We left home at planned around 7AM to drive to Elisabeth NJ. We had sunny and as the day progressed, it got warmer. It is so nice to have sun and dry pavement when driving. We had our usual stops along the way, breakfast in Plattsburg, NY and lunch about an hour before our destination. We arrived around 3:20PM.
We checked in the hotel Country Inns & Suites by Carlson. The free shuttle for Bayonne we are on the 12:30PM tomorrow, so that is ok and we are able to park for 7 days for $35.
Once checked in, we went over to the Jersey Gardens to shop, but could not find a spot anywhere to park, it looks like a big place and seems to be very popular, maybe one day we will be able to see it. We gave up and went back to the hotel.
We went to Ruby Tuesdays from supper, Norman had two lobster tails and rice and I had a rib steak and garlic mashed potatoes.
Today, we woke up to a light rain. We had breakfast, this hotel has the best continental breakfast ever. After breakfast, I discovered that I forgot my credit card at the restaurant last night, so when over to see if they had it and they did, what a relief, leaving on a cruise with a missing credit card, not good.
Our shuttle picked us up at 12:30PM and we drove to the Port of Bayonne. There was no traffic so it went well. When we go there around 1PM, the porters took our luggage and then we were in line for the security check, that took some time. Then we proceeded to the check-in. The lines were very long, but since Norman is using a scooter we were directed to the handicap line. Once check-in, we took the 5 min bus ride to the ship. Once on the ship, our cabins were available (we were in our cabin at 2PM), so we dropped off our carry-ons before going to get a bite at the buffet. We just had pizza. .
At 3:30PM was the Muster drill. Now we don't need to bring our lifejackets anymore so that is a plus. Our station is in the Casino, the crew showed us how to put on our lifejackets and we are then directed to the life boats. At this point, anyone in a scooter, wheelchair or walker are excused. We can then take the elevators before the mad rush.
At 4PM, we were meeting our at the Waterfall Café on Deck 10, outside, but it was cold and windy, so we went inside and had our gathering there. Met quite a few from our Cruise Critic board, nice to finally meet and talk to our new friends. The Captain announced that the sailaway that was to be at 4PM was being delayed by an hour.
We went to see one of our CC friends AFT cabin, the balcony is as big as a home deck.
We finally sailed away around 6PM.
It was getting close to dinner time, we have early sitting at it is at 6PM. When we got to the dining room, the lines of people went forever, never saw that in all the times we have been sailing, it just seem chaotic, don't know why, but it was. We finally were seated at our table with our tablemates of 3, mother, father and daughter. We met our waiter Michael and assistant waiter Jarvas. We had the roast beef au jus, very tender, cooked to perfection.
Signed up for my computer package, they were giving 10% more minutes if signed up today. So I took the $49.99 package with 90 min. I will get 100 min with the special. Because I am at select level, I get 25% back on this price.
The show tonight is "Welcome Aboard Variety Show" featuring the A Capella Group -The Neptunes, Violin Virtuoso - Igor, Aerial Adage Artists Dominique & Marsha and the Cast of Celebrity Summit. Accompanied by the Celebrity Orchestra. This show gives us a preview of whats to come during the cruise.
We woke up to a dense fog this morning, the Captain was blowing the fog horn ever 90 minutes, first time we have had that. The Temperature today is 58F/14C. We got up early at our Cruise Critic Connections Party was at 9:15AM. It was surprising that most did show up. We had the Hotel Director Bernhard Stacher and Food and Beverage Manager Milivoj Simunec, also our Cruise Director Steven J. Daniels and Event Coordinator Sandra Haupt and a few more attended. They spoke about what is coming up on this cruise and the changes to the Summit, at dry dock, next April. Sounds exciting. We were able to mingle with some of our Cruise Critic friends that we have been chatting for quite a while.
I asked why their was such confusion last night in the dining room. Apparently there was a computer glitch and none of the table were assigned, we had notice earlier that we did not have the card stating our table, so we went down to find out our table assignment and was able to change it.
We then went to the Brunch in the MDR. Always a nice presentation, and lots of foods.
There is a lecturer on this cruise named Robert Horton. Today's lecture is Beyond the Podium - The Dream Factory. His talks are about the golden age of Hollywood acting. How were the first great movies stars created?
The fog cleared up a little during the afternoon, now 5PM it is dense again, can hardly see the sea.
Tonight is our first formal night "Captain's Welcome Toast" before tonight's show which is a production show called "Encore" which is a celebration of award winning music from Hollywood & Broadway musicals, Rock'n Roll, Country and More. It was a great show.
After the show, we stopped at Cova Café to listen to The Neptunes: A Cappella Group, they are fantastic.
The ship continued to rock and roll most of the night. We were told to exercise caution when walking, it is easy to have a misstep.
