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Sail Date: September 2013
My husband and I have cruised before but first time with Celebrity. Would definitely recommend Celebrity and Canada and New England. All excellent apart from two aspects of the cruise which let the cruise line down. Firstly the positives. ... Read More
My husband and I have cruised before but first time with Celebrity. Would definitely recommend Celebrity and Canada and New England. All excellent apart from two aspects of the cruise which let the cruise line down. Firstly the positives. Excellent staff, organisation and ports. Tendering was very efficient, always informed staff at ports to assist you. Entertainment was excellent, a Cirque du Soleil act called Bande Artistique were absolutely hilarious, so professional. If you have the opportunity to see them they are a must. Also a comedienne Buzz Sutherland was brilliant. A major strength of Celebrity is their staff, simply wonderful. Weather was kind to us but the one day of heavy rain, staff did everything to help. Now for the two negatives. Firstly embarkation for us was infuriating. As first time cruisers with Celebrity we were kept waiting three hours to board whilst elite members just walked straight on. Despite being from the UK and having travelled a long distance we were kept almost to the end. We totally agree that Celebrity would want to reward their frequent customers but not to the detriment of new customers. Not a good first impression. Secondly as our return flight to the UK was in the evening, the only tour available to us was New York Harbour and 9/11 Memorial Tour. What a rip off! 99 dollars each for essentially was a quick glance at the Statue of Liberty and a few other mentions. The guide informed us that we would all have to be quick as one couple had a flight mid afternoon so we would all have to be at the Airport for one o,clock. This was supposed to be a half day tour. Complete waste of money. We were hurried through the streets of New York despite quite a few people on the tour having walking difficulties. So lucky we did not lose anyone. We then visited the Memorial site then back onto the bus to the airport. Our flight was 7.45 p.m. we would not recommend this tour, we understand some travel agents offer a half day in an airport hotel, we were not, but this possibly would be a better option. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2013
Our 14-night New England & Canada cruise departing September 7, 2013 was the second of our Back-to-Back (B2B) cruises on the Celebrity Summit, so we were already on the ship when our cruise began. We kept the same stateroom #3092. A ... Read More
Our 14-night New England & Canada cruise departing September 7, 2013 was the second of our Back-to-Back (B2B) cruises on the Celebrity Summit, so we were already on the ship when our cruise began. We kept the same stateroom #3092. A glance out my stateroom window the morning of the start of our cruise showed that it was a beautiful sunny day. After breakfast, two dozen passengers who were all doing B2B cruises and not taking a shore excursion on Embarkation Day met in a conference room to fill out Custom Declaration Cards. Then staff members escorted us off the ship to a shuttle bus for the very short ride to Customs and Immigration. When the next agent became available, we were processed quickly and transferred back on the shuttle bus to the ship. It was such an easy and quick procedure. I then went up on deck to snap some photos of the magnificent New York Harbor, Statue of Liberty and Verrazano Narrows Bridge among other sites seen from our ship. Although, before my retirement, I had lived all of my life in New York, I, too, was impressed with seeing the New York Skyline from the ship’s deck while docked in Cape Liberty, Bayonne, New Jersey. What a glorious sight! Our ship’s Ports of Call were Cape Liberty, Bayonne, New Jersey, Portland, Maine, Bar Harbor, Maine, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Charlottetown, P.E.I., Quebec City, Quebec (overnight,) Quebec City, Quebec and Gaspe, Canada. It is a wonderful literary and if you have never seen this part of the world before, I highly recommend the cruise. Every port is exciting, different and interesting. For peace of mind, we booked Celebrity shore excursions in each port. The high quality excursions were interesting, educational, and fun. The guides were well informed and personable. We chose the first week of the Fall Foliage Cruises because we were hoping for warm weather and we were not disappointed. The foliage colors were just starting to turn so if the fall foliage is what you want to see book a later date. Our Oceanview stateroom #3092 on Deck 3 was conveniently located near the front desk and Grand Foyer, just two decks down from our Main Dinning Room assignment and the Celebrity Theater. Our cabin was bright and quite comfortable with a king bed, end tables and a small couch with multiple small pillows. Floor-to-ceiling mirrors on one wall made the room seem larger. A desk with a mirror and chair plus a glass cocktail table and a wall hanging completed the decor. There were enough drawers, shelves and closet space for our belongings. My only complaint was that the passageway into the room was a bit narrow especially when we both needed access to the closet, drawers, safe or bathroom. The bathroom was of average size and adequate for our needs with sufficient towels and other amenities. I especially appreciated the retractable clothesline in the shower and the nightlight that many ships do not have. Celebrity provided two robes and a large umbrella for use on the cruise. We received a complementary logo tote bag to keep. The attractive ship hallways also seemed a little narrow but still airy-feeling with light colors, landscape photographs on the walls and mirrors on the ceiling. Our steward, Joanne had a new assistant on this cruise and they again did a great job of keeping our stateroom tidy and stocked with amenities. We took almost all our dinners in the elegant yet understated Cosmopolitan Main Dining Room with its 2-deck tall wall of windows looking back to the ocean. Its center ceiling of glass changed from a glowing yelloow gold to rose during dinner. We requested Celebrity Select Dining on this cruise. Sudarmika from Indonesia and his assistant Melvin from the Philippines continued to serve us throughout the journey at our same table by a window. The friendly hostess, Gabriella told us to skip the reservations line and proceed directly to our table each night. This saved us wait time. Our servers did a superb job serving us, anticipating our needs and offering suggestions for the best choices at mealtime. Although we did not always take their suggestions, we did appreciate their knowledgeable advice. Head Waitress, Ana from Mexico, handled special meal requests. We had such a wonderful relationship with her that we would often chat with her at the breakfast and lunch buffets. She was personable, helpful, upbeat and knowledgeable. Karen from Columbia was our Wine Stewardess and she did an excellent job of chilling our bottles and refilling our wine glasses. Shah from India was a friendly Assistant Maitre’d who always stopped by our table to ask how everything was going. We made friends with Christian from Guest Services and he was a big help to us with any questions that we had. When Captain Theo was in the public areas of the ship, he always had time for pleasantries. Steve Gayda, our Cruise Director was always available especially on port days. He was very friendly and chatted with everyone - "Hi, Steve!” Almost all the MDR meals met with our satisfaction. We all especially enjoyed the Mushrooms stuffed with Crabmeat appetizer - always on the menu and ordered it frequently. Other favorites were the beef dishes especially the very tender Prime Rib and, of course, the lobster Tail. Portions were generous and we barely had room for dessert each night. One entrée, however, did disappoint me. Instead of incorporating an egg in with the Spaghetti for Spaghetti Carbonara, the chef simply placed a poached egg on top of the spaghetti. I could not detect any cream in the sauce. This is not the correct way to prepare this dish. We usually ordered the more unusual flavors of ice cream each night such as Rum Raisin, Cherry Brandy, Rocky Road, Cinnamon and Honey Caramel. The Crème Brulee was another favorite as was the Baked Alaska. Breakfast and lunch were usually in the Oceanview Café. There was always a wonderful selection of fresh salads, entrees, pizzas, pastas, Mexican Grill, Asian Specialties and casseroles as well as deli sandwiches and deserts to please almost everyone. I loved the hash brown patties, the varieties of Eggs Benedict and fresh fruit for breakfast. We enjoyed eating real ice cream at the lunch buffet in addition to frozen yogurts, sherbets, soft serve and sugar free ice cream along with several different toppings. Many cruise line only serve soft serve ice cream at the buffet or poolside. Once or twice, we enjoyed breakfast or lunch in the MDR on sea days just for a change. Celebrity offered rewards for B2B guests. We received 15% off a shore excursion in Canada, 25% off dinner in a Specialty Restaurant and 20% off AquaSpa treatment. A much-appreciated benefit was a free load of laundry. Another perk was lunch in the Quisine restaurant, an unusual restaurant. As Captain Club Members were received additional rewards for savings on AquaSpa and Digital Printing, wine bottles, Bingo, Laundry, Coffee Drink in a Specialty Restaurant, Internet Savings and Casino Match Play, In addition, our travel agent gave us a free dinner in any Specialty Restaurant, a bottle of wine and shipboard credit. We chose dinner in the Normandy Restaurant. What a treat that was! There were many servers attending us. We received a complementary appetizer before our meal even started. The setting was quite romantic, the service impeccable and the food was divine. Everything was fabulous and I highly recommend this restaurant especially if you are celebrating a special event while onboard. The only hiccup was that the restaurant sent our vouchers to the incorrect department. It took several days for the removal of charges from our bill. The ship has all the usual shipboard activities including art auctions, dance, fitness (Zumba) and language classes, trivia, arts & crafts, games, bingo and ship tour. In addition, there were various seminars, ice carving and port talks. I very much enjoyed the Champagne Galley tour. We especially appreciated all the Beyond the Podium Speaker Series of lectures given by Smithsonian Journeys Geologist Professor Pat Abbott, Canada & New England Historian Bruce Daniels and Space Exploration Speaker Jim Kennedy, a retired Director of the Kennedy Space Center. My husband and I are deeply interest in the space program. It was why we moved to Florida‘s Space Coast. Therefore, we attended every space talk. Speaker Jim Kennedy used to live in my condominium complex and he is still a resident of the area. It was wonderful chatting with him and his charming wife Bernie. Some of the many highlights of my cruise were: Rock the Summit and White Night Parties, ice carving, Captain’s Club Senior Officers’ Cocktail Party, Behind the Stage Doors Q&A & Moonlight Serenade with the Production Cast, Broadway Meet & Greet: Andrea McArdle and the Captain’s Gala Welcome Aboard Toast. I enjoyed the, iClass Complementary Class for the iPad and iPad Tips and Tricks. A couple of unexpected delights were riding elevators that looked outside onto the ocean and finding windows to the ocean on the floor of the Oceanside Grill where the restaurant juts out. The entertainment was wonderful. The various lounges had live entertainment in the evenings. The theater was quite attractive as were all the public areas. Every single night there was a different Celebrity Theater show. I especially enjoyed the big production numbers with the talented singers and dancers. Although these were the same production shows that we saw on the previous Bermuda cruise, iHollywood, Broadway@Sea and Sirens, I enjoyed them all again. The choreography was first rate. The Sirens Show had beautiful stage settings. The costumes for the production numbers were beautiful. The aerialists were marvelous. Other enjoyable shows were Comedian Michele Balan from Brooklyn, NY, Mark Preston, member of The Lettermen, Buzz Sutherland, a very funny, personable person, Doug Cameron - performer, arranger and composer and last by not least Glenn Smith, performer, musician and singer. The only show that I, myself, did not care for but that many others thought was hilarious was Bande Artisque. There is something here for everyone. There were so few kids on board since the cruise was 14-nights long that I never saw any children in the Fun Factory. Perhaps there were six kids onboard. This was definitely a senior group of cruisers compared with the previous Bermuda cruise, which due to its shorter length of 6 nights was comprised of a younger age group, many working age singles and families with young children. Everyone on the 14-night cruise wanted to eat early, ordered fewer drinks in the theater and partied less late at night. I did some shopping in the neat shops onboard. I bought jewelry, logo items and apparel. Even my husband made some purchases. There were plenty of daily deals and special sales going on to tempt passengers. I want to applaud Celebrity for placing cards on the sun lounges reminding guests not to leave their chairs unattended. Sun Chairs are at a premium in pool areas. Unfortunately, I had so little free time on the cruise that I rarely used the beautiful pools, hot tub or indoor Thalassasotherphy pool. I also liked the guests did not have to sign for towels, sports equipment or blankets. Beach towels were in staterooms, also. I was not however, happy that the cruise line reserved two rows of seats in the theater each night for those guests staying in the highest priced rooms. When the line emphasizes that guests may not save theater seats for others, it should follow its own rule. Find another benefit for these guests. In summary, our party of four had a very memorable cruise. Waters were calm and the weather was good. Entertainment, service and food were fine. Best of all, the ports were beautiful and the excursions were worthwhile. We all hope to travel again on Celebrity.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
Got to the port by car service and went through embarkation extremely easy. I know some people feel Bayonne is weird but I do not mind it and if you get there at the right time you are on the ship in less than 20 minutes. We went to Bistro ... Read More
Got to the port by car service and went through embarkation extremely easy. I know some people feel Bayonne is weird but I do not mind it and if you get there at the right time you are on the ship in less than 20 minutes. We went to Bistro 5 instead of the buffet and I loved it. It was quiet and relaxing. We got into our cabin by 1:15pm. The Summit is one of my favorite ship’s since it is an M class. The ship is in good condition, but I liked the ship better before it was soltisized. We were in Cabin 8147, close to the back elevators. There were 3 of us. Brought my adult daughter with us and there was enough room since it is concierge class. I like the storage space on M class better than S class. For the week were on the ship I had a wonderful time except for the 2 hours I had the noro virus. Quarantined myself for 24 hours and fine afterwards (missed Halifax). My daughter got it two days later and we were at sea and she was also fine in 24 hours. She did go to medical. It was bad on our ship. The crew did a great job and by the next cruise the ship was fine. Loved the night time entertainment. Shows were very good. We had Select dining and a friend was on the ship 3 weeks before and told us to find the waiter Juan Carlos and sit at his station. He was wonderful. Since we have been to New England many times, we took a short shore excursion in Boston around the town. In Portland we went on our own and took a ferry boat ride around the islands for 2 hours. It was a little chilly but fun. Since I was not feeling well, my DH and DD took a taxi to Murphy’s Restaurant and had lunch and bought souvenirs. Love their gift shop. This was supposed to be a relaxing trip and to enjoy the fall colors. My husband got sick Saturday, September 28th late in the afternoon. We went to medical. We got fantastic care from the whole medical staff, and guest relations. Do not want to go into his condition but it was very serious at one point. My husband was taken off the ship on Sunday morning by ambulance and taken to the Quebec City hospital..On the ship the drs. stabilized him and when taken to the hospital he was monitored for 28 hours (stayed stable) . The dr from the hospital gave the ok to fly home (and not continue on the cruise). We left our daughter on the ship (she is an adult) to finish the cruise and take our luggage home. When we got back to the ship a medical staff person stayed with us the whole time we were on the ship that afternoon. Guest Relations booked us a flight home that evening. I cannot thank enough everyone we came in contact on the ship, from the medical staff, to guest relations to our cabin steward Gatot and his assistant Ida. Our waiter in the MDR Jaun Carlos, and the Captain's Club staff. Even when we were getting off and on the ship visiting my husband in the hospital the staff stopped and asked how he was. After my husband and I left the ship and it continued on the staff kept asking our daughter how he was. My husband had a pacemaker put in on October 8, 2013 and is doing better.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
New England/Canada cruise departing 7 Sept was our third cruise, all with Celebrity &worth every penny. We put our cruise dollars into the cabin, and Aquaclass did not disappoint. Our steward, Diana from the West Indies and her able ... Read More
New England/Canada cruise departing 7 Sept was our third cruise, all with Celebrity &worth every penny. We put our cruise dollars into the cabin, and Aquaclass did not disappoint. Our steward, Diana from the West Indies and her able assistant Acajoe from India kept our cabin spotless and provided that extra service of being sincerely committed to us enjoying our voyage. Diana realized we particularly enjoyed starting the day with room service coffee, FRESHLY squeezed OJ and pastries. She made sure we had plenty of request cards and cheerfully fulfilled our requests. Know that we returned her professionalism by making only reasonable requests. She ,Acajoe, and #9046 get 5-plus stars. Boarding was delayed when the security computer went down, but the dockside tent had plenty of chairs, non-alcoholic refreshments; boarding maybe 30 minutes late. Glass of bubbly on the way to the room, which was ready. Seeing the Statue of Liberty from our balcony was one of the unexpected things making this a great vacation. Aquaclass gave us entree to BLU whenever we wanted. Maitre'd Luigi insisted upon seating guests himself, worth the short wait. The service by Luigi, Rambo and Sydney our waiters was outstanding, especially since BLU was usually full or near it. Our sommelier, Jomqwan, made excellent suggestions, and knew how to pour. They noted those times we did not dine there and all asked if there were any way they coud make our "BLU experience" better. No. Sometimes we preferred the menu in the MDR, where the chateau briand was perfect. Also the view out the two storey stern windows. Service was excellent given the crowd. MDR's Joe and Gabriella always welcomed us--personally--and saw that we promptly got a good table. We like being at larger tables than at BLU and meeting other cruisers. I made a point of talking to veteran cruisers, who had taken 10 to 92 (yes!) cruises, all of whom said that for the money Celebrity is tops. YES. At NORMANDIE, Summit's top specialty restaurant, we were served by Andre and two others plus the lady sommelier. Service was efficient & friendly, but not in your face. Andre's table side preparation of our lobster was worth the cover charge, all by itself. We saw him, Tim, and Lucian elsewhere on Summit and were always warmly greeted by name. Bistro on 5 had the best chocolate dessert on the ship, served by Ariawan, another credit to Celebrity. Our Captain's Club concierge, Chester Tercero, was particularly helpful I getting me the bridge tour. Service Desk personnel Bruno, Nadia and Angela were equally helpful. My wife and I experienced what a previous Cruise Critic reviewer said: Celebrity has a corporate culture of making each passenger enjoy his or her voyage to the fullest. Captain Zakkas, Fabio- food & beverage manager, Cruise Director Steve, BLU waitstaff Gana, Jovana--all gave us that extra caring effort. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
