I was wondering if anyone was traveling on the Summit that initially docked at Juneau on July 23rd? At first the ship tied up to the dock but then was made to move out and then tender for the remainder of the day. An NCL ship came in to where the Summit originally tied up. We were on the Princess Regal at the time and were told that the Summit had not contracted for that spot, only for tendering at Juneau. Anyone know what really happened?
Also, we met some people from the Summit that didn't have nice things to say about the ship or the service. We also met others who thought it was great but they were first time cruisers and most first time cruisers are easily pleased.
We are on the new Constellation next month out of Barcelona and have read such nice things about Celebrity that this observation concerns us. Anyone?
Don't know anything about the Alaska musical chairs act, except to wonder why, if they had not contracted for the space, the harbormaster and the pilot took them to the berth in the first place. It's pretty tough for a cruise ship to "sneak in" to a pier.
We've been on the Millennium once and the Summit twice in the last two years. We've been cruising since the early 70's so we're not first timers by any means. The design is terrific, especially the space ratio which makes even a full ship seem very comfortable. The service is as good as any, the food better than most, and the specialty restaurants pretty darn spectacular.
Cruise passengers are chronic complainers. You usually wind up getting what you expect, and the complainers expect and look for problems. If you expect to have a great time the odds are overwhelming that you will.
I don't even recall which ship we were on at the time, or where, but I do recall once when we arrived at a port, and were allowed to dock, and drop passengers, but were notified that the berth was being taken later by another ship, and we would have to tender to return to the ship later.
Frank... that's a strange story. It is hard to picture a ship docking, with an onboard pilot from the local authorities... without the proper permission to do so. I wonder if, with all the ships up there, the local port authorities double booked the pier space. I know it has happened on occasion, in the past, at St. Thomas.
Complaints about a vessel will happen all the time. It is the case with any restaurant in the world... and other service businesses as well. A percentage of people are hard to please or impossible to please... it is just a way of life with them. We have friends whom we know for years and years... great people, superb hosts at home, but we hate to go to a restaurant with them. They become totally different people, chips on their shoulders, impossible to please. They also cruise... and I have never heard them come off a ship which they liked or at least didn't find major faults with.
What counts for me is the overall satisfaction ratings a ship receives from its departing personnel... you know, the detailed forms we all fill out. The Summit, since its debut, has consistently received positive satisfaction ratings, in all categories, in the 90's... which is superb. That tells me that there is little to worry about on the vessel. Does it mean that everything is always perfect? No... not at all. But I surely wouldn't worry about the Summit.
We have made fifteen cruises, including Regal Princess and Summit. All have been
great, in our opinion. Please don't "badmouth" Summit. We have made two cruises
on it and have another booked. It is truly a great ship, and the service as been above
reproach. Sometimes we get what we ask for.
I can't speak to the docking versus tendering question, but we were on the Summit in May. We have been cruising for the past 20 years and have sailed on Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, etc. While cruising is all about meeting personal expectations, we could not have been more pleased with Celebrity and the Summit. The ship was exquisite and the service could not have been better (particularly in the Normandie). We have already booked our next Celebrity cruise and are anxious to sail on the Summit again. Good luck, we hope your experience is as wonderful as ours was!
The Regal is about 10 years old. Not being a fan of "personalized dining" I liked the fact that the Regal had only one dining room. And one tipped the old fashioned way, not the $10/day/person that Princess levies on the Sun class ships because you rarely have the same wait staff twice. I found the food to be served the warmest on this ship. Most cruise ships seem to get it close to the right temperature, not off enough to send it back, but not exactly as hot as it should be. The Regal seemed to be right on with hot soups smoking and their entrees. I also liked their showroom better, having a balcony. We never felt crowded on this ship even though it was filled to capacity with most rooms having the 3rd and 4th passenger. The atrium is only 3 stories as opposed to the Sun class with 4 and it has no glass elevators. It also doesn't have a complete around the deck promenade. Another plus, the cabins and especially the showers are a little larger than on the Sun class ships. We had more than enough drawer space and some remained empty.
