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Sail Date: October 2014
For starters, the ship needs a facelift. it's rusty in some areas, my bathroom had mold and a broken tile. The food was not quite up to par, no more chocolates in the evening, except for one night. It seems like they are cutting ... Read More
For starters, the ship needs a facelift. it's rusty in some areas, my bathroom had mold and a broken tile. The food was not quite up to par, no more chocolates in the evening, except for one night. It seems like they are cutting corners everywhere you look. We paid for the airport to cruise transportation and i had to go all over to find the representative. If I were older, I would have had a hard time walking so much. They also didn't have a step stool to get on or off the shuttle buses. The shore excursions were pretty good. I had no complaints, except that maybe the Manhattan one could have been a little longer. three and one half hours did not do justice. The entertainment was pretty good, they had four afternoon matinees, which were pretty nice. The in room movies were outrageous in price. The Silhouette has free in room movies plus paid ones, this one only paid movies and they were either $12.95 or $14.95. A bit much. The Canada ports all had WIFI and were covered, Portland and Bar Harbor were open and those were the two ports were it rained. I realize that this is not Celebrity's fault but they might help in doing something about it. The disembarkation was extra long. I don't know if that was New York's fault or the ship's, but we were in back of the dining room and never heard any announcements, just wait, wait wait. there could have been coffee and pastries while waiting. I loved the itinerary but was quite disappointed with the ship. I don't think I would recommend this trip on this particular ship. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2014
Spent fourteen days on the Summit, out of Cape liberty. While staff tied to do their best the cruise was not an A Plus, more like a c plus. Shower was dirty and needed to have tile replaced during the cruise, could not use bath for an 8 ... Read More
Spent fourteen days on the Summit, out of Cape liberty. While staff tied to do their best the cruise was not an A Plus, more like a c plus. Shower was dirty and needed to have tile replaced during the cruise, could not use bath for an 8 hr. period. Service at the early seating was extremely slow and the meals were at best OK. Directions from the officers were confusing and many time misunderstood. Embarkation was slow and forms had to be completed again this time with pen and paper. Have not heard back from celebrity with concerns, seems like they don't care. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Linda and I are 74 and 67 with more than 25 cruises to our credit. We sailed on the Eclipse in April/May of 2012 for a 23 day B2B from Miami to Norway and Southamption (CS 1233), which is where we booked this cruise. On July 31, 2013, we ... Read More
Linda and I are 74 and 67 with more than 25 cruises to our credit. We sailed on the Eclipse in April/May of 2012 for a 23 day B2B from Miami to Norway and Southamption (CS 1233), which is where we booked this cruise. On July 31, 2013, we booked three shore excursions, one of which was Down Home Cape Breton at Rita MacNeil's. We paid $178 which was much more than any other excursion we booked. There was a very clear statement that we would be entertained by Rita MacNeil unless she had a prior commitment. The ticket delivered to our stateroom also contained a disclaimer that Rita MacNeil MIGHT not be available. Shortly after boarding the bus, the tour guide announced that Rita MacNeil passed away in April 2013. I expressed my disappointment to the Celebrity rep who called several days after we returned and she gave me the toll free number for RCCL/Celebrity guest relations. After two conversations, I was told Tough Cheese. So we paid $178 to ride on a bus with NO a/c, eat a very minimal lunch and be entertained by some elderly lady playing a piano. The ship itself was in very good shape. No signs of wear and tear except on the balcony railings and the cold weather kept our use of the balcony to a minimum. The cabin was probably the largest of the Sky Suites. The cabin stewards were great as were most of the ship's personnel. We particularly liked the bartenders, especially "G" at the Martini Bar and Jo at the Pool Bar. We ate in the main dining room (8:30 fixed reserv.) ten of the fourteen nights. Service was very good and food for the most part was very good. We ate three times in The Normandie, two of which were free. Can't complain about free. Disembarkation was a breeze. Putting aside the shore excursion, I do have a few negative comments. We had quite a few sea days and I heard numerous complaints about the lack of onboard activities. The men versus women trivia contest seemed to be the highlight of almost every day. I love to play bingo and for many cruises I have paid $20 for three cards in a strip to play four games. I guess Celebrity decided that they needed to generate more revenue so they raised the price to $39.95 for a three card strip to play three games. They also had separate sessions for a substantial cash price for 50 numbers or less ($20 for a three card strip). This is like throwing money away. I might add that the Activities Manager was about the get off the ship and it showed. The noro virus was a pain but the precautions apparently worked. Having said that, at the beginning of the second week, I began to develop a head cold, and by the time I got off the ship, it was nasty. Two weeks later, it is finally going away. It appears from CC Board for this cruise that many of the passengers caught a head cold, and even a few from the cruise before. Not blaming this on Celebrity. We booked an Alaskan cruise on the Solstice for my 75 birthday next May but have since cancelled. Not sure we will ever return to Celebrity. I might add that our travel agent went to the Celebrity website ten days before our departure to arrange a gift for us. Three days after our departure, he was told that the website was having problems so we received nothing. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
6OCT2012 Celebrity Summit 14 night Canada & New England Cruise. Would we take this cruise again? Regrettably, NO. Had the cruise been taken a month or even 2 weeks earlier with warmer weather for the destinations and not been a ... Read More
6OCT2012 Celebrity Summit 14 night Canada & New England Cruise. Would we take this cruise again? Regrettably, NO. Had the cruise been taken a month or even 2 weeks earlier with warmer weather for the destinations and not been a shoulder cruise with the ship next headed to the Caribbean and thus as it happened experiencing a lot of staff turnover, maybe. BACKGROUND INFORMATION: With experience from 16 total previous cruises under our belts (including on another cruise line), we were seriously disenchanted with this latest voyage on the Celebrity Summit. To our dismay, we found out through this experience that early - mid October is WAY TOO LATE for a cruise ship to be heading so far North. Although I had packed winter weight water resistant outerwear just in case, I never expected to use it constantly, including while onboard the ship up on deck near the Aqua Spa Cafe! We had previously been on board after this ship was "Solsticized" back in January 2012 & February 2012 (in the warm Caribbean) and the quality of the cruise experience has regrettably declined further since that time. A cruise ship staff needs to truly be "in synch" for the entire experience to be the best it can be and somehow this crew was just not in synch. There is always lots of turnover in cruise ship staff and during this cruise that turnover was most evident. The heating system also apparently does not seem to work as well after the "Solsticizing" effort. Excessive promotion of "upcharges" was evident on a daily basis throughout the day and rather annoying to say the least. It was unfortunate and disappointing. Additionally, the weather was totally uncooperative for where the cruise ship was spending most of its time on the cruise. We learned too late that October is sadly "past date" for when one should be visiting those ports, or should be sailing for pleasure in the New England and Canadian portions of the Atlantic Ocean or St Lawrence Seaway. A stop at Prince Edward Island had to be cancelled d/t abominable weather. Another notable downside was that the ship left its gangway open overnight in Quebec City, etc., and the ship was terribly cold through deck 5 as a result, since the center of the ship was open from deck 3 through deck 5 for more than 48 hours. We drove our own car to the Newark area the Friday night prior to the Saturday cruise sailing date and the weather was fine in NJ for traveling at that time of the first week in October. Using a third party hotel reseller, Trinity Reservations aka Triune Travel LLC, we stayed in a small suite with a King Size bed at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott, one of 3 hotels in a row of that parent brand, and left our car parked in the hotel lot for an additional 14 nights included in the hotel stay negotiated price that also included a Continental style breakfast, which was heavily utilized on the Saturday morning before many hotel guests (including ourselves) prior to our heading to the ship. It was hectic at that breakfast and we could not recommend it as, for example, the scrambled egg pan was simply refilled rather than being removed, so it was a food safety hazard and we avoided it. The SpringHill Suites rooms show serious signs of wear and tear, the mini-frig was on its last legs, and the room HVAC unit was dirty & dying, but on the plus side there was adequate room for our luggage and the staff were cordial. We left the hotel with our luggage on Saturday mid-day via Independent Driver van shuttle to the Cape Liberty Cruise Port (cost was $45 for 2 before tip if paid in cash; extra $5 if paid via credit card). EMBARKATION: Saturday, we arrived at the Cape Liberty cruise port via a paid for van shuttle after 12 noon and the terminal bldg was already packed. Embarkation onto the Summit at Cape Liberty was unnecessarily very slow as the cruise terminal line you go through first was very long for experienced return cruisers Select & Elite tier combined, as well as for less experienced cruisers, so we just had to stand in line endlessly (over a half hour). Only Suites and Aqua Class guests had a short line. We then boarded a transit bus at the cruise port to travel a very short distance to be let off for actual boarding of the ship on deck 1. It was about 70 minutes from when we left the hotel (15-20 minutes shuttle van ride to the pier terminal drop-off point) to when we actually boarded the ship. We ate lunch in the Oceanview buffet on deck 10. Our luggage arrived before our 8:30 PM dinner time. Alas, First Seating at 6 PM on deck 4 was overfull and there was no room for us despite being on the wait list for some time prior to the cruise. Deck 5 main dining room dining is now split between "Select" chose your own time dining and the Blu Restaurant for Aqua Class guests dining (who also just show up and wait for a table), so a whole floor of dining is lost to the former traditional 6 PM and then 8:30 PM seatings. It appears Celebrity may be moving to having the entire traditional restaurant setting be available via the Select option (for those not in Aqua Class, who when they arrive at the restaurant also have to wait their turn now to be seated, but there are fewer of them). The Muster drill after 3 PM went smoothly with lots of breathing room in the Celebrity Theatre location we happened to be in. When we asked the Captain's Club Host, we were told there were some 2,150 passengers on board, and of those some 452 were at Elite (highest tier) level, and there were 1300+ who were in Captains Club counting all levels. With so many of the guests being at the Elite level, events were packed, priority tender tickets didn't mean as much, and with so many being Captains Club, that get together was super packed as they ran out of places to sit in the Revelations club area on Deck 11 with the nice view of where the ship is headed. STATEROOM: An inside stateroom happens to work just fine for us and we feel provides excellent value for an entire cruise. For this voyage we had booked at an Inside Guarantee Rate. There is a portable hair dryer, small sizes of shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion, soap, etc. Tissues and toilet paper are of a fair quality. There are still small safes in each stateroom for your small valuables. The bathrooms now have night lights automatically always on 24/7--a positive step to decrease bathroom entrance and exit accidents. White bathrobes and towels are available for use throughout the cruise--we had no problem with getting fresh towels as needed. The per person night time chocolate on the turned down bed came from Astor Chocolate, with the flavor of Chamomile Raspberry being my hands-down favorite. The small bar size refrigerator does work and if you have medicine that must be refrigerated, be sure to tell the stateroom attendant so that they don't lock the bar the night before you depart the ship. There is a new Celebrity policy NOT to have water pitchers in each stateroom UNLESS YOU ASK FOR SAME. You will automatically receive an ice bucket, but NOT the water pitcher unless you place a request for one. Any ship issued bottle of water (Evian) found in the room, if used by you, will incur a sea pass charge including gratuity, so just be aware of that. The last night of your stay the water bottles are removed from the stateroom by the attendants. We always bring empty water bottles with us to fill up from the water pitcher in the room (which is why we needed that water pitcher!) Realize the onboard water supply can be influenced by which port the ship has been to as staff in the Cafe al Bacio noted. The ship sells a lot of pricey Evian bottled water. We were on deck 9 along with Concierge Class Staterooms (with balconies) and of course, those get cleaned before the other staterooms on the same floor, which means there was a delay in our stateroom being cleaned each day. We were on deck 8 earlier in the year on another voyage and closer to mid-ship and the stateroom was cleaned sooner on that trip even 'tho there were concierge staterooms on that floor, but this time we were in a stateroom at the front of the ship and the delay in stateroom cleaning was very noticeable. Be sure to check your on board Sea Pass account regularly (bring it up on the TV in your stateroom) to make sure there are no unnecessary or unauthorized charges and also to make sure you get any on board credit due to you (carry paper copies that document any on board credit due to you as often it does NOT show up otherwise--you have to go down to Guest Relations with your paper copy in hand to get this attended to). Be sure to check your account BEFORE mid-day on your final Friday if disembarking on Saturday and if needed visit Guest Relations regarding any last minute account corrections by mid-day on Friday. NOTE: Gratuities are added daily to your Sea Pass card unless you decline the automatic gratuity charges at the start of the cruise. We tend to tip additionally personally beyond the automatic charges when we receive superior service. DRESS CODE: The dress code has become "more relaxed and informal" and although some folks brought dressy clothes for "formal nights" per se, quite a number did not. Although originally 3 formal nights had been anticipated based on the other 2 previous cruises up through Canada and New England this Fall, due to the particularly cool temperatures on this sailing, there were only 2 formal nights. SHOPS ON BOARD: Open only when the ship is NOT in port, on deck 5, sundries can be found in the Liquor Store onboard in case you wish to buy wrist bands for sea sickness, cough drops, CDs of the onboard entertainers, etc. Typically inexpensive items made in China rotate in the center displays between the other shops (cheap watches, cheap jewelry, cheap other gift items such as simple scarves, etc.). Other shops feature limited amounts of various t-shirts and other clothing, souvenir candy and knick-nacks, various types of good jewelry and good watches, and Boutique C features the highest end specialty offerings in jewelry (latest promotion is yellow emeralds). Cameras are available for purchase during limited hours on deck 4 at the booth near the Photo Gallery ONLY when the Photo Gallery is open and there is adequate staffing to service it. ACTIVITIES: There are limited activities onboard. The two speakers for this trip (speaking inside) had various presentations--one having a background from the Smithsonian and the other a historical background in film and in the places the cruise was