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Overall This was the trip of a lifetime! We've been wracking our brains to come up with something that's *not* positive and there is nothing coming to mind. We live in Portland, Oregon and this was our third cruise, second to Alaska and second time cruising with Celebrity. We decided on this trip to fly to Vancouver and arrived two days early to enjoy the sites and sounds of our favorite North American city. It would be so easy to spend a week or more in Vancouver all by itself. The city truly has something to offer everyone and the food is incredible!! Every culture and cuisine is represented proudly and deliciously. Embarkation - Ballantyne Pier, the ugly stepsister to the gorgeous Canada Place in Vancouver is not the most glamorous of cruise terminals, however, embarkation was handled smoothly and the only line was waiting to get through security. It is always a joy to be embarking on a Celebrity ship knowing that the smiles and complimentary champagne are just steps away! We left our hotel (Westin Bayshore has a WONDERFUL location in the city) at 11:45am and were having lunch in the buffet by 12:40pm, in the room and gasping at the size of the balcony by 1:15pm. Dining - Beautiful presentation on everything. Very few things really made me giddy, but I enjoyed all the food with little exception. The service is where Celebrity really shines. We had nothing but great service no matter where we went. Our assistant Maitre d'Hotel for evening dining was extraordinary. His name is Marco and he is quite a character. We always tend to get to know our dining staff very well because my husband is a vegan. This usually presents difficulties in most places, but not on Celebrity. They have a dedicated vegetarian and vegan menu with the items marked appropriately. That alone could win my loyalty with Celebrity, but it is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Pizza and sushi were also very popular with us on this trip. Delicious! Public Rooms - The Celebrity Theater is everything a venue of this type should be. It is large and open with wonderful acoustics and not a bad seat in the house. The dEcor is interesting and comfortable. What more can you ask for in a theater? The furniture everywhere is comfortable and every public room is inviting. The Bar at the End of the Earth is a bit unusual looking (it was originally designed by the Cirque du Soleil folks for their show before it was moved to the theater and modified) but who wants to hang out in rooms that all look alike? We did not eat in the specialty restaurant because of my husband's dietary restrictions. I did stop in there and the space is lovely. The main dining room was a wonderful space. The two-level Cosmopolitan is vast and lovely with an exceptional number of windows. Our table (#550) was on the second level over looking the winding staircase famous from all the Celebrity commercials. We also had a fantastic view of the huge picture window that frames the Captain's table. This view on an Alaskan cruise is definitely the one to have! We did not have a chance to dine in the Aquaspa cafe but our tablemates that did found the selections to be both healthy and delicious. The buffet is limited in both scope and hours, but you will never go hungry on the Celebrity Summit. Entertainment - Lots of musicals in the evening, we did not attend these. However, we did make it a point to see the Cirque show and it was absolutely amazing. They have revamped the show so that it is more of a "taste" of what a real Cirque show is like in person. We would not hesitate to go again or to recommend it to everyone. During the day there were lots of activities for every taste and talent: Bridge games, trivia, Bingo, organized exercise and sports--really something for everyone. Cabin - We had the most perfect cabin for the money spent. We were in a Family View aft cabin. This cabin is designed to accommodate 4 adults very comfortably, but if they are not sold by the 90-day (final payment) date, these rare gems are released to the public. There is a private hallway perfect for luggage storage, a large main room with double the closet space of most cabins, an extra room with both a sofa (queen fold out bed) and a loveseat with an additional dresser and more storage. Where this cabin really stands out is the balcony. All 241 sq feet of it! We were on level 7, just above the Penthouse suites which are the only accommodations with larger balconies than the Family View cabins. Since the cost of a penthouse is approximately 5x what we paid, we were very fortunate to have snagged this cabin. Since it was a corner, the balcony gives you a view of about 270 degrees. Amazing!! Service - This is where Celebrity really stands out from the other mass-market lines. The service is amazing. EVERY employee that sees you greets you with "Good Morning Madam" or "Good Evening Sir." They all make eye contact, they all smile genuinely, they listen when you request something and thank you when you compliment their work--which we did often! We truly felt that we were treated like royalty. The dining room staff was amazing. Other lines we have cruised on will shine at dinner, but may not be as impressive during breakfast and lunch. Celebrity is on the case 24 hours a day. There were three assistant Maitre D's that we must recognize personally: Marco Piccolli for our dinner hour and both Martin and Yussef for breakfast and lunch. These young men not only provide amazing service themselves, but also