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2/28/05-3/11/05 Celebrity Summit Cruise Review


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2/28/05-3/11/05 Celebrity Summit Cruise 11 Night Western Caribbean Ultimate Cruise




Pre Cruise 2/27 -



Flew down to FLL via Delta Song. The TSA approved locks were cut from each piece of baggage. One piece was torn around the zipper. Sigh, TSA very helpful on the phone. Brookstone is sending replacements (great Customer Service).



Checked in to Mariott Marina. Received a ground floor water view room near the pool. Walked to lunch at Carlos and Pepe's. Had a great lunch of Fish Tacos and Margaritas. Note to self: Even in a dark restaurant, do NOT try to eat the napkin they are perched in when served.



Walked back to hotel and stopped at Walgreens for a couple last minute supplies. Dropped stuff at hotel and went to nearby water taxi stop. Got off at Los Olmos shopping district and walked around window shopping. Got back on the water taxi and had a lovely ride (with sunset) to the opposite end of the line and back to the hotel stop. What great entertainment (captain/operators are a hoot and give great commentary) and scenery for just 5 bucks.



Back at hotel, we stopped for a bite at the outside Marina deck. Beautiful nite. Tired and time to turn in to watch the Academy Awards. Took a shower and hopped on the bed to notice the bottoms of my feet were black. Hubby rubbed carpet with towel and found it was quite filthy. Then noticed lots of cobwebs on the wall and ceiling. Conditions were appalling Washed again and walked around with sandals after that. At checkout, we told the manager of the day. Dismissive response from them. Not what I would call service oriented. Don't think we will use them again.




Embarkation -



Took cab to port around 11:00. Porters took luggage as soon as we got out of taxi and we preceded to checkin. No waiting whatsoever. Went right to an agent and 5 minutes later we were on our way to get our pictures taken for our cruise card. On the ship within 10 minutes. Smooth embarkation.



Champagne in hand we went to our terrific aft cabin. It was surprise to hubby and boy, was he happy. Dropped our luggage and time to tour the ship. Very easy to get around since we sailed Constellation last year.



Muster went smoothly and we were back on wonderful aft balcony for the first of many perfect sailaways.




Ports -



Key West - Conch Train. Great views and entertaining driver. Love the Conch Republic story. After the train, stopped at Kino Sandals and was impressed at the quality for the price ($9). Picked up 4 pair. Want to go back when I have more room in my suitcase for more colors and styles. Stopped for conch fritters - yum and walked around a ton. Stopped at a bar to use restroom; sign said Happy Hour from 8am to noon J. We did not partake. This was a Tender stop so waited in line to get back on ship and had a great conversation with one of the Emporium workers.



Cozumel - First stop was Paradise Beach - great snorkeling by the pier, Cleanest bathrooms I've EVER seen on a beach. Great location, venue and service. The chips, guacamole and Margaritas are a must have. Went Pancho's Backyard lunch (note to self: next time walk through the front area and actually go to the backyard). Loved the fish tacos. Los Cinco Soles had great silver shopping (Beautiful $7 opal sterling silver pendent). Want to go back when we have more time and check out the beautiful clothes in the back. Taxi to Carlos and Charlies for the local brew, tshirt and entertainment. Stayed until the smoke got too bad (We’re not in the US anymore) and back to the ship.



Costa Rica - off road adventure. Ship Excursion was late by one hour to time change confusion. Off Road vehicle actually large bus, not very comfortable and not very mobile. Guides very knowledgeable and personable. Would liked to have seen more. Costa Rican hooch worth the try. Beer nice and cold ($1 each). Very hot and humid. Well timed pit stops.



Panama Canal - with friends we met on ship, we got a taxi and went to Gatun Locks. Amazing, wonderful, so worth the visit. Shopped a bit around the port but did not find anything of interest. Very hot and humid. Got a few mysterious bug bites. Panamanian beer served best cold! Sad children trying to sell stickers or peppermint sticks and saying 'me hungry' with big eyes if you declined. Emotional selling does not always work.



Aruba - Palm Beach Taxi $10 one way. Would have liked to go to Baby Beach but that was $37 one way. Palm beach was nice with family style beach in front of side by side hotels. Walked down to fishing boats for a fun view. Back on the street caught a bus back to the ship for $1. Now I know how to get around the island next time!



Grand Cayman - Booked Capt Bryan catamaran online. Easy walk to meeting place. Bus took us to the dock to board. Loved this cat and crew. We actually went under sail for most of the trip not motor assist like our previous cat trips. Captain looked like a pirate :) He was very knowledgeable and told us about the stingrays including what happened after the hurricane. Happy to say they look like they are back after much hard work on the Caymians part. Swimming with them was truly a life experience. They are so gentle and curious (and hungry). After we left them, we went to snorkel at the Aquarium. I hopped in the water and in seconds saw the most amazing fish and a moray eel. There was quite a chop in the water that day so it made swimming a challenge for weak swimmers (me). A beautiful sail back to land was accompanied by Country music (hey this is the Western Caribbean isn't it?). The bus dropped us of at the beach where we enjoyed the local brew (my favourite of the trip). The surf was really crashing here. What a beautiful aqua the water is here. Back to town for shopping. We went to the rum cake bakery (for samples of course) and walked out with the variety pack to share with our dears at home. The line to tender back was long and slow. Rough seas were making it tough for the ships in port to get their cruises back. Heard later a couple ships passed up on the port because of seas (Cat Capt. said it is a smooth as glass in July, August and September). Once we got on the tender, it sure was a trip. Kinda like a Six Flags ride. Made it back to the ship OK but later tenders had problems . They had to move the ship to position the gangway to a less windblown direction.