Today we woke to some sun, but big waves, the temperature is 71F/22C but very windy 35-45mph S-SW. Many are in there bathing suit but covered up with towels. Still too windy to sit out on our balcony. It is still rocky and very big waves. Still have to be careful navigating the ship.
Our lecture today was Beyond the Podium with Robert Horton - Tough Guys and Tougher Dames. He talked about Greta Garbo and Humphrey Bogard and others in this category.
The Select and Elite levels got a Backstage Tour going behind the curtain and we learnt what goes into creating our evenings of entertainment. They really don't have much space and have to change their costumes very quickly. Some changes can be as quick as 6 sec. They do their own make-up, and most of the time the don't have help to change. When the floor goes down below, they end up on deck 2 and have to run in a corridor to get back to deck 3 where the stage and dressing rooms are located.
The Select and Elite levels got also a Senior Officer's Cocktail Party. All the officers were present, we get free drinks and hors d'oeuvres. We also get to chat with other members. We were seated with Vicki and Bob from our CCer's group. There was also live music. Always nice and well attended.
The entertainment tonight is the Comedian David Heenan who was born in England with Irish heritage, he started comedy in NYC, becoming host of Dangerfield's and a regular on the NYC Comedy scene. He has opened for Redd Foxx, Robin Williams, Elaine Boosler, Jerry Seinfield, Robert Klein, and many musical acts. David is a comedian who dwells on humour in the realities of everyday living. His hours of material can relate to every group of people no matter their age or background. His hilarious observations hit home every time.
We arrived this morning around 8AM. The weather is very windy with a high of 63F/14C. I think it got warmer than that. We ordered room service as we were meeting Vicki and Bob at 9:15AM. We got our tokens for the two days that we were taking ferries.
We boarded the 10AM ferry to St. George, which is about 40min from King's Wharf. When we arrived we went to the Town Square, very nice old buildings. We walked along Water Street to the Heritage Centre / Welcome Centre. The admission is $5./pp. There is a 15 minute video about the history of St. George, showing us all the buildings and where there are located. We then left there and walked back to the Town Square for Noon as the Town Crier has a little display of what was done to punish people who did not behave. So this woman was dunk in a dunking chair in the water, about five times. The Town Crier gets four volunteers to help with lowering the dunking chair.
We decided to take the Trolley Train Tour, $20/pp. The driver takes all over St. George explaining what we are seeing, telling us some of the history of St. George. This is a very informative tour and last one hour. Well worth it.
After we decided to have a little byte so we went to Tavern by the Sea to have a bowl of soup before catching the ferry back to King's Wharf.
On our way to the ferry, we got a real downpour, so back to the Town Square and we took refuge in the City Hall. One of the former mayors was there, telling us all about St. George and would answer any questions. We found out that they do not pay any income tax. They pay duty tax on purchases only. All public school are free including high school. Everyone must have health insurance. To become a Bermuda citizen, you must marry a Bermudian and be still married after 10 years, then you can become a citizen.
When our 4PM ferry arrived, the rain had stopped by then, but the ferry could not dock at the regular place as it was too windy, so we had to walk all around to the other side on Ordnance Island to take the ferry. It was very windy and choppy on our return.
Our show tonight is Celebrity Showtime: Night of Stars which is a tribute to legendary stars and their unforgettable music, accompanied by The Celebrity Orchestra. A great show.
Today we woke up to sunny skies and a high of 68F/20C. We had breakfast at the Waterfall Café as we were meeting Vicki for our private tour with Unique Vacations with Judith and Robin.
We took the 11AM ferry to Hamilton. Some had time to do some shopping, we just enjoyed people watching. We were eight on this tour. We were picked up at 12:30PM at the ferry terminal in Hamilton. Our first stop was at Spanish Point Park, were the view if magnificent. We could see both ships in port at King's Wharf. The colour of the ocean is all shades of blue and turquoise.
Then we headed to Verdmont, it is one of Bermuda's old houses of the 17th century. It was owned by John Green and stayed in his family for a couple of centuries then in the mid-19th century it was sold to Rupert Spencer and is great niece Miss Lillian Joell was the last person to live at Verdmont. She never modernised the house and chose to live without electricity and plumbing. She cooked on a kerosene stove, dipped water from the tank outside and used oil lamps and candles. In 1951 the house was sold to the Bermuda Historical Monuments Trust which turned it into a museum. It has three floors and some beautiful antiques. Took lots of photos. The Verdmont's guide was very informative
Our next stop was the Bermuda Aquarium which has lots of various fish as you will see from the photos. We also saw some seals and turtles.
We drove by St. David's Lighthouse, Great Head Park and visited Carter House, is another old house of the 17th Century. It is now a museum, the guide showing us around and telling us lots of history of this building, was very interesting.
