Year Started: 1988
Ships in Fleet: 10
Summary: This premium cruise line features beautiful ships on itineraries world-wide. Excellent cuisine, great service, roomy staterooms. Modern Luxury at value prices.
Regions:Caribbean Western, Inland Waterways, Mediterranean Eastern
Good for: Overall Service. Foodies. Seniors.
Regions:Caribbean Southern, Inland Waterways, Mediterranean Western
Good for: Seniors. Foodies. Overall Service.
Regions:Caribbean Southern, Mediterranean Western, Transatlantic
Good for: Seniors. Foodies. Value for Money.
Regions:Alaska, Australia, Hawaii, Inland Waterways
Good for: Seniors. Singles. Families.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Mediterranean Eastern, Transatlantic
Good for: Seniors. Group. Families.
Regions:Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Western, Mediterranean Eastern
Good for: Foodies. Overall Service. Value for Money.
Regions:Alaska, Australia, Hawaii
Good for: Foodies. Seniors. Group.
Regions:Caribbean, Panama Canal, Europe
Good for: Seniors. Families. Luxury Travelers.
Regions:Bermuda, Caribbean Eastern, Caribbean Southern
Good for: Foodies. Seniors. Group.
Good for: Group. Singles. First-time Cruisers.
We just returned from cruise on Infinity (Celebrity) and were really not happy.Key carwas replaced 3 times and door had to be reapired; then the toilet seat was hanging off; the Closet door had to be fixed and the safe had tohave door taken apart so we could program it;by the time all was repaired,we missed our evening meal, and the buffet was closed except for pasta, which was by that time not what we had expected.
We also noticed that the overhead bunk was not properly secured as one of the latches was disengaged,(very unsafe) We asked for another Stateroom but were told there was'nt any available.
We are "Elite" in the Captains Club and we were most unhappy.
The ship was very beautiful, but we will be thinking twice before cruising with Celebrity in the near future. The food was not exactly five star,but the service was excellent and our room stewardess and dining room waiter and busboy were the greatest and should be commended for going above and beyond to please all.We have 40 odd cruise experiences.
I would like to warn everyone who has any inclinations of going on a cruise with Celebrity Cruises/Royal Caribbean. In September my husband and I went on our honeymoon on the Milennium Celebrity Cruise. We purchased our entire package from Celebrity and spent an extremely large amount of money: $25,000 on this honeymoon - including the cruise itself, flights, food, drinks, and excursions.
We cruised 2 weeks on the Milennium without the pools, hot tubs, ball courts. Having worked in the travel industry in the past I had always wanted to go on a Celebrity cruise...what a BIG mistake that turned out to be. The service was absolutely horrible, most of the crew members were unfriendly, cold and miserable - I do not understand how they managed to be employed in the hospitality industry. We were shocked. The everyday activities were lame and the night life was minimal. I have been on cruises before and they have been quite lively.
Please Please Please I warn you to WATCH YOUR LUGGAGE and all your personal belongings. Do NOT take the staff's word when they tell you your luggage will be safe when you leaveit for their safekeeping before disembarking the ship. We had made sure our luggage was safety locked up. When we got home to our surprise that some items we brought and purchased from our trip were STOLEN!(approximately $1000.00 worth). They even stole the video tapes from our vacation (our honeymoon memories - gone!) The tapes and videocamcorder we received as a wedding gift just a month before was stolen. (This was our first and last time we had to use it). I know thieves have no sentiments and they don't give a care as to what they steal and who they steal from. I could not believe what had happened! Trying to get any compensation from Celebrity Cruiselines is a JOKE! Not only did they steal our luggage they managed to lose another bag of ours from the ship to the carousal in Barcelona - less than 100 metres away. What a bunch of incompetent fools. This is no coincidence, these people are professionals so please be aware.
I can not believe after spending the amount of money we did Celebrity just brushed us off. The letter they sent back was like a slap in the face. I believe no matter how much money is spent on a vacation no one should have to worry about safety or their possessions especially because it is their job to safekeep their belongings. I am absolutely flabbergasted and appalled with what has happened and especially the lack of professionalism of this cruiseline.
Please I beg you to think twice before booking a vacation with Celebrity cruiselines/Royal Caribbean.
Take care all. Thank you for reading my review and think hard before booking Celebrity Cruises/Royal Caribbean
Can't say enough about Celebrity. Love this cruiseline! Second time on the Infinity. First time May 2004, Panama Canal. There were 6 of us traveling together to Alaska. My Dad's 80th birthday, and first cruise. He wished he had cruised years ago.
Infinity staff is outstanding. Cabins and food awesome. We both had balcony cabins just 2 down from each other. My Mom and Dad had a handicapped cabin. So, so much room. Awesome. Celebrity let us have a wheelchair the entire 7 days on loan. Dad gets around okay, but tires fast, so this came in handy throughout the 7 days. We even took it off the ship into Juneau.
We rented a car from Rent-a-Wreck. Nice lady named Connie from there helped us with everything there was to see in Juneau for a fraction of the cost of all tours! Six people rented a van with room for wheelchair. Went to 5 different places. Only paid $99/day for the van. Picked it up right at the pier parking, and dropped off there after. Only $33/couple! Awesome. We figured we saved over $600/person, the total of all tours had wehave done them separately. What a way to go!
There is only one main road in Juneau. Started at the far end and then stopped whenever we wanted to! Highly recommend the Infinity iternary for Alaska!
What a fine ship Infinity is!
Our trip ( we had 9 people in our party) was wonderful. We went from San Francisco to Victoria BC and finally Vancouver BC. The short 4 day trip was perfect for our large group to try out a cruise. All of our guests had never been on a cruise before.
