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We flew from Heathrow into New York a day early and booked a limo online with Dial 7 to take us from our hotel to Port Liberty at Bayonne – the transfer was good, can’t say the same for Port Liberty where there were serious traffic delays to actually get to the terminal, even at 11.30 in the morning. Celebrity have a separate ‘meet and greet’ for suite guests and, after a very short wait, we were escorted through security and onto the ship (very much like the Yacht Club on MSC)– and straight into our suite. Being able to access your room to drop hand luggage is a real bonus. The ship was revolutionised or ‘edged’ earlier in the year and the interior has certainly been refreshed. The decor is much better, gone is the dark wood, and the whole impression is much lighter and more contemporary. As suite guests we were able to benefit from the refurbished Retreat Lounge and the Retreat sundeck above the Sky Lounge. Some of the areas, like al Bachio, Blu and Luminae have not changed and there were other areas in our suite where the old finishes had not been upgraded. Our suite was kept in good condition and while we really don’t need a butler, he was very pleasant and did everything we asked of him – luckily, we had also managed to improve our suite via the Celebrity system of online bidding for an upgrade. We have never seen the Sky Lounge so well used in the early evening, perhaps there were a lot off frequent cruisers, but it did suggest that it might have been a mistake to remove it from the Edge class – it was the most common complaint from those who had been on Edge. Bar service was generally OK though some of the bar staff in the Retreat areas struggle to deal with anything but standard drinks. We also had difficulties with a couple of barmen who appeared to have a problem understanding that prosecco and champagne are not the same thing. The entertainment staff appreciated the demographic and put on a large number of trivias in the Sky Lounge which were all very well attended – and the progressive trivia was a good idea to keep people coming back – name checks for Rhuss and Kyle who kept the enthusiasm going. There was a good range of music, both to listen to and dance to, and the theatre entertainment was fine (and well-attended) – and we thought the French duo in Quebec, Bande Artistique, outstanding. We did some Celebrity shore excursions in Boston, Quebec, and Sydney but the best was the Peggy’s Cove and Titanic graveyard tour in Halifax. The itinerary was affected by bad weather but Captain Matt dealt with it very well. The substitution of Saguenay for Bar Harbour was a bonus, and he avoided a very bad storm at the end by skipping Prince Edward Island and spending two days in Halifax while the storm passed through – our balcony furniture did suffer a bit though. The best thing was that he kept everyone informed explaining exactly why he had made the decision he had. The officer presence on the ship was also excellent throughout the cruise,and the Captain even stood in the departure corridor on the way into the terminal to wish us a safe trip home, we have never seen that before. Some gripes, evening chic is pointless, the photographers were far too pushy and the waste of paper in printing and displaying the pictures is unacceptable today. And the Celebrity app is not fit for purpose, we had two ‘day 13’s and the menus on the app bore little resemblance to real life – this needs to be resolved. The other problem for us was Luminae, the suite restaurant. The décor was fine and, once we found the right waiter, so was the service - and Jennifer, the sommelier, was outstanding both in her attention and recommendations. The downside was the management and the food choice, there were less menu choices than either in the MDR or Blu and, although you can order off menu, and off the MDR menu (unlike our recent trip on Edge), it wasn’t made clear at the start – we also ate one night at Blu because we thought the choice in Luminae was so poor. Why can’t Luminae have a list of “always available” on the menu as they have in Blu and the MDR? As suite guests we were able to use the specialty restaurants at no cost. We found the food quality, presentation and service in Tuscan Grill particularly disappointing but we were happy to see Qsine still there in its original format rather than being changed to the ‘Little Chef’ (but we were told that it will be going shortly). Food choice and service were fine, not so the wine, the sommelier was clearly little more than a waiter and the wine choices available very poor. Overall, we had a great cruise, the fall foliage looked as it should, the entertainment was better than usual, and we met some very interesting and friendly people.

