very smoothly, arriving onboard at about 1:00. Our cabin was ready at about 2:00, the delay being due to the sanitizing and cleaning that was going on. Have learned since our return that there had been some Norovirus on the previous cruise....none on ours as far as we know. Lots of hand sanitizing and washing, however. We experienced heavy seas on the first night which continued all the next day..lots of rocking and rolling. By the second day, the seas had calmed down and we had glorious weather for the rest of the trip. Because we have become avid readers of the CC website, we were looking for "maintenance and cleanliness" issues on Summit. We found none worth mentioning. A general refurbishment is due soon, but we found no serious wear and tear on a vessel that carries so many passengers day in and day out. Our cabin was in excellent condition and was kept that way throughout our trip by our invisible cabin steward, Sebastian. The service by him and by our butler, Enrickkee was superior. It gave us great pleasure to add some extra to the automatic tips put on our seapass. We did not feel that our service in the dining room was excellent. It was adequate, but not up to our previous experience on X. The food, however, was very good, well prepared and presented. This is such a subjective thing that I hesitate to rave over any special dish but must submit that the prime ribs, rack of lamb, cold soups, and bread sticks were outstanding. We had a congenial table for 8 arranged by the cruiseline...a very good job selecting dinner mates..and wonderful table location on deck 4 at the foot of the stairs. We tend to enjoy the time at sea rather than the ports..and having been to Hawaii many times before..we decided to take the ships tours to places we hadn't been. We took the Valley of the Kings on Hilo, and the botanical garden tram on Maui and enjoyed both of them. Our excursion on Oahu was a not as good. We had selected it especially to visit the Byodu Temple and the driver got lost and we did not see it at all. The shore excursion desk gave us a 33% credit for that and we felt that was adequate compensation. A couple of criticisms: The lovely marble bathtub walls in the Sky Suite do not have any grab-bars. so, taking a shower in rough seas is difficult if not impossible. The addition of a grab-bar would be a big help. Captain Bergos appeared at the required functions but was not a people person apparently as we never saw him mingling with the passengers. By the way, it was interesting to see staff officers assisting people to find seats in the theatre. Very helpful, and a deterrent to seat-saving. Must mention the evenings entertainment...the shows in the theatre were terrific. The best group of Celebrity Singers and Dancers we have seen. The Casino was active with friendly, hospitable staff who were obviously happy with life onboard. Hubby used the fitness center daily and was very impressed with the equipment...good working treadmills..I used the salon once and has been my experience on all my cruises, the salon staff is not up to snuff, and the prices are outrageous compared to land based salons. $18 to change polish color compared to the $12 I pay for an entire manicure at home. This was a terrific cruise experience even disembarkation went smoothly. We had a wonderful time and can't wait for April and November when we will sail again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2006
My wife(57) and I(61) booked the cruise as a winter "get away" and for the interesting itinerary. Although we have been to Europe many times, we have never visited Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean. The only other cruise ... Read More
My wife(57) and I(61) booked the cruise as a winter "get away" and for the interesting itinerary. Although we have been to Europe many times, we have never visited Mexico, Central America or the Caribbean. The only other cruise that we had taken was on the old Radisson Diamond to the Aegean. We made many friends from the Cruise Critic message board, and sat with two other couples from the message board at the early seating. Passengers: Mostly Americans and Canadians who were elderly. There was a large contingent of British and some other Europeans, who were generally younger than the Americans. The staff said there were 28 children on board. Embarkation & Disembarkation: We arrived at the pier in San Pedro at 1:00PM and were whisked aboard with no wait except for the fact that there was no boarding card for me. This was quickly taken care of, and we were in our Concierge Class cabin by 1:15. Unfortunately it took over 7 hours to get our luggage! When we called the useless concierge desk they uttered platitudes but did nothing to help us. Leaving the ship was the opposite experience. Priority exiting in reality did not exist, and we waited on a huge line to leave the ship; this was caused by the large number of passengers who were not US citizens and were slowed down by the immigration process. Once we entered the terminal there was no line and we quickly got our luggage. The Cabin: It was very clean and well-maintained by our steward. There was however, a large stain on the bedspread which was changed when I requested it. But, why was it there in the first place??? I ordered flowers for the cabin and they lasted two weeks; the other flowers that were part of the package were