19 San Diego Celebrity Summit Cruise Reviews

We left Belfast, Northern Ireland early (on US Thanksgiving Day) on bmi - British Midland checking our bags through to San Diego although having to take them through US Customs at Chicago. The strange routing was not our choice - BA to ORD ... Read More
We left Belfast, Northern Ireland early (on US Thanksgiving Day) on bmi - British Midland checking our bags through to San Diego although having to take them through US Customs at Chicago. The strange routing was not our choice - BA to ORD and then AA to SAN. At Chicago it dawned slowly that our bags were still at LHR - Heathrow is currently notorious in this regard. As this is not an airline review suffice it to say that 2 bags caught up with us at Acapulco and one is still missing now that we are back home. Thankfully we had booked air through Celebrity as Violeta the Concierge on Summit never gave up in the daily battles with AA's lost bags call center. No luggage for 5 days is not good for cruising or one's stress levels but Violeta's persistence - including twice daily 45 minute calls to AA gave us some hope and reassurance. Hotel Manager Connie also played a positive role. So what of the cruise itself? Embarkation: Delayed due to a problem with security equipment leading to a long line to board. Stateroom - deck 7 rear with the large balcony. In good condition with excellent attendant Lawrence assisted by Joseph. Very helpful to us in our no luggage period and always courteous and cheerful. Dining - up to the excellent standards of our previous Celebrity Cruise in 2006 on Infinity. Interesting menus in main restaurant at dinner - late seating, while for breakfast and dinner we used the Aqua Spa cafe. Again excellent and very popular with the many Europeans on board. The Normandie we found well worth the charge and our three visits confirm this. Entertainment - we went to most of the shows including all the 7pm sessions being less keen on late shows after second dinner sitting. Standards were high among the booked in 'acts' although other reviewers comments on the singers and dancers rang a bell - OK but not memorable. We do not attend trivia or suchlike so cannot comment on this. Shops - having no luggage means continuing shopping as the days pass. Even with free laundry we had to buy on board and ashore as time passed. Initially we had spent a very rushed hour in Macy's in San Diego starting from scratch! The shops did have a reasonable emergency selection particularly for my wife and the staff were very helpful. We did not attend any shopping 'lectures' and ignoredthis aspect of shipboard life holding it in the same low esteem as art auctions. Gym - new equipment in past year and always a machine available. Plenty of classes and all well attended. We did not use the spa. Shore excursions - we booked 3 in advance - Cabo san Lucas Rhino Adventure; Puntarenas tropical rainforest walk and Cartagena City Tour. The last is really a necessity for Colombia where there is sense in travelling as part of a group - the first 2 we booked as we had not had time to research for independent tours. All were of good standard and even good value for money. Ports - we had not done this routing before and overall were pleased with it. Cabo - tendering the only downside although it was well organized and as we had a Celebrity tour we had no delay getting off. Acapulco - too many hustlers ashore and one passenger was mugged by a group of men. Huatulco - now with a cruise pier so no longer tendered. Interesting growing resort and taxis good value around the area. Puntarenas - interesting market by the pier but the town is dirty and taxi drivers untrustworthy in some instances. Our table mates in contrast had a very good taxi tour. The litter and grime of the port is in contrast to eco tourism claims of Costa Rica as a destination. Cartagena - well worth visiting especially for the Fort, the old city and the Spanish Inquisition Museum. In addition the temptation to buy an emerald may be (and was) irresistible. The Canal - we did not get off the ship and found the day both fascinating and exhilarating. The 'experience' is memorable and the scale of the engineering feat overwhelming. With a rear balcony we had a Panama Canal Party for our friends which was a great success! Disembarkation - our CC group had the cinema to wait in - and we hard some complaints about this. We were off the ship only ten minutes after the promised time. Waiting for 20 minutes in the sun for our coach to Miami Airport rather spoilt this. Flights home were on time with all connections working even amazingly for our remaining and new bags! Summary - the loss of all luggage for 5 days is clearly a bit of a showstopper and rather stressful. Good work by Celebrity on board helped recover the situation. Our markings are based on setting aside the bags issue. The Summit is in good condition and standards all round are high. Food and service remain highlights of a Celebrity cruise - in our opinion. PS As non smokers we were lucky that there were fewer on this cruise than our experience in 06 Having said this we still hope for an Azamara style policy. Read Less
Sail Date November 2007
Based on our 3 prior Celebrity cruises, we thought they were the greatest thing on water since Noah's Ark, but after our problems on this one, I'm not sure we still feel that way. I'll give my overview first and enumerate ... Read More
Based on our 3 prior Celebrity cruises, we thought they were the greatest thing on water since Noah's Ark, but after our problems on this one, I'm not sure we still feel that way. I'll give my overview first and enumerate the problems at the end We stayed pre cruise at the Holiday Inn on the Bay at San Diego; a better location cannot be had. If not for all our luggage, and my wife being a wheelchair, we could have walked straight across the street to the cruise terminal. We had a on-line printed "CONCIERGE CLASS EXPRESS PASS". What a joke; there was just one big long line, although they finally shuttled us off to the side at a special location for the disabled. Then after check-in, another long line to board. At our cabin, was as promised, an electric scooter which I'd rented from Special Needs at Sea. It did fit into the room, but if it was in there, there was no way to get in or out. A short hallway across from our room proved to be a handy place to stash it when not in use. Ship folks loaned us an extension cord to use at recharge it at night. For the most part, it was a good cruise; weather near-perfect; our ports were Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Huatulco (all Mexico), Puntarenas, CR, Panama and Cartagena, Colombia. At Huatulco, we took a cab to nearby La Crucesita for shopping. We did a "Pacific Train Boat & Bus Adventure" in Puntarenas. The train was very rough, but it was a nice tour. Our only other shore excursion was "Best of Cartagena", which was a long, hot and tiresome 4+ hours. Our guide was good, but had such a heavy accent that we had trouble understanding him. We stopped for a couple hours of shopping at the market at Christobal Pier in Panama. It was somewhat startling to see several tables manned by wild looking native women that were topless. We later heard that in the past, they were completely naked but after complaints, they had to put on loincloths on their waists! There were 3 formal nights, which is 3 too many for me, but I think 2 would have sufficed. There was a Cruise Critic party, with maybe 35 present. I had a 30 minute foot massage for $35 in the Spa, but their rate for full body massage, $120 for 50 minutes is very high. My wife had one accupunture treatment for a leg problem; $125; she did not feel they did much good. The Photo Gallery prices were ridiculous, seemed like every day they got higher; at the end it was $19.95 for a 5x7. I used the Thalassotherapy pool once, but found it very hard to get onto the massage area and even harder to get off it. On board entertainment was pretty much run of the mill; the Theater had the usual song & dance extravaganzas. One night there was a halfway decent ventriloquist. A Chinese fellow played a huge hammer dulcimer, good & loud, mostly loud. Also comedian Rich Ceisler, who supposedly has been on HBO, at Las Vegas, etc. Lots of old jokes. Some of the audience was rolling in the aisles with laughter; maybe my sense of humor is outdated. I'd hate to pay good money to see him in Vegas. The bar entertainers were pretty good; Voice Males, an a capella quartet had big crowds, likewise Jefferson Ang, a guitar player & vocalist. The Elk Island quartet was a nice young combo with an attractive vocalist who did mostly 1940-50's standards. Then there was the Odessa Strings, a Russian quartet who did classical music. They got a nice round of applause after each number, but never bothered to smile, nor nod nor say thanks. At the end of their set, they just packed up their instruments, walked away, looking straight ahead. Very rude in my opinion. CONCIERGE CLASS ROOM - I don't know how much extra we paid for this, about $250 a person I think and was it worth it? In a word NO!! Promised benefits: Early embarkation & debarkation; that did not happen. Shore Excursion preference - what preference? Personalized stationery - yes 2 sheets without name on them, big deal! Extra pillows, which were just in the way, daily canapes, fresh fruit & flowers, okay I guess but not worth several hundred $$. Welcome bottle of champagne; that was nice I guess. Express luggage delivery - another joke, it took longer to get our luggage to our room than on any of the other 10 cruises we've been on. My suggestion: pass on Concierge, spend that in the casino - you'll get more enjoyment. NOW THE PROBLEMS: As soon as we stepped on board (my wife rolled on in her wheelchair), trouble began. Our cruise cards would not work, and prompted the machine to give a stern recorded message: INVALID CARD; DO NOT ACCEPT". They pushed us aside with a security guard watching over us to make sure we didn't pull any fast moves. After about 5 minutes of discussion between various officers, they then began to shuttle back and forth to the Guest Relations desk. This went on for 15 minutes while everyone passed by, looking at us like we had been caught sneaking on board. I then had to dig out my reservation credentials and finally they got us cards that would work. On top of that, they didn't offer to help us to our stateroom; I had to push her wheelchair, plus handle her and my carry-on luggage. Several days later, more problems. I went to Guest Relations to turn in my pre-paid gratuity form. The guy forgot to give my cruise card back, which I didn't discover until I got to the room. I went right back down; he was off duty by then and hadn't left my card there. A girl then made up a new card. Went to the room; it did not work. Went back down to GR; she made another card; it also did not work. Went back the 3rd time and after more delay she told me she would call the cabin steward to let me in and they would send up a new card later. They did that, but then that afternoon my wife's card would not work. She went to GR and they then gave her a new card and told her my card wouldn't work either, so they gave her a new card for me. The next morning, we try to disembark for a shore excursion and neither of our cards would work. They again take us aside in custody of a security guard and call GR come and get our cards. Quite a while later, a GR person comes down, takes cards and disappears. Finally a helpful girl (Kirsty) from the activity staff went up to GR and finally got us cards that worked, and we barely made our shore excursion. That evening I went to see Conny Hammelmann, the Hotel Director who is one of 3 officers that reports direct to the Captain. It was like talking to a brick wall. First she told me that we must have de-magnetized our cards. I said how could we when we were holding them in our hands before embarkation, and when I was going back & forth between GR and my room that day. Well, its just a common computer problem that they often have, she tells me. If its common, why don't they fix it? I left her office very unsatisfied. She did not seem to understand all the hassle and frustration we went through on this cruise. It definitely left us with a bad taste in our mouth for Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date November 2007
We are early 50's, fit and adventurous, on our the cruise, 5th with Celebrity. Our experience on board the Summit convinced us once again that we should stick with Celebrity. We stayed over at the Holiday Inn on the Bay, and quite ... Read More
