Celebrity Summit 2012
Itinerary Show Voyage Map = ports at anchor
21st September
- Fly to Newark, USA
Overnight at a Hotel
Saturday-Cape Liberty, Bayonne, NJ
embark Celebrity Summit
Sunday-at sea
Monday-Portland, Maine
Tuesday-Halifax, Nova Scotia
Wednesday-Sydney, Cape Breton Island
Prince Edward Island
Friday-at sea
Saturday-Quebec, Canada
Sunday-Quebec, Canada
Monday-at sea
Tuesday-Gaspe, Canada
Wednesday-at sea
Thursday-Bar Harbor, Maine
Friday-at sea
6th October
-Cape Liberty, Bayonne, NJ
Disembark Celebrity Summit
Fly to UK overnight
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Celebrity Summit, the 3rd ship in the "Millennium-class".

Full Ship Report at Celebrity "Millennium-class" Gallery >>

For me this marked a return to New England after 19 years, while for the others it was new territory. For this cruise, Andrew & I were again joined by Lesley & Peter and Sally & Frank.

The photos of Celebrity Summit & all the ports visited on this cruise can be found on my account at Captain Martini >>

Friday 21st September
Flight to Newark, USA

The last time we made this journey, it was with Continental Airlines and it was not pleasant. Thankfully, this time we were back on BA and had upgraded to Premium Economy, so even with a delay of 1-hour at boarding, the 7-hour+ flight was quiet reasonable. It was at Newark that we hit problems; we queued from 2.30-4.00pm at US Immigration while their computers kept crashing!

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Newark, New Jersey, USA Show New York Map
Tired and stressed, we were then nearly defeated by the Airport lifts and signage system searching for the Air-Train before then taking the shuttle to our hotel, the Hilton DoubleTree, actually the same hotel as last time in 2006 (The Sheraton, Newark) but now under new management.
(above) The large indoor pool in the impressive atrium of the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel (previously the Sheraton, Newark)

Having not been able to check-in until 4.45pm, it was too late and we were all too tired to do anything except have a meal and go to bed! The food in the hotel's restaurant was good but it was pricey and service wasn't particularly good, so we only tipped $2 each (that was Andrew's idea)!

Saturday 22nd September
Cape Liberty, Bayonne, New Jersey, USA - Embarkation
After a good night's sleep, breakfast and a lazy morning in the hotel, we were picked-up around midday for our transfer to the Cruise Terminal at Cape Liberty, Bayonne, where there were more delays in unloading the coaches before we were allowed to join the queue. Nevertheless, once inside (and with "speedy boarding" as one of our perks these days!) embarkation was reasonably swift and even our luggage arrived without too much delay.

The New Manhattan Skyline
From the ship, across New York Bay, we could see the Statue of Liberty and the new One World Trade Centre Tower (previously the "Freedom Tower") currently under construction. Standing close to the site of the 110-storey "Twin Towers" destroyed by terrorists on 11th September 2001, the tower will be 104-storeys and 1,368ft tall when completed in 2013, the same height as the old North Tower, but with its pinnacle, it will reach 1,776ft high, celebrating the year of American Independence.

The other tall building under construction is Four World Trade Center, which will be a mere 72 floors and 977ft high when completed. Read about our visit to the World Trade Centre in 1992 >>

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The Manhattan Skyline
and One World Trade Centre Tower
The Verrazano Bridge (Opened in 1964)
Centre Span 4,260ft (1,298m), Towers 693ft (211m) high
and average Clearance for ships up to 228ft (69.5m)
Caribbean Princess
(2004 - 112,894grt)

Even so, our departure was delayed until 5pm and having sailed beneath the Verrazano Bridge, there was a view of Caribbean Princess, which also left her Brooklyn berth around the same time.

On-Board Accommodation
Our Concierge-class Balcony Cabin (8156) was similar to a standard cabin but with improved storage and a larger sitting area, although overall, this was at the expense of a slightly smaller balcony.