replaced as needed. Every evening we received 6 hors d'oeuvres which occasionally were edible. The fresh fruit was nice as was the champagne (sparkling wine). The other amenities were OK but they do not provide hair conditioner...bring your own! The private stationary were 4 pieces of pathetic paper. In fact, they don't sell pads or decent paperback books on the ship. (perhaps they don't want you taking notes?) The cabin had enough storage space for the contents of our seven bags which we were able to place under the bed! The balcony was essential to us, but I did not like the overhang from deck ten. The supporting stanchions got in the way of taking pictures, and although we had lots of shade (a premium on a cruise ship)it had a heavy, oppressive feeling. Public Areas: These were clean and in very good condition. Food: Believe it or not, we both lost weight on the cruise! We had coffee in our cabin and ate most breakfasts and lunches (followed by ice cream) in the Aqua Spa cafe which features excellent lighter fair. I had pancakes once in the buffet, but what they claimed was maple syrup was awful "breakfast syrup". The food in the lunch buffet was on the quality of good cafeteria food; but not really appetizing; the pizza tasted like microwave pizza. Dinners were good; we ate all five courses served in the main dining room. The problem was the food often was incredibly bland; nothing had an interesting or memorable flavor. Perhaps this was because most passengers were elderly and don't want spicy food? Dinner in the Normandie Restaurant was excellent and superbly served by its Turkish staff; make sure you get the menu with the wine included. When we ate in the Normandie there were only 6 passengers eating. Service: Service was superb on the ship. The entire staff went out of their way to make the experience a wonderful one for the guests. They seemed to really care about you. We both purchased "soda cards" and had no trouble being served; in fact the servers knew our tastes, approached us and asked if we wanted our sodas! Entertainment: By 11:00 at night we felt that we were on a "Ghost Ship". We would go to the wonderful Edge of the World Bar on the 11th floor to dance to the super band "Great Ideas" and listen to their lead singer. There usually were about 12 people, and one night by 12:00 there were just 4 of us! The production shows at night were very good; ranging from the quality of good regional theater to Broadway. The comics were OK if you like bathroom humor. The "Diamonds Quartet" was bizarre, and seemed to be unhappy. The string quartet was very nice. Activities: This was the greatest disappointment. I was barely able to stop myself from screaming when every evening the jerky cruise director would say "Where are my bingo players!!" Somehow, I survived. I wonder if he was responsible for the "culture and history" part of the daily bulletin. It was replete with errors. Activities were aimed at elderly people who like to play bingo and sit by a pool. The signs in the Aqua Spa Thalassatherapy pool said no one was allowed under 18 and diapers were not permitted! We did partake of the ballroom dance (taught by Laura) and computer classes. The activities staff seemed to go out of their way to ruin good events. The 50's Sock Hop, the Mexican Fiesta, the Western Night were all ruined when they stopped the people who were already dancing and screamed out "Line Dancing" "Macarena Time" "Twist Contest". The Casino was a smoke-filled area that I could not enjoy. Excursions: In Cabo (expensive yet tacky) we just walked around. Acapulco was fascinating. We walked up to the old fort and along the beach watching fishermen clean and sell their catch. Huatulco was also great for walking, and we walked into the interesting local villages. (These self-directed walks saved us about $150) We had excellent ship purchased tours in Costa Rica (in Manuel Antonio National Park we saw a variety of wild life) and Aruba (the submarine ride; 150 feet down!) The trip through the Panama Canal was a memorable experience, particularly thanks to two of the people at our table who hosted a wonderful party in their cabin at the stern of the ship. Internet: My wife's Cingular phone with international service worked well on ship and on shore. We purchased the 500 minute internet package. We were warned that the service was slow, and it was. This was due to the nature of their routers and how the satellite service went thru their server on the mainland. The wireless "hotspots" were very limited to a few areas. Cost Cutting: Celebrity has cut down on amenities and services to raise profits. Food seemed to lack spices and portions in the main dining room were small (although seconds were available). The fact that they no longer have real maple syrup is indicative of their attitude. "Notes", the music room no longer exists (although still on their web site) and has been replaced with revenue generating rooms: Acupuncture and Computer Instruction. Cirque De Soleil is gone. Michael Roux is gone at the end of the month; and there was a rumor that they were firing the sommeliers. This is a ship on which they sell you water when you leave. Will I go on another cruise? Certainly. Will I go on Celebrity? possibly Read Less
Sail Date January 2007
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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