visiting. Replays of their talks the next day were sometimes available on channel 35. The arts & crafts activities this cruise focused on 4 sessions of scrap booking. The activities staff held word game sessions, trivia sessions, and whatnot during the day. You can grab the crossword puzzle in the library located mid-ship on decks 8 & 9 (relaxing spots to just listen to your iPod in peace & quiet, etc.), or often also deck 5 midship near the Gelateria, or on deck 3 near Guest Relations. Champagne High Tea and some wine events or else tours of the ship to see the "crew only" areas and have lunch with an officer, including some wine, are for a fee. Night time Celebrations have been discontinued as part of cost cutting (so no more Chocolate Extravaganzas or other Extravaganzas of old). Recaps of previous live Celebrity Officer presentations concerning the ships navigation, propulsion, environmental efforts and more can sometimes be replayed for the next 24 hours on your stateroom TV on one of the channels. MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT: Performers for any given sailing will vary. Remember that you are not paying Broadway prices for NYC level theatre entertainment, so be realistic in your expectations. Cruise ship lines have had to trim budgets where they can and it is VERY evident in the entertainment area. A piano player of classical music and also show tunes, etc. could be found at various venues with a piano around the ship and he also played for the Elite level Elegant Tea (not to be confused with the Champagne High Tea for a fee for anyone on a different day). Crescendo plays beautifully and if you are fortunate enough to have him on your cruise, you should hopefully also enjoy his playing very much. He hales from Naples, Italy. A Latin guitarist and entertainer/singer was frequently in the Cafe al Bacio on deck 5 or at the Rendevous Lounge on deck 4 or sometimes in the Revelation lounge on deck 11. Nestor is a fun, high energy entertainer who puts his heart and soul into his unique style of showmanship and you will enjoy his upbeat style if you happen to be on a cruise he is booked for. A 4 piece dance band was most often in the Rendevous Lounge on deck 4. Rhythmix made an effort to gear their shows to their audience and play seamlessly from song to song, making it easy for those who wished to dance to have a great time. A 4 member acapello group, Aqua-Fellas, was actually quite entertaining and most pleasant. There was a Latin coffee house type guitarist and singer on board, Aldo B., and his music was pleasant, although his repertoire of songs very limited. A male piano singer also was on board and we found his performances not to be up to the caliber of the other entertainers on the ship. A "pool" band came in it seemed mid-way during the cruise and Fusion seemed to have a smooth sound that should appeal to guests on Caribbean sailings. The Celebrity Summit singers and dancers performed variations of the same 3 stage shows we had seen back in JAN/FEB2012 when we were on board the ship (Stars in Their Eyes; iHollywood; and Sirens) typically at 7 PM (for Late Dining so before dinner) and 9 PM (for Traditional 6 PM Dining so after dinner), that they have rehearsed off ship and continue to rehearse on ship. The Adiago Pair (aerial duo) is a high point of those evening performances. There was no entertainment offered around the aft bar on deck 10 this trip since the weather was simply awful--wet and cold this trip--otherwise for Caribbean sailings, normally we enjoy relaxing there in the evening. The recorded music as in "muzak" choices and sound levels would benefit from a good review and some tweaking being done and some better choices being made. The shops are on Deck 5 had some awful ghetto rap playing at times and one had to wonder what the cruise line was thinking when they chose to pipe that awful music into the ship... CHILDREN'S CLUBS: Club X and The "Fun Factory" are for children located up on deck 11 making it easier for parents to track their children's whereabouts based out of one area of the ship, but that is also prime space lost to adults for viewing the waters as the ship is sailing or viewing a port when the ship is docked. BEVERAGE PACKAGES: We skipped these, but there are all sorts of packages available for those who drink a lot of soft drinks, or packages for those who drink a lot of specialty coffees, or for those who drink a lot of wine, etc. FOOD and DINING: Late dinner dining at 8:30 PM in the Cosmopolitan main restaurant wound up being a case where a huge table just had the 2 of us. Only on formal nights is the Captain's table near the back of the ship with the large window area in use. Tea in that restaurant was from Tea First (wwwteafirst.com) and better than the tea used in the Oceanview Cafe and also for Room Service, which is from Mhai Diva or decaf from Bigelow (a bit disappointing if you are used to buying a decent brand of tea at home). Both Waiter and Ass't Waiter dining room service was NOT stretched for once since there were fewer diners overall for late seating. Our Waiter was experienced and always eager to please in any way he could, obtaining an alternate menu item if need be. Our Ass't waiter tried hard to be pleasant, but was inexperienced and still learning so needed regular gentle reminders, but was pleasant about it. She was tired a lot and lacked focus, but her English & her attitude was improving over the course of the two weeks we had contact with her. The left side of the dinner menu is the same every night as always available options, while on the right side 14 days of menus were used and you can "mix and match" between the two sides. Note that Breakfast is available in the main dining room if you so desire. Lunch is not served in the main dining room UNLESS it is a sea day. The last sea day there was a large brunch between 10 AM and 1 PM with virtually anything you could possibly want from cold shrimp, to Crepes Suzette, to a carving station, to an omelet station, to cold meat and cheese stations, to bread displays, dessert displays, hot item buffet stations, etc.--even a milk chocolate fountain for skewered fruit, etc. The bakery on board operates 24 hours a day to keep up with the demand for fresh product and the next day you will find leftovers offered at lunchtime in an ever changing bread pudding in the Oceanview Cafe on Deck 10. One night at dinner a large, dark, and delicious chocolate souffle was served with a vanilla sauce kept separate (such as is available in the specialty restaurant, Normandie, as well). On a cooler temp voyage such as this one was, the warm, yummy dessert was most welcome. As this was a Fall voyage through apple country, there were many apple based desserts onboard, all of them good. At breakfast near the roasted meat item we always found very basic baked apples. No longer is Intermezzo offered on formal nights. No longer is there a tiered dessert tray of petit-four sized desserts available on the Captain's Formal Night (a tiny bowl with a few choices is all that appears). Shrimp cocktail is no longer served in nice metal cups and the shrimp size has shrunk and there are 4 rather than 5 now per serving in a bowl. It is quite clear from management that if you want a higher level of dining atmosphere and service they are steering you (almost forcing you) to go to a specialty restaurant with a hefty cover charge, which is disappointing as I can remember when the service was truly delightful in the main restaurant on board a Celebrity Ship. Similarly, the Captain's Club "Elite" loyalty level "Elegant Tea" was a disaster this trip--150 people showed up, but only 100 had RSVP'd and the Captain's Club Host had padded the number to 130, but there were inadequate servers for the event and we felt as if we had been packed into almost elbow touching space and the offerings took FOREVER to come around and items were not linked as a result--it was truly the WORST event of this type that I have ever attended and anything but elegant. The only saving grace was the pianist. Otherwise we would have been better off getting snacks between 3:30 - 4:00 PM in the dining hall style Oceanview buffet area on deck 10 where at least we wouldn't feel as if we were being packed into a cattle car. Wine Sommelier service or Bar Service is available in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant when it is open for lunch and/or dinner. Whole grains are very limited onboard (I saw whole grain pasta only a couple of times total between the Aqua Spa cafe and the Pasta Bar, only an occasional whole grain bread choice at dinner in the roll basket, or at the Waterfall Cafe or in the mixed dishes), so to get adequate daily fiber choices, look to vegetables at breakfast & lunch time and fruit throughout the day. The Executive Chef on board was English, so many dinner selections had endless green peas as well as potatoes incorporated into them in one way or another. At least the mashed potatoes were made from real potatoes! Personally, we skipped the various cover charge options of Bistro on Five (the crepe theme restaurant open throughout the day), Normandie (open for dinner featuring classic French inspired with some other influences menus http://www.beyondships.com/files/Cel_Summit_specialty.PDF and more formal service and featuring choices of tea from the Tea Forte company and coffee from Lavazza coffee company from Torino, Italy; also location of for-a-fee Champagne High Tea featuring Perrier Jouet "Belle Epoque" champagne and 7 high quality Tea Forte loose teas including Bombay Chai, Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Lapsang Souchong, Orchid Vanilla, Green Tango, and Camomile Tisane; also supposed to have a single lunch day offering for half the cover charge of dinner, but that didn't occur on the first week sailing and we didn't check for the second week), and Qsine (deconstructed theme dining designed to allow adults to interact hands-on with their food the way children do so very informal--Celebrity has dubbed it as a "Tapas Menu on Steroids" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2K-nVz2p0M). You can see the Qsine menu here: http://www.beyondships.com/files/Qsine_Dinner_Menu.pdf. Dinner cover charges have increased for both Normandie and Qsine, although in theory, on either the first night of sailing or another night with low prior bookings, there might be a last minute on the day of dining 20% off the add'l cover charge for that night only if a specialty restaurant is not already fully booked. Note that Breakfast and Dinner service in the Blu Restaurant area on deck 5 is designated for AquaSpa stateroom guests or else optional if space allows at a fee for suite guests. "Select Dining" for dinner is also on deck 5 (you prepay your gratuities for the entire cruise when you book it). Comparing the Aqua Spa "Blu" menu to the main dining room menu, there are some differences, but also a lot of similarities. For example, the Maine lobster filled ravioli was a dinner option served in both, and so were many other options such as the butternut squash soup, broiled Ahi tuna, broiled Atlantic salmon, etc. The 10th floor buffet restaurant called Oceanview is open at various hours for early and late breakfasts, lunches, and dinnertime/evening options including sushi, stir-fry, or pasta stations, fish & chips station, etc.--you have to check the daily printed program guide (Celebrity Today) for the specific times of service. In the afternoon between 3:30-4:30 PM snacks of finger sandwiches and other goodies including fresh baked cookies and other desserts are available. On deck 10, there is also an ice cream station and other small stations for pizza, hamburgers and hot dogs, etc. and the hours for those each day can also be found in the printed Celebrity Today. The AquaSpa Cafe also located on deck 10 closer to the AquaSpa area has some breakfast and some lunch options--I had either Ahi tuna or else Atlantic salmon cooked a-la-minute a number of times for lunch and it was delicious, but the chefs who cook it for the main dining room are better at timing the pieces and the piece size is much larger for dinner (delicious and larger than I needed--nice thick piece). Based on availability, in the AquaSpa Cafe you can order a broiled (default), steamed or poached tuna or salmon filet; or broiled (default) or seared pork loin piece or chicken breast. Cold plates are on display for you to choose from, and there is a small salad bar. Desserts include various poached fruit pieces, and some lighter other desserts. Various flavors of ficelles are offered as bread options. Although the items featured in the Aqua Spa Cafe are typically mostly lower in fat, they may not be lower in sodium. I was told, but cannot verify, that the smoothies on board are made with soy milk, as is the cold oatmeal (museli). The clock in the Aqua Spa cafe runs 10 minutes fast as the staff member manager who ran the cafe on that voyage was a bit on the lazy side and eager to shut the service down as rapidly as he could--the servers were MUCH more accommodating than the Aqua Spa cafe manager was. The manager acted as if he was doing guests a favor to have the cafe open! An attitude adjustment on his part to become more service oriented to guests would be beneficial. On deck 5, the Gelateria serves a dense, rich Italian Gelato type of "ice cream" or else a fruit Sorbetto. Gelato is made with typically less air (20%) incorporated than the amount found in ice cream (up to 80%) when it is made fresh daily using a dry base mix from Italy, to which the ship's kitchen staff add both fresh cream and fresh milk, and various flavorings and reportedly the product is made using a special Hobart gelato machine on board. All of the fruit flavored Sorbetto options (variation on Sorbet) are dairy free. Sometimes a sugar free and dairy free option that looks like ice cream is available. A range of toppings are available with the cost of the gelato or sorbetto serving based on the number of size #16 scoops used per bowl or cone. You can smell the waffle cones for the Gelateria Gelato as they bake since the aroma wafts through a couple of decks of the center of the ship near the glass elevators (in the Galley on deck 3 there were 3 different ice cream machines noted as for the deck 10 locations, a total of 52 flavors of the ice cream bar ice creams and sherbets are made on board). For further details on food on board, check out sensory nutrition dot com. Cafe al Bacio is midship on deck 5 and a favorite of the staff and guests alike. An older version of that venue's menu for specialty priced Tea Forte Tea, as well as Lavazza coffee (before recent price increases for beverages) is at http://www.beyondships.com/files/Cafe_al_Bacio_Menu.pdf (some of the staff are still in barista training). Note that the glass jars of cookies and the glass side case of rotating items (morning breakfast pastries, mid-day finger sandwiches, and afternoon through evening desserts) to eat there or to go are made on board and part of your cruise fare and you don't have to buy specialty tea or coffee to access the munchies. The small finger sandwiches are unique to that venue, so do be sure to try some of them--you are bound to find something delicious! A simple prawn on avocado tartare with a touch of lemon was one of those options with micro herbs and I tracked down a former Celebrity chef's version that can be served on tiny rolls. http://countrygourmettraveler.blogspot.com/2012/02/prawns-on-avocado-tartar.html ROOM SERVICE: We only used room service once ordering hot beverages via the interactive TV method. Our room steward actually delivered the room service tray promptly. PORT & SHORE EXCURSIONS, SHOPPING GUIDES: We did not use the cruise ship's planned excursion offerings as we prefer to arrange our own touring. Guest Relations typically has printed maps of some sort for each port area that you can get a tear off copy of. PORT TENDERING or DECK to PIER RAMPS: Port tenders were required for Bar Harbor, ME; Sydney, Nova Scotia; and Gaspe, Canada. An alternate pier spot was used for Portland, ME and the ramp angle was severe, leading to long delays for folks to get off the ship and for some, the ramp angle was simply too severe and there were not enough ship crew members to assist guests in navigating such a steep ramp--the ramp lacked the usual every foot or so horizontal bars and usual more sturdy side rails--it was rather pathetic and uncalled for from Deck 3 as easily a lower deck could have been the exit point as it was for some other port locations. The deck ramp snafu in Portland was evidence of the negative issues on this voyage. AQUA SPA: Hubby did decide to get a 75 minute massage the first day of the cruise and alas, unlike previous massages, this one was a complete DISASTER and incredibly expensive to boot! At $234.25 we would NEVER recommend it. We felt fleeced indeed--very disappointing and that likely means we will NEVER use the