I was on the Summit cruise of 5/7. First I want to say the crew was GREAT. To our waiter Bobbo and assistant waitress Tamera, we miss you.
I have read many of the comments from people calling many of us â€ścry babiesâ€? or â€śso what if you were at sea, you had a cruise experienceâ€?. The first thing I have to say is if I wanted days at sea, I would have taken a â€śCruise to Nowhereâ€?, out of New York and saved the airfare to the west coast. How much BINGO can one take at $30.00 a pop per person, twice a day ($120.00 a day) when at sea? How much picturanry, Name That Tune or battle of the sexes trivia can you play? How much time are you going to spend in the pool sailing the North Pacific in May? I have to admit it was funny seeing people on lounge chairs around the pool dressed from head to toe and with a blanket. How many drinks can you down (at 5.95 to 9.95 per drink plus 15% gratuity) a day. I did enjoy the Martini Sampler Special they had twice during the cruise. Six varieties of martinis at 2 oz. each. After a couple of specials you forget about the rest of the day! Did I mention the Wine Auction, the Art Auction or the â€śdiamond and jade specialsâ€?, how about the â€śgold chain by the inch, starting at 99 cents per inchâ€?! If that does not interest you, the Casino is open when we are not in Port.
This cruise was doomed from day one! I was told the ship got in late from Hawaii. When we went to board the ship, we had to go up an escalator and at the top was an enclosed area with a doorway going out to a walkway that led to the gangplank to board the ship. The line backed up and people piled on top of each other at the top of the escalator. People were screaming for help and to stop the escalator. Two people were cut up and hurt pretty badly. Celebrity had no personnel at the top of the escalator. A few days later we were talking to one of the people hurt and they told us Celebrity tried charging them $300.00 for medical care!! After we left port later that night, one of the crewmembers I was talking to told me they had a problem with the ship coming back from Hawaii and that is why they were late. We were to dock in San Francisco on Tuesday at 8 am, but on Monday night the Captain announced we would be docking at 12 am due to some maintenance needed. SF was nice and we were supposed to leave at 6 pm. We sat at the dock in San Francisco till about 7:00, when there was an announcement that it would be another hour till we left. The ship FINALLY left a little after 8:00 pm. Late Wed. morning the Captain announced that due to a bearing problem we would not be docking at Seattle or Sitka because the ship could only due 17.4 knots to be safe instead of 22 knots. Later the Captain stated that Lloyds of London inspected the ship and they were told if they kept the speed of the ship at no more then 17.4 knots per hour they could continue the cruise. The problem with that was at that speed, they could not make all the ports and had to cut time at the rest of the ports. People were very upset and they demanded a meeting. I have to give the Captain credit; he stayed at the meeting until every question was answered. When the captain was asked if he knew about the ship problems while we were in SF, his answer was â€śI would not insult your intelligence and tell you noâ€?. When someone got up and asked for a show of hands how many people though they should get a full refund, the Captain raised his hand. This was all on video tape. This meeting started about 1 pm PT on Tues. May 10. The same day, at 12:16 pm ET (9:16 am our time) it was posted by South Florida Business Journal; Celebrity will dry-dock Summit and cancel May 20 cruise to Alaska. Passengers will be given a full refund AND a FREE CRUISE!! We did not find out about this until the next day. Celebrity gave us a $200.00 credit per cabin. In Ketchikan we left at 2 pm instead of 4 pm so we had to cancel one of our excursions. We arrived in Skagway late. On May 16th we were suppose to arrive in Hubbard Glacier at 9:00 am and stay till 1:00 pm. We did not arrive until 11:00 am and then we never got near the Glacier. The Captain said it was because there was another ship in there and only one at a time could go in. We left there at 1:00 pm. The only way I could see the Glacier was with a pair of binoculars. On May 18th we were suppose to Cruise the Inside Passage. We did not cruise the first 775 miles of the passage, only the last 225 miles. We arrived at that point of the Inside Passage about 9:00 am. The Captain announced that because of the fog, and that we would not be able to see anything, we would sit in the Bay until 5:00 pm when the fog would lift. By 11:00 am the fog lifted, at 3:30 pm the fog rolled back in. We found out that was a lie, the reason we sat there was because they had no pilot to take us in and he would not arrive until 5:00 pm. At 4:52 pm I was standing on our balcony and watched the pilot boat drop off the pilot. He boarded right below me. Then we took off but you could not see more then 60 feet ahead due to fog. Our dinner was 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. When we left the dinning room the passage was clear so we got to see the Inside Passage for 1 hour then it got dark. There were other things that happened, there were meetings in the grand foyer each day we were out at sea with anywhere from 300 to 600 passengers at each meeting. Over 1000 people signed a petition to join a class action suit. On the last day Celebrity said they were giving us 30% off our next cruise. That means I have to save up the other 70% and the airfare to see what they took away from us.
What are the highlights of a cruise to Alaska? The things you can only see from a ship, Hubbardâ€™s Glacier, the 1000 mile trek along the Inside Passage with wondrous wild life and waterfalls. Spotting whales and orca and just the natural beauty of it all from your balcony or up on deck. If anyone tries to tell me that Hubbardâ€™s Glacier and the Inside Passage are days at sea I must say â€śno way, those are spectacular sightseeing daysâ€?. Why else did we take a cruise? To unpack once, and besides, itâ€™s impossible to drive from town to town in Alaska.
If I had been given the choice of disembarking in SF and taking another cruise, I would have. We saved for 2 years and booked 9 months in advance. I spent 9 months researching as much as I could so that we would have the best experience possible. Unfortunately I did not research Celebrity or the parent Royal Caribbeanâ€™s corporate treatment of customers. I hope Celebrity does the right thing on there own without having to file the class action suit.