by Dave and Pauline
May 13, 2002
We took the 11 night Hawaii to Vancouver cruise on the Celebrity Summit, which departed Honolulu on May 13th, 2002. Our departure was excellent, we easily found the pier, and were treated very courteously while going through the boarding process. We found this to be refreshing, since on past sailings boarding was always tedious at best. We booked cabin 8141 on the Panorama Deck, and found it to be pleasant and comfortable (great bed) but the decor was 70's - ish, not up to the true beauty of the rest of the ship. Our balcony was small but sufficient, nuff' said. The bathroom was the best we have ever encountered for a booking of this price. Selections on the TV were limited, lots of ship channels, little else, limited news.We found the ship to be beautifully maintained and ornate. The attention to detail found on the Summit, would probably not be found on other ships in it's class, at least from our cruise experiences. The staff were very courteous and attentive. Our dining room waiters were excellent, great humor, made us very comfortable. Special kudos for the staff of the Normandie Restaurant. "Don't miss this experience!!!" It is well worth the $25.00 per head for this unbelievable five star dining sensation, it was THE Highlight of the cruise.
We are "karaoke" types (O.K..sue us!) We called before the cruise to determine if the Summit offered karaoke, the reply was yes. Folks, it was dismal. Only two nights out of an 11 night cruise had karaoke, untrained ship Staffers ran the equipment, very poorly I might add, literally emptied a full room of people because of their lack of understanding of karaoke or the equipment...sad.
Another black eye for the Summit, we called Guest Services for some U.S. zip code information, and were told to "look it up on the internet". When I asked for any available U.S. telephone book, I was again told to "look it up on the internet". So much for "Guest" Services. We ended up writing our postcards ashore.. Very sad.
Our shore excursions were "OK". We did better on the ones we booked ourselves.
The overnight in Lahaina was a nice stopover. It's a quaint, fun place to have an evening ashore. Hilo is a wasted stop in Hawaii unless you are a shopoholic. It would have been better to overnight in Kona, which is a fun little town in the evening, but we had to leave by 6 pm. We believe the ship stops in Hilo for it's own interest, cargo and such.
The five days at sea on the way to Vancouver were cloudy, rainy and cold. We don't Know if this is normal west coast weather for May or not. We filled our time with indoor ship activities which we found to be typical cruise ship fare. We met some new friends while on this cruise, and all agree the food and ambiance was above average. We also agreed that if the entertainment staff were a bit more professional, we would not hesitate to sail on the Summit again.