It was hard to write a Review of the Celebrity Summit, as this was the first Celebrity cruise we have taken that we felt service was lacking.
We have been on over 15 cruises on various cruise lines. If you would have asked me before this cruise, what my favorite cruise line was, I would have said Celebrity. I do not know if it was the ship, or the new way they are doing things, but Celebrity high standards were missing.
I will talk about some of the problems we encountered and the good things we experienced on the cruise.
I had read the negative reviews about the new menu and how Celebrity was plating the food in individual containers in the Oceanview Cafe. Sometimes you just need to see it for yourself. After seeing the small portion sizes, I have to agree that this is not helping Celebrity. People go on cruises to eat. I felt that this wasted Celebrity time, as people would just take several of the single dishes and dump it on their plate in order to get a nice size helping. The dishes would be left on the side of the buffet.
All I could think about was the amount of time Celebrity took to plate this food and the amount of dishes they now had to wash due to portion control.
Finding a clean table in the Oceanview Cafe was a big issue on this cruise. Tables were not being cleaned fast enough, whether it was in the morning, or at lunch. This was a common theme during our week on this cruise.
Celebrity is now making you prepay gratuity if you book anytime dining. We booked late seating for dinner, because we did not want to prepay the gratuity for anytime dining. I knew when we got on board I could change it, and we had no problems moving our time to “anytime dining”.
TIP: DO NOT PREPAY GRATUITY. If you prepay gratuity, the gratuity can not be adjusted for bad service. Gratuity is earned, not automatic like Celebrity is trying to make it. They might as well increase the fare. I am not against paying for “earned gratuity”, but it must be earned, not automatic, that is why its called gratuity.
Celebrity offered a variety of different shows that we enjoyed during the week. From the Celebrity singers, performers and comedians there was something for everyone.
There was a nice gym on board the Summit, but due to the port intensive stops, we never utilized it.
We attended the “Captain Club Celebration” for past Celebrity passengers. It was held in the Revelations Lounge with plenty of free cocktails and music. This was a enjoyable event sponsored by Celebrity to show their appreciation for sailing with them.
The service we experienced in the restaurant was hit or miss. We went to breakfast one morning in the restaurant and did not get served my hot tea until I was finished my meal. Others around us had issues getting even part of their meal. Some people just give up and left. At dinner, we sat at different tables, and the waiters were not very attentive. They would bring your food, and then disappear and never check on you again. This was especially the case when they brought dessert. In the past the servers would make sure you enjoyed your meal and talk with you. The overall service we experienced in the restaurant was poor. Because of this, we went to two specialty restaurants on board which were excellent. This type of attention to detail was what we experienced in the past in the regular restaurant and should be the norm on a Celebrity Cruise. This is the first time we have ever experienced this. This cruise was lacking the Celebrity standards we were use to receiving when cruising with them.
There were two formal nights on our seven night cruise. I am seeing more and more people not dressing for formal nights, which I am ok with as long as you have a nice shirt and pants. J dressed up the first night, but the second night he skipped his jacket and just wore his dress shirt and tie to dinner. I would say more than half of the men did not wear a suit jacket during the formal nights (at least around our table). After dinner, people seem to change into more casual clothes for the evening, or they never dressed up to begin with. Maybe Celebrity needs to rethink the dress codes (as they are not enforced), especially now that we pay for checked bags.
The problems we encountered on our cruise would not keep me from booking with Celebrity again. Hopefully they get the glitches worked out and our next cruise will be back to what we have come to expect from Celebrity.
Have you experienced these types of problems when cruising?