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kmks1

Full Review of SUMMIT April 11-22 2005

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Here is my full review of my SUMMIT experience. I have cruised approximately 18 times, this was my first time on X, I have been on NCL, RCCL and Princess. Im 43 years old and married and my wife has been on 36 cruises. That being said here is my take on X.

 

THE SHIP- The Summit is one of the nicest ships I have been on. The art work and overall decoration is beautiful. The wood design is a welcome change from the plastic walls on RCCL and Princess. The Waterfall Cafe is well designed and very very spacious, not cramped and cumbersome like other ships. The pool area also provides a lot of space and is very well designed also, not crowded and packed in like on other ships. I dont spend a lot of time at the pool but during the time I was there I liked it alot. The public areas are a bit small but roomy enough to handle the crowd on this particular cruise. I also liked the Emporium, Cinema and Michaels Club. In a nutshell the ship itself is the best desinged ship I have been on with the possible exception being the Radiance of The Seas...head to head though I would give the Summit the nod.

 

Grade: A+

 

STATEROOMS - I was in the basement on the second floor...that being said the room was roomy and well designed. The bathroom was very spacious ( for a change) and I liked the shampoo and lotion contaniers on the wall instead of those boyscout camp packets that princess provides. There was more than enough closet space and storage space even with the cooler and safe in the room. We had a sitting area with a two seater couch and table...very nice considering the price we paid.

 

Grade A+

 

ENTERTAINMENT - The singers and dancers were great, very energetic and talented group of kids. We really liked the comedian and the duo that did the ariel acts. No problem with any of the other entertainers either. The only thing I missed was a headline performer. I know the guy from Les Mis was there but in the past I have seen B.J. Thomas, The Platters and others and would like to have seen some of those types this time.

 

The duo that performed in the Rendezvouz Lounge ( A lady playing the drums and singing and a man playing the keyboards) was X's answer to insomnia. If you cant get to sleep, give them a listen. They sounded to me like high school talent show contestants that refuse to stop playing when given the hook. On the plus side the foursome that played in the coffee lounge were very good, they looked very young but were talented and polished and a pleasure to listen to.

 

The gentlemen that played the acoustic guitar around the ship was good and so was the pool band. I would have liked to have heard more from both of them.

 

The other entertainment issue is the scheduling, didnt like that at all. If you didnt want to go to the show you were out of luck, unless you liked the above mentioned duo. I would have liked some other "big show" options and was disappointed that I didnt.

 

Grades: Overall Entertainment B Entertainment Options C

 

 

FOOD- More than enough eating choices..the lite buffet in the back of the ship, the pasta and sushi bars, the Waterfall Cafe etc etc. We only dined in the dining room on two nights, we opted for the casual dining and the Normandie. We did this because we had the main seating at 6PM and we like to eat closer to 7P or 730P. That being the case the casual dining was a better choice for us. The food and service there was great, very accomodating and personable. All of the food I had on the ship was good, not great but good. The exception being the Normandie which was fantastic, I suggest everyone try that at least once. The other food again was good, no complaints or anything but nothing wowed me or turned my taste buds on end. The choices were great but the quality was not overwhelming.

 

Grade B+

 

STAFF- Most of staff was good to me and did a good job, especially our stateroom attendent. He was personable and always there when we needed him, top notch guy. When we were in the main dining room ( 2 days) our waiter and assistant waiter were a bit slow, in fact that was one of the reasons ( not the main reason) that we went to casual dining. We experienced great staff there in casual dining, they all did a great job and of course the staff in Normandie was nothing short of fantastic.

 

The activity staff was good but with the exception of Johnny and Rebecca, they seemed to be sleepwalking half the time. In one instance we had a small dispute with one of the staff members and she provided an explanation that didnt make sense to us, we followed up with "Jackpot" Johnny and he advised the explanation didnt make sense to him either. The bottom line was the other staff member lied to us to get rid of us...Johnny took care of it and handled it like a pro.

 

CASINO - I won money so it was GREAT!!

 

Grade A+++++

 

DISCO / DANCE CLUB - The worse DJ I have ever heard. I couldnt believe it when I heard him, absolutely horrible. It was a shame too because the disco itself was very nice and well decorated. The music and the pacing and flow the DJ selected was horrible. There is more to being a DJ than just hitting buttons on a computer and turning on flashing lights. And when there were people on the dance floor dancing he seemed determined to clear them out. Why else would you play "Sitting on The Dock of the Bay" immediately after "Vogue"?

