Tuesday, June 01, 2010

A Glimpse at the Celebrity Summit

Oh, those first impressions!  I was only invited for lunch; little time to look her over, yet I was impressed over the course of our short acquaintance.  She was not overdressed, but rather well appointed and refined.  The colors she wore did not assault; instead her soft hues came off as quite sophisticated.  I would not describe her as flashy, though she sported her share of glitz and glam in an understated and gracious manner.  One look was all it took before I knew… Celebrity Summit was a very special ship!

 The Celebrity Summit, which debuted in 2001, is a Millennium class ship.  More than once “Conde Nast Traveler” has named the Summit one of the top ten “best large ships.”  At  91,000 tons and with the ability to carry 2,038 passengers she is no match in size to today’s mega-ships.  No matter, there is no need for her to compete with ships that resemble floating cities, and you need only step onboard to discover where her true charm lies.

  The three- story Grand Foyer with its classic marble flooring, mahogany pillars and hints of Old World decor make you feel as if you’ve stepped into an elegant European hotel. Yet the exquisite translucent onyx staircase has an Art Deco flavor, liberating the area of any illusion of stuffiness. Public areas were stylishly done, my favorite being the eclectically furnished Michael’s Club.  The Martini Bar and Champagne Bar were contemporary and chic with groupings of intimate seating areas.  Lunch was simply sublime at the Cosmopolitan Restaurant with its sweeping staircase, stately columns and opulent décor. If only there was time to linger with a cappuccino at the Cova Café…

 Staterooms looked spacious and comfortable, and were designed in soothing color palates. There was adequate closet and drawer-shelf storage, as well as bathroom shelves.  Families should note that the Summit will allow a roll-away bed to be brought in so a standard cabin can accommodate a family of five! Of course, if money was not an issue, on my return visit I would book a Royal or Penthouse Suite; both included a private hot tub on the balcony!

 I am pleased to be able to confirm that the Celebrity Summit is indeed a “family friendly” ship!  With a summer of seven-night sailings from Cape Liberty to Bermuda, those traveling with children can be assured that Celebrity indeed welcomes little cruisers!  The Fun Factory was a generous sized area complete with an arts & crafts center, ball pit, play room, lots of computer gaming stations and a video arcade.  The Tower teen club had a huge flat screen TV and seating for hanging out. I was told it becomes a teen disco after dark.

 Can you improve on perfection?  Obviously Celebrity thinks so.  The Summit will go into dry dock in 2011 to be ""Solsticized.""  At that time she will be refitted with some of the most popular venues found on the line's widely acclaimed  Solstice Class ships, including the Tuscan Grille steakhouse, the vibrant creperie, Bistro on Five,  a ""cool"" new ice-topped Martini Bar; and Café al Bacio and Gelateria.  Staterooms will get a makeover that includes new carpeting, flat-screen TVs, upholstery and bedding; and new color schemes.  Nice! When it’s all done I hope they plan to invite me back on for lunch!"

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