I just thought I would post some insight for those who were thinking of using this cruise line.
I guess I should begin with the original situation that occurred about a year ago. My husband and I were ready to take a cruise for our 1 year Wedding Anniversary and decided to choose Celebrity Cruise Lines Summit because we liked their itinerary through the Inside Passage of Alaska. The original sailing was for June 3rd of 2005. The night before we were scheduled to fly out my husband received a phone call late in the evening by a Celebrity Rep. They stated that our cruise had been canceled because of a propulsion problem, and we would receive our money back and a free voucher for a future sailing. Although I was very disappointed that our Anniversary plans were thwarted, we were happy that they were accommodating. We then made arrangements for our replacement Alaskan cruise which was set for May of 2006.
Now comes the start of our issues with this cruise line. We, by chance decided to call the cruise line approx. 5 months before our sail date to confirm our reservations and ensure that our room was on the side of the ship facing land. When I called the cruise line they informed me that our prior booking had been canceled because they updated their computer system and any bookings that were not "paid for" were canceled. I promptly told the rep that we did not need to pay for our cruise because it was supposed to be comped. After she put me on hold for well over 20 minutes, she proceeded to tell me that all she could do was offer me another room on the other side of the ship. I told her that this was unacceptable and we wanted Celebrity to honor our original booking agreement made when the other cruise was canceled. She again stated that all she could do was give us another room. I asked her if it was then possible for us to move our sail date since she could not accommodate our needs. She began to get an attitude with me and told me that we can just take the other room and leave it at that. At this point my frustration level was clearly rising and I asked her if I could speak to a supervisor. She proceeded to tell me that she was the highest level of employee in which I could speak to concerning this matter. I hung up the phone with her, utterly angry at the situation at this point and called Celebrity back a couple of hours later and was able to speak to a woman that informed me of the Cresso desk. This is a customer service type sector of Celebrity that is supposed to go above and beyond to accommodate their customers.
I had my husband speak to the woman at the Cresso desk because of my frustration, I did not want to lose my temper. After about an hour of back and forth with the Cresso rep, my husband was able to move our cruise to a July sail date (which by the way was not a date near our 2 year Anniversary such as the second canceled booking for May of 06). He also spent another 30 to 45 minutes on the phone with her reaching an agreement on what added amenities they could provide because of the situations we had encountered. She relented and provided us with complimentary wine on two of our formal nights and complimentary certificates for 2 to the Summit's specialty restaurant.
After this exchange we were back to being happy with the cruise line until I tried to receive my credit for our airfare changes, which was apart of the original cancellation agreement from the cruise in June of 05. In January of 06, we made our flight arrangements for our new booking in July. I had the airline fax my receipts over so they could be forwarded to the cruise line in order to have my credit card reimbursed. I spoke with a Celebrity rep and they told me to fax the info and they would credit me. I did so the same day. After two weeks had passed I phoned the cruise to inquire about my credit. They proceeded to tell me that they had not received the fax and to please resend it. I did so the following day. After about a month of checking my credit card bill I still did not see a credit. I then phoned the cruise line again and inquired. They stated that they had not received it and to refax. At this point I was utterly ticked. To make an even longer story short. We finally received our credit the week before our sail date of July 7, 06.
After all of this my husband and I still kept an open mind because this was a free cruise and we were looking for a cruise line that we could use on a regular basis and we had heard good things about Celebrity. We finally boarded the ship on Sat. the 7th and the ship was nice. The first thing we did was reserve our dinner at the specialty restaurant. The MD had our voucher for the free meal. We also received our comp. bottles of wine on two nights during the cruise.
There were a few things that did not meet our standards with Celebrity:
-the food was not very good, the portions were small.
-the buffets and food areas closed early.
-the only activities onboard after 10:30pm was a disco and the casino.
-the activities throughout the trip were not geared to anyone under the age of 65.
-Icy Strait Point was a huge disappointment. Souvenirs were very expensive and there was nothing to do unless you had an excursion planned. The town of Hoonah, which is about a two mile walk from the dock was a dilapidated, run down, poor excuse for a destination location. To top it off, on the tender ride to the dock, our tender captain ran us into the side of the ship and into the stair railing on the tender platform.
-the service on board was excellent in the casino and our stateroom attendant was great. However, the rest of the service was poor.
-the entertainment was also very poor, the comedian was good but aside from that the other shows were terrible. The Cirque De Soliel show only lasted about 30 minutes, and it was nothing like a real Cirque show.
-we booked a concierge class room, it was very small, not functional at all (i.e. no real space for luggage) and the bathroom was worn down and extremely small. The tiles in the shower were coming up, the shower curtain was dirty, and the toilet seat was worn to the point the paint was coming off. Also, there were no outlets in the restroom for a curling iron.
On a final note we have now checked our credit card bill and they seem to have overcharged us $100 from our final statement. This ought to be fun trying to get this resolved.
Overall, this was a very disappointing experience and I could not recommend this cruise line to a fellow cruise traveler. We would rate Carnival higher than Celebrity.