 

One night in the disco there was a "White Party" where you were asked to come dressed in white wearing a mask. Dressing in white was supposed to enhance your experience. We also had to be there at 10:17PM, that was the "special" start time. The line in to get in stretched down the staircase to at least the 9th floor...once inside the disco was the same as it had been all week. Lousy music and disinterested patrons, there was just more of them this time. After an hour or so it thinned out and it was business as usual. A contortionist did perform and she was pretty good but she couldnt rescue the evening in my opinion.

 

 

Grade F+

 

 

CIRQUE DE SOLEIL- I know this has been a hot topic on these boards for a while now, here is my take. The performers were great, they did their jobs well. The show itself might be misplaced on a ship like the Summit. I dont think the Summit has the passengers that are going to get excited about a guy in a green rubber suit no matter how talented he is. The fact that they were on five nights out of 11 was a bit much considering it was the same show over and over. Can you imagine watching the same magic tricks over and over? X has committed major money to Cirque so they are going to be around for a while, I hope they tune the show up a little to make it more enjoyable. I asked one of the performers what he would change and he said he would like to do some ariel work, which sounds good to me. One major problem with the whole show is that while the characters are interactive they never truly interact with you. The one character "sometimes" delivers messages to you but most of the time he walks around with a staff and does what looks like Tai Chi poses. Another character juggles blue balls that light up and she is supposed to "possibly" tell your future....I didnt see any of that happening but that is how she is billed.

 

X should rethink the Cirque partnership or fine tune it so it is actually interactive and fun for everyone.

 

Grade: Performers A Overall fit C

 

 

CELEBRITY EXPERIENCE

 

Celebrity advertises as a Premium Class Cruiseline I guess to differentiate themselves from the other lines that have more passengers and offer different options.

 

It appears to me that Celebrity wants it staff to provide you with a service and get out of the way and let you enjoy that service and "call if you need something". That being said I never really felt special or welcomed on the ship, a lot of people were very nice and accomodating but they appeared to want to give it to you and go like they were in your way or something. Outside of selected instances none of the staff were particularly engaging or inviting, again maybe this is the preimium way of doing things.

 

I thought the activities were lacking a bit, could have been and should have been more to do for those of us that dont bake in the sun all day. There were actually times that I had nothing to do until 2PM, there should have been more options. The pool games were fun to watch but there could have been more.

 

Nightlife, forget about it. This was one of the quietest ships I have been on ( not counting the sailing morgue called the Ocean Princess)...I think the X passengers go to dinner, go to the show, have one drink afterwards, go to the casino and its lights out by 1030P or so. A little to layed back for me...I dont want to drink and drown every night but my pulse does beat after 11PM when im no vacation.

 

I know this is all subjective but I X is just a little too layed back and "pinky extended" for me. I enjoy a little activity and engaging staff when on vacation and didnt get that feeling here. Not good or bad just not my thing I guess.

 

The drink prices were outrageous in my opinion. Beer and drinks were too high priced and I think that accounted for the amount of people that were absent from the bars at night. I also talked with several people that had been on X in the past and they told me they always practiced "BYOB" because of the prices. This particular couple was staying in a suite so they weren't cheapskates, they just didnt want to pay the outrageous prices I guess.

 

We are going back to Princess,NCL and RCCL. I am glad we tried X and we had a great vacaton ( as usual) but I like the atmosphere on other lines a little better. Not that X was bad because it wasnt, just not my thing right now.

 

Overall Experience C

 

Happy Cruising to all of you!!

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KMKS1----Great Review!!! Well Done!! I couldn't have said it better. We're back to Princess or RCCL also!

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Not a bad review from a first time X cruiser. I will provide a cruise review as well later this week, but on a few points, 1. Would have to disagree about Rebecca, she was lively and energetic and a delight. 2. I would agree that the DJ didn't play more Vogue type music, but it wasn't bad, he did a decent mix considering the group of pax. 3. I think that the food in the main dining room was 1000% better than our RCCL cruise of last year. In fact, RCCL was so bad we ate dinner ashore with our entire table twice. 4. Absolutely hated the entertainment on Princess, it was way to English. X doesn't do enough, alternative entertainment, nor do we like the shows at 7:00 pm. The pianist was fantastic.

 

Ron

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We like laid back and time to relax on a vacation. We enjoyed this cruise a lot and I thought the food was quite a bit better than what we had on the Coral Princess last summer. We were always able to find something to entertain ourselves, but DH does say that I'm easily amused. :) For reference, I'm 40 and DH is 54. I will also be writing up a review of our experience, but need to finish some house and work stuff first.

