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Summit "Live" 9/21/13 Havana Daydreamin in a Northern Latitude

Havana Daydreamin

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Welcome to what we hope will be a “Live” thread from Celebrity Summit. It was well over 400 days prior that we booked this particular cruise. We had actually booked a B2B with Royal Caribbean to do an 8 night New England Cruise to be followed by a 6 night Bermuda cruise. However the Bermuda leg was changed, thus leaving us without the extended stay we were so looking forward to. Having sailed on Solstice previously, we knew we wanted to return to Celebrity at some time and this seemed perfect to give us the 14 night New England/Canada sailing.


Time passed quickly over those 400 days, although sometimes not quickly enough with the pace of life that we were on at that time. Celebrity Summit was always the “carrot” held out before us as a time of recreation.


During that time, as I have previously done two other “Live” threads, we gave thought to the title of the thread and the change of our cruising habit. Previously, we have done only Caribbean cruises, so this is a very interesting change for us.


Well, back to the title. As you know my screen name is Havana Daydreamin. For two reasons, I like cigars and listening to Jimmy Buffet. I always enjoy the song “Changes in Latitude” which seem to bring changes in attitude. Having sailed southern latitudes only, it seemed fitting to have the title be “Summit ‘Live’ 9/21/13 Havana Daydreamin in a Northern Latitude.”


As we have seen VERY few live events on Summit, we look forward to sharing our experience of the ship and the cruise with those of you who follow along. Of course, this also will be our daily summaries of our experiences to enjoy for ourselves upon return to normal living back home. But for now, we are ready to set sail!


But first a few notes of our pre-cruise to follow.

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Getting out of Dodge!


At long last the day has arrived for us to “Get out of Dodge.” We can actually do that since we do live in ‘ol Dodge City, Kansas.


Our nearest “big” airport to fly from is located in Wichita, Kansas. So off we went on our 150 mile journey to get to the plane.


The stress actually lifted as we were finishing the last errands and hit the city limits. Ahead of us was over two weeks of beautiful times of recreation and relaxation for myself and my wife, Barbara.


We had several things to do in Wichita. Lunch was a priority as we arrived at lunchtime. Our first vacation lunch was at Granite City, where I had my first vacation beverage!!!! Then off to make a courtesy visit of a friend of my mother’s who is seriously afflicted with cancer.


Our youngest daughter and our soon to be son-in-law are on the brink of purchasing a house. So we enjoyed a quick tour of the home.


While family in Wichita were at work or not home, we completed the errands which included a stop at the Cigar Chateau to pay for the Toast Across America event that I will unfortunately miss, but always treat my wife’s brother-in-law to as a birthday gift. At least I will get the cigars and enjoy his stories. Chris at the Cigar Chateau again steered me into some very fine sticks to enjoy. I had two while we played trivia and snacked at Buffalo Wild Wings.


Then it was off to the airport Doubletree for a good nights rest and our flight the next morning.


Travel day follows.

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The alarm goes off at 4 AM. Of course, I was already awake in preparation.


We arose to get prepared for our 5 AM ride to the terminal as we leave our car parked in complimentary parking at the Doubletree.


I must have the VERY WORST LUCK flying out of Wichita in the early morning. I keep trying these early flights and my experience is that only half of them ever leave on time.


Well, not to be let down. I noticed a call and voicemail on my cell phone after running our clothes that we were leaving behind out to the car. DANGIT! It was from American Airlines telling me that our 6:30 flight was moved to almost 8 AM which would make us miss our connection.


Now normally, this would throw me into turmoil. I maintained composure and had no rise in stress levels. Upon arrival at the airport we were able to change flights and would only be delayed at our arrival to Newark, New Jersey by 1 & 1/2 hour.


From then on, all was well! We had the quick flight to Dallas with an hour to kill by a bathroom call followed by a bite to eat and off we were to a very smooth flight to Newark. We watched Star Trek Into Darkness and the flight seemed very quick that way.


We arrived on time and all luggage did as well.


We had arranged for a car service to pick us up and deliver us to the Hyatt on the Hudson for our two night precruise stay.


The room and hotel are exquisite! Of course, we anticipated that and was the major reason we booked as we knew we would be well cared for and in a secure area.


Our first evening in New Jersey to follow with Manhattan skyline pictures.

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I have migrated to Mac from PC and I find that my sharing site is giving me some errors that I have to work through before I can get the pictures up.


I hope to have that resolved soon.


If I am unable to, please check back as you are able and wish.


