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We embarked in Venice where the ship stayed overnight so those traveling long distances would have the opportunity to spend some time in this beautiful city. We had arrived two days early to have even more time to take in the sights. We chose a hotel near the Piazzele Roma because we knew it was close to the port. We were told that there was a free shuttle bus from there to the ship which was the case, but when we went out into the Piazzele to find it, there was no indication of where we would catch this bus. There were literally dozens of buses parked there and no one seemed to know which bus belonged to Celebrity. After asking and asking and asking, we finally found some passengers who had just disembarked and were waiting for the rest of their party to arrive on one of the shuttles. The door was closing as we ran (with 2 heavy suitcases each) up to the bus and the driver refused to open the door. Waiting for the next bus added another 30 minutes to our already hour-long wait. Everything went smoothly at the port when we dropped our luggage. Celebrity does not seem to send tags ahead of time any more because they send docs electronically, but we easily got tags from the porters and filled them out. We went into the terminal to hand in our documents knowing we had priority because of booking a concierge cabin. That wait was very short and the staff was quite efficient. We opted not to go to our cabin, but to head out to see more of Venice. Unfortunately we had shuttle troubles again. No one seemed to know where to catch it at the port. We did find it but also discovered that the last shuttle would be at 5PM and there would not be any shuttles on the next day despite the fact that the ship was there overnight. How cheap can Celebrity be??? Once aboard we thought we might be in the wrong cabin. We had last sailed on the Noordam in a regular veranda cabin and it was at least 35% larger than our concierge cabin on the Summit. I guess Celebrity follows in the footsteps of their sister RCCL when it comes to cabin size. Even Carnival and NCL have bigger cabins than we found on the Summit. As we usually do, we asked our cabin attendant to make sure we had a few things like extra towels and a filled ice bucket throughout the voyage. She was fabulous and we never had to ask again. I was a bit surprised when she did not replace our toiletries. What I found out indirectly was that she was instructed by the line not to replace them unless the passenger asks for more. Once again, cheap, cheap, cheap! That not being her choice, her service was impeccable. I wished I could take her home with us. She was the best cabin attendant we ever had. We were at a table for eight and everyone was quite pleasant for dinner. The wait staff was eager to please; the assistant waiter made sure I had ice tea every night without asking. The waiter, when asked, would make helpful suggestions. One negative was that it usually took us 2 hours to eat dinner so we did not finish until almost 11PM. The reason is that our waiter and assistant had five tables and three of them were large tables. Celebrity should have more wait staff and I think that the flexible dining was a possible cause of this. The food was utterly disappointing. My DH and I are not gourmets and he is limited in what he can eat. The menus were dull, the food was tasteless and the meals were generally uninviting. Our first cruise in 1991 was on the Celebrity Meridian an old converted ocean liner. At that time Celebrity was still owned by Chandris and the food was unbelievable. We were on the Zenith to Bermuda about 12 years ago and the food was also not to be believed. Celebrity was always known for its food, but that is no longer the case at least on the Summit. The Maitre'd tried his best to please, but he did not cook the food. Even the special items like French Onion Soup he brought for us were inedible. For the first time in all of our cruising days, we did not go to the dining room on the final night because the menu sounded so ordinary. Instead we went upstairs, watched the sunset and ate salad and pizza. I think Celebrity has lowered its food standards so past passengers will spend more and travel on Azamara. All of the staff was quite pleasant and helpful. The concierge was new, but he tried his best to give us bus and train schedules for the various ports as well as beach suggestions. The shopping guide was not pushy about which stores to use and she also gave some excellent port advice. The entertainment was decent, not fabulous. However, we were usually at dinner so late that we were too tired to go to the shows. Another minor disappointment was the condition of the ship. The common area couches and chairs were torn and ratty. The cabin was in decent condition although the TV was an old set not a flat screen. Perhaps the Summit has gone into dry dock since our cruise and is a little more "ship shape" now. The schedule was great. Each port call was at least 12 hours and we did not have to be back about until 15 minutes before departure. That was wonderful because it enabled us to have very full days in port. We did everything independently and had a ball doing it. We don't believe in using the tours and being crowded into buses like sheep. By traveling in the cities on our own, we got to speak to locals and the people were great in every country from Croatia to Greece to Italy to France to Spain. There is an entire thread on CC about traveling independently in Europe and that was a huge help along with our friends who had already been to these ports. I suggest independent travel to anyone no matter what your age (and we're no spring chickens). In most ports we saw lots more than the people who took ship's tours. So bottom line despite the lousy food and small cabin, I would recommend a Mediterranean cruise just for the ports. Keep in mind that the weather is very hot in July, so if you can go in the fall or spring that's preferable. We had a wonderful time and I cannot wait to go again with different ports this time. I know what the Celebrity of today is like so if I do cruise with them again, I will have lower expectations and not be disappointed. One final note: we canceled a February cruise on the Mercury and switched to another line partly because of these issues.