Show Picture Full Size With a welcome bottle of "champagne", fresh fruit, umbrella, binoculars, a well-stocked fridge and heavy-quality bathrobes, while the bathroom had only a shower, there were improved toiletries.

With access to the wardrobes opposite the bathroom, the layout was more practical than the equivalent cabin we had on Equinox last year.
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Sadly, while our steward Princy was very sweet and obliging, I noticed that cleanliness of some glass surfaces and in the bathroom were not up to the standards we had previously enjoyed and I began to wonder whether this was due to the ship's age (11 years) or a fall-off in staff performance.

The Suites aboard the Millennium-class are not as large as their counterparts on the new Solstice-class but at least they are not directly underneath the Cafe (which was the source of "noises in the night" on Eclipse 2 years ago! Nevertheless, there was still enough room for the 6 of us to enjoy our own Champagne Sailaway get-together in Lesley & Peter's suite (No.6126) before our first night's dinner in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant. Show Picture Full Size

The Cosmopolitan Restaurant (Decks 4/5)
Almost identical to the equivalent restaurants aboard Constellation & Millennium, part of the upper level is now the new Blu Restaurant, while the remainder of the upper level is for "Celebrity Select Dining" ie those not wishing to have either of the two fixed sittings downstairs (see right).
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Blu Restaurant & Menu
Exclusively for "Aqua-class" passengers
"Normandie" statue
in the wrong restaurant!
Cosmopolitan Restaurant
First Night Menu
Our Table

Meanwhile, at the foot of the staircase was the statue "La Normandie", which once graced the Grand Staircase of the liner SS Normandie of 1935.

Our stewards were Ricky and his assistant Hakan (who would exclaim "Oh my God!" at everything with a nervous laugh!) and while service itself wasn't an issue, it seemed to me that many of the dishes with which we were now quite familiar since the revised menus were introduced last year, appeared or tasted disappointing when they arrived. One night, I even had "lumpy" mashed potato!

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Sunday 23rd September
A Day at Sea
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The morning Galley Tour offered a free glass of champagne but apart from Executive Chef Rene Rojas from Mexico, it was curious that nearly all the galley staff were from India. Spent the rest of the day familiarising myself with the alterations following the ship's recent "solsticizing" refit, including upgrading and relocating our favourite Martini Bar, where we soon re-established ourselves!
More photos of Celebrity Summit & her recent "solsticizing" alterations can be found on my account at Captain Martini >>

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Galley Tour
Nice to see a Galley actually in operation at the time!
The New Martini Bar
with Ice Bar & "Crush"
Celebrity Theater

The evening was our first Formal Night and Captain's Toast in the Theatre before the first of the production shows, "Stars in Their Eyes", which was the usual unremarkable mish-mash, unfortunately. The best bit (for me, at least) was the aerial trapeze sequence!

Monday 24th September
Portland, Maine
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In lovely weather, we took a tour around the highlights of the city and then to Portland Head Light, built in 1791 and the oldest of many historic lighthouses on the coast of Maine. The little museum in the keeper's cottage was closed but, swamped with coach-loads of tourists, I wasn't surprised!

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Portland Head Light
Oldest Lighthouse in Maine
(1791) 101ft above sea level
The Quaint Resort of Kennbunkport
and the Pilot House Restaurant

Our tour then took us south to the resort of Kennebunkport where we had some free time to explore. Whilst it has a history of shipbuilding and fishing, this quaint town on the Kennebunk River close to the sea is popular with tourists but is also the location of the summer estate of President George W Bush, who had private meetings with many Heads of State here.

But rather than visit an ex-US President for lunch, we chose the Pilot House Restaurant next to the car park, where the Crab Rolls and Clam Chowder were really good!

Tuesday 25th September
Halifax, Nova Scotia
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Just a Puff of Smoke - This is what happens when you leave them to find their own way...
As with Portland, Andrew & I had been here in 2003, so I left him to lead the others up to the Citadel to see the ceremonial firing of the Noon-day Gun. "Don't let them dawdle," I said! The problem was that they arrived with only minutes to spare and were in the queue, just as the gate closed prior to the event. They heard the "Boom!" alright but all they saw was a puff of smoke above the ramparts! So here's what they missed See YouTube Video >>
A Puff of Smoke!