We chose this cruise as a quick getaway from Bayonne, with no airfare involved. The Summit, an older ship in the Celebrity Fleet did have that lovely Thalassotherapy indoor pool area warm and inviting with days at sea. The highlight of ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a quick getaway from Bayonne, with no airfare involved. The Summit, an older ship in the Celebrity Fleet did have that lovely Thalassotherapy indoor pool area warm and inviting with days at sea. The highlight of this trip of course was Quebec, the old city. A photobug I took a lighthouse tour of Bar Harbor, Maine through the ship which was fine. As a seafood junkie, I had my fill of lobster, clams and crab, with a fine lobster roll at the Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, a lovely town. Let me say that my husband and I had Select Dining this time and loved every meal. Lobster was served twice on this cruise and it was delicious as was everything else. The staff and waiters couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating. We also dined in QSINE the last night which was really fun. Zumba classes were offered on the ship which I partook in whenever possible and would have liked to have them a longer and a bit more intense. The entertainment was well, entertaining and different then past cruises with Celebrity. We particularly enjoyed a hypnotist who selected members of the audience to participate and it was amazing. Quebec was lovely, however, our ship docked very far from The Chauteau Frontenac site, and it took us an extra shuttle bus to first get into the city with a huge walk. A Holland America ship actually had the perfect docking spot. I felt sorry for the seniors who didn't dare venture out because of this. We visited Gaspe, Sydney, and a few other ports. Prince Edward Island was actually a pouring rainy day so we hung out on the ship that day. We really had a wonderful cruise, and I happily came away with a lot of lovely photos of which I've incorporated into a hardcover book.   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
We left our home in Northwest Connecticut about 7 a.m. en-route to Elizabeth, New Jersey to pick-up our friends at the Country Inn. Then onward to Port Liberty arriving there around 11:30 am dropping off our luggage at the terminal and ... Read More
We left our home in Northwest Connecticut about 7 a.m. en-route to Elizabeth, New Jersey to pick-up our friends at the Country Inn. Then onward to Port Liberty arriving there around 11:30 am dropping off our luggage at the terminal and then went to park our car. It was a short walk from parking lot to embarkation area. Check-in for Aqua class/suites/concierge -- the line was very short and we were checked in within 10 minutes. We boarded the bus for a 2 minute ride to the ship. Proceeded onto ship and received either a glass of champagne or mimosa. Proceeded to elevator and were escorted to Deck 10. Thanks to cruise critic we went to the Aqua spa for lunch where we had either grilled salmon, chicken or pork. Met a couple people from CC. Around 1:15 they announced our cabins were ready. We proceeded to the new cabins on 11 -- aft room #1138. It has a larger than normal deck. It is a short walk from our cabin to Deck 10 and the Sunset Bar. Unpacked our overnight bags and walked around the ship to acquaint ourselves as to where everything was. Our luggage arrived around 4 p.m. which gave us time to unpack and then proceed to the Blu Restaurant for dinner. We did not leave port on-time because of a late fuel delivery. The Captain was Captain Mantzavionos and the cruise director was Cassie. By the 2nd day the bartenders, at the Sunset Bar Devon, Marlon and John knew our names and when they saw us coming had our drinks ready for us. By the 3rd day -- we didn't have to show our card as they knew us. They were great to talk to. The couple times we were in the buffet, If Marlon or John saw us they would come over and call us by name and ask what we would like. We had the premium alcohol package. It is well worth it and not having to sign our names each time we got something to drink. I know I got my money's worth and pretty sure DW also did with a couple beers, water and club soda each day and wine pre dinner and at dinner. Day 2 was a sea day. There were minimal activities on this first sea day. Dinner was formal. Dinner was very good in the Blu Restaurant. Had filet mignon tonight which made the following nights tough to follow. The matre'd was Nicholus who did his best to give the 4 of us the same table and staff every morning and night. The wait staff Alex and Rambo and the helpers were very good. Our sommelier Eren, and Bar server -- Jelena both knew our preferences for our drinks after the first night. Jelena was there right away every evening asking if I wanted the same drink and she came back often asking if I was ready for another and the sommelier kept Penny's glass full. The whole staff in Blu was excellent and the food was supper. Most mornings as soon as we sat down for breakfast our juice was on the table. For breakfast, in Blu, though not on the menu, you could get hash, eggs benedict or waffles. In the evening we asked about entrees and they said no, they would need to special order, but we could get shrimp cocktail, onion soup or Caesar salad every night. In our room we did ask for shrimp cocktail every night instead of the tea sandwiches. They started off with 4 shrimp the first night and from then on they delivered 12 shrimp per night after we asked for a couple more. Day 3 we arrived in Bar Harbor, ME where we had booked our own tour with Oli's Trolley. This was a tender port for us. We had no trouble getting to trolley on time. The tour included a 2-1/2 hour tour of Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain. Mike Shapiro was our tour guide and he was very knowledgeable. After the tour we ate at a local pub and had a fresh lobster roll and local beer. Day 4 we were in Halifax and had a private tour with Van Tours of Nova Scotia. We had a 5 hour tour of the city & countryside. Garry Jollymore was our guide. We would highly recommend them to anyone wanting a private tour. We were not happy with lunch at the Java Factory at the pier. Day 5 we were in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and this was also a tender port. We did the 2 Sides of Louisborg tour which was ok. But being late in the season many of the buildings at the Fortress were closed. We then proceeded to Louisburg for a delicious snow crab lunch at the Lobster Kettle where they explained the process of catching them. Then off for shopping. Before dinner, they announced that the stop in Charlottetown, PEI was going to be cancelled because of high winds and seas. We had a private tour planned so we quickly called them to cancel before we set sail. Day 6, a sea day because of the canceled stop in PEI. Day 7 A day early in Quebec, where we explored Old Town Quebec on our own, did some shopping and returned to the ship. Formal night was cancelled tonight since we were in port. Day 8, We had friends pick us up at the pier and we visited Montmorency Falls and took the tram, the local ski hill, Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre' (which was great to see), Albert Gillls Copper Art, and more sightseeing. Day 9, more walking shopping around Old town, plus a walk around the Citadel, and thru the Chateau Frontenac hotel Day 10 sea day Day 11- Gaspe, this was another tender port. We took the tour 6.5 hour tour to Perce, It was also very foggy in the morning and you could not see any of the sights. By noon the fog cleared a little and it started to rain. The cod lunch at a local hotel was ok. On the way back to the boat we saw some of the sights we could not see in the morning. The guide Lorraine was very good. Day 12 Sea day - tonight they served half of a Florida lobster or filet mignon along with other choices. Many people had surf and turf- the lobster and filet. Day 13 Portland - the line to the gangway was very crowded because of everyone wanting to get off. It was a noon arrival. It took longer than usual to get to the gangway and once there the incline down to the dock was very steep. They blamed it on the tides, but they should of known the tide schedule ahead of time. They had extra help for those in wheelchairs and using canes. We walked the port on our own as we have been there many times; we did a little shopping and visited a couple brew pubs for a local sea food lunch and a local beer. Day 14 Sea day - we did the Inside Access Tour which we would highly recommend. It includes a tour to the Bridge, Mooring Deck, Back Stage, Crew Mess, Crew non-smoking bar, Engine Control room, Crew internet/game room, store/prep rooms, Galley and a wine-paired lunch with one of the officers. Our officer was the hotel manager. We both enjoyed it very much. Unfortunately we missed the buffet this noon but the tour was worth it. After the tour we packed and got ready for our final dinner on board. The recommended dinner tonight was Maine lobster stuffed ravioli. Day 15- back at Cape Liberty. Up early and at Blu at 6;30 am when they opened. Because of heavy fog we arrived at the port late. We were to be out of our cabins by 8am, and we were still not docked. Because we were in Aqua class we proceeded to Michaels pub where we waited. They started disembarkation at 9:15. We were in group 17 which got called at 10:30, we were in our car on our way home by 11am -- very fast and smooth. We were happy overall with the cruise and service and will do Summit and Celebrity again. The ship was clean and staff very good and polite. Was surprised at the scrapping and painting of railings on deck 11, thought this would have been done earlier in year when in port. We did enjoy the new AFT Aqua cabin 1138, and will book there again. We did rock and roll a few nights but ok. Because of the weather the Sunset bar was not busy, so cannot comment on the noise there in the evenings. The entertainment was ok - good. Cassie should be an opera singer as she has a spectacular voice. We thought they could have done more activities on sea days. We did eat in Blu every morning and evening and enjoyed it very much. We got plenty to eat. For lunch we ate in the MDR twice which was good, Aqua Spa cafe which was also good and the buffet which was very crowded and hard to find a table- but a good variety of food and ok. One of the reasons it was hard to find a table is that people stayed at them to play cards, read a book, etc. instead of moving to another area of the ship. We would like to see Blu open during lunch, and Michaels open earlier in the day. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
Celebrity Summit: 06 October 2012, 14-Night Canada (Overnight Quebec, City) and New England Cruise Round-trip Bayonne, NJ. Ocean View Cabin 2150 Category 8 Deck 2 mid-ships - Starboard side. Just like our last five sailing on ... Read More
Celebrity Summit: 06 October 2012, 14-Night Canada (Overnight Quebec, City) and New England Cruise Round-trip Bayonne, NJ. Ocean View Cabin 2150 Category 8 Deck 2 mid-ships - Starboard side. Just like our last five sailing on Celebrity ships, this 6th cruise proved that it always keeps getting better and better. We continue to believe that this is a direct result of superior leadership on the part of the Senior Staff - From the Captain to the Head Waiters. The crew and staff have made our third sailing on the Summit, within the last 13 months, another trip to remember. We continue to be treated like "Celebrities" by everyone. That is why we continue to select Celebrity as our first choice in cruise lines We booked this cruise just 15 days before the sail date and this time we traveled alone. Linda and I celebrated our 46th anniversary this past March and every cruise is special and everyday we have together is a gift from God. In 2010 Linda endured 9 months of crippling chemotherapy treatments and with God's mercy she has been given a second chance. For both of us, we love spending our time cruising and making every moment count. It is from this perspective that we have developed grateful hearts and, you will discover by reading this review that, we no longer focus or complain about the "small stuff". Cruising had in effect become our "time share" at sea. At the conclusion of this sailing we now have a total of 252 days onboard cruise ships. Many of our sailings have been on Royal Caribbean Ships (13 cruises / 118 cruise credits) for a total of 112 days onboard. Royal Caribbean had been our preferred cruise line. This was our 27th cruise and our last 6 have all been on Celebrity including this sailing with a total of 73 days. Due to our Diamond status with Royal Caribbean we previously enjoyed Elite Privileges on Celebrity. Now we have legitimately achieved Elite status with this last cruise. FYI: We purchased two "Open Passage" Booking Numbers on our last cruise and applied one of them to this sailing, which gave us $300.00 Shipboard Credit. This program really works and over the years has given us almost $1,500.00 in onboard credit for our Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruises. Note: You will find that this review is similar to those previously submitted. This is due to the consistency of services received. I have been accused in the past of working from the cruise lines because of my reviews. Rest assured I do not. Linda and I enjoy taking time to get to know the crew and staff. Some will even comment that we must have been on a different ship because their experience was not like ours. In life, my position is that the cup is always half-full and if there is criticism it will be as a result of something serious. You will not find whining in this review. We will offer some suggestions for their consideration. This review will focus more on individual crew members. We have come to the realization that the quality of any cruise is a direct result of those delivering the services. As a result we feel compelled to provide individual compliments and commendations. Celebrity Cruise Line, the Summit's Captain and the Crew's pleasure and number one priority was to make sure our cruise experience was unforgettable and was just as amazing as our previous sailings on Celebrity Ships. Again they achieved their mission by delivering excellent service beyond our expectation. As before, they again made us feel like "CELEBRITIES". We are appreciative of the services and sacrifices provided by the crew and staff. A grateful heart is the father of all virtues. A wise man taught me to be content no matter what my circumstances are. HERE WE GO! Drive to the cruise port: We are from north-central Pennsylvania and we departed home on Saturday morning at 0330 for the 175 mile drive to Pompton Plains, NJ where we were going to leave our car. Along the way we stopped for breakfast and at 0600 we opened the Cracker Barrel off I-80 at NJ exit 31. We left our car at a good friend's home and he took us the remaining 28 miles to the port. It is great to have friends who go out of their way to help and even refuse to take anything for their time and expense. His 30 plus years in the fire service, retiring as a Battalion Fire Chief (who also spent time at Ground Zero on 911) was a reflection of his servant's heart. We did leave something in his cup holder to take care of tolls and gas. Luggage drop off: We arrived at the pier at around 0845. Dropped off our luggage, tipped the bag handlers $5.00 for our 2 checked bags, and said goodbye to our friend. Note: Since we booked so late, and we were initially GTY, we could not order luggage tags. We had plenty of ID's attached to our bags, but the handler attached and labeled the appropriate tags to our bags. We did receive our cabin assignment several days before sailing which was actually an upgrade of 1 category. Parking: If we would have had to park at the terminal the $19.00 per day fee would have totaled $266.00 ("YIKES") for the 14 days. Terminal/boarding processing: We were allowed in the terminal right away. This entrance is only a few yards from the luggage drop off. We showed our passports and boarding passes. Our carry-on luggage was x-rayed. Next, we each had to fill out and sign a form indicating that we were not ill or recently ill. Good thing they did not ask us about our mental state. We were then directed to the main seating area to wait for the process to start. We were the third couple in the terminal and were given boarding cards with the "#16" on it and it was supposed to be based on our arrival order. More on this later. While waiting we were given a Security Guide" to review while we waited. We were also given an "Early Edition" of "Celebrity Today". We read both to help pass the time We had to wait only a short time and at 0945 they started the processing. We were directed to a line for Select and Elites. We submitted our boarding pass, passports, "we-are-not-sick" forms, and credit card. We were welcomed by a very friendly staff and given our SeaPass cards. We were directed to another area for the photo ID part of the process and finally we had our welcome aboard photo taken by the ships photography staff which were very friendly. We always buy this photo. They usually have an area set up for ELITE to wait but we were instructed that this was not being used. So we waited our turn. At 1100 they started boarding handicapped individuals and started calling numbers starting with, you guessed it, no.1. There seemed to be about a dozen in the first few numbers called. Then the groups became smaller and at 1110 our no. 16 was called. This turned out to be a pretty large group. We had inquired early on why the change and they did not provide an explanation. This was the only snag in the boarding process and it is based on our past 11 embarkations at Cape Liberty. During those embarkations we would be directed to a seating area for Elite and Diamond members. We would then be called first right after those who need special assistance. I know this sounds like whining. It was just not expected. Next time we will know what to expect. Welcome aboard: The gangway led to deck 1 mid-ship. There were glasses of champagne, mimosas, and juice there for the taking, or not! We were directed to the elevators which were manned by crew members to make sure you went to deck 10 for lunch as the cabins were not yet ready. Public areas on decks 3, 4 and 5 were open for exploration too. Since our cabins would not be ready until 1330 hours we headed immediately to the Ocean View Cafe. We were one of the first ones there. On the way in we met Bernard who was offering hand sanitizer. We accepted. An old Navy Corpsman friend of mine said that if you want to stay healthy and maintain unit integrity make sure to wash your hands before eating. We then found a table and had a light lunch. This was our 1st meal on the Summit and by the time we disembarked we had a total 42 meals, not including snacks. We had a light lunch of incredible "Fish and Chips" from the small serving station on the port side aft. This is a neat place so make sure to check it daily for special menu items. We left deck 10 to make room for others and went to deck 3 mid-ships. We found a good place with a view to sit and wait till the cabins were ready. They made the announcement a little after 1300 and we were off to our cabin, which was just one deck down and right off the stairway. We needed to stow our two carry-ons, backpack, and tote bag. Cabin 2150 - Ocean View Category 8 (170 Square Feet) Our cabin was an Ocean View Category 8 #2150 starboard side mid-ships and proved to be a great location. It was close to the Normandie on deck 3 which was the location of the morning Captain's Club. It was also within a few feet of the stairway and elevators and it was also close to the lobby area. We posted our door sign that includes our photo and a list of past cruises. We also placed some decorations on it. This always helps us find our room too. Our stateroom attendant Alfredo (refer to his commendation under staff comments) showed up almost immediately. He provided us with a warm greeting and gave us the normal orientation. This was made easy as he saw on our sign and realized that we have been frequents guests on the Summit. One important piece of information involved our route to our life boat muster station and for us it was the Casino on deck 4. We showed him a small magnetic sign that we would place on the outside of the door whenever we were out of the room. That way he would know that we were gone and could make up our room. Note: On Royal Caribbean they have little cards to put into the door key-card slot to indicate that when you were out of the room and to "make up the room" or one for "do not disturb". Since Celebrity does not do this we created the door magnet system to help the attendant. They have their own secret simple method of telling if you have opened your door. I will keep their method confidential. We stored our carry-on items and hung our vanilla tree car air freshener for a smell of home. We use a new one every three days and it gives a sweet welcome every time we enter the room. We found an envelope that contained a card with information about our dining assignment with the location, time, and table number - late seating 8:30 PM table 301. We requested through our travel agent and also emailed the Summit with our table request that made an appeal for a large table near a window on the lower level of the Cosmopolitan Restaurant. With our table number in hand we headed to deck 4 to find our table. The dining room was not open so we went to the Rendez-Vous Lounge deck 4. There the Assistant Maitre'd Erdal was taking dining change requests. His assistant produced the table seating chart and showed us our table location. It was portside aft near a window in a quiet corner. We could not have been happier with the results. Thanks again Summit for honoring our request. Back to the room and soon our 2 large suitcases arrived. This is always a relief. Fourteen days in the same clothes and wearing sneakers on formal night would not be pretty. It only takes 15 minutes to unpack and organize as we are on auto-pilot for this task. Since we had been up since 0200 hours it was time for Linda to take a short nap while I unpacked and stowed our gear. The cabin had good storage space. It was easy to organize our clothes and supplies for the next 14 days. Just inside the cabin door was a 2 door closet that was about 5 feet wide and was used for long hanging clothes, shoes and a top shelf for additional storage. There are also 2 fold down bars on a lower part of the closed to hang shirts and shorter items. Also hanging in this closet we found 2 nice white Celebrity waffle robes. Next to that was another closet that contained a top shelf for the life vests, the safe and 5 drawers on the bottom. Also