We are early 50's, fit and adventurous, on our the cruise, 5th with Celebrity. Our experience on board the Summit convinced us once again that we should stick with Celebrity. We stayed over at the Holiday Inn on the Bay, and quite easily pulled our luggage across the street to the ship. No one requested a tip at the baggage carts but we left one anyway. Longer line-ups inside the terminal than we expected at 12:30, since boarding time was listed as 2 pm. It took a short while to get processed but longer to get on the ship. This may have been because they didn't take the i.d. photos until we were on the gangway of the ship, which created a bottleneck. However, once on board we checked out our room and went for lunch by 1:30. Luggage was delivered to the room in a very reasonable time. The Summit is beautiful, almost identical to the sister ship Millennium which we had cruised before--classy and elegant, not 'Vegas' style. Everything appeared clean and in good repair. I lost my card within two hours of coming on board and the GR gal was very pleasant about replacing it. This was not a very port-intensive cruise for 14 days so we had a lot of sea days. This would have been our only concern as there doesn't seem to be a lot to do during the day other than sun, play bingo or trivia games. The gym however is great and machines always available. Never had a problem finding a lounge chair by the pool although the usual chaise hogs are on all ships. Appreciated that the thalassotherapy pool is accessible to all on Summit and not hidden within the spa. Service was impeccable on Summit, from the most menial jobs to the stewards, waiters, maitre d's, guest relations. Excursions desk seemed to be unmanned much of the time. We booked only one excursion through the ship. Bravo River Rafting in Acapulco was great and worth the booking. The other ports we did our own thing or hired a driver. Our inside stateroom (our preference) on the Continental deck was mid-ship/aft. It was the first time we were in a room that runs parallel to the hallway. This meant we were gently rocked to sleep side to side instead of head to toe! The hall door placement meant we didn't have the usual little settee and table which we found to be one less place to accumulate 'stuff'; never missed it. The TV fare got really boring...the same Lucy, Beverly Hillbillies etc. over and over ad nauseam. Decent movies played but it was hard to catch the beginning. Used the cinema a few times. They played one dreadful ?R rated movie that was simply a horrible, pointless movie. Inappropriate entertainment for a mixed crowd. Evening entertainment in the theater was very good. Large production crew, usual broadway themes. Unfortunately, the singer was often two bars into the song before the sound man kicked in. Enjoyed concert pianist (amazing night of Chopin), Hammer Dulcimer player, ventriloquist, slight of hand guy, comedian. Theater is 3 floors but occasionally was completely full, standing room only. Ah, the Cosmopolitan Dining Room. Never had one bad meal and no one at our table of 12! ever sent anything back. Service was sometimes a little slow as the waiter seemed to have too many tables and left the big one to last. However, wait staff was excellent and very accommodating. The beef was tender and superb, seafood excellent. Fruit soups were amazing, as were all the Celebrity dressings. Most desserts also excellent. We did not opt for the Normandy restaurant experience at $30 each as the DR had wonderful food. The buffet had a great variety for breakfast and lunch so we only used the DR a couple times for lunch which was very good. Disembarkation was certainly not the best we've had. This however may have been because we chose (for the first time) to do the 'drag your bag' option to get early disembarkation as we had an early flight. Customs seemed unready and inadequate in Ft Lauderdale so was held up a bit. Bigger problem was probably all the people joining our ranks who were supposed to be waiting in the lounge for their color to be called. Overall a wonderful two weeks with beautiful sunshine, calm seas, amazing food and good company. Read Less
Sail Date November 2007
This was our 12th cruise,a first with Celebrity.We chose this cruise because of the destination. We arrived in San Diego on Nov. 22 by air and transferred to the Best Western Bayside Inn downtown.The room on the 10th floor was both clean ... Read More
This was our 12th cruise,a first with Celebrity.We chose this cruise because of the destination. We arrived in San Diego on Nov. 22 by air and transferred to the Best Western Bayside Inn downtown.The room on the 10th floor was both clean and quiet.We found the staff friendly and very helpful. W We transferred to the ship terminal at 1:00pm.The driver set our on the curb and the porter would not load them on a cart without a tip first. After about 15 min.I took the bags to the nearest cart,put them on myself,and waited until the cart was picked up by a fork lift and taken to the ship. Embarkation was probably the worst we have encountered, too many people not knowing what they were supposed to do or how to do it. In approx. 2 hrs. we were on the ship. We had an inside stateroom #7067 and upon arrival our room stewart Willian greeted us and explained the room features, his functions and gave us his cell phone number in case we required anything.The room was large comfortable, and very clean. We took a walk to find the library,theatre,dining room and pool area,and were very impressed with the condition of the ship. No papers, empty cups,half eaten plates of food,etc.the clean up was super. We had first seating in the upper dining room, at a table for 6 very friendly dinner companions.The assistant Maitre D, our waiter Jeorge, and assistant waiter Edward all went out of their way to see that we enjoyed our meals. The food was presented very well,but in some cases it had no taste to it,or just did not taste good at all. I have never sat at a table where so many dinners were sent back.On the second day we had breakfast in the dining room,and never went back.Never tried it at lunch, we stuck with the buffet. There were plenty of activities on sea days to keep you going,the only problem was that the ones we were interested in were offered at the same time. Someone has spent a lot of time and effort selecting the staff for this ship.They all appear to enjoy their job and were more than willing to go out of their way to answer questions or help where needed. when it comes to entertainment theships singers and dancers put on two of the best performances we have seen on a ship.With one exception the guest performers were very talented and great entertainment .When you really enjoy 13 out of 14 shows,it says a lot. There was no shortage of very good musical entertainment in the lounges.To our suprisewe found that the music was very listenable or danceable without the usual assault on our hearing. Shore excursions were not foremost on our minds as we have been to the Mexican Rivera twice before so we stayed on board at Cabo San Lucas and Acapulco. At Huatulco Mexico, we disembarked and walked in to the village.Was very surprised at the lack of hustlers, you could walk freely without being pestered to buy. It is a beautiful village with very little evidence of tourism. At Puntarenas Costa Rica we took a bus tour of the surrounding villages. The tour guide was very well informed and gave a very factual description of his country,both the good and the bad. All but 3 of the Panama tours were cancelled due to our late arrival at Guntan lake. We were allowed off the ship at the Cristobal terminal since one of the tours had a problem returning to the ship. Cartagena Columbia was a surprise,the tour of the old town made you think you were in Europe.A walled city with great historic buildings and churches. the one big problem was that the city licenses individuals to hustle and harass you in hopes that you will buy whatever it is that they are trying to sell. When we arrived at Ft. Lauderdale I dreaded having to go through another day like we had getting onboard.Now I have to apologize for all the thoughts that I had.The disembarkation of the Celebrity Summit was the best organized of any of the previous 11 cruises we have been on. It was a great cruise with great people and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone,after a full explanation about the food. Read Less
Sail Date November 2007
We are a retired couple in our 50's who have been cruising since 1978. We drove from Arizona and after 5 hours, arrived at the terminal around 11 AM to a very orderly process. By 12 noon, we were happily sipping welcome champagne. Our ... Read More
We are a retired couple in our 50's who have been cruising since 1978. We drove from Arizona and after 5 hours, arrived at the terminal around 11 AM to a very orderly process. By 12 noon, we were happily sipping welcome champagne. Our Concierge Cabin was a pleasant surprise, being larger than others we have experienced on Celebrity. Our room stewards, Lawrence and Joseph, immediately welcomed us with a warm introduction and pleasant smiles. Since I was celebrating a birthday, we immediately made our way to the Normandie Restaurant to secure reservations. Decor and lighting were romantic and elegant. However, the bright flourescent lights from the very visible kitchen was quite disturbing during our special dinner. In addition, the constant clanging of pots and pans certainly didn't add to the experience. However, one taste of the cheese souffle swept us away to a much better place. Lobster bisque was good, not great though. Steak Diane was tender and flavorful but was surprised it didn't come served as medallions. It was presented as a large filet mignon. DH's lobster and scallops were slightly overcooked. Creme Brulee was a big disappointment, lacking a sweetness that we have become accustomed to. The maitre' D agreed after sampling it himself. But by that time, we were quite satisfied with all we had to eat; and were thankful that we were able to walk away from the dessert without any regrets. All in all, the cuisine was pretty good and the service excellent. Not enough though to make another reservation during the rest of the cruise. Especially when the food in the main dining room was so wonderful!!!! Breakfasts were great, no matter what we ate, Eggs Benedict, Smoked Salmon, pancakes, ect. all were impeccable. Even when they were ordered on Room Service for dining on our balcony, which was a real special experience once we arrived in Hawaii. Prior to that, the weather was a little too cool to dine on the balcony while at sea. Lunches were a disappointment, with strange cuisine choices and even stranger cuisine preparations. It also seemed that the dining room had the same choices for lunch as the buffet, so that was an added disappointment. However, the pizza station more than compensated, and as we all know, no ever starved or went hungary on a cruise. Dinners, on the other hand, were wonderful. The Summit's beef is the best we have had on a cruise in quite a long time. Especially the huge, tender, tasty veal chop. Mmmm,Mmmm!!!! The lobster was also much better than we have been experiencing lately. Although I will say we usually are served lobster tails on 2 nights on a 2 week cruise. Whereas we didn't get the lobster until the end of the sailing. We found the dessert offerings at the end of dinner have been cut in selection. When we last were on the Mercury in March, our waiter would present a tray with 6 or 7 delectable choices. However, on this sailing most nights only offered 3 choices, all of which, were lacking in sugar and imagination. It seems to us that the preparation was all show and no satisfying substance. To which DH and I were grateful. In fact, the only dessert we even enjoyed was the bananas foster. Of course, they did offer all kinds of ice cream, sorbet and sherbert. What truly impressed me on this ship was the ample amount of time that was devoted to dancing. WE love to dance, and on many cruises we are not satisfied with the lack of venues for same. This ship offered ample time in the Night Club and the Rendez-Vous Lounge. Guys & Doll (Cathy) were quite enjoyable and made every effort to accommodate everyone's taste. We truly loved listening to Jefferson Ang at the Waterfall Cafe Bar. We weren't too impressed with Allen King, Cruise Director. Seemed to be sleepwalking through his job. We kept wondering why the 1 hour of live music poolside was only offered from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM, when most people leave for lunch. Strange...... Another strange thing was why did men have to were sports jackets for tea time in the afternoon??? Well, as far as service all over the Summit, all I can say is that it was impeccable. Lawrence and Joseph were 2 of the very best room stewards we have every had. Mildred, our Dining Room waitress, was the absolute BEST. Even the cocktail staff were wonderful when I finally found the need to complain about the weakness of the cocktails. When I spend $10.50 plus gratuity for a cosmo, I expect to taste more than cranberry juice. That is the one major complaint I have for Celebrity. The cost of the wines and cocktails leave a lot to be desired. Wine choices were meager and expensive in cost. All cocktails tasted mostly of fruit juices, with no noticeable liquor. Many passengers felt the same about this issue. All in all, I have to say The Summit is probably my favorite ship thus far. The decor and lighting in the public areas is simply beautiful. Celebrity is still doing a good job and we look forward to sailing with them again in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
Day 1: We were supposed to leave the house by 10:30 to drive to Chicago. But, I really procrastinated and didn't even start packing until 1:30pm. It's really bad to not plan your wardrobe ahead of time. Because you bring too much ... Read More