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Darn,

 

It sure seems like we are going to have lot's of reviews for this cruise. Sounds like Celebrity either did or didn't get it right. :rolleyes: I am still doing laundry from this cruise and probably will have so many email and voicemail messages at work that you are all going to be lucky. I will not be writing a review. Just let me say that my wife and I had a great time on this cruise, due in most part to our great dinner tablemates and all the cruise critic gang. It really was an amazing group!!. And I thought the lady drummer in the Rendevous Lounge was the best looking drummer I have ever seen. :D

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And I thought the lady drummer in the Rendevous Lounge was the best looking drummer I have ever seen. :D

 

Hi Bill !

 

I agree with you about the lady drummer. I was on Summit 3 weeks ago, and while the duo was pretty good, she was a real treat to look at. I thought she was stunning.

 

The funny thing is, the first few nights...all she did was play the drum, and nothing else. Later on in the sailing, she sang a few songs....and wouldnt you know it ? She had a great voice. Why she did not sing for the first half of our cruise remains a mystery. Sadly, I never found out her name.

 

I would like to be the founder of her fan club ! :)

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So this is my take...

 

I am a Brit and have only cruised with P&O before so that is all I have to compare it against.

 

Celebrity beats P&O for:

1. Speciality dining, the Normandie food and service is amongst the best I have ever experienced

2. Cabin, we only had an oceanview cabin, but it is far superior to an equivalent on P&O

3. Loungers, we never had a problem finding a sun lounger at any time of the day. Not something that can be said for P&O.

 

P&O beats Celebrity for:

1. Food, the food on P&O in the general dining room is outstanding, the food on Summit was average at best, but quite often equivalent to an inexpensive diner.

2. Entertainment, the entertainment was good on Summit, but most of the time it was before dinner, we want to go to dinner and then see a show (but maybe that is a British thing). The Bar at the Edge of the Earth is wierd and I could not wait to leave after half an hour. Most people agreed with this view.

3. Tipping, I know this is an American ship, but why do most people feel they have to tip? I only tip when I have received outstanding service, why should I tip someone for just doing their job? Needless to say, our Maitre'D (Fabio) got nothing from me as the only time he decided to talk to us was on the last night!

 

Not Celebrity's fault, but the flight home was appaling (American Airlines) I would never use them again.

 

I would go with Celebrity again as we really enjoyed ourselves, but I do not understand how they are rated higher than P&O when P&O has a much 'classier' feel to it.

 

Well now I have to trawl the internet to find my next cruise!!

 

 

Cheers

 

 

 

Gerry

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Even though I had a wonderful time on this cruise, my heart still belongs to Princess. To me there is no such thing as a bad cruise, this was just not one of my favorite. Its back to Princess for me.

 

Mary Beth

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Cruisefoever: You misunderstood what I said about Rebecca or I wrote it wrong...I meant to say that she was the only energetic person on the staff.

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I enjoyed your reiew and it brought back some happy memories of our march trip.

 

I have to agree with your comments on the duo playing in the Rendezvous lounge. Apart from having to leave a fabulous cruise the next most painful thing was hearing their rendition of Ave Maria It ranks amongst the worst performances i have ever had the misfortune to hear. Their Elvis tribute was almost as bad.

 

I disagree with some of your other comments especially regarding the staff. We found them to be the friendliest and personable of any of our cruises. But that was our experience and yours, equally valid, was different. That is what makes reading these boards so interesting.

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Even though I had a wonderful time on this cruise, my heart still belongs to Princess. To me there is no such thing as a bad cruise, this was just not one of my favorite. Its back to Princess for me.

 

Mary Beth

 

Hi MaryBeth.....Unfortunately I didn't get to meet you on this cruise but I was very curious about your opinion on Celebrity,I had a feeling you would feel the same as me....based on all your posts prior to the cruise. I'm with you....it's back to Princess for me also....but like you said,"there's no such thing as a bad cruise"!!! Hope to meet up with you on a future Princess ship!

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kmks1.......OK, I'm glad that we agree on Rebecca. I re-read your original post and it can be taken either way. We actually had a lot of fun with her, and I loved it when they threw her in the pool. Speaking with her afterward, she actually didn't mind, and said it was worth the ggrief that she dished out.

 

ron

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Rebecca was a good sport, I gave her a good write up on the questionnaire....she was a lot of fun.

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One of my gripes on this cruise was the pool music. I wanted to hear steel drums and lots of Caribbean music. Now come on James Brown just does not do it for me when Im laying by the pool with my foo foo drink.