located in one of the drawers was a hair dryer. In the corner at the end of the closet area was an angled area that contained a top shelf, a TV with a remote, information directory and below was a small refrigerator that contained a good variety of "pay-for" drinks and snacks. Next to that was a king sized bed with rounded corners at the bottom. This makes it easier to navigate. On each side of the bed there was a night stand each with a light and one had the phone located there. At the far end to the left was a dresser/desk that had a small drawer on each side, a chair, and a waste can. On the desk was our copy of Celebrity Today that contained "In the Spotlight" that provided photos and background information about the senior staff. On the back was useful information concerning everything from Alcohol use to the youth evacuation plan (YEP).Also inside was the "Shore Excursions Booking Form" that provided much of what you needed to know about this sailing. The back page of "Celebrity Today" can be easily detached and taken with you. It contains a list of events and times. We use a highlighter to mark thing we want to do. On the desk we also found our Captain's Club coupons, schedule and guide. There were also 2 electrical outlets. There was a stainless steel/chrome tray with glasses and a filled ice bucket. To the right there was a wide chair and a small round glass table. And in the middle was a beautiful large window. The wall (bulkhead) at the foot of the bed had full length mirrors for that "final check". Fly up? The bathroom or HEAD was better and bigger than on most ships. It also had plenty of space to store items above and below. There was a hide-away trash holder, tissue dispenser, doors that had shelves and above counter storage of 2 shelves and 2 glass holders for personal items. The shower was extra large with the standard removable nozzle. The shower curtain was cloth and there was a corner held to hold soap and shampoo. The water was always hot and we never ran out. Towels and wash cloths were plentiful. The soap, conditioner, and shampoo were specially made for Celebrity. There was also a container with cotton balls and Q-tips. There is also a nightlight in the bathroom. This was great. The cabin was always spotless and we never wanted for anything. There was some slight wear due to the ships age but it was nothing to complain about. We were provided us with fresh fruit every day along with plates, napkins, and silverware. Thanks Alfredo. While waiting for the lifeboat drill we watch from our window the buses unload and people board. We then made our calls home to say our "good-byes". LIFEBOAT DRILL We headed to the Casino around 1515 hrs for the lifeboat drill. As with our last sailings on the Celebrity we did not need to take or wear our life preservers. Once we mustered in we were shown the proper donning of the vests. The drill was quick, smooth and painless and we also had the save the waves lecture - don't throw anything overboard, especially any of those annoying fellow passengers. TIPPING: We used the onboard system where $11.50 was added each day to our SeaPass account for each of us. This totaled $322.00 for both of us for the 14 day cruise. Well worth the service we received. We also spent another $170.00 for pre-tips and additional $152.00 for individual tipping. Our total onboard tips were $644.00. Most of the extra tips went to those normally receiving tips while others were given gratuities for personal services rendered. We usually pre-tip the Cabin attendant, Head Waiter, Waiter and Assistant Waiter provided they are delivering expected service (they always have). For this trip the pre-tip was about 25% per person of the normal tip and it was in addition to the standard daily tipping. As an example: The per/day per person tip for the waiter is $3.65 or $51.10 for this 14 day cruise. We gave the waiter $50.00 on day 2 and this was in addition to the $51.10 he would receive at the end of the cruise for each of us. In other words the total given to the waiter for both Linda and I totaled $152.20. Linda and I both continue to feel blessed and it is our personal mission to share our blessings. To those whom much is given, much is expected. We used $38.00 worth of $1.00 gold (looking) coins and $94.00 worth of $2.00 bills as an expression of appreciation for those providing additional service. SEA DAYS & PORTS OF CALL: FYI: I cannot usually go into great detail for the ports of call as we are boring tourists. We usually just walk around the towns' small shops buying a small souvenir if it is a port that we have never been to. In that case it is a small item with the location's name on it to display on our shelf. Not sure why we spend the money since no one looks at them anyway. Also this was our fourth trip cruising to New England and Canada, once in 2007, 2008 and again in 2011. Two were on the Explorer of the Seas and now two on the Summit. We mainly took this cruise to spend time on board and to enjoy the shows. Day 1: Embarkation and Sea Day We simply spent the time getting settled in, attended the lifeboat drill, dressed for dinner, attended the 7 PM Celebrity Showtime Opening night welcome in the Celebrity Theater on deck 4, a stop at the Rendez-Vous Lounge and caught a slow dance with great sounds by the "Rythmix Dance Quartet. Then it was off to dinner where we met our great table mates Tom and Miriam from England and Pat and Joan from the mid-west. It was a table for 8 but they were empty the first night. Rod would join us the next night and Steve on the 3rd night. Day 2: Sea Day Started off the day at the Captain's Club breakfast area and here we met with the Captain's Club Host Lionel and also got a chance to meet several of the wait staff. Mostly we simply enjoyed a relaxing day at sea. At 6:45 PM we attended the Captain's Gala Toast & the terrific Celebrity Showtime "Stars in their Eyes". We have seen it before but still worth seeing again. We then made our routine stop at the Rendez-Vous Lounge and got in a few more slow dances with the "Rythmix Dance Quartet followed at 8:15 by the talented "Aqua-Fellas Acappella Quartet". It was also the first formal night and dinner was incredible. Day 3: Bar Harbor, Maine This was our first stop and we were tendered. This was our 4th visit to this port and the last time we were here the fog was so thick they used a whale watching boat for the ride to the pier. We waited awhile for the line to go down and did not use the "Priority Tender Tickets". We gave them to an older couple at our table to use. It was a smooth ride and once in town it was warm and sunny. We walked the town and had an old fashioned Cherry-Coke at the West Side Drug Store before returning to the pier for the tender ride back. The show that night was Comedian Fred Klett who we have seen before but again worth watching again. Same routine following with a dance or two then dinner. Day 4: Halifax, Nova Scotia On this our 2nd stop we walked to the market place and bought some nuts to take home. This was our 4th time here. On our first visit we did the Peggy's Cove and harbor Lobster Shack tour we booked with Jonathan Duru. The next time we spent most of the day in the Maritime museum and the ship Arcadia. The last time we just walked around the Market Place. Told you we were dull tourists. We took in the show this night was an amazing juggling act by "Playing by Air". The band tonight at the Rendez-Vous Lounge was "Fusion Party Band". A bit too fast for us slow dancers. So we just listened. Then as predicted it was off to dinner. Day 5: Sydney, Nova Scotia We were tendered at this port and it was our third visit to this beautiful historic town. The weather was perfect. The terminal offers free WIFI but could not get on as it was too busy. We walked into town and stopped at Governor's Pub and Eatery which was within 3 blocks of the terminal. They have great music on the second floor bar area. This Irish Pub is a must stop. Make sure you try the Poutine for only $4.99. This is a large dish of great French fries covered in gravy and melting cheese. Tonight's show was pianist Brooks Aehron who made the ivorys dance. The Rythmix were back and so were a few slow dances. Dinner was amazing as usual. Day 6: Sea Day (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island - Cancelled) This was to be our 4th stop but was cancelled due to high winds so we headed to Quebec City and we were able to out run the bad weather thanks to great thinking on the part of the Captain. We have been her 3 times and did not mind the change. Tonight's show was "Sirens" and this was the 3rd time we have seen it and it still is worth watching again. Followed by dancing to the sounds of Rythmix and and listening to the Aqua-fellas at the Rendez-Vous and dinner. Later the Senior officers hosted a dance contest with a fellow passenger at the Revelations Lounge on deck 11 and we have always enjoyed these. However on this trip we passed and went to bed early. Having late seating made it difficult to get a seat as this is always a jammed packed event. Days 7, 8 and 9: Quebec City, Quebec (Arrived a full day early) Day 7 was supposed to be a sea day and the second formal night. Due to being in port the formal night was cancelled. On this our 4th stop, which was originally to be only a one overnighter, was now extended to give us 3 days and 2 nights in Quebec City. What a gift. This was our 3rd visit and on the first time here we walked the town, hotel, and fort. The last stop we just ventured into town staying on the lower level. On this trip on the first 2 days we would venture into town and we would walk to the top where the Le Chateau Frontenac Hotel and Boardwalk. We needed the exercise to burn those calories and the almost 200 steps to get there helped. Bistro on Five: During day 7, our first day in Quebec City, we decided to try the Bistro for the first time. There were only 2 other couple there when we arrived around 2:00PM as most were ashore. We were met by Gusti Yudha Anggara who showed us the ropes. He was amazing in helping us decide what to try. Luis Sandoval also took great care of us there too. The crepes were incredible so much so that three days later we returned with our table gang of 6 for a repeat this time Luther Zabayle took good care of us. Day 7 we watched the movie Iron Lady in Conference room 3 and this meant we did not go to the show or the lounge for a pre-dinner dance. We really miss the old theater on the Summit. It was removed and a conference room took its place. The old theater had large comfortable tiered seating and resembled a small modern theater. The conference room set up makes it hard to see the screen. We were saddened to see this change after she was "Solsticized". FYI: Guitarist Nestor Santurio played at the Rendez-Vous and the Show was a variety type presentation on day 7. Day 8 they showed the movie "War Horse" in the Celebrity Theater on the big screen and it was HQ. The show was the Aqua-fellas and Nestor in the Revelations deck 11. Day 9 we watched another movie at 10 AM in conference room 3. The show this night was comedian Michele Balan and was good for a laugh. The Rythmix and Aqua-Fellas were back in the Rendez-Vous. Day 10: Sea Day We started off the day as we usually do on a sea day. Told you we were boring. The show this night was vocalist Jack Walker and he was great. Fusion was back at the Rendez-Vous. No dance this night. Day 11: Gaspe, Canada Tendered at this port which was our 5th stop. This time we used our priority tender tickets to go ashore. This was our first time here so we needed to buy that trinket, which turned out to be a drink coaster with the town's lighthouse on it. Once off the tender there is a small building to get information and a cup of coffee. We bought the ticket for the hop-on hop-off bus for $5.00 and rode the short distance into town .Normally we would have walked but there was a steady rain. The village looked like something out of a postcard from Alaska. Beautiful, clean, and friendly was the best way to describe this hidden treasure. Tonight's show was illusionist Ryan Joyce and it was the best show of the cruise. It was a bit spooky to see a floating table on the stage of a moving cruise ship. He was absolutely amazing. He used the audience in his act too and this made it even more enjoyable. Rythmix and Aqua-Fellas were back at the Rendez-Vous so another night to slow dance. Days 12: Sea Day Today was the same routine as before, with the exception that this afternoon they had the Captain's Club Celebration in Revelations. We were greeted at the door by the Captain and other senior officers. This is a great event with sliced prime rib and plenty of crepes and sushi not to mention plenty of free libations. This was also our second and last formal night. We were invited to the captain's table as the guests of the Staff Captain Filippos. We were treated again like celebrities. We are not sure why we were blessed by this opportunity but we are grateful to those who created another night to remember. We skipped the show tonight due to the dinner with the Captain. It was iHollywood and another great show that we have seen before. Since our dinner was early seating we decided that after dinner we would head to our table (301) and join our friends for another round of Oysters Rockefeller which were out of this world. Then it was time a stroll around the ship before turning in. Day 13: Portland, Maine This was our 6th and last port-of-call. This was our third time here and since we have been to the Portland Lighthouse we decided this time we would just walk off some of the great meals we were accumulating. This was our first US stop after leaving Canada and we had to clear immigration and this took awhile. It is understandable and expected. This also eliminated the need to clear immigration in Bayonne too. Day 14: Sea Day On this last full day there was a grand brunch in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant from 10:00 to 1:00 that was incredible. Roast pork, shrimp, eggs to order, too many items to remember or mention. This event is not to be missed. therwise is was a day to simply relax, read a few chapters, take a nap - or two, and started the packing ritual to get ready to go home. The show that night started out with the Cruise Director Caissie with a couple power solos. What an amazing voice. Day 15: Bayonne, NJ - Debarkation On this last sad day we were up early, had our last meal in the Ocean View Cafe, then we went to wait in the Normandie Restaurant for our number to be called. We were Green 3 and would be the third group called after the self-assists were completed. We were scheduled to be in port by 0700 but due to heavy fog we were delayed almost 90 minutes. We had beverages and snacks while we waited and we were called around 9:10 AM and onto the bus ride to the terminal where we easily found our 2 bags. Customs was a breeze and our ride arrived a short time later. We were home by 2:10 that same afternoon with a trunk full of wonderful memories. That is why this review is a bit wordy. It helps keep the memories alive. CREW AND STAFF COMMENDATIONS Below are individual compliments about many of those who have met the mission. I may have misspelled several names since some of my notes were hard to decipher. I am sure I missed some too. We never experienced a bad moment due to a member of the crew or staff. They all went out of their way to help make this another memorable cruise. Captain Panagiotis Mantzavinos: Captain Mantzavinos proved to be a competent and skilled Master of the Vessel. He was the Captain during our 9-11-11 sailing and just like that last time he kept us safe and out of the storm. He took time throughout the cruise to meet and greet passengers. He seemed to be everywhere and would always greet us with a warm and friendly smile. We enjoyed warm and wonderful short conversations with the Captain. He attended many events and he is a great Ambassador for Celebrity. We will always remember this cruise because of his kindness. It is specifically this type of treatment and attitude that will have us continue sailing on Celebrity. Staff Captain Filippos Adelfoulakos: Captain Filippos will always be remembered for his kindness extended to us as our host at the Captain's Table on the last formal night. He was friendly and put all of us at ease with his warm conversation. We will always remember this evening with fond memories. Hotel Director Ugo Vaccalluzzo: Ugo was the Hotel Director on our 5-20-12 sailing and just like on that cruise he has ensured we were treated like celebrities. His behind the scenes leadership is the reason we continue to receive outstanding service. What a terrific job he did in making sure all our needs were met. We could not have asked for better service. His personal attention to detail made sure of that. We will always remember this cruise because of his kindness. He was always accessible and his warm and friendly smile is another reason we will continue sailing on Celebrity. Captain's Club Host Lionel: As the Captain's Club Host he provided outstanding service and he personally made sure we were well taken care of. There were almost 500 guests taking advantage of Elite privileges. On the second day of the cruise we found in our room a rose he sent to Linda. He seemed to be everywhere. He could be found at the Captain's deck and warmly greet us in the evenings at the nightly socials in the Exclusive Lounge for Elite members. He always could be observed greeting and speaking with many of the guests. We believe he was also responsible for our invitations to the Captain's table on the last formal night. The deep personal friendship that was established during this cruise and the time talking with him were highlights of our day. The bouquet of flowers he sent to Linda was a pleasant surprise too. Celebrity always places their best in this position. It is superior service like this that will have us return to Celebrity. Guest Relations Manager Pearline Morgan: She was always warm and friendly and this is reflected shows in the commitment of her staff to deliver excellent service. Her leadership is another reason we will continue sailing on Celebrity. It is this type of personal touch that makes you feel like a "Celebrity". Guest Relations Officer - Juan Melmar Layson: He was always warm and friendly and helpful. This was our third sailing with Melmar. He is another reason we will continue sailing on Celebrity. It is this type of personal touch that makes you feel like a "Celebrity". Cruise Director Caissie Stafford: We loved Caissie. She was incredible and provided great entertainment. He was always warm and friendly and seemed to be everywhere. What a beautiful and powerful voice as she entertained us with a couple of songs on one of the last shows in the Celebrity Theater. She really made us feel like "Celebrities" by the way she treated everyone. Executive Chef Rene Rojas: My weight gain is proof of a job well done. He provided excellent food and service and he even visited the Captain's Table the night we were there. We had great food especially mouth watering rack of lamb. It was never cold. The only complaint was that there was too much food and I lacked self-discipline wanting to try everything. Maitre'd Mustafa: As our Maitre'd' Mustafa delivered outstanding service. He was on our last cruise in May too. We are appreciative of his excellent efforts and his leadership in taking good care of us. If we needed something special he took care of it. He was always greeting us with warm and friendly hugs even when we were in ports of call. We will remember his kindness and friendship for a very long time. It is service like this that will have us return to Celebrity. Assistant Maitre'd Erdal: We have had the honor of being with Erdal on our last 2 sailing. Once on the Summit last May and on the Silhouette last November. He too delivered outstanding service. We are also appreciative of his excellent efforts and his leadership in taking good care of us. His warm greetings were a welcomed sight each evening as we entered the Dining room. It is service like this that will have us return to Celebrity. Assistant Maitre'd Murat Dolas: We have had the honor of getting to know Murat on this cruise. He was in charge of the Ocean View Cafe and he too delivered outstanding service. We are appreciative of his excellent efforts and his leadership in taking good care of us. His warm greetings were a welcomed sight each morning and afternoon. It is service like this that will have us return to Celebrity. Waiter Abdullah Avci: We want to compliment once again the superior service provided by Abdullah. This is our third cruise on the Summit with Avci and he is another reason we keep returning. It started on the first cruise when he would extend an arm to help steady Linda as she would enter or leave the Ocean View Cafe or dining room. His outstanding "service oriented" attitude made him a "standout". We always sat in his assigned area in the Ocean View Cafe in the morning he would promptly make sure we had whatever we needed. His outstanding service was demonstrated by act of kindness that built lasting memories. When we first met him last September he would see Linda and I walking arm in arm to help steady her. This was due to her recovery still being a work in progress. Abdullah would immediately come over and offer his arm too on the opposite side. This soon became the anticipated highlight of our cruise. Meeting Abdullah and having him escort Linda to her table in the main dining room or the cafe. When we would leave he would provided this honored escort out to the lobby area. We have stayed in touch with him while he was on vacation and knew when he would return. At the end of this sailing he headed home for a short vacation before returning to the Summit later this year. It is memories and superior service like this that will have us return to Celebrity. Abdullah is to be commended for this personalized and priceless act of kindness. Stateroom Attendant Alfredo Dimaano: Upon arrival we entered one of the cleanest cabins we have experienced. It even smelled like fresh country air. He has kept our room spotless and the rose and fresh fruit has made us feel like celebrities. He was hard working and always warm and friendly. He would always go out of his way to see that our needs were met even though he had a lot of other cabins to take care of. He took care of a couple of small requests quickly. We will remember him for a long time to come and he proved to be another one of the best attendants we have ever had. He always made sure that if he saw us he would say hi and ask if we needed anything. At the end of this cruise he too was heading home on vacation to spend time with his family. We wish him a restful time off. Assistant Stateroom Attendant Kadek Kusuma: Kadek made sure we were well taken care of. He was always greeting us with a warm and friendly smile. He quickly helped us out with some small requests too. He had a great attitude and this continues to reflect the high quality of service that was consistent on the Summit. Waiter Savio (Table 301 Late seating): Savio provided superior service. He too was one of the best waiters we have ever had. He was fast, efficient, friendly, and helpful. He took excellent care of us during our 13 meals (we had one dinner at the Captain's Table) in the dining room. He worked hard to serve us and he made sure we were happy with our meals. He also assisted Linda with cutting here steak. It is waiters like Savio that will have us continue sailing on Celebrity. Assistant Waitress Jorge Arias (Table 301 Late seating): Jorge was our assistant waiter and he was also excellent in taking care of us. We really enjoyed having him at our table and he was warm and friendly and took care of everything we needed. He is another good reason we will continue sailing on Celebrity. Bar Server (Captain's Club - Evening) Norris Tyrell: Norris provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club lounge. