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Deborra Byrd

Age: 46

Occupation:Business Owner

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Summit

Sailing Date: October 15th, 2004

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

The preboarding information sent by Celebrity was the best we had received form the (3) lines we have cruised, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Carnival. Royal Caribbean had more expeditious boarding procedures, but Celebrity was more efficient. The balcony cabin was on deck 8, and was about the same as RC and Carnival, and appointments were comparable. The balcony WAS NOT private like Carnival. The panels that separated the cabins were only frosted and offered little privacy. The chairs were rather straight and uncomfortable, and did not recline like on Carnival... an important consideration for the (4) days of sailing time.

The featured evening entertainment left a lot to be desired. It was limited to comedy and song and dance routines. None of the Broadway type productions on Carnival or the ice shows on RC "Explorer".

The food was the greatest disappointment. The cuisine was very European and Continental in presentation. The "Mexican Buffet" did not resemble any Mexican we had ever eat, in Mexico or the States! The "American BBQ" was an affront and a shame to our hometown backyard BBQ's. The baked beans tasted more like chili, and most of the items were unrecognizable. We tried most of the food offered, and it was very bland and tasteless. The pastries and desserts were very pretty but not sweet at all. The breads were hard enough to sink ship should they have been dropped! Had it not been for the omelets and waffles (excellent), breakfast would have been mostly sliced meats and cheeses, complemented with powdery eggs, greasy sausage and ham. Three days before the end of the cruise, they ran out of orange juice, and had only bitter grapefruit and apple juice to offer. The "FRENCH CHEF" they tout as their prized menu creator should probably be reserved for their European Cruises, and get someone like EMERIL to put TASTE into their American cruises.

The lunch buffet was saved by the excellent hamburgers and hotdogs they served at the pool grill. The salads were acceptable, but they ran out of lettuce three days before the end of the cruise, and reserved it for sandwiches only. Plenty of salad 'fixins', but nothing to put it on! The only dressings available were mayonnaise based or simple oil and vinegar. No low-fat or low cal.

The evening dining was much better. There was a well rounded selection, and each menu had something available that was comparable to what you would find in a nice stateside restaurant. The accompaniments were good, also.

Unlike Carnival or RC, it was impossible to find a snack after dining hours unless you wanted pizza or pasta, except through room service. You were not allowed to take food from the dining areas to your room, so cookies and pastries were 'out' for a bedtime snack. You had to specially request any type cracker, either with your salad or meat and cheeses.

The most unnecessarily difficult procedure was for soft drinks. We paid $62 for the privilege of a soft drink card, and they were guarded like Fort Knox! It took forever to get one from the wait staff, by time you got it, you were through with your meal. When you did get it, it was about 6oz of drink and a glass full of ice. It was maddening. It was so much of a hassle to get, you finally gave up.

In the defense of Celebrity, the quality of service was great. The staff to guest ratio was high, and plenty of people were around.

There was also very little wait time for an elevator. They were easily accessible, smooth, and usually readily available.

For those with a tendency to seasickness, it was the smoothest ship we have sailed. You hardly noticed when docking or leaving port. Even in rougher water, the movement was only most perceptible on the lower decks.

There was an excellent selection of port excursions, from easy to difficult and historic to party time.

We cannot offer an objective opinion on the casino and club atmosphere on the ship. We do not drink or gamble.

Overall, the cruise was enjoyable in that it was restful and relaxing. Since we also cruise to enjoy the cuisine and the shows, and this was disappointing, we would not at this time cruise Celebrity in the foreseeable future, and cannot recommend it. For the price, there are better values and better offerings. We are planning an Alaska and Mediterranean cruise for next year.

 

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