Some cruise highlights -



4 Sea days were wonderful spaced between ports. Great scheduling. This was our first cruise with more than 1 sea day and were not sure how we would like it. No problem, mon! Plenty to do or not.



Mario provided entertainment at various venues throughout the ship. He is a Must see. Had him all to ourselves for 45 minutes one night at the back of the ship and he played all our favourites. Caught him whenever we could after that. We were also lucky enough to hear his music waft down to our balcony when was playing and we were out there. Great folk/rock guitarist!



Memorable meals from the Spa at lunch and amazing sherbets at the ice cream bar (try the lemon and raspberry). Hubby loved waffles at breakfast.



Evening entertainment is basically cheesy. I usually go every night and found myself finding other things to do. The final video reused the same old bits we thought we saw for the first time on the Constellation. Not much imagination there. The magician and comedian so. Actually I was in the second row when we saw the magician and could easily see how his equipment worked. Kinda took away the illusion for me.



Cirque du Soleil debuted the third night on board. Just another funky night club. Too much hype, no return on investment for entertainment value. Tried a couple of times to go there during off hours and was always locked. Could have sworn CD John Howell said it would be available for hanging out but not in the cards for us.



Normandie was not as memorable as I hoped (or remembered on the Connie last year). Staff very capable but kinda 'cold'. Not very personable. For $30pp you get 3 courses (Soup, Salad OR Appetizer, Entree and Cheese) + Petit Fours. For an additional $29pp you could get 5 courses with accompanying wine for each course. And everyone at the table MUST participate. Also, the menus were different if you took the deluxe route. Goat cheese soufflé and Sole were wonderful. Did not like the chocolate soufflé but hubby found the Chocolate Banana Ganache wonderful.



Dining room wait staff was very good. Our wishes were granted easily. Food tasty and well prepared. Veggie menu options available so don't be afraid to check them out for a change. Found I was eating lighter and lighter as the cruise progressed. Zanna, the sommelier was very friendly, informative and attentive.



Hubby did not wear jacket on informal night. Some good natured comments from our table but no big deal. He looked nice anyway. Formal and Casual nites he was dressed according to guidelines.



Stateroom attendants were out of this world. They did everything for us. We had padded loungers on our balcony but they were not the adjustable kind that lays flat. We asked and we received one that did. Got an extra pad on the bed for hubby's back. And the 2 extra towels for my hair.



Noticed early in the cruise large packing boxes in the hall one day in front of each cabin. They were replacing bed stuff while we were there – new pads, pillows and blankets. Noticed though that our Bedcover was worn with a large hole that was poorly darned. Don't know if those will be replaced.



AFT Balcony was terrific. Loved going back there in the afternoon to sun and nap. Hubby slept out there for a couple hours 2 nights when I woke him for snoring. Bed did not seem as hard as Connie once we asked for extra pad so overall I slept pretty well (Bonnie and Ty'nol PM?) and Hubby's snoring bothered me only a little. He was so considerate!



For the first time on any cruise, Photographers took good picture of us. Happily spent $30 for 2 sets of pictures.



Not much of a shopper but I cruised the Emporium a bit and found a replacement to my ankle bracelet (forgotten at home) for $14. Also, I picked up some well priced gold earrings I have been looking for on sale for under $24.



Enjoyed the Trivia contests mornings and afternoons on sea days. Made required donation at the Casino after dinner most nights. Tried Craps for the first time when Brady’s dad took the time to explain to us. What fun but again I have no luck. What can I say, unlucky at cards, lucky in love.




Debarkation -



Back in FLL - gosh could not believe how chilly the 60's are in the am. When we left here 11 days ago it was warm to us travelers from the frigid north. Now after a marvelous cruise with nothing but sunny days in the 80's and 90's, our now tanned skin has thinned a bit. Had a great last breakfast on out balcony. Room Service coffee and croissants (always delivered hot and on time). Hubby went and brought back an omelet from the Cafe.



We were the first color to be called at 8:45. Through Immigration and Customs by 9:15. Easily found our suitcases. We brought out to curb and snagged a taxi right away through Taxi Porter. At the airport by 9:30. Curbside checkin with Delta Song. Bags were heavy and checkin guy could tell just by picking up. He brought over to scale and sure enough, one bag overweight at 62lbs. He said take out 5 pounds. I moved toiletry bag and 1 pr of shoes over to garment bag. Hubby said could not believe that they weighed that much :). Checkin guy did not reweigh just tagged them and issued our boarding passes. Note to self: Replace 29" bag with 26" lightweight one. It just weighs too darn much when full.