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity. Bar Server (Captain's Club - Evening) Vijay R Naik: Vijay provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club lounge. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity. Bar Server (Captain's Club - Evening) Ricky: Ricky provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club lounge. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity. Chef De Rang (Captain's Club - Morning) Carlos Mosquera: Carlos provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club lounge in the morning. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity. Chef De Rang (Captain's Club - Morning) Francy Fermilien: Francy provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club lounge in the morning. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity. Chef De Rang (Captain's Club - Morning) David Hernandez: David provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club lounge in the morning. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity. Chef De Rang (Captain's Club - Morning) Gede Sugiarta: Gede provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club lounge in the morning. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity. Bar Server (Captain's Club - Morning) Roderick: Roderick provided outstanding service in the Captain's Club lounge in the morning. He took excellent care of us. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity. Housekeeping Vijay R. Naik: Vijay provided outstanding service in the evenings manning the men's room near the mid-ships atrium on deck 4. This is a thankless job handing out clean hand towels but he did it with a smile. His warm and friendly smile demonstrated a true servant's heart. He also worked in the Captain's Club in the evening. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity. Sommelier Allan Orellanida: We will remember him for his kindness. He was also very professional. We loved his visits to our table and he is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity. Greeter Ocean View Cafe Mike: Mike provided excellent when greeting us in the morning with his hand sanitizer. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity. Greeter Ocean View Cafe Bernard: Bernard provided excellent when greeting us in the morning with his hand sanitizer. His warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity. Waitress Anna: Anna was initially as our Assistant waitress during our first 2 days. She did and excellent job and was always warm, friendly and efficient. Waiter Pedro Valencia: Pedro Valiencia did a great job and provided great service while we are in the Ocean View Cafe. We were also with Pedro on the Mercury during 2 sailings. He was always warm and friendly and he is one of the reasons we will continue sailing on Celebrity. Waiter Arnel Mendoza: Arnel did a great job and providing hot coco at the terminal in Halifax. He was greeted us with a warm and friendly smile. It is this type of service and attitude why we continue sailing on Celebrity. Snack Attendant Gusti Yudha Anggara (Bistro on five): Gusti provided excellent service during our visits to this great hidden gem. Snack Attendant Luis Sandoval (Bistro on five): Luis provided excellent service during our first visits to this great hidden gem. Culinary Tour Guide Luther Zabayle (Bistro on five): Luther provided excellent service during our second visit to this great hidden gem. Cook Marshall: Marshall provided great service preparing poached egg specialties. He took excellent care of us. He was always patient with special requests and his warm and friendly smile always made us feel at home. He is another reason we will continue to cruise Celebrity. Future Cruise Department: They were outstanding. They were always helpful and friendly. We attended a presentation on the "Open Passage" program and they did a great job and they were able to answer every question. They are great ambassadors for Celebrity. Photo Staff They were very helpful in developing about 40 snapshots we took of crewmembers for only $0.32 each and after we used an Elite discount coupon. We give these photos back to the crew with a thank you note on the back. We normally have to locate a CVS at one of the ports to get them developed, but no more. We had a photo op with a white background and heart-shaped chair. I thought it might not turn out but Wow! They did a fantastic job and we ended up purchasing this photo. TO ALL THE REST WHOSE NAMES WE FORGOT: We regret if we failed to get their names so please accept this as our thanks for all those who worked behind the scenes for taking such good care of us. FOOD REVIEW: I will let any criticism in this area up to real experts. I am easy to please and, except for the rare dislike of a type of seasoning, I enjoy most foods. I will mention some things that were noteworthy though. About the food? While onboard we were never been disappointed by the meals. Just eat MRE's (Military Rations) for awhile in the desert in the middle-east and you will never complain again. Or at least you shouldn't. I only gained about 2 pounds on this sailing. We try and walk and use the stairs helps burn it off. Worth noting: In the Ocean View Cafe they have Great Belgian Waffles, bread pudding, made to order sandwiches, Superior Angus burgers at the pool grill, fish and chips on selected days, fried, eggs benedict, sticky buns, sorbet, and good coffee. Captain's Club Reception: One afternoon they had a special treat in the Revelations Lounge for Captain's Club Members that included drinks and plenty of special food like Sushi, Bananas flambE, roast beef to mention a few. There was also entertainment. This was well done. Officer's Reception: One afternoon they had a special reception for Select and Elite members in The Revelations Lounge. This gave us an opportunity to spend time with the Officers. This too was well done. Elegant Tea: What a neat experience. It should not be missed. Great scones with jam and whipped cream. STAYING CONNECTED AT SEA We used the internet service and it was great to stay connected. About every third day we would log on, update our Facebook page with a situation report and then we checked our email for anything important from the family. We spent an average of 9 to 14 minutes per day. The cost was $0.55 per minute if you bought the 90 minute package. We were fortunate that Captain's Club Elite members were given coupons for 90 minutes of free internet time. Since we are both Elite we had a total of 3 hours of free time but we only used one coupon for 90 minutes. This is an excellent benefit. Not bad! This saved us almost $50.00. This is another good reason to cruise Celebrity and to make Elite as soon as you can. We place our cell phone on "home only" mode to eliminate the mistake of getting nailed for an international call. We have the international feature turned on in the event we needed to make any calls. In order to use it we simply would turn off the home only feature. Laundry Service: We used the coupons provided to Elite Members of the Captain's Club. We were given 2 (1 each) for 30 pieces of laundry. We used two coupons on this cruise and it saved us over $100.00. Be advised that they cannot be used the last 3 days of the cruise. We also had the coupons for dry cleaning. These saved us a lot. We had 2 more coupons that would have allowed us to send a bag of clothes for wash, dry and fold for $20.00 a bag. There also were other coupons for having 2 items pressed and dry cleaned. We were extremely pleased with the service. The pants and shirts came neatly folded. On the Mercury they came back pressed and on hangers. I even think the underwear was pressed. At least they looked that way. This was the 6th cruise where we returned home with more clean clothes than dirty. This also allows us to pack less. Thanks laundry staff for another great job. Captain's Club Benefits (Elite): Celebrity has made a very important and positive decision to improve benefits to loyal members (even by proxy - Diamond Members on Royal Caribbean). These changes and enhancements have been an important factor for us as we choose our next cruise. It already worked. You can go online and check out the benefits for Select and Elite members. They are a powerful recruitment tool and this was smart decision making on the part of Celebrity's management. We estimate that the Captain's Club Benefits on this cruise alone were valued at almost $600.00. The Senior Officer's Cocktail Parties and the Captain's Club Celebrations are not just a "grip and grin" (smile and a handshake). They were excellent events. Debark We had filled out questionnaires during the cruise relative to our end of cruise traveling plans. This allowed us to get the same debarkation as those traveling with us. We had to give up our priority debarkation lounge and time. Processing started on time for those getting off early. We were scheduled to get off at 9:00 AM and our waiting area was in the Rendezvous Lounge. We were off by 9:35AM. Customs and Immigration was a breeze. No body cavity searches on this port entry. We found our luggage without any problems thanks to those orange bands. There was plenty of space in the rows to easily move them. TRIP HOME We were home around 2:15 PM without incident. Traffic was light and we made it in 3 hours and 40 minutes with one stop. PCD Syndrome (Post-Cruise Depression Syndrome) We purchased, while onboard, an OPEN PASSAGE booking for $100.00 on a Celebrity cruise. We have used these in the past and in fact they provide greater benefits on a 14 day or longer cruise than Shareholder Benefits. We used one to book this cruise for $300.00 Shipboard credit and we now have 2 to use for a future cruise. We can also use this same benefit on 2 other cabins for friends and family who will receive the same SBC. Finally: Well, that about wraps it up. I am sure I have forgotten many events that we enjoyed. This was another terrific cruise and we were blessed that nothing went wrong and that our families were kept safe while we were gone. As always we want to give a final compliment to the crew and staff. Well done faithful servants. May you have fair winds and following seas? Linda and Gary 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
This was my second cruise with Celebrity. I hated my first cruise with them, which was on the Silhouette in November of 2011, its first cruise out of the USA. I was part of a group, and that was the cruise that they wanted to take, so I ... Read More
This was my second cruise with Celebrity. I hated my first cruise with them, which was on the Silhouette in November of 2011, its first cruise out of the USA. I was part of a group, and that was the cruise that they wanted to take, so I figured I would see what Celebrity was like. Even though, as I said, I hated that cruise, the group booked another cruise on the September 22 sailing of the Summit, and I decided to go with them and give Celebrity another chance. Embarkation went very well, and my friend and I enjoyed lunch at the Oceanview Cafe. When we got into our cabin, I was pleased to see that our shore excursion tickets were there in plain sight. A big improvement over the cruise on the Silhouette, when my tickets were nowhere to be found, forcing me to go to the shore excursions desk and wait and wait on line to ask for the tickets that should have been in my cabin. And the shore excursions guy didn't believe me when I said that my tickets weren't in my cabin. He kept telling me over and over and over that they were in my cabin, and I kept insisting that they were not, and finally he said that he would call my cabin steward and ask him if he had put my tickets in my cabin. And my cabin steward said that he had never been given any shore excursion tickets for me, and the shore excursion guy gave me my tickets without a single word of apology. I eventually found out that that's what happens on Celebrity - when the Celebrity employees screw up or make mistakes, they don't apologize. My happiness at seeing my shore excursion tickets faded a little as I looked at my copy of Celebrity Today. It said that the Revelations lounge would open at 5:30 PM. I thought that was a little strange, since Celebrity had given our group the right to hold a private party in Revelations beginning at 5:00 PM. and ending at 6:00 PM. When we got to Revelations shortly before 5:00 PM, we saw that it was full of "outsiders." Even though the Celebrity Today newsletter said that Revelations would open at 5:30 PM, some people decided to go there before 5:00 PM. And the Celebrity employees let them in. At least the employees kicked the "outsiders" out so that we could have our private party. This was the first of many indications on this cruise that Celebrity's right hand does not know what its left hand is doing. My friend and I opted for Celebrity Select dining, because we prefer to get in and out of the dining room at dinner time, instead of having to wait and wait and wait for other people to decide what they're going to have for dinner. I know that they are on vacation, and they have every right to take as long as they want to figure out what they want to eat. But we're on vacation, too, and we don't enjoy sitting around, waiting for people to make up their minds, so a table for two at a time we choose, as opposed to being locked in to a table for eight (or more) works better for us. While we always enjoyed the food, and we always got the table for two that we reserved, we found that the service was extremely slow, and we generally were not able to get in and out speedily, even though we ordered just the main course (no salad, no soup, no appetizers, and no dessert). We were not at all impressed with the service in the dining room at breakfast. On the Silhouette, the service at breakfast in the MDR was inefficient and rude. On the Summit, it was inefficient but friendly. We were at a table for eight. The waiter carefully took our orders for juice. Three people wanted grapefruit juice, and one wanted V-8. Soon a man came over carrying a tray of juices for us. Nice, but there weren't any grapefruit juices or V-8. Then a second man came over with a tray of juices for us. There was grapefruit juice, but no V-8. Eventually, the man who asked for V-8 was given it. If Celebrity likes to have men run around the dining room carrying trays of juices, fine, but why have the waiter bother writing down what everyone wants, if what we're supposed to do is sit there and wait and wait for someont to come over carrying the kind of juice we want? This was another example of Celebrity's right not knowing what its left hand was doing. I ordered waffles, and they didn't arrive until after six of the other seven people at my table had finished eating. I didn't know that waffles take so much longer than pancakes, Eggs Benedict, and omelets. And when I wasn't looking, a waiter sneaked up behind me and filled my cup with coffee without asking me if I wanted coffee. I did not want coffee. I asked people later on if Celebrity thought it was a great idea for waiters to fill people's cups with coffee without asking them if they wanted decaf, tea, or herbal tea, or if the waiter thought it was a great idea to pour coffee without asking people what they wanted. Believe it or not, people tended to think that Celebrity had told the waiters to fill people's cups up with coffee without asking them what they wanted. A second breakfast wasn't much better, and we ate breakfast the rest of the time at the buffet (where I could get my juice right away, where I didn't have to wait an eternity for waffles, and where no one gave me coffee that I didn't want and never asked for). We never had lunch in the MDR. On my questionnaire, I had no choice but to give the waitstaff in the MDR the lowest possible rating. We enjoyed all of the shows plus the lounge entertainment - Creszenzo Verde, Joe Nagy, Aldo Brest, the Aqua-Fellas, and the guitar player referred to in the Celebrity Today newsletters as "Johnny Mantra." When we talked to him, we found out that "Johnny Mantra" is a misspelling of his name. He said that he had been on the Summit for over two months, and he still couldn't get them to spell his name correctly. Plus his name was misspelled on his nametag. This was another example of Celebrity's right hand not knowing what its left hand is doing. On Day 3, we took a perfectly lovely shore excursion out of Portland to see three windmills. We were told to meet at the end of the pier, and I didn't hear about any problems. That's why I didn't understand why we had to meet in the theatre before going on our shore excursion in Halifax on Day 4. I had been to Halifax twice before, once with NCL and once with Royal, and I knew that Halifax didn't have a rule that said that people were not allowed to look for their tour buses but instead had to meet somewhere on the ship. But we were in the theatre at 10:45 AM for our 11:00 AM excursion to Peggy's Cove (with lobster lunch), and by the time the shore excursion people got us on our bus, it was 11:20 AM. And our tour guide, Janet, said that since we were late, we were going to miss some sightseeing that we were supposed to see, but we couldn't see it because we were late, and we had to hurry to the restaurant, because we had a reservation. I figured that we would see it later in the day, but we did not. Janet said that she had to get us back to the ship on time because she had to stick to the schedule, so we never saw what we were supposed to see but missed because it took the shore excursion people took too long getting us on the bus (instead of letting us find the bus by ourselves, as we did in Portland). There were six buses doing this excursion, and it's possible that the other five tour guides did not deprive the people of seeing everything they were supposed to see. I don't know. On Day 5 we tendered into Sydney, and I'm sure that by now, you've heard of the complete breakdown of any kind of efficiency on Celebrity's part. While the shore excursion people kept telling us that we wouldn't miss out on any part of our shore excursions, I didn't believe them. After all, their inefficiency had cost everyone on my bus to miss out on part of the Peggy's Cove excursion. I asked one of them when the last tender would leave Sydney, and she said 4:30 PM. That was the time posted in the Celebrity Today, so if the last tender wasn't going to be pushed back, how could they be so sure that no one would get cheated? Another example of the many ways that Celebrity's right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing was that we were told to meet in the Rendez-Vous lounge at 9:30 AM, and the room was packed full of people. There were very few seats in relation to the number of people standing there. And during the time that we were there, waiting to get on a tender, there were supposed to be two trivia contests. I don't know if the trivia contests got canceled or if they were moved to another lounge. I just don't understand why trivia and tendering were scheduled to be in the same lounge at the same time. I asked one of the shore excursion people if they had made a mistake scheduling everything in the Rendez-Vous, especially since there were very few seats relatively speaking for all of the people there. She insisted that Celebrity hadn't made a mistake, since they had thought that it would take only a couple of minutes to get everyone on a tender. A couple of minutes - really? When half of the people had left the Rendez-Vous to get on a tender, there were still more people standing than sitting. That's how crowded it was. Here's yet another example of Celebrity's right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing. My friend and I received an invitation to the Captain's Club cocktail