by Michael Farraj
November 12, 2001
My wife and I cruised on the Celebrity Summit last year on 11/12/01 to celebrate our wedding Anniversary. We traveled in category class 1B. After 9/11/01 the wait to get on and off board was really bad, but some blame must also go to those passengers who don't respond to the repeated Customs Office calls for the embarkation and disembarkation. We are now Captain's Club members grand fathered in as Founders and now can get to be the first to embark and disembark. This is well worth it. Our deluxe stateroom with a veranda was what we thought was the best choice for the money without having to pay the suite price to get a full tub and a VCR. The robe in the room was better quality than that of NCL. We were pleasantly surprised with many things on this ship. Very classy with some modern art thrown in. The food in the main dinning room was great. They even have a small orchestra or pianist while you dine. There were some food items that were average in the main dining, but the red meats and the lobster was PERFECT! The buffet dinning was ok, but not the same quality as the main dinning or the Normandy. We were worried about the food after reading about the problems written by other cruise reviews about the Millennium, but the Summit's kitchen staff prepared and served the food to perfection.
We also dined in the Normandy for a treat. The only disappointment of that was the food in the main dining room was just as good as the Filet in the Normandy and was no more tender. But it was an event and enjoyable, even for the $25.00 per person. The main lounge featured the musical group Onyx. They were great playing everyone's favorites. They would also play at the pool at times during the day. While we were at the pool listening to Onyx, we had the best ship made pizza at sea. At night, I made my wife go with me to Michael's Cigar Bar. What a nice room. Naturally, I had to have a cigar with my cocktail. We did have a few complaints though. The theater's stage was one of the most advanced we've seen at sea. But the entertainment was one of the worst we've seen at sea. The Cruise Players were "want to be American Idols" and really hard for a man's man to sit through. It was like listening to Armature Night on a first rate Broadway set. The stage with all the lifts, wheels, and lazar lights were something to see. One of the two outside hired entertainers were what they billed as a comedian. Noodles Levingstone (not sure of spelling of last name) was THE WORST COMEDIAN in the world. If you have been under a rock for 20 years, his jokes might be a little funny. He told jokes that I read on the internet 7 years ago and really poor ethnic stereotyping jokes. Really cannot say how disappointed we were with the performances. The other main complaint was the shore excursion desk. One of our many excursions were the river rapids excursion in Costa Rica. Well, the weather was bad and the river was high and fast, which made the rapids at level class 5. They decided that they would put us in the water half way down the river and got to have a couple of class 4 rapids. We requested a partial refund since we only got ½ of what we paid for. The Shore Excursion Manager said she knew nothing about it and would attempt to verify and get back to us. 7 days later on the last day of our cruise, we received a note on our stateroom door from the Shore Excursion Manager giving us a 15% discount on that River Rapid Excursion. We thought we should get more, but at least they acknowledged the problem. Do not visit the Indian Village in Panama for the money they are charging. It was nice, but way over priced. The only other complaint was movies in the stateroom were mainly pay-for-view unless you want to watch the same one movie over and over. I saw "Memento" so many times, I could say the lines with the actors. But we did see The Steelers on Monday Night Football live and both Thanksgiving football games all in our stateroom on the 19" interactive television. Amanda was the ships special event director and a very personable busy person. When she found out we were celebrating our Anniversary, she gave us that special attention we never thought we would get on such a large ship. Our cabin Stewart and our Waiters were first class also. We wished we could take them home with us. Nelson was our waiter (the Best). He would watch for us when we entered the main dinning room which had open seating for breakfast and lunch. He then would give us any of our special preferences such as ice tea and such. He would also advise us of the dinner menu so that we knew when to dine in the Normandy and what was the chiefs specialty on the main dining menu. People like that is what puts this cruise ship and line over the top. Even to overlook the sub-par theater entertainment. My wife and I are scheduled to cruise on the Summit 10/18/02 and are in the exact same stateroom to celebrate our Anniversary again this year. We obviously recommend this ship to all of our friends and they have taken us up on our advise.