Some of the items I didn't like would be the same for all Princess ships - their drink sticker. One pays $20 and then can get an endless amount of coke and diet coke. However, this does not cover drinks in the can and are only for bar poured sodas. As such they tend to be more watered down or flat. And the only diet they had was coke, not Sprite - but that was available in the can. Also, when one orders using the sticker at a show or other event, it was not unusual for the waiter never to show up with your drink. They seemed to only be interested in the one's where the gratuity was automatically handled. Youngsters by themselves were often ignored by the drink folks. OTOH, there was no problem at meals. After knowing about the sticker on the first night, drinks were automatically provided when one arrived.
We also found the on board entertainment and talks to be the best we've experienced on any cruise line, including other Princess ships. They even had pyrotechnics in the finale to one of their shows about Broadway tunes. The on board naturalist was outstanding - he was so personable and animated that he held everyone from the youngest child to the oldest adult, spellbound. He loved his work and he showed it. Each subsequent talk on different portions of Alaskan wildlife drew more and more people. I've never seen this before.
If you have anymore questions, ask. That's all I recall off hand.
I just remembered something else - the Regal's kids program is great for the under 12 set but poor for the teens. Our grandsons came back from their first meeting all enthused and excited about all that was planned. However, there was no followup. They'd ask the teens what they'd want to do and, being teens and mostly strangers to each other, they'd just shrug their shoulders. So, instead of starting the activities that were scheduled, they'd just let them do what they wanted. What resulted was teens bored and roaming around the ship getting into mischief. My grandsons spent a lot of evenings in the pool even though it was bitter cold outside - the pool was 85 degrees or they stayed in the cabin and read or watched TV. We were quite disappointed. The under twelves loved Kid's Club though.
We cruised Celebrity several years ago, on the Centruy and thoroughly enjoyed it. No complaints from us.
We are on the Connstellation in October doing Barcelona to Barcelona. I am assuming you have a similiar itinerary. Do you have any suggestions as to booking our own tours?
If you are enjoying the same itinerary, I would love to hear from you upon your return with comments and suggestions. We have been on 9 or 10 cruises, but the couple we are going with have not. It is their fist time to Europe, too. I am excited for them and would like to do a lot of pre trip planning.
> We are on the Connstellation in October doing Barcelona to
> Barcelona. I am assuming you have a similiar itinerary. Do
> you have any suggestions as to booking our own tours?
Ours is the 11 night with stops in France, Italy and Malta. I'm the type that only books ship excursions if I have not been to a place before. Normally, the ship won't leave without you if you are on a tour they sold you. We have booked only one in advance, the 10.5 hour one that goes to Rome. It has all the places my wife wants to see and we didn't want to find it overbooked. An acquaintance just returned from a similar cruise on another line and he took it. He said it was well worth the time and that the bus ride itself was only 1.5 hours. We plan to book the remainder on board. BTW, if you book in advance, you also have to pay in advance. It's not just reservations.
> If you are enjoying the same itinerary, I would love to hear
> from you upon your return with comments and suggestions. We
> have been on 9 or 10 cruises, but the couple we are going with
> have not. It is their fist time to Europe, too. I am excited
> for them and would like to do a lot of pre trip planning.
We took a very nice 14 day cruise of the British Isles a few years ago on the Pacific Princess that we enjoyed a lot. We were in port almost every day and took about 12 shore excursions ($1400 worrth) but we felt we may never see these places again, so why not. Besides, we are only spending our children's inheritance. (G)
The only reasonable explanation I can come up with for Summit (which we really liked) being "booted" is that it's a lot more efficeient to disembark passengers at the pier rather than tendering. People "tend" to return to the ship at various times throughout the port call, so tendering back to the ship isn't as much of a pain as tendering them off when everyon wants to get off at the same time.
It actually wouldn't surprise me if the town fathers (and mothers) wouldn't prefer this method. More people, spending more money, more quickly.