This was a last minute cruise booked just 3 weeks before sailing. We were lucky enough to get a Conceirge Class cabin (C3) for the same price as a veranda which we liked for the extra loyalty point it provided. Since were sailing on an M-Class ship the CC cabin also gave us a little more room.
Embarkation was a breeze and we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes from drop off. We immediately went to Bistro on 5 to have a quiet, relaxed lunch. Bistro on 5 was nearly empty and we had time to talk to a few other diners who we would run into for the rest of the cruise. We no sooner finished and decided to walk around that they announced that the cabins were now available. A quick trip to the room to drop our stuff and pull in our luggage which was already delivered and we were free to explore the ship. She did not disappoint. The Summit would be the largest ship we have been on so far. She is gorgeous and we couldn't have been more pleased.
Our cabin was 7198 and I had read reviews on that particular cabin that were of great concern. Someone had reported toilet and sewage smell problems as well as problems with the cabin steward. One poster had reported that the cabin steward who was specifically named was terrible. We never experienced any problems with the toilet and there was no sewage smells while we were on the Summit. The cabin steward would be a little more of a challenge but one with a satisfactory ending. Treating people with respect and being specific about what you expect can make all the difference. In the end we left an extra tip for excellent service.
The cabin was in excellent shape and clean. We actually loved the cabin as it was at the very stern of the ship in and was therefore extremely private and quiet. The veranda had some rust but nothing more than the continual corrosion caused by sea water. The cabin does have what I would call a partially obstructed view as the canopy over the suites below blocks a direct view down to the water but the vistas were unaffected. We spent quite a bit of time out there enjoying the water and even on sea days watching the water. We ordered rooms service breakfast 3 times during the cruise to enjoy out there. The breakfast order was always correct and delivered on time at the right temperatures. We could definitely get used to this! On alternate mornings one of us ran down to the Cafe al Bacio for caffe mochas and pastries.
The muster drill was pretty much useless. There were too many people, no where to sit and you couldn't hear anything. We did see the demo on putting the life vest on but that was about it. Basically, you are on your own in an emergency.
We had select dining and I really didn't see a benefit to it. There was always a line for dinner, especially if you went to the show and everyone was trying to get in at the same time. We had a different wait staff for each of the 3 nights we at in the MDR. The food was very good. The first night my filet was overcooked and it was remedied immediately with extensive apologies. We did eat in the MDR on the second formal night when lobster was served and it was a nice size warm water lobster tail and it was prepared nicely and not dry contrary to what many of the prior reviews indicated. Service was as expected although it seems difficult getting second cups of coffee and ice tea refills. Otherwise we enjoyed our meals here.
The first night we eat in Qsine and found it to be fun, interesting, the food very good and a lot of fun. We were at a table of 10 which is just a little too big. I think 4 to 6 would be a better size group but still very much worth trying.
On the last night we ate in Normandie for our anniversary. What a fabulous experience. We would definitely dine here again. The service and food were just outstanding. The cheese course was great. We felt total pampered and spoiled and it made disembarkation even harder, we just didn't want to leave! I would dine here again and again if I sail on the Summit again. The lobster prepared at the table was to die for.
We hit the buffet a lot and have nothing negative to say. There was something for everyone and although the lines got a little long sometimes the food was very good. The biggest problem was trying not eat everything! The sushi was great and the pizza became a favorite snack.
We loved the Martini bar and the Sunset Bar. The girls in the Martini bar, Elena and Jennifer just treated us fabulously even opening the bar early to make us a flight of martinis. The biggest problem here is the lack of sufficient room. The place was always crowded with a happy group enjoying the offerings. They could extend this bar and still fill it up.
We did one of the wine tastings for $20. Basically 12 (6 red/6 white) wines you could taste to your hearts content for an hour. Everyone poured with a heavy hand and the wine were very nice. They also offered a cheese table to nibble on between wines. Excellent value and experience.
We also had a hamburger from the Mast grill one day while at the pool. Very nice but not something we would repeat since there were so many other choices.
The grand buffet brunch on the last sea day was quite an experience. Reminiscent of the old midnight buffets the ice cravings and displays were pure works of art. I made sure to get pictures of everything before the hoards hit the tables. There was just about everything you could think of including sushi, white and milk chocolate fountains, carving stations, stir fry, pasta station along with the usual brunch offerings and breakfast foods. Definitely worth the trip just to see everything if not to partake because you've just eaten more food than a small nation in 7 days.
We only saw a few shows. The show called Sirens had some great acts and the singing and dancing terrific. However, the entire premise is a bit disjointed and we had a great time trying to figure out what the show writer was on when they wrote the script. How do you link drag queens, Neil Diamond and Burlesque into a show about sea sirens? Interesting and a lot of fun but a little strange.
The cruise director, Sue Demming was outstanding and her one woman show one of the best I've ever seen. I'd pay to see her show again.
We attended the cruise critic party where we got to meet the captain, CD and other officers. We managed to score a bridge and engine control room tours which DH enjoyed to no end. I missed the engine control room tour because I was busy making food porn (see grand brunch buffet above).
We ate breakfast in the MDR the last morning and was glad I had stuck to the buffet. The food was okay but trying to get coffee was a challenge. Finally got the second cup as we all needed to go to our disembarkation points.
We mostly did our own thing on Bermuda. The only shore excursion was a night snorkel trip. Not worth the money IMHO. We went to Snorkel Park in the dockyard and there was nothing really to see other than some resting fish (about 2 dozen) and a lobster. They did give you flashlights (torches) and a 3/4 wetsuit. The staff were terrific but the park doesn't have much snorkeling in general and less at night. We thought we were going out to wreck to dive. It was an expensive ($75/pp) disappointment.
Disembarkation was quick and painless. Definitely get a porter and make life easy. We booked an open passage while on board and can't wait to sail again on Celebrity.