I am afraid they are now all spoiled for life and may never find a better cruise line than celebrity!
We all loved our rooms and balconies and the service was out of this world.
Champagne awaited us in the room when we arrived and the early evening brought us hors d'ourves daily... what a treat.
Just like the TV commercial you do get fresh cut long stem roses daily and the staff greets you with hello Madam or Sir when ever they see you.
Room service was fantastic... very good food on the room service menu. Other cruise lines we have been on offer room service but it is cold, and dry and not worth eating.
Breakfast in the dinning room is the best and the pizza is always hot and fresh,
Dinner was nice, thestaff perfect.
Our favorite entertainment was a total surprise. Rita Moreno the Oscar,Tony and Grammy winning actress gave a wonderful talk about the movies. She acted out several scenes and was very powerful as a speaker.
It seems when ever I go on a cruise I seem to run into the same people over and over again. To my surprise on this trip that person was none other than Rita Moreno!
She spent her time on the cruise not locked in a suite but out with the people having a grand time with her husband of 41 years and her daughter. Getting to spend even a little time with this wonderful woman was just frosting on this cruise cake.
We will be going again on Celebrity as soon as we can.
We started our 12 night trip cruise fronmSan Fran to Alaska and BC in San Fran at around 2:00 we decided to head for the ship which was visible from our hotel, but we took a cab as we had six suitcases! (We vowed never to take 6 suitcases again, we found that we used only half of the clothing, we sent three loads of laundry to the ships cleaners and it came back the next day, washed, dried, folded and on hangers! All for $60 - well worth it!) As we walked into the terminal we saw Disney World length lines throughout the building, but a representative took a glance at our boarding docs and directed us to a Concierge Class line with maybe 4 passengers ahead of us, we waited about fifteen minutes to embark. The representative was friendly, engaging everyone in queue in pleasant conversation as we waited.
Upon entering the ship we were greeted with Mimosas and personally escorted to our cabin. The cabin was mid-ship 8th deck Concierge Class with a balcony. There was a bucket of chilled champagne, two glasses and a basket of fruitawaiting us. The room was compact but accommodating. The only bad thing was when the sofa bed was pulled out it blocked access to the balcony, it came flush with the vanity and the sliding glass door. Which meant, that having a teenager with us - that likes to sleep in, we were unable to enjoy the balcony at times. Our luggage arrived about 3 hours after we arrived on board. After the well organized but a bit long drill, We all went to the pool area where the band played and the staff introduced themselves and danced and others allowed passengers to sample their products, ie; massages, acupuncture, spa facilities, which were excellent,etc. Everyone gathered on the upper deck to see the Golden Gate bridge, as we passed under it everyone screamed and waved and those on the bridge reciprocated. It was cold and windy but very exciting! We proceeded back to the room to take care of our luggage.Our room steward came by and introduced himself and his assistant and insisted that if we need anything to please call him or his young assistant.
Later we had fresh flowers on the vanity and a single rose bud in the bathroom. A welcome greeting from our Travel Agent along with some chocolate dipped strawberries arrived shortly after as well as a welcome from the dining room with our table assignment. We soon dressed for dinner, the late seating and walked to the dining room where we had a table for six, but we were the only ones to show for the duration of the cruise. I began to feel uneasy and after meeting our waiters and ordering my food, I had to return to my cabin to lie down. My husband returned to the dining room without me and the waiters expressed concern about my well-being , and offered a remedy . a peeled, sliced green apple with sliced ginger and of course saltine crackers. I got a can of Ginger Ale and followed the directions and felt better but decided to stay in bed.
The food was delicious and was presented wonderfully! I didn't gain a pound,I guess I ate all the right things! Our travel agent gave us dinner for the three of us at the USS Restaurant. Our daughter turned 20 that night and it was a first for her to be treated so royally! She did not have anyone to hang around with as most of the passengers were in the 60+ age range. We were greeted by name as we entered the restaurant and brought to the table. The Maitre D's suggestions were taken and were excellent! We were served Caesars Salad at our table with a full explanation of the history of the salad, the meals were served in unison by three waiters. Women were escorted to the restroom by a tuxedo clad gentleman. The food was delicious, the service unparalleled and the presentation fantastic. A harpist played softly in the background.
I was impressed with the young people running the excursions. All seemed to be very conscientious of the environment and enthusiastic about teaching the tourists. They were all clean cut, friendly, open for questions and very gentle with the elderly crowd. We went on the Whale and Mammal watching tour in Icy Straight Point in the afternoon and we got our money's worth, we saw at least 15 whales...-right next to tour boat, some porpoises and sea lions, the tour guides and naturists were thorough in their descriptions and genuinely interested in the wildlife.
We took the White Pass train ride in Skagway and enjoyed it very much. There was snow on every mountain top and the weather was cool. We had never seen snow and it was still white and clean and beautiful.. When we reached the top of the mountain the Conductor jumped off and handed us a snowball, how exciting!
Hubbard Glacier was absolutely fantastic, something we will never forget! The Captain pushed as far as he could into the Glacier then placed the ship on a 360 degree turn, so that no matter where you were on the ship, you saw it all! We witness the crushing sound of us underneath our balcony, the huge chunks of ice floating past us and then the thundering sound of the Glacier calving, several times, right in front of us! We spent at least four hours there, it was a magnificent day a the Glacier! The only thing that bothered me was Celebrity shut down the coffee and hot chocolate stands and set up booths throughout the ship hawking hot drinks...this while we were in the Glacier at about 40 degrees!