I knew I should have made time to check this out on my home network!!!!!!:mad:

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Well, we are here!!!! Check in was smooth and the staff quite friendly.


We made some connections at the concierge desk with Chris. I must say both he and Greg helped us tremendously and all car service arrangements were handled with diligence and skill. Their efforts were well appreciated.


We walked a very short distance to the City Diner which was recommended to us by one of the doormen. The City Diner featured casual American dining with CRAFT BEERS!!! We “grazed” our way with a Mediterranean Sampler appetizer and Mac&Cheese kicked up a notch with goodies. Soups that we enjoyed were French Onion and Cream of Mushroom. Our server Daniel took excellent care of us and we greatly appreciated his care. His recommendations were always on target.


Now this evening was to be a full moon. Not just your everyday full moon, but a Harvest Moon as it is called. So we grabbed our camera and went after some shots of the lower Manhattan skyline while waiting for the moon to rise.


I enjoyed a very nice cigar outdoors while waiting.


This picture is as evening is falling upon us.




Here comes the moon rising over Manhattan.




Here is the nighttime skyline as I could capture it.





Pre-cruise day spent at Fox & Friends, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and the 9/11 Memorial follows with more picture intensive posts.

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EVERY morning my TV comes on as my “alarm” to Fox & Friends. It was a goofy fantasy of mine to be one of the groupies outside on the plaza if I had the chance.


We were at the plaza at 5:50 AM. I was able to see the studio from the outside looking in and the curvy couch. It looks so much bigger than on tv.


The activities in the plaza were the continuing physical events between men and women. Well maybe more between hosts Brian Kilmeade and Elizabeth Hasselbeck.


It was entertaining and here are a few shots of the hosts in Mudderella, the people who provided the equipment. With Steve Doocey doing the play by play.









After this we walked over to Times Square. That was quite an experience for this country boy! The traffic and noise was over the top. But we had a good time. Shopped a few stores and took a few photos.




Then it was back up to Rockefeller Center. The Today Show was having some event and we got to see some celebrities in this picture.




Then it was time for lunch and the efforts to get back to lower Manhattan for our visit to the 9/11 Memorial. We had pizza and beer at Pronto Pizza. TASTY!

Edited by Havana Daydreamin
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Hi Havana, I will be on the cruise with you. Have you signed up for the Sail A Way this afternoon. Sorry if I do not see your name on our roll call. We have over 50 people meeting at the Reflection Lounge right after muster. We will have Mardi Gras beads on. Also, if you see any of us walking around the ship with the beads come say hello. Looking forward to meeting you. Your pictures are great. My DD is coming with her apple. Also, if you have a problem there is support help on the ship.

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The terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 touch the lives of Americans and others throughout the world. The international visitors to the site are certainly a continuing testimony to that.


I had personally looked forward to this visit. I expected that my emotions would carry me away. What I did not expect was the visit at Trinity Church and the artifacts and descriptions of 9/11 would do to me. It was there that my emotions for all those who lost their lives and their families flooded over. This was a place where first responders would try to get rest in between their efforts. Having watched the 9/11 Museum preview a few days back, the pictures of this graveyard at the church was vastly different.


We still had some time before our scheduled visit time so we grabbed a bite to eat and some refreshments.


Walking in this area, it is heartening to hear the sounds of construction. I remember on that day wishing we would just rebuild both of the towers again!


I apologize for this bit of personal commentary...it will be short and then over.....but we must ever be vigilant and prepared. The battle against those who hate America and its citizens will be a long one! WE MUST NOT GROW WEARY!

Part of the previous note, was my experience of just sitting at the Memorial. Emotion gave way to somber emptiness and dismay and anger over how anyone could do such a thing as I imagined the devastation and horror that so many experienced.


But life goes on! People were living their lives out. Activities were flourishing. A living testimony to those whose lives were snuffed.


And so into the Memorial we went.


Just a couple shots of each tower pool and the museum and the new center that rises up to the skies.


God continue to bless and keep the families of 9/11 and the United States of America!


South tower with Museum in background.




Close up of water. Made me think of living water as it just kept flowing.




North tower pool and the new tower.








Then it was off to ride the ferry across the Hudson River and back to our home for one more night at the Hyatt.

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The previous post was extremely difficult to write.


Thank you to the men, women, and children of all of our Troops who have valiantly fought battles and made extreme sacrifices so life in America can go on.


And so we bid farewell as we journeyed away on the ferry to our home for our last night before boarding the Summit.