Day 1: We were supposed to leave the house by 10:30 to drive to Chicago. But, I really procrastinated and didn't even start packing until 1:30pm. It's really bad to not plan your wardrobe ahead of time. Because you bring too much or not everything that you mean to bring. But, by 4:00, I'm done and starting to bring the suitcases downstairs to pack in the car. My crown fell out of my mouth. A quick call to the dentist who told me to come right into the office. Now I am in panic mode, so I just throw things into the car including Rod and all of the dog's things and head out. The dentist does his thing and we get started on the road to Chicago. It's much later than I wanted to leave so I called our daughter and asked her to meet me at an exit on I94 so save me some time. Then, I discover that I don't have the key to Rod's scooter. It's at home on the dinette table. So, I called my sister and asked if she would find a locksmith even though it's going to cost me a mint to have one come to her house to make a key. After trying, she informs me that no locksmith is able to make a key for a scooter. Now, I call the company and they agree to overnight a key to us at the Marriott in San Diego. Good news: Going through Chicago at 8:00pm is much faster than going through it earlier in the afternoon. Day 2: We get up early and my sister drives us to the airport. Oops, I have this scooter that doesn't work and will need to be pushed through O'Hare airport. It really wasn't as bad as a porter pushed Rod in a wheelchair while I pushed the dead scooter with the carryon stuff to the gate. We made arrangements for the scooter to be taken directly to San Diego so I wouldn't have to push it through Phoenix's airport too. It was returned to us at the baggage station in SD. The flights from Chicago to SD were just fine. Too close seats on US Air though. We saw the smoke from the fires flying into SD. We even went through smoke so thick that you might have thought that it was a dirty cloud. So sad. We arrived at the Marriott Hotel and Marina and, (par for the course for us), our room wasn't ready. Of course, we were about 8 minutes early. So, we went to have a drink. I really don't drink that much but I felt that we needed it. We finally got to our room minus the scooter which we left with the bellman and it was a lovely room overlooking the pool and marina. It was somewhat cloudy due to the fires. It was such a grueling two days that we decided to call for room service and just relax in our room. Day 3: I woke up early and found a book to read. I made us some coffee and began calling to see if the key to the scooter had arrived. I figured that touring was probably out for the day, but maybe a dip in the pool could be arranged. Oh dear, I found that I needed some things from a drugstore. I was online and asked Jon from the Cruise Critic roll call board where a drugstore might be found. He replied right away and said to call him. He said the he and Carol were going out and would pick us up and take us to get what we needed. What Sweethearts!!! After we shopped, they took us for a drive to give us a mini excursion of San Diego's waterfront area and islands. When we arrived back to the hotel, I checked and, sure enough, the key had arrived. A bellman took the key and went to bring up the scooter. Have you ever had a sinking feeling that something was wrong? Well, I started getting one when it seemed to be taking an especially long time to bring up the scooter. Then, I saw the bellman with it. He was pushing it! Oh no, was it the wrong key? No, the darn, almost brand new scooter would not work. It just went beep, beep, beep, beep 16 times when you turned on the key. So, I called Michigan where the tech person said that it sounded like there was something loose but we couldn't find anything loose. By now, I should tell you that we have several people trying to help us out, including security. Every time someone turns on the key, the darn thing beeps and everyone looks at us. So, I call someone in the SD area who didn't really seem to want to help us. Finally, I tried another company and the man, Gino, was very helpful. Since he does business with Celebrity Cruises, he said that he would come and pick up our scooter and let us rent, for a very reasonable charge, a scooter to take on the cruise. He would then drop ours off at the pier when we return. Thank you, Gino. We decided to have some lunch which was enjoyed but really close to the time that we were meeting people from the roll call at Anthony's restaurant. Oh what the heck, we'll just have soup and a dessert and meet our new friends and get acquainted. This we did! It was great meeting everyone who showed up. There were 21 of us. Thanks Jon for making these arrangements. Day 4 (precruise) Day 1 (cruise): We were up early repacking everything and putting on the luggage tags for the ship. We talked about getting there early (11:00am). We took our cab and they wouldn't let him go into the gates. They were only letting in people and taxis that were picking up people. So, here I am, stuck outside of the gates with Rod on his scooter guarding 6 pieces of luggage. (I told you that I overpacked, right????) I tried to bargain, etc. but no luck getting someone from the inside to come outside the gates to help me get the luggage in. The man inside the gates told me to get a pedibicycle to help me with the luggage. But, security wouldn't allow them to bring in luggage for the Summit. So, I finally brought in 2 of the bags. By that time, they did allow the bikes to help out so the entire luggage was in Celebrity's hands. And, Rod and I got in line to be checked in. This was handled very efficiently and it wasn't long until we stopped by to see our room. Since this was to be a truly special vacation, we decided to stay in a Royal Suite. We were really impressed. Our room steward, Antonio, introduced himself but didn't know who would be our butler. We decided to eat some lunch and then check out our table location for the Cosmopolitan Restaurant. We were at table 555 which is next to the railing on deck five. A table for 8. We also changed our dinner in the Normandie from the second night to the third so we wouldn't miss the first formal night. About 3:30, our butler came to introduce himself to us. His name is Rikki and he is very famous on the Celebrity boards. I was thrilled to meet him and know that he will be excellent. Now, I'm feeling pretty lucky. Our bags arrived and I put everything in its place. After the muster, we met several more people from the Roll Call board during sail away from San Diego. It became quite chilly so we left for dinner. For our dinner, Rod and I had the prime rib. I thought that it was good. And, of course, the infamous, crème Brule` for dessert. The ship is rocking and rolling like people said it would when we left San Diego. Day 2: The time change has me waking up early as did the hard bed. This was resolved by the egg crate foam mattress and I'm very comfortable now. Rikki brought us our breakfast right at 8:00 as requested. We went to the Cruise Connections party which was held in the Bar at the Edge because we had 122 people signed up. There were around 70 or 80 people there and it was nice to put names and faces together. Alan King, the cruise director said that he would arrange for another get together later in the cruise. I'm looking forward to that one too. It's still a little too cool to sit out on the verandah so we're watching TV news and other interesting things on TV and relaxing. We had lunch from room service. Good soup and sandwich. Tonight is Informal dress for dinner. I asked Rikki if he would please tie Rod's tie for him. Wow, it was outstanding. Rod looked so good. For dinner, Rod and I both ordered the strip steak. I checked with our waiter, Singh, if the meat was tough (as I read on the Celebrity board) and he said that he hadn't had any complaints. Well, friends, the steak was tough. Even Singh had to admit that it was tough as he cut up Rod's steak for him. And, as the desserts didn't appeal to me, I just had sherbet. Of course, Rod had his chocolate which he enjoyed. We went to bed early as we had to set our clocks back one hour and I was tired. Relaxing takes a lot out of you, LOL Day 3: I slept well but still was up around 6:00am. Rikki asked me to call him if I wanted some coffee early. I did and also had some of the fruit that's in our room. It doesn't seem as rocky or as cool today, but Rod still doesn't want to sit outdoors. I made lei today. Sat with Karen from the roll call board and both made beautiful leis. Later, I went to an Excel computer class. For lunch, we ate at the outdoor area at the aft of the ship. It felt good having the sun shine on us. Turned back our clocks one more time. Dinner was Formal and our table is full again. We lost 2 couples after the first night as they requested a table for 4. We added a couple on day 2 and then another couple on day 3. We are a complete table once more. For dinner, Rod and I both had medallions and they were okay. Up until now, I wouldn't say that anything was outstanding. After dinner, we went to the show. I felt that the singers and dancers did a good job and I enjoyed it very much. Day 4: Up early again but that's okay. I enjoy the quiet time. I'm reading again. I used to read all of the time but that stopped with Rod's stroke. Now, with the sea days, I find that reading is relaxing and I'm getting into the books again. Rod and I went up to deck 11 to be in the sun for a little while. Well, we fell asleep for 2 hours and even though I wasn't facing the sun, I was sunburned. So was Rod, but not to the extent that I was. We ate again and went down to our room where I read out on the verandah. Yes, it's getting quite comfortable for me and I love hearing the sounds of the waves in the background. Tonight was an Informal night in the Cosmopolitan restaurant, but we're eating in the Normandie with Barb and Paul Conway from the roll call board. Let me tell you about our meal. It was delicious and we all enjoyed what we ate. The goat cheese soufflE was outstanding as was our Steak Diane. Barb had Dover Sole and she said that it was delicious also. During dinner, an announcement was made that the port authority in Lahaina did not want us to tender there on Wednesday. They said that with the large number of people coming for the Halloween parade, they felt that it was unsafe to add another 2,000 people to the island area. So, we're going to Honolulu on Wednesday and will now be in Lahaina on Thursday and Friday. Oh no! This means that we'll have to cancel our privately made reservations for the laua at the Feast at Lela. It was late so we decided to do it the next day. We tried to go to the magician/comedian show but it was too full so, tried my hand at slots and left with a loss. Turned our clocks back another hour. Now, we're 6 hours earlier than Michigan. Day 5: Again, was up at 6:00 and this time I went out on the deck, in the warm weather to read. How relaxing. I went to the Concierge to call the Feast at Lele to cancel. They understood but said that they were filled for Thursday evening. They later called to say that they had an opening and would be expecting us. I'm writing this review on the table on the verandah. It is warm and comfortable. The sun is shining on the other side of the ship. The sky is partly cloudy. I'm in heaven. Rod is sitting in the chair next to me sleeping. Tonight is an Informal Dress night. Back to the Cosmopolitan. We told everyone about our delicious dinner and ordered the prime rib as our entrEe` for this evening's meal. After dinner, we decided to go back to the room and go to bed early. I need a nap during the day so I can stay up later at night. Day 6: I was up at 5:30. I guess that I'm excited about being in port. We are going on a small circle island tour. It was very nice and our bus driver, Ralph, was very good. I only wish that the tour company provided us with a list of stops so I could coordinate my pictures with each stop. I'm sorry but my memory isn't as good as it used to be. I have some really good pictures of the island of Oahu. It did rain on and off and, I guess, some people were caught in the rain and got pretty soaked. We observed it from our verandah and room. Let's talk about food. I've found that the beef has been okay, not great, but okay. People, at our table say that the fish has been from flavorless to very good. Tonight's meal was so salty (the vegetables) that I just didn't eat it. The desserts, with the exception of a few things, have been okay but I preferred the sherbet. There doesn't seem to be the variety that we had, even in February. Day 7: Slept in a little but was still up about 7:00am. I looked out the verandah and saw the island of Molokai with a cloud covering the top. We cannot see Lahaina from our vantage point. But, that's okay, we'll see it later on our tour. We can see the tenders as they leave the ship bringing passengers to shore. Our tour driver was Duane. He was good. He's a retired policeman on the island of Maui so is quite knowledgeable and gave us some ins and outs. I guess that it was a good thing that we did not go on the island on Halloween as he said that they had to hire 100 extra police to control the situation and that most of the businesses close with the exception of the bars. On our tour, we went to the Maui Ocean Center. Although we were there for 1 ½ hours, it wasn't enough time. It is a very fascinating place. We also went to the rain forest where it...RAINED! Then, we went to the Tropical Plantation where we shopped and had a tour and saw all kinds of plants and flowers. I shipped home a dozen pineapples to be distributed to family and friends. Since Rod and I were going to a Luau, we decided to stay in town and shop a little and then walk down to the shopping area where the Feast at Lele is held. As we started out, it rained and, even though we looked for shelter under trees, we did get wet. We were very early and had to stand around and wait for the luau to begin, but it was worth it. Now, you must know that my husband is a very picky eater but we decided that we would, at least, try everything so we can say that we did it. Even the poi! Maybe it was because it was dark and we were hungry, and the mai tai was really good, but we did try everything including the poi. As a matter of fact, Rod ate a heck of a lot more than I ever thought he would. It is a 4 course meal and all of the drinks, with the exception of some of the more expensive liquors are covered by the price. It is a sit down dinner and you are served at your table. The entertainment is fantastic and I would definitely recommend it. I totally enjoyed seeing the ship anchored from our vantage point at the luau. It was nice to see it at