A REVIEW FOR 'CELEBRITY SUMMIT' TO NEW ENGLAND AND CANADA:
(Read all the way to the end for my 'Highlights and Lowlights'!)
This was my 8th cruise, although FIRST with Celebrity. We'd heard so much about it being 'all that', but we came away feeling that it was just like all the others. (Namely Holland America and Princess). That's not a bad thing, it just didn't feel like anything 'extra special'. Having said that, other passengers that had previously sailed with Celebrity told us to try the 'S' class of ships which is supposed to be a cut above. (Summit is an 'M' class).
We stayed at the Doubletree in Jersey City. It was cheaper than Manhattan, but it was easy to get to Manhattan via the PATH train. (About $2.50 each way/pp). Jersey City also offers terrific views of the NYC skyline. The cab ride from Newark airport to the hotel was $50, as was the cab from the hotel to Bayonne cruise terminal. (We started to joke that wherever you went, it was $50!)
They ran out of numbers to give people, so after a while, people just started getting in line and getting on the shuttles. It wasn't too crazy, but could have been a little better. Some previous Celebrity cruisers complained that it was one of the worst they'd experienced, but for us, (on our 8th cruise) it was about average.
I would not recommend taking this cruise to New England/Canada unless you're OVER 55. I'm not sure if it was the time of year (Sept/Oct) or the choice of destination, but the demographic was an older-than- usual cruise crowd. We are ages 41 and 42 and people in their mid-sixties asked us several times if we thought the passengers seemed unusually old. (!) (They were referring to the very immobile 70-85 crowd). We were definitely one of the youngest couples on the ship and everything was very geared toward a much older set. (The music and entertainment, for example). Having said that, we are kind of old souls ourselves and enjoyed meeting and chatting with lots of very nice people. :)
Unfortunately, we missed one port (Sydney) due to a technical difficulty with the ship, but they did give us a partial refund due to the issue. Compared to other cruises I've taken, this New England/Canada itinerary is a little boring due to the fact there aren't any water activities or really thrilling things to visit, but we made the best of it and generally enjoyed it. We only took one Celebrity tour, which was excellent. (Peggy's Cove/Titanic grave yard in Halifax, NS) and relied on private tours for the rest or did our own thing.
For us the food was hit and miss. Some good, some average. According to my husband the lobster wasn't very good. (I don't eat it). The afternoon tea was disappointing in that it was not a formal setting, rather a walk-up self-serve counter next to the pool. I missed the white glove service and string quartet!
Dining service was also hit and miss, just OK. We did the 'anytime dining' and often had to wait for half an hour with a buzzer, which we'd never experienced before on other cruise ships. They offer the usual 'higher level' extra fee restaurants which we tried at lunch time, but way overstuffed ourselves because we knew we were paying more. I know...I know...
I liked the cruise director and the fact they offered 'after-the-show' entertainment at 10:30pm in the Reflections lounge (night club). This would vary from things like comedians to theme night dancing, dance-off competitions and burlesque shows. I found the trivia a little too speedy/not relaxing. The one port lecture talk we went to was awful. The main entertainment shows were of general good quality, although it was often hard to get seated in the show-lounge, which was disappointing.
It went pretty smoothly and we paid for a shuttle through Celebrity to take us to Newark airport, which we're glad we did.
HIGHS AND LOWS:
Love, love, loved the Thalassotherapy pool and sauna which are both free to use. (As of Fall 2014). The Thalassotherapy (or T-pool) is near the spa and is a warm salty mineral pool that is just delightful to sit in. WARNING: Don't wear silver jewelry in it -- I did and it either broke or tarnished! The sauna is in the locker room and offers a huge round window view of the view outside -- the best sauna I've experienced on a cruise ship! The workout room was also very state-of-the art and spoiled me compared to my gym at home!
Loved the boozy bar on the back of the ship and the coffee bar with complimentary cookies/cakes and musical entertainment. (Coffees are an extra fee). There is also a gelato bar for an extra fee.
General cleanliness was excellent
Everything on-board seemed more expensive than other cruises we've taken. Hence, we didn't participate in many things with a fee. (eg. massages, i-lounge, acupuncture). In general it seemed extremely obvious like everything was about making money -- even the kitchen tour ended in a promo for the fee-based restaurants. It just gets a bit tiring.
They take WAAAAYYYY too many photos of you during the cruise. When you disembark in each port they want to take your photo 3 (THREE!) times -- you know, one with a life buoy, one with a dolphin, one with a pirate, etc. etc. TOO MUCH! They also snap them at some dinners. We purchased one photo of a formal night.
Overall, we had a nice time and would try Celebrity again, perhaps 'S' class next time.
CABIN: We splurged on an inside cabin...that's right, no windows! It was fine and served its purpose as we never spend much time in the cabin. It was a different layout to some that we've experienced, where the bed is closer to the outside hallway. We wore earplugs the entire time as there was loud engine noise above us. We asked to switch rooms on the first day, but we got the customary 'We'll put you on the list and see what we can do' and then never heard from them again. The bathroom was tight and I always bring extra hangers as they never have enough. We always book a 'guarantee' room in hopes that we'll magically be upgraded, but that never happens. I don't particularly recommend this room due to the noise above.
Pleasant quaint town. We took a private tour to
We took an independent tour to the Anne of Green Gables house, which also stopped at some view overlooks. It wasn't thrilling, but it was something to do. Besides that, we walked around Charlottetown and tried some local food, looked in the shops, took photos, went in Founders Hall.
We had 2 days here -- one was HOT (shorts weather), one was COLD -- jacket, hat, umbrella, etc. It was an unbelievable 25 degree difference! We enjoyed ambling the city and shopping. Quebec has great artsy shops and restaurants. We went in the Parliament building which was open for tourists the day we went and also went in the Chateau Frontenac. We didn't take any excursions, just did our own thing. We utilized the shuttle that the ship offers between the city and the ship, especially on the cold day.
Probably my least favorite port and I think we probably should have booked an excursion. We took a cab to the Cook statue and also walked around the Corner Brook trail. Locals were very friendly. The town struck me as a bit run down and lacked touristy stores, so get your memorabilia at the cruise terminal in the tent where local vendors are set up. There is an indoor mall and grocery store, but half the shops were out of business.
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Probably my favorite excursion that we did on the cruise. The tour guide was excellent. Peggy's Cove is very picturesque. Felt rushed. Also saw the Titanic graveyard, which was interesting. We also had time in the morning to walk around Halifax, see the public gardens, the outside of the Citadel and the waterfront.View All 245 Peggy's Cove Reviews
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