make sure their staff is top notch. Our room steward and his assistant seemed to always be working. Our rooms were always cleaned within moments of our departure, and on the one day we stayed in the room all day (glacier viewing) they apologized for coming in to clean while we were there (we were on the balcony the whole time). If you're lucky enough to have Wayan for a room steward, let him know that his fabulous reputation precedes him. Fitness - I must admit that this is not an area we spent much time in. Most of our physical activity came from walking the length of the ship and around the various ports of call. I did glance into the fitness room though and it is state of the art. Shore Excursions - We found the selection on the Summit to be vast. After doing lots of research on our own, we booked two shore excursions with Celebrity and one outside of celebrity just because of the fabulous reputation of the tour operator (Captain Larry at Orca Enterprises in Juneau - they're the best for whale watching!!). Some folks reported on Cruise Critic that they found they could save a little money by booking some excursions outside of the cruise line, but the difference was small enough on the excursions we were looking at, that we chose the peace of mind that you get from knowing if something goes wrong or gets cancelled, we don't have to deal with it, Celebrity does. :) Since Celebrity and Royal Caribbean are the same company, they are the only two lines that currently stop at Icy Strait Point, an RCCL sponsored port. This is the equivalent of a private island, but it gives folks a chance to see what real, small-town Alaska is like. We heard many people raving about their experience in this lovely location, and we will sail with Celebrity again just for the opportunity to show both sets of parents the same places. I have heard others who were puzzled as to why the ships stop there at all. The biggest complaint was that there is nothing to do here. DH and I couldn't disagree more. Yes, you will not find a giant shopping mall or a Diamonds International branch, but that should not be why you're coming to Alaska in the first place. We did not book an excursion in Icy Strait, but spent the day touring the little town on our own, relaxing along the wonderful picturesque beach and generally enjoying the absolutely idyllic weather we were lucky enough to encounter. We felt very lucky to have the opportunity to experience it. The best day of my life: Hubbard Glacier. On our first Alaska cruise, we were unable to reach Tracy Arm due to a landslide so this was our first glimpse of a glacier. We'd been told Hubbard is the best and now we know why. Weather in September in Alaska is usually sketchy to say the least and we weren't holding out much hope as the ship headed straight into the thickest fog bank we'd ever seen as we were on approach. I was standing on our balcony and I went to get DH to see what was happening. As we progressed, the fog started to slowly, steadily dissipate, as fog will do. Then, we started to see these incredible tree covered mountains on either side of the ship and the fog kept fading and fading and the sun kept getting brighter and the sky more blue. Suddenly, there it was, wrapped around the ship on three sides--the most awesome ice field I've ever seen. It was coming at us from all directions and we spent the next couple of hours completely enthralled with the beauty and wonder of it all. If you've never seen a glacier in person, this is the way to do it. We were fortunate to have the best weather imaginable for this day. The glacier is a living thing that cracks and groans as it prepares to calve and melt. The captain got this incredibly huge ship within 250 meters of this beautiful sight. It's hard to get perspective on it, but when one of the ship's tender boats takes a photographer out to get really close pictures and film, you can clearly see how huge the glacier really is. The ice at the foot of Hubbard Glacier is about 400 years old: it takes that long for ice to traverse the length of the glacier. The glacier routinely calves off icebergs the size of a ten-story building. Where the glacier meets the shore, most of the ice is below the waterline, and newly calved icebergs can shoot up quite dramatically, so that ships must keep their distance from it as they ply their way up and down the coast. It was clearly the most amazing thing I have every seen in my life and I can't wait to experience it again. Children's Clubs - We were not traveling with children and as it was post-Labor Day, there were very few of them on board. I did peek my head into the clubs and found myself wishing I'd had an opportunity to sail a ship like this when I was a child. Disembarkation - Pretty standard stuff here with a similar experience to what we've had before: Tag your bags and have them in the hallway by midnight. It's always sad to leave when you've had so much fun on a vacation. We rose early and had breakfast in the dining room with our traveling companions, went back to our cabin to grab our carry-on items and by the time we reached our designated meeting place, they were calling our number to leave. It was very smooth all the way through, luggage was easily located, porters readily available and there is a designated person grabbing cabs, mini-vans and limos for folks as they leave. Very well executed. Value - This trip was worth every penny. Celebrity is not the least expensive and not the most expensive, but the value is definitely there and we will be back.