night, all lit up. We met another couple from the ship and they walked home with us. It was a long day as we were off of the ship for over 12 hours. I figured that we would sleep in the next day. Day 8: I did wake up about 8:00am and saw the island again. No breakfast in the room this morning, but I called Rikki and he brought me some coffee so I could sit on the balcony and type this review. The ship turns with the current and I now see the Pacific Princess which is also anchored and a part of Lahaina. It is very relaxing. Later today, I plan to go into town to Hilo Hatties to get a muumuu, I hope. Back from Hilo Hatties with a more formal muumuu than I really wanted but they have no shapeless things for a gal my size and even mom's had to be an x-large. Crazy. Bought other things and had everything shipped home. Went back to the ship where we spent the rest of the day relaxing. We did have a late lunch which then did not make us hungry for dinner at 6:00, so we decided to have pizza for dinner in the room. Just perfect. Day 9: Today, we're in Hilo. I was up early so watched us coming into port. We had a 9:00 excursion scheduled so it was up, dressed and eating early to get to the cruise terminal. We were going on an accessible tour of Hilo that was to last until after 4:00 in the afternoon. We had a "short" bus and the bus was full. It had a lift which enabled a couple of people to leave the ship and go on an excursion. Cruise ships should make arrangement with tour companies to provide this service at every port. As long as I'm talking about this, there was a man, at the end of the tour, who was displeased because his handicapped person had to go up and down the steps of the bus. I understand his concern and perhaps some suggestions could be made to the company to arrange for all who need wheelchairs to be lifted onto the bus and then assisted to their seat. The tour bus was rented from a touring bus company and there was a man onboard who assisted the lift passengers on and off and even pushed one person who was alone and in a wheelchair. We went to the Macadamia Nut Factory and I had some things shipped home. We went to Volcano National Park and looked at huge craters where steam was still rising. We saw the cracks from when the last large earthquake hit the Big Island of Hawaii. They gave us a bag lunch which was filling. Then we went to an orchid farm. There were so many different kinds of orchids - so beautiful and different. I didn't ship anything home because Michigan's weather and my "red" thumb would kill them quickly. Better that they stay where they can be appreciated. We also stopped at the rainbow falls but it was too cloudy for a rainbow and finally, to the Candy factory. We didn't get off of the bus. Security at the port was very strict and included someone getting on the bus before allowing the bus into the terminal area who checked our picture id and seapass. Rod and I were both tired and decided not to get dressed up for dinner. So, we made a reservation at the casual restaurant. This is on the 10 floor on the port aft side of the buffet area. We had a nice dinner. We also saw another couple from our table who said that we were missed. Since it's a formal night tomorrow, we'll be back or normal at table 555. Passing by the Volcano: Since we were on the starboard side of the ship, we were excited to be able to see the volcano. We were told, during our excursion, that we probably would only be able to see red reflected off of the clouds. He said that the lava flow had turned inward from the water now. He was right and we did see some red reflections. It was a little disappointing but we did see something. Day 10: Today we're in Kona which we understand is the "luxury" town on the island. I was going to tender in to look at some clothes or something, but decided not to go after all. So, I took a leisurely shower and air dried my hair on the verandah so I could continue typing my thoughts on this cruise. Rod is sleeping on a lounge chair. It started raining about 12:30 and we watched the tenders bringing back people to the ship. We were supposed to leave at 1:00 but the last tender didn't arrive until after 1:30. We finally started moving about 2:00. And then, the rain really came down. Tonight was the Captain's Club Cocktail party. It was very nice and we had our picture taken with him. Then, we joined our tablemates for a nice dinner. Afterward, we went to the casino where I contributed to the ship. Rod ended up even for the night which I consider a win. The ship is really moving out to get us home on time. Day 11: Well, we've been rocking and rolling all night. Today, the sky is pretty cloudy and it seems quite windy out. It is also cool. I really didn't expect this kind of coolness until we approached the San Diego area. Actually, I originally planned to put on the old bathing suit today so I could make it look like I'd been in Hawaii. Oh well,…………plans are made to be broken. The sun came out from behind the clouds so it became quite nice on the deck. We spent most of the afternoon reading and enjoying the warmth and slight breeze. Now, I have to tell you something funny. I wanted to order some pizza slices for lunch so I went on the TV and ordered 4 slices, or so I thought. What arrived were 4 individual pizzas with 4 slices in each pizza. Obviously, not what I thought I ordered. So if you're going to order pizza off of the TV menu, know that they're little individual pizzas, not slices. LOL. Tonight for dinner was pretty good. However, we think that our waiter might be new because he is very slow and our table is usually the last one to leave the dining room. I finally told the asst. maître about our concerns and he indicated that things would be better. Entertainment tonight was a variety show and we enjoyed it. Afterward, Rod and I went to the casino. I contributed and Rod won. Tonight, we turn our clocks ahead one hour so we're only 4 hours behind Michigan time (EST). Day 12: Now I'm starting to wake up later than on the way to Hawaii. Tonight will be casual night in the dining room. It's a really cloudy day and cool. Rod tried to go out on the deck but came in shortly as it was too cool for him. I may get a manicure this afternoon or tomorrow. We'll see. No manicure. Rod and I slept for awhile and then got ready for dinner. Tonight was a casual night so I wore the lei that I made on the way to Hawaii. It was fun to wear it to dinner. After dinner, on the way to the theater, we stopped in the casino and contributed to their profit fund. We have to turn our clocks ahead one hour tonight so we're back on Pacific Time. Tomorrow is the last formal night and the midnight buffet. Everything is coming to an end. Day 13: We awoke to a beautifully sunny day with hardly any clouds. Rod and I had a late breakfast in our room and while he sunned on the verandah, I went for a tour of the galley with the pastry chef. I took many pictures. When I returned, Rod decided that he'd had enough sun and came in and I put on my bathing suit and went out. At noon, the captain announced that the temperature was 66 and that we were sailing at 22.5 knots. I went back out to bask in the sun which lasted about 2 more minutes and then the sky clouded up and it became quite cool so I came inside to write. We watched the Newly Wed, Not so Newly Wed Game from the previous evening and enjoyed it. Then it was time to dress for dinner. This was our last formal night also Lobster and Baked Alaska night. Our table had a good time. Afterwards, we went to the final show with the Celebrity singers, dancers and band. I really enjoyed the show. We will buy one or two pictures tomorrow. Then, we went to the casino. Rod did very well and I contributed again. I finally won a little bit on the nickel machine. Day 14: Well, this is it! Our last sea day and cruise day. Tomorrow morning, we disembark, but let's enjoy today. Oh no, it's cloudy and cool out today. We can't spend the day outside. Figures! Rod and I enjoyed a leisurely morning. We did go and pickup a couple of photos. We did get a copy of our cruise critic photo. What a gang we were. I won't forget any of them. Decided to get a head start, for me, on packing. But, as usual, I procrastinated and didn't finish until 10:00pm. Typical!! We did relax during the day and even went to the Cova Cafe for awhile . While rod enjoyed an afternoon nap, I went to the passenger talent show. There were some good and some not so good, but I think that everyone had fun and the very packed theater applauded everyone. Dinner was very nice and we continued our discussions way beyond 8:00. It was a very enjoyable evening. I think that I forgot to mention earlier that our tablemates were Isabelle and Dean from the San Diego area, Nora and Bud from Oregon, and Marion and Roger from California. Following dinner, I finished packing and eventually we were ready to go to bed. About 11:oo I noticed that there were lights outside and realized that we were pulling into Ensenada, Mexico, so I went out on the balcony to watch our approach. As we passed a small island you could hear seals barking about our intrusion or just plain welcoming us. In any case, it made me chuckle to hear them. We were in port less than an hour and we headed home to San Diego. San Diego: We arrived early and, it was another cloudy cool day. Rod and I went for breakfast in the dining room. This was the first time for us ---ever. We were seated at a table for 6 and met new people to us. After a very nice breakfast, we went back to our room and said our goodbyes to Rikki and Antonio. We then proceeded to the Normandie Restaurant to wait for our luggage color and number to be called. FYI: Noro Virus/Sanitizing. There was no sanitizing before going into the buffet or Cosmopolitan restaurant. And, I only heard of one slight case of noro and they were only confined to their room for one day. Announcements: Only twice were there any announcements during the day except for the captain's update at noon. We were a little later but that was okay as I was desperately trying to get hold of Gino to make plans to meet to exchange scooters. Well, we found our luggage but didn't find Gino. He didn't answer our phone calls but did tell Celebrity staff that he would meet us at the taxi stand. We waited and waited but no Gino. The bottom line is that he didn't come until after 11:30 when new passengers were beginning to arrive at the cruise terminal. And, when he did, the scooter wasn't fixed!!!!!!! He said that if he fixed it, it would have negated our warranty and we would have to give him $600.00 out of our own pockets. So, we're now bringing home a scooter that has never worked. This will not happen in January! Luckily, we were relatively close to the train station so we arrived in time for our noon departure from San Diego to Los Angeles. The people at AMTRAK were very nice and helpful and took care of our baggage (now including our scooter) and put us on the train. We were in business class and it was very nice. The thing that I noticed most was that you didn't hear the train horn as we were traveling. This was due to the fact that the train either went above or below streets so that cars were not blocked by the trains. Plus, the scenery was great. Sometimes we would be next to the ocean and other times we were next homes and condos. When we arrived in Los Angeles, the personnel of AMTRAK were again very nice to us even though we had a 4 hour wait for our train to Chicago. We enjoyed watching the characters inside and outside the train station. Eddie finally took us to our train car. We're in a handicapped room in car 430. It wasn't what I expected. The HC room was at the end of the car on the lower deck of the train. There were two seat next to the window facing each other and room for a table in between (this was folded up when not in use). Across the room was a toilet and sink. There was a curtain that could be pulled for privacy. But, I figured that it would work. Joe, our room attendant, made up the beds and I was hardly able to get into the top bunk. Then, I had a flat pillow that put my head about 8 inches from the ceiling. I couldn't do it. I'm somewhat claustrophobic and this just wouldn't work. If there was a chair in the room, I might be able to sleep in the chair but this wasn't going to work. I contacted Joe and he contacted the conductor. There was one large room on the upper deck available. We took it. It did have a chair and when the bottom bunk was open, I could sleep in the chair part of the night and at the edge of the bed, on my side, during the rest of the night. There was a very small combination shower/toilet room too. This was more acceptable than the handicapped room and Rod didn't have to climb the stairs to and from the dining area. Overall, some of the scenery was outstanding; the food was okay; but there wasn't much to do in the room. I did read some but the motion of the train made it somewhat difficult for me. Rod has decided that we'll never do this again. I'm glad that we did it and it was an adventure but probably never again. The Red Caps in Chicago were very helpful and my sister met us and we left for Michigan. We stayed Sunday night at the Marriott Courtyard in Benton Harbor. The bed felt soooooo good. Monday, we met our daughter who had our dog and we went home. It's good to be home. One note: It was rumored that the reason that we went to Honolulu first was due to two deaths on the ship and not the reason that was given by the announcement by Alan King. And, many people were upset as they felt that Celebrity wasn't being honest with them. One Cruise Critic member did write the Governor of Hawaii's office and was sent an answer that indicated that the Port at Lanaii was closed at 6:00pm on the night of Halloween and that no ship was allowed to tender. Celebrity did give us the correct information Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