party. When I read it, I saw that it was scheduled to take place in the same lounge at the same time as our group's private party. I went to Guest Relations, carrying both the cocktail party invitation and the notice from Celebrity that our private party would be taking place in the same lounge at the same time, and I spoke to Melmar, showing him the papers. Unfortunately, although I tried and tried, I didn't succeed in getting him to understand that there was a conflict and that something had to be done about it. He just said that it wasn't his problem, and he wrote down my cabin number and said that someone would call me. No one ever called me. I ran into the travel agent who was in charge of the group and told him. He said that he had already done something about it. We eventually got a new invitation to the Captain's Club cocktail party to be held on another day. We had a very pleasant excursion in Prince Edward Island on Day 6. It was good that we had to meet inside the Terminal Building instead of in the theatre, so that we were not unnecessarily delayed by the shore excursion people. On one of the sea days, there was a coupon in the Celebrity Today newsletter for seniors to bring to the casino to get $5 worth of slotplay. So my friend and I took our coupons to the casino, where we had to wait on a very long line to see someone. When we finally saw her, she gave us cards that said that we should be given $5 worth of slotplay, and she said that we had to run around the casino and find the casino technician, and he would give us our slotplay in return for the cards. She said that she had no idea where he was, that we had to run around and look for him. When we finally found him, it took a long time to get our slotplay, because he would take a few people's seapasses and disappear with them, and he eventually returned with the slotplay loaded onto the seapasses. I thought this was extremely inefficient on the part of Celebrity. We had no idea why we had to spend so much time waiting on line for the woman to give us cards. Why couldn't we have just been told to look for the casino technician and give him our coupons? We spent so much time getting our $5 slotplay that by the time we got it, we just gambled our $5, cashed out our winnings, and walked out. Celebrity didn't make any money off of us!. On Day 8, we took two very pleasant excursions in Quebec City. While we had time to eat lunch between the excursions, we did not have enough time to go anywhere and eat lunch and then return to our cabin, so the day before, we made sandwiches at the buffet and stashed them in the refrigerator. Although people will tell you that the refrigerator is not cold enough to store food, yes it is It rained on Day 9, the day we went to St. Anne de Beaupre and Montmorency Falls. It didn't matter to us that it rained while we were in the church, and as for the falls, we were glad that we had seen them the day before in our afternoon countryside tour. I was annoyed to receive a note at the last minute telling us that our meeting time for our Gaspe excursion on Day 11 had been changed to 7:15 AM in the theatre, where we had to wait for a tender. I did not want to take an excursion that met that early, and I didn't think it was fair that we were unable to cancel the tour and get our money back. Celebrity couldn't have cared less. We were originally supposed to meet in the Rendez-Vous. At least now there would be enough seats for everyone. But I heard people complain that they were never told that the meeting place had been changed from the Rendez-Vous to the theatre. Either the shore excursion people didn't notify everyone, or the cabin stewards didn't deliver the notes. I don't know. What everyone on the excursion did not like was that we were divided into two groups to go into a small, cramped room in a lighthouse and watch a movie. We didn't like it because we were a group of 52, so there were 26 people in each group, but there were only 15 seats in the room, so 22 people had to stand. And when we went to Le Manoir Le Boutillier and had a tour, we were again divided into two groups. The problem was that there was not enough room in the rooms for all 26 people to enter. I told Sylvie, the tour guide, that in both instances, we should have been divided into three or four groups. She agreed with me, but she said that she had to stick to the schedule, and there wasn't enough time for us to be divided into more than two groups. However, the schedule went out the window when one woman on the bus wanted to stop at a drugstore to make some purchases, and the rest of us had to sit on the bus and wait and wait for her to pay for them and leave the drugstore. Then it occurred to me that maybe the woman had asked Sylvie earlier if she could go to a drugstore, and Sylvie said sure, and she decided to carve out the time by dividing us into only two groups at the lighthouse and the manoir. Well, I hope that woman gave Sylvie an enormous tip, because I doubt if any of the other 51 people on the bus gave her a generous tip. Then came Day 13, the infamous day that we had to tender to Bar Harbor. When we finally, finally got to Bar Harbor and got into our tour bus, our tour guide told us that since we were one hour late, we would get only a five hour tour instead of the six hour tour that we had paid for. She said that we were supposed to see some gardens, but now we wouldn't get to see them. The tour included a lobster lunch, but we didn't get to eat until 4:30 PM. That's too late for people with diabetes who need to eat regularly, or for people who have to take medicine regularly with food. After lunch, the bus took us to Cadillac Mountain, where we were supposed to see the sun set. We would have seen it set, except that it was raining. We were taken back to get a tender. We had to get on the end of an enormous line. We got on line at 6:45 PM, and we got on a tender that left at 7:30 PM. That was supposed to be the time that the last tender left Bar Harbor, but I was sure that there would have to be more tenders later on. What about the people who weren't going to show up and get on line until 7:20 PM? I was on the tender that smashed into the rocks or sandbar or whatever it was. I will not go into all the details here, as you can read about it in the Celebrity thread about it. But I will say that my friend and I got back to our cabin around 8:40 PM, and as we were too upset to eat, we decided to see the 9:00 PM show. The fact that they had 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM shows that night annoyed me. I believe those were the times on 12 out of the 14 nights that they had the shows. I thought the shows should have been held later that night, since the last tender (if all had been well) was supposed to leave at 7:30 PM. We went to the 9:00 PM show, and the theatre was practically empty. I heard later on that the theatre at the 7:00 PM show was practically empty, too. After the show, we saw some more entertainment, and then we went to the buffet for pizza. The Celebrity Today said that pizza would be available until 1:00 AM. This was yet another example of Celebrity's right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing - we got there at 11:15 PM, and the pizza station was closed up tight. (Maybe they keep printing that there is pizza until 1:00 AM just like they keep printing that "Johnny Mantra" will perform - they just can't be bothered to print something a little more accurate.) Luckily, there were cold cuts, cheese, and rolls, so we didn't go hungry. At about 11:20 PM, we heard a passenger ask an officer why the ship hadn't left Bar Harbor yet. The officer said "I don't know" and kept on walking. I figured that they were still waiting for tenders to come in. I found out the next day that the Coast Guard came on the ship, and the captain had to get special permission from them to sail the ship to Bayonne, because there weren't enough lifeboats for everyone. The captain was the one who told us this the next day. On the morning of Day 14, we received a call asking us to go to an 11:00 AM meeting with the captain to discuss what they called "the unfortunate incident" with the tender. My friend didn't go, but I did, and you can find out what happened by reading the thread about the tender. You will read how the captain announced that no one was injured (which was NOT true), and how the passengers (not the tender crew) handed out life jackets, and how the tender didn't have enough life jackets for everyone, and how the tender crew never told us one word about what was going on, and so on. And how no one said that they were sorry or asked my friend and me if we were okay. Well, 2 out of the 93 people said that they were asked. Not nearly enough. A Maine lobster was one of the offerings for dinner the final night in the MDR. Someone had told me that the crew were going to fish for lobsters when we were in Bar Harbor, and that we would get lobster on the final formal night. I said that I didn't think so, because the night of the day we were in Bar Harbor couldn't be a formal night, and the next night would be our final night of the cruise, and the final night was never a formal night. But we did get lobster, even though it wasn't a formal night. As soon as he put the lobster down in front of me, the waiter ran off. (I had Celebrity Select dining, and this was customary. The waiter would run off as soon as he served our food, not to reappear until a half hour or more later.) He ran off so fast that I didn't have a chance to ask for butter. I had had a lobster lunch on two of my shore excursions, and at both places, small cups of melted butter were served with the lobsters. But I guess Celebrity figured that we didn't want butter. So I took some butter from the butter dish and smeared it in my butter plate and speared pieces of lobster with my fork and smooshed them into the butter. It was better than nothing. Eventually, the waiter showed up with melted butter, but, for some reason, he wanted to pour butter on the lobster shell. Why would he do that? It's not like I eat the shell. I asked him to pour some butter into my butter plate, and he did, but you could see that he had no idea why I preferred butter to be in the plate instead of on the shell. During the cruise, it seemed whenever Guest Relations called me, my friend was the one who answered, and when she was asked who she was, she would say "Jane Smith," and Guest Relations would say that they had no record of anyone named Jane Smith in my room. They insisted that I had the room to myself. But then we started getting phone messages from Guest Relations that were left for Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Those people from Guest Relations had no record that I was staying in my room. When we returned to the room after dinner on Day 14, there was a note for Mr. and Mrs. Smith from Guest Relations. I told my travel agent about this, and we laughed and laughed. Clearly another example of the fact that Celebrity's right hand doesn't know what its left hand is doing. I had hoped to be off the ship by 10:30 AM, and when we got into the car, i saw that it was 10:35 AM. Excellent! Our driver asked us if we could just hide in our room and stay onboard for another cruise. We said no, because you have to swipe your Seapass when you leave, and they would know who hadn't swiped their Seapass. Then I told him about Mr. Smith, and I said that maybe Celebrity was looking for Mr. Smith, since he didn't get off the ship, and we all laughed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2012
Canada cruise on the Summit 9-22-12 We chose this 14 night cruise after researching fall 2012 options for two reasons: One, we did not need to fly to the ship. Two, we wanted to cruise with my parents who had just celebrated their ... Read More
Canada cruise on the Summit 9-22-12 We chose this 14 night cruise after researching fall 2012 options for two reasons: One, we did not need to fly to the ship. Two, we wanted to cruise with my parents who had just celebrated their 55th anniversary and Mom won't fly. This is our fifth cruise on Celebrity and 14th cruise overall. This is our first cruise to "New England and Canada." One thing we did on this cruise we've never done before is we pre-purchased the "Unlimited photo package" For this cruise it was $239.00 prepaid for every photo taken by the on-board photographers that one or both of us is present in. We ended up leaving the ship with 272 photos! Saturday morning we left our home in Southeastern PA and drove to pick up the parents in the retirement mecca of Toms River at the NJ Shore. From there, in our now fully loaded mini-van, it was just 75 minutes up the parkway to Bayonne. Our son lives on Staten Island just a few minutes from the port, so we met him, he dropped us off, and kept the van for the two weeks we will be away. Arriving at 11:00, embarkation was painless. What actually took the longest was getting through the security checkpoint, but only because it was obvious that many in front of us in line haven't been through an airport in years. Once through security (10 minutes), we were waved to a handicap check in station (as Mom is on a scooter). They checked both our cabins in within 5 minutes, handed us our key cards, and we were off the get the "Security photo" taken. Photos snapped, we were quickly at the welcome aboard photo station. Photos taken of each couple separately, and we also had a photo taken of the four of us. By now, it is 11:20, and the last of the people in "Line" for the boarding shuttle were getting on a shuttle, so there is no line or ticket needed once we reach the door. The very nice and talkative security person kept us engaged as we waited two minutes for the next shuttle bus, and off we go! Arriving at Summit, our key cards are swept and "Welcome aboard!" The usual Celebrity selection of Champagne, Mimosa, or Orange Juice is available. We head up to deck 10 and the Oceanview Cafe for lunch. Lunch choices were abundant. I enjoyed a small amount of fish and chips and a slice of roast beef. DW enjoyed a variety of salad and fruit. After lunch, we headed down to the spa area and the Thallasotheraphy pool. Dad and I changed into swimsuits (packed in our carry on) and were the first in the pool on this cruise. We were drying off as the announcement was made at about 1:35 that cabins were ready. We were in no rush, so got good and dry (and dad actually changed back into street clothes) before heading to the cabins. We are both in insides on deck two. We are in 2084, and parents are in 2136. There has been a lot of discussion on the Celebrity board in the weeks before our cruise about bathroom condition on the Summit. We had no sign of mold in our bathrooms. The drain in our shower is rather slow, and water seems to seep under the shower divider onto the bathroom floor. I reported this to Abel, our room steward. By Monday, it was fixed. No luggage yet, so we headed back to deck 10 with a set of "Rummicubes" that my parents brought along and played a round at one of the tables near the pool grille. Mom left the scooter in the cabin (later to be a mistake). Muster drill was at 3:15 in the casino. We were there in time to grab some seats at a poker table. The drill concluded and the entire 2,000 passengers were now on deck 4, wanting to go elsewhere. Okay for us, we walked down two flights of stairs to make a stop at our cabin. However, the parents waited, standing, for over thirty minutes for an elevator (Mom can't do stairs) to get to deck 10 and our cruise critic roll call's sail away gathering at the aft bar. When they finally showed up, Mom was visibly exhausted and needed a chair, but none were to be found. We got her situated on a bar stool, but they lasted less than ten minutes before dad said they had to go the cabin as Mom didn't feel well. We really enjoyed the gathering and met many from the roll and some we had planned excursions with. We left port in Bayonne about an hour late, and were able to stay on deck just long enough to photograph the sailing under the Verrazano bridge before rushing back to the cabin in hope that our luggage appeared and to quickly get ready for dinner. The luggage was finally there, so at a frantic pace we unpacked the five (yes FIVE) suitcases and found place for everything. We arrived at dinner about 6:15 but that was just as the first night's "Line" to find the assigned table was dissipating. We have table 338, a 6-top along the port side of the dining room. Our Waiter is Vladimir and assistant is Marko. Dinner went well and we really hit it off with our dining companions. We left the dining room at about 8:05. Sunday was our first sea day. We put on our bathing suits with appropriate cover ups, and began our M-Class, sea day breakfast routine. DW heads to the Spa Cafe and I obtain Waffles and an omelet from the buffet and carry it down to the Spa Cafe. After breakfast, we spend some lovely time in the T-Pool and hot tubs. What else did we do today? Well, DW wasn't interested in the lectures on Space. I read, relaxed, at some point had some lunch and ice cream, and then we got ready for the first formal night. Before dinner we traveled to the various portrait stations and had lots of photos taken both of us as a couple and as a foursome. Dinner time! We entered the dining room and thought we were on the wrong floor. Four unknown people were sitting at our table, which is now set for eight. But wait, there is Vladimir. Vladimir goes to the computer and confirms that is our table. Our first night dining companions were relocated due to a pre-cruise request, and due to a long wait-list for 6:00 dining they are squeezing in extra places. Our first night companions stopped by to apologize and say they were left a message at 4:00 that afternoon that they were moved, but they did not request it nor were they given a choice. This whole situation was not a pleasant way to begin our first formal dinner. Dinner dragged as the dining room was absolutely packed, and we did not get out of the dining room until 8:20 or so. After dinner we hit one additional portrait station and went to the theater for the captain's welcome aboard toast. At least that was the plan. For the first time in five Celebrity cruises, and our 40th night on Celebrity, there is not a seat to be found in the theater. My parents certainly can't stand to watch and reluctantly we left the theater and called it a night. As an aside, this is a specific reason why we won't sail on Princess again - no room in the theater. Monday we docked in Portland, Maine. Portland is a great port, and we found it easy. We had reserved a 9:30 trolley tour followed by an 11:30 Lighthouse cruise. It's about a 10 - 15 minute walk to Long Wharf where both tours leave from. We checked in at 8:50 and they asked if we would like to take a 9:00 trolley. Sure! I believe the entire trolley was from our cruise critic roll call. Our trolley driver/guide "Gramps" was entertaining and informative. We very much enjoyed the stop at Portland Head Lighthouse, no doubt the highlight of the tour. We had an hour between tours and found Dunkin Donuts a block away for some caffeine. The lighthouse cruise was also very nice and informative. The highlight of this was seeing Portland Head Lighthouse from sea. This gave us great photo opportunities on a picture-perfect day. The combo price for both tours is $39/person. On our walk back to the ship we passed by tables of "Crafters" set up along the way. Let's just say our wallets were $100 lighter by the time we got back to the Summit! We normally don't "Shop" at ports, but this was an exception and the items acquired are unique. Back on board we enjoyed the sail away. A brief sun shower stopped the party band from playing poolside, although they were set up to play. Sailing out we again passed Portland Head Lighthouse and snapped a few additional photos from the perspective of deck 11 of the Summit before preparing for dinner. Dinner was much better tonight. Vladimir and Marco still seem stressed and the dining room is packed. Service was reasonable and my steak was very nice, served hot and cooked as ordered. Vladimir has arranged with the kitchen to provide my dad "No sugar added" Apple Pie for dessert each evening, a very nice touch. After dinner we added some photos to the envelopes in the photo gallery and took in the show, a comedian named Phil Tag. Regretfully with the lights down I dozed off a couple of times, but by all accounts he was very good. Tuesday we are scheduled to dock in Halifax at 10:30. For some reason, our cruise critic connections party was scheduled at 9:30. But okay, that works - it's still before we dock. Normally on a late port morning we would do our sea day routine and enjoy the T-Pool, but we forgo that to shower and dress for the connections party followed by our day at sea. We open our door and find a notice that the party has been rescheduled to next week Monday. We don't mind that it's rescheduled, but to let people know the morning of the party? And now we have a few hours to kill. It sure seems like the hotel side of the Summit needs some tweaking. We docked, but were not cleared until 10:55. Along with many others we left the ship and found our prearranged driver/tour guide through "Your cab tours." We had an excellent tour taking in the scenic highlights of Halifax, the anchor that flew over two miles due to an ammunition ship explosion, the tower dedicated to Sir Stamford Fleming, the "Inventor" of standard time zones, Peggy's Cove, the Swiss Air memorial, a maple syrup manufacturing facility, and the Halifax Citadel. Tuesday dinner one of the couples at our table was absent. Service went well and we were finished by 7:50. They are taking "Casual portraits" tonight. We posed for a lot of photos, such fun! We made the show, a flute virtuoso, Gary Aburthnot. Much to my surprise, we really enjoyed his show. Wednesday