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Celebrity Summit
& the Waterfront Cruise Terminal
Birthplace of
Samuel Cunard
Fifth Avenue
(View North)
Citadel Hill
& the Old Town Clock

Outside the Terminal is a statue of Sir Samuel Cunard, born in Halifax in 1787 and founder of the famous shipping line, which began its transatlantic service from Liverpool to Halifax in 1840.

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Gaf Schooner "Silva"
on a sightseeing trip
The Boardwalk
The historic Waterfront
Heritage Wharf
& ex-Hydrographic Survey Ship CSS Acadia of 1913

The Cruise Terminal is also close to the historic Waterfront where the Boardwalk provides a pleasant tourist-trap. The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic includes a number of historic ships along Heritage Wharf and in the main building, its extensive displays include items from the Titanic, which sank not far from here in 1912, as well as details of the Halifax Explosion of 1917.

The Halifax Explosion of 1917
On December 6 1917, Halifax was devastated when the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship fully loaded with wartime explosives, collided with the Norwegian SS Imo, caught fire and detonated 25 minutes later in a part of Halifax Harbour called "The Narrows". About 2,000 people were killed by debris, fires, and collapsed buildings, and it is estimated that over 9,000 were injured.

All buildings covering nearly 2 square kilometres (500 acres) along the adjacent shore were obliterated, including those in neighbouring Richmond and Dartmouth. The explosion caused a tidal wave in the harbour and a air pressure wave that snapped trees, bent railings, demolished buildings, drove vessels aground and carried fragments of the Mont-Blanc for kilometres. Until the Atomic Bomb tests in 1945, it was the largest man-made explosion in history.

Wednesday 26th September
Sydney, Cape Breton Island
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Founded in 1785 by colonists fleeing the aftermath of the American Revolution, Sydney became a centre of development from coal-mining in the 18th Century. However, while the decline of coal and steel during the 20th Century was replaced by tourism in Cape Breton Island, Sydney was largely overlooked as a tourist centre until a few years ago, when they invested in a new Cruise Terminal, outside which stands the World's largest ceiledh fiddle, in celebration of the area's Celtic tradition!

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Ceiledh Fiddle
The World's largest!
Road to St George's
Anglican Church
Charlotte Street
A "One Horse Town"!
The Boardwalk
(in contrast to Halifax!)

A Day of Disappointments
Unfortunately, we were not at the new Cruise Terminal, although quite why is a mystery. The No.1 berth was taken by Holland America's Veendam but the Terminal boasts a No.2 berth that can take ships up to 1,000ft long and with a draft of 29ft, which should have been fine for us. Instead, we anchored around 9.20am and began tendering.

We had not booked an excursion, so we obtained tender tickets and waited for our number to be called but the delay was so bad that we didn't get called until 12.30. We had ticket no.12 but there were passengers with tickets at least as high as no.32; people were furious and there was a great deal of anger expressed at the Purser's Desk because of the lack of information.

When we finally got ashore, we found a "One Horse Town" that had little to commend it and were back aboard by 2pm. Perhaps the ship's call here was only to get passengers to buy excursions to somewhere else more interesting! We watched TV instead!

After Martinis at 5pm, Peter & I met to go to another of the production shows on tonight at 7pm. I had expected "Bande Artistique" to be a kind of "Cirque du Soleil-style" show and at first I was disappointed but it turned out to be a comedy routine of imagination and fun - quite a surprise!

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Thursday 27th September
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
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Apart from the best seller "Anne of Green Gables" by Lucy Maud Montgomery, who grew up here, we didn't expect much of this place either but at least we found it much prettier than our last stop. Docking alongside also helped, meaning that we could proceed ashore at our leisure, which Lesley & Peter did, taking a local horse-drawn guided tour which they really enjoyed.