This was our 20th cruise together. Although we have cruised on Crystal, Seven Seas, Cunard (QM II Maiden Voyage), Royal Viking Sun, Seabourn Sun and Princess, we now pretty much stick to either Celebrity or HAL. Our previous cruise was ... Read More
This was our 20th cruise together. Although we have cruised on Crystal, Seven Seas, Cunard (QM II Maiden Voyage), Royal Viking Sun, Seabourn Sun and Princess, we now pretty much stick to either Celebrity or HAL. Our previous cruise was last fall on the Noordam from NYC to the Caribbean. We have had four cruises on Celebrity, including the Zenith, Infinity, Millennium and Summit. We chose this cruise because we wanted the sea days, Linda lives in San Diego county and we love Hawaii. We drove from Oceanside and parked across the street from the pier. We had a suite so we were able to bypass the very long lines of passengers waiting to check in. There was still quite a line for photographs. In addition to the Noordam, we also did a seven day Mexico cruise on the Oosterdam, so this review will essentially be comparing the HAL Vista class ships with Celebrity's Millennium class ships. First I want to say that the Roll Call board for this cruise was quite active and the Cruise Critic party was well attended. The gift exchange was a great idea. The best thing about the Summit is The Normandie Restaurant. The food and service are second to none. HAL's Pinnacle Restaurants are not even close. The food in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant was quite good, but our waiter simply would not give us time to enjoy each course. Table assignment was another issue. On the Infinity and Millennium, our cabin was a Sky Suite and we had a table for two by the railing. This time we had a table for two by the window (not nearly as nice), but I was content with this until a couple sitting next to us at the Martini Bar told me that they had a table for two by the railing and they had an INSIDE cabin. Not cool!!! The Waterfall Cafe was actually quite nice. Very good food selection, easy to find a clean table and the service was excellent. We had a Celebrity Suite which meant lots of space (including a walkin closet) but no balcony. I learned from the Cruise Critic message board shortly before we left that a window washing platform would be right outside one of our windows. Not a problem because it covered only one of four windows and we kept that curtain down. Unfortunately, the windows looked like the washing platform had not been used in quite some time. My major complaint with the cabin was the mattress. When I first laid down, I thought I was laying in the back of a pickup truck. When I complained, I was told that the bedding was only two cruises old. Our room steward put a mattress pad on the bed but the improvement was marginal. On the Noordam, we had a Deluxe Verandah Suite and the mattress was heavenly. Bedding is obviously a matter of personal choice but in my opinion, HAL wins this one hands down. Celebrity Suites have connecting doors and we had some neighbors with loud voices but we got used to it. I saw on the Cruise Critic review of the Summit a mention of all this fantastic artwork. Made me wonder if I was on the wrong ship. All I remember from the Summit were the busts on the stair landings by Liza Lou that seemed to have been made out of staples or paper clips. And the brown draperies in the atrium were nondescript to say the least. If the Noordam and Oosterdam are any indication, HAL wins this one hands down. The smoking/no smoking rules were pretty much ignored. However, this was not a major issue. We went to two shows, one of which was awesome and the other we walked out of. They had a Filipino band called Top Notch which was the best band I have heard on any cruise ship. The Voice Males were also quite good. Hawaii is, well Hawaii. We only did one shore excursion, Land of the Frozen Fire, on Hilo, which was nice. We did book The Feast At Lele in Lahaina on our own and loved it. The only complaint was having to leave Kona at 1 PM. According to the HAL brochure, the Zaandam leaves Kona at 5 PM, spends four hours in Ensenada (not one like the Summit) and still makes it back to San Diego at 7 AM. Disembarkation was a mess. HAL lets you stay in your cabin until it's time to leave. Celebrity sent us to the Normandie but they kicked us out at 10:00. Having had a suite, we should have been off the ship long before that but Celebrity, in their infinite wisdom, had us in the very last group leaving the ship, a category labeled Deck 2 Aft. One last comment for the road. Before I left I sent an e-mail to the Captains Club asking for an e-mail contact while at sea. No answer (until I was long gone). So my travel agent called Celebrity and was told that the address would be myname@summit.celebrityatsea.com. WRONG. The celebrityatsea e-mail service ended last February so we were forced to set up a Hotmail account while at sea. Both of us had given the celebrityatsea address to both business and personal associates so we were left with a bit of egg on our faces. Our cruise next fall will probably be Canada/New England. The choices are the Constellation out of Port Liberty, NJ or the Eurodam from NYC to Quebec or visa versa. I'm thinking it's time to try HAL again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
Decided in February of 2007 to join 6 family members on this 14 day cruise to Hawaii out of San Diego and then return. My husband was celebrating his 60th birthday and my dad, his 80th. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean before and this ... Read More
Decided in February of 2007 to join 6 family members on this 14 day cruise to Hawaii out of San Diego and then return. My husband was celebrating his 60th birthday and my dad, his 80th. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean before and this was to be our first Celebrity cruise. We let Celebrity plan our flights and they did a great job. We took Delta there from Grand Rapids, MI to Cincinnati, OH and then onto San Diego. We returned on Northwest and went through Minneapolis on the way back. Layovers were just the right amount of time and we encountered no problems at all. Something new for us was the valet luggage program Celebrity uses. For $20/person they will handle your luggage so that it goes onto your final destination (upon your return home). Once you put it outside your door, you do not see it until you go to baggage claim at your home airport. This service also includes Celebrity obtaining your boarding passes for you so that you can go right to security when you reach the airport. On our former cruises, one of the downsides was disembarking the ship - long lines - finding your suitcases in warehouses full of luggage - finding a bus - trying to find a bus with room for your suitcases - taking your suitcases off the bus - standing in long lines to get your boarding pass at the airport, etc. Now this has been eliminated by this new valet luggage program. It went so smoothly for us. We left the ship, stepped onto a bus, and went right to security at the San Diego airport. Luggage arrived in Grand Rapids, MI at the same time we did. We will use this service every time. Some airlines do not participate but many do and I highly recommend it. The service on Summit was outstanding. The wait staff were the best we have ever had. The room steward for our concierge room was very nice and did a fairly good job but he was in charge of 15 rooms, which I think is a stretch for perfect service. He did accommodate special requests though, which I appreciated. One request was to remove all items from the room that would cost me money to use - bottled water, bar items, etc. This gave me room to put my own things in the refrigerator. My room was nice. Concierge has decent sized showers so you can actually fit your body into them. Flowers, canapes before dinner, etc. were fun extras. However, my room was beneath what must be the busiest place on the ship - sounded like elephants bowling at all hours of the day and night. This was our only disappointment with the room. Stay off the 9th floor and this will probably not be a problem. The shore excursions we went on in Hawaii were arranged ahead of time on-line and were all educational and fun. We did a bus tour on Maui (have been there many times before) of a beautiful plantation and a very tropical location called the Iao Needle. We also did a bus tour of the North Shore on Oahu. Saw lots of surfers and the narrator did an excellent job of giving us background information. On the island of Hawaii we visited sites where there has been lava damage in the past. This involved some walking across old lava from the 1980's. This was a long tour - about 6 hours. We learned a lot. The last excursion was in Kona (we love this city!!! - we hope to return here). We snorkeled from a beach, visited an old refuge site, and visited a small coffee producer. I found the Summit ship itself to be ok. It was rather plain looking to me. I think Royal Caribbean ships are breathtaking so was a little disappointed in this but other than that there were lots and lots of activities from bingo to pool games, etc. Service was without compare. The dinners were done well and a good selection of food available - lobster is still my favorite! The entertainment was ok. We had a couple good comedians, one fantastic singer, and a very entertaining piano player. The ship musicians were good but the dancers and singers were just ok to me. Lots of my fellow shipmates really loved them though so you have to be your own judge of this. If you sail on this ship, don't miss the coffee bar area. Mochaccino is the drink you will like if you are a fan of Starbucks flavored drinks. Cost is reasonable and includes a piece of delicious chocolate candy. This area also has baked goods which are free for the taking - an outstanding selection every day - not to be missed! Enjoy this ship and crew when you go - stay off the 9th deck - go starboard. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
We arrived at the port at 11:30 and were onboard by 11:45- no lines. We loved our room with the extra large balcony but had a great deal of trouble with the poor circulation that brought tobacco smoke into our room. The staff were ... Read More
We arrived at the port at 11:30 and were onboard by 11:45- no lines. We loved our room with the extra large balcony but had a great deal of trouble with the poor circulation that brought tobacco smoke into our room. The staff were terrific in trying to control this problem by sprinkling a deodorizer on the carpet and then providing us an air cleaner for the rest of the days. My main complaint with this cruise was it was the smokiest ship that we have ever been in. We had to leave many public rooms due to the smoke drifting over from the smoking side. Our room continued to fill with tobacco smoke, but they did the best that they could to discourage our neighbor from smoking quite as much. I wish that they made one side of the ship's cabins for smokers a the other side for non-smokers so that everyone was happy. Jefferson Ang was my favorite performer, the comedians were funny, but the singers and dancers were not quite as good as Royal Caribbean or Carnival's. The food was great and the service was even better. We loved our server Balkan who even went beyond the call of duty in the casual dining area when he saw us in there. He went down to the 4th floor to bring me Diet Cokes every morning!! I am 44 and traveled with my 17 year old daughter. There were only 6 kids on board so she was left sort of high and dry regarding having a teen club to socialize with. However, the youth care staff were very good to her and she enjoyed stopping in to chat with them daily. Many of the other staff learned her age and made her feel very special. I was in a minority as far as my age group- most people were 20 years or more older than me! I am used to a younger age group or parents on the other lines. Notmuch night life if I was looking for it.I was content to sit on the balcony at night. We enjoyed Lindsay and her trivia game, but I found some of Allen's jokes a bit off color and did not have much or an appreciation for his personality and presentation. This may have been due to him being used to having an audience of seniors rather than of my age group. I really enjoyed being so spoiled on this cruise by the service staff, my only complaint was that the smoking was intolerable and the poor circulation made the problem even more severe. We rented a car at each port instead of taking the ship tours so we were able to see things that we were interested in and move about with ease on the Islands. The weather was chilly, but the staff warmed up our hearts. Special praise for the very personable photographers, dining room servers, and room attendants. It is so nice to hear all of the time, "It is my pleasure." Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
This will be a short review. This was our third cruise, and second on Celebrity in the Concierge Class. We are in our late 50's.I am going to focus on the pluses and minuses. PLUS (1) Celebrity service, other than what will ... Read More
