We are a family of four, two adults early 40's and two children(9 and 11