Fishing in Juneau was a total loss...almost $300 each down the drain, not even a bite in 5 hours and 800 feet of water! The Captain was very apologetic and spent the time telling us about Alaska and showing us the sights.
The singing duo had quite a following before and after dinner. They sang lots of '60s and '70s music, he played piano while she sang, they were very good and encouraged lots of dancing. There were Celebrity dance escorts at every dance and they were kept quite busy.
Victoria was beautiful, we took the Grayline tour bus and saw the butterfly gardens and Butchart Gardens. The tour bus driver was most interesting, he took us on a tour of the city, through China Town, downtown past the Parliament and everywhere else, he also let us in on the secrets of the City.
Spent the day in the Casino, won $100 on one of the nickel machines...then promptly gave it right back! Heard a few cruisers lost $10,000+ at the tables...
If you are looking for a relaxing, low key, minimal activity ship - and if you are older and not very agile, this ship is for you. You are treated royally.
The pastry shop was open until about 4 pm everyday. We were happy to find that there was a coffee bar as we are 2-3 times a day expresso drinkers, unfortunatley we found we had to pay for expresso on the Infinity ... and the only one that knew how to make it the way we like it, was Alma from the Philippines.
The time adjustment was a bit difficult for us as we are on EST. Also the fact that it never really gets dark at night took a few days to get adjusted to.
The final show was entertaining, colorful costumes and talented dancers. Also the acrobatic act, a touch of Cirque de soleil(?) was very impressive as the couple flew into and over the audience with just a wisp of a scarf to hold onto...
We are home now, enjoyed the experience, we are well rested and well versed in Alaska and BC information.
The Celebrity experience was a very good one.
After not cruising on Celebrity for 2 years, (busy trying other cruise lines) we were anxious to see if they have changed. to our happy surprise for the most part the answer is no. The service and cleanliness is near perfect and we could not have had a more enjoyable cruise. We did find that the meats are not as tender as before, but on the whole everything was wonderful. The shows each night were fabulous. Especially the singers and dancers. They were the most professional group we have seen on any cruiseline.
The embarkation was not good, they were not organized and it seemed that they weren't sure on what they were to do with so many people who came earlier than the 1 pm boarding. But we made it thru the masses and finally were aboard one of our most favorite cruises. Alaska is a place not to miss. Even though my husband is disabled he was able to do enough of the tours to really enjoy it as much as the others who were on them with us.
We had a problem which could not be fixed,so we notified our TA when arriving home and he got it straightened out and we should be hearing from Celebrity shortly. The problem was a window washing machine stationed outside of our balcony. It made it hard for taking pictures, and as I have noted my husband is disabled and spends a lot of time on the balcony. it also was a concierge room and we were not told that there would be an obstruction to our views of the Alaskan scenery.
Our wait staff was some of the best we have had, and knowing that Celebrity does read the comment cards will move our waiter, Vernon Pilliay, to a higher position. His bright smile, personality and always trying to make it the best he could be. Even when we saw him in the buffet area he was always there to help us out. another thing I must compliment Celebrity on is how helpful they were in the buffet area, always someone there to carry my husband's tray for him. He uses a cane and this is the only company that seems to make it a point to help the disabled with this service. Another person I must mention is the asst. Matre D', Cassandra, she was the most enjoyable and quick to respond to any and all questions or problems. When she was told about how our table of 6 were having a hard time cutting our meats, she had the executive chef cooking our dinner meals for the rest of the cruise. Now that's what I call service! She made it a point to visit with every table in her area, when has that ever happened to us..... never. She is definitely going places in the company.
The tours were so much fun and informative, and debarking the ship after the cruise that morning was a sad time for us, but went very well. They had things moving along smoothly and had us in a cab for the airport in no time. I would definitely recommend this cruise to anyone who wants to have a relaxing, enjoyable and informative Alaska cruise, especially if you are disabled. Not having to sit in a bus tour for long hours was a pleasure.
We made our own flight reservations, and we also booked the hotel that Celebrity had offered, but did it on our own because the cost was much lower doing it ourselves. Tuscan Inn, a Best Western property, was right near Pier 39, where everything comes together for sight seeing San Francisco. It is a lovely smaller hotel with a nice Italian restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also having a happy hour around the fireplace in the main lobby with free wine, beers, sodas, and orderves. Don't know if this is allowed, but we returned to Scoma's seafood restaurant, a wonderful place to eat on Pier 47. After 5 years they haven't changed one bit, and even the price on the menu was the same.
One more thing is to tell you all to join the roll call for your ships, we have met so many wonderful people who have become friends. It just makes the time on the cruise even more enjoyable. Please email me if you want any furture information.
Celebrity Cruises Summit by Mark Singleton Alaska May 7, 2006
I too took this cruise. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. For Celebrity to say that only four or five people complained is even more of an understatement. Despite the loss of two ports of call - Seattle and Sitka and the fact that our other ports of call were cut short and the eventual trip down the Inside Passage, I think the final straw was our uneventful trip to the Hubbard Glacier, which I believe would have been the highlight of the trip for most people onboard.
Food was served no more than faintly hot; sanitization left a lot to be desired and staff morale was obviously low. This is not what I expected from a company of such high esteem.
When I thought things could not get any worse, when we finally disembarked some 1 1/2 hrs late, we were left standing inside the docks, lined up like a group of naughty children for 45 minutes while our coach transfers were sorted out. Just another instance of disorganisation which seemed to be the norm.
I certainly didn't feel likea Celebrity that day, or any other day of the 13 night cruise !