This will be a short review. This was our third cruise, and second on Celebrity in the Concierge Class. We are in our late 50's.I am going to focus on the pluses and minuses. PLUS (1) Celebrity service, other than what will follow, was outstanding. This is consistent with their reputation. This is true for the stateroom attendants, to the dining service, and all of the other areas of the ship. A special thanks to the Concierge Desk who was very responsive to our requests. (2) As was the case with our first Celebrity cruise, the food was exceptional. We thought that the various buffet meals were actually improved over the previous cruise. (3) The daily change of the linens in this class is a real luxury. (4) Contrary to some criticism from other cruisers, I found the Summit to be in very good condition, including our balcony. (5) We still prefer pre-determined seating arrangements. This allows a group to get to know each other very well. We had a hoot. We also like 'formal evenings'. (6) Finally, we thought the entertainment was second to none. On this type of cruise (8 sea days), this is a welcomed bonus. MINUS (1) We had to tender in two ports. This was an unmitigated disaster. There were ridiculous delays in both ports. In Lahaina, we actually witnessed heated disputes between ship personnel and port employees who were operating the tenders. On one occasion, the tender actually rammed the ship on its return from the port. On another trip, the tender almost ripped off the access ramp to the ship. This was very dangerous for the tender passengers and the ship personnel overseeing the embarkation. With these larger ships having to tender more often in these small ports, the cruise lines have got to get this right!!!! (2)We noticed there there were numerous malfunctioning drink dispensers for coffee, tea, water and juices. One service area was actually out of service for most of the cruise. This is not very pleasant on these large ships. (3) The Normandie Restaurant provides exceptional service, but the food is not much better than in the main dining room. One suggestion is to go to this restaurant in a group. With the right people, this can be very enjoyable. (4) Smoking !!!!!!! Still in too many areas of the ship. (5) Finally, disembarkation was not very efficient. We had very tight air connections and asked to be off the ship as early as possible. In Concierge Class, there is a priority disembarkation privilege. This did not happen in our case. We just got off as we pleased and others did not follow the color procedures. GENERAL All in all, we greatly enjoyed the cruise and would recommend Celebrity anytime. I just hope they do not change to 'open seating' because for some of the market, the preference is for set seating arrangements. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
This was out first Cruise to Hawaii and our first cruise from San Diego. We stayed at the Holiday Inn on the Bay the night prior to Embarkation, a good hotel with all the amenities of a Holiday Inn. This Hotel is literally across the road ... Read More
This was out first Cruise to Hawaii and our first cruise from San Diego. We stayed at the Holiday Inn on the Bay the night prior to Embarkation, a good hotel with all the amenities of a Holiday Inn. This Hotel is literally across the road from the Cruise Port, we were on the 10th Floor and could have thrown our luggage from the window across the street onto the ship!!! We were awake very early due to the time difference (we are from England) so were sat on our Balcony of the hotel at 5am and watched Summit pull into her berth... We didn't check-in until 3pm on Embarkation day as we wanted to have a wander around San Diego, this was a wise thing to do, we were on board and in our cabin by 3.20pm, with Champagne, our luggage was delivered to our stateroom by 5pm. What followed was a wonderful trip - our stateroom was in a great location, midship, balcony concierge class, 2 floors down from the Pool and 3 floors up from the dining room (we used the stairs most of the time, to help exercise the food off!) Our stateroom attendant was good and was extremely helpful. We had the 'New bedding' which was very crisp. The bed was very comfortable. Room service was excellent and our daily fruit replenished with our choice of fruit. We left a note requesting the ice bucket to be filled daily - which was duly done. We enjoyed every meal we had, our waiter, Acosta and assistant waiter were very attentive, our first table was on deck 4 - aft, which was quite noisy and above the engines, so we requested to move to Deck 5, again done with no problem and we enjoyed a lovely location next to the window on a table for 6. We found the food to be of excellent standard, although it could have been a little warmer on serving. The Sommelier, Marko was extremely knowledgeable and always there when we were seated, with our choice of wine. Breakfast was always at the aft of the ship, outside, lovely view of the 'white line' disappearing into the distance on a beautiful azure ocean. We ate lunch in the Grill daily, which we always chose a light salad with fish, which was 'tossed' for us in a salad dressing of the day - very nice. We ate in the specialist restaurant, Normandie, this is a 'must do' - what an experience, we ate on a table for 2, had 4-6 waiters attending to our every need, the food was piping hot and excellent standard. Well worth the $30 cover charge. At this point, we could not have had better service from any of the staff all over the ship, there was always a smile and 'Good Morning' from everyone, Bar staff, Restaurant staff, Pool Staff, Housekeeping staff even the engineer staff whom you occasionally came into contact with. We enjoyed the entertainment, Top Notch and Jefferson Ang being our most time spent listening to. The shows were of a good standard, plenty of daily activities if required, but we were looking for a relaxing vacation, which is exactly what we had. We thoroughly enjoyed 'Paki' and the Hula Maidens. Maui, was beautiful and we loved the overnight stay, allowed us to explore with more time spent on shore without having to 'clock-watch' & rush back to the ship. Oahu was very busy, Pearl Harbour Memorial with its long lines took up most of the morning (even though we were one of the first off the ship) Spent the afternoon at Waikiki Beach, sat on our grain of sand watching the surfers..... Did a tour in Hilo (from the dockside) whistle stop, here, there and everywhere - probably wouldn't have bothered but felt the need to see some culture. Kona - absolutely lovely, but just not long enough, tendered in and out, long queues, but well worth seeing 'Snorkel Bay', swimming with Turtles, exotic fish and I believe some people were lucky enough to swim with the dolphins. Last four days - at sea - on our way back to San Diego, very restful, breezy, cooler weather, but pleasant for us 'Brits'. Disembarkation was the usual -get up, breakfast, get off situation - quick and painless. Sadly the cruise came to an end, we could have sailed around again, quite happily........ One thing I would like to note - Mr Philip Herbert, the Hotel Director, was a wonderful host. He was seen in and around the ship, conversing with passengers and asking if there was anything the ships company could do for you to help make this a better cruise - this was a very unexpected and welcoming factor - we will definitely sail Celebrity again and maybe even Summit on her new itineraries....... Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
Flights booked direct with Virgin Atlantic to from London(LHR)to LAX Premium Economy excellent flights,brilliant service,although the inflight breakfast was of poor quality and I should know I am a frequent flyer. Stayed overnight at the ... Read More
Flights booked direct with Virgin Atlantic to from London(LHR)to LAX Premium Economy excellent flights,brilliant service,although the inflight breakfast was of poor quality and I should know I am a frequent flyer. Stayed overnight at the 3* Marriott Airport Hotel LA and again this proved to be an excellent choice.The following day we picked up a luxury rental car from Dollar just off the airport and had a choice of 30 automatic cars to choose including Lincoln Town car and Chrysler 300. My wife liked the Silver one,so Silver Chrysler 300 was selected and it was fine.I drove down to San Diego the scenic route and there was evidence of the scorched earth and smoke in the air due to the forest fires that had occurred at the time of our trip especially when we approached San Diego on the 25/10/07. Stayed overnight here at the Crown Plaza on Circle North and that was also a good 4* hotel but not in the best location for the port of San Diego. Joined the Celebrity Ship "Summit" at San Diego dock at 2pm. Check In was slightly delayed by security although we were met by one of the ship's Butler's offered a glass of Brut or Orange juice and shown to our Sky-suite on the penthousedeck 6. The baggage arrived a couple of hours later and we settled in and familiarized ourselves with our surroundings. The safety drill was mandatory but its implementation was poorly executed. The Sky Suite was small and really a balcony cabin with twin beds and a two seater sofa, analogue television that needed a thump to make it work.The suite had a bath and shower. It was serviced well by the butler and other staff. I did try to book a Royal Suite but this was a late booking. The Sky Suite on the Penthouse deck was the only suite choice available,so we took it at a value for money price. We spent 8 days at sea going to and from San Diego to Hawaii, this ship needs urgent refurbishment. It is showing signs of wear and tear. It has noisy engines which vibrate particularly in the Public restaurant areas.I would not recommend this ship to passengers prone to sea-sickness as it rock and rolls too much when travelling at 21 knots, the sea was not rough.The Spa area was superb as was the sauna which I used frequently.The weather was disappointing as was the amateurish entertainment on board. The food was of a good standard although the Buffet area was often overcrowded, especially after shore trips. The tender operation had technical difficulties and Priority disembarkation was non-existent. Branded soft drinks were not free and a charge was made for a glass of pure orange juice, latte/cappuccino etc.The hard sell was in evidence from the waiting staff. Celebrity Penny-Pinching Practices were also evident.The quality of the merchandise sold in the ship's shops is best described as what I term "TAT" low quality merchandise bearing the Celebrity motif. The library was small with a poor selection of books. The islands of Hawaii were attractive, Honolulu was very busy although the trip to the Pearl Harbor Memorial was a very moving experience and well worth a visit. Whalers Village at Maui was probably the pick of the island beaches that we saw over the 4 islands visited. We completed our holiday with a couple of days in a suite at the Marriott Desert Springs Resort Palm Springs and this hotel was stunning with again high quality food good service.Wished we stayed here longer but demands of business prevented this. In summary Celebrity Cruises advertises itself as a Premium Cruise operator and I think that is not an unfair claim.The crew on board the ship were courteous and helpful and the food was of good quality. Our table companions at dinner were great fun and it was a pleasure to be part of their holiday. Terry Bartlett Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
This was my first cruise, so I have nothing to compare it with. We were astonished at the size of the ship when we saw it, and were equally amazed at how quickly the boarding procedure was achieved. We had decided on an inner cabin (sorry ... Read More
This was my first cruise, so I have nothing to compare it with. We were astonished at the size of the ship when we saw it, and were equally amazed at how quickly the boarding procedure was achieved. We had decided on an inner cabin (sorry - stateroom. Whoever chose that name had a vivid imagination!) because we would only be in it to sleep or to change clothes, and we were certainly happy enough with our choice. Though the room was small it was very well laid out, with every inch of space being used to the full. We would have liked to have been provided with an LCD clock, though, because whenever we woke up we had no idea of the time or whether it was night or day. On first arriving in the room we found a bottle of water and a half-bottle of wine awaiting us, which we thought was a nice welcoming touch. Then we saw a little notice beside them which said that we would be charged $4 if we opened the water and about $20 if we opened the wine. Some welcome! The ship was very impressive and spotlessly clean throughout at all times. There were plenty of sunbeds around the pools and open decks, though the beds in prime spots around the pools and where sheltered from the wind were all "bagged" (though not all in use) by about 7 am (so it is not only the Germans who do this!). We were not at all impressed to have recorded music blaring out loudly all day around the pool - not really what you expect on what is claimed to be a 5-star cruise ship. For our evening's dining we had asked to be seated on a table for 8 but found we were seated with just two other couples whose company we enjoyed throughout the trip. The five-course meals were extremely good every night, and the service from our waiters Jesus and Diego was quite exceptional. This was a formal restaurant, with a set dress code each day, and we were extremely disappointed to discover that this code was not enforced - some people were coming in in quite casual clothes even on "formal" nights - which makes me wonder why I had gone to the trouble of hiring a tuxedo (complete outfit for $100, which saves an awful lot of weight and possible excess baggage charges on the flight from England). Other people were allowed into the dining room when they consistently turned up 30 to 50 minutes after the scheduled meal time - why make rules if they are not enforced? Evening entertainment in the theatre was of a good standard, if not always to our taste, but the daytime entertainment programme was lacking imagination and inspiration. Wilst there is a library on board it is fairly limited in choice, and I would have liked to have seen a paper-back book exchange where we could leave our own books when finished. The four-day crossing of the Pacific was slightly marred by the rolling of the ship, even though the weather was quite good, the sea reasonably smooth and the wind not too strong. The rolling was still there but less noticeable on our return journey. The four stops in Hawaii were quite short in duration, and it was pretty much a whirlwind tour. You took pot luck with the tour you chose and the bus driver you happened to have. Our best was the Little Circle Island Tour round Oahu ($36) and by far the worst was the Kona Highlights, on which we saw nothing of real interest and the driver could talk about nothing but the plants and trees we passed. The Waikapu Village Luau at Lahaina was, to my mind, highly overpriced at $110 - the traditional dance show was good but the food was truly awful and barely warm. Really, the stops were so short that there was no real opportunity to see or explore the islands in any depth. Finally, we were astonished and not in any way impressed at the behavior of a good number of the passengers who treated the hard-working and very courteous staff like inferior servants. It doesn't cost much to be civil, to smile occasionally and to treat them with a degree of respect. Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