we tender in Sydney, Nova Scotia with a scheduled arrival at 9:30 AM. We arranged to meet our traveling companions at 9:45 as we obtained priority tender tickets. We actually were on of the first two tenders to shore. It is a 20 minute tender ride. We don't reach shore until after 10:30. We called our car rental company and they picked us up promptly. We are on the road to Fortress Louisbourg by 11:00. We greatly enjoyed Louisbourg, and left there for the 40 minute drive back to Sydney. We dropped off the van and they dropped us back at the pier. There is a winding line for tenders back to Summit. We thought we would wait out the line, but there is no (open) bar in the shoreside facility or immediate area. We wait 40+ minutes in a very brisk cool wind before we finally board a tender. Just as we board, Holland America's Maasdam is trying to leave dock. With the wind blowing them back into the dock, it was obvious they were engaging full thrusters to get away. This stirred up the surrounding waters so we were in a holding pattern. We finally are back on board Summit well after 4:30. Summary of Sydney stop: If you have to tender from 20 minutes out, don't. Just stay on board and call it a sea day. While we greatly enjoyed our outing to Louisbourg, this may have been the worst tender experience we've ever had - and that was with priority tickets getting out. We heard they were still calling tender numbers at one-thirty. Back on board, we grab a quick burger at the pool grill, and then get ready for dinner. All eight of us are present tonight but service is prompt and we are done at 7:45. Again they have two photo stations set up for casual portraits, more fun. After the portraits we pass on the show as we are exhausted and wind burned. Thursday we dock in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. We are scheduled to dock at 9:00 and the ship is actually cleared at 8:55. The four of us and a couple from our roll call have a van tour reserved with Fair Island Tours. In fact, our roll call has NINE vans reserved. Sure enough, they are waiting with a sign with our names. Fair Island sublet our booking to Billy, who has his own tour company and works for the DPW in the winter plowing roads. He told us all winter the sides of the road are 6' high snow banks. Our guide stretched out the tour. Even the signs in his van indicate it should be a 3 - 4 hour tour. Ours was five hours, and we made our visit to Anne of Green Gables very abbreviated. While I could easily have spent an hour or more there, by then we were already over four hours, and he gets paid by the hour. Fair Island will not be getting a great review from us. To be fair, we did see a lot, and learned a lot about the variety of Lobstering and Mussel farming they do up in PEI. However, many of our stops (commercial) were not on the tour description and we could have done without. The tour could easily have gone to six hours if we hadn't told him after Green Gables that we needed to get back to the ship. We did not stop for lunch, as the driver continued to encourage us to do. As for the van, it may easily fit 6 people of smaller stature, but we are all relatively large Americans (I am 6'4") and after several hours it became downright uncomfortable. (Note added later - discussion with other cruise critic members indicate that many of the nine vans touring cruise critic people gave a less than stellar tour. Use extreme caution in this port with private guided tours and review with the guide before leaving the port exactly what you are going to see and how long the tour will be) At least we are docked. From what we saw, Charlottetown looked enticing and is likely worth a day to explore on foot right off the ship. By the time we returned to the ship we were exhausted (four port days in a row) and couldn't wait to get back on board and rest a bit. Thursday dinner, we are again a table of six as one of the couples did not attend. Service tonight is s-l-o-w. We don't finish until after 8:05. When everyone left I went to talk to Vladimir and asked to the extent possible, we are finished by 7:45. We'd like to listen to the band and dance in the Rendez-Vous but if the first show gets out there are no seats left. Vladimir thanked me for telling him and said he would do everything possible to meet this request. Friday - at last a sea day! We do our sea day AM routine. Dressed in swimsuits with cover-ups, I get my Omelet and fixings from the Oceanview Cafe and walk down to join DW at the Spa Cafe. After breakfast we enjoy the T-pool / hot tubs and relax on the double lounger at the pool reading. My parents find us and dad takes a dip as well. We head back to the room to change and I attend Captain Panos' talk on "Secrets of ship Navigation." He does an excellent job both with the talk and Q&A afterwards. In the meantime, DW finds a "2 hour sale" in the Emporium and wants an opinion on potential Christmas gifts for family members. Afterward, we wander the ship until Noon and grab a quick lunch at the Oceanview. Superb Roast Beef for me and DW has a Teriyaki Salmon. We next head down to Cellarmasters (where they have a large, high table) for a prearranged game of Rummi-Cube with my parents and cruise critic friends. Tonight is the second formal night. Before dinner is the select and elite Captain's Club senior officer's party. This is a nice affair. They really were generous with serving the drinks! The band played and the captain spoke briefly. We leave promptly at 6:00 to get to dinner. Dinner is very good at Vladimir gets us finished by 7:40! Nice job! We take photos at all the photo stations but are too tired for the show. My parents tried at 8:30 to get seats for the 9:00 show but were not able to find any my mom could access as she can't do stairs. Saturday morning we woke to see Quebec City on the banks of the St Lawrence come into sight. It is overcast and breezy. Our string of picture-perfect port weather has reached its end. We exited the ship with my parents to have photos taken at the two photo ops. The first was great! A group of local ladies, dressed in period costume, were signing a welcome song and posing for photos. We had prebooked a "Grand walking tour" at 10:00 followed by a Zodiac river tour at 2:30 through Tours Voir Quebec, the highest rated tour company in Quebec City on tripadvisor. We caught the "Ecolobus" for $1.00/person (the cheapest tour in town!) to take us from the port up to near the Fontainebleau hotel, where the tourist information is across the square. Tours Voir Quebec shares a building with the TI office. The walking tour was very informational and we did see a lot. We went into three churches and walked many narrow streets. As advertised, the tour was 90% plus downhill. The tour ended at the lower end of the funicular in lower town. From there, we headed back to the Summit for lunch. DW isn't feeling 100% especially after the constant going in and out of the increasingly windy and cool outdoors and the heated churches. She decides to take a nap and forgo the Zodiac tour. I headed out to the designated meeting place and found one other couple there. I knew eight had signed up for this tour. The others postponed until Sunday, hoping for better weather. We heard Sunday was supposed to be worse, so just the three of us went out with the captain and we head upriver, motoring past the Summit, a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaking ship, several old waterfront neighborhoods, and up to the bridge crossing the river that prevents ships such as the Summit from sailing further up the St. Lawrence. At that point, the river is just 200 feet across but very deep with strong currents. We turned around to find that it had begun raining (we were blissfully unaware of this as the rain had been hitting our backs and we were clothed in wetsuit type of coveralls). Heading back downriver we were now also facing into the wind! The ride back was not "Full of fun," but we persevered and made it back in one piece. The 90 minute Zodiac tour took over two hours as we needed to move at a reduced speed due to the waves on the river. Our captain did take us very near to right under the bow of the Summit. It was an interesting view, to be sure, but I kept expecting a coast guard vessel or the Canadian version of homeland security to come swooping in to make sure we weren't up to some mischief! Saturday evening the Summit kept to the normal dinner schedule. Our table is full, and Vladimir has us finished by about 7:35. However, this is the 29th, and I had prearranged recognition of my parent's 55th anniversary this evening. Vladimir and the wait staff gathered round and presented them with a cake and sang very nicely. They cut the cake into eight small pieces and we all enjoyed it! It is now 7:50, and we head to the Rendez-Vous for Big Band night with the Celebrity orchestra. We grab the last four seats (barstools) with a view of the band. When the band is between numbers we can hear the rain outside. As we are in port overnight, there is no show tonight, rather "War Horse" is being shown in the theater. Sunday morning the wind is still howling, but it's not raining. We are off the ship by 8:00 and catch the Ecolobus to the farmer's market (just two stops away). We wander the market and purchase some authentic Quebec Maple Syrup to take home. We want to take the Ecolobus back up the hill to explore some more and see the inside of the Fontainebleau hotel, but the bus just drives right past us as it is full. There are now four ships in port and passengers are awake! We cross the street and wait for an Ecolobus heading the other way. Plenty of space so we get on board and take a grand tour back to the Fontainebleau. When we get off the bus we are literally blasted by the wind. Being several hundred feet above the river, and with no wind-break, it is obvious the winds are gale force. We quickly take a few photos and find our way inside. The inside of the hotel is magnificent and several photos are taken. Next we head straight to the funicular for the ride down to the lower town. Here, among the buildings, the wind is not as ferocious. DW is kind of looking for a hooded sweatshirt, so we are in and out of the ships, but nothing appealing in the desired price range is discovered. We walk back to the ship meandering through the narrow streets trying to avoid being in the open along the waterfront. Four ships in port seem to have brought out many of the locals to take in the spectacle, despite the cool temps and wind. We are back on board by noon, and about 1:00 is begins to rain. By mid-afternoon the rain is a deluge. We are glad we are cozy and warm on the Summit. 6:00 is our departure time and from the dining room we hear the thrusters surely at 100% pushing us away from the dock against the wind. Two local tugs assist as well. We need to turn the ship, and friends with a FV Verandah later tell us they thought their Verandah furniture was going overboard as the ship turned and the wind caught their corner. Their cabin stewards were there in an instant. They tied things down. We finish dinner by 7:45 (again, great service from Vladimir and Marko) and enjoyed listening to the dance quartet for 30 minutes or so. Next we find the one photo station open and have more photos taken. These came out really great! Sunday's show is magician Adam Trent. We thought his name was familiar, and after watching his show are sure we've seen him before. However, his show was outstanding, and about 30% of the overflow crowd gave him a standing ovation at the close. Monday October 1 is a "Sea day." It's actually more like a "River day" as we are slowly heading towards sea down the ever-widening St. Lawrence with Gaspe', Quebec, our next call on Tuesday. We head up to the Spa Cafe for breakfast followed by a dip in the T-Pool. We're waiting but the hot-tubs are not yet open. Another passenger makes an inquiry and is told "We'll get right to it." Nothing happens. When I get out of the pool, I stopped a maintenance person and inquired. He said he would get back to me. And he did! I am told that ALL the hot-tubs are closed, as they need to be cleaned. They can't clean them until the Summit is 12 miles from shore, and that won't be until tonight. Then they will be drained, bleached, filled, and open tomorrow. Well, okay... But why are the ALL closed? Why do they ALL need to be cleaned at the same time? And why are there no signs telling passengers any of this? Our rescheduled cruise critic gathering is at 10:00. We fill Michael's Club. The only staff persons who attends is Caissie, the cruise director and someone from guest relations. Caissie nicely circulates the room chatting and briefly welcomes the group. A thoughtful member brought a card that was circulated to thank Georgia for keeping our group organized and most signed it. We did a gift exchange that perhaps twenty or so participated in. It's a "Sea day" so there is no surprise that the Emporium has some "Specials" running. We visited the Emporium and my parents bought a little something. We head to lunch at the spa cafe at noon but they are not yet open. Five minutes or so later they are ready. After a light lunch we get ready for our 1:00 Captains Club party. We get to the entrance of Revelations about 12:45 and there are already 25 or so waiting in line. By 12:50 there must be a hundred waiting. Lionel (captain's club host) makes a brief appearance (twice) and both times says "15 minutes." The doors finally open at about 12:58 and at this point the line to enter is not very orderly. The Summit needs some help with crowd control. Once inside, it's actually very nice. Plenty of wait staff with drinks at the ready and if your desire is something different from the menu provided they obtain it quickly. Food stations are set up and entertainment is provided. The best part of the Captains Club gathering was the least expected - Caissie the cruise director actually sings Opera, and she is very good!. The worst part? DW drinks slowly. At 2:00 sharp, Lionel tells everyone the party is over and the room is closed as it needs to be reset for the next group. So basically, we are thrown out of the room. Someone at the door stops DW from taking her half-finished drink. REALLY? First we are thrown out of the room and we can't even finish our drinks? Summit management is again showing a lack of customer relations foresight. Monday evening we joined some friends for dinner in Q-Sine. This was our first time to try this venue, as we were offered a "Two for one" and joined four new friends from cruise critic. I have to admit I like food rather "Plain," and Q-Sine is certainly not plain! We typically do not do the specialty restaurants. We are very happy with the main dining room and our normal servers who now know us. I knew that going in and also was pretty sure my DW would enjoy the experience. She did, and so did I. Q-Sine is very unique. The food and service were excellent. Would I do it again? Most likely not. To experience it once it was worth it. We got out of Q-Sine just in time to catch the show. We have a comedian tonight, Buzz Sutherland. He was enjoyable but not as much so as last week's comedian or Adam Trent, the magician. On Tuesday we arrive as scheduled in Gaspe', Quebec at 7:00. Six of us have a van reserved through National. We go at 8:10 to obtain tender tickets and are given number 5, but they've just called number 4. Five minutes later we go down the elevator to deck one and are told that tender 4 just left and 5 is just moments away. We are on land by 8:40 and have photos taken "Welcome to Gaspe". In Gaspe', both National and Budget rent a car have cars right at the dock. It must be no small effort for them to move the vehicles from the airport for the cruisers, but we greatly appreciate it! The welcome from the locals is very warm. Many ladies dressed in red blazers welcome everyone individually. They have information, local maps, and suggestions on local activities. To really get the most out of a shore call to Gaspe' one must get out of town. There are basically two choices: 1. Head North to Forillion National Park. 2. Head South to Perce' to see Perce' rock and the bird colony on the island. We chose Forillion Park. Forillion occupies the tip of the Gaspe' peninsula. This peninsula is actually the northeastern end of the Appalachian Mountains, stretching north from Georgia in the USA. Forillion is where the Appalachians descend into the sea. We first toured all the south shore facilities. We found that the toll booths are closed on Tuesday and Wednesday so the park visit was free. However, most buildings were closed. We did find some comfort stations open. Park rangers seemed to outnumber the tourists. It appeared the other tourists were also from the Summit in rental vehicles. The south shore viewpoints were nice. The sun came out from time to time giving opportunities for some fall foliage photography. We headed up over the mountain to the North shore. We stopped several times to take photos along the way. We found a closed visitor's center, and followed the signs to "Cape Bon-Ami." This is a place not to be missed! Seals in the water, incredible rock formations, and waterfalls falling onto a pebble beach. We could see the Cape-des-Rosiers lighthouse to the northwest. This is the tallest lighthouse in Canada and our next stop. To climb the lighthouse admission is charged but we are not that ambitious today as we did a fair bit of climbing and walking at Cape Bon-Ami. We concluded our circuit of the park and returned to Gaspe' by route 197, climbing the "Ridge of the Appalachians" in the process. Of course, at this point, it's not very high! We drove around Gaspe' a little and visited a small shopping mall before returning the van and tendering back to the Summit. The Summit left Gaspe' a little late, but I still managed to get photos of the end of the Gaspe' peninsula from the sea. We found there was a lighthouse there which could not be seen from our land based vantage points. Dinner was excellent tonight but as some of us took a long time to finish T-bone steaks we did not finish until 7:55. Sure enough, no seats with a view of the band remained in the Rendez-Vous. So we found the casual portrait studio and took some more photos, and found photos to add to our envelopes. The show is singer-impressionist Paul Tanner. Paul gave an enjoyable show and really played up to the ladies in the audience. Wednesday is a bright and sunny sea day! We had a relaxin g morning and met a portion of our cruise critic group for lunch in the main dining room. This was our only MDR lunch and while it was okay we don't feel the extra time is worth it. We are a bit surprised at the captain's daily announcement which tells us that despite leaving Gaspe an hour and a half late, we have already made up the time and slowed to 15 knots, enabling an on-time arrival at Bar Harbor at noon on Thursday. Wednesday was the third and final formal evening dinner was again very good and we are out of the dining room by 7:45. We took photos at all the formal portrait studios and went to the theater thirty minutes before show time. The theater was completely full by 25 minutes prior to the show. This was a cast show "IHollywood." Thursday was a relaxing morning due to a Noon arrival at Bar Harbor. We had been invited to an "Anniversary and honeymoon" gathering at 10:30. We attended and had photos taken with the provided cake. Otherwise it was well attended but fairly dull. We gathered our shore side things together and watched the tenders get lowered. As this was a U.S. port call after being in Canada, all non-US citizens needed to go through immigration in the theater before the ship was cleared, which did not occur until about 12:40. Due to the generosity of friends, we had priority tender tickets and were on the third tender off, reaching shore at 1:05. We were booked on the 2:00 Oli's Trolley tour of Bar Harbor and Arcadia National Park. We greatly enjoyed the tour. Upon return from the tour at 4:30, the first people we met on the street were from Summit and asked about our tour. They had tender ticket # 10 and did not reach shore until after 3:00. We took one look at the tender pier and saw that people were already lined up waiting for tenders back to the ship. While we really wanted to walk the town a bit, when we saw three tour buses pulling up, we decided to get in the tender line. Even at this hour, with over three hours before the stated "Last tender," it took 40 minutes to get back to Summit. We talked to passengers on board who waited three hours for their tender number and simply gave us, and never made it ashore. We also heard that tendering effectively stopped for a period of time while the "Live Maine Lobsters" were off-loaded. I have to ask, what is Celebrity management thinking? It is a GREAT idea to bring aboard some local specialties for the passengers - but we were DOCKED in Portland. It would have been no trouble at all, in Portland. In Bar Harbor we are tendering - and Summit does a poor job with tendering to begin with. Tying up the tender docks to bring Lobsters on board is a disaster in the making... No evening photo shoots tonight, as we are nearing the end of the cruise. We went to the show, an entertaining pianist. As we were very tired about half way through we left the show to get some tea and head to the cabin. We were surprised to find we were still anchored in port at 10:00. On Friday we learned why. One of the last tender boats, at 7:45 (per the cruise critic news report), ran aground due to "Poor visibility." It was raining by 6:00 or so, and it was certainly dark well before 7:00. Friday morning the Captain's daily announcement filled everyone in and we learned that we did not leave port until 11:30. We were assured of a timely arrival in Bayonne on Saturday. The weather improved and warmed as the day went on. One of our roll call members