Home to snow all weekend. Welcome home. 333 days til our next cruise.

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Thanks for taking the time to write your review. There is a rather large group of us with our own Roll Call thread (it's about 18 pages long!) who will be sailing this itinerary on 4/11/05 - everyone will be very interested in reading your review.


I have two questions for you:


1) Which aft cabin did you have?


2) Your Sommelier, Zanna - I think she was our Sommelier on the Summit last year, and she was wonderful . Did she use the word "smidgen?" (she pronounced it "smeeejen") when she asked if you wanted just a little bit of wine when she poured at your table? If so, then she DID service our table last year and we will happily look for here again this year! She was really great!


Glad you had a nice cruise!

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Great review...............THANK YOU!!!

Looking forward to our 14 day repo to Alaska May 6. Sounds like our favorite ship (4 times) is still the best! Can't wait to see her again..... Don't know if we'll like her new colors though!!!! (What did you think?) Would be interested in what aft cabin you were in and if you know if Zanna will be there thru May. Who's the Social Hostess??? (Or whatever they call her now!)

Enjoy your memories...............M&M's

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If I remember correctly, Zanna is either from the Ukraine or Croatia - I think she was in the medical profession until she left her native country. Very bright lady and very entertaining. Were you on the upper dining level or the first level - I really would like to find her and say hello!


The aft balcony cabins (previously Cat. 1A, 1B & 1C ) will be Concierge Class by the time we sail. We will be in 7206. I don't know if the cabin attendants will change - how was your cabin attendant?



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7203 and Zanna did not mention if her contract was coming up. She did say she looked forward to cruising with us again.


The paint job seems to be well done. I can still pick her out from a distance since she has retained a dashing swath of dark blue.


Sorry I do not know who is the Social Hostess. We never had the opportunity to meet her.

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Thanks for the great review. We will sail Summit for the first time to Hawaii next year.


Interesting about the TSA locks. Ours were cut off as well, but I didn't seek redress. I guess I should have.


Do you know if anyone had their TSA locks cut off by Mercury ??



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Hi Rompar !


Glad to hear you had a great time on Summit. We are sailing on her in about 2 weeks.


A few questions... do you happen to recall your table #, and can you tell us where it was located ? Can you tell me more about your waiter/assistant waiter, and were they excellent ? Also, who was your Assitant Maitre'd.


Did you happen to run into a Maitre'd by the name of Frenki ? He was on Summit a few months ago. He is a great Maitre'd.


I remember Zanna from previous cruises. She is very pleasant, and always told some interesting stories. She is a great person to talk to !

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A few questions... do you happen to recall your table #, and can you tell us where it was located ? Can you tell me more about your waiter/assistant waiter, and were they excellent ? Also, who was your Assitant Maitre'd.


Did you happen to run into a Maitre'd by the name of Frenki ? He was on Summit a few months ago. He is a great Maitre'd.


I remember Zanna from previous cruises. She is very pleasant, and always told some interesting stories. She is a great person to talk to !


Hi Andy!

Sorry I do not remember the table number but it was a terrific location on Deck 4 at the window to the right of the staircase not too far from the entrance.


Our waitstaff were Clickson the magician and Agnieska. What a great pair. They did everything for us. Agnieska was just back for another contract. She was terrific in remembering all our (sometimes weird) preferences . Clickson was always at the ready with his dry humor and was on target with his recommendations. He was worried I was on a diet because I started not being able to eat every course :) And he always remembered my Veggie menu after the first night.


The Maitre'D was Darrius a very nice man but he seemed a little on the shy side. We did not deal with him but others at our table were able to make arrangements to get alternate (non menu) food choices throughout the entire cruise.

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Could you please tell us how much you paid for a taxi to/from the Gatun Locks and was it safe/easy to find the taxi? Thanks.


Our friends went down to the port and hired the taxi when the ship docked. There is a small 'mall' right when you get off the ship and that was where he was. I think the rates are negotiable depending on what you want to see. We got the taxi for $60 for 4. We only went to the locks and back but he was willing to take us around more if we wanted. The taxi was a small import sedan and it just fit us 4. I had the hump in back and it was a smidge tight :)

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Rompar98.....Great review,thanks so much! I have two questions:


Can you choose which table you want to sit at in the dining room,or do they just put you at one?


You mentioned the CDS debuted on the 3rd night of the cruise.......did you notice if the disco/bar area was open the 1st two nights of the cruise for people to go in and dance?


Only 23 more days to go till Summit!!!!! yipee!!!!!

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Can you choose which table you want to sit at in the dining room,or do they just put you at one?


You mentioned the CDS debuted on the 3rd night of the cruise.......did you notice if the disco/bar area was open the 1st two nights of the cruise for people to go in and dance?


Only 23 more days to go till Summit!!!!! yipee!!!!!


You can not choose your table but I have known people to arrange a move with the Maitre'D. He was there the first day for any questions.


We went up to the lounge the 2 days before (after dinner) and it was closed . They were advertisong the Grand Opening both days so we were not surprised. As far as I could tell after that, it was only open the times listed in the daily schedule (usually around 10:03 - 10:18, I know, funny times to schedule:))

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