This was our second cruise on Summit, and we were looking forward to being back onboard. We had previously been to the Mexican Riviera in October, 2005 with an outside balcony. For Alaska, we decided to try Concierge Class, and did NOT regret that decision at all! :) We were travelling with a local group of 29 people, and prior to our cruise we had booked a land tour through Premier Alaska Tours, encompassing Anchorage, Fairbanks and Denali, which was exhausting, but very nice. 10-13 hours a day on the bus/train can wear you out, and we were even more glad to see Summit waiting at the pier on June 15.
Embarkation: As we walked in, there were two queues: HOlland America and Celebrity. We went to Celebrity, where the first thing they had was a couple of tables. These had Handi-Wipes, followed by very nice representatives with cookies, hot chocolate and water. How welcoming!!! We had CC booked, so we followed the signs to CC registration; NO, that's right, NO wait, NONE! (It is good to note at this point that the members of our group who didn't have CC only had about a two minute wait for a representative. This was such a fast and smooth embarkation! From there, security was about a five minute line, photo for the "we're going to Alaska" was a breeze-through, a two minute walk to the ship, right onboard with no wait. When we walked on, there was the usual line of white-gloved staff waiting to take your carryon and seapass, hand you champagne, and walk you to your cabin. Ahhh, yes, this is vacation, this is Celebrity!!
Public Rooms: The Summit, as for any ship on the water more than a year, has constant "fixer-upping" going on, but overall is in very good shape. There are the usual little things that one could point out, but they certainly don't detract from Summit or ruin a cruise! The Centrum on Summit is beautiful, gold and marble, very serene looking, in muted tones. Cabin: Concierge Class 7200 was right next to aft, and perfect; situated between two floors of cabins instead of entertainment/sports decks, sleep was a breeze. The views were great, and our cabin attendant, Victor, was a dream! Our first morning, I wandered up to Cova Cafe to surprise DH with lattes and FRESH (yum!)chocolate croissants from the patisserie. I saw Victor on the way back and he told me that I could have written them in on our Room Service menu, and he'd bring them, even from Cova Cafe. (very cool, the balcony with lattes). He kept our cabin in great shape the whole time that we were there. THe pillow menu (isotonic, conformance, goosedown, body) is wonderful; I am a "pillow girl" and Celebrity did not disappoint. His assistant, Danny, was also great, always cheerful and helpful.
Fitness and Recreation: We did not work out while on Summit, but we did, as before, use the Persian Gardens. Yum!!! Very relaxing, and another of Celebrity's apparently little-known secrets.
Value for Price: Yes, Celebrity costs a bit more than some of the other mainstream lines, but in my opinion, the y are well worth it!!
Dining: The dining Room was excellent, food always fresh and well-presented. Acosta, our waiter, and Ivan, his assistant did a great job of making sure that we were well-fed and more than satisfied. We also took my family to the Normandie one night, as we had dined there on our previous cruise, and wanted to treat them. From beginning to end, the Normandie was "an experience", and a heavenly one at that. Entertainment: We went th four of the seven shows, and found them all to be very enjoyable. The Celebrity singers and dancers offer a variety of talents, and the other stars will keep you entertained as well. The Celebrity aerialists are particularly breathtaking!
Service: As before, impeccable and top-notch! Thank you Celebrity!!!
Shore Excursions: Glad we booked with the ship. We had a golf trip booked at Skagway, and to get there, we took a catamaran to Haines (the golf concierge went with us- Sharon, wonderful!!). This catamaran only runs every so often, and due to the game running long, we missed the return catamaran. The next one wouldn't be till 5, which didn't affect us as we didn't sail till 9, but there was someone with us from Celebrity's Mercury, also booked through the ship, and his ship departed at six, had to be back onboard BY 5:30; the catamaran trip was a half hour. Sharon and our Haines guide, from Alaska Mountain Guides, managed to get us on a chartered little island hop plane a couple of hours sooner; they filled the time in between with a tour of Haines disc golf and such, which was great!!
Other tours were the Taku Glacier jetboat, the Mt. Roberts tram, the zipline at Ketchikan, the Kawasaki 4x4 mules at Icy Strait Point. All were well-organized and a blast.