Summit - Alaska

Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by MaggieSweet

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2006
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Family Ocean View with Balcony
Overall This was the trip of a lifetime! We've been wracking our brains to come up with something that's *not* positive and there is nothing coming to mind. We live in Portland, Oregon and this was our third cruise, second to Alaska and second time cruising with Celebrity. We decided on this trip to fly to Vancouver and arrived two days early to enjoy the sites and sounds of our favorite North American city. It would be so easy to spend a week or more in Vancouver all by itself. The city truly has something to offer everyone and the food is incredible!! Every culture and cuisine is represented proudly and deliciously. Embarkation - Ballantyne Pier, the ugly stepsister to the gorgeous Canada Place in Vancouver is not the most glamorous of cruise terminals, however, embarkation was handled smoothly and the only line was waiting to get through security. It is always a joy to be embarking on a Celebrity ship knowing that the smiles and complimentary champagne are just steps away! We left our hotel (Westin Bayshore has a WONDERFUL location in the city) at 11:45am and were having lunch in the buffet by 12:40pm, in the room and gasping at the size of the balcony by 1:15pm. Dining - Beautiful presentation on everything. Very few things really made me giddy, but I enjoyed all the food with little exception. The service is where Celebrity really shines. We had nothing but great service no matter where we went. Our assistant Maitre d'Hotel for evening dining was extraordinary. His name is Marco and he is quite a character. We always tend to get to know our dining staff very well because my husband is a vegan. This usually presents difficulties in most places, but not on Celebrity. They have a dedicated vegetarian and vegan menu with the items marked appropriately. That alone could win my loyalty with Celebrity, but it is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Pizza and sushi were also very popular with us on this trip. Delicious! Public Rooms - The Celebrity Theater is everything a venue of this type should be. It is large and open with wonderful acoustics and not a bad seat in the house. The dEcor is interesting and comfortable. What more can you ask for in a theater? The furniture everywhere is comfortable and every public room is inviting. The Bar at the End of the Earth is a bit unusual looking (it was originally designed by the Cirque du Soleil folks for their show before it was moved to the theater and modified) but who wants to hang out in rooms that all look alike?
We did not eat in the specialty restaurant because of my husband's dietary restrictions. I did stop in there and the space is lovely. The main dining room was a wonderful space. The two-level Cosmopolitan is vast and lovely with an exceptional number of windows. Our table (#550) was on the second level over looking the winding staircase famous from all the Celebrity commercials. We also had a fantastic view of the huge picture window that frames the Captain's table. This view on an Alaskan cruise is definitely the one to have!
We did not have a chance to dine in the Aquaspa cafe but our tablemates that did found the selections to be both healthy and delicious. The buffet is limited in both scope and hours, but you will never go hungry on the Celebrity Summit.
Entertainment - Lots of musicals in the evening, we did not attend these. However, we did make it a point to see the Cirque show and it was absolutely amazing. They have revamped the show so that it is more of a "taste" of what a real Cirque show is like in person. We would not hesitate to go again or to recommend it to everyone. During the day there were lots of activities for every taste and talent: Bridge games, trivia, Bingo, organized exercise and sports--really something for everyone.
Cabin - We had the most perfect cabin for the money spent. We were in a Family View aft cabin. This cabin is designed to accommodate 4 adults very comfortably, but if they are not sold by the 90-day (final payment) date, these rare gems are released to the public. There is a private hallway perfect for luggage storage, a large main room with double the closet space of most cabins, an extra room with both a sofa (queen fold out bed) and a loveseat with an additional dresser and more storage. Where this cabin really stands out is the balcony. All 241 sq feet of it! We were on level 7, just above the Penthouse suites which are the only accommodations with larger balconies than the Family View cabins. Since the cost of a penthouse is approximately 5x what we paid, we were very fortunate to have snagged this cabin. Since it was a corner, the balcony gives you a view of about 270 degrees. Amazing!!
Service - This is where Celebrity really stands out from the other mass-market lines. The service is amazing. EVERY employee that sees you greets you with "Good Morning Madam" or "Good Evening Sir." They all make eye contact, they all smile genuinely, they listen when you request something and thank you when you compliment their work--which we did often! We truly felt that we were treated like royalty. The dining room staff was amazing. Other lines we have cruised on will shine at dinner, but may not be as impressive during breakfast and lunch. Celebrity is on the case 24 hours a day. There were three assistant Maitre D's that we must recognize personally: Marco Piccolli for our dinner hour and both Martin and Yussef for breakfast and lunch. These young men not only provide amazing service themselves, but also make sure their staff is top notch.