Aqua Spa services if we sail Celebrity in the future. CASINO: Didn't use. MEDICAL CENTER: Didn't use. DISEMBARKATION: Due to fog in Bayonne, NJ upon the ship's return to that port, we had to wait until 10 AM before we could get off the ship and we had been scheduled to leave the ship at 8:30 AM so we were 90 minutes late disembarking. Fortunately, we cleared customs & immigration promptly, caught a cab back to the hotel where our car was in long term parking so from getting off the ship to getting our car at the hotel again took 70 minutes. The Captain's Club Elite lounge prior to disembarkation was supposed to be Normandie on deck 3, but it was locked up tight and we had to go to the Celebrity Theatre on deck 4 instead to wait to get off the ship--at least the seats are comfortable there as we waited from 8 AM when our stateroom had to be cleared until 10 AM. We had enjoyed the Elite Lounge in the Normandie most mornings between 8:00 - 10:00 AM, so we missed that venue on the day of disembarkation--there were simply too many Elite tier level guests on board for the ship to offer that option on the Saturday we were leaving the ship as the delay d/t to fog meant no one was getting off the ship on time. Beyond the maximum 250 guests who could walk off the ship personally transporting all their own luggage to the cruise terminal as part of the Express Program for disembarkation originally scheduled for around 7:30 AM, those with planes to catch had to be allowed to exit the ship first. LOYALTY PROGRAM: After sufficient cruise credits, one can progress up the loyalty program to the top tier level (Elite) and it has its perks which will depend upon what the cruise line is deciding to offer at the time. This cruise we noted if anyone staying in a room had Elite tier membership in the Captain's Club, they could bring their spouses or stateroom companions over age 21 to Elite tier activities, so that was a nice perk. Overall, we were pleased with Elite loyalty tier offerings on this trip. Snack offerings in the before dinner Elite lounge were nice, but NOT of the same quality as in JAN/FEB 2012--so another decline in the cruise experience. This is the only time I eat anything fried. There were priority tender tickets we did not use, internet minute coupons we did use, various casino or other coupons we did not use, as well as laundry coupons we did not use (I simply don't like commercial laundry service as one's clothes don't last as long going through those washers and everything wrinkles in their dryers and pressing typically costs extra). TRANSFERS: We did not use the cruise line's bus transfer program to and from the ship, but instead traveled by van as vans are plentiful at the cruise port. COMPUTER iLOUNGE: If you have signed up for internet minutes, you can use some to print your boarding passes for airline travel using whatever internet minutes plan you are signed up for as there is one printer in the iLounge on deck 6. On previous voyages we have printed our airline boarding passes mid-day on the final Friday and it was a snap. You can bring your own computer devices to use anywhere on the whole ship as during dry dock it was set up for all-ship Wi-Fi or you can just use the Mac Pro laptops secured in the iLounge. WiFi Internet service ceased at 7 AM on the Saturday of disembarkation. If you bring your own device, visit the iLounge to have the manager install on it an easy way to access the internet service for log on and log off--on your own device you MUST be sure to log off or else you will keep eating minutes; the iLounge computers automatically log off if idle for 5 minutes. SUMMIT OVERVIEW/SUMMARY: We came to relax on the cruise and the cold ship made that a bit difficult to do--visiting the aqua spa cafe meant wearing a coat with a hood and gloves--it was the temperature of the air outdoors! Overall the food was of a good quality and prepared well (I've taught at the college level in food systems management), but some of the "extra special" touches Celebrity was previously known for have gone by the wayside due to constant cost cutting efforts by management. That is by no means the fault of the staff--they have to work within the parameters management gives them. Most guests like to spend time on deck 10 (pool level) that includes the thalassotherapy pool (usually very popular, but used less on this cruise d/t the incredibly cold weather and temps, outdoor pool (usually very popular on Caribbean cruises but not used this cold trip), with lesser use of specialty (costs a fee) Persian Gardens (sauna or specialty shower or steam options, etc.). The lounge chairs all over are comfortable and newer padded options were noted in some spots. Temps remained cool as the gangway area was left open each port day and when we spent two overnights in Quebec City the cold air was allowed in round the clock! We enjoyed quiet times when the Revelations lounge on deck 11 was open to us (we don't do the late nightclub/lounge scene). Both Revelations and the Rendez Vous Lounge have small dance floors and the onboard Celebrity activity staff and perhaps dancers do offer a few dance classes during the cruise. Michael's Club has become so sad since it was converted to a beer bar--it is a shame to see such a venue that previously had a touch of class downgraded like that. Obviously the emphasis is on more mainstream "bars" on board to increase the revenue stream from alcoholic beverages. Guess the cruise line has to pay for those even larger Solstice Class mega ship builds somehow, as well as for the 40M renovation of the Summit in Jan 2012. We will miss this size ship and had liked the ships a size or more smaller in the past such as the Galaxy and even fewer guest size beautiful Zenith (our favorite of all the prior ships). HAND-WASHING: Frequent handwashing is advised, and Purell dispenser use is encouraged (featuring a custom stronger product than you would find on land done just for the cruise line) via dispensers outside restaurants around the ship and before you reboard the vessel at port stops. CAPE LIBERTY CRUISE PORT HEADING HOME: There was a cab line for the Newark Air Port, however, the gal assigning people as they came up with their luggage to vans sent us right over to a van that had pulled in and could drop us off at the SpringHill Suites Hotel on the way to the Newark Airport, so we had no need to call the Independent Driver number and it was actually cheaper ($17 pp before tip) to use the van service right there at the van line for the Newark airport run. If you have to go to the airport, and checked-in online via the iLounge or otherwise (if you do a post-cruise stay at a hotel) prior to going to the airport, you might save time and energy avoiding lines for baggage check-in at Newark airport. In summation, we've been loyal fans of Celebrity Cruises for years, but almost a year later post this particular cruise, the memory of a very disappointing cruise still lingers. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
We've sailed with Celebrity before. 21 days on the old Mercury through New Zealand and Australia; 14 nights on the new Solstice to the Caribbean; 14 nights round trip from Seattle to Alaska on the un-solsticized Infinity; and now 14 ... Read More
We've sailed with Celebrity before. 21 days on the old Mercury through New Zealand and Australia; 14 nights on the new Solstice to the Caribbean; 14 nights round trip from Seattle to Alaska on the un-solsticized Infinity; and now 14 nights on the updated Summit. We won't judge future cruise selections on Celebrity based on this experience on the Summit. First -- highlights were the great evening entertainment and the Celebrity Life lectures from the Kennedy Space Center and NASA. All were excellent. Celebrity is to be commended for continuing it's great stage presentations and for the variety of live entertainment throughout the ship. The staff were very accommodating friendly. We were greeted by staff we had met on prior Celebrity cruises. Both Devon and Marlon in the aft bar on 10 remembered us from prior trips and were very service oriented even though their bar was often the wettest and coldest place on the whole ship as we travelled further north. While the remodel created the Bistro and the Cafe Balia, the new Wine Cellar is a dark area hardly used by wine drinkers. It is more a holding place for diners. The new Kids Club could be placed anywhere else but not where it was on the 11th deck. The Reflections view was really slighted when one half of the windowed area went to the Kids Club. That used to be a favorite place to read, look outside, and just enjoy the view. Not so much anymore. The shore excursions were not that good. We'd thought that the Hop On Hop Off trollies would present good opportunities for city highlights. Not the case! You hopped on at the ship and returned to the long lines there to catch the next trolly to the other routes. Best excursion was the horse drawn carriage ride for almost 3 hours in Quebec City -- booked through a Cruise Critic member. We took a vendor tour in PEI which gave us a great overview of the area with a driver who spoke difficult to understand English although he'd lived there for more than 20 years. The ship's tour to Kennebunkport was enjoyable but had no photo opportunity stops. Tendering was a disaster! Celebrity needs to seriously consider its ports of call particularly when the tender boats must traverse about a 20 minute route to get from ship to shore. In all of the cruises we've taken, we've never experienced such a long wait for the tendering process. Although we booked our cruise more than 9 months in advance, no early seating seats were available. Instead we were booked for open seating which was fine but did not allow you the opportunity to really connect with the wait staff. Food on this cruise was not up to par with prior cruises. Not that the food was bad --- it was just so so. Fish and poultry dishes were always dry. Steaks never were more than a half an inch thick and were limited in selection. Lobster was inedible. It appears that the only really good food is served in the speciality restaurats with the surcharges. We hope that this was just an anomoly with the chef on this cruise. Housekeeping did a great job in our staterooms. The open elevator shafts in the glass walled elevators were filthy. While I recognize that it may be difficult to clean those areas, if guests are viewing inch plus layers of dust and grime each time they ride the elevators it presents a poor image of cleanliness. Attention to these little details are important -- as attention to the safety of the life jackets. I saw a photo from one of the passengers on the grounded tender with his life jacket that fell apart when he tried to don it. We will cruise Celebrity again (our Elite status is a perk) but truly hope that quality becomes a concern of corporate staff so that Celebrity's ships don't slip into the category of other lines with whom we will not again sail. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
We were a group of four couples, all very experienced cruisers. Two of the couples are elite on Celebrity, all of the couples are elite on Princess. This was a reunion cruise for the four couples and highly anticipated by all. There ... Read More
We were a group of four couples, all very experienced cruisers. Two of the couples are elite on Celebrity, all of the couples are elite on Princess. This was a reunion cruise for the four couples and highly anticipated by all. There were many things right about this cruise--most of the staff, the dining room maitre d'h and waitstaff, the Quisine waitstaff and the cabin stewards impressed us all. The buffet staff was inexperienced, actually surly in one isolated incidence, rarely offered to go above and beyond and just generally appeared untrained. Entertainment was quite good and the NASA speakers were excellent. The tendering however was a nightmare. This Canada/NE trip required tendering in Bar Harbor, Sydney NS, and Gaspe. We did not go into Gaspe, but did tender in the other two ports. Because we were with elites, we were able to go on the priority tenders. Even these tenders were not called for over 1 hour. We heard numerous complaints of three hour waits and missed tours. In Bar Harbor Celebrity apparently uses the tenders to tender in the lobsters for dinner, leaving the passengers waiting while lobsters got top priority. Seriously?? And trust me, the lobster may have been fresh when it got on the ship, but it was dry and overcooked when served. Food in the DR was generally good although if you are not an adventurous eater there is little on the menu that appeals. I ate a lot of chicken and steak. The menu was quite interesting and my husband (who will eat anything) loved, loved, loved the food. The culmination of the trip was the last night on the ship. Following the show we prepared for bed and hubby looked down and realized he had a piece of glass sticking out of his toe. After we staunched the bleeding with kleenex and a knee high stocking, I was just getting into bed when he said there was another piece of glass on top of the turned down sheet. Sure enough. We took that out of the bed, I climbed in and two minutes later I realize there is a slice in my finder from a shard. We got out and there were hundreds of shards of glass in the bed. Guest services brought bandaids, changed the bed, and vacuumed the floor but could not help with the reason why. That became clear the next AM when the regular room steward came and said he saw the report about our cuts. He said that he had reported a light over the bed as being out after he turned down the bed for the evening. Obviously the maintenance person broke the bulb as it was being replaced and either did not clean it up or tried and failed. We will stick to Princess Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2011
The fare should have been reduced due to the worn condition of the Summit. It should have been refurbished at least two years ago. We believe that routine maintenance was deferred because the Summit was due to be refurbished at the end ... Read More
The fare should have been reduced due to the worn condition of the Summit. It should have been refurbished at least two years ago. We believe that routine maintenance was deferred because the Summit was due to be refurbished at the end of 2011. Case in point, our railing was all worn and we received splinters when rubbing our hands on it. Our shower had considerable rust coming through the fiberglass. Toilets were a problem for many passengers and the starboard side on an entire deck was without toilets for a whole day. Many other little things were apparent. Carpeting was well worn. Painting was badly needed throughout, including the ships exterior, rust prevalent. This was our first ever Celebrity cruise. Many people on the the ship were veteran Celebrity cruisers and agreed with us but said not to judge Celebrity by this ship's condition. When we boarded in Cape Liberty, New Jersey, we had to clean our filthy deck chairs. But we did compare Celebrity to other lines we have traveled and find that Celebrity nickel and dimes you to death. Want an in room movie? You must pay for it. Want to run a load of self serve laundry -- pay Celebrity. They only have Mac computers for passengers. Those not familiar with the Apple brand, they will give you lessons if you pay for it. Want to gamble in the casino? Must use cash or they will charge you for using your ship card. Want breakfast in your room --- no fruit, no waffles, pancakes or french toast. On the up side ... crew was wonderful. Our cabin steward earned a supplemental gratuity. He had responsibility for less rooms than other ships. Waiters were wonderful. Food was excellent in dining room and buffet and near pools and the health food bar near the therapeutic pool. Specialty restaurant was outstanding, but, at $40 pp much over-priced. The best of all --- the ENTERTAINMENT was the best we have ever seen on any cruise line. The production shows would be worth admission. The lounge acts were amazing. The daytime enrichment programs were superb. The Cruise Director was extremely articulate and entertaining. This was very easily the best of all on Celebrity (although the show times were changed daily, difficult to plan your next day). Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
Out of 20 cruises, this was the worst cruise we have ever taken. Bayonne NJ is not a cruise ship terminal. It lacks any cruise terminal facilities. Embarkation is through tents and boarding buses for a 500 yard ride to the ship. First ... Read More