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Celebrity Summit
from the Marina
St Dunstan's RC Basilica (1919)
Inspired by the interior of St Patrick's, New York
Da Vinci's "Last Supper"
Altar decoration 1945

Meanwhile, Andrew, Sally, Frank & I waited until after lunch before taking a pleasant afternoon stroll through the Historic District. At the top of Great George Street, Province House is not only the seat of the local legislature but most famously the site of the Charlottetown Conference of 1864, the first gathering of Canadian statesmen to debate the proposed Canadian Confederation. From this, the city adopted as its motto "Cunabula Foederis" - "Birthplace of Confederation".
(right) The Boer War Memorial outside Province House, the Birthplace of Modern Canada
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Show Picture Full Size Back aboard and having found the atmosphere of Reveletions on Deck-11 cold and inhospitable, our lounge of choice for evening drinks had become Michael's Club, a signature feature of Celebrity ships since 1990 and where we were entertained most evenings by Acapella Quartet "The Aqua-Fellas".
(left) Michael's Club, one of Celebrity's "signature" features, comfortable and sophisticated.

Friday 28th September
At Sea in the Gulf of St Lawrence
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Compared with the last time I cruised these waters in 1993, the weather was much kinder, with a calm sea, blue sky and sunshine but still quite cold outside, so there was no sun-bathing!

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The Oceanview Cafe
The Deli-counter
Food & Cooking Demos
Normandie Restaurant & Qsine
The Senior Officers'
Cocktail Party
Show "Sirens" - Dire!

The Oceanview Cafe is spacious, with a good selection but with long serveries each side and no way across half-way, it causes confusion and much walking around and around. And while the lack of lunchtime omelettes was an issue in 2009, today there were no chips at the "fish & chips" counter!

The Saga of the Fish & Chips (Episode 1 - No Chips!)
The "Chef's Special" today in the Oceanview Cafe was "Traditional" Fish & Chips, so I decided to try it. The fish, while battered, was in pieces and was not "traditional". Meanhwile, there were no chunky chips and after waiting over 10 minutes, the fish (which had been sitting under its plastic dome all this time) was becoming less and less appetizing, so when the chips arrived, my meal wasn't really worth the wait. But the Saga continued....(see 2 days later)

With interesting food and cooking demos in the afternoon, no doubt designed to "sell" the ship's speciality restaurants(!), in the evening after a truly dire show in the Theater called "Sirens", it was the Senior Officers' Cocktail Party for us members of the Captain's Club. While service was good and drinks were plentiful, the reduced size of Revelations (following the recent refit) has spoiled the room and made it more crowded for such events. Captain "Panos" Mantsavinos's speech was not very exciting; a bit brief and it made no reference to the tendering problems in Sydney 2 days ago!

Saturday 29th September
Quebec, Canada (Day 1)
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Overnight, we entered the St Lawrence River and by 8.00am, we were alongside and ready for our all-day tour of the City Highlights. Meanwhile, the weather had turned grey and cold.

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the City of Quebec
Chateau Frontenac
from Basse-Ville
Place Royale
& the bust of Louis XIV
Trompe l'oeil
400th Anniversary Celebration Mural

The city was founded by in 1608 by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain and the original settlement grew up around Place Royale, which is where we began our tour. But dominating the city from the Upper town is the Hotel Chateau Frontenac, built in 1893 for the Canadian Pacific Railway and where we stopped briefly before moving on to our next destination.

The Montmorency Falls are just outside the city and at 275ft, higher than Niagara Falls but not as wide. Even so, the walk over the suspension footbridge to the other side was quite an experience!

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The Montmorency Falls
Higher than Niagara Falls at 275ft (84m)
A "Sugar Shack" on Isle d'Orleans
& sampling the Maple Syrup "Taffy"
Interactive History!

Crossing onto Isle d'Orleans in the St Lawrence River, we enjoyed a pleasant French-style lunch of Boeuf Bourguignon and then a visit to a Maple Syrup "Sugar Shack", where we were shown how they extract the sap from the trees and make various maple products. And of course, we all tried the maple "Taffy" - before buying lots of sweet things in the gift shop!