We travelled the whole island today, from Hamilton to St. George, back to Hamilton then the Dockyards. On our way back we travelled on the South Shore to see some of the best beaches including Horseshoe Bay. There were some people there on the beach.
We got back to our room at 5:50PM just enough time to get ready for our 6PM dinner.
The entertainment tonight was Magician Adam Trent. Wasn't too impressed but he is young and probably get better with more experience.
At the Resolutions bar was Sizzle which is a Latin event with a fusion of Celebrity Dancers, Cruise Director's staff and musician. It was too windy to have it at the Pool area. We missed it, but I am sure it was fun.
We woke up to another sunny day today with temperatures 71F/22C. Still very windy but it is unusual for Bermuda to be that windy, the weather this year is different than preceding years.
We had breakfast at the Windfall Café, have been looking for locks and capers, could not find any this cruise, so I asked a waiter and he went and got us some from the kitchen. The service is excellent as always on Celebrity.
After breakfast, we took a walk to the Dockyards, went to the Maritime Museum, but their it a big incline, so we continue walking towards Snorkel Park. What a beautiful place, there is a beach and you can snorkel as well. We met Laura and Kevin there, chatted a few minutes then went over to the Rum Cake factory and Glass Blowing. We arrived around noon so we were too early for the glass blowing, but did sample some rum cakes. We then walked back to the ship to enjoy the rest of the afternoon on our balcony.
Entertainment tonight: Production Show "Best of Broadway" with the Celebrity Singers and Dancers accompanied by the Celebrity Orchestra. Excellent Show. They did excerpt from various Broadway shows i.e. Chicago, Hairspray, Lion King, Mama Mia and many more.
Tonight they also had a display of Chocolate deserts in the Revelations Club, but we passed on it. I am sure it was very nice.
We woke to another beautiful day 71F/22C. The waves are around 8-10' so we must exert caution when walking. Had breakfast at the Waterfall Café not before going to the Cruise Sales to book new cruises. It is worth booking on ship, get great On Board Credits and upgrades with a reduced rate.
Next we went to the Crew Talent Show, Farewell Wave and Photo Opportunity. The three acts were excellent, the first was a waiter singer, what a voice, we were wondering what he was doing on the ship waiting tables. Next was a magician, a bar tender, excellent also. Last was the Florist singing dressed half female and half male singing a duet, excellent. Then some of the crew from all departments come on stage so we can applaud their excellent work.
Next Captain's Club Celebrations for all members, this was a nice event, they served roast beef sandwiches, four different kind of crêpes, fruit on a skew and sushi and of course drinks. All the officers were there, including the Captain and of course a gift was awarded to the couple with the most cruise credits. The Celebrity Orchestra played some dancing music, two of the singers did a couple of numbers, The Neptunes sang also. We chatted with Vicki and Bob.
Next was the Beyond the Podium: Robert Horton - Rocking the System which was the third part in this series. It was very interesting to learn how Hollywood started, how the stars were born and changed the way the business developed.
The entertainment tonight is Farewell Celebrity Variety Showtime which will feature the comedian David Heenan and the magician Adam Trent. They were both better tonight.
We were scheduled to leave the ship around 8:50AM, so we had a nice breakfast in the dinning room, took our time, then went to our waiting area (Rendez-vous lounge) and found out that our colour had been called, so we proceeded to the elevators, well, with all the wheelchairs and us among them, it seem to take forever and all elevators that opened, were, of course, full. So we took an up elevator that was empty to deck 10 to finally get to deck 1. Now that was an experience, in Bayonne Port, you must take a short bus ride to the terminal, so we were all backed up at the elevators and the elevators kept coming, but it did not take that long for us to get on the bus and arrive at the terminal. We gathered our luggage with the help of a porter and proceeded to customs then to the taxi stand to get our shuttle back to the Country Inn in Elizabeth.
When I got to the Hotel, I booked our night for our next cruise to Bermuda which will be May 8th, 2011.
We loaded the van and were on our way. Our drive back was good, it was 32C/90F, glad we have air-conditioning. Being Sunday, the traffic with pretty light, until we got to the Border. we had a wait of about 45 minutes, it was such a beautiful day, I was not surprise, it is the beginning of summer.
We met some very nice people from the Cruise Critic, tablemates and staff. Even if it was quite windy in Bermuda, we had sun and it was nice temperature for touring. The only rain we had was our first day in Bermuda and it lasted about a half hour.
The seas were a little rocky coming down and are pretty smooth coming back. Some people were a little queasy but when you see the dining room full and all the staff there, then it is not that bad.
The productions shows were great but the comedian and magician were just good.
The ship is still in good shape, it is kept very clean, the service is extraordinary, the food was very good, so all in all we just loved our cruise to Bermuda and we booked another one for next May.
Since this was the first time that the Summit was in Bayonne, they need to make embarkation and debarkation a little smoother
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