Review: Celebrity Summit
Cruise - Ocean Cruise
It certainly tickled my taste buds!
41 people found this review helpful
Well the parties over, I now have to settle down and write a review regarding my wine cruise (compliments of CD) with Celebrity Constellation her itinerary and the facilities her staff and food and entertainment, I have just spent 2 and half hours doing the first one and lost it!! so once more here we go.
We were worried because we didn't have any documentation I had given cruise dot the info , but couldn't get into the website, we needn't have worried, everything was ready for us our cases were handed over, we were straight in documents issued and into reception and a nice glass of bubbly pressed into our hands.
We found the Bistro on five as recommended by Bradbury settled our selves in with our hand luggage and had a enjoyed the ambiance around us after our cabin was pronounced ready at 1pm.
We were shown to our cabin on deck 2 stern 3 doors away from the crew's quarters and opposite the lift, now I was worried about noise, but it was very quiet, we didn't even hear the ship dock.
I was disappointed in the cabin it was basic the carpet had been joined in several places, the net curtains were of a ginger colour twin beds configuration, the wall painting was blank, the bathroom was small with the hairdryer fixed above the toilet?
There was a shower with the obligatory plastic curtain and the tiles really needed to be re grouted but the storage was adequate, I don't think they use this cabin very much, however onwards and upwards a ship to explore!
We were summoned to lifeboat drill and I was not very impressed with the way they conducted it in view of recent events, we were told to meet in the rendezvous lounge there are two entrances, people poured into these doors and then we were stuck at the back unable to see the life jacket demo [we had been told not to bring them] Now I know how to put a life jacket on but there are lots who don't and probably don't know where they are kept. . Why did they not make sure everyone had a good view? no! I was not impressed nor were a lot of others.
We had elected for a second sitting and were allocated a great table for six in the middle of the dining room, our waiters were Semna and Adrian and they were great fun and very efficient. Our companions were two Americans and two Brits along with us, they were great fun and we chatted about everything under the sun, including the American elections.
The food in the San Marco dinning room was great always hot a good selection, we particularly liked the lamb, steak and fish dishes, although we had to request veg, they always brought it on a separate dish afterwards, the sweets were mouthwatering .
The wine waiter always recommended a wine from the region we were in and was again he certainly knew his stuff.
There were plenty of places to eat, their self service cafe was spotless there was everything you could imaging even great joints of meat at breakfast. There was the pool grille where you could get hot dogs and burgers. the Aqua Spa cafe for healthy options and also the Gelateria where you could get speciality coffees and teas we tried and Irish coffee.
There are two speciality restaurants. The Ocean liners which has a cover charge of $30 and does french cooking, then the Tuscan Grill which does steaks and has a great wine selection, a cover charge is $40 or an all in menu with wine served at each course for $95, great for a big occasion , I did take photos of the restaurants and their food displays I will put them on the forum later.
Don't forget the Bistro there is a cover charge of $5 [ not enough to break the bank] we had duck and ginger soup, 'cowboy crepes' steak caramelized onion and blue cheese, then creme brulee washed down with wine and a brandy, delicious!
There are a number of bars/lounges the rendezvous, reflections , Martini and crush bar also pool bars Michaels club, no shortage of bars the waiter knows your favourite tipple without asking they really are a very efficient lot.
Sue Denning is the cruise director and at the top of her game, she knows her customers and is always friendly and pleasant smartly dressed lady, she did a one woman show and had them rocking in the aisles with her take on the 60's favourites the jokes were great that woman has some stamina she is no spring chicken good on her!!
The show girls and the singers with the troop are spectacular and up there with west end shows, the singing and dancing is so sharp and expert nothing cack handed about them they are true professionals.
The entertainers they brought on board again were at the top of their profession and were true showmen there wasn't one act that was a bad choice.
Don't forget Perry in the Michaels club, he has grown on me I love his sing songs and the songs he belts out, he's very droll a bit suggestive at times, but he certainly has a following with the Americans.
The Celebrity Orchestra were amazing and you would think they had been together forever I love the big band sound, we had Top Notch playing up in Reflections at the 50/60/70's events and down in Rendezvous there were so cool, early and late with older couples dancing and there were some great passengers dancers I can tell you.
There was classical Guitar and Fiore trio classical, almost every taste in music oh, and These guys, a quartet A Capella they were very good.
There is a good inside pool where we had a few swims a small cinema and trivia quizzes, 2 guest speakers something for everyone if they wish to take part. or you can slope away to the library and read a good book.
We started by mooring up in Le Havre , where the passengers going to Paris set off some with overnight stays and mostly American, they were disappointed that the gateways for these regions were so far from the docking points and questioned the price the ship was charging. We on the other hand had done Paris so we took the train to Honfleur a lovely fishing village, had a grand lunch of bread cheese pickles and apples, washed down with wine, had a lovely bracing walk the weather was lovely and arrived back in time for dinner a very satisfying day.