The Battle of the Plains of Abraham (1759)
Returning to Quebec, we visiting the park on top of the cliffs scaled during the historic Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759 between the French & the British, who eventually took the City. The French later won other battles in the war but the British never lost Quebec and 4 yrs later, by the Treaty of Paris, French Canada was ceded to the British. We had a fascinating "interactive" presentation on the Battle, with our presenters taking the roles of General James Wolfe and General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm. If I had been taught history at school with half the same imagination, I would have done much better!

Show Picture Full Size Back at the ship, we watched the film version of "War Horse" in the Theater. The others mostly enjoyed it but I found it full of clichees and Celebrity's video system did not make for quality viewing!

The Restuarant was quiet tonight, as many had chosen to remain ashore and after Mushroom vol-au-vent, French Onion Soup and Braised Lamb Shank, I turned in!
(left) The Chateau Frontenac Hotel and Basse-Ville, illuminated by night.

Sunday 30th September
Quebec, Canada (Day 2)
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Show Picture Full Size Show Picture Full Size Having spent yesterday together on tour, today we split-up to "do our own thing" and I returned to Place Royale with its Church of Notre Dame des Victoires (1687-1723). The streets of Basse-Ville are lined with bars & restaurants as well as an eclectic range of shops selling everything from wolf-skin rugs and maple fudge to sexy lingerie (if you look carefully!)
(left) The Church of Notre Dame des Victoires in Place Royale

From the Lower Town I took the Funicular to Place d'Armes (once a drill square for the troops) with its statue of Samuel de Champlain, the French explorer who founded the city in 1608 - although I was assured by a local guide (who must have been hard-up for business it was so cold today!) that it isn't actually his face on the statue, as no-one knows what Champlain really looked like.

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The Funicular
from Basse-Ville
Champlain's Statue
& Hotel Chateau Frontenac
The Basilica of Notre Dame de Quebec
The Nave, Side Chapel and the Golden Baldacchino

Close to Place d'Armes is the city's Catholic Cathedral, the Basilica of Notre Dame de Quebec. Dating from 1647 but destroyed in the seige of 1759, it was rebuilt to a rich new design 1786-1822, with a neo-Classical facade added later. Again gutted by fire in 1922, it was subsequently restored.

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Dufferin Terrace
& Chateau Frontenac
Celebrity Summit & Veendam
& The St Lawrence River
from Dufferin (Governors) Terrace
Artania (2011: 44,348grt)
ex-"Royal Princess" of 1984
Down the Steps
to Basse-Ville

Along the top of the cliffs is Dufferin (or Governors') Terrace, from where there was a great view of the St Lawrence River and the ships tied-up along the quays. Mind you, there was a bitterly cold wind today and it was a relief to descend the steps back to the lower town and return to the ship.

The Saga of the Fish & Chips (Episode 2 - No Peas!)
Back at the ship, "Traditional Fish & Chips" was on again, so after the disaster of 2 days ago, I decided to give it another try. He served the fish and he served the chips but when it came to the "Mushy Peas", you guessed it! I gave the plate back the Chef in disgust and went and got Pizza instead! On leaving the Cafe, I reported the whole sorry tale to Murat the Maitre d'. He was appropriately apologetic but again, I thought that was the end of it - but no.....(see 3 days later)

My last visit to Quebec 19 years ago had been in pouring rain and yet I had still fallen for the City's charm. And although the weather had been less than ideal for the last 2 days, I was relieved that everyone else had enjoyed their time here and had reached the same conclusion I did 19 years ago!

So it was in something of a celebratory atmosphere that upon leaving Quebec this evening, we had dinner in the speciality Normandie Restaurant.

Show Picture Full Size The Normandie Restaurant
The additional cover charge of $40 is now substantial but here you can experience haute cuisine at its best. Normandie Menu >> Dessert Menu >>
Evoking an era of opulence, the decor includes gold laquered Art Deco panels See detailed photo >> once part of the 1st-class Smoking Room of the famous French liner, SS Normandie of 1935. Show Picture Full Size
(Left) The restaurant incorporates gold laquered panels from the liner SS Normandie and (Right) Normandie-inspired Server Plates.