who snagged a corner "FV" cabin hosted a small farewell gathering at 3:00 PM. We had beautiful weather and it was obvious Summit was in no big hurry, as we were passed by a container ship heading towards NY. While much about this cruise needs improvement, we did meet some wonderful people through the roll call. Friday evening a dinner option was fresh Maine Lobster, brought onboard in Bar Harbor. We opted for the Lobster and thought the dining room did a very nice job. All the shells were cracked and the nasty body innards had been removed. We heard that by the second seating the lobsters were very mushy, but ours were enjoyable. We said our farewells to Vladimir and Marco at 7:45 and enjoyed one last set of dance music in the Rendez-Vous. We attended the farewell show, the highlight of which was Cassie, the cruise director, who sang two numbers. We put the luggage out for pick up, having been given Green 23 with an estimated debarkation time of 9:20 AM. The Summit could not let us leave without one last attempt at aggravating their passengers. We were thirty minutes late returning to Bayonne. No reason was given, no apologies, no announcement from the captain, nothing. As previously noted, we were crawling at sea on Friday, with freighters passing us, so it certainly was not due to leaving Bar Harbor late. Of course, this put all disembarkations behind. Our 9:20 disembarkation became 10:15. I know they need to clean the ship for the arriving passengers, but all the public restrooms except those on deck four were "Closed for cleaning." By the time we were in the terminal, ready to be picked up it was nearly 11:00, almost two weeks to the minute from when we arrived. This was the worst disembarkation we have experienced in fourteen cruises. Summary: This is the first "M - Class" ship we have sailed post-"Solsticizing." The areas renovated are beautiful. A couple of things though, are such blunders one must say "What were they thinking?" A great example of this is Revelations deck 11 forward. They took the port quarter of a marvelous, open, wrap-around room, and made it into the kid's club? There is no more prime "Real estate" on a ship, then the forward high deck room. Sitting in that room with just 2/3 of a view is so disappointing. Bistro on Five is pretty popular. But the area where it's located used to be part of a lounge. Cellarmasters seems woefully underutilized, and that was part of the same lounge. The results are that the passengers pre and post dinner that used to congregate in two lounges on decks 4 and 5, now are mostly in the Rendez-Vous on deck 4. But that also means, that if you want a seat with sight-view of the band, you need to be there early. "Crowding" in public spaces are what really turned us off to Princess. Regretfully Celebrity seems to be heading in the same direction. We enjoyed top-notch stateroom and dining staff. No complaints from us on that account. We are aware of a number of cruise-critic members who were not so fortunate with their dining staff and perhaps they will post their own reviews. The dining room issue that was horrible however was the incredible over-crowding during the first seating. Our table for six became a table for eight, therefore for twelve nights, we had a "Crowded" dinner experience, unable to stretch out our legs, or relax our shoulders. When people book four weeks before the cruise they should not board "Expecting" to get their dining room seating choice. The dining room crowding problem then became a theater crowding problem as well. One thing we love about Celebrity and Holland is that we can make the most of our evening, enjoying music in a lounge until five minutes before show time and then going to the theater. That was not possible on this cruise, where one needed to arrive thirty minutes early for any of the production shows, and 15 - 20 minutes before a guest performer. This was so disappointing! We have never had a cruise with the horrendous tendering issues that Summit had on this cruise. The person or persons at corporate who set the itinerary for this cruise should literally be fired. Arriving at 10:30 or Noon at tender ports that do not provide their own "Super tenders" is asking for trouble. Do the math - at Sydney and Bar Harbor, it took a full hour for a tender to load, transit, unload, and transit back. At 100 people per tender, that is 400 people per hour. There are 2,000 passengers. Even if you allow that 500 of them have no desire to go ashore, if nothing goes wrong it takes 3.75 hours to move 1,500 passengers. The same situation exists for returning to the ship. It is better to avoid those ports altogether if the ship can't arrive at 7:00 AM. Overall, these fourteen days on the Summit goes down as the lowest rated cruise we have done in fourteen cruises, at just two stars. What I hope Celebrity management takes notice of is my closing sentence. If this had been my first Celebrity Cruise I would never cruise with them again, as I wouldn't know that this was not normal for Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
Celebrity Summit Sept 8, 2011 R/T Port Liberty Canada/New England Background information: Decision to take this cruise My target was to visit Quebec. We had visited most of the other ports so these were not a factor. We had just ... Read More
Celebrity Summit Sept 8, 2011 R/T Port Liberty Canada/New England Background information: Decision to take this cruise My target was to visit Quebec. We had visited most of the other ports so these were not a factor. We had just returned from a Celebrity cruise on the Silhouette, despite a noro-virus problem that dampened the voyage, the ship proved to rekindle my affection towards the Celebrity line. Celebrity offered the best itinerary of those ships sailing out of the NYC area. And, the perks associated with the "Elite" class are outstanding. I would recommend that anyone close to "Elite" make it their goal to reach this milestone. Cabin selection On our last Celebrity Cruise was in a Concierge Cabin. All I have to say the "little" perks associated with this class of cabin made the cruise very enjoyable. However, the price differential between an ocean view and concierge cabin was $1,200 PP. ($2,400 would give me another cruise) A balcony cabin, which represents the minimum that we will normally travel out as, was not that attractive because of the itinerary. Any Caribbean cruise deserves a balcony! So PRICE was the primary factor in the cabin selection. We will see later in this review if this was a good choice. Our cruise experience In the last 15 years, the majority of our vacation experiences have been with deep water cruising (30+). We have done river cruising in Europe, land tours of Central America and the South West, all-inclusive vacations in Jamaica, D.R, and Mexico, a couple of vacations to each of the following - OBX, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and Florida, a post cruise tour of Alaska, and a land visit on our second trip to Hawaii. As we are not wealthy, the best value for a buck is a major factor. Clearly, the best bang for a buck rest with deep water cruising. A good ship, good crew, and good food have consistently been our experience. The cruise experience Pre cruise planning We selected My Time dinning and reserved a 6:30 seating. We also stated that we prefer a "large" table over a table for two. The time fit us the best by avoiding that "early" dinning time at the main seating. If we were able to share, this would add to our dinning experience. This time line fit in well with the Elite cocktail hour and the show times. We arranged for a private tour on P.E.I. with others on this cruise. Transportation to the port For us, Port Liberty represents the idea cruise departure for NYC area. NO NEED FOR AIR LINES!!!!! Parking -- There is a good system for parking. However, the cost @ $19/day, it is much less expensive for us to hire a car service to pickup and deliver us to the port. We've always used this type of service for both business and personal use without a problem. Historically, the Port has presented minor traffic problems upon arrival. In this instance, there were no vehicles in our path from the beginning of the entry road until we reached our unloading bay. The sight of absolutely no traffic initially had me concerned that we were on the wrong day. It was a relief to see the Summit when we turned into the departing area. We left our home in Wayne, NJ at 10:40 AM and were in the entry scanning area by 11:20 AM. Embarkation process The "Elite" line was much shorter than the regular line. The personnel were very friendly and efficient. We move quickly through the process and were enjoying lunch at the buffet at 11:50 AM Once on board We were met with the customary welcoming toast and preceded to the Ocean View Buffet. There was plenty of available seating and we partook in a light lunch. Our room was scheduled to be available at 1:30 PM but it was announced that it was a ready at 1:15 PM Our Cabin 2089 Deck 2 Initial observation presented a room well appointed and spacious enough to meet the standards expected from Celebrity. As mentioned earlier, we chose to forgo a balcony on this cruise because of the itinerary and price difference. Although there were times that I missed the balcony, overall, in this particular cruise I believe we made the correct choice. I will say that, as long as I can afford it, I would choose a balcony on every warm weather cruise. We had no complaints with the room's condition or size. There were no distracting noises except for one short period late on one night for about one hour. We encountered some very rough seas and this room was very stable and the rough seas went unnoticed. Crew From a very personable Captain to the bus boys in the buffet there was a consistent level of friendly, courteous, and efficient service. There were no exceptions. But there were exceptional levels of service that bear mentioning -- Selma the casino hostess and Lionel our Elite social gathering host Food The buffet -- Breakfast offered a very nice selection including "made to order" poached eggs, omelets, and freshly cooked eggs. (All exceptionally good.) There were numerous other offerings. Lunch had the usual flair of a wide variety of foods and had gourmet made-to-order sandwiches. Dinner offered many choices. One was sushi which was quite good. MDR- Breakfast, many times the meal arrived cool. Lunch was OK Dinner, the meals were exceptionally prepared with a great choice of offerings. I cannot say enough good things here. There was only one exception. Pool side - Lunch hamburgers and hot dogs were standard fare for cruise ships. Bristol at Five Any meal: Simply great. Do not miss this. ($5 cover charge worth it) Sea days Generally there was a lack of ingenuity, imagination, and creativity by the cruise director in entertaining the guest while confined indoors on the sea days. The facility for on board movies - UGH! American football both college and pro was dominate on the air waves but not on the ship. To their credit they did arrange for some games. (I say thank you) The problem was you had to go to your room to have a game with sound or watch it in a venue without sound. Entertainment Very good mix of shows and performers. The port of calls Portland, Maine We were met by a relative at the dock site. Very easy access for pick up and drop off. We took our relatives to eat at a local eatery called the Lobster Shack, a very popular tourist stop. Good meal at reasonable price. Just beat the rush of patrons. Could not enjoy the outdoor tables. It was just too cool. We also visited the 1,700 lb. chocolate moose, Lenny. Bar Harbor, Maine * Very picturesque area. Since we did tours on past visits we took the time to just enjoy this town. As a footnote- here you will find the best prices on shirts, jackets, and other gifts. Halifax, Nova Scotia * Interesting sites right along the waterfront. Sydney, Nova Scotia* See the giant fiddle and an easy walk into town. '* We did not take any tours on this trip but would suggest taking a tour. Charlottetown, P.E.I. Took a tour to "Anne of Green Gables". Went on a private tour arranged before the trip. Six passengers in a van. Stopped to have P.E.I. mussels for lunch. Previous tours in Bar Harbor and Halifax better. This is a nice town to visit on your own. Quebec City, Quebec This was the prize jewel of this cruise. What a beautiful stop! Easy self guided walking tour. Take the EroBus (sp?) $1 charge to anywhere. Good to do before you venture out by foot. Recommend taking the horse drawn carriage ride. Well worth it. We got lucky and spent 3 days here and missed Gaspe. Before you go check out TomsPortGuides.com -- great info no charge. Saving the best for last Elite Perks Absolutely the best! The Social Gathering was great. Little things like the flowers in the room mean a lot. Breakfast in the Normandie for Elite was super. Keep on Celebrity to reach this status. Well Worth it! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
Embarkation - Arrived at 11:45, there was no traffic going to the ship. Checked in at Suite check in and boarded in 15 minutes Suite was spacious and clean. Our butler Benjamin was great as was Ruel our cabin steward. Dining ... Read More
Embarkation - Arrived at 11:45, there was no traffic going to the ship. Checked in at Suite check in and boarded in 15 minutes Suite was spacious and clean. Our butler Benjamin was great as was Ruel our cabin steward. Dining Cosmopolitan - the food was better than I remembered The dining room menu had many interesting choices. I had never seen Ahi tuna on a cruise ship menu before, it was on the menu twice. The service was the best. Our waiter Ali and his assistant Hugh Allen were the best team that I have had on any of my cruises. I caught a cold 4 days before we returned to Bayonne. Ali saw me in the buffet at lunch and suggested I try some cinnamon tea with honey. Each of the next four nights at dinner Ali had Allen bring me a cup of cinnamon tea. Buffet was good. Nice choices for breakfast. We had salads for lunch. Normandie -- We were celebrating our 25th anniversary. We had dinner at Normandie for our anniversary. The food was excellent and the service was top notch Qsine -- this was a wonderful experience. I highly recommend it. Be careful not to order to much. Bistro on 5 -- wonderful crepes for breakfast. Worth the $5. Ports were great. Due to bad weather we missed Gaspe and had to spend an extra day in Quebec. As an Elite Captains club Member the perks were great. Daily cocktail party, internet savings and 30 free items laundered. Debarkation -- Our number was in the second group called. We were off the ship and on our way home just after 9 AM. To finish this was our 10th Celebrity cruise and it was by far the best. We have always loved Celebrity and we were not disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
This was our third cruise on Summit, the first after the upgrade. The ship was in good shape, clean and tidy throughout and the staff were really keen to oblige. Embarkation went well and we were soon in the buffet line! Most of the ... Read More
This was our third cruise on Summit, the first after the upgrade. The ship was in good shape, clean and tidy throughout and the staff were really keen to oblige. Embarkation went well and we were soon in the buffet line! Most of the buffet food was good except for the soggy scrambled eggs each morning. Good variety of choice, although some repetition is to be expected on a 14-day trip. The first evening, there was such a crush for Select dining that we ended up in Bistro on 5. The staff were excellent and we had an enjoyable meal for an extra $5 each. After that we found Alexandra to be most helpful with booking times and getting seated at Select dining. The food in the dining room was good, but the lobster was nowhere near as good as on the Silhouette earlier in the year. Our cabin crew was led by Noel and they were first class, no complaints there. We also tried qsine, on a two-for-one deal. It is an interesting format, but we had to cancel our last order as we were full! Complaints: We all had to assemble in the theatre to be processed by US Customs in Bar Harbor and there was no information on how we were going to proceed. Surely someone could have got on the stage and made an announcement? After being processed we went to the Conference room for (Elite priority) tendering, but were again met with no information other than wait 5-10 minutes. After half-an-hour we left and went for lunch on board. We were amazed at how late they were calling tender parties, given a fairly early departure. We left the Elite gathering spot and were off the ship by 8:30 only to have to wait over an hour while the shore staff located two missing cases! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
My husband and I recently sailed on Celebrity Summit to Canada and New England. This was our first experience with Celebrity and it will probably be our last. I have never seen such disorganization and it started from the time we first ... Read More
My husband and I recently sailed on Celebrity Summit to Canada and New England. This was our first experience with Celebrity and it will probably be our last. I have never seen such disorganization and it started from the time we first made our reservations through Celebrity. We were told that they would pick our cabin in the next 10 days. My husband had asked for a veranda with a view on the port side. They selected a veranda with a blocked view on the starboard side. When we called, we were told they had one on the other side (port) that was available. The ship itself was very nice and clean. Our cabin was also very clean and the cabin steward was very good and accommodating when we asked for something. We selected 6:00 traditional seating and weren't even told that it was booked. When we checked our reservations they had us at 8:30 dining. We called about that and were told that because we were "Select" that we could "wait list" for the 6:00 seating and would probably get it. Every time we called after that they kept telling us that we would get the 6:00 seating. But of course, that didn't happen. We had to take "Select" and didn't get to have the same waiter every night. When we arrived at the dining room, they never asked if we wanted to sit with someone, just assumed that we were a couple and sat us at a table for 2. The wait staff showing us the tables every night never even knew where the table was. We found most of the service on Celebrity very slow. We sat in Michael's Club one night and there were only 4 people in there and 2 of them were staff. It took 15 minutes before we were asked if we wanted something to drink. But in Rendez Vous, they were very quick to ask if we wanted something. We didn't book any excursions through the ship, but plan a couple things on our own. We tendered in 3 ports and that was a total disaster. In Sydney, we waited almost 3 hours to get off the ship. While there wasn't much that we wanted to do in Sydney, we did want to walk around since we had never been there before. In Bar Harbor, it took about 2 ½ hours to get off the ship. And then, the tender we were in still had about 30 empty seats with passengers still on board waiting. We hadn't eaten lunch on the ship because we really wanted to get lobster locally, but we didn't eat until 3:00. Then to finish the cruise, our debarkation time was 9:30 and we weren't called until 10:20. On a positive note, we did have an excellent cabin steward and wine sommelier. The food also was very good. This cruise was just one thing after another and I heard many long time cruisers on Celebrity say the same thing. Many even indicated that they would not be sailing on Celebrity again. 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
Sail Date: September 2012
We have been on over 40 cruises. I am 65 and DH is 77. We have done about 16 Celebrity Cruises. We go on cruises for 2 reasons food and entertainment. Both were excellent on this cruise. I know there were problems for most people on ... Read More