Prologue The following is my review of the Celebrity Summit 13 night West Coast and Alaska cruise that began on May 7, 2006. The food, service and entertainment on the Summit were, in my opinion very good. The entertainment was good and the highlights were several piano concerts by Brooks Ahrens. Brooks only made a few appearances on select Celebrity cruises last year. With the cuts by Celebrity I would doubt if he be returning this year. Our cabin was a CC balcony and was in fair condition considering the ship's age. We found the public areas to be in fairly good condition. With the notable exception of the Captain, Hotel Manager and the Cruise Director, the staff on the Summit were always very friendly and the service was very good.
Day 1 -- Sunday, May 7, 2006: The Celebrity Summit arrives late at Los Angeles. Although we are seated for dinner several decks above the "pods" (the propulsion system), we feel severe rumbling noises and vibrations. As veterans of many cruises, we know the rumbling is not normal and indicates problems.
Day 2 -- Monday, May 8, 2006: Instead of spendinga scheduled night at sea, the Celebrity Summit arrives at San Francisco at 11:30 pm. The only reason given is that unspecified "repairs" must be made, but that the repairs won't affect the cruise. Although the repairs remain unspecified, the rumbling and vibrations, coupled with the poor history of pods on this class of ship, which we found out about after the fact, leave little doubt that the pods have once again failed (as they have on a yearly basis since 2002). Spent a great day in San Francisco.
Day 3 -- Tuesday, May 9, 2006: The Captain announces that experts have been flown in from Lloyds to double-check that everything is okay. He adds that two U.S. inspectors have also approved the repairs. He assures us that the ship passed all inspections and is ready to sail. We depart San Francisco more than two hours late. Sadly, the engine vibrations are still noticeable at dinner.
Day 4 -- Wednesday, May 10, 2006: Shortly before noon, the Captain announces that a problem with the starboard pod means the ship's speed must be reduced by more than twenty percent. This slower speed means that two ports -- Seattle and Sitka -- will be skipped and time in most other ports will be reduced. The Captain goes on to announce that, to compensate the passengers for this complete rewrite of what had been promised, each cabin will receive a $200 shipboard credit. The perceived discrepancy between what the passengers had purchased, what is now being foisted on them, and the $200 shipboard credit being offered as compensation angers most of the passengers and -- acting individually -- hundreds of passengers go to the Celebrity customer service desk in the main atrium. The personnel there offer no assistance as the crowd of passengers grows. The Captain agrees to a meeting in the main theater. About 800 very upset and angry passengers attend the meeting as the Captain takes questions from the passengers but offers no solutions Celebrity does, however, agree to fly in "two senior executives" to the next port (Ketchikan four days later) to talk with any unhappy passengers.
To add insult to injury at this point the Cruise Director speaks to the passengers in a condescending manner and relates what a great time he is having on this cruise and how happy everyone should be. This supercilious attitude only helps increase the passengers' unrest. Lest you think this arrogance is exaggerated, the meeting was videotaped by the ship's cameras as well as several passengers' cameras.
Day 5 -- Thursday, May 11, 2006: The Celebrity Summit skips Seattle and remains at sea. As the level of passenger frustration grows, as a group the passengers decide that the $200 offer is an insult and further decide not to accept it. The Purser's office refuses to remove the credit from all accounts.
Day 6 -- Friday, May 12, 2006: Scheduled sea day.
Day 7 -- Saturday, May 13, 2006: The Celebrity Summit arrives in Ketchikan where two hours are cut from the port time and the two "senior executives" that were flown in turn out to be two young employees who haven't seen the video tape of the meeting and know very little about the situation. The passengers (who have to wait for hours) are told that the two men have no authority and are just there to "take notes". We spent the day exploring Ketchikan Especially enjoyed Creek Street. Also rode the city bus which does a loop around the city.
Day 8 -- Sunday, May 14, 2006: The Celebrity Summit arrives in Juneau where more port time is cut. My wife and I visit the customer representatives, who are giving out numbers. Mine is 110 while they call out number 8. Sensing the futility, I leave. Another beautiful day is spent exploring Juneau.
Day 9 -- Monday, May 15, 2006: The Celebrity Summit arrives in Skagway where more port time is cut. We rented a car and drove to Emerald Lake which is a truly fantastic drive. I return to the customer representatives and find they only got to number 38 yesterday. They have abandoned the number system since most of the numbers, for some unexplained reason, are missing.
Day 10 -- Tuesday, May 16, 2006: After all that has gone on and doing our best to make the best out of a bad situation we were anxiously were looking forward to the highlight of the cruise which would be cruising up to Hubbard Glacier. Four hours at Hubbard Glacier is planned. The Celebrity Summit stops some seven to eight miles away from the glacier. We see another Celebrity ship leaving the glacier and a Holland America ship sitting just off the face of the glacier. The Celebrity Summit turns and leaves. The Captain's explanation is that "another ship was there first, so we cannot go on". What little patience I had left now disappears. The two passenger reps seem to have found a pattern in all of the complaints and they decide not to talk to any more passengers, even though the Captain had promised that they would talk to everyone.
Day 11 -- Wednesday, May 17, 2006: The Celebrity Summit skips Sitka and remains at sea. With their complaints being met with indifference, unrest among the passengers continues to grow.
