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Celebrity Summit
Bermuda 2011
Celebrity Suite 6106 Review

by George Hall

Celebrity SummitIt has been several years since we sailed Celebrity and we were happy to learn that although (as with all lines) changes have occurred, Celebrity still maintains a decorum higher than many. They still have wine stewards and bar service staff at dining thereby allowing waiter and asst. waiter to perform their jobs without the distraction of drink orders and serving wines.

We arrived at the port in Bayonne, New Jersey by personal car, which we long term parked. A far better experience than doing the same in Manhattan. Bayonne simply has far more room to accommodate such things. We drove up to drop off area and turned luggage over to porters. Then made a left and parking entrance was on left. Entered, paid (they take credit cards or cash), parked, and had short walk back to terminal area. On the return you will do the opposite. It was a painless experience. Do drop your luggage first! You really don't want to muscle it to terminal.

Embarkation was appeared to move well and we heard no complaints. I admit being spoiled as we were in a Celebrity Suite therefore were guided to left left of everyone into a small private desk area and immediately checked in. We were also then booked for a complimentary dinner in the specialty restaurant (frankly, the only way to get me there; I far prefer regular dining) and whisked outside onto the shuttle bus. Bayonne being the only place I know that has to take you by shuttle bus from terminal to the ship for safety and security reasons. A needless and annoying step in the process which should have been eliminated years ago by building a walkway of some sort.

I have placed a short video presentation on YouTube for anyone who would like to see CS 6106 for future booking. Note that those suites jut out from side of ship, currently featuring four large ceiling to floor windows. I am told they will be replaced with a balcony during a January dry dock.

Note also that this category suite comes with a butler, Elvis by name was ours, as well as a steward. He really was at our beck and call besides providing tea service and canapés in afternoon and serving breakfast etc. Another perk of a real suite versus a mini suite that we often book is that you can order virtually anything for room service instead of a continental type breakfast. Of course you can pay dearly for this type of service and space. Besides price alone, also add gratuity for butler. In our case we were able to get a deal with $500 onboard credit and prepaid gratuities for all with our booking.

Most people will need a step stool almost to get into the bathtub. I am 6' 2" and had a problem stepping into it. Maybe they will change that during dry dock? I mention it simply because I would think many older passengers that might tend to book this category would be surprised by this.

I deal more with the suite accommodation in this review only since there is much information on Bermuda, our favorite island bar none, and the ship itself.

Referring to the ship, I read many reviews and some commented on wear. I did not find that to be the case, I think the Summit was in good shape and certainly after dry dock will be even better. Staff and crew were wonderful and entertainment diverse and great especially for a Bermuda run where it is often toned down due to at dock time.

Food was good, service better. I was a fan of Michel Roux's menus but they are gone. They were better, but these will do. Having an always available menu is good and I was shocked to see that escargot was on it, as was a passable French onion soup. But as I knew would happen, if you really want a great filet mignon and lobster tail you will have to pay for it in a specialty restaurant. WE, cruisers did this to ourselves...used extra pay restaurants, therefore guaranteeing somewhere down the road regular included dining room fare would have to be dumbed down. At least it is far from noticeable on Celebrity, other lines have really forsaken regular dining for their ship in ship concepts. For those that haven't figured it out yet ship in ship means different CLASS CLASSES. I am real down on all that! You know, separate extra-pay deck areas, extra pay dining etc.

So food was okay, SERVICE EXCELLENT. Our waiter and asst were excellent and that makes a trip. Needless to say all got something extra for the service although I also hate promulgating that as well, guaranteed auto charge tipping. It too hurts the cruise industry. One standout BAD service was the bar service in dining room. Our guy, one day brings beer no glass, next day glass no beer, third day beer and glass, but wrong beer--right beer never arrives. Only last day did all arrive perfectly. Really, did he think I was going to fork over a few bucks for getting it right once?

Bermuda a tad breezy but still a great place. This was first time docking at Kings Wharf though been there many times. Wharf really os a nice place and you can easily kill many hours just there. Do try the new Bermuda Brewery restaurant and brewery it was great. Some great stuff in craft area across from it. Ask for it because though close to ship you really have to almost know it is hidden there between the stone walls of old.

Smokers (of which I only do a cigar now and again off cigarettes three years) you will end on deck corner off main pool acceptable with bar right there. Also out back of buffet area one side of bar aft area. They weren't hiding the ashtrays as so many ships do. Cigar smokers I was unable to find a truly nice spot to smoke a cigar. The elimination of Michaels Club as a cigar bar is a sad choice. Now it's a fancy drink bar. Really should have left one nice place to smoke a good cigar.

Okay, I have gone long enough, we were happy with Celebrity and Summit and were pleased than many of the things that make a real cruise remained intact for most part. $19.95 embarkation photos...well come, I on guess all lines have gone the nickel-and-dime route and that doesn't appear to be ending anytime soon.

Oh, for Mac fans, I was shocked to see that the internet Cafe was all Mac 15-inch laptops, and that they offer Mac classes during cruises as an enrichment class, I guess. Think it was $15 a class or some such. They are an authorized Apple dealer. Never saw that before, BUT as far as internet service, like all ships basically, horrible speed and intermittent connect. As Elite past passengers we each had a complimentary $49.95 package available to us and were still unhappy with it. When I'm still unhappy with FREE service, well that says it all pretty much.

Kudos to the Captain for getting us to Bermuda, not only there and back dancing around tropical storm Katia, but also with NO rocking and rolling.

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