Jump to content

Boten's review: Summit, July 16, 2004 - part 6


Recommended Posts

Boten's review: Summit, July 16, 2004 - Oh, YES!


part 1 - An idea is formed

part 2 - Preparations

part 3 - Oh, NO!

part 4 - Test Drive

part 5- The Journey Begins



July 15, 2004

We had a late lunch nearby, took a nap, woke up and finished packing the checked luggage, put the Celebrity tags on them, went out for coffee and cakes and returned for an early night.

Tomorrow we sail!


It is somewhat inconceivable to me that a dream that started nearly two years ago is only a night sleep away. Needless to say, sleep didn't come easily that night. Thoughts are running in my mind, happy thoughts - we are sailing tomorrow, bad thoughts - what else can go wrong. My thoughts probably mingled with some dreams as I drifted into sleep.


July 16, 2004

We woke up just before 6 AM. I remembered the Summit was scheduled to dock at 7, I recalled the various port web-cams we've been watching the past weeks, seeing the Summit almost always docking earlier than scheduled. We looked outside the windows, we waited. Shortly after 6 AM, between the high rises of downtown Vancouver, we saw the Summit sailing into port. (see picture below)


Did I mention I didn't like her paint job?With the yellow stripes around her she looked like an oil tanker with a housing project stuck on top! Yuck! What a beauty! Who cares about the paint job?


We were excited, we were not really hungry, so Dalia went down to a coffee shop in the corner and brought some croissants. We slowly had our coffee, got organized and after 10 AM went down to check out. The hotel's lobby was full of suitcases of people who disembarked the Summit and were checking in.


We took a cab to the terminal. One of the advices I got on Cruise Critic's boards is to tip the porters at the terminal to assure the well-handling of our luggage. I did that, and watched the porter carrying our luggage for the enormous distance of 10 feet.


The terminal was practically empty, except for a handful of passengers and the folks selling coffee and souvenirs. Some security staff were idling by the security gates and told me they would open at 11 AM. We didn't know how far we have to walk once we pass security and my supposedly reserved wheelchair was not in sight. Dalia went to look for one and returned with a lady wearing Celebrity X logo and a wheelchair.

When security opened we went through into a hall lined with counters for check in. We gave our documents, all the information was already in the system thanks to advanced registration on the net, we had our credit cards verified and were given our sea passes. Cool, we have the keys.


From there we were directed to fill our immigration forms and into yet another hall to wait for immigration. Coffee, sandwiches and cakes were available and people were eating already. The lady who brought the wheelchair came by and advised us not to fill up as there is better food in the buffet once we board the ship.


After about 20 minutes, the US immigration opened, we had our passports examined, our fingerprints and photo taken. A very tall and strong guy, all dressed in white uniform was ready to push me to the ship.


Oh YES! We are inside the ship now! We faced the security camera and were escorted to our cabin. At this point I "dismissed" the wheelchair, with the intention of not using one until our flight home.


7202, here we are! The excitement, the bedroom, the closets, the living room, the seemingly endless drawers and cabinets, the bathroom, the balcony! Huge balcony! There's a round table, two chairs, four lounge chairs - two of them are padded - and a view. We could see folks at Canada place, they seem almost within hand's reach. We left our hand luggage and went to explore the ship.

We were like kids in an amusement park, not knowing which ride to do first. We were charmed riding the glass elevators, we marveled at the atrium, we were amused by the artwork, we sat at the cinema just to try the seats, we conducted a meeting in the meeting room, we made reservations for the Normandie and we ended up at the Waterfall cafe to eat. What a buffet! So many choices and they all look so beautiful and tasty. After walking around we realized most of the dishes are just repeated on both sides of the buffet. Granted this is a logical arrangement to ease the masses but it also cuts the selection in half, not that we can eat all of this. We took our food, with the help of the waiters, to the outside section and we sat to eat, to drink, to enjoy the view of Vancouver and the activity on the water and to realize we are finally on the ship. We are happy.