We enjoyed several appetizers as our evening meal at the Hyatt and turned in for a nice night of sleep and peaceful rest!


Next posts I hope to be doing from the Summit!


Thanks for reading. I hope you all understand my heart and thoughts of the previous post. The visit to the 9/11 Memorial and vicinity will be one I will never forget.


On to more fun things for two weeks aboard Celebrity Summit!

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Hi Havana, I will be on the cruise with you. Have you signed up for the Sail A Way this afternoon. Sorry if I do not see your name on our roll call. We have over 50 people meeting at the Reflection Lounge right after muster. We will have Mardi Gras beads on. Also, if you see any of us walking around the ship with the beads come say hello. Looking forward to meeting you. Your pictures are great. My DD is coming with her apple. Also, if you have a problem there is support help on the ship.




Thanks for the note about help. I just signed up to a different server and it got solved. I had used Fotki for years and it kept telling me I had security settings on Adobe flashplayer that were not up to date. WELL I JUST UPDATED IT THIS MORNING!!!


We really debated on the sail away and connections, etc. We normally are "all in" but the last year was spent with me serving two other congregations besides my own that were without ministers. Barbara also had major work related issues with transitions there.


So....long story short, we thought we would concentrate more on ourselves and recreating us.


Stop by if you see me with the macbook. We will be in Cornhusker wear today.


Thanks for stopping in!

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Thanks for the live updates. We are sailing on her on Oct. 5 so I'll be following closely! Your New York photos were great; we'll have 2 days there before sailing. Already have our 911 Memorial tickets printed and with other paperwork.


Enjoy your trip; looking forward to your comments!

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Thanks for doing this live post. I’ll be getting on Summit as you get off on Oct 5. As soon as I saw the title of your first post and read your comment about liking a cigar while listening to Jimmy, I knew we were kindred spirits. In fact, I am sitting on my porch in Ocean City, NJ, smoking a cigar and listening to Jimmy right now. I will be waiting with baited breath to read each of your posts. Your pics of NY are great. I can certainly empathize with your emotional comments, especially since I lost fellow workers/patriots at the Pentagon. It is very nice of you to put the time and effort into these live posts. I am sure they will be very interesting and helpful to those of us who will be following you onto the Summit. Now that you are aboard, I hope you are completely relaxed and will enjoy every moment.


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It is time to go to Celebrity Summit!!!!


We left the Hyatt at 10 AM to travel to Port Liberty. We had one lane on the highway for over a mile and the traffic was at a crawl.


Once past the bottleneck travel was quite easy and pleasant. We arrived at the port and were checked in and sitting in the waiting area for our shuttle boarding number to be called. We were number 12.


The boarding sequence was “Special Needs” travelers then followed by consecutive numbers which went really quickly.








We were on board Summit just shortly before noon. YIPPEE!! The cabins would not be ready for some time so we enjoyed our welcome aboard drink of Mimosa's and wandered the ship for a bit taking a few pictures. (Ship pictures will be posted intermittently through this journal.)


We made a stop at the CellarMasters and inquired about the enomatic wine machines. We knew what they were from traveling Solstice. There my beloved wife was too timid to spend the money to utilize. That was a choice that she regretted. SO, this time she PLANNED on doing it first off!!!! AND, she did!!!


From there we enjoyed a quiet repast at Bistro on Five and had wonderful stuffed crepes. I had the Mediterranean and she had the Hot & Spicy.


While dining, the announcement came that the cabins were ready. After completing lunch, we inspected our cabin. (Those pictures will be added later on.)


We wandered the ship some more to explore the venues and finally stopped to call our families and let them know we were on board.


The luggage arrived in timely fashion. We prepared for the muster drill scanning the informational documents in our cabin. They will be included in another post. After the Muster Drill, the internet package was procured using a rather nice coupon. The package prices will be included later as well.

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Upon pulling away from the pier, we made haste to sea and approached the Verazzanno Bridge.


Of course, I took the requisite pictures as to whether the Summit would fit. We knew it would as we had seen two other ships ahead of us. But, they are still fun pics to enjoy.


They follow with pictures approaching the bridge and leaving it behind.

















An enjoyable beverage was had on the veranda while choosing the appropriate pictures to include in this post.


I have purchased an internet package that I will get set up on the MacBook shortly to see if the pictures can be uploaded prior to dinner at Qsine this evening. If not, they will be afterward.


Daily documents to follow.


Thanks for sailing virtually with us!!

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