Out of 20 cruises, this was the worst cruise we have ever taken. Bayonne NJ is not a cruise ship terminal. It lacks any cruise terminal facilities. Embarkation is through tents and boarding buses for a 500 yard ride to the ship. First time we ever had a steam iron confiscated by the ships crew after hand carrying it on a plane. We just wore rumpled clothes for 2 weeks. Once on board, around 2pm, we went to the buffet for lunch. The food was fair, but service was non-existent. We had to bus our own table to have a place to eat..and this continued throughout the cruise for breakfast. Everyday at the buffet breakfast there were 4-5 staff selling wine, soft drinks, etc but rarely a person to bus tables much less bring a coffee or orange juice refill. In fact, we bussed tables for some elderly so they could set their trays down to eat. The first morning, they had sticky buns which we all liked. After that day, they disappeared and on two other days you had to search high and low to find any. The buffet line was very long and on both the starboard and port sides. Finding food was a moving target and required walking around the length of the ship. For some reason fresh pineapple was in short supply. There were usually 3-4 location for fresh fruit, but only one had pineapple and it changed daily. In addition, the last night we were supposed to have pineapple crme Brule, but none was available for the first dinner sitting.Food was a disappointment and would have to get better to be a 3 star, .Lobster night was a real joke. 1/2 lobster very dry and no drawn butter served with 2 broiled shrimp and several slices of half cooked scallops. We did not attempt to eat the scallops and the wives didnt eat the lobster. The wait staff was totally undermanned and could not keep up with the meal, but they tried very hard. Several nights one of the 6 persons at our table didnt get their main course on time. Coffee was always served late after most had finished their dessert. This was the first time I had ever seen regular coffee and decaf come from the same pot. It was obvious from the first day that the ship was very short of wait and kitchen staff. Desserts were not up to prior Celebrity standards by a long shot. There is more, but you get the picture We have traveled on Celebrity several times in the past. Therefore, we knew what to expect. Everybody was complaining about the food and the service. Moving on: The entertainment was first class and an improvement over past cruises. The cabin steward was first class. The cabins and ship in general was in good repair. We had bad weather and the ship had to change our itinerary to a little town called La Baie, Quebec. The day spent in LaBaie was the best port we have visited in 5 years. The local people put on a show at dockside which was amazing. The had locals in costume, taking pictures with the guests as they left the ship, offering slices of homemade blueberry pie, blueberry wine and chocolates filled with blueberry...free. The hop on hop off tour the towns people prepared was outstanding. It was truly a town experience done the good old fashion way making people welcome. The finale: We were supposed to dock at 7am. Our ship was 3 hours late docking on the last day with no explanation. We had a 2:15 plane using Celebrity transportation to and from the ship. We barely made the plane. The debarkation was an exercise similar to my days in the army. Hurry up and wait. Stand in line. Wait for the second and third bus. Ride the bus for 500 yards and then sit on the bus for another 15 minutes before being allowed to exit. Make a mad dash for the luggage and try to locate the right bus to take to the correct airport terminal. Oh yes, no time to retrieve the new steam iron purchased for this trip. My claim ticket for the iron is 63167. We made the 2:15 plane with less than 30 minutes to spare. Bottom line. Celebrity management made several mistakes. First, should not use Bayonne NJ cruise facilities Second, bad food: need to totally improve the food to previous standards Third, staff shortage: increase wait staff and kitchen staff to adequately service the guests. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2010
Leaving out of Bayonne,N.J. is convenient for us as we live in N.J. We found no problems with embarking as it went smoothly. We so looked forward to this trip as we had not yet cruised to New England & Canada before. Our first stop was ... Read More
Leaving out of Bayonne,N.J. is convenient for us as we live in N.J. We found no problems with embarking as it went smoothly. We so looked forward to this trip as we had not yet cruised to New England & Canada before. Our first stop was New Port, RI & we planned to visit the Breakers. Due to a very long wait to get on a tender, of which only 4 were running, we didn't have enough time to accomplish what we had set out to do. Guests were losing their tempers due to the long wait. (hours) Portland was enjoyable. We were unfortunate to hit a Noreaster and were unable to tender into Bar Harbor which was very disappointing to most passengers, however it was no fault of the Cruise line. Our next stop was Halifax where we again encountered windy and rainy weather. Quebec was a wonderful experience & a lovely city which we enjoyed very much. We were sorely disappointed in the ship itself. The food in the dinning room was good but at times repetitious. We tried the evening buffet only one night which we thought was unpalatable & never again ate there. The shows left much to be desired and didn't compare to other ships we were on. We also found that many of the activities that we would have liked to attend were during the day when we were onshore. Poor planning. We had a balcony cabin but were unable to open the sliding door. It took 4 days for someone to come and fix it. Our bathroom exhaust fan didn't work either all of which we reported to the desk. No hurry to fix anything & waited days to correct. Aside from the convenience of not having to fly in order to take the cruise, we will not cruise this ship again. This was a 14 day cruise & were anxious to disembark. On a brighter note, a new Celebrity ship will be in service at this port which we are looking forward to. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Stayed at the comfortable Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn the night prior to departure. They provide complementary shuttle service to and from Cape Liberty Cruise Port. We left our car safely in their parking lot for the two week duration ... Read More
Stayed at the comfortable Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn the night prior to departure. They provide complementary shuttle service to and from Cape Liberty Cruise Port. We left our car safely in their parking lot for the two week duration of the cruise. That arrangement is convenient, and obviously a tremendous value. Embarkation required that,after you leave your luggage with a stevedore and check in, there is an additional step that requires you to take a bus for the short distance to the dockside. This last step is peculiar to Cape Liberty and is time-consuming. For reasons known only to themselves (cost savings?), Celebrity Summit CLOSES their dining room for lunch on the day of embarkation. This results in utter confusion in their cafeteria and people unable to find a table. We carried trays of cold food up and down the area of the cafeteria without finding either a table or a table willing to share. I contemplated leaving the ship in desperation. Finally, we did find a place to sit down and eat our cold lunch. This experience colored our opinion of Celebrity and impinged on our enjoyment of the cruise. At Newport, RI passengers were lightered by use of the ships life-boats. They commenced at 8:30 a.m. and the last shore going passenger was not off the ship until after after noon. We could not, therefore, go ashore at Newport because it seemed unlikely we could return before sailing time of 5:00 p.m. There were no ships officers in evidence to instruct as to proper handling of the life-boats. We saw them regularly miss tossed lines and in so doing, strike the side of the ship. The operation appeared lackadaisical and unsupervised. This with a calm sea. The ships service staff were superb and compensated for various shortcomings. The food was good in the dining room, we had the 6:00 p.m. seating. The main dining room is closed for lunch whenever the ship is in port. We only ate in the cafeteria when we had no other choice and the food was unsatisfactory. Our son has various food allergies. The dining and food service staff were superb in providing for his special requirements. They simply made our cruise. Our son never once suffered any indisposition, because of their concern and special preparation of his meals. We particularly commend the Assistant Maitre'd, Melvis Afonso; Gladwin Pinto,our waiter; Padilla Menino, our Assistant Waiter; Rey and Jim our Room Attendants. I wish to commend the "always smiling" Ininando Fernaz, waiter. There were two "Brunches" during the cruise. These are chaotic with every man for himself as to seating. I was sure happy to see Ininando Fernaz's smiling face among the crowd. He called over, cleared a table, and made the "Brunch" tolerable. We struck heavy seas and high winds in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The ship rolled heavily. There was damage in many rooms, toiletries and broken glass on the floor in our and many others. However, we suppose that it was not too bad, because, Captain Athanasios Peppas did not find it necessary to drain the topside pools. As to the public rooms. We were excluded from Revelations on Deck 11 between the hours of 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. as it was reserved for the exclusive use of the more privileged Elite passengers. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Just returned from Oct 10 sailing to Canada/New England aboard the Summit. My husband describes the 14 day cruise as "adequate". The staff was great but overworked. The ship is tired and needs lots of help. There are too many ... Read More
Just returned from Oct 10 sailing to Canada/New England aboard the Summit. My husband describes the 14 day cruise as "adequate". The staff was great but overworked. The ship is tired and needs lots of help. There are too many people crammed into the Cosmopolitan Restaurant making it noisy and the service slow. We were first seating but never left before 8 PM. Entrees took 40-50 minutes to arrive after appetizers and salad. Most evenings entrees arrived at 7. Food was good adequate but not great. Tender service was terrible. Lines were long, excusrsions were off the ship first and the rest of us were finally able to leave right around noon. Second tender port was cancelled due to weather so don't know if that would have improved. Our mattresses were so awful we had to ask to have them replaced. Huge dip in the center and again at the edge-one bad wave and we would have rolled for the hole in the middle to right off the bed. The ship's windows were dirty and difficult to see through. I remember when the windows were cleaned at every port stop. Bathrooms were not up to par and carpet in cabin was worn and dirty. It seems the ship is going for work in May so all maintenence has been put on hold. Internet cafe was a nightmare. After purchasing a package I was able to log in twice and then not able to log on to my wireless computer again. I asked staff for help. After trying various setting the Internet attendent said my computer was not compatible so it would not work. I asked for a refund of the package fee and was told sorry we don't do that. Visited guest relations and after much discussion was told I would get a refund for the unused minutes. When it didn't appear as a credit on the bill I again went through the entire process with guest services. 2 hours later I received a phone call from the Internet Cafe manager with an apology and was told it had been credited. I had to resort to my broadband card as I still had business to conduct and accrued a $1500 Verizon bill. On the last day of hte cruise I went back to the Internet Cafe hoping I could use that service since I didn't want to incur any more Verizon charges. I explained the entire issue to the young man and he responded-"didn't anyone enter the correct IP address in your computer for you?" He did that and the computer worked. It is upsetting that Celebrity advertises wireless Internet but doesn't have the staff that can resolve the issues. After 10 years of Celebrity cruising we will be trying another cruise line for our next trip. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
This was our 2nd cruise as "Elite" under the new Captain's Club benefits. We were traveling with another Elite couple, and we all stayed at the "Wyndham Hotel" near the Newark airport. This hotel was clean, but ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise as "Elite" under the new Captain's Club benefits. We were traveling with another Elite couple, and we all stayed at the "Wyndham Hotel" near the Newark airport. This hotel was clean, but with its small rooms and tight bathrooms, it definitely falls short of my concept of a Wyndham. We did enjoy a very low promotional rate, and the food in the hotel restaurant was good and reasonably priced. While okay for a single night stay while waiting for a ship or a flight, I do not recommend it for a multiple night stay. Embarkation on Sunday morning was smooth and efficient. We were dropped at the cruise terminal shortly after 11:00 AM and we were onboard eating lunch by noon. The only downside was waiting longer before the cabins were ready. Our cabin was one of the "sweet 16" on the port side of the Penthouse deck. I had read how many cabins on the Summit were found wanting, but our cabin was clean and in good condition and the bed was comfortable. Some of the amenities, such as the umbrellas and tote bag, were initially missing but they were replaced by the stateroom attendant. The only area that needed attention was the balcony, which did have some rust, but early in the 2nd week of the cruise some maintenance was performed on the it. The cabin attendant was friendly and efficient but seemed to have his hands full with the amount of cabins he serviced. We selected "early seating". Our party of four was seated at a table for 8 near the port side entrance on deck 4. This was to be the first of only 3 times we ate in the MDR. To say that our dining experience was disappointing would be an understatement. The table seating was cramped and the service was slow and disconnected. The waiter seemed ready and willing to provide good service but also seemed overwhelmed by the number of guests he had to serve. The busboy was no better. Never before have I had to wait for my water glass to be filled or gone a whole meal without being offered a beverage. On one evening, the sauce on my entrEe arrived with a skin already forming on it. We never were finished before 8:00 PM. The early seating was completely full, so moving to another table was not an option. Even though we skipped dinner in the MDR, I did take a peek at the menus posted earlier in the day. I chuckled at the "attempt" to make the dishes sound special by giving them French names, but "beef stew" is still beef stew even when called "Pot-au-feu". Truly this was the worst dining I've ever experienced in a main dining room of a cruise ship. By contrast, the dining in the specialty restaurant "Normandie" was outstanding. The food was delicious and the service excellent. They even did the "clam shell" presentation for the entrEes. On our third night dining in the Normandie we were seated in the wine cellar room and had a specially prepared meal. Our Caesar salad, Chateaubriand, and Crepe Suzettes were all prepared tableside. A truly memorable 3-hour meal! We really missed the "Casual Dining" restaurant area that appears to have been eliminated in favor on "Anytime Dining", so the rest of the time we ate our evening meals in the "Waterfall" restaurant buffet area. The food there was adequate but the selection was limited. We also ate lunch in the Waterfall, except for the two special brunches held in the main dining room. The brunch food was very good in looks and taste. The "Dessert Extravaganza" held as a midnight buffet, was also beautifully displayed and tasty. As "Elite" we had espresso drinks and a light breakfast in Michael's Lounge every morning. The first several days the quality of the coffee beverages was lacking, but it improved especially during week two. Since there were so many Elites on this cruise the afternoon happy hour was held in the "Revelations" lounge on the 11th deck. The view was nice but the drink selection was more limited here than it was on a previous cruise when it was held in Michael's Lounge. The appetizers were okay, but the hot items were invariably served cold by the time they came around. Also, since smoking is allowed on the port side of Revelations, we got an occasional whiff of cigarette smoke, which of course we never did in Michael's. Service from various staff was always polite and cordial with lots of smiles; however, there seemed to be more language difficulties than on past cruises and the service staff seemed to be the minimum needed to provide adequate service. The public rooms were fine and even though the weather conditions kept most passengers inside, they were not overcrowded. The lectures were okay. I found them informative. I can't speak about the theater entertainment, as we didn't attend, but the piano and string music musician in the lounges were very good. The movie theater was adequate, although they need a "widescreen" for showing action films. They should also provide popcorn like they had on Infinity. Also missing were the shaving cream and razors previously available in the men's dressing area of the spa/gym. The ship's shore excursions seemed overpriced, and we did much better on our own. Leaving the ship in port was always quick and easy. Even the one tender port was easy as we had elite priority, so no complaints there. We did miss one port, Bar Harbor, because of weather conditions and we experienced a few days of rough seas, but over all the cruising was fine. On our final day, our disembarkation was smooth and timely. When cruising on the Mercury last year my wife and I felt that Celebrity was slipping in the food department. Then on Infinity through the Panama Canal we felt that Celebrity had improved significantly, especially in the MDR. Unfortunately, we now feel that Celebrity has gone in the opposite direction. We used to brag about the dining experience and all those little "extras" found on Celebrity ships. "Trimming the fat" and "Right-Sizing" may boost the company's profits in the short term; however, I think it will just hurt in the long term, and for the first time in over 5 years we are seriously considering cruising on another line. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