With table-settings also inspired by the liner SS Normandie, the "Normandie Lobster" which 3 of us had was heavenly and the Dover Sole was equally good. The only one of us not having such a good time was Andrew, who wasn't pleased to be offered a fish tempter after he had said he didn't eat fish. Being no lover of pink flesh, he also felt that his lamb could have been more "well done"!

Read more about the "Ocean Liners Restaurants" aboard the Millennium-class ships at the Celebrity Summit Gallery >>

Monday 1st October
A Day at Sea
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Technically still in the St Lawrence, today was a day of relaxation after 2 hectic days in Quebec. Andrew & I enjoyed a quiet and refined lunch in the new Bistro on 5, one of the additions during the ship's recent "Solsticizing" refit, installed where the old Platinum Club Champagne Bar used to be.

Show Picture Full Size Specialising in crepes and paninis, there's a $5 cover charge and our previous experience aboard Celebrity Eclipse had not been a good one, with pre-made, luke-warm crepes. Happily, there were no such issues this time and it was lovely!
(left) The new Bistro on 5 and (right) Observation Lounge "Revelations"
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The Captain's Club Party was at 2.30 in Revelations where there was again no shortage of alcohol. But at 3.30 everyone was all but "thrown out"! The Japanese Group aboard had booked a private party at 4pm and they wanted to get the room ready but the Captains Club Host, Lionel, was most indelicate, so we became part of a contingent who "sat-in" until nearly 4pm finishing our drinks!

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Tuesday 2nd October
Gaspe, Canada
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Tendering again today and it was another disaster. On top of that, they brought forward our tour by an hour and "Group Assembly" at 7am in the Theater was chaotic. When we eventually got ashore, we were then kept waiting on the bus nearly half-an-hour for the Japanese contingent to arrive on a later tender!
(left) Canada's tallest lighthouse (112ft) at Cap des Rosiers on the Gaspe Peninsula

Forillon National Park on the Gaspe Peninsula is an area of outstanding natural beauty but our tour was disappointing, partly because of the delay but largely because of our poor guide, a retired local man who may have had the knowledge but didn't impart any of it on us! Lacking enthusiasm and organisational skills, he took us first to a deserted Fish Factory - which didn't impress anyone!

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Manoir le Boutillier
Our French guide in Period costume!
Cap Bon-Ami The Gaspe Peninsula
from Cap Bon-Ami

At Manoir le Boutillier, the 19th Century home of local entrepreneur, John le Boutillier, the guided tour given by a pleasant young French local had to be split into two groups, the house was so small!

Our stop for lunch was at 10.45am - only to be made to wait until 11.15, because the restaurant wasn't ready for us! By the time we reached the Lighthouse at Cap des Rosiers, the tallest in Canada at 112ft (34.1m) and 136ft above the sea, the Keeper had gone to lunch and it was closed!

Nevertheless, the views of the coast at Cap Bon-Ami were impressive. This is a popular spot for whale-watching but while we saw a few seals, the only whale we saw was a long way off.

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Celebrity Summit
& the Bay of Gaspe
Fort Peninsule
World War II Gun Emplacement
Celebrity Summit
& the Gaspe Peninsula

Last stop was at Fort Peninsule, a World War II gun emplacement protecting the Bay of Gaspe and with guns ominously pointing in the direction of Celebrity Summit, laying at anchor!

Returning to Gaspe, the "Best of Gaspe" part of our tour consisted of pointing out the High-School and the Main Street, which was being dug-up, so we couldn't drive down it! We eventually got a refund for this tour but it will not be remembered as one of our best days out!

Tonight's Dinner of Snails, French Onion Soup & Coq au Vin should have made-up for the dull day but sadly, the chicken had not been cooked in the wine sauce (as it should have been) and the Chocolate Souffle recommended for dessert turned out to be soggy! Ah well!