This may be a simple gripe but the music I hear on my cruise helps me realize that Im on a Carribean cruise. The music was just awful!!

 

Cruzaddict, I also wish we could have met. I missed the Cruise Critic party. Like you said, maybe on a princess cruise.

Would like to hear your opinion.

 

Mary Beth

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I totally agree with you about the poolside band, but having been on several Celebrity cruises, I have never heard a steeldrum band onboard. But I think the band only played for one hour in the afternoon anyways, I really didnot pay too much attention to it. RCCL has great steeldrum bands at the their pool if that is what you like.

 

It was really too bad that you and cruzaddict choose not to go to the CC party and meet your fellow CCers. I personally invited Shelley to the party (sorry Shelley that we did not get a chance to talk more). We had a great time everynight in the Martini Bar, infact meeting these people and making new friendships was the highlight of this cruise. Ten of us linked our table reservations together and it was the best table I have ever had on my numerous cruises. We also shared shore excursions and, overall had a great time with one another. The one downer was when Celebrity cancelled our "Martini" race do to liability issues after one of our fellow CCers had a very unfornuate accident in Panama (just my opinion as to why the race was cancelled).

 

One of my gripes on this cruise was the pool music. I wanted to hear steel drums and lots of Caribbean music. Now come on James Brown just does not do it for me when Im laying by the pool with my foo foo drink.

This may be a simple gripe but the music I hear on my cruise helps me realize that Im on a Carribean cruise. The music was just awful!!

 

Mary Beth

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Its not that I chose not to go to the CC Party. I really wanted to meet everyone. I love discussing cruises and meeting people like myself who love them. I just missed the party. I did not intend to miss it, it was over before I knew it. My sister kkept me pretty busy and I lost track of time and date.

 

I have always madae cc parties in the past.

 

Mary Beth

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Hi MaryBeth......I too missed the cruise critic party (Sorry Bill),like MaryBeth,it was not intentional,I just got busy doing something else,we were with friends and just got distracted.

 

Mary Beth...I "totally" agree with you about the pool band...they were TERRIBLE. I have a lot of "gripes" about this whole cruise,but I don't want to "bore" anyone.The pool band didn't play enough,first of all,and second of all,they didn't play enough caribbean music.Also,I was sooo depressed on the last day of the cruise when they didn't play at all.......I felt like I was being punished for it being the last day of the cruise....no music,they turned the wave machine off in the pool...it was almost like they were saying...."ok,it's your last day...time to get off now"!!!Maybe it was just me but it's bad enough on the last day anyway,they could have made it a little more fun. Like I said earlier,there were so many things that I didn't care for on this cruise.....the ship itself was beautiful,but many other things were very disappointing.

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Shelley, For the benefit of those considering a Celebrity cruise, could you please share your experiences on the Summit?, A cruise can be a substantial investment and your perspective could prevent a expensive disappointment.

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Hi Shelley,

 

I too would like to hear from you also. It is always good to hear another person's opinion. I totally agree with you about the poolside band, it was awful. Maybe it was a ploy by Celebrity to make you buy their special five for the price of four Coronas. I know I sure bought a few while at the pool. :D

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Depsite the fact that there are great 5-star restaurants, there will always be people at McDonalds. Celebrity can not please everyone, nor does it want to.

Regards,

Floris

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Despite your great comment, I would still like to hear what shelley has to say.

Thanks for adding so much.

 

Depsite the fact that there are great 5-star restaurants, there will always be people at McDonalds. Celebrity can not please everyone, nor does it want to.

Regards,

Floris

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First of all...I am not here to "sway" anyone away from Celebrity...as I stated earlier,it is a "beautiful" ship,probably the nicest one I've been on,but honestly I felt a little "uncomfortable" on it. And I do love McDonald's,but I also like 5 star restaurants,I do believe a person can adapt to both! Also,my dear friend who has been on 30 "something" cruises shared the same opinions as me.

 

Here goes: While in the cruise terminal my friend who took a taxi from the airport (she normally uses transfers) just had a general question about the transfers,she was just curious about something...so she spotted a Celebrity representative and said "I don't have a transfer,but I have a question about them"....his reply was: "if you don't have a transfer in your hand,I have nothing to say to you"....not joking! She was very upset.

Next....On all my Princess cruises we usually got on board around 11:30 or so and was able to go directly to our rooms and "roam" the ship freely. When we got on the Princess ships you entered through the main "foyer" area and the steel drum band was playing and it just gave you that great "I'm going on a cruise" feeling...on Celebrity we were handed a paper that said our rooms wouldn't be ready until 1:00 and that we could only go to two certain decks to eat lunch,so we were stuck in the "card room" area until our room was ready...it really put a "damper" on our first moments on the ship.