It had been about 4 years since cruising with Celebrity and on this cruise was to be our 11th with them so we were not expecting anything other than the superb service, entertainment and food we have come to expect from Celebrity. Well I ... Read More
It had been about 4 years since cruising with Celebrity and on this cruise was to be our 11th with them so we were not expecting anything other than the superb service, entertainment and food we have come to expect from Celebrity. Well I guess we got 2 out of 3 because the FOOD was the WORST of any cruise or cruise line we had experienced--more later on this. Getting from Newark Airport to the Liberty Cruise Port was easy as pie. We checked the cab cost at the stand out side baggage claim. It was $42 plus tip for the 3 of us. EMBARKATION Went relatively smooth except from the Elite Lounge their was no priority organization to it and it became like a cattle call. Once boarded we had to go to the buffet because the rooms were not to be ready til 1:00PM. We boarded at 11:30 AM. We happened to carry our bag on board but unlike Holland they did not provide a check storage area so the bags went into the buffet with us. CABIN Was fine for the 3 of us-- a little tired and dated but OK. The cabin Stewards Antonio and his Assist. Fitzroy were excellent and took good care of us for the whole cruise. DINING DAILY DINNER MENUS - Were uninspired and lacking the fine things from the past. Gone were the Veal Chops, Beef Wellingtons and Oso Bucco etc OK the economy is tight I felt so long as the food is cooked well all will be well. MENU AVAILABLE EVERYDAY You can choose these as alternates including Escargot, Onion Soup, Steak, etc The problem was the cooking was not done very well and or the ingredients were of poor quality. Cases in point were as follows: MEATS- Beef and lamb were consistently tough HALF LOBSTER- Undercooked -shell was black thus meat hard to remove. Note: I am a born and bred Bostonian and know the difference. COQ AU VIN-- Chicken undercooked in an insipid sauce. VEAL CORDON BLEU-- Was pure salt PORTS BOSTON,MA wonderful to see the old bean town form the sea on arrival. Was able to get a CHARLIE CARD on line which pays for all public transport . There is a bus stop across from the pier that brought us to South Station. Where you connect with the T train two stops to Park St and up to the BOSTON COMMON AND The PUBLIC GARDEN WITH THE SWAN BOATS. At the corner of Park St and Tremont st ( In front of the PARK ST CHURCH) is the start of the red brick trail called the FREEDOM TRAIL. We followed it past the various historic sites including the the Granary Burial Ground, Old State House and it led to the Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall. Kept on the trail to Hanover St to PAUL REVERES HOUSE then on to THE OLD NORTH CHURCH. After this we back tracked down Hanover St to MIKE,s ITALIAN BAKERY. Mmmmmm those rum soaked pastries are too much. We made our way back to a subway stop and got back to South Station --caught the S2 bus going back toward the ship and had the driver let us off in front of THE YANKEE LOBSTER MARKET where we met our friends. This is a little place and not too fancy but the lobsters and clams were just great and at reasonable prices. We just easily walked back to the ship after ward. PORTLAND, MAINE Portland is a nice town to walk about and visited the Brewery and sampled. After shopping about we stopped in at GILBERTS CHOWDER HOUSE. It was a fun place right on the dock with very good seafood at reasonable prices. BAR HARBOR , ME it was raining and cold and we did not feel like tendering in. Missed seeing the pretty village again and eating at the Water St Cafee. HALIFAX , Nova Scotia It was a lovely day so taking a walk along the dock was fun. We then went out to Lower Water St to a bus stop for the FRED BUS. This is a free bus that has a circle route around Halifax including the CITIDAL on top of the hill. Great way to it all and you can get on and off. By the way FRED has its origin at the pier. We rode Fred to the Maritime Museum and after which we went across the street to Mc Kelvies restaurant and had the famous Digby Scallops and they were fantastic. We visited the Old Brewery and then took the FRED back to the ship. QUEBEC first visit here and I was completely impressed. Had the impression I was in Europe--very lovely. We walked about the lower village enjoying the renewed architecture surrounding PLACE ROYAL. Had lunch at Chaude that was great and then we visited the farmers Market. The next day we ventured up the funicular to the magnificent Chateau Frontenac and the fields of Abraham etc. Paid a visit to the Basilica which was wonderful. We made our way back toward the Frontenac and found the 1640 Restaurant for lunch . QUEBEC IS ON MY LIST TO RETURN. DEBARKATION at the cruise port in Bayonne ,NJ was as smooth as silk. We caught a local cab from Archie's cab co. from Bayonne and the 3 of us road back to Newark Airport for $42 plus tip. I must say the young man driving was a jewel as were most of the people we ran into in New Jersey Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
We booked this cruise with our friends to experience Celebrity. We have already experienced all of the other popular cruise lines. We were expected that the food would be at least as good as any of the other cruises that we've been ... Read More
We booked this cruise with our friends to experience Celebrity. We have already experienced all of the other popular cruise lines. We were expected that the food would be at least as good as any of the other cruises that we've been on. On the good side were the shows. Our room Stewart was very good and our dining room waiter was also very good and very funny. The ship is okay but does show it's age and need to be refurbished. As for the food. The quality was low and the portions were small. The dining room seemed disorganized. We usually never return food but we needed to do that a couple of times. The Buffet was particularly disappointing. The food quality got worse as the week progressed to the point where we only ate hamburgers for the last few days. There is food available up until 11:00 PM and only pizza after that. The was never fruit or melon at the late evening buffet. Also, the juice machines had a note on them stating that sugar is added to the juice. Fresh juice was only available for an extra cost. The servers at the buffet seemed to never understand what you wanted and we needed to do a lot of repeating and pointing. We spoke to the dinning staff about the sugared juice and lack of fruit at night and they stated that they are using a new food service and this was what they got. We were told that if we wanted fruit we can order it through room service but we don't like to have foods in our room and we prefer it at the buffet itself. The famous Celebrity waffles are very good and was the one thing that we looked forward to at the buffet. We feel that the food is one of the reasons that most people take a cruise and that this experience did not make us a fan of Celebrity. I did email them about my food issues and have not heard back from them to date. We spoke to many people that told us that other Celebrity cruises are much better but we feel that it is not a good idea to sail a cruise under the Celebrity name with low quality food. Last year we took a Carnival cruise with a family group and that cruise, which also left from New York, was better in almost every respect to the Summit. This really surprised us. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
This is our 8th cruise, 2nd on Celebrity. We had a great vacation but this trip doesn't begin to compare with one we took on Constellation several years ago! Service was the poorest we have experienced on any cruise we have taken. ... Read More
This is our 8th cruise, 2nd on Celebrity. We had a great vacation but this trip doesn't begin to compare with one we took on Constellation several years ago! Service was the poorest we have experienced on any cruise we have taken. It's so different it doesn't seem to be the same cruise line. I use reviews when I plan my vacations, so I need to post my thoughts on this, for others to consider. I do not consider the higher price for this line to represent good value for the money spent. We booked a precruise package from Celebrity prior to the cruise. The hotel room we received was dirty and needed servicing. Our (prepaid) transfer to the pier stood us up. The luggage handlers at the pier were rude-all but putting their hand in my purse to snatch out a tip!! Once in line for the preboarding ritual, we waited almost an hour. Water and punch were offered by the ship staff. Onship there was no welcome aboard, no help in finding your stateroom, no welcome drink, no offer of a photograph. The arrival buffet in the buffet was chaos and there are several descriptions of it on other reviews and they are accurate. Meals in the buffet were generally the same each day and the style of service doesn't make for a quick stop to pick up food, coupled with the lack of staff, so the process takes a while. I enjoyed the ethnic cuisines, including breakfasts of dim sun and other Asian specialties. Most of the food was good. Wait staff service at the buffet was poor. One morning there was no coffee available (they had not made enough). In 7 breakfasts, I was offered a refill on my coffee only one time; and the sweet rolls which were passed each morning on the Constellation were organized and out for the service staff but I never once saw them offered to anyone. Keeping your silverware clean was an issue. The tables were wiped between uses, but bare, so once your unwrapped your silverware you almost had to it balance on your plates to avoid putting it down on a table that didn't impress you as being especially clean. One AM staff person cleaned away an entire uneaten breakfast that was put onto a table while the owner went searching for coffee. And, clearing of tables that were (really) finished was slow. We found the evening food to be very good, however, with the exception of the last evening, when the veal/ham entree was inedible. At nite, the assigned service staff was all personality and great fun. Service was slow, sometimes taking more than 2 hours for our table of 9!We really enjoyed the ship cast, ships' orchestra, and Neptune, but the other acts were not very good. There were few opportunities to dance, and a band one evening that got up for a 10 minute break had not returned after 45 minutes, at which point we got up and left. Our last evening in the theater, the small table next to us was completely loaded down with dirty glasses from an earlier performance, which were not removed, nor the table cleaned, at any time. In retrospect, it is easy to see why the norovirus that lurks on any ship takes over from time to time on this one. One public restroom was so filthy I left and searched for staff to request that it be serviced; at times there was no toilet tissue nor hand towels. We did not use the outdoor pool but the indoor salt water pool was fine and very comfortable. Our stateroom was OK, service good but rarely visible. We had plenty of room. Used the ship laundry without any problems. We were invited to and attended several Captain's Club events and enjoyed socializing with the officers. We ended up purchasing ship tours and found them overall to be good; we enjoyed Maine and the ports in Canada. The crew talent show was awesome!! I cannot "put my finger" on what made this ship's overall service to be so dispirited-a stressed or overworked staff or perhaps inattentive management. But, although we had a very nice vacation, and will consider returning to Celebrity, it certainly will not rank in our minds as offering a better experience than less costly competitors. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2010
Before booking this cruise, We read all the reviews and scoured these boards for comments. The consensus was that The Summit was an older ship and beginning to show its age. The food was good but not up to most peoples expectations and not ... Read More
Before booking this cruise, We read all the reviews and scoured these boards for comments. The consensus was that The Summit was an older ship and beginning to show its age. The food was good but not up to most peoples expectations and not what it used to be. We chose this cruise over a similar one on the Caribbean Princess even though the princess cruise was a few hundred dollars cheaper. We have cruised Celebrity before on the Century back when it was new. We have very little recollection of the cruise. We have also sailed on all of the major lines but or most recent cruises were on NCL which we did not like at all. Since we have been to all the ports from Canada to the Caribbean, and my wife has mobility issues, we were not really interested in the ports, the ship was to be our destination. We do not care for balcony cabins and see no reason to pay so much extra money for something we probably will never use. We usually book inside cabins, not necessarily for price but because we like the sleeping conditions and spend very little time in the cabin. We do like the shows and activities, especially trivia and we especially like to eat.. Embarkation: We arrived a Port Liberty at around Noon. It was starting to get crowded and we saw some long lines. My wife, however needed a wheelchair to board the ship but is able to get around with a cane while on board the ship. She had reserved a chair and was quickly assigned one with an attendant. Once she sat down in the chair we went to the head of every line and we were through in less than 10 minuets. We boarded the bus for the 2 minute ride to the ship. Once at the ship, another attendant was waiting with another chair and he brought us directly to the Waterfall Cafe for lunch, since the cabins were not ready. A note on the buses. These are not yellow school buses. They are full sized transit type buses. They belong to Rutgers University and seem to be on loan to the port on the weekends. Cabin: As previously noted, we book inside cabins..This cabin, however was a surprise. It was the smallest inside cabin we have ever seen in 18 cruises. Without the narrow hall, the room measured 8X10. With one double bed, a Loveseat. Desk and little table (which we had removed) we had about 20 square feet of floor. The bathroom was equally tiny. The cabin was a bit dated with the arm rests of the Loveseat quite frayed. This is not a complaint as much as an observation. We were a bit cramped, but we survived since we spent very little time in the cabin. The ship: We both felt that the ship was beautiful. Elegant and very well maintained.. The public rooms were all inviting with a touch of class. There were always people cleaning, vacuuming, dusting. The bathrooms were also kept spotless. Everywhere I went I saw cleaning carts in front of the bathrooms. I didn't make a rust inspection, bud did glance around when I was on deck. Maybe a spot here and there, but certainly not enough to mention or to impact negatively on our vacation. I don't really understand why I saw so many reviews suggesting the Summit go into Dry Dock ASAP? In our opinion, it certainly can use some