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Our 9/7/14 cruise to NE/and Canada was our first on Celebrity. We are usually RCI folks and like HAL as well. We’ve done Princess but found it wasn’t a good fit. We are in late 60s and moderately active. Our cabin was an outside Cabin on Deck two and it was fine. There was enough room in closets but the mini-bar took up space. We chose the cruise because of the itinerary – which was unique – with visits to PEI, Sydney (NS) and Newfoundland. (Glad we did it this year because NL is replaced by Boston next year.) This things we really liked best was the food (some of the best we’ve had). The service – in Main Dining Room – was another issue and was the major reason for any negative rating. We had Select Dining and reserved each night on line beforehand. Not one of the first 12 (of 14 nights) was a shared table available within 15-20 minutes of reserved time. Some folks (usually parties of 4) without reservations were seated well before us. In some cases we did get same waiter (Juan Carlos) who was good but other nights were a disaster with having to wait 40 minutes for dessert. We’ve had “My Time Dining” issues on RCI but I didn’t expect on Celebrity. One night we were told – after waiting 30 minutes beyond our confirmed reservation time – that there would be no more tables for 30 more minutes and we were sent to Ocean view where they delivered our food. I wrote to the Food and Beverage Manager and got a reply saying “We didn’t expect as many people to want Select Dining” but nothing was done to releive it. And they never tried to fix it. This put a real damper on our first Celebrity experience. The on board activities also had problems. The Celebrity Entertainment included jugglers on two consecutive nights and the 54 Below cabaret entertainer had never even appeared at 54 below! One highly was the guest lecturer – Steve Friedman – who spoke on Broadway Musicals. He was great – and popular – but chose to schedule MOST of his lectures in the small Art Auction area and there was an overflow. Then they scheduled him on PORT DAYS! They realized he was popular and moved him to the Celebrity Theater and he nearly filled the place at 10AM on two days! As for staff – the crew at Baccio (the cappuccino bar)at night was great and best staff on ship. We were happy with our steward too. Overall it was a great cruise because of the Ports – it was great because of the variety and quality of the food. But entertainment and – especially the service (or lack thereof) in Select Dining was the real downer. The Select Dining requires prepaid gratuities so the staff there has no incentive to provide great service. This is a shame. Most work really hard. We just seemed to have gotten the ones that decided to serve others rather than us. I did submit the above comments and more to Celebrity but have not received acknowledgement or feedback. I guess I’m not expecting it. HAL was always responsive. I expected as much from Celebrity. We have another Celebrity Cruise booked for January on the Equinox and will give them another chance. I hope the Select Dining works better and Entertainment improves.  

First X experience. Food great - Select Dining a real disaster!

Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by SteveinPhilly

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Our 9/7/14 cruise to NE/and Canada was our first on Celebrity. We are usually RCI folks and like HAL as well. We’ve done Princess but found it wasn’t a good fit. We are in late 60s and moderately active.
Our cabin was an outside Cabin on Deck two and it was fine. There was enough room in closets but the mini-bar took up space.
We chose the cruise because of the itinerary – which was unique – with visits to PEI, Sydney (NS) and Newfoundland. (Glad we did it this year because NL is replaced by Boston next year.)
This things we really liked best was the food (some of the best we’ve had). The service – in Main Dining Room – was another issue and was the major reason for any negative rating. We had Select Dining and reserved each night on line beforehand. Not one of the first 12 (of 14 nights) was a shared table available within 15-20 minutes of reserved time. Some folks (usually parties of 4) without reservations were seated well before us. In some cases we did get same waiter (Juan Carlos) who was good but other nights were a disaster with having to wait 40 minutes for dessert. We’ve had “My Time Dining” issues on RCI but I didn’t expect on Celebrity. One night we were told – after waiting 30 minutes beyond our confirmed reservation time – that there would be no more tables for 30 more minutes and we were sent to Ocean view where they delivered our food. I wrote to the Food and Beverage Manager and got a reply saying “We didn’t expect as many people to want Select Dining” but nothing was done to releive it. And they never tried to fix it. This put a real damper on our first Celebrity experience.
The on board activities also had problems. The Celebrity Entertainment included jugglers on two consecutive nights and the 54 Below cabaret entertainer had never even appeared at 54 below! One highly was the guest lecturer – Steve Friedman – who spoke on Broadway Musicals. He was great – and popular – but chose to schedule MOST of his lectures in the small Art Auction area and there was an overflow. Then they scheduled him on PORT DAYS! They realized he was popular and moved him to the Celebrity Theater and he nearly filled the place at 10AM on two days!
As for staff – the crew at Baccio (the cappuccino bar)at night was great and best staff on ship. We were happy with our steward too.
Overall it was a great cruise because of the Ports – it was great because of the variety and quality of the food. But entertainment and – especially the service (or lack thereof) in Select Dining was the real downer. The Select Dining requires prepaid gratuities so the staff there has no incentive to provide great service. This is a shame. Most work really hard. We just seemed to have gotten the ones that decided to serve others rather than us.
I did submit the above comments and more to Celebrity but have not received acknowledgement or feedback. I guess I’m not expecting it. HAL was always responsive. I expected as much from Celebrity.
We have another Celebrity Cruise booked for January on the Equinox and will give them another chance. I hope the Select Dining works better and Entertainment improves.
 
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