Day 12 -- Thursday, May 18, 2006: A day-long cruise of the Inside Passage is planned. By 7:00 am the passengers realize the Celebrity Summit is in the open ocean and is at anchor. About two hours later the Captain announces that "due to the fog" the ship will drop anchor until 5:00 pm so that the passengers can get a better view of the Inside Passage. When the fog promptly lifts some thirty minutes later, the ship remains at anchor until 5:00. With the cruise so pressed for time, no one can understand the reasoning that justifies a nine-hour delay to just sit at anchor in the open ocean. Doggedly, the passengers assemble for yet another meeting -- this one the largest of the cruise. At the meeting, two passengers who are short wave radio enthusiasts report hearing communication around 7:00 that morning between the bridge and the pilot who is required for the Inside Passage. The Captain had failed to arrange for a pilot and the earliest one could be onboard was 5:00 pm. This is later confirmed by one of the passenger reps. Petitions are circulated at the meeting and more than 1,200 are collected.
During the night, a note from the Captain is slipped under our door. The note offers a 30% credit on the price of our next Celebrity cruise priced at the full rack rate. We have been on fifteen cruises and have always received more than 30% off the maximum rate.
Day 13 -- Friday, May 19, 2006: The Celebrity Summit arrives in Victoria with again time cut from this port. We rented a car and drove to Buchard Gardens and drove around this beautiful city.
Day 14 -- Saturday, May 20, 2006: The Celebrity Summit arrives in Vancouver in the middle of the night rather than the morning as scheduled. The ship is then sent to dry dock to, once again fix the pods.
Epilogue All calls and letters to Celebrity to try and address our treatment on this cruise have been met with total indifference. Most of the passengers who were on board this cruise are not going to just accept what happened. There should be a final decision later on this year as to just what rights, if any, passengers do have in cases like this.
Wow!........the Constellation more than lived up to the great reviews we'd read! We just got back from a nine-day cruise out of Bayonne, N.J. to Labadee, San Juan, St. Maarten and Bermuda. We had 8-1/2 days of sunshine with only a half day of rain and fairly rough seas.Embarkation
We arrived in Bayonne at 11 a.m. and started boarding at a little after noon. It was easy and painless. You drop off your bags when you first arrive and then proceed to the parking area. The parking was $15 a day and very secure. A shuttle takes you to the terminal. This terminal has a nice inside waiting room with plenty of seats.
After boarding we explored the ship and then headed off to the buffet (rooms wouldn't be ready until about 1 p.m.). We had stateroom 3065 with a 48" porthole window (great unobstructed view). It was a super nice room, but the bed was on the firm side and pillows were flat and horrible (my only complaint on the room).
We went to see the Maitre 'D to see if we could have our dinner seating changed from late to early.He told us they'd let us know the next day (a card was delivered to our stateroom the following afternoon with a new table assignment).
There were only two formal nights on this cruise instead of the three that were listed. The second night was formal, so we got all gussied up and ate in the gorgeous San Marco dining room.Entertainment
The entertainment....was superb! The house band, Onyx, played by the pool most days and in the Bar at the Edge of the Earth (Deck 11). The ship's orchestra played Big Band music in the Rendezvous Lounge one night, there was a singer/piano player in Michael's Club every night, and the Mozart Duo also played in the Rendezvous Lounge every evening. The Cova Cafe had a string quartet most days.
Some of the highlights for us were the 50s/60s sock hop, country line dance party, masked ball, evening pool party with fruit buffet, and, of course, the Grande Buffet (more about that later).
During the sea days there were swing, Rhumba and Cha-Cha classes in the afternoon; we went to a couple of those.Casual Dining
One of the things that we really enjoyed, but I couldn't find out much about on the message boards, was the casual dining in the evening...we loved it! They set up one side of the buffet seating area in the evening for casual dining with tablecloths, flowers and fun waiters (these guys are the ones in training for the San Marco). We had the same waiter every night (Paul from Jamaica), and he was so much fun! Every evening we had a table for two, in front of a huge window with gorgeous views of the ocean and sunset. The menu consisted of a great bread basket, a choice of two appetizers, soup of the day, house or Caesar salad, six entrees (chicken, fish, barbecued spare ribs, mixed grill, etc...these changed every night but usually chicken and a fish was on the menu), baked potato or fries, and a choice from about four desserts. It was a nice alternative to the two-hour dinners in the formal dining room without sacrificing great service.
We didn't take any of the excursions so I can't comment on them.
Labadee was a nice surprise after reading all the horrid reports on Haiti. The tenders took us ashore and we were greeted by island music, a gorgeous beach, and beach attendants waiting to put a lounge chair wherever we desired. We learned that Celebrity had this whole area specifically developed for its cruise ships and it was really nice, clean and welcoming! The flea market was rather intrusive as the local craft-makers do everything but drag you into their cubicles to display their wares. They really get in your face and just don't want to let you pass on. But if you like to haggle on price, you'll have fun here as they keep dropping the price until you buy something. On the other end of the flea market is a craft area with fixed prices but no high-pressure sales.
San Juan: I don't have too much to say. We walked around and went in some shops but it was really hot and it was my least favorite stop.
St. Maarten was gorgeous -- everything I thought a Caribbean island would be! It has stunning beaches, upscale shopping and it's so clean! We took a bus for $3 each inland a ways and browsed the shops. Then we walked along the beach back to the ship.
Bermuda/Royal Navy Dockyard. For $12 a day you can ride any of the ferries or buses and it's a great deal! We took the ferry to Hamilton and walked around, then took the #7 bus back to the ship. What a great way to see the island! At the dockyard, we paid $10 each to go through the Maritime Museum and to see the dolphins (for $204 you could swim with the dolphins for 45 minutes...gulp!...too rich for my blood!).
I did ask several kids what they thought of the kids' program, and the teenagers weren't impressed......there didn't seem to be much for them to do.