updating, but it's not in need of resuscitation at the moment. Service: The service was exemplary....Everybody (except for one head waiter) went out of their way to be accommodating.. Always a greeting and a positive word. Our waiter Luis and Asst. Waiter Oscar were among the best servers we have ever had on a cruise. Louis was funny, and professional at the same time. He made the meal more fun. Our cabin steward was also excellent. The only exception was Selvyn. He was a head waiter in the Buffet area. He never smiled or greeted us or anybody else that I saw. On two separate occasions he publicly reprimanded kitchen staff and was quite derogatory in his remarks. We witnessed no guest being rude to any staff member as had been reported in some previous posts. Entertainment: We found the entertainment to be excellent. The Summit Singers and Dancers were "entertaining". They had two shows that were very enjoyable. That being said, they were not any better or worse than the house entertainers on most of out other cruises..There were exceptional moments like a river dance number that was really good, but for the most part not exceptional. Sean O'Shea singer impressionist etc. was very good and seemed to be very popular with the guests. The magician/illusionist, Adam Trent, was good. The usual girl disappearing tricks, but his card tricks were very entertaining. We found the comedian, Jim McDonald, to be very funny and his humor to be very topical and intelligent. There was Aerial Artists, Marsha and Dominique that were also excellent. The Neptunes, an Acapela group, were also very well received. In all, the entertainment was very good. Cruise Director Bob Wheatley and his staff were adequate. Activities: As I mentioned, we like trivia and was quite excited to see numerous trivia contests on the first day. Trivia, however, dwindled to one or maybe 2 a day. It seemed that they ran out of pens.. the activities for the week were minimal at best. I realize that on port days there are less people on board and they feel that there is less need for activities. I found most of the activities that were available to be boring and of little interest to me. Most of the lectures were done by staff that were trying to sell something (spa treatments, acupuncture etc.). I miss things like ice carving, Sushi making, towel and napkin folding etc. there were plenty of Art Auctions and shopping specials. Clearly these are my observations. There were many people reading and just relaxing. Personally I do not choose to read on a cruise. I expect to be entertained.. Food: We make no excuses food is the most important part of the cruise for us. We enjoy good food and typically judge a cruise, for the most part, on its food. I read, on these boards, that some felt that the food quality had deteriorated, while others felt that it was among the best food in the industry. I can't speak to deteriorated because the last Celebrity cruise I was on was 10 or so years ago, but I am sure it can't be the best in the industry or I certainly hope not. Buffets: In general. I know its hard to produce a quality buffet for thousands of people, but I'm sure it could have be better. The breakfast buffet, was far superior to the lunch. Overlooking the disorganization and crowds the occasional running out of croissants, cups and coffee, the selection and preparation were acceptable with a few exceptions. I like Smoked Salmon (Lox) which was only available twice on the buffet. They did have the capers, onion, tomato, bagels and cream cheese every day. We had never seen a breakfast buffet without Smoked salmon every morning. When I asked, I was told to ask each day and it would be brought to me, which was true.. I also do not like a buffet where you cannot take your own food. Just about everything is served to you (probably a money savings measure or maybe for sanitary reasons.) They had hand sanitizer everywhere but nobody enforced its use (which was the case on our last NCL cruise) Lunch was another matter, the selections, for the most part, were terrible (to our taste). Either to salty/spicy or too bland. I was not able to enjoy the hot selections, except for some of the carving station items. We usually ate a sandwich and or Pizza (which we liked since it tasted much like Pizza Hut which we like.) The fresh made ice cream, yogurt and sherbert were great each day. The dinning room lunch we found to be much better, but the Dinning Room was closed on every port day (4), which only left two lunches. Oh yes, the great Dinning Room Buffet that was raved about on these boards did NOT happen. I asked why and was told that they sometimes do not have it and that it was a corporate decision. Dining room: We had read the menus before the cruise and expected some problems, but not as many problems as we experienced. Without going into each meal and each dish, I can just say the the food was uninspired and bland. The choices were, for the most part, bad..when meatballs are the chefs suggestion, you know you have a problem. There were only 2-3 dishes all week that I considered to be very good (Rack of lamb, Short Ribs, Chilean Sea Bass). There was one night that one of our table mates ate a baked potato and string beans as her main dish. I had Escargot (which I enjoyed) or Shrimp Cocktail almost every night. We ordered a soup every day and were not able to finish any. The half Lobster Tail over Risotto with a Shrimp and a Scallop was not great. The deserts, however, were OK. This was the most disappointing part of the cruise. We expected a superior dinning experience and received one that was most disappointing. Even though some of the reviews were very negative about the food, I guess I chose to embrace the positive comments and went in with unrealistically high expectations. Normandie: After seeing the menus, I made reservations at the Normandie. I must say that I am glad I did. It was, by far, the best mean of the cruise. The goat cheese souffle is a must and the Surf and Turf, thermador style was the best I have ever eaten. (The lobster tail with the steak is the same size as the lobster tail alone). The service was also fabulous. I still believe, however, that I shouldn't have to pay extra to get a better meal. Seventy dollars plus extra tip, if deemed appropriate, is a bit high.. It's like paying twice for dinner. Disembarkation: Again we requested a wheelchair. We were advised to go to a specific area at a specific time depending on our section. From the time my wife sat down in the chair we were off the ship through customs and out of the building in 12 minutes. We did not have to wait in lines, but there were lines to get through customs. The pick-up area is a bit chaotic, but there are people trying to direct traffic. Conclusion: I hope that this reviews doesn't come off as a list of complaints from a malcontent. I tried to be honest and express my feelings. I'm disappointed, but not sorry I went on the cruise. Remember, the worst cruise is better than the best day at the office. The piece of chicken breast with string beans I had for dinner on the night we returned had me longing for anything that was on the Summit menu. You do, however, expect more on cruise vacation (especially Celebrity). Celebrity has much to offer. The shows were excellent. The service was without equal. The Summit is a class ship. The smoking policy is almost enough to make me return. For us it was much less than the vacation we anticipated. For us the ship is the destination and there just wasn't enough to do. For us the food is very important and the food was the biggest disappointment of all. Since we are limited, by choice, to the NYC/NJ area departure, our choices are restricted. I am not saying that we will never cruise Celebrity again, but if we do, it would have to be well after we try all of the other options. Thank you for reading my review..... Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
Great experience with the Millie - we have only cruised with Infinity and Century before - so she is a newbie to us. The wait staff for our table were lovely - we had friends who were on anytime dining sit with us twice - and they also ... Read More
Great experience with the Millie - we have only cruised with Infinity and Century before - so she is a newbie to us. The wait staff for our table were lovely - we had friends who were on anytime dining sit with us twice - and they also loved out staff. They had a bad experience with another table they wanted to join, in fact they were making a formal complaint against the member of staff for being so rude! Lisa the cruise director is a love - she is funny and clever - she also sings on stage and in person makes you feel really welcome. Met a few cruise critic members at a meet and greet in Michael's Club on the first day. Lots of the crew were in attendance and made us feel at home. The guitarist was superb - best musician on the ship as far as I was concerned. Had a bridge tour - very informative and yet boring at the same time - maybe its a girl thing... Food was average - not up to previous standards and I know they have changed the chef who sets the menus - Michael Van Staden now?? Everyone who visited the Olympic raved - husband too tight to go there. Ship was looking tired in some of the main areas but I hear she is getting a refit - not happy about lots of different restaurants - but cruise lines will learn by default that customers want to pay up front and have a dining option they can use without waiting etc... Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
Why do we cruise? In my experience, we decide where to go and if we have a Cruise Company favorite we try to book with them. Often times we may jump around the industry to find and try a new Company's experience. After that, and aside ... Read More
Why do we cruise? In my experience, we decide where to go and if we have a Cruise Company favorite we try to book with them. Often times we may jump around the industry to find and try a new Company's experience. After that, and aside from the ports, we base our on-board experience upon 3 major items. Our cabin and staff, the entertainment and amenities, and the food. Let's face it, the rule of thirds applies, but I think we weigh heavily on the food. My Wife and I are Foodies. We own and operate a very high-end gourmet food establishment for healthy gourmet and cater some of the most decadent parties involving 5 Star Food. We are predisposed to being hard on chefs, recipes, presentation, and quality. I will never bash a chef for an errant mistake. Kitchen staff are human and we all make mistakes, but there is never an excuse for anything beyond one bad meal. Before I do the 'food' portion of my review, I'd like to start with the Ship, Cabin and Staff.The Celebrity Summit is a nice old ship. I am not a fan of the Oasis or Liberty "city" experience. Having been on the Liberty last New Year's and hating the size and crowds, we opted for a nice romantic getaway to New England and Canada. For us, this time was to be mostly about relaxing and recharging. This aspect of our Cruise experience was a homerun! Our Cabin was a Royal Suite. Plush wood, 2 rooms, and a huge bathroom plus the veranda were delicious! While the furniture was old and the couches could have been updated; the bed being a bit too hard for my taste and pillows that never alleviated a sore neck, I was more than willing to overlook this. Our Butler Rikki, was an extraordinary individual who was always eager to please and seemed to anticipate all of our needs and desires, and this is why he got a great tip on our last day. The ship and noticeable from our veranda has quite a bit of rust. Looking up from our balcony and the underside of railings and rigging revealed a ship in need of a major re-paint and refurb. The wood decking needed sanding and a lot of TLC. The veranda hot-tub was disgusting and uninviting so we declined to use this nice private amenity that could have provided a romantic bonus. The staff tend to clean only what they can see, and many have blinders on. There is a boatload of dust everywhere. In the Waterfall dining area there are several square Plexiglas displays that have paper decoupage' inside them. On the top was a layer of thick dust, and this is in an area where people are eating 4 feet away. I pointed this out the staff and they basically brushed it off almost as business as usual. Again to me, disgusting. So in a nutshell, many areas, the pool, bars, exterior and interior are in need of rehab.The entertainment is not Broadway, but more like a professional summer-stock theater. Not bad! A couple of decent comedians rounded out the mix. The onboard bands we just ok. They were perfect for the older crowd, but not my cup of tea; and I really wasn�t expecting more than what was delivered so I was ok with all of it. I just went with the flow. In all, the onboard experience was perfectly fine. If you wanted to relax, this was ideal. The AquaSpa was terrific as an experience and it attracted the older guests as expected. There are no kids allowed in this pool area so if any parents wanted to retreat for some down-time this was the place to go. The Casino the (Apple) iLounge, and club areas were all great and seemed to be well kept. The food quality in Main Dining Room (MDR) was always poor and in most every case horrible. We dined with two other couples and we were in constant agreement along with other passengers that the food needed a complete overhaul. One of our tablemates is a vegetarian and her food offerings were disgusting. In fact until the third day of the cruise, none of us had any idea that there was indeed a Vegetarian Menu. A rib-eye streak served to us was � inch thick, tough, and overdone. Food was overcooked, and cold. Dishes were inedible and poorly presented, but the promises for improvement never came. Omelets in the Waterfall were loaded with oil and grease. Poached eggs were hardboiled, and scrambled eggs were a mix of real and powdered. Desserts looked great but tasted disgusting. Simply, there is no fineness to any of the food. Nachos at the outdoor grill were stale, and the burgers and hotdogs simply tasteless. The burgers sat in their own grease before serving. I just don�t know where to end this assault on my gastronomic senses. Everything I have learned about food from my mother and in my profession as a gourmet food lover and provider defied logic. Our first night in the Normandy was mostly a good experience. I had Lobster that seemed to be seasoned with 5 Spice powder. Anise and Lobster do not go together, ever! The service and our 3 other visits to the Normandy were excellent, but at the additional $35/pp fee we found this a necessity to actually enjoy any dinner meal. By about the fourth night we totally gave up on the MDR. Overall and with exception to the Normandy, food quality was poor and this represents at least a third of the cruise experience. The food service staff are mostly from India, and struggle with every ability to provide quality. Breakfast buffet meals were never really hot, and the struggle to move through the lines and retain a completely hot meal is a challenge. Celebrity touts their food and in no way did it come up to our expectations, and never did it exceed or excel. I have learned as a professional in the Gourmet Food Industry, NEVER over-promise and under-deliver. Now comes the question you really want answered, �Will I cruise on Celebrity again?� I�m really torn about this. Sure, there will be people who say the food was fantastic, and I respectfully say you are nuts, SORRY! I liked the service staff and most everything not associated with the food but unless there is a major change and a commitment to the menu, I can�t say for sure that I�d return as a Celebrity guest. As of now and because of the serious problem with the food, I do not recommend Celebrity and in particular the Summit with this Executive Chef.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
