We left on Friday May 6, the weather was sunny and got warmer as the day progressed. We had about a 10 minute delay at the boarder. We stopped in Albany, NY to do some shopping and stayed at the Holiday Inn overnight. We had supper at my favourite place the Olive Garden.
May 7, we checked in the hotel Country Inns & Suites by Carlson. The free shuttle for Bayonne will be at 12:30PM tomorrow, so that is ok and we are able to park for 7 days for $35. The parking has now gone up for $70 but since we were quoted $35 that is what we are paying. Our room is nice, it is handicap accessible, king size bed and roll in shower. We met Kathy and Pete from Cruise Critic and had supper at Ruby Tuesday, we had a great time with great friends. Kathy and I had been emailing since last October along with Ruth and Bette. We will finally meet Ruth and Bette on the ship.
We are now ready to board our ship, but first we need to take the shuttle. We had breakfast, continental breakfast is included at the hotel. We met Mary from Cruise Critic and she will be taking the shuttle along with us.
The weather today is perfect, sunny and now 17C/62F. It should be warmer for sailaway 20C/71F.
We took the shuttle to the port of Bayonne, once in the terminal, we had to wait a little as they were having computer problems coding the seapasses. Once that was regulated, we took the short bus ride to the ship and boarded. Champagne was waiting for us on embarkation. Since it was pass 1PM we were able to drop off our carry-on in our cabin. We then proceeded to the Aqua Spa Café to meet our Cruise Critic friends that we have been emailing daily since last October, it was nice to finally meet in person.
After the muster drill (no need to wear the lifejackets anymore), the Cruise Critics friends met for sailaway, we had a nice time talking in person, the weather could not have been better, clear skies and the Manhattan skyline was very clear.
We met our table mates, very nice people, we have early dining and an easy access table. We have 3 scooters at our table of 7.
Celebrity Showtime: Opening Night featuring the Celebrity Singers, dancers and the Acapella quartet Neptune, the Celebrity Orchestra and Comic Michele Balan all hosted by our Cruise Director Damian who comes from Toronto, ON.
Today is has been overcast and sunny with temperatures of 17C/63F. Since being Elite, we took advantage of the Coffee Club Break at Michael's Club. We were able to have Cappuccinos and continental breakfast.
Next we had a Galley Tour with our Executive Chef Andy Bouchard, who originally came from Quebec City, QC. He told us that they prepare 9,000 meals a day, but yesterday we must have been very hungry as they prepared over 10,000 meals. Also another tidbit was, the crew are from 65 different countries and they use 350lbs of rice per day for just the crew.
We had our Celebrity Connection gathering that is sponsored by Celebrity for our Cruise Critic Roll Call. They served Champagne and Mimosa and we got to chat again with all our new friends.
During our sea days, we like to go to the conferences, we will have 2 series during this cruise.
The first Beyond the Podium was presented by Smithsonian Journey speaker Paul Davies: The birth of the universe: what actually happened.
After lunch we went to the next Beyond the Podium with speaker Joe Valenti: Bermuda; Paradise perfected with the British Accent.
Tonight is our first formal night, but first we will go to the Elite cocktail which is now from 5-7PM.
We have the Captain's Gala Toast where he introduces us to all his senior management team.
Celebrity Showtime: iBroadway in Concert which is an award winning music from Broadway past and present. Again Celebrity outdid itself, not to be missed.
Today, the seas have been rocky since late yesterday, it made for some rocking and rolling overnight. The temps are about 17C/62F but expected to get warmer as we get closer to Bermuda. The seas are 10 to 15 feet high. We walk funny but that is about it.
Busy day today, we started with breakfast. Then we had a presentation on Future Cruises, always interesting to see the new itinerary, ships and ways to say money.
Next we had a Captain's Club Celebration where all the club members meet. The orchestra was playing, the Captain said a few words, flowers were given to the couple with the highest points (40). They served crepe Suzettes, roast beef, sushi and fruit with chocolate, we also had drinks. We sat with our new friends, made a big circle, it was fun.
Then Beyond the Podium by Paul Davies: Searching for Aliens.
Then the Elegant Tea for the Elite members, we had little sandwiches, pastries, scones and off course a choice of tea.
Celebrity Showtime: Michele Balan Comedian, she is really very funny and some of her jokes relate to this cruise. Don't miss her if you have a chance to see her.
Today we arrived in Bermuda, weather is beautiful, sunny and 21C/70F. We did have a downpour but only lasted about 5 minutes.
Sat out on our balcony for awhile, nice to be able to finally to that after the spring we all have had. We had a very relaxing day, spent some time by the pool.
Beyond the Podium with Joe Valenti: The Bermuda Triangle - Fact or Fiction. This triangle expands from Miami to Bermuda to San Juan PR, very interesting talk.
