My wife and I as well as another couple just got home from a week aboard the Summit, and it was an excellent cruise. We have cruised on NCL and Royal in the past, but this was our first cruise on Celebrity and our first time to Bermuda. We did purchase the premium alcohol package before the cruise, which I'll go into.
What a breeze. We drove to Bayonne and got there around 10:45. After parking and dropping off our bags, we went through security, got our sea passes, and were on the first shuttle over to the boat. When all was said and done, we were on the boat around 11:15.
Main Dining Room
Well, we certainly did not go hungry. The food in the MDR was the best that I have had personally. I can't think of a single thing that we didn't enjoy, and the service at our table was excellent. We had no problems getting glasses of wine, drinks from the bar, or sparkling water. Once the servers knew we had the premium package, we had sparkling water waiting for us each night.
We weren't convinced that it was worth another $40/pp for a specialty restaurant, and were we ever wrong. You won't find anything featured on the Normandie menu anywhere else on the ship, and each dish was fresh and unique. The cheese course after the main course was a nice touch as well, with about 15 specialty cheeses to choose from.
Bistro on Five
We stopped in for brunch about halfway through the cruise, looking for something different, and we were not disappointed. Between the 4 of us we had 4-5 savory crepes and 3 dessert crepes over the course of about an hour and a half. The whole time, we were one of two groups in there, and our feeling was that the $5 charge exists so that it is kept uncrowded.
This was definitely one of our favorite spots on the ship. The bartenders get very into it and really put on a show, especially if someone orders the martini flight. They'll make 12 martinis and pour them all at once, which always gathered a crowd. The bar top itself freezes over for a snowy look, which was a lot of fun and a good way to cool off.
Cellar Masters was never too crowded, but I can't understand why. After sitting at the bar one night before dinner, this quickly became our favorite spot. The service was awesome, and Laurentiu behind the bar was very knowledgeable and interactive. We felt that there were more than enough wines by the glass under $12, as well as options for sparkling wine, port, madeira, and sherry.
I was very excited for this space pre-cruise, but we were pretty disappointed in it. First of all, if you want a craft beer before 5PM, you're out of luck. They do have guinness, stella, sam adams, and a few other decent beers at other bars, but no crafts. Also, almost every time we tried to get into Michael's they were using it for a private event. I understand they need a space for this, but it was disheartening not being able to get a craft beer most days. When we did finally get in, the first 5 beers we tried to order they had run out of. We got over that pretty quickly, and had a few beers/ciders that were new to us. We would have stayed longer, except that they had about a 45 minute loop of music, that really did not suggest that it was a pub. After listening to Endless love and When a Man Love's a Woman for the 3rd time, we had to go elsewhere.
Cafe al Bacio
This is a great space that we spent a lot of time at. They had great espresso based coffees, hot and ices teas, and coffees with alcohol. The Aspen was a group favorite. Additionally, they would serve pastries in the morning, bite size sandwiches mid-day, and small cakes starting in the late afternoon - all free of charge.
We found the service to be very good. Our cabin steward was excellent. On the first day a circuit must have blown on our hall, as 3/4 of the lights in our room were not working. One phone call and about 5 minutes later we had lights, and they were fine the rest of the cruise. Our waiter in the MDR was very entertaining, and really I have nothing negative to say about the service in any of the bars.
Loved it. Not having to worry about a final bill really enhanced out vacation. We would start off the day with a coffee from al Bacio, maybe a mimosa with breakfast, and a bottle of water by the pool. Then after a few frozen drinks and a lot more water, we would go to one of the bars for pre-dinner drinks (usually the martini bar or cellar masters), and take a glass with us to dinner. A few glasses of wine with dinner, typically followed by a glass of port, we would head back to one of the bars or to the casino, and finish with a few glasses of perrier. Back in the room we stocked up on Vitamin Waters to keep us hydrated. Overall, we drank a lot more (water, coffee, alcohol) than we would have without the package on a cruise, but never felt pressured to drink more because of the package. I can tell you that if we had to pay for each individual drinks, our bill at the end would have been well over the cost of the package.
We spent the first two days in Bermuda snorkeling at Tobacco Bay and Church Bay. These beaches are not real big and they got crowded pretty quickly, but they both had pretty decent snorkeling. Tobacco is very calm and easy to snorkel. Church was probably the better snorkeling, but the waters were very rough - I would recommend fins.
Overall, it was an excellent trip. I would definitely recommend the Summit, and don't know how we will be able to sail any other line going forward. If anyone has any questions while everything is fresh in my mind, I'm more than happy to respond.