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Old September 23rd, 2006, 03:32 PM
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Default Right Choice?

We are about to book a cruise to the Panama Canal in April onboard the 'Summit'. However, we do have reservations about this ship.

We cruised to the Carribbean last April onboard the 'Golden Princess'. It was fantastic in every way.

We are concerned that the Summit is going to be too formal for us. Also, there doesn't seem to be so much in the way of entertainment on the ship.

We are going to request late dining. Our travel agent has told us that you can request a table for two, but looking at the Celebrity brochure this doesn't appear to be possible. I have just read that you are given your table number once you board the ship. Do you have the same table and company throughout the cruise? Are you able to request a change of table once onboard?

We would appreciate somebody's help on these matters. We are booking on Monday and would hate to be making a big mistake.
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 05:31 PM
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I would go with your "gut". You have many concerns and it sound like to me that you really don't want this cruise.

Best For People Who Want:

Spacious cabins with good amenities; suites with butlers; private balconies; sophisticated touches like a piano lounge, martini/caviar bar, full-service florist; the most extensive spa facilities at sea.

Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer:

A vibrant, high-energy environment with top-notch shows in the main entertainment venue; singles and many children; open, single-seating dining; a small-ship cruise experience.

How do the above fir your "cruise style"?

http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/...ity/summit.cfm
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 06:54 PM
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We've never sailed the Summit, however many cruises aboard other Celebrity ships. Some of our favorite shows have been aboard Celebrity ships, so I don't go along with the statement that the shows are below par.
You are assigned your table when you check in, so the first thing you should do once aboard is go to the dining room, and check it out. If you're not happy, then go immediately to the maitre d and request a change of table, or seating. Usually, they can accomodate your request. Even if you go to dinner the first evening, and find that you have nothing in common with your table mates (if you're at a large table) you can still request a change of table, and they'll take care of you.
Have a great cruise. I really think you'd like Celebrity.

Ken
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 07:09 PM
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Have not sailed on Golden but I think it is much larger than Summit--I cannot compare the two but have enjoyed our two Summit cruises..it us more formal than others & a bit more sedate but not boring by any means means--the service is wonderful! We just cruised on QM 2 & look forward to getting back on Celeb ships!
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Old September 24th, 2006, 09:06 PM
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pennypenny,

We cruised to the Carribbean last April onboard the 'Golden Princess'. It was fantastic in every way.

I took one cruise aboard MV Grand Princess, a sister to MV Golden Princess, back in 1999, before Princess changed their dress standards and other aspects of the product (and not for the better IMHO). The cruise and the crew were fantastic, but the ship was the most dysfunctional tub on which I have ever put to sea. I steadfastly avoided that ship and her sisters in nine subsequent cruises with Princess. If you give her a fair try, I think you will find that GTS Summit has a much better layout than MV Golden Princess.

We are concerned that the Summit is going to be too formal for us.

That's purely a matter of personal taste and prefrence. On a Celebrity cruise, about half of the evenings are either "formal" or "informal" and about half are "casual." The prescribed attire for the "formal" evenings and the "casual" evenings is basically the same on both lines, so the difference is Celebrity's "informal" evenings, when gentlemen wear a sport coat over their shirts (neckties are optional) and ladies wear either a cocktail dess or a fancy top with a dressy skirt or dressy slacks. As a practical matter, I observed many passengers on Princess who dressed to this standard out of confusion over the meaning of "smart casual" (which really means what "casual" always meant before the change), but that may have changed since my last Princess cruise.

I will say that Celebrity does seem to be enforcing dress codes more consistently than Princess. If you are accustomed to cheating on the dress code (changing between dinner and the show, for example), don't try it on Celebrity.

Also, there doesn't seem to be so much in the way of entertainment on the ship.

Celebrity offers as much entertainment as Princess. I think that the production shows and the headliners are better. Celebrity also does a great job with daytime activities on cruises that spend several days at sea, as a cruise to Hawaii will. The deterioration of Princess's entertainment and daytime activities due to a "cost cutting programme" four years ago was one of the major reasons why I decided to change lines about three years ago.

Our travel agent has told us that you can request a table for two, but looking at the Celebrity brochure this doesn't appear to be possible.

There are tables for two in Celebrity's dining rooms, but most passengers look forward to the pleasure of making new friends -- and sharing a table at dinner is the best way to do that.

I have just read that you are given your table number once you board the ship.

Yes, that's standard practice in the industry. Princess does likewise for passengers who book "Traditional Dining."

Do you have the same table and company throughout the cruise?

Yes -- which means that you really do have a chance to build friendships that will endure past the end of the cruise.

Are you able to request a change of table once onboard?

Yes, you can request a change at any time. If you call the Maitre d'Hotel during the day, he probably will move you to a different table that evening.

If you meet people elsewhere on the ship and decide that you would like to dine with them for the rest of the cruise, it's also possible to arrange that.

We would appreciate somebody's help on these matters. We are booking on Monday and would hate to be making a big mistake.

Celebrity basically is what Princess was before the recent changes such as Princess's "cost reduction programme" and the innovation of "Personal Choice Dining" took effect. As a result of these changes at Princess, Celebrity is now perhaps "half a scootch" more formal and more traditional than Princess -- certainly not enough to make you utterly miserable on a Celebrity cruise. Only you can decide which you prefer.

Have a great cruise, whichever you decide.

Norm.
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Old September 25th, 2006, 10:29 PM
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We completed our last Princess cruise in Juy and must confess the entertainment on Celebrity has been better than our last few Princess cruises.
As far as food quality and excellent dining room service.......Celebrity wins.
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Old September 27th, 2006, 11:26 PM
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Good evening,
Having sailed both Princess and Celebrity ( Summit and Infinity), and given I'm not what you'd call a stuffy old formal chap, we still like a certain bit of elegance for our cruises, as well as overall top notch ( or as near as possible to ) on board overall service and product...plus a good time !!!
On those criteriae, we'd go Celebrity without batting another eye lash !!!

We're going on a full Panama transit on MERCURY in Decembedr...can't wait.

Princess is very good, indeed VERY good....Celebrity is just ....better !!!!

Whatever you pick, enjoy !! Happy sailings
Cheers
Claude G
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TIME TO BOARD YET ??
CLAUDE G
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Old September 28th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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Thanks everyone for your replies. We have decided to go ahead and book the cruise. We sail on 31st March '07. Your comments have re-assured us and we can't wait now.
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Old September 28th, 2006, 07:32 PM
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pennypenny,

Thanks everyone for your replies. We have decided to go ahead and book the cruise. We sail on 31st March '07. Your comments have re-assured us and we can't wait now.

Super! I hope that you all have a fantastic voyage!

Norm.
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