Went for our Elite cocktail hour and met our CCers friends. We chatted for awhile then decided to go and have supper together since we have open seating while in Bermuda. We had a great time with great new friends.
Celebrity Showtime: Encore! this is a production show with the Celebrity Singers and Dancers. They cover some of the Broadway shows, very good show.
Today we are having a late start. The weather is sunny with some intermittent showers that last a few minutes. The temperature today is 22C/72F.
We met Ruth and Irene at 1PM to start our taxi 3 hour tour to see some of the South Beaches. Our driver Eugene was an retired policeman so he said we were in good hands. He took us around, showed us lots of the houses, explained how they collect water from the rain. It is collected on the grooves of the roofs then it goes down a drain in the basement tank. We passed by Horseshoe Bay beach, there were lots of people on the beach but not too many in the water, which is still cool this time of year. We stopped at Warwick Long Bay and Jobson's Cove so we could walk and put our toes in the pink sand. We went by Gibson Lighthouse, the smallest drawbridge in the world and the smallest Catholic still being used, they have masses on Sunday and twice a week. This taxi tour was well worth it. They charge $40 US/hour, so for 4 of us it is only $30 each plus tips.
We went to our cocktail and met up with Linda and Charlie, we then proceeded to dinner all four of us since it is still open seating tonight.
Celebrity Showtime: Greg Bonham Up From Down Under. Greg is a great singer and trumpet player, another great show.
Because of the possibility of rain and the wind, the Island Celebration Deck Party and Fruit Buffet was moved to the Revelations on Deck 11. Lots of dancing, great music. We stayed about an hour and had a great time
This Morning, we woke up to sunshine and temperatures of 22C/71F
We spent a leisurely day partly on our balcony and partly around the ship.
We went to a Seminar Wine 101 which was offered to the Select and Elite Captain's Club. We got to taste 4 different wines (2 white and 2 red).
We got an invitation to a complimentary dinner for 2 and 2 champagne glasses in the specialty restaurant called SS Normandie. We chose the fillet mignon, it was partly cooked at our table, it was so tender your fork could almost cut it. The reason for the invitation is that we had booked two more cruises on-board and we apparently booked them on the day they had this special. Our desert was a sample of all their deserts, they come in a tiny glass with the tiniest spoon.
Their was a Cocktail with the Senior Officers for the Select and Elite members between both of the dinner sittings. We met up with our Cruise Critic friends (Kathy, Pete, Linda, Charlie, Ruth & Irene), we had an enjoyable time with all of them.
Celebrity Showtime: Stars in their Eyes which was a tribute to legendary stars and their unforgettable music. Another great show not to be missed.
We then went to the Revelations Bar on Deck 11 to listen to The Neptunes in Concert the a cappella group. While we were there, the kitchen and bar staff were preparing for the Chocolate Extravaganza and Martini Ice Slide. We did not stay for the last part.
Today we woke to overcast skies. The temperature is 21C/69F with seas up to 5 feet. Last night we were rolling all over with seas up to 15 feet, but it is much calmer today which I am sure most passengers are very happy with.
Being the last sea day, packing is all done, it is always so sad when the cruise comes to an end. We do find 7 nights too short that is why we mostly do 14 nights or more.
Oceans Ahead with the Master Captain Costas, he explained how a cruise itinerary comes to be, how the bridge works and all the different instruments necessary to navigate the ship. I took photos of his presentation.
Next was a backstage tour that was given by the Captains Club. The Dancer Captain John and one of the singers, Maria explained the workings back stage.
Beyond the Podium presents Paul Davies: Black Holes & The End of the Universe: How long have we got? Very interesting but very technical.
We went to our last Elite cocktail to say good bye to our new friends, some we will cruise again with next year.
Celebrity Showtime: Farewell Variety Show featuring Adage duo Andrey and Elmira, two of the production cast singers and Greg Bonham who we saw earlier this week. Another great show.
Debarkation went as planned, we first had breakfast in the dinning room then made our way to deck 3 where, if you needed any wheelchair assistance, that was the meeting place. It definitely went smoother than last year. We got a porter, picked up our luggage and made our way to the Hotel shuttle.
Once back at the hotel we loaded the van and we were set to go. It was very misty when we left and the rain got heavier as we got closer to home.
We had a great time, met some wonderful new friends. The ship is still in pretty good shape but is showing some wear and tear. Our mattress definitely needs to be replaced, our cabin attendant put 2 egg crate foams on our bed and it was much better. The ship is going into dry dock in January 2012 to be solticise which means it will have some of the amenities of the Soltice class ships. We will be back on the Summit in September 2012, so looking forward to seeing all the new changes. We will also be in our same cabin.
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