Wednesday 3rd October
A Day at Sea
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A quiet day of "recovery" after yesterday, with the usual opportunities for on-board "bargain" shopping, eating, drinking and gambling (for some!), culminating in another Theatre production show. This time it was "i.Hollywood", the usual compilation-style show but better than average. However, tonight's Formal Dinner was served with lightning speed in order to be in time for that undignified but unavoidable self-congratulatory hullabaloo that I have come to detest!

The Saga of the Fish & Chips (Episode 3 - What Strawberries?)
The earlier problems with the Fish & Chips had long been forgotten when I was approached at lunch today in the Oceanview Cafe by Murat, the Maitre d'. It became clear that he had previously asked for a plate of chocolate-dipped strawberries (a traditional offering that I call "Sorry Strawberries") to be delivered to my cabin by way of an apology. Had they arrived, they would have been appreciated and I told him so; however, they had't and he was mortified. I felt quite sorry for him! Episode 4 tomorrow...!

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Thursday 4th October
Bar Harbor, Maine, USA
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This being our "Port of Re-Entry" into the USA, we had to endure the charade of US Immigration, who kept us waiting for an hour (half of it standing in a queue from 11am outside the Theater before we were allowed to sit down!)
(above) Norwegian Dawn (2002: 91,740grt) at anchor, with Celebrity Summit (2001: 91,000grt) at the No.2 anchorage.

We were also tendering again and the ship's organisation was, yet again, woefully lacking. By the time we eventually got ashore around 1.15pm, our tour was so late it had to be re-arranged, which meant that Andrew, Lesley & I now had to stand around waiting for another 45 minutes because the second part of our excursion, a 4-Masted Schooner Sail Cruise was scheduled for 2pm!

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4-masted Schooner Sail-Cruise aboard the "Margaret Todd" A Sea Eagle Norwegian Dawn
(2002: 91,740grt)

Unfortunately, the weather wasn't in our favour either. No only was it cold and grey but there was no wind, so in 2-hours we never even left the harbour! Our schooner, "Margaret Todd", was good looking enough and they did put the sails up but she had no facilities below deck and there were no refreshments, so we spent the entire time huddled on deck, trying to keep warm!

Show Picture Full Size The second part of our trip included a drive up Cadillac Mountain, at 1,532ft (467m), the highest peak on Mount Desert Island and part of the Acadia National Park. The Autumn colours were nice and the view was good but by now it was getting late and very cold.

By the time we got back to Bar Harbor, it was dark and raining and there was a long queue again for the tenders to get back to the ship!
(left) View of Bar Harbor from Cadillac Mountain (1,532ft)

Back aboard by 6.15pm, tired and cold and having had nothing to eat or drink since breakfast, we headed straight for the Cafe to get a hot drink and something to keep us going until Dinner!

The Saga of the Fish & Chips (Episode 4 - the Sorry Strawberries)
We were on our way back to our cabin, when who should pass us on the stairs but Murat, the Maitre d' from the Oceanview Cafe. "Did you get the strawberries?" he asked. "Well, not yesterday," I said but then I also told him we had been out all day and were only now coming back. Hardly had we got inside our cabin than there was a knock at the door and there was a steward, with a plate of chocolate-dipped strawberries, looking slightly more than a day old and appropriately sorry for themselves!

Meanwhile, Sally & Frank's "whale-watching" trip hadn't seen any whales but at least their boat had better facilities than ours and they had time to shop and enjoy a Maine Lobster Meal before getting caught in the rain in the queue for one of the last tenders! Peter on the other hand, had booked a cycling excursion but by 2.30pm, they still hadn't called his tender so he gave-up and cancelled it. He never went ashore! Not a good day really but for some, it would get a lot worse....(see Note later).

Tonight's Dinner aboard was in speciality restaurant, Qsine, a recent addition to Celebrity Summit but one which everyone but Andrew had sampled previously aboard Celebrity Eclipse.