This was our first ever cruise. I had no problems with the ship - it was clean although definitely due for its overhaul. The food was pretty average though. The Waterfall Cafe had cafeteria-style food (pasta, so-so pizza, lots of ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise. I had no problems with the ship - it was clean although definitely due for its overhaul. The food was pretty average though. The Waterfall Cafe had cafeteria-style food (pasta, so-so pizza, lots of casserole type dishes) although the sushi bar was absolutely excellent (why wasn't this available at lunch time?). The kids enjoyed the food but my husband and I ate our lunches at the Spa - tiny serves but at least it was fresh and tasty. The Cosmopolitan food was very ordinary. Our waiter was hysterical - gave us very detailed descriptions each night (I actually do know what a 'jus' is!) but pronounced all the French words phonetically. I didn't have the heart to correct him but perhaps waiter training could include pronunciation? Here's a hint too - if you order breakfast room service in Concierge class, freshly squeezed orange juice is free but you have to pay $2.50 on deck! We ordered orange juice in our cabins and then took it to breakfast with us! We had dinner at the Normandie one night - nice food but not good enough to justify an extra $35 a head. The ports were great (except Portland - boring!!) and we really enjoyed ourselves on port days. But where were all the activities during the 'at sea' days? I was expecting lectures on the history of the places we were going (there was one very boring lectures on lighthouses and that was it!) and lots of free, educational stuff. Instead, we were offered the chance to pay lots of money for whiskey tastings - sorry, not interested. The shows varied a lot. One comedian should have been put out to pasture years ago - i cringed at his show and even his target audience (ladies of 80+) didn't enjoy it. Troy was very funny though. The sing and dance shows were terrible but the cappella group was very good. Overall - my kids (aged 19 and 15) had a ball hanging out with the other kids on the cruise and would do it again but my husband and I wouldn't bother again with a cruise unless it was down a river and there was a port day EVERY day. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2009
We had an enjoyable 14-day New England & Canada cruise on the Celebrity Summit. We've sailed on Celebrity a number of times and are Elite level members of the Captain's Club. We must note that cabin and dining room service ... Read More
We had an enjoyable 14-day New England & Canada cruise on the Celebrity Summit. We've sailed on Celebrity a number of times and are Elite level members of the Captain's Club. We must note that cabin and dining room service was excellent. Our cabin attendant, Sandy, was not only efficient but also friendly and he anticipated our every need. Our dining room waiter, Daniella, was marvelous. She immediately identified all our food idiosyncrasies and remembered them, but also anticipated our desires. She was efficiency incarnate, and witty and friendly too. Our head waiter, Peter, was most accommodating and helped meet all our needs. We had looked forward to the cuisine on board, having been spoiled by it on our previous cruises with Celebrity. What a come down. The food was unimaginative, bland, and pretentious without living up to the billing. It was as pedestrian as on many other cruise lines. For example, orange juice was not even from concentrate. It was juice mixed with corn syrup to enhance sweetness. Menu items were given French titles, but lacked the flavors, the tastes that should have accompanied them. At a number of the ports, the gangways that were extended were steeply inclined. This made it very difficult for us, and especially for the older passengers, to exit or enter the ship. In fact, on our return to Cape Liberty, the gangway leaving from deck 1 was so steep that we were forced to run down the last few feet, in order to keep our balance. On passenger, behind us, fell, and had to be attended to by an ambulance crew. Embarkation at Cape Liberty was lengthy and took an inordinate amount of time. It seemed as if there were not enough agents to handle the crowds and then, one had to take a bus to the area for boarding the ship itself. All in all, Celebrity turned out to be disappointing. We had hoped for much better than we got. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2008
Boarding and departing Cape Liberty was GREAT! I think the constant charges on board for everything was beyond all my expectations after Princess and Carnival cruises. The biggest pet peeve was a $104 tour and on picking up a bottle of ... Read More
Boarding and departing Cape Liberty was GREAT! I think the constant charges on board for everything was beyond all my expectations after Princess and Carnival cruises. The biggest pet peeve was a $104 tour and on picking up a bottle of water before leaving I was told that will be $4. After paying $5000 in addition to 2@$104 for the tours, Celebrity could afford the 1 bottle of water. The Ocean Liner dining at $30 per person above and beyond was not used as the menu was the same for 13 days and nothing that I desired on the menu. The service was Great in the stateroom and main dining room and could not say enough for the above and beyond service. Bingo games were extremely expensive with $29,95, $49.95 and $69.95 games. Seas were rough and No outside activities could be utilized on this cruise. Movies were not up to date and unless you wanted to bid on what they called art you were out of luck, but many high end shops to purchase numerous expensive items. Main dining was adequate but not like I have experienced on other cruises. Selection of dining items was very limited and heard many complaints about not being up to par with other cruises. I would not take this trip or ship again! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2008
Pre Cruise- We came in a day early and stayed at the comfort suites in Elizabeth. Perfect for a night to sleep. Embarkation. The worst in 20 cruises we arrived at 11:00 and did not get on the ship until 2:30. Nobody knew the ... Read More
Pre Cruise- We came in a day early and stayed at the comfort suites in Elizabeth. Perfect for a night to sleep. Embarkation. The worst in 20 cruises we arrived at 11:00 and did not get on the ship until 2:30. Nobody knew the reason for the delay and they had nothing to drink in the terminal. Grade D Cabin A family view on the aft was great what a awesome balcony and the sofa pull out with an eggcrate was comfortable. Shower had the dreaded curtain and poor bath products like RCCL. Overall grade a B Food This is where the mark was really missed I can tell you that this food was sub par. The buffet was a disgrace with the exception of the pasta to order. Oh those waffles I love were always raw on the inside. I once asked nicely if he could cook it a little more for me and he rolled his eyes at me. I found out that this was a problem many were having. Dining room it was our waiters first cruise but I loved him bless his heart he tried! Entrees for the most part were decent. Soups and salads were poor. overall food C- I gained 1 LB in 12 days so that was a plus. Spa what a bummer I love to spend my sea days there the T pool was so cold that we used it twice the jets were out of order. When I inquired at the spa I was told that if my muscles were sore they had some great massage specials. The Spa cafe had the best food you must try it YUMMY. Grade spa D Spa cafe A+ Ports were great I had car rentals set up in each port and that was the way to go..Halifax was a nightmare But overall we were lucky with weather. Service...This is where celebrity used to shine I would put them dead even with RCCL now. Except the entertainment is better on RCCL. I feel this is the new age of cruising I may have to cut back to one a year and do crystal I hate to do that because I really am not that picky but the food and lack of attention to detail really did make my experience less then stellar. We Paid 7,400 for three of us so it is not like they are giving these cruises away. I just felt that I was not given my moneys worth. for 616$ a hotel and good restaurants would have been a better value. Will I cruise again in order to choose celebrity they will have to give me a really good rate. I am back to Princess in January so we will see. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2007
This was our tenth cruise. Travel to and from the port of embarkation via United Airlines from Seattle was on time and the luggage made it both directions. The ship was ready for boarding at 1:00PM and the entire boarding process took ... Read More
This was our tenth cruise. Travel to and from the port of embarkation via United Airlines from Seattle was on time and the luggage made it both directions. The ship was ready for boarding at 1:00PM and the entire boarding process took about fifteen minutes. The ship was very clean and the cabin steward and his assistant were the best we have ever encountered. We did not use any of the ship excursions as our travel agent took the same cruise a year ago and suggested great alternatives. We had the second dining seating and were not pleased with the food selections, quality, or service (the food was usually only warm, not hot). Sometimes even the soup was cold! Midway through the cruise we discovered the evening casual dining option. This meal is served on deck 10 aft on the port side. You must call for a reservation daily, they only take a very few guests. You give a minimum two dollar tip per guest to the servers and order off a menu. The food was excellent, hot and the service was great. If you have the second seating your show is sometimes at 11:00 PM (three times during the cruise), a little late for most of the guests. We were not pleased with most of the shows in the Celebrity Theater. One night they had a technical glitch and had to cancel the entire show, another night they showed a movie in the Celebrity Theater (after showing the same movie for two days in the Cinema). We considered the shows to be third rate at best, silly, immature, loaded with body function and bathroom humor. In thirteen nights there were three shows worth seeing, a magician, a great ventriloquist and two gymnasts / ballet dancers. The music at the various venues was very good. The final five days of the cruise the ship was under a "Norwalk Virus Alert". This made eating the breakfast and lunch buffet a real challenge. Demarcation was poorly handled! In an effort to empty the staterooms early, everyone was herded into their demarcation location at the same time. The ship was without CNN most of the trip! They had a lame excuse about the ships stack obstructing the antenna; I can't believe that they only had one satellite antenna. We have a Motor Home and are able to get CNN anywhere in the US or Canada!. This was a big issue because we had many guests from California and the fires were raging. They certainly were able to connect you to the internet 100 percent of the time(at a hefty price). On a one to ten scale we would rate this cruise at about a six. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2007
We have a long history of cruising & boating. I was introduced to cruising by my grandparents & then went over to spend my Jr Yr in Italy on the Cristoforo Columbo, a voyage marked by so much turbulence that people were crying out ... Read More
We have a long history of cruising & boating. I was introduced to cruising by my grandparents & then went over to spend my Jr Yr in Italy on the Cristoforo Columbo, a voyage marked by so much turbulence that people were crying out "remember the Andria Doria". Part of our honeymoon was spent on two different (that part was unplanned) Italian line ships to Istanbul, Cyprus, Beirut & Egypt. And we took one of the old mail ships up the coast of Norway over 20 years ago. And then we've cruised on the more conventional ships: a couple of HAL, NCL & this year a wonderful first experience on Oceania's Nautica. We have 2 long cruises planned for '08, one on Oceania. As a break before the intensity of the Holidays we decided to try Celebrity. We had heard good things & were not up to the hassle of flying-or rather airports. Embarking was relatively easy-some delays due to norovirus cleaning-but pleasant enough.Our cabin was a definite "wow" (FV7202). It had a long hallway into a bedroom & large sitting area (obviously intended for a family of 4-5) & because of its configuration & location there was no hallway or other noise. The cabin had an extremely large deck with chaises, chairs & tables-with oodles of room left over. The closets & storage were, consequently, lavish for 2 people. Our stewards were just OK. On 1 occasion dirty pillowcases were left in the room. The cakes of soap were never changed-& since I had some in my luggage I didn't bother asking. Towel distribution was stingy...no extra washclothes or largetowels as we've grown accustomed to on other lines. Some of the towels were on the threadbare side. I read the brochure about saving the ocean...probably single ply bath tissue would be more effective. Speaking of threadbare, we were surprised to note that carpet seams were unraveling in several spots on the ship including the foyer in front of the elevators on Deck #7. Most of the food in the Dining Room was quite good. The soups were certainly an exception. They were cold, unseasoned & institutional. The desserts, for the most part were uninspired & what one would find in large commercial buffet restaurants on shore. This cruise may have been a training session for some of the wait staff. The first night we were on the 5th floor seated behind the Maitre'D's podium & the service galley. A location known as "Siberia" in NYC eateries, all it lacked was immediate access to a constant flow of restroom traffic. At any rate, we were privy to a steady stream of passengers irate about the service or insisting on different tables, different waiters etc. Hardly the quiet table for 2 that we had faxed in as our request! Our waiters were pleasant enough, if rarely in attendance. I had a steak knife on my bread & butter plate, the wrong meals were served service for food &drinks was abysmally drawn out & bungling (although the staff was pleasant) rather than gracious, leisurely dining. Alex, the Maitre'D was extremely accommodating to everyone & he was lovely to us. The following evening we found ourselves moved to the 4th floor (deck)-table #488 I think & he came by numerous times throughout the trip to check up on us.Our waiter, "Putra &"Casper" were top-notch professionals on a par with the wait staff at the finest NYC restaurants. Putra noticed that we had enjoyed the escargot & took it upon himself to order it for us several times after that. And after the first meal with them we found a plate of sliced lemons, hot green tea & an iced tea waiting for us at every dinner. Both were generous with their recommendations. The main Dining Room was closed for lunch most days in port. Ordinarily, on other ships this wouldn't be an issue. However, the 10th floor "buffet" is more akin to a large institutional cafeteria with an ocean view. Substantial "mulling about" is required to assay the lay of the land. And then there is no wait staff easily accessible from whom to order drinks. I heard one passenger's request greeted with "you'll have to wait" & another who was told " I'll get to it but it'll be awhile". And it was. Hardly the hallmarks of a high class operation. The Sushi bar was well run & a great place for cocktail hour. The buffet breakfast is also available on the 10th floor & serves breakfast later than the main Dining Room. The waffles are, as advertised, wonderful. The gentleman who mans the custom omelet station seems to delight in each of his creations. However, there is only one person manning a station-& only 2 omelets can be made at a time. We've been on ships a third the size that have 4 burners going. And, peculiarly, there could be a crowd of folks waiting-behind staff personnel, using the same small operation rather than having their own station & this added to the congestion. We've not encountered this set-up on other lines. Bizarre. We planned all our shore excursions & had no problem with the tenders although we did hear some grumbling. Perhaps it depended on the excursions.The people manning the customer service desk were very nice.Tripto Acadia Natl Park was headed by a woman named "Heather" who had worked for the Natl Parks Dept. She was super. I think about 2 dozen other passengers from the ship also utilized this company. It was a block from the ship & cost $25-or $20 with a discount coupon, AAA card etc. The trip to Prince Edward Island was called off due to inclement weather. It would have been gracious for the cruise line to offer passengers a free cocktail or a free pay-for-view film in the cabin since there was no refund of port taxes. This was a missed opportunity & casts a company as ordinary rather than exceptional. We looked forward to the "razzle-dazzle" entertainment that large lines provide...& were underwhelmed. The productions were too loud, there were equipment breakdowns & sophomoric & amateurish is the only way to describe some of the offerings. A notable exception was the singer, raconteur & entertainer Perry Grant. He was consistently super. The idea of the setting-a Pub- was perfect, designed to maintain the illusion of intimacy. His popularity, however, overwhelmed the facility with the result that folks were packed in. There was standing room only with overflow into the halls. The card game room-nice enough although three of the recessed light were out for several days-but half the size of ships that accommodate half to a third the capacity of the Constellation. Card Room seemed something of a misnomer since there were never cards available. Even though Bridge was noted on the daily schedule it was necessary to call down every time to have cards delivered. There was no pitcher of iced tea or water as on other lines & when people complained that the room had non-bridge players during that time making it unavailable for those who had arrived to play who then either left or huddled around small bar table elsewhere the answer was amazing: one could contact Headquarters in Miami on return to inform them . This was a seemingly pat refrain often repeated in response to the most mundane issues. I guess that a staff's willingness & ability to be proactive about matters effecting passenger enjoyment flows from the top & is also the hallmark of a great rather than ordinary company. We heard that phrase when someone complained on a "formal" night about a passenger who arrived in shorts (Bermudas) & a tee shirt & another who came in chinos & a flannel shirt (no tie). Now I know that it's a hassle to pack fancy duds when you have to fly-& if you don't want to "get with the program" then dine in one of the more casual venues. The literature and the daily bulletin ask that you comply so as not to disturb the "ambiance". It then falls on the staff at the door to gently remind erring passengers to comply-or to dine elsewhere on the ship. Similarly, there were complaints about toddlers in the Thallassotherapy pool, despite signs to the contrary-and people were saying that they were told to contact Miami when they returned. As a business woman I know that this response is alienating & counts on people not bothering to follow through . On the other hand one reason they may not follow through is because they've decided to take their business elsewhere... We always have a good time (at the very least). The trip was Okay-some aspects, our cabin, folks we met big plusses. However, I suspect that we'll not choose to go on Celebrity again (although we've heard that some of the line's ships are better) because this seems like a "settle"-good but not great & not nearly as good as other ship experiences we've had. Of course this could change if they offer a knock-out itinerary that we can't get elsewhere...and i think we'd try a line we hadn't been on before we'd return to Celebrity. Our last trip which was on Oceania had it all over this one when it came to food, service & attitude. On the other hand they didn't have Perry Grant... Read Less