Debarking was a breeze, customs was a snap and the shuttle takes you right over to the terminal.
Celebrity Cruises Summit by jwfhunts - April 9, 2006 THE SUMMIT. - Hawaii Circle Cruise - 9th - 23rd April 2006.
It has been over 25 years, since we last visited The Hawaiian Islands; so for something different, we chose a 14-night roundtrip cruise from Los Angeles with Celebrity Cruises on their ship - The Summit. We chose the air/sea programme from the United Kingdom.
Travel documentation arrived well ahead of departure. The information supplied was relevant and ticketing was correct. There was no shore excursion information, but details of these were found on the Celebrity web site.
Pre-cruise Travel documentation arrived well ahead of departure. The information supplied was relevant and ticketing was correct. There was no shore excursion information, but details of these were found on the Celebrity web site.
On arrival at Los Angeles International Airport, we were met and welcomed by a Celebrity Representative, immediately having cleared the customs area. This rep was extremely professional and advised us about the best places to eat and visit in San Pedro, port of Los Angeles, where our overnight accommodation was located. She escorted us to the Super Shuttle pick up point andremained with us until the arrival of the shuttle - gone are the days where guests travelling with Celebrity are transferred to their hotel by limousine, taxi or private coach. After two or three circles of the entire airport terminals and the many drop-offs in San Pedro, we eventually arrived at our hotel, a distance of 25 miles from the airport, some 90 minutes later.
On arrival at the hotel, there was a letter from Celebrity advising us as to departure arrangements the next morning to join the ship. Luggage was collected from our rooms at the indicated times and the coach departed on schedule at 1.30pm for the short ride of about five minutes to the terminal building.
On arrival at the pier side, the first thing noticed was the massive queue, which snaked in many directions. We were advised that this was the queue or "line" for security. Some 125 minutes later we eventually reached the security control and were quite surprised that only two facilities were open for the search of some 1950 guests and their hand baggage.
It is obvious that Celebrity are only too well aware of such delays, as, whilst waiting in the queue, sandwiches, savouries and drinks were provided to waiting passengers. Fortunately, the weather was fine. Whilst one fully appreciates the need for meaningful security in this day and age, consideration should be given to providing additional search facilities and that Celebrity transfer guests overnighting on their air/sea package at an earlier time to the terminal, prior to the inbound departure day flight passengers arriving at pier side directly from the airport, bearing in mind that check-in and boarding commence much earlier.
After clearing security, check-in was swift and professional and a short time later we boarded the ship.
The Stateroom Celebrity Summit, a "Millennium Class" ship, of some 91,000 tons entered service in October 2001. For this cruise, we had chosen Concierge Class accommodations. Our cabin, or stateroom was located on deck 9. On entering the vessel, we were given a lukewarm half glass of champagne and we were offered the opportunity to be escorted to our cabin. Initial observations were that the cabin was clean, spacious and comfortable. Not having travelled in this class of cabin before, we were not fully aware of what benefits this entailed so sought guidance from the Concierge in this regard. We were advised that these included...
Stateroom AmenitiesWelcome Champagne. Fresh Flowers Selection of Fruit. Afternoon canapés Leather key holder Binoculars for use on board. Personalized stationery. Oversized tote bag Umbrella to use throughout the cruise Tensions-absorbing pillow-top mattresses Plush duvets Designed room service breakfast menu Bathroom amenities: Plush bath rugs Oversized Egyptian cotton towels Double-thick Frette bathrobes Two hairdryers A Hansgrohe showerhead Selection of fine shampoos, body lotions, soaps, shower cap, breath mints and sewing kit. A Menu of Pillows Sofa Pillows.
Priority ServicesExpress Luggage Delivery Laundry and Pressing Service Shoe Shine Service. Extended Room Service Dining and seating preferences VIP invitation to events Preference on Shore Excursions Early Embarkation and disembarkation Priority Tendering.
Most of the above were available, others we had to ask for. It took six hours from our arrival at the pier until our luggage appeared at our stateroom - you could hardly call this express service! After having settled in the stateroom and on closer examination, we saw that there was dust everywhere - on shelves, on ledges, in cupboards, on the pictures. A Gideon's Bible was on top of the bedside unit - I was able to run my finger along it and leave a trace. In the wardrobes, there were plastic bags and other items obviously having been discarded by previous guests. Under the bed there were crumbs, and empty biscuit packagings, whilst on the balcony there were empty cardboard coffee cups and discarded cocktails sticks. Not the standard that one expects from Celebrity, and being perfectly honest, this was the first time in over a dozen cruises that I have ever encountered a problem of this nature onboard any of the Celebrity fleet. Another most noticeable thing was in respect of the balcony. Owing to the design of deck 10, (the deck above ours) - an open deck - this deck extends well over the sides of the ship, thus preventing the sun nearly all of the time from actually reaching the balcony areas - not much use to those who want to spend time sunning themselves in the privacy of their own balcony.
Incidentally, very few of the balcony cabins on this ship have total "privacy"; most can be seen in one way or another from other decks/balconies. Beware, too, of cabins with connecting doors - this decreases the insulation levels thus noise travels and you can hear your neighbour's conversation even if they chat in low voices. Also, if your neighbours are smokers the smoke can magically make its way into the adjoining cabin.
We spoke with the our room steward who apologised and explained that on turnaround days things are hectic and he did not have the time to pay attention to the smaller details as indicated by myself. I queried if such an amount of dust could gather within 24 hours? In fairness to him, while at dinner, he did clean the areas identified, but others not mentioned remained untouched. We also had to request simple items, like a "do not disturb" sign, note paper, laundry lists - things that should automatically be checked prior to any new occupation of staterooms.