So so Summit Med Cruise

Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by barley's mom

Trip Details
We embarked in Venice where the ship stayed overnight so those traveling long distances would have the opportunity to spend some time in this beautiful city. We had arrived two days early to have even more time to take in the sights. We chose a hotel near the Piazzele Roma because we knew it was close to the port. We were told that there was a free shuttle bus from there to the ship which was the case, but when we went out into the Piazzele to find it, there was no indication of where we would catch this bus. There were literally dozens of buses parked there and no one seemed to know which bus belonged to Celebrity. After asking and asking and asking, we finally found some passengers who had just disembarked and were waiting for the rest of their party to arrive on one of the shuttles. The door was closing as we ran (with 2 heavy suitcases each) up to the bus and the driver refused to open the door. Waiting for the next bus added another 30 minutes to our already hour-long wait.
Everything went smoothly at the port when we dropped our luggage. Celebrity does not seem to send tags ahead of time any more because they send docs electronically, but we easily got tags from the porters and filled them out. We went into the terminal to hand in our documents knowing we had priority because of booking a concierge cabin. That wait was very short and the staff was quite efficient. We opted not to go to our cabin, but to head out to see more of Venice. Unfortunately we had shuttle troubles again. No one seemed to know where to catch it at the port. We did find it but also discovered that the last shuttle would be at 5PM and there would not be any shuttles on the next day despite the fact that the ship was there overnight. How cheap can Celebrity be???
Once aboard we thought we might be in the wrong cabin. We had last sailed on the Noordam in a regular veranda cabin and it was at least 35% larger than our concierge cabin on the Summit. I guess Celebrity follows in the footsteps of their sister RCCL when it comes to cabin size. Even Carnival and NCL have bigger cabins than we found on the Summit.
As we usually do, we asked our cabin attendant to make sure we had a few things like extra towels and a filled ice bucket throughout the voyage. She was fabulous and we never had to ask again. I was a bit surprised when she did not replace our toiletries. What I found out indirectly was that she was instructed by the line not to replace them unless the passenger asks for more. Once again, cheap, cheap, cheap! That not being her choice, her service was impeccable. I wished I could take her home with us. She was the best cabin attendant we ever had.
We were at a table for eight and everyone was quite pleasant for dinner. The wait staff was eager to please; the assistant waiter made sure I had ice tea every night without asking. The waiter, when asked, would make helpful suggestions. One negative was that it usually took us 2 hours to eat dinner so we did not finish until almost 11PM. The reason is that our waiter and assistant had five tables and three of them were large tables. Celebrity should have more wait staff and I think that the flexible dining was a possible cause of this.
The food was utterly disappointing. My DH and I are not gourmets and he is limited in what he can eat. The menus were dull, the food was tasteless and the meals were generally uninviting. Our first cruise in 1991 was on the Celebrity Meridian an old converted ocean liner. At that time Celebrity was still owned by Chandris and the food was unbelievable. We were on the Zenith to Bermuda about 12 years ago and the food was also not to be believed. Celebrity was always known for its food, but that is no longer the case at least on the Summit. The Maitre'd tried his best to please, but he did not cook the food. Even the special items like French Onion Soup he brought for us were inedible. For the first time in all of our cruising days, we did not go to the dining room on the final night because the menu sounded so ordinary. Instead we went upstairs, watched the sunset and ate salad and pizza. I think Celebrity has lowered its food standards so past passengers will spend more and travel on Azamara.
All of the staff was quite pleasant and helpful. The concierge was new, but he tried his best to give us bus and train schedules for the various ports as well as beach suggestions. The shopping guide was not pushy about which stores to use and she also gave some excellent port advice. The entertainment was decent, not fabulous. However, we were usually at dinner so late that we were too tired to go to the shows.
Another minor disappointment was the condition of the ship. The common area couches and chairs were torn and ratty. The cabin was in decent condition although the TV was an old set not a flat screen. Perhaps the Summit has gone into dry dock since our cruise and is a little more "ship shape" now.
The schedule was great. Each port call was at least 12 hours and we did not have to be back about until 15 minutes before departure. That was wonderful because it enabled us to have very full days in port. We did everything independently and had a ball doing it. We don't believe in using the tours and being crowded into buses like sheep. By traveling in the cities on our own, we got to speak to locals and the people were great in every country from Croatia to Greece to Italy to France to Spain. There is an entire thread on CC about traveling independently in Europe and that was a huge help along with our friends who had already been to these ports. I suggest independent travel to anyone no matter what your age (and we're no spring chickens). In most ports we saw lots more than the people who took ship's tours.
So bottom line despite the lousy food and small cabin, I would recommend a Mediterranean cruise just for the ports. Keep in mind that the weather is very hot in July, so if you can go in the fall or spring that's preferable. We had a wonderful time and I cannot wait to go again with different ports this time. I know what the Celebrity of today is like so if I do cruise with them again, I will have lower expectations and not be disappointed. One final note: we canceled a February cruise on the Mercury and switched to another line partly because of these issues.
barley's mom’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin
We were in a concierge cabin, but it was still quite small. My DH could not turn around in the shower and if I needed something when he was at the sink, I could not get into the bathroom. Storage space was adequate and I always over pack. There should have been a flat screen TV instead of the old, old one that looks like it was there from the ship's initial cruise. Our cabin attendant was great, but because she had lots of inside cabins to cover, she did not have time to make any towel animals. The attendants are tasked to pick up and fold every bit of clothing on the floor and the kids across from us would leave piles and piles of clothes so it used up all of her extra time.
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