We were going to do either Ca en or Ruen but it bucketed down with rain so we stayed and enjoyed the comfort of the ship, venturing into Le Havre in the afternoon, our American friends went to see the WW11 battlefields and were very moved by the way the graves and cemeteries are looked after, he said he always promised he would visit and had now honoured that promise.
Day at sea, wonderful lazy day far to much eating and drinking.
La Verden gateway to Bordeaux, bus to Bordeaux $89 some did it by train bur Joe's knee was giving gyp so we decided to play it safe, we took the complimentary bus to the ferry and they we took the ferry 3.70 euros to Royan a large seaside resort, we promenaded took in the views and the shops then did what we are getting very good at had lunch and a nice glass of wine the temperature was 72 degrees another satisfying day.
Our companions went to the Hennessy cellars and had a great lunch but quite a long drive,they reckon they slept all the way back after that long lunch.!
We took the bus into Salac and paddled our feet we went to the market and marvelled at the cheeses and veg on sale, we bought some gaily coloured ceramic dishes, a snail moneybox and a large grinning cat, a liquid lunch again and back to the ship for a rest.
Sunday Bilbao temperature in the 80's shops mostly closed in the new part, we made our way into the old city after taking the shuttle bus $15 each, we went into this big square crowded with families little girls dressed in lovely frocks and with big bows in their hair[ it used to be like this here once upon a time]
Magnificent old building all around this great square with wrought iron balconies. all around the square were budgies , books and jewellery on sale.
There were tables and chairs and cafes all around this square, we found a table and had tapas and wine in the lovely sunshine what a great day we had.
Still in Bilbao until 2pm so we walked the promenade we really didn't recognise Bilbao it has had a lot of EU money invested in the infrastructure and lots of new buildings in the new quarter,
Lunchtime and we are in Vigo , again a lot of EU money has been spent on the seafront, but don't be deceived the old Vigo is still there behind the new facade. Climb the winding hills and you will find the old quarters and quirky shops the old church behind Constitutional square and ideal place for a drink and tapas, climb a bit further and you will find a large high street with all brand names we came across a C&A store, we bought a nice bottle of brandy and took it on board.
Day 9: Lexios for Porto, foggy and dreary to start with but the sun came out whilst we were in Porto, we took the metro 3.75 euros return and made our way down the wide streets and visited the church's again great architecture here the cathedral is a must.
Lunch break we found a lovey hotel and sat down to a snack and a very large glass of wine (much larger than in Spain) we chatted to the holiday makers and eventually we had to make our way back but another great day.
It goes to show you don't have to be a wine buff, there is something for everyone in the itinerary, how many people would think of visiting these old seaports on the northern shores of France, Spain and Portugal, I worked out you could even take the Santander ferry from Plymouth and the car and work your way through these old ports and many more besides but we never do do we?
Just to point out that there are no duty free shops on this cruise as the UK regs state the 20% vat has to be added to all purchases, thus a $10 wallet cost us $12, you can purchase alcohol and tobacco at the bar but if you drink your wine at the table it will cost $25 dollars corkage, they did turn a blind eye to alcohol being brought on board this trip. Imagine my surprise when I was told that I was a select member and invited to a wine tasting and 2 drinks parties, apparently it is because of my RCI cruises.
If you want to know more about the wines and the regions but don't want to do the trips , you can always go up to the Cellar masters where they have wine tasting at a fee and a dinner included if you wish, they have this wine machine where you purchase a card and can try a sample or savour a full glass there is a wine expert on board.
I really did have a wonderful cruise and hardly any niggles I shall seriously think of sailing Celebrity again if the right itinerary comes up, in fact I wouldn't mind doing the same cruise again next year. Thanks CD for giving me the opportunity to sail Celebrity a great ship and great crew I had a wonderful time. Quality of Food We mainly ate in the main dining room the food was so good and the variety was amazing, the Seaside cafe was the least visited mainly because I like to be served and meet different people. Entertainment The celebrity dance troop and singers show 'aroubd the world' it was worthy of the West end. There were no bad performers all were great. Shore Excursions I did my own excursions exploring the old cities and mixing and mingling with the people Staff The Russian lady who had a menial job of pushing the carpet cleaner around, she was always beaming and smiling always wanted to talk and ask questions, she came and told me she had been promoted to position of lavatory cleaner and she was so delighted. Children's Facilities n/a Onboard Activities Quizzes, dance classes, wine tasting, and lectures Cabins No I was surprised when they showed me the cabin, the carpet was repaired in a few places a very basic cabin horrible net curtains, dreadful mattressess, and no spare ones, a very basic cabin and I wouln't have expected it as the rest of the ship was so delightful I hope you enjoy this review as much as I enjoyed writing it.
41 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.
Silver Travel Advisor Recommended Partner: Celebrity Cruises