Celebrity Cruise Lines - Cruisemates Reader's Cruise Reviews

Celebrity Cruises

Summit

by A Summit Victim
Hawaii
April 9, 2006

BEWARE ! 14-DAY CRUISE TO HAWAII HAD PROBLEMS.

BIG PROBLEMS -

WAITING, PARTICULARLY IN LINE -- We used Celebrity transfers to and from the ship to the airport. The inbound transfer took FIVE AND A HALF HOURS, from the time we saw a Celebrity rep to the time we boarded the ship. Over half that time was waiting at the airport, where there are no accommodations for people whatsoever. Poorly managed lines then became the order of the day, for the remainder of the two-week cruise. It turned out that the inbound delay was related to DECONTAMINATION PROCEDURES BEING TAKEN BY THE SHIP. Those procedures prevented them from vacuuming the ship for THREE DAYS.

The waits were noted by more than the passengers. We were told by tour bus drivers that the only line that can't deliver passengers on time to tours -- thereby short-changing the tour participants -- is CELEBRITY. Multiple tours were combined by the ship into one (ostensibly, for lack of interest) but the tour we were on went out over an hour later than originally scheduled, so at the end 100 to 150 people were dumped into a tender line that was already several hundred people long. The wait for tenders was thus increased, to the point where the ship departed late.

The departure for the airport was also fraught with hours of delay -- see below -- and was not infused with confidence when the bus driver asked for directions to LAX before leaving the pier. The fianl indignity was sustained when she dropped us at the airport ONE TERMINAL AWAY FROM WHERE WE AND THE OTHERS FOR OUR AIRLINE NEEDED TO BE -- a real test of stamina for the elderly and handicapped on board the bus.

FOOD, SPOILAGE OF -- The food was average in choice and quality. We were told on numerous occasions and on several days that the ship had run out of staple items -- coffee, potatoes and sour cream, plain bagels. We were served breakfast ham in our romm that had turned GRAY, midway through the cruise. ham in our room One of us picked up a small carton of milk that had spoiled, on the last day of the cruise, on the upper deck buffet. Leaving the buffet, the very next person we encountered told us that she had been made sick by the same problem, TWO DAYS BEFORE.

TOURS, VARIOUS ASPECTS OF -

Our first tender port, we has a scheduled tour. Because we had purchased an elevated level of service aboard ship, we were given Priority Boarding tickets for the tender, placed on the bed with no explanation, except to go to a specific waiting area, away from where the tours departed. We were in the waiting room FOR 20 MINUTES, when a crewwoman came over and said "if anyone has a tour, you need to go to the lounge to depart with your group." The Priority tickets were thus worthless. Worse, WE COULD HAVE MISSED THE TOUR BECAUSE WE WERE NOT IN THE CORRECT AREA. The ship corrected this blunder with a written note that accompanied tender tickets at the second tender port.

LATE ARRIVAL, AND DEBARKATION SCREW-UPS -- The ship arrived at its final destination 90 MINUTES LATE. The night before, passengers were told over the intercom to read the instrustions that would be written about the departure, the next morning. The note from the ship, however, simply said "The ship will be late. We appreciate your understanding." A free-for-all thus developed, when some people believed the ships earlier-appointed times for Customs clearance and debakation, while others believed the previous night's intercom announcement that "you can sleep in the extra hour-and-a-half." Confusing 2000 people who need to get to the airport is NOT A GOOD THING.

HIGH POINTS -

Entertainment -- Director John Howell and staff did the best job we have seen on any cruise.

Individual performances -- Wait staff at our table and stateroom personnel were conscientious and consistent, unlike the rest of the cruise.

Casual dining, deck 10 -- if you want outstanding service albeit with a limited menu, DINE HERE EVERY NIGHT. Our main dining room waiters were very good, but they serve three tables totalling 30 people. Up in Casual Dining, we had waiters lined up to drop off what we needed, or attend to what we wanted.

LITTLE PROBLEMS -

What you might consider to be "cracks around the edges," suggesting a cheapening perhaps across the entire company. Things like running out of limes for a drink, or NOT ONCE giving a small dish of snacks to people ordering drinks in the lounges, as Celebrity did on the same class of vessel less than two years ago.

SUMMARY -- We won't cruise Summit again -- EVER. And we're not likely to go back to Celebrity. We paid a LOT for the treatment described above, only to have a memorable occasion turned into a zoo.