Let me preface this review by stating that I am obsessed with the following; good customer service, cleanliness, food quality, food seasoning/flavouring, and most importantly, service recovery. I am by no means an impossible cruiser to please, but I scrutinize with gusto.
The Summit left out of San Juan at 8:00 pm, so when we arrived at 6:15, the rush to embark was over, which was great. I have to say, the Summit had the most modern grand foyer I've seen. My first impressions were, 'nice', followed by 'clean', followed by 'not bad at all!'
Once on board, we hightailed it to the excursion desk and they were friendly and informed and didn't try to up-sell. They were also able to validate information I had gathered from this site and others alike which helped tremendously.
Next came dinner. After waking up early, three hours at the airport, a five hour flight, and a cab ride, I was hungry and not in the mood for dining room pleasantries. The buffet offered a wide selection of quality food and a sushi buffet that wasn't bad at all. They could have had some more fresh selections other than the dreaded salad bar which wasn't even the best I've seen. There are ways of serving vegetables besides drowning them in cheese sauce or coating them in batter.
On the second night, the dining room didn't have our table available (Even though it was pre-booked and confirmed) and a kerfuffle ensued involving the front desk and the maitre d'. In the end, service recovery ruled the day and our table for two was ready each night thereafter, right in front of the Captain's Table. Great dining room staff, attentive and friendly.
The food in the dining room was DELICIOUS! Portions were just right, seasoning was perfect, and there was enough variety to make everyone happy.
For my sisters birthday, we went to Normandie and let me tell you, I still think about my dinner that night. White glove service, authentic French cuisine, and the cheese cart were well worth the cover charge. I felt like I was back in France.
Our room had yet to be "solsticized" and showed some signs of aging, but I didn't lose any sleep over it. It was clean and comfy and beyond that, who cares?
Disembarking and re-embarking was seamless, we never waited more than five minutes.
Public spaces were clean and well maintained, especially the bathrooms which was a bonus for me, a self proclaimed 'clean freak'.
Ports of call were beautiful and excursions were worth every penny.
The only thing I could complain about was the entertainment. I'd say it was the worst I've seen on a cruise ship. By that I mean that it really didn't float my boat, I could've easily skipped 6/7 shows.
Overall, I had a great time. I went to relax, and relax I did!