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Another feature of "Solsticizing", this innovative restaurant is now where the "Extreme" Sports Bar was aboard Millennium, Deck-11 midships (see right).

Here the pan-world menu is chosen from an i-Pad, with the help of your "culinary tour guide" (your waiter!). It's funky, fun - and filling!
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Taco "Royale" M's Favourites Sushi Lollipops Lava Crab
My favourite!
Decorate your own

Many dishes are to share and the temptation is to order many choices, so the more people in your group the more fun it is but the inevitable result is leaving 3 hours later, happy but extremely over-fed. It's a fascinating and delicious experience but is it worth the now $40 per person cover charge?

Meanwhile, during Dinner, something was unfolding.......(see below)

Show Map Full Size Bar Harbor Tender Incident
The ship had been due to leave Bar Harbor at 8pm but at 9pm, we were still at anchor and the Captain announced that there had been "an incident" with one of the tenders but that everyone was now aboard and we should be under way shortly. As it turned out, we didn't leave until nearly midnight and it wasn't until the Captain's announcement the following day that we learned that one of the last tenders returning to the ship had run-aground on the rocks in the harbour! Read more here >>

Friday 5th October
A Day at Sea
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Still over-fed from last night, I went for an early walk on deck and found the "poorly" tender at the heart of the yesterday's "Incident". The damage didn't look serious but I spoke to a few passengers on deck, who had been in it when it ran-aground and I had better not repeat their comments here!

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Damaged Tender No.12
Patched and strapped-up!
Cafe al Bacio
For "Special" coffees!
Carnival Glory
Heading for New York

In his morning announcement, Captain "Panos" told us about last night's "incident" but again, never apologised for any of the previous delayed operations. More constructive was my telephone conversation with Pearline Morgan, Guest Relations Manager. This cruise's troubles had clearly given them a lot to think about and she was most apologetic. She sent us a bottle of red wine, so we enjoyed that at Dinner on our last evening aboard!

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Saturday 6th October
Cape Liberty, Bayonne, New Jersey, USA
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Back to Newark in glorious sunny weather and a remarkably smooth disembarkation. Then waited an hour for 15 more people on our bus!
(left) Dawn approaching the Verrazano Bridge
(right)Caribbean Princess & the World Trade Centre Towers
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But the delays weren't over yet. When we eventually arrived at the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel at 11.15am (late), we still had to hang around for another 30 minutes waiting for the rooms to be cleaned. Later, after a nice (but costly!) lunch in the hotel Bistro, we took a private cab direct to the Airport, rather than messing about with the shuttle and Air-Train. It was worth the extra $35 + tip! At Airport Security, however, we had to experience the new-style X-Ray machines, the process being slightly humiliating, depending upon what you've inadvertantly left in your pockets!
But with little more than a 6-hour overnight flight, the journey home wasn't bad and we were home nice and early Sunday morning.

East Coast Aftermath - Hurricane "Sandy"
Barely 3 weeks later, on 24th October, a tropical storm that had formed in the Caribbean made landfall in Jamaica as Hurricane "Sandy", wreaking havoc as it swept onwards across Cuba and the Bahamas but with very little News coverage given in the UK.

But on 29th October, Hurricane "Sandy" hit the north-eastern United States near Atlantic City and swept northwards through New Jersey and New York, causing widespread flooding and devastation, including around 90 deaths, in additon to those it had already claimed in the Caribbean, leaving vast areas without power for weeks and a massive clean-up and reconstruction operation.

This wasn't one of our best holidays. Poorly managed tender operations at 3 of our 7 ports of call resulted in frustration & delays which also adversely affected our excursions, so Celebrity Summit (and especially her Captain) did not win us over! But everyone agreed that Quebec was worth the trip, all the more so for 2 full days there. Still, out of 46 cruises, it's not a bad batting-average!

The photos of Celebrity Summit & all the ports visited on this cruise can be found on my account at Captain Martini >>

See Detailed Mileage Log for this cruise >>

Cruise Mileage: 3,154 nautical miles
Total Mileage to date: 169,736 n miles

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