Fine in the Fall

Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by Dulw1

Trip Details
We flew from Heathrow into New York a day early and booked a limo online with Dial 7 to take us from our hotel to Port Liberty at Bayonne – the transfer was good, can’t say the same for Port Liberty where there were serious traffic delays to actually get to the terminal, even at 11.30 in the morning. Celebrity have a separate ‘meet and greet’ for suite guests and, after a very short wait, we were escorted through security and onto the ship (very much like the Yacht Club on MSC)– and straight into our suite. Being able to access your room to drop hand luggage is a real bonus.

The ship was revolutionised or ‘edged’ earlier in the year and the interior has certainly been refreshed. The decor is much better, gone is the dark wood, and the whole impression is much lighter and more contemporary. As suite guests we were able to benefit from the refurbished Retreat Lounge and the Retreat sundeck above the Sky Lounge. Some of the areas, like al Bachio, Blu and Luminae have not changed and there were other areas in our suite where the old finishes had not been upgraded. Our suite was kept in good condition and while we really don’t need a butler, he was very pleasant and did everything we asked of him – luckily, we had also managed to improve our suite via the Celebrity system of online bidding for an upgrade.

We have never seen the Sky Lounge so well used in the early evening, perhaps there were a lot off frequent cruisers, but it did suggest that it might have been a mistake to remove it from the Edge class – it was the most common complaint from those who had been on Edge. Bar service was generally OK though some of the bar staff in the Retreat areas struggle to deal with anything but standard drinks. We also had difficulties with a couple of barmen who appeared to have a problem understanding that prosecco and champagne are not the same thing.

The entertainment staff appreciated the demographic and put on a large number of trivias in the Sky Lounge which were all very well attended – and the progressive trivia was a good idea to keep people coming back – name checks for Rhuss and Kyle who kept the enthusiasm going. There was a good range of music, both to listen to and dance to, and the theatre entertainment was fine (and well-attended) – and we thought the French duo in Quebec, Bande Artistique, outstanding. We did some Celebrity shore excursions in Boston, Quebec, and Sydney but the best was the Peggy’s Cove and Titanic graveyard tour in Halifax.

The itinerary was affected by bad weather but Captain Matt dealt with it very well. The substitution of Saguenay for Bar Harbour was a bonus, and he avoided a very bad storm at the end by skipping Prince Edward Island and spending two days in Halifax while the storm passed through – our balcony furniture did suffer a bit though. The best thing was that he kept everyone informed explaining exactly why he had made the decision he had. The officer presence on the ship was also excellent throughout the cruise,and the Captain even stood in the departure corridor on the way into the terminal to wish us a safe trip home, we have never seen that before.

Some gripes, evening chic is pointless, the photographers were far too pushy and the waste of paper in printing and displaying the pictures is unacceptable today. And the Celebrity app is not fit for purpose, we had two ‘day 13’s and the menus on the app bore little resemblance to real life – this needs to be resolved.

The other problem for us was Luminae, the suite restaurant. The décor was fine and, once we found the right waiter, so was the service - and Jennifer, the sommelier, was outstanding both in her attention and recommendations. The downside was the management and the food choice, there were less menu choices than either in the MDR or Blu and, although you can order off menu, and off the MDR menu (unlike our recent trip on Edge), it wasn’t made clear at the start – we also ate one night at Blu because we thought the choice in Luminae was so poor. Why can’t Luminae have a list of “always available” on the menu as they have in Blu and the MDR?

As suite guests we were able to use the specialty restaurants at no cost. We found the food quality, presentation and service in Tuscan Grill particularly disappointing but we were happy to see Qsine still there in its original format rather than being changed to the ‘Little Chef’ (but we were told that it will be going shortly). Food choice and service were fine, not so the wine, the sommelier was clearly little more than a waiter and the wine choices available very poor.

Overall, we had a great cruise, the fall foliage looked as it should, the entertainment was better than usual, and we met some very interesting and friendly people.
Dulw1’s Full Rating Summary
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