Onboard Entertainment We then went to the show and our first dinner on board.
Previously the entertainment offered on Celebrity ships was good but nothing to write home about. However on this cruise, the entertainment on board this cruise was excellent. There was something for everyone. Special mention must be afforded to The Celebrity Singers and Dancers, the Celebrity Orchestra and those who presented the Cirque du Soleil and the Master Ventriloquist whose performances and presentations were outstanding. Music provided by other groups/solo acts in the various lounges throughout the ships was acceptable, though more variation would have been welcomed; 3 orchestral strings groups, a harpist, a guitarist and a string quartet, is a wee bit of an overkill. On many of the evenings, life on the Summit appeared to die at around 10.30pm - we found too many pre-dinner shows for 2nd seating guests. Unlike other ships where something major is happening in each lounge offering guests a choice, this just did not happen on the Summit. The "featured" entertainment programme although excellent was indeed limited. Timing of events in particular was badly planned - the Chocoholics Buffet and the Hawaiian Fruit Deck buffet were scheduled for 10.15pm, a time when guests on second seating were still at dinner. The Entertainment Staff were highly visible throughout the ship.
Ship Planning and Appearance The programme of events for the following day - "Celebrity Today" was delivered to the cabins each evening. This was informative, but unfortunately did not appear to be checked for omissions or errors. On Easter Day, the biggest day in the Christian calendar, the notification of the time and location of the Catholic Mass was omitted - this caused many who missed this most holiest of celebrations a lot of personal distress.
Omissions such as this and other minor matters gave an overall impression that there was a lack of attention to detail in many aspects on this cruise. Others being, that whilst the ship is spotlessly clean, streak marks could be clearly seen on glass, dark wood, and mirrored surfaces and especially on stainless steel surfaces in and around the elevators. Though when this was pointed out to staff, they indicated this was due to the materials being used to prevent gastro infections and these could not be wiped off for some 48 hours after application. Ashtrays remained un-emptied and litter bins the same. Clocks not advanced after time changes etc.
Chairs are badly soiled and showing signs or wear and tear especially in the Rendez-Vous Lounge.
Cuisine Meals served from the main menu in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant, were again excellent - well presented, well prepared and expertly served by a most professional waiter and assistant waiter who quickly learned and always remembered our likes and dislikes. At each meal, they welcomed us with a smile and took a genuine interest as to how our day had been etc.
However if one chose as an alternative steak, chicken or salmon for their main course, (these items are always available) - this was very much a hit and miss affair. On a number of occasions, we were unable to eat our steaks as they were either too tough, fatty and/or tasteless.
The Assistant Maitre 'd for our sector in the dining room did visit the table each evening and gave a well-rehearsed spiel. If you did ask him a question about something not included in this spiel, or complained about the meal, this caused him complete confusion, panic and seemed to send him into a thither, which caused him to disappear from the main dining room floor until the next evening.
There are a number of tables for two. Chairs throughout the restaurant do not have armrests.
It amazes me that when booking a cruise, passengers are always asked as to what size of a table they wish to be seated at for dinner? Why? Very seldom does anyone take any notice of this. On this particular cruise this was plainly obvious with many guests playing musical chairs for the first week of the cruise. Other single guests found themselves alone at tables as other table companions who had asked for large tables, as had the single guests, demanded and were moved, but the solo guests request was like a cry in the wilderness. This was indeed bad restaurant management.
Incidentally some guests had to ask if there was actually a Maitre 'd Hotel/ Restaurant Manager on board and in charge of the dining room. We never saw him on the ground floor level of the restaurant at any time, nor did he visit either our or any tables in our immediate vicinity throughout the cruise.
There are a number of alternative options for dining, from Room Service which is available 24 hours a day, to the more casual Waterfall Café, A Hamburger Station, Pizza, Pasta and Salad Bar, a Sushi Café and of course the Aqua Spa Café for healthy choice all day dining. Each of these serveries offered the same type of fayre to be found on other cruise ships of similar ratings. The one main noticeable difference between other lines and Celebrity is that there is an abundance of staff available to assist in the carrying of trays to seating areas not only on the Summit, but also on all Celebrity Ships.
The operation of the Waterfall Café is well executed, however food each day became repetitive and after a time all began to taste the same.
The selection of fruit on this cruise was disappointing, just the basic melons, pineapples, grapes and oranges as core fruits. These on the whole were not ripe and were tasteless. Bring back the days when guests were offered as the norm, papaya, mango, kiwi fruit and the like. There seemed to be great use of canned and frozen fruits. The selection of breads and cheese was reasonable. However to make up for these "weaknesses" the range of deserts available was outstanding.
For that Special Occasion the Normandie Restaurant for A La Carte Dining is open each evening, a cover service of USD$30.00 per person is added to each guests account who visit this restaurant. We did not eat in the Normandie, but reports from those who did were encouraging.
There is no 24-hour dining in any of the restaurants on board, though coffee, tea and juices are available 24 hours a day from the Waterfall Café. There are no Midnight Buffets, but waiters roaming the various lounges each evening serving "Gourmet Bites".
The Staff One thing that really sticks out on the Summit, is the immaculate dress and turnout of all staff from the cleaners right through to the senior officers on board and the friendliness of all the staff. In saying that it was only on a very rare occasion that you saw any of the senior officers other than the Captain and Staff Captain around the ship. I endeavoured to arrange a meeting with the Hotel Director on at least two occasions to discuss, what I considered to be fairly important matters, but he declined to meet with me.
