Many areas were noticeably downgraded. For example, many of the signage on the buffet items were missing, and on many days, the soup remained a mystery and remained untouched by many that stopped by to look into the unmarked kettle. Chicken fajitas were offered; however, no tortillas were available despite asking day after day. It was not uncommon to see waiters, servers and bartenders couching into their hands and then going on about their job; this despite a concerted effort to dispense hand cleaner to incoming guests to food service areas. Food quality has definitely slipped too, not only in the buffet lines, but the main restaurant food has gone from 'choice' grades down to 'select' meats, and even the 'prime' rib was uncuttable with the special steak knife provided, and the meat had to be sent back. Other areas of downgrades: no separate line for Captain's Club members at check in as stated om the cruise documents; ship maintenance was shoddy--for example only the top of the railings were varnished with the bottoms in a state of decay; shower tile grout was stained or missing; large cushioned seating units in disco were broken and tipsy, even after reporting an injury occurring as a result of the unstable seats that were obviously unsecured. One bright spot remained that reminded us of the way Celebrity used to be--that was the high quality of personnel behind the Guest Services Desk. In the several instances we had business to conduct or questions for the customer service staff who spent their time resolving issues and concerns, the performance was exceptionally high quality and consistently helpful and caring.Several balcony cabins which had no obstructions in last year's
Celebrity catalog, now have window washing platforms, ladders and such
partially obstructing the views, and a small footnote was added to the
Several balcony cabins which had no obstructions in last year's Celebrity catalog, now have window washing platforms, ladders and such partially obstructing the views, and a small footnote was added to the 2009 brochure. When I called Celebrity for an explanation as to how significant the obstructed view would be, the rep had to check around and only learned that it might be some metal scaffolding that could be attached to the balcony overhang, but she had no picture or details as to what could be expected.
Also, the deck plans for the staterooms do not show the cabin attendant rooms, which are located directly opposite some cabins. This was comparable to having a dinner table next to the kitchen in a noisy restaurant, especially with the cabin attendant shouting to others in the hallway as she came out of her doorway, which of course the guests could hear all too clearly especially as she delivered breakfast trays early in the morning!
Venice was unique in that the Celebrity Summit itinerary docked at noon and stayed in port all night, then had passengers disembark in the morning. At first, it seemed like a good way to see the port for 2 days without getting a hotel, however, it really was more like a shortened first day in port, with the second day spent either transferring to a hotel or travelling to the Marco Polo airport. A word of warning--Celebrity offered a special excursion of sorts to 'assist with having a more pleasant experience at the Venice Airport'--they called it Travel Clear VIP Pass, which they charged $110 for 2 people. The write-up used terms like 'priority lane access' and relax in the VIP lounge while awaiting your flight' and 'Celebrity offers this disembarkation service to meet the needs of guests who need assistance in Venice' which all sounds very nice. But in fact, the Travel Clear staff did nothing but wave to a baggage handler to bring over a cart, then left us on our own with 4 hours before our flight time, not telling us we could not check in our baggage for 2 hours and we couldn't go to the lounge until our bags were checked. Once the baggage check window opened, it took over an hour to wait in line for a clerk to tell every non-European we knew from the cruise including us, that we must go to another line and pay 200 to 300 extra Euros for excess baggage, despite having pre-paid for the luggage pieces. Despite pleas of unfairness, the fact remained either pay the extra fee or don't fly on to the destination. All this added up to 10 minutes in the VIP lounge before boarding our flight. We are still waiting for Celebrity to respond to the request for a refund for the fact that it was impossible to spend any time relaxing in the VIP lounge given the logistics of ticketing and baggage checking which only opens 2 hours before flight time, which left little or no time to enjoy any benefit from the Travel Clear VIP Pass.