 

While on board I found most of the passengers to be quite "reserved",which is fine with me....but again, it made me feel a little comfortable.

 

I have a 12 year old son who loves to cruise and usually spends most of his cruise days in the pool.....he told me two days into the cruise that he didn't want to go in the pool anymore cause he felt like if he "splashed" anyone he would get in trouble. He did spend a lot of time in the kids center after that...which did a good job with him but I think they have to because I think their main objective is to keep the kids away from the passengers,so they won't annoy them!

 

And don't even get me started about the totally "annoying" lady who sang by the pool almost every day.....you guys know who she is.......I came real close to throwing her "overboard" after she "lashed" out at my son for leaving his "coke" cup next to the pool......should I go on........????

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Shelley,

 

Your comments are appreciated. Do please go on. Did you try the Coronas at poolside? I found they had a great way of mellowing me out while listening to the band play Bob Seger songs. ;)

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Hey Bill.....no we didn't try the coronas,that was another issue with us......again,our friends and I are not "cheap" people and we have cruised on Princess usually having a suite and even a penthouse suite at one time,but found the drink prices to be "outrageous"! For just a miller lite it was $4.03 which included a gratuity. On Princess I think they were around $3.00 or so......and forget getting a mixed drink! My friend ordered a bloody mary I think on the 2nd day and they brought her a "small" glass,I'm not sure how many ounces it was,but it was the smallest glass they have,and it was I believe $4.50 or $4.75,and she had to ask for a celery stick!!!! We started adding up how much we would spend on liquor for 11 days....my husband drinks beer and we like wine at dinner and our bar bill would have been almost as much as our cruise!!!! So what we did was when we got off in Panama,we found a great grocery store where beer was .50 cents a can and bought a bunch of beer,wine,etc. and brought in onboard.I can't even tell you how much money we saved! Knowing what the liquor prices are on other cruise lines really convinced us that Celebrity was ripping us off!

 

Back to the lady at the pool: Apparently my son who is 12 and very "mellow" had his coke cup about half full sitting next to the pool,I was off the ship with my friends and my husband was by the pool,I think getting a hot dog or something when this "person" started commenting to my son about leaving his cup next to the pool.....she said "I can't believe your parents would let you leave that cup next to the pool....etc.,you need to go pick it up....blah blah blah". My son has been taught to respect his elders so he didn't say anything back to her....he just basically ignored her because she's not his mother and had no right to say anything to him...so then she got out of the pool and got a "security" person to come over to him and have him move his cup! My husband left it alone and waited for me to "give it to her" but I couldn't find her anywhere....after that,my son didn't want to go back in the pool. She annoyed the "hell" out of me....she thought she was "Ms. Summit"!

Then on the night of the Island Party.........my son wanted to learn how to do the "Electric Slide"....it's a line dance,so I took him out on the dance floor and again there was an "elderly" lady,dancing right in front of us,and she kept backing up while we were dancing and backed into my son about 3 times,actually stepping on "his" feet,turned around and got all "pissed off" and said, "that's it,I'm done.....I'm outa here" and gave my son a dirty look and walked off the dance floor.....and I replied: "good,get outa here you old crab".....sorry but I had just had it!!!! Come on...the kid was just trying to learn the dance!!!!

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I along with Cruzaddict wished I had been on a Princess ship. I told my sister if I see a Princess ship in port I will jump ship. Im not going to say that the food on Princess is better or that the ship is better. Its just a feeling you get while on Princess ships. Like you are part of the ship and you are really wanted on the ship. The staff that we encountered on the Summit were wonderful, but the staff on Princess were like family.

I like a 24 hour buffet and open pool. 24 hours. Plus fresh water pools.

 

If the Summit had been my first cruise I still would have been hooked on cruising but to each his own. I made a few good friends on Summit but on Princess it was like everyone on the ship became your friend.

 

Also we ended up with a wrong piece of luggage, one belonging to a woman in the Bahamas. DOn't know if it was a porters fault or what but it cost us 130.00 to send it back to her and Celebrity is holding my piece of luggage hostage in their warehouse until the lady in the bahamas receives hers. What a mess.

Getting back to the pool band, oh my gosh, the band on the Princess Grand was the best ever. Steel drums and all.

Hay if we all liked the ssame thing we would neve get on our favorite ships.

 

Mary BEth-----Just off the ship of fools. LOL

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