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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

Celebrity Summit - Central America/Panama Canal

Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by Offshore

Trip Details
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
Offshore’s Full Rating Summary
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