Our room steward and his assistant seemed to always be working. Our rooms were always cleaned within moments of our departure, and on the one day we stayed in the room all day (glacier viewing) they apologized for coming in to clean while we were there (we were on the balcony the whole time). If you're lucky enough to have Wayan for a room steward, let him know that his fabulous reputation precedes him.
Fitness - I must admit that this is not an area we spent much time in. Most of our physical activity came from walking the length of the ship and around the various ports of call. I did glance into the fitness room though and it is state of the art.
Shore Excursions - We found the selection on the Summit to be vast. After doing lots of research on our own, we booked two shore excursions with Celebrity and one outside of celebrity just because of the fabulous reputation of the tour operator (Captain Larry at Orca Enterprises in Juneau - they're the best for whale watching!!). Some folks reported on Cruise Critic that they found they could save a little money by booking some excursions outside of the cruise line, but the difference was small enough on the excursions we were looking at, that we chose the peace of mind that you get from knowing if something goes wrong or gets cancelled, we don't have to deal with it, Celebrity does. :)
Since Celebrity and Royal Caribbean are the same company, they are the only two lines that currently stop at Icy Strait Point, an RCCL sponsored port. This is the equivalent of a private island, but it gives folks a chance to see what real, small-town Alaska is like. We heard many people raving about their experience in this lovely location, and we will sail with Celebrity again just for the opportunity to show both sets of parents the same places. I have heard others who were puzzled as to why the ships stop there at all. The biggest complaint was that there is nothing to do here. DH and I couldn't disagree more. Yes, you will not find a giant shopping mall or a Diamonds International branch, but that should not be why you're coming to Alaska in the first place. We did not book an excursion in Icy Strait, but spent the day touring the little town on our own, relaxing along the wonderful picturesque beach and generally enjoying the absolutely idyllic weather we were lucky enough to encounter. We felt very lucky to have the opportunity to experience it.
The best day of my life: Hubbard Glacier. On our first Alaska cruise, we were unable to reach Tracy Arm due to a landslide so this was our first glimpse of a glacier. We'd been told Hubbard is the best and now we know why. Weather in September in Alaska is usually sketchy to say the least and we weren't holding out much hope as the ship headed straight into the thickest fog bank we'd ever seen as we were on approach. I was standing on our balcony and I went to get DH to see what was happening. As we progressed, the fog started to slowly, steadily dissipate, as fog will do.
Then, we started to see these incredible tree covered mountains on either side of the ship and the fog kept fading and fading and the sun kept getting brighter and the sky more blue. Suddenly, there it was, wrapped around the ship on three sides--the most awesome ice field I've ever seen. It was coming at us from all directions and we spent the next couple of hours completely enthralled with the beauty and wonder of it all. If you've never seen a glacier in person, this is the way to do it. We were fortunate to have the best weather imaginable for this day. The glacier is a living thing that cracks and groans as it prepares to calve and melt. The captain got this incredibly huge ship within 250 meters of this beautiful sight. It's hard to get perspective on it, but when one of the ship's tender boats takes a photographer out to get really close pictures and film, you can clearly see how huge the glacier really is. The ice at the foot of Hubbard Glacier is about 400 years old: it takes that long for ice to traverse the length of the glacier. The glacier routinely calves off icebergs the size of a ten-story building. Where the glacier meets the shore, most of the ice is below the waterline, and newly calved icebergs can shoot up quite dramatically, so that ships must keep their distance from it as they ply their way up and down the coast. It was clearly the most amazing thing I have every seen in my life and I can't wait to experience it again.
Children's Clubs - We were not traveling with children and as it was post-Labor Day, there were very few of them on board. I did peek my head into the clubs and found myself wishing I'd had an opportunity to sail a ship like this when I was a child.
Disembarkation - Pretty standard stuff here with a similar experience to what we've had before: Tag your bags and have them in the hallway by midnight. It's always sad to leave when you've had so much fun on a vacation. We rose early and had breakfast in the dining room with our traveling companions, went back to our cabin to grab our carry-on items and by the time we reached our designated meeting place, they were calling our number to leave. It was very smooth all the way through, luggage was easily located, porters readily available and there is a designated person grabbing cabs, mini-vans and limos for folks as they leave. Very well executed.
Value - This trip was worth every penny. Celebrity is not the least expensive and not the most expensive, but the value is definitely there and we will be back.
MaggieSweet’s Full Rating Summary
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Rates
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