This was our third trip on Celebrity's Summit, she is a fine ship but showing her age. I say that only because while I was on board I learned that she is going into dry dock for a month and I suspect that there will be a lot of ... Read More
This was our third trip on Celebrity's Summit, she is a fine ship but showing her age. I say that only because while I was on board I learned that she is going into dry dock for a month and I suspect that there will be a lot of upgrading during that time. Our reservations always include air and transfers from the airport to the ship and return. Our destination was San Diego, and surprisingly US Air was almost on time and didn't lose or destroy our luggage! We were met at the San Diego Airport by two Celebrity Reps and told to take our luggage (two heavy and two smaller, plus personal carry-on's to the transportation check in point. This was probably one of the worst parts of the trip! The check-in for ground transportation was outside at the way end of the terminal. The agent there was sitting on a wall, the sign was posted on a cart and no definite lines to check in appeared to exist. I walked up to her to check in and was informed rather curtly that I needed to get in line. I did, once I determined there was a haphazard line, and the check in process was rather smooth, other than there seemed to be no rhyme or reason to where the checked luggage was left. Arriving at the terminal, after a very short bus ride, came the next frustrating time. The terminal was hot and crowded, the line was fairly long, however the check-in desk person was very nice and quick, bypassing the pictures we headed for the ship. The San Diego port only has one elevator and a long flight of stairs to reach the gangway, this resulted in long lines with older passengers needing to use the elevator. Once we reached level 3 the boarding was quick and efficient, as this was our third time we headed directly to our ocean view stateroom on Deck 2 mid-ship. As one would expect the state room was the usual quality that one would associate with Celebrity. During the cruise our attendant Ramon was very helpful, and never failed to greet us in the passageway. Our checked bags were delivered in a timely fashion with one even being place inside our stateroom. The Summit was launched in 2001 and is showing some signs of age, dirty arms and worn fabric on the chairs in the Martini Lounge, the dance floor was missing some covering and was warped in other places. The staff did an excellent job of cleaning and keeping things orderly. The cruise overall was great as usual, pretty smooth sailing, arriving as scheduled. My days at sea were filled with playing trivia, I was the Captain of the men's team for "Battle of The Sexes Trivia", and had a great time with the Activity Staff Naomi and Lindsey, and Kevin and Activity Director Cher. This was Lindsey's first cruise and she seemed to be doing very well and really came across well to the passengers as did all the activity staff. We also took advantage of the on board movies for the first time. The only downsides I could see to the Cinema on deck 3 was the projection was at times too low and with people in front of you you could not see the sub-titles in The Da' Vinci Code. Missing was popcorn! Other lines have it. Food was good, as expected, we split our evening dining between the main dining room, first sitting, where Vincent and Saphri served us well with Vincent's dinner suggestions being right on the money! The service at times was a bit slow I had a feeling the kitchen was backed up a bit. We were greeted every night by the Asst. Maitre D, Lorita, who was friendly and stopped for more than just the normal "hi how are things." We also used casual dining three times on nights we did not find the main dining room menu appealing and on formal nights as we packed no formal clothes. (I hate wearing ties) Service in Casual Dining was excellent, with waiter Elvis being extra attentive, but then everyone was including Carlos. Other times we had breakfast in the dining room, that was good, and buffet in the Waterfall Cafe (lunch and dinner)both being good. Oh if you like a good hamburger then head to poolside on deck 10. Entertainment on board was good, with the exception of two nights when it was more "high brow" than I would care. Having been on the ship 6 months earlier we avoided one of the vocalists, Jeniffer Faire who we did not care for, although several people we talked with thought she was great. The comedian, and cyclist/juggler were both excellent as was the xylo-synth performer. The Celebrity singers and dancers were at the top, with one vocalist who really had a great voice, the Celebrity Orch. was once again top notch and played a great variety of music to back up the performers. Shore excursions could not have been better, I won't go into detail but to say they started on time and were definitely worth the money. I did especially enjoy the Submarine. The return to San Diego was not the best, as we had to go to the Celebrity Theatre that served as our departure point. I have bad knees and it really was a struggle to go down and then up pulling my suitcase. Previously we had exited the theatre through the passage way on level 3 however this was not available for some reason. While we were waiting we were subjected to CNN on the video screens in the theatre. I thing that they should have rerun the cruise video it would have been much more enjoyable. San Diego port was no better on return, customs was quick, but the luggage area was a total cluster! A long trek to the bus and long lines at the airport after a long walk from the drop off point. Celebrity, if they continue to sail from that port really need to address those issues. Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
The Summit San Diego to Hawaii round trip was to be our first ever cruise when we booked about a year ago. However we took cold feet on advice from more experienced cruisers who thought eight sea days for first timers was foolhardy. ... Read More
The Summit San Diego to Hawaii round trip was to be our first ever cruise when we booked about a year ago. However we took cold feet on advice from more experienced cruisers who thought eight sea days for first timers was foolhardy. Therefore in the interim, we took a five day Caribbean cruise on the Century which we loved but thought too short. So this experience made us even more impatient than we might have been for the Summit cruise and, I'm happy to report, we were not at all disappointed. The whole experience was great; in fact we liked the ship so much we booked it for two more trips while on board. What did we like best? The Normandie specialty restaurant was superb the food enhanced by splendid unpretentious service in a setting with considerable old world charm. We planned two meals in the Normandie and in the end ate there four times. Our Maitre d' contributed significantly to the experience by his charm, attention and after the first evening by throwing the menu away and offering us off menu specials on each visit. The Persian Garden was a daily treat for us with its steam and hot dry chambers, well worth the $99 fee for the entire cruise. Dancing each evening with a choice of two venues and two good bands, Top Notch and Guys and Doll was a pleasure. Other musical entertainment was also excellent, our favorite being the soprano, Jennifer Fair, closely followed by the pianist Walter Wojciechowski and vocalist Chris Riggins. Michael's Piano Club quickly became a favorite aperitif and night cap spot with very pleasant romantic music provided by Keith Turner. The Celebrity Orchestra was very good as was the Odessa String Quartet, who we particularly enjoyed while sipping on a glass of wine in the evenings at the Cova Cafe. Daily Trivia provided a little bit of mental stimulation and entertainment for us, at its best when hosted by Cruise director Allan King. Allan seemed to be everywhere; in addition to hosting Trivia, he did the daily activities announcements, introduced the shows in the theatre and did an occasional late night cabaret spot then one would meet him all over the ship. For breakfast and lunch we ate light and the Aqua Spa Cafe provided exactly what we needed with very appetizing light meals served very pleasantly; mostly by the staff from the Normandie. The Cosmopolitan Restaurant where we had late seating dinner all other evenings was very good and our dinner companions were a great group to be with; contributing considerably to the enjoyment of the cruise. This was a group who had never met before but joined up for other activities and went to the Normandie as a group on the last formal evening. The ship is elegant and although it shows signs of wear it is very attractive with excellent facilities, seldom seemed crowded and one could always find a quiet spot to enjoy the ambiance. There wasn't too much that we didn't like on the Summit, but what we liked least was that it was sometimes difficult to avoid smoking areas, it being so bad in the casino during a slot tournament that I left before the final round! Also the chair hogs booked up the non smoking side of the pool early each day. The spa seminars irritated us with their hard sell of Elimis products. If you want to tour Hawaii extensively this is probably not the right trip for you as time at each port is pretty limited, so you either have to fill the time completely and efficiently or settle for a snapshot at each location. That said it was just right for us, we were very happy with the snapshots as we found it difficult to drag ourselves away from the amenities and ambience of the ship. At Lahaina, Maui we did the Feast at Lele Luau which was an easy walk from the tender and most enjoyable with a spectacular show and beautiful setting with table service and white linen. The rest of our shore excursions were booked through Celebrity starting on Maui with the Heleakala Crater Tour which was interesting and provided a feel for the island; but which we thought could have benefited by skipping the included lunch and getting back to the ship earlier. On Oahu we did the Little Circle Island Tour which was short and gave us a feel for the place. The tour we enjoyed most was The Valley of the Kings on Hilo with a four wheel drive van trip down into a spectacular unspoiled valley with a driver who was a real character and infectious in his enthusiasm. The outbound and return voyage did provide an idea of the shear vastness of the Pacific Ocean; day after day of seeing nothing but vast expanses of sea and sky. During this time we didn't see another ship, an aircraft or another living thing beyond the ship, however, that being said we didn't spend all our time looking! The weather was very pleasant throughout although cool the first and last days, with calm seas all the way. Our Cruise Critic Roll Call considerably enhanced the trip, it was informative, amusing and got the enthusiasm pumped up in advance so we felt part of a group right from the start. The Roll Call brought a group of us together for a pre cruise dinner in San Diego and a majority of the group got together for a sail away party as we set off. Thus we never went far on the ship without bumping in to someone for a chat or to join up for a refreshment. Our two cruises have been Concierge Class and we are not convinced it is worth any significant extra money, so next trip we will have a balcony without the free Champagne, canapEs fresh flowers etc. and see how it compares. This was not an all night party cruise, in fact there was little going on after midnight to 1AM most nights. We found ourselves closing restaurant and bars and being last off the dance floor most nights. The average age was higher than we expected with us, in our mid sixties, feeling that that we were among the younger crowd. There was a high percentage of Europeans on board which might have made for more late night action but they also must have been early bedders. Embarkation in San Diego was quick but it felt a bit muddled and there were a lot of stairs to climb as an alternative to the one elevator. Debarkation was slow, due, we were told, to some passengers with foreign passports not presenting themselves on time to emigration staff. Also bags were not laid out very conveniently for pickup. All in all we loved the Summit, Celebrity's on board service was excellent and the sea days were the best part of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
