Sail Date: January 2004
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: June 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: July 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: August 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: October 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: November 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: February 2005
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: April 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
Celebrity Summit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 3.5 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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