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Celebrity LineSummit ReviewHawaiiDr. Bob Griffin

Age: 59

Occupation:Pastor/College Professor

Number of Cruises: 10

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Summit

Sailing Date: March 3rd, 2007

Itinerary: n/a


Celebrity Cruise Line
Summit Cruise Review
Hawaii

Dr. Bob Griffin

My wife and I celebrated my 59th birthday with a relaxing journey to and from the islands for 14 days. We selected Celebrity because of its catering to a "mature" crowd, and a longer non-spring break time at sea. Also needed a trip NOT over the end of a month and one that only required 2 Sundays (I am a pastor and congregations get antsy when the pastor is gone too many Sundays!!).

We love the ship and have little use for ports! If we could cruise in a circle 10 days we'd be thrilled! Want to share a review that will be helpful to others considering this type of trip/ship.

PRO
Wonderful destination, with 4+ days at sea EACH WAY. Can really enjoy the ship and all her amenities and truly relax with so many sea days. Some type A personalities were climbing the walls, wanting to get to an island, but we just relished the ship!

Thelassotherapy pool, warm, quiet, healthful food selections was a home away from home. Totally new fitness center (dedicated on our trip) was nice

Lectures were above any of 9 previous trips and entertainment/orchestra and guest performers were as well

Quiet ship, without the banging, groaning ambient noises and even with a veranda little noise from other passengers

Floor-to-ceiling window/sliding door was fabulous even though spending a lot of time of the veranda was not possible

Food selections were outstanding. Truly a notch above Princess or Royal as we've seen on 2 previous Celebrity trips. And choices were overwhelming; wish I could have eaten it all (and, of course, I tried)

Happy people (crew/staff). We've been on a ship where there was obvious tension and dissatisfaction, but here it was the opposite. This helped our relaxation as well

CON
Cold weather, seems incongruous, but the first few days out of LA and last few returning were cold! No one was at the pool and a few hardy souls were wrapped in beach towels. Veranda was cold. 60+F but with the wind it was NOT like the Caribbean. Of course, as we went further south and neared Hawaii it was hot and what I had expected.

Warm ship, as all the public rooms (except the cinema) were warmed than we liked. Many older people on board and women with a lot less clothes than suits or tuxes (6 nights of sweating through dinner - even the casual nights with just an Aloha shirt were warm) so guess they need the place warm!

Getting to the ship was a challenge. LA pier directions led us astray and not the usual signs when we arrived (no idea where to go, take bags, etc. No porters and those who came at the suggested time (2pm) were in a long queue. We came at 12:30 and we were on ship eating lunch in the Waterfall Café on Deck 10 – no joke – at 1 pm. Our cabin was ready by 2 pm and ALL our luggage there!! Fill out the forms on line and the process is a snap.

Costs were higher for the "normal" shipboard extras - photos (yes, the same in-your-face obnoxious photographers were on board) were overpriced, drinks, even the "tipping" policy was higher than other lines. Expect to pay more for comparable cabin/trip for choosing Celebrity (ours was $100 more per person for 14-day Hawaii than Princess for a 15-day Hawaii in the same type balcony cabin) and consider which is the better “fit” for you

The itinerary was poor. There is no need for 2 days on the big island and sadly, looking at the 14-day cruises by the Summit now and the next, it is WORSE. They only have 1 full and 1 part day in Honolulu and the full day is a Sunday. That means no “Cultural Center” option (it is Mormon run top paid tourist attraction on Oahu and closed Sundays). It was a highlight for us and sorry to see it will be missed on other trips.

SPECIAL NOTE: We paid considerably more for a veranda and, while enjoying the floor-to-ceiling windows, it was little used and we would NOT do it again. Could save $300+ per person for deck 3 midship window rather than deck 6 midship balcony.

ISLANDS
In addition to all the ship has – entertainment (changes from cruise to cruise), lectures, activities, hula lessons, first-run movies, and FOOD, the shore time also makes a trip special

*Hilo, Hawaii – Terrible port, not in the 20th much less 21st century. It is simply a working port with less tourist amenities (nearby shops, cabs, etc) than some of the third world ports like Limon, Costa Rica. Long hot lines for security, and advise to take a ship-based tour. We did Volcanoes National Park (and an orchid farm and macadamia stop!) and the tour was excellent. Walked on lava (not active), through lava tubes, and had a great time.

*Kona, Hawaii – Last day, tender in for a short day so long lines again for a tender. Nice shopping area and only a few sea-based activities. You’re 90 miles from the volcanoes and not a great area. I was skip this stop completely and visit another island.

*Lahaina, Maui – Tender on rough sea (the good port on the north shore has a pier, but Norwegian hips monopolize it). Lovely city and great tours. Whale watching from right out of town. We visited a plantation to see all the variety of native flora and Iao park in the rain forest (and it poured rain up in that valley). Only real rain on the trip, but the islands are all humid and light mist falling here and there.

*Honolulu, Oahu – Great city we’ve spent a week in previously. Here we had 2 full days so did a tour to the Polynesian Cultural Center, and enjoyed the great time seeing and interacting with the seven native island groups that comprise Hawaii. Programs, pageants, hands-on, great food (they did a barbecue shrimp/chicken lunch feast for our group). Also looped the island.

Buses run a block from the pier and $2 you can go anywhere. Pearl Harbor, North Shore, Waikiki, etc. No need for big $$ for cabs. And ship ran a free trolley to Aloha center on the next pier, with its shops, famous tower, and free programs so if one wanted to just stay in the area, it was easy on-off and access.

Noticed that other 14-day Hawaiian cruises did 2 days in Maui and that might be good addition.

And so it was a GREAT trip. Ugly time getting home (United Airlines) and spent an unwanted night in Denver but that just added a ton of stress to the end of a perfectly good vacation. Two thumbs up on the cruise overall and though I would change a few things, am perfectly happy with it and recommend it wholeheartedly!






 

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