After lunch we went back to our cabin. Soon after our cabin attendant Elder - he wasn't old - introduced himself and his assistant Elvis - he didn't sing. We accomplished quite a lot and it was only 2 PM, so we tried to take a nap. After less than an hour we realized sleep is out of the question, so it's time to test room service. We called for coffee and it arrived promptly. We settled down on the balcony, having coffee and enjoying the views - we did a lot of enjoying the views on this ship in a week.

Seeing the Water Bus going back and forth reminded us of the ride we took two years ago when we first saw a cruise ship (story on part 1). How dwarfed we were then, how dwarfing we are now.


It was time for the drill. We reported to our muster station at the rendezvous lounge. It was funny, at least we thought it was. Grown up people dressed in funny bright red life vests. Apparently this is not a flight where almost nobody listens to the safety talk. We stood for about ten minutes on the deck, being watched by spectators at Canada place. What are they thinking? Do we look like a bunch of kindergarten children on a field trip? Do they envy us because they stay and we sail? Who knows? Who cares? We are on the ship and they are not!


After the drill we returned to our balcony. Boats, float planes, helicopters, I was not able to stop looking.

Suddenly the horn blasted and the ship was sailing. We sail, WE SAIL! We hugged and kissed each other and wished ourselves a happy and safe sailing. We bid farewell to Vancouver as we passed Stanley park and the Lion's Gate bridge. This time we pass under it, on the waters.


Sometime after sailing our luggage arrived. It took slightly more than half an hour to get everything in place and get on the balcony again. Eventually if was time for our late seating dinner at the Cosmopolitan. Always hating to be late, we went down too early. The doors were still closed, so we waited with everybody else. As the doors opened, we went inside and looked for our table. We reserved a table for two and we found it.


We didn't like our table. It was stuck against the wall, behind the musicians, near the entrance of the waiters. We really didn't like our table. Dalia decided we are NOT going to sit at this table. We didn't. A waiter came over to help us locate our table. We said we found it and we didn't like it. He seemed helpless. We asked to see the Maitre'D. The waiter left. We were still standing. Staff kept coming and offering help. We told them we are waiting for the Maitre'D.

A gentleman, dressed in white, came over and introduced himself as the assistant Maitre'D. We explained our problem, he told us that this is our assigned table and we have to sit there, at least for tonight. This was an acceptable situation. If we want to change tables, it has to be now, before people get used to their tables. A double-digit note changed possession and we were escorted to another table for two, a better location, much better location, at the middle of the railing overlooking the lower level.


Our waitress, Farrah from South Africa, introduced herself and her assistant and gave us the menu. You all know the menu; appetizer, soup, salad, main course, dessert. I don't remember what we had for main course, but we took the tiny shrimp cocktail as appetizer. Our idea of soup is hot, very hot, scalding. We didn't try any of the chilled soups throughout the cruise. In the week that followed, Dalia had mainly meat courses and I had mainly fish. It was a leisurely and tasty dinner.

Overall, the food at the Cosmopolitan is good, not superb, good. The presentation however is very good and I would give the it a much higher mark.


After dinner we went to see the show. I understand that a lot of effort and practice goes into producing the shows, but we were not impressed. In fact it was the one and only nightly show we've seen during the cruise.


It was a long day, full of activities and excitement and it was time to go to sleep. It wasn't a peaceful sleep the first night. We had some difficulties adjusting to the noise and the motion. I also had some very important task to perform…


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Reading your thoughts is like re-living our cruise all over again..........thanks for stirring up wonderful memories! Even though they were just last month! It seems to me that we must have been across from each other at dinner. We also had late seating, table for 2, level 5 in the middle of the railing overlooking the lower level. Alex was our waiter and he was superb. As you enter the restaurant, we were on the right side.


Now I'm waiting for the next part................



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Boten, I'm on pins and needles, but that's what I prefer to do in the evening, I enjoy a little pain, it feels good, I prefer to sit with my butt mostly on the pins, my back enjoys the needles, but I digress, I love the story so far, please continue!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Cruise Critic News & Features
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
  • Create New...