Just returned from 14day Summit to Hawaii. This was our second cruise on Summit, 5th on Celebrity. Embarkation in San Diego is a breeze. We arrived at 1130am and didn't wait at all, just walked to checkin, and were on board in ... Read More
Just returned from 14day Summit to Hawaii. This was our second cruise on Summit, 5th on Celebrity. Embarkation in San Diego is a breeze. We arrived at 1130am and didn't wait at all, just walked to checkin, and were on board in 10mins. A cab from the SAN airport was only $7 and took less than 10mins. The food was wonderful! The best we've ever had on our 5 Celebrity cruises. Dinner at The Normandie was also great- goat cheese souffle still on the menu and still fantastic. The buffets are somewhat uninspired but the dining room was excellent for breakfast and lunch. The Royal Suite was fantastic- except for the very tired (and quite ugly to begin with) Emile Robba silk flowers. They are awful and truly should be removed. They were glued in the middle of the coffee table, glued to the nightstand and glued to the vanity counter. Fresh flowers would have been better- actually no flowers would have been okay. We enjoyed the plasma TV's, the cozy living room area and the wonderful balcony. Our butler Darrell and stateroom attendant Bernadeth, made us all feel like royalty! Service was impeccable all over the ship. The crew and officers were always pleasant, warm and friendly. The entertainment was good- although 2 of the production shows were not very good. The worst is Encore. It's disjointed and doesn't flow well. The theme was very confusing and we sat thru it just to see the last number which is songs from Les Mis. The ladder guy was funny as was Noodles, we had seen both before and always enjoy them. Had several singers, one was exceptional; Jennifer Fair. Overall the entertainment was just good- not great. Our ports were: Lahaina, Honolulu, Hilo and Kona. Lahaina is a tender port and the TSA-type inspection when returning to the ship is a hassle (pack your patience) but not of Celebrity's doing. We tendered at off times and avoided most of the crowds, waiting only about 10mins to get back to the ship. Easy to get around once you get to Lahaina and only about a 15min walk to Hertz to pick up a rental car (they also have a shuttle 8am-330pm). We were in Lahaina 10am to 11pm the following day. Plenty of time to do luau, shop, sightsee and go to the beach. Honolulu 7a to 7p- Did Pearl Harbor/Big Mo on our own and were thru with the Arizona tour by the time the Celebrity bus pulled up to get tour tickets. Oahu is a pretty island- if you have time see more of it than Honolulu/Waikiki. Hilo 7a-6pm- Did a private van tour of VNP, Mauna Loa factory and happened upon the Hilo Tahiti Fete. The fete was amazing and we loved the VNP. Kona 7a-1p- Not long enough to stop. We did a Kona coffee, Painted Church, Place of Refuge tour and had not one minute to spend in Kona due to the short stop. Would be better to skip the port than stop for such a short time. Place of Refuge was just breathtaking- worth the price of the tour several times over. If we had it to over again, we'd have done it on our own and not done a ships tour. The 4 days over & back were perfect. It allowed us all to relax, so when we hit Hawaii we were ready for sightseeing. The 4 days back gave time to relax again and we really enjoyed the time at sea. The seas were calm both coming & going overall. We decided we liked Hawaii so much that we wanted to do it again. So we're headed back next Oct but on Mercury rather than Summit. Back to San Diego for debarkation and flights home- again it was a breeze and getting to the airport took 10mins. San Diego is a great departure port! Read Less
Sail Date September 2007
We booked concierge class for the first time, and were delighted. We especially liked the choice of pillows. Small thing perhaps, but the goose down was sooo soft. We rented a car, and drove down to San Diego, as we're from So. Cal. ... Read More
We booked concierge class for the first time, and were delighted. We especially liked the choice of pillows. Small thing perhaps, but the goose down was sooo soft. We rented a car, and drove down to San Diego, as we're from So. Cal. and after returning the car, boarded with almost no hassle. Our daughter was in an inside cabin alone, and to our surprise, loved it! She liked the coziness, and the darkness, which you don't get a lot of in Alaska. I love the fresh air with a balcony, and sitting out on the deck,exalting in the wonderful scenery. It was Very chilly, though, and I stayed bundled up in blankets. We enjoyed the Pacific Coast, but had been in the ports many times, but Victoria, B.C.. was wonderful! A tip for cruisers; Don't take the Greyhound bus for the $5.00/person. If you're a walker, it's about 15 min../walk, otherwise take a cab! They're not expensive, just grab one just outside the ship, and you don't have to sit in the hot,crowed bus, and then when you want to go back to the ship, the line is horrendous!! We broke from the line, after paying $15.00 for the three of us, and the cab was $8.00, fast friendly, and Much better than standing in line for an hour. Live and learn. My husband thought the food had really improved since we had been on the Summit 3 years ago. We had a wonderful waiter and assistant. Marius and Glenn. Our slightest wish was fulfilled, and so polite and friendly! We loved the dining room, but the buffet was excellent also. Our daughter adored the Sushi. I liked the Aquaspa, and their cold fruit soups. Delicious! The shows were not to our liking, although the comedian was very funny. The Broadway show, was to our surprise, Exactly what we had seen in 2002! Thought they changed the shows every year. Our room stewards were very efficient, and every afternoon they brought a little plate of canapes. My family didn't like them,but I'm sure they were fine. The concierge/room service breakfast was not remotely OK Cold, slow, and the strongest coffee this side of espresso. So, we just ordered juice and coffee, and ate upstairs. 14 days was perfect. We just started to get the first twinges of homesickness, and voila! we were in Vancouver. We all loved this cruise, and the staff were fantastic! We'll definitely sail the Summit again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2005
We were looking for great things from Celebrity...not..... just returned from 14 days at sea. This is our 6th cruise since 2001...Summit clean ship some extras 1) cold towels when you reboard from shore trips 2) waiters carry your trays to ... Read More
We were looking for great things from Celebrity...not..... just returned from 14 days at sea. This is our 6th cruise since 2001...Summit clean ship some extras 1) cold towels when you reboard from shore trips 2) waiters carry your trays to table in buffets 3) bathroom nice size..SORRY BUT THAT'S ABOUT ALL THE GOOD STUFF...... WHAT'S WRONG: 1) Too MUCH smoking. 2) At the sail away from San Diego there where 4 people on the pool deck for the sail away and the pool was closed. This was at 6:00 pm..? (really late). No music. 3) Bands when they played, only played for 45 mins. and left to never return.  4) Dining from fair/poor (you don't have to worry about having to decide which entree to pick. there will NEVER BE TWO OR MORE YOU WANT. Maybe one if you're lucky. 5) Forget about horse race betting. 6) Forget about GOOD SHOWS. We prefer Princess 1ST then Royal Caribbean. So far out class Celebrity it's not funny. If you go to Cabo, do not take Fiesta Sail Away -- RIP OFF. You snorkel 100 yards from ship's tender point. We had to fight to get a credit for tour but we finally got it. Also on this trip, average age was over 75 and there were about 1900 passengers. I will not recommend this cruise line ever. Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
I selected Celebrity because the reviews about its food and service were excellent, and that it delivers good value for the money. I enjoyed this cruise. It is one of the most relaxing vacations I've ever had because I didn't ... Read More
I selected Celebrity because the reviews about its food and service were excellent, and that it delivers good value for the money. I enjoyed this cruise. It is one of the most relaxing vacations I've ever had because I didn't have to re-pack for 14 nights and I didn't have to 'drive' anywhere. The only part of this vacation that caused stress was the lack of a place for kids under 3 to play. The Summit has a fantastic Fun Factory for children, but they don't allow kids under 3 to even enter, not even under a parent's supervision. My kid just wanted to sit comfortably on kid sized furniture and color. I was very disappointed that she couldn't go and play in the one place that was safe. Aside from Celebrity's lack of service in this area, we enjoyed the rest of the cruise. I was impressed by the: SERVICE: How genuinely friendly some of the waiters and waitresses were, especially at lunch time. The Internet cafe staff and computer class instructors were always courteous and helpful. We uploaded our digital photos onto the computers for free and had a lot of fun viewing our photos on the ship. We also copied them onto cds just to be safe and not take a chance of losing any of them. FOOD: The Afternoon Tea - the tea sandwich selection was amazing. Even restaurants in the Ritz do not offer such a selection. The Croissants are addictive. I had to have 2 every morning. And the chefs that cook your eggs to order were fantastic. Dinner: the cold soups are yummy. The escargots are scrumptious. The steak/filet mignon were inconsistent: I had one that was 'melt in my mouth' good, and then I had one that was overcooked. Lunch in the Restaurant was a lot better than the buffet lunch. The service was amazing, and again, they offer the cold soups. Ice Cream- homemade good. I wanted to try all of the different flavors. CLEANLINESS--The public rooms on the ship are spotless. ART--The art pieces are lovely, they add interest all over the ship. Other places of interest: Notes, Words, and the Atrium: The library is a nice touch, although I wish they had more fun 'beach reads'. Notes was fantastic. You could listen to all kinds of songs, would have been better if the room had a view!! The Atrium is very pretty with lovely flowers and plants. The free flower arranging class was worthwhile. PORTS - the selected ports were lots of fun. All were walking distance from the port, except Victoria, where we took a bus to the Butchart gardens. Instead of taking the Grayline bus, the more economic and flexible choice would have been renting a car. There was an agent at the port. The Grayline bus tour was fine, but first you had to pay $5 to take the bus to the Empress hotel, then you have to get in line to buy the ticket to go to Butchart Gardens, then you have to wait for the bus to arrive (the bus goes every hour). So, we spent a lot of time waiting in lines and waiting for the bus. ALASKA: HELICOPTER glacier landing - the most fun excursion we did in Alaska was the helicopter ride in Juneau, landing on a glacier. We went with Temsco because they were recommended and they also did not charge our 18 month old. Everyone at Temsco was super friendly. The helicopter ride itself was breathtaking. We took a lot of pictures. We brought a water bottle and took some glacier water, it was so fresh and crisp! The experience was fantastic. WHALE watching: it was ok. We saw some, but didn't get close at all, so the only pictures we had were of them from afar, spouting water. I was hoping to see them a lot closer up, and more of them. Another boat had a close encounter, so it's just luck. WHITEPASS Yukon River train excursion - it was very scenic, but it's questionable whether a 3+ hour train ride is worth $90. ENTERTAINMENT: The comedians were fantastic! The music provided by the various groups of musicians and DJ was memorable. It was so nice to have a cup of tea in the Cafe watching and listening to the 4 Sounds Quartet. The DJ played the most fun and appropriate music by the pool area, I love sitting there enjoying the scenery and the music. We also loved watching people dance to the guitar music and singing in the lounge. They really made a contribution to the overall cruise experience. Areas Celebrity could improve on: --Let kids under 3 have access to a room where they could hang out and play. --The coffee. A couple of times, it was really good, nice and strong. But, most of the time, it was weak or acidy. I couldn't figure out where the good coffee came from. --Room service. They claim that there is 24x7 room service, but when you want to order dinner using that day dinner menu, instead of the 'room service limited offerings', get ready to wait at least an hour for your food. For breakfast, you could only order what's on the breakfast menu. Even if you know what's 'available' at the buffet, you can't have it if it's not on the menu. This contradicts the 'bend over backwards to make you happy' message Celebrity tries to convey. --Tell the spa staff to stop trying to sell their products. It takes away from the 'de-stressing' treatments you just had. The treatments were really good. The specials they have on Port days were good. --Yoga. I paid $10 for a yoga class. The teacher was not experienced (she had to consult a book during the class). They should NOT charge extra if they did not hire an expert in that field to teach. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
Celebrity Summit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.7
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.1

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