We have been on over 40 cruises. I am 65 and DH is 77. We have done about 16 Celebrity Cruises. We go on cruises for 2 reasons food and entertainment. Both were excellent on this cruise. I know there were problems for most people on this cruise but they didn't seem to affect us. We had 2nd seating dinner which we prefer and it was not crowded at all. There were empty tables since a majority of people on this cruise wanted early seating. Obviously it was not possible for everyone that wanted 1st seating to be accomodated. The tendering on this ship was definitely a probelm. It took way too long. We were elite members and were always on the 1st or 2nd tender. We don't do shore excursions with the ship so were not affected at all by the tendering. We don't do a lot of activities on the ship. My husband did go to most of the lectures about space and thought they were excellent. Our service was excellent. Our waiter Mike & Shinde(Asst.) were excellent. We were out of the dining room by 9:45 every night. Our cabin steward also did a good job. We thought the entertainment on this ship was the best we have ever seen on a ship. All the guest entertainers were very good. I mentioned this to Caissie and she said even she was impressed. Most entertainers only did 1 show and only stayed on the ship 1 or 2 nights. The celebrity orchestra was one of the best ship orchestras we have heard. The Production Shows were good. We didn't really like the song in the I Hollywood but they did a good job with it. We liked the other 2 shows better. Phil Tag-a Comedian from New York was very funny. Gary Arbuthnot- a flute player from Ireland was entertaining. He did a variety of music from popular to Broadway to Classical. The show Bande Artistique(Emile & Marie-Claude) was great.It included opera, singing, & juggling. It was very funny & was great. Adam Trent a magician was great. He did simple magic tricks that were very effective. He got a standing ovation at his 1st show. He also did a show at 10:30 in the sky lounge which was very good close-up magic. Paul Tanner-Singer/impressionist was very good. He sang a song especially to me and to several other ladies in the audience. Brooks Ashron-Classical pianist was very entertaining. He did 2 shows and was very well received. We also enjoyed the a-capella group and the band Rhymix. We went ashore at all the ports. We did our own thing in most. In Prince Edward Island we joined 2 other couples from Cruise Critic for a tour. We booked through Fair Island Tours but had a driver Irwin(Rusty Rover Tours). The tour was supposed to be 4 hours but we agreed to 5. He was a good guide. He spoke very good English and knew a lot about the Island. We saw the House of Green Gables, the bridge, and a lot of the countryside. We paid him $100 + $10 tip. The van was a little crowded for 6 people but we did enjoy the people and the company of the other 2 couples. I took a ship tour in Quebec on the 2nd morning with a friend on the ship. It was a city tour and the falls. The guide was very good, very informative and spoke excellent English. We got back to the ship right before the rain. My only complaint on this cruise was the handling of the cruise critic party. It should have been on the 1st sea day and instead was several days into the cruise. The whole idea of the get together is to meet fellow members. It was held in Michael's Club which was not large enough. Caissie (CD) attended but no other officers. Disembarkation was fine for us. We went to the Elite Lounge at 8:40 and left at 9. We found our luggage and walked straight thru customs. There was no line. I Called Independent Driver to pick us up. He was at the port and was there in about 5 minutes. It was $45 for 2 people to the airport. For us one of our best ever cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2012
This was our first cruise with Celebrity, also first time on a large cruise ship. We have previously cruised on Renaissance (now defunct), Club Med 1 & 2, and most of the Windstar ships, visiting the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Celebrity, also first time on a large cruise ship. We have previously cruised on Renaissance (now defunct), Club Med 1 & 2, and most of the Windstar ships, visiting the Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Micronesia (Tahiti, Bora Bora, etc0. We spent one night in Anchorage, AK before the cruise, took the train from Anchorage to Seward, then spent a long weekend in Vancouver after the cruise. The train ride was scenic, but the typical overcast Alaskan weather diminished the visibility and impact of the scenery. We saw one bald eagle nest, a porcupine, and a galloping speck on a mountainside that appeared to be a bear. So much for the wildlife! Overall, the train ride was quite civlized, with an informative hostess/guide, and decent food service. Boarding the Millennium was relatively smooth, until we got on board, when the camera station malfunctioned, so we had to wait to get our ID cards. Nobody offered to show us to our cabin, so we found it on our own (not very difficult). However, I heard some nasty comments from other passengers about the rather lackadaisical approach to onboarding. There was one knob on the wall in our cabin, the purpose of which I never did figure out. Our cabin steward Ralph did come by a little later to introduce himself, and provided attentive and courteous service throughout the cruise. The room was comfortable and nicely decorated, and our veranda was also nice --- somewhat larger than the cabins directly above us (!?). The newly refurbished decor of the ship was VERY nice, and I spent a lot of time in the early morning hours taking photos, which I have posted on the Celebrity message board, and tried to post in the Photo Gallery (somewhat laborious process). Celebrity did host a welcome party for the 20+ Cruise Critic guests in Michael's Lounge, with complimentary champagne and Mimosas. However, afterwards it was hard to keep track of the folks we met, except for those of us who joined together for the Dyea Dave excursion into Canada a few days later. We were lucky to have a sunny day to view the Hubbard Glacier, but the floating ice kept the ship from approaching closer than 3 miles or so. Even so, the rails were lined with passengers looking for a good view. The best viewing was from the Sports Deck, or the Cosmos Lounge. A good "secret" spot was from the Spa fitness center, directly below Cosmos. One of the highlights of the trip was the onboard naturalist, who gave a live presentation during the glacier visit, plus several other presentations in the theater, which were then re-broadcast throughout the day on TV. He was very informative, and an excellent speaker. One piece of information that we learned from these talks is that during June, cruise ships are not allowed to enter Glacier Bay national park, because of the need to protect the newborn seal pups. Before the cruise, we had heard that Celebrity was not one of the cruise lines allowed into the park, so it turned out that we didn't miss anything anyway. We only did one excursion, and I heard mixed reviews from other passengers. The weather was overcast and drizzly throughout all the Alaska itinerary, and apparently the whale watching was somewhat disappointing, as the boats are not allowed to approach nearer than 300 yards from the whales and orcas. We saved our whale watching until Vancouver, and were rewarded with some outstanding sights of leaping, breaching orcas. Entertainment was pretty good, with a great magician, a fairly good comedian/ventriloquist, and several different musical groups. Now for the food & beverage. Admittedly, my basis of comparison is based on small ship cruising, which allows for more personal service and food presentation. Celebrity's food was fairly good in quality, but suffered from "large dining room syndrome". Let's start with the coffee, which was not terrible, but it wasn't great either. Even the fresh-ground coffee at the Cafe Bacio was pretty bad, at $5 a pop. Celebrity can do better. Breakfast pastries were terrible, little round danish thingies fresh from the freezer case, about as appetizing as cardboard with jelly on top. Most guests turned them down. OJ was good, but the scrambled eggs definitely came from a large chafing dish, not cooked to order. Omelets were consistently overcooked, but the eggs benedict were pretty good.Lunch in the Ocean Cafe was OK for a buffet line, with good selection. Desserts were pretty, but tasteless. Bread pudding was excellent, as was the ice cream. Main dining room service was very attentive, but again, the food suffered from a lack of attention and consistency. I had to send back my steak, lamb chops, and salmon because it was overcooked. Caesar salad was great one night, lousy the next. Desserts were all very good, especially those that were prepared on the dining room floor, such as Crepes Suzette and Cherries Jubilee. The wine list was limited by the glass, and some offerings were not available, even though they were listed on the menu as the Sommelier's Recommendation! Overall, still a very pleasant cruise experience. We have booked another 12-night Celebrity Cruise to New Zealand and Australia early in 20123, looking forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
We were really excited to take this cruise as we had to cancel our last two cruises because I was ill. We had not cruised since March 2010 on Mercury. We booked this cruise using our Discover Cash Back Bonus and getting a $200 ... Read More
We were really excited to take this cruise as we had to cancel our last two cruises because I was ill. We had not cruised since March 2010 on Mercury. We booked this cruise using our Discover Cash Back Bonus and getting a $200 certificate in exchange for $100 cash back. Because of this we had to use a specific Travel Agency to have the bonus applied. We had been waiting for prices to come down and when we saw a Guaranteed Inside for $999 we jumped on it using our certificate. We sailed out of Cape Liberty Cruise Port, Bayonne, NJ. This is the 4th time we have sailed out of Bayonne. It's only 58 miles from our home so while the port itself is not that great, it's very convenient for us since we can drive. Parking is $19 a day and believe it or not, that's not bad for this area. We arrived at the port at 11:58 AM, dropped off our luggage, parked the car and walked into the terminal. Unfortunately, embarkation this time was terrible. It took us just over an hour from when we walked into the terminal to get onto the ship. We waited in line for about 45 minutes to just check in and then we had to take the shuttle to the ship. But all is forgiven (usually) when you are on the ship and they hand you that glass of champagne. We had an inside stateroom category 10 on deck 3. This is the first time we have been on deck 3 and were a bit nervous. Come to find out I think I like being down on deck 3, better than 7 (where we usually are). The room was the typical 170 square foot Celebrity inside cabin with plenty of storage and closet space. Our stateroom attendant was good and he and his assistant did their jobs, although this is the first cruise we've ever taken that there had been days where our rooms were not completely done until 2:00 PM. I'm not sure if this is new to Celebrity or if it was a shortage of help, but we were surprised to come back from being off the ship that our room still hadn't been done and it was almost 2:00 PM. Also there were only 5 kids on this sailing. I only saw 3 of them, so don't know where the other 2 were hiding. Entertainment was good, nothing spectacular. There we some performers better than others. There were 3 production shows: iHollywood, which is music from Hollywood movies; Stars in Their Eyes -â€" a tribute to legendary stars and their music; and the last Sirens -â€" some kind of burlesque fantasy with pirates and mermaids that we just didn't get, we actually left after about 25 minutes or so. I don't know if it was because we were tired or what, but we did not think it was that good. Singer, Jordan Bennett, who has been on Broadway, television and other musical theater, performed a really good show. They had a concert pianist, Brooks Aehron who did 3 shows, one was an afternoon matinee. They had 2 comedians, Al Ducharme and Louis Johnson. The second was a bit funnier than the first. They had a female vocal impressionist, Karen Grainger who was good but I really was hoping she would have been better. They had a juggler, Barry John, who believe it or not was really good. Talented and funny. They had their standard acapella group, Western Union, who appeared around the ship as well as in the theater during the Variety Shows We did not see any of the other entertainment around the ship so I cannot comment on those performers. They had two speakers for their enrichment series. Bob Loudon talked about the Golden Radio Days. We went to his first talk on the first sea day and that was it. The second speaker was Dr. Denny Whitford, professor and retired US Navy Captain. He had a few good presentations. The crew and staff on this Summit sailing were very good to excellent. We had a wonderful waiter, Michael and assistant waiter Jonie in the Cosmopolitan Dining Room. The food on the other hand was hit or miss. Between there not being anything on the menu that appealed to us to getting entrees that had to be sent back. This does not mean all the food was bad, we did home some delicious meals but overall I would have to give the food overall a B- or even C. The lunch buffet after the 4th day I was tired of eating it. The dining room lunch menu wasn't much better. The dining room is only open on sea days, except for one where they had brunch, which we did not attend because we do not like brunch. We dined once in the Specialty Restaurant, Normandie, and it was delicious with terrific service. The chocolate souffle is to die for. We did not do any ship's excursions and did things on our own. Debarkation was not too bad. We were told we were going to get off at 8:15 AM but there was a slight delay in us arriving and we got off at 8:55 AM. We were at our car at 9:33 AM and then we were home at 10:45 AM. Summit is looking a bit worn in some areas, especially the carpeting. Good thing she is going to be refurbished in January 2012. We love Celebrity, their service is still terrific, they just need to make the quality of their food consistently good and not hit and miss. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
This is our second cruise on the Summit and our 4th with Celebrity. Our first was on the Summit in 2002 to Alaska, then on the Infinity to Hawaii, on the Mercury to Alaska in 2010and now in Oct, 2011 on the Summit to Canada & New ... Read More
This is our second cruise on the Summit and our 4th with Celebrity. Our first was on the Summit in 2002 to Alaska, then on the Infinity to Hawaii, on the Mercury to Alaska in 2010and now in Oct, 2011 on the Summit to Canada & New England. While cruising is still my favorite way to travel because I enjoy the true vacation experience and services offered such as food & entertainment and not having to unpack between ports, we have noticed that the quality has deteriorated. While the food is still delicious, the quality has fallen. Instead of large shrimp in a shrimp cocktail, they are medium. The jumbo tiger shrimp was a medium shrimp about the size of my index finger. On the long awaited lobster night where your waiter removes the lobster tail from the shell, the tail is the size of a large shrimp and there is no removal from the shell. Even when we dined at the Normandy specialty restaurant for $40 a head plus tip, the lobster was small and there was no removal of the meat from the shell. And it seems as if Celebrity doesn't know how to make a good chocolate dessert. Their chocolate night didn't even have a yummy chocolate treat. No good fudge brownie or cake. I think the key to an enjoyable cruise is your waiter and his assistant. This has always been the case & they make you feel special and welcome. They are the ones who remember who you are and what you like. No one else gives you that service or attention. Our cruise director Daimeon was good. He had some good shows but as the cruise progressed, the jokes from the entertainers deteriorated and got off color. And the costumes on the ladies often were skimpy. We enjoyed the pianist very much and appreciated that he performed more than once. By the last night the entertainment wasn't worth watching and that was probably good since many cruisers were busy packing by then.There normally is an afternoon or even a high tea served onboard at some point but now it is only offered at the specialty restaurant for $29. It used to be included with the price but not any more. My husband who is a retired meat cutter and knows meat says the steaks were precooked and heated in order to serve so many in a short time. There were no grill marks or signs of sizzling on the steaks. The only time we saw prime rib roast was during the captains function at noon where you sat with plates on your lap and with no place setting or fork & knife. It looked good but we never saw it in the dining room. This always used to be standard fare but not anymore. We will probably cruise with Celebrity again since we were lured with the open ended certificate to give shipboard credit at a future cruise and purchased this. But now I wonder if that was a wise thing to do. Overall we enjoyed the cruise and the cruising experience but when we remember what it was like 5 years ago, 10 years ago and even longer we must admit that things have changed. We think that to get the quality we used to get we must now book a higher level like the Solstice class or even higher. The one cruise excursion we used was tea and walking tour at the Quebec Frontenac. The walking tour was okay but the tea was a great disappointment. It was not a high tea nor even an afternoon tea. There were no scones or devonshire cream & jam to go with it. When we got to the cafe, the plates were already on the table and contained 1 small think slice of a poppy seed bread, 1 small piece of chocolate cake, a piece of biscotti & 2 chocolate candies. That's it. Our server didn't know what a scone was and that it was standard fare for a tea. This was not really tea fare, no sandwiches and there was no place on Celebrity's evaluation for us to rate our excursion experience. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
What a disappointment! The "Royal Suite" was in such sad shape, I could not believe that Celebrity Cruise Line would allow anyone to occupy that type of cabin. I took photos of the areas because I think that nobody would ... Read More
What a disappointment! The "Royal Suite" was in such sad shape, I could not believe that Celebrity Cruise Line would allow anyone to occupy that type of cabin. I took photos of the areas because I think that nobody would believe me. The carpeting had mold, the window drapes had mold and warm spots, the arms of one of the chairs was so dirty, I would not even sit in it, and I had them change my pillows because they smelled like body odor. We had a whirlpool bathtub, and on the last day of the cruise, I developed a rash on my arm. My dermatologist told me that it probably was from the whirlpool and that it was most likely because it was dirty. Too bad, because we sail at least 3 times a year, and this was our first time with Celebrity. Never again! I even asked other passengers if their cabins were in bad shape, and they all agreed with me. On the positive side, the crew members were wonderful, especially our butler. They really tried hard to please everyone. Without them, the cruise would have been a total disaster. We heard that the Summit was going to be refurbished after our cruise, but in my opinion, the ship never should have been allowed to have passengers board in the condition our cabin was in. 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: September 2011
We have been on approximately 45 cruises on several different lines so I have many to compare this with. We thought the Summit cruise to New England/Canada was great especially getting away from the heat in Florida for a few weeks. ... Read More
We have been on approximately 45 cruises on several different lines so I have many to compare this with. We thought the Summit cruise to New England/Canada was great especially getting away from the heat in Florida for a few weeks. Getting on the ship was easy and since we are Elite members of the Captain's Club, so was getting off the ship. I have no idea how it was for everyone else. The ports were interesting, particularly P.E.I. and Bar Harbor. Went to Peggy's Cove in Halifax and it was just lovely. The food has certainly gone downhill on Celebrity. We ate in the MDR at night about half the time and went to the buffet in the evening the rest of the time. The evening buffet was not great. Selection was poor and we had to compare it to Princess which has most of the selections for the MDR on the buffet in the evening. The food was just ok in the MDR but the descriptions on the menu were better than the actual food! But the service was outstanding everywhere and the ports were great so we has a terrific time. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2011
My husband and I really enjoyed our cruise on the Summit for our 30th wedding anniversary. We wanted quiet time together, and by booking a balcony stateroom, we were able to spend a lot of quality time there. The ship didn't feel ... Read More
My husband and I really enjoyed our cruise on the Summit for our 30th wedding anniversary. We wanted quiet time together, and by booking a balcony stateroom, we were able to spend a lot of quality time there. The ship didn't feel crowded, and we chose to only participate in a few activities; the Galley and Bridge tours and a show. Service was excellent, all the staff was friendly and helpful. Sydney, N.S. Not much to do in Sydney. Walked about town. Took a tour of an historic house, and took a walk along the waterfront. Lunch at a local restaurant (Governor's Pub?) Our main problems revolved around two issues; our inability to change our dinner time, and the frequent inaccessibility of Revelations Lounge to non- Captain's Club members. The only dinner seating available when we booked in May was the 8:30. The first day on board we went to see the maitre d' about a change to open seating, and he informed us that no changes were possible. The open seating was fully booked before the cruise was even put up for reservations. The 6 PM was also full. We ate at the later seating for a week, finishing dinner at 10 PM, and then falling asleep with full stomachs. After a week we ate dinner on our own time at the buffet with the other "regulars" who had the same problem. First time passengers on Celebrity are barred from Captain's Club events. Fine with us except that they took over Revelations Lounge on Sailaways and other times of the day. Not a problem, except that on a cold weather cruise, the big lounge at the top of the ship, with all the big windows is the best place to see where the ship is sailing, or to sit on Sea Days and read and enjoy the view. Our last few days, every time we went up there it was for Captain's Club only. We began to feel like second class passengers! Although these problems did not spoil the cruise for us, they did keep us from having a totally relaxing time. We retreated more to our stateroom, and spent more time on deck when it was cold and windy. The buffet actually had food we enjoyed more than the dining room; lot's of salads and Indian curries and sushi! Read Less
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