Our 9th day of the cruise was the start of our 5 consecutive sea days on our Atlantic crossing on the Celebrity Summit. This first sea day was welcome change from the 4 consecutive port days were we felt as if we running our selves a bit ragged.
This was also our first day to enjoy the out door pool area. The sun was shining and the temperatures had warmed considerably from the cool temperatures we experiences in Spain and our earlier island stops. Sea days are my favorite part of cruising because I can simply relax and do my own thing with-out worrying about an extensive excursion. Iâ€™ll highlight some of t he fun activities that kept us buys during our Atlantic crossing.
During our first full sea day the ship held a senior officerâ€™s cocktail party for all Captains Club members (repeat passengers). It was well attended and the captain and his officers were very cordial and receptive to conversation. The waiters did a great job of bringing drinks around to all the passengers who attended the party. After the party we attended Celebrity new Grand Brunch. I was a bit disappointed because this activity in no way compared to the grand Mid-night buffet that they used to offer. It was very nice for a brunch, but nothing to rave about in terms of it being a great replacement for the Gala Midnight Buffet. Here again, Celebrity did have a chance to show its excellent service. We had 12 who had showed up for lunch together, and we had made our plans before we realized it was to be a gala buffet. When we got there there were no table available in the down stair area, which wouldnâ€™t have been a problem except on of our guest is mobility impaired and used a scooter to get around most of the time. The staff did a great job of helping him and his wife through the buffet and tried to find a down stairs table for us. When none was to be found they had a bout 4 staff member help the man and his wife up the stairs and help them bring their food. Our regular waiter even showed up at the table with a plate full of Celebrityâ€™s wonderful sticky buns. I thought it was a nice touch.
We have also enjoyed two formal nights in the dining room and theater. Again the dining room staff has been flawless. Our waiter has anticipated our needs and made lots of good suggestions and recommendations. Our sommelier has been the most knowledgeable of all the wine staff weâ€™ve had on previous cruises. He has also done well with the added responsibility of handling bar service. He has brought the kids preferences of Sprite and Ginger ale every night with-out them asking for it and at no additional charge since we bought two soda cards for the trip. Rosario and Sousa, our waiters have been very professional and courteous, especially when it has come special requests or preferences. And for all of you that wonder about dress codes, about 99% of the people in the dining room were meeting the dress code on formal nights, and most of the people through-out the ship as well.
The formal nights on this cruise have also been the nights for the last two productions shows. The first of these two was a little disappointing. The choreography seemed a little corny and amateurish. The singing was fine, but the songs didnâ€™t always fit the singers’ voices, and the theme of this show â€œNight of the Starâ€ didnâ€™t seem very cohesive. However the production troupe redeemed themselves completely with their â€œThoroughly Broadwayâ€ show. This show featured mini versions of â€œGypsy,â€ â€œChicagoâ€, â€œThoroughly Modern Millie”, â€Wickedâ€, â€œMama Miaâ€and â€œThe Lion Kingâ€. In the â€œDefying Gravityâ€ number from wicked, the singer Jill really stood out. The costumes and choreography made the â€œLoin Kingâ€ numbers my favorite. This show was one of the best Iâ€™ve seen on Celebrity, and â€œmade-upâ€ for some of the earlier shows that were a bit weak in parts.
Days at sea are also a great time to participate in the shipâ€™s activities like trivia and game shows. We attended “Battle of the Sexes” trivia and also the the â€œWho Wants to be a Bizillionaireâ€ game show. Any one who was interested in trying for the â€œhot seatâ€™ could put their name in a hat and then if their name was drawn, go up with Rich, the cruise director, and try to answer questions for a bag of goodies. The first person drawn was a cruise critic friends who got up to the $500,000 question, but still went home with the winners bag of goodies. The second name draw was Sean. He did a great job and was well composed in front of the friendly audience. He got officially 4 life lines, but Rich also gave him a bit of help too. Some of the questions he got right off the bat and others required the use of a life line. He ended up making it to the million dollar questions and winning the bag of Celebrity goodies.
The other nice thing bout the sea days has been enjoying the band in the afternoon. The only problems is that they only play for 45 minutes. The band â€œFrontlinersâ€, from the Philippines, can play almost any kind of music from any decade. They are great fun but the single 45 minute set on the beautiful sunny days weâ€™ve had during the crossing has just been too short.
Also during our crossing days we had a comedian, Fred Klett. He does clean family oriented comedy along the lines of Bill Cosby. He was so funny that the kids ended up spending their souvenir money an splitting it for his Comedy DVD. We really enjoyed his act.
The other activity that I participated in during the crossing was the â€œStaring Youâ€ awards show. This is now Celebrityâ€™s version of a talent and awards show. I was selected to perform based on my karaoke performances on previous nights and the event was very exciting as it was performed in the main theater. It also featured the 4 passengers who have been participating in the â€œDancing with Celebrityâ€ version of â€œDancing with the Stars.â€ The show was very nice and we had a chance to rehearse with the theater technical crew. I performed â€œNew York, New Yorkâ€ as Iâ€™ve caught a bit of a cruise cold and have been a little raspy. I knew I could pull that one off with the bit of hoarseness. However, I have to say that even though I was one of the ones selected to participate, I would have liked the show to be more inclusive and allowed all passengers who wanted to participate in a talent show sign up.
The kids program has been wonderful for the kids during the sea days. Sean, Savannah and the other boy their age whoâ€™s on the ship have kept busy playing Monopoly, Wii, Guitar Hero and other games. Even with only three kids consistently using the club it has been fully staffed and fully open which had made for a wonderful crossing for the kids.
I also had a few afternoons where I could take the kids out for a swim in the pool. With the ship rocking quite a bit it was a bit like a gentle wave pool. However they loved the chance to get in the pool and do something different towards the end of the cruise.
Steve and I have done a few wine appreciation tastings including a general tasting that was more beginners oriented, and chardonnay blending that was a bit more advanced.
One of â€œCruise Critic Leadersâ€ has also done a great job of arranging a few special things on this cruise for us. One was what we called our â€œCabin Crawlâ€ which was basically a tour of our own cabins where we could see space and amenities of different cabin classes. The suites really do offer quite a bit of space, but our family veranda is also nice when it comes to space and balcony size. We also got a bridge tour and a helipad tour, both of which were new to us.
Overall this cruise has been great, with the exception of few minor areas where Celebrity has made changes or cut-backs. We have just one more day, in port in St. Maarten, and then we disembark tomorrow in San Juan. Weâ€™ll have one day there and then fly home on Sunday.