Sail Date: October 2006
This was our first cruise with Celebrity's Constellation. We have cruised approximately 10 times mostly with Princess and Holland America so we know what we want and like. We travelled with 8 friends from our home state which made ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Celebrity's Constellation. We have cruised approximately 10 times mostly with Princess and Holland America so we know what we want and like. We travelled with 8 friends from our home state which made both sea days and port days enjoyable. Hotel: We stayed at the Jersey City Hyatt which we found on the internet and would highly recommend . See http://jerseycity.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp The Hyatt had a fantastic view of the NYC skyline, wonderful king bed (and bedding) and a subway train 30 steps from the hotel for a $2.00 four minute ride to the World Trade Center. We stayed at the Hyatt for three nites and since I was over 62 our room rates was only $119 per nite plus tax! Our younger travelers suddenly wished they were older since their rate was much higher, but still a good bargain compared to rooms in NYC. The Hyatt has an excellent restaurant (Vue) also overlooking the Hudson, the NYC skyline and the Statue of Liberty to the south. A cab ride to the hotel from Newark was only $42 including toll charge which we shared with two other fellow travelers. Embarkation: Was very smooth if you arrive after 3 PM. We had no lines, problems and sailed right thru. We were excited to see the ship as we had heard so much about her. On boarding we were given a glass of champagne but were not escorted by a steward to our stateroom as we had been on other lines. This was not a problem since we were given a map of the ship and our stateroom was on the 3rd level next to the Guest Relations department and only a few steps. The Constellation is fairly well laid out having been built in France in 2002. Interior colors and materials were not traditional in that they were avantgard, minimalist and somewhat 'modern'. Some art work was not all that appealing but this was not significant or bothersome but the ship had good wall materials, copper etc that was appealing. One problem was the ship must have been built in sections as there were may deck/floor dips and inclines that one must watch out for, especially coming out of the San Marco restaurant on level 4 portside. The floor drops off several inches and could cause a fall if one is not prepared. There are many signs saying "Watch your step" through out the ship; however these little inclines and steep ramps should be repaired by Celebrity and not just signed. Our stateroom was small with low ceilings and just adequate. We had a large 3' porthole (unopening). The bathroom was small with a long but narrow shower that was adequate but our water controls in the shower did not always seem to work correctly. The bed was comfortable but the pillows and sheets (including bedspreads) were 'tired' and needed replacing. The mattress was thin and the bed close to the floor. On other lines we have been on the beds and bedding have all be replaced since 2005 on ships that were built in 2004. One of our friends had stateroom 8166 with a large deck (230 degree view) and sitting room that was otherwise similar to our room. We had all of our predinner cocktail parties in their room and had plenty of space for the 10. Their bedding and bathroom was the same as ours five decks below. On rough sea days their room rocked and swayed a bit. They paid $800 more each for their stateroom than we did, a premium for a large deck in Fall weather. Activities were very good with good speakers on various and interesting subjects. Theater three was packed to standing room only for all speakers we observed. A Doctor of Naturopathy and Herbalist Thomas Anstett had 4 one hour talks and was very informative. Bingo cards were $30 for a six cards. The prizes were small although they gave out a lot of raffled items the best being a Sky Suite for the rest of the trip that had my attention due to the size of our room. I lost the Suite but won a luggage tag on the next drawing. The final bingo game was disappointing since the grand prize was only $2500 for an 11 day cruise. We are used to a $5k jackpot on 7 day cruise. Celebrity needs to share some winnings as they made over $10k per day and paid back very little. Service on the ship was 5+ in the dining room and by all ship personnel and stateroom stewards. The crew remembered and used your name after the first day. Korey our wine steward was excellent as were our servers Kurt and Julius in the dining room. This was the best part of the cruise, that is, the service and was clearly better than on other lines. Entertainment was also 5+ with great floor shows by the singers, dancers and individual performers. All were excellent and better than other lines. We especially liked the ventriloquist from Jamaica who was a hoot. None better, we laughed till our sides hurt. Also we also enjoyed Perry Grant's piano stylings in Michael's Club, he was a cross between Victor Borge and Liberace. Shore excursions we avoided due to the fact we have been to most the ports. In Boston we took a $6 one way bus right off the ship to Fanuel Market (recommended) and did the Freedom Walk on our own. Quincy's market is an excellent spot for lunch with the best looking food we've ever seen (ship included). We ate at the Oyster House on the Freedom Walk which was very good as well. We had the usual lobster roll and chowder both were excellent. President Kennedy had his own booth in the Oyster House which is a must see, although it looked just like the other booths. One could also eat in the Italian section of Boston on the Freedom walk before the North Church as there are many good Italian restaurants there with garden like settings and many window seats. In Bar Harbor since it was small and we had been there before we just walked around town visited the Bar Harbor Inn where we stayed before although they don't serve lunch. We had lunch at Jette's on main street about 100 feet up the street from the landing which was very good and recommended. Halifax is an interesting but rainy city. We took the Hop On Hop off bus by Gray Line (not recommended) since it was $40 per person and one can easily walk around town. A must see is the Maritime Museum about a 5 minute walk straight down the shore. There they have the entire Titanic story and other lore of WW II shipping etc. Very interesting. There are good restaurants in Halifax on the shore and mid-city as well. You may want to see the Citadel on the hill, but since it was raining we didn't even get off the bus. We only rode the bus one-half of its circular route, got off at the Maritime Museum and walked back to the ship in a drizzle. Quebec City was probably the highlight port on our trip. Although hilly one can walk from the ship around the old downtown and see all the French shops, art stalls, old buildings, restaurants (French recommended: Le Petit Coin Latin at 8 Rue Ste-Ursule and La Cremaillere at 73 Rue St-Stanislas). Also the big hotel the Fontelac on the hill is a must see as is the Citadel nearby all within walking distance. Portland Maine was the brick city as all buildings after 1903 and the fire were built with brick. There is a hop on hop off bus there too for only $5 for all day. One can walk downtown easily from the ship but since it was windy and cool we sprung for the bus and found it a short ride but better deal than the Halifax bus. LL Bean downtown on Commerce street is a good place to buy your outdoor clothing needs if you have room in your luggage. Gilberts restaurant one block from the ship is good but get there early as there is always a big line after 11:30 AM for the lobster rolls and chowder. We are at the floating restaurant, old ferry, Dimillo's at 25 Long Wharf (recommended) as the appetizers and chowders were complimentary in the bar which had a great view of the harbor and boats and the docks. We had two drinks and lunch (free) for only $15. Casino: Very nice with very good and friendly dealers. There are slot and 21 tournaments several times during the cruise. I was second in the 21 tournament and won $280 even though I have never played 21 at any casino! Only cost $25 to enter so the tournaments are entertaining and fun even if you haven't gambled before. The casino claimed they paid out slot machine winnings of over $500k after 9 days into the cruise! Some of our friends won substantial sums in the casino mostly on the slot machines. Since we had 5 sea days we spent a lot of time in the casino and got to know all the dealers by name who all seemed to hope we would win and when we didn't you could see it on their faces as we only tipped when we won. We only saw one child on the ship and there weren't any activities for young people that we were aware off, but I am sure there is something. We liked the absence of a lot of children and found the average age to be at least 65 on this trip. The lounges were very nice and located all around the ship. We liked the Champagne and Martini Bars and the lower Rendezvous Bar for sitting and conversation. Drink prices were not cheap but fairly reasonable. The frozen Margarita was very good and recommended. Waiters like to pour your martini glass full to the top making them hard to drink without spilling. Asking them not pour a full glass didn't seem to help, they poured to the top anyway. Crow's Nest bar on level 11 was comfortable and a good place to view the whales and scenery while underway. It is strangely decorated with several beds with screens at one end reminding one of a brothel. I think the beds are a leftover from the Circus Solei act that may not perform there anymore although they did perform notably to SRO audience one nite but for only for 10 minutes after a 25 minute clown act. Therapy Pool: Clearly the best part of the ship was this area on level 10 forward. This is a warm salt water pool with lounges in the water and a small restaurant/buffet line adjoining featuring health food and drinks. There is good music and health food here. The area is covered so therefore is always warm and hospitable. Very relaxing area with an invigorating warm pool. Food: Was the most disappointing part of our trip. We heard food was very good on Celebrity, however, the bread, cookies and some desserts were old and stale tasting. Celebrity's pastry/bread chef must have been replaced with the lines' buying these items on shore? Or do they only prepare these items once for every cruise? One in four dinners was good, but the rest were disappointing as the food was never hot only just luke warm, probably since we ate on level 4 and the food is brought up by the waiters on two escalators from level 2! I estimated the food had to be carried by our wait staff over 300 feet from the kitchen to our table! Ocean Liners Restaurant ($30 per person) is recommended as the all the items there and the service were superb although the service often was intrusive and slightly overbearing. Pizza was ok, but often not hot or available. Sushi bar was very good, but no offer of shrimp or some raw fish normally found in sushi bars. Buffet lines were ok, but not up to other lines, food choices seemed to be limited and not that well prepared or appealing. Seating in buffet was good in rear of ship but below average in front of buffet. Tip in restaurant: Ask waiter for double portion of meat, especially red meat, lamb chops, steak, as this paid off and I obtained a better and larger piece of meat. Steaks were normally 1/2 inch thick; whereas if you asked for a double order the meat was better, juicier, etc. I was surprised Celebrity charges $3+ for fresh orange juice and lattes at meals or in the buffet. Wine was fairly priced and our wine server Korey was fun and helpful. We always left him a big tip over the automatic 15% tip added to the bill. Tipping: Celebrity recommends $11 per day and allows you to accept this or reject this amount. If you want to leave an envelop with a tip this is also provided at the end of the cruise. Unfortunately many passengers don't leave any tips for anyone. I think it is preferable to automatically deduct the usual $10 per day from one's account as other lines do. This is a fairer system and covers all the service staff and if one wants to opt out he can. Celebrities policy seemed to be confused and totally up the the customer and therefore flawed in my mind. Many passengers I talked to just failed to do a tip for various reasons, deadlines, misunderstandings, numerous and different communications, etc. Never did these passengers object to the service rendered. Service was very good and above average and the servers are paid very little by the cruise line and depend on their tips as many have families far off in Turkey, etc. We left the recommended tip amount which was put on our account and also left a small tip for those we felt did a good job during the cruise. Disembarkation: We wanted to go to NYC before our flight left and took a cab back to Jersey City and the subway at the Hyatt at 9 AM. One of our fellow travelers felt there was not enough time to go with us and opted to go to the airport at 10 AM since his flight left at 5 PM. His bus to the airport mistakenly took the wrong exit ended up in the Holland Tunnel and went to NYC anyway. He got to the airport after 1 PM. Several people on that bus missed their flights! There was some confusion on leaving the ship after we left therefore I would urge getting off early. Here's how to do it: on your notice several days before disembarkation to the purser/hotel staff request a pickup at the pier at 9 AM or whenever you want off. They will put you in the first group leaving and when you get to your bag (one of 4000 and all black) you will find it and be on your way before the hoard arrives. The cab lines were poorly organized and didn't flow smoothly even though we got the first cab to Jersey City. Disembarkation is something few cruise lines have figured out. The best was HAL where you stayed in your room till called then proceeded to the lobby area. We were off their ship in 5 minutes and in our car headed home. Overall: Great service, entertainment and therapy pool. Poor food, bingo and ship construction. I wouldn't take this trip again or use Celebrity again until they refurbish their staterooms, offer fresh bread, cookies and desserts and improve their food alot. Holland America has better prices and all the above except maybe entertainment. Read Less
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