Stateroom Concerns Solved So now for our first nights sleep on board. As previously mentioned, deck 10 is an open deck and each time anyone even walked or worse, ran along this deck, boom boom boom, the noise when deck loungers were being moved early in the morning, most probably for cleaning purposes, the clatter and the bang that these movements made was unbelievable, them seemed to echo and probably with the stillness of the night the noise was magnified, but enough to keep us from sleeping. The next morning, I mentioned this to the Concierge that I was unhappy with our cabin and outlined to her some of the difficulties to date. Later that afternoon, there was a message from the front desk offering us an alternative cabin on a lower deck. This cabin was far more suitable and much more quiet. Full marks to Celebrity. Periodically for the remainder of the cruise, Guest Relations checked to see that "everything was in order" and could they do anything in addition to assist in making our cruise more enjoyable.
Weather Unfortunately, the weather on the voyage out to Hawaii was not kind to us. It was cold, wet and windy. There was noticeable movement throughout the ship and lots of empty places each evening in the dining room - this voyage did route us right across to Pacific Ocean One has to remember that The Summit is "a flat bottomed boat" and not a ship especially designed for oceanic crossings, thus increased movement can be expected. The weather did improve when we reached the islands, and on the return voyage.
Beverages There is a vast wine list on board, with reasonable prices. Well-stocked bars and lounges are dotted throughout the ship. A Vodka and Coco-cola was $6.33 including gratuities, somewhat more expensive than on other cruise lines, especially British ships, but in saying that, you could really taste or should I say feel the alcohol in the drink. Throughout the cruise it was pleasing to note that none of the staff, either in the bars or the photographers were aggressive in their approach - unlike so many other ships.
Other Shipboard Options At each port of call, there were many organised tours, offered by the shore excursion staff, these represented value for money, were good in content and operated on time.
On a ship of this size, there is the usual range of facilities available; an Aqua Spa, a Casino, Children's Facilities, Shops, an Acupuncture at Sea Clinic, an Art Gallery and an Internet Café and Computer Centre. Though do be aware that Internet access is charged at $0.75. Per minute, though packages can be bought to reduce this cost down to about $0.50. Per minute not cheap at all.
Being an inquisitive sort of a guy, having learned about Concierge Class, curiosity got the better of me and I just had to find out what extras, other than space, you received if you booked a Suite on a Celebrity ship, hereunder are the amenities provided for suite guests...Welcome Champagne. Butler Assistance with packing and unpacking. Platinum Cards. Personalised stationary and cards. Butler Service. Dining room seating preference. Fresh fruit each day. Fresh Flowers (1) for Penthouse suite only. Canapés at 5.00pm or 7.00pm each day - according to dining seating. Complimentary cappuccino and expresso, only inside the suite. Complimentary use of bathrobes. Celebrity Suite tote bag. Delivery of requested board games, videos, CD"s from your Butler. Full breakfast, lunch and dinner service in suite. In suite afternoon tea, coffee with cookies and cake service at 4.00pm. Newspaper delivery. Opportunity to book in suite massage for $149.00 plus 10% tip. Priority embarkation and disembarkation. Express Luggage delivery. Private Portrait sitting - not complimentary. Priority tendering tickets. Shoeshine service from your Butler. 100% cotton oversized towels.
As can be seen, there are not too many differences between Concierge Class and Suite Class, other than the size of stateroom and the price. I also understand the in-suite breakfast menu in Concierge Class has a wider choice than the breakfast menu offered to guests in suites.
One thing missing though in both Concierge and Suite Class is that guests are not provided with slippers. On other 5-star lines, even guests in the cheapest of cabins are provided with these. Also guests who I spoke with who were occupying suites which were equipped with baths, indicated that bath oils or some type of water softener to be added to the water would have been welcome.
"Captain's Club" Benefits Celebrity Cruises, like most other cruise lines offer a "loyalty club". With Celebrity it's called The Captain's Club. There are three levels - Classic (1 - 5 cruises) - Select (6 -10 cruises) and Elite (11+ cruises). Even as elite members, we were not offered all of the benefits that we were entitled to. When we enquired as to why these were not offered, we were rudely advised by the Hostess - "subject to availability". The benefits at all levels are basic compared to other programmes offered by other cruise lines. This is an area, which needs to be seriously looked at and re-evaluated. Like most other people in this age of increased competition, natural instincts direct most of us to go where we get the best value for our money and currently with Celebrity, this is one of their weakest areas of operation.
Disembarkation If people thought that embarkation arrangements were bad, disembarkation was a total fiasco. Un-organised, chaotic and lack of any officer to make decisions or to take command and control of the situation. It did not help that the ship was late arriving in Los Angeles. 1950 passengers had to pass through US Immigration - all queuing at the same time thus resulting in snake like lines all around deck 4. Then a short time after the Immigration Inspection commenced, Celebrity announced the commencement of disembarkation whilst many of the guests being called to disembark still hadn't passed through Immigration. Utter confusion reigned and not an officer in sight to take charge or make decisions. This was the worst disembarkation at any port in all of my cruising career.
Having sailed with Celebrity many times, some areas of this cruise caused disappointment but not to such an extent to ruin the overall cruise experience. Once in a while someone is disappointed and on this occasion it was us. The weaknesses identified are not typical of the usually excellent Celebrity standards and product. Knowing Celebrity management and their policies to provide excellence in all aspects of cruising for guests, appropriate action will no doubt be taken to avoid repetition.
In summary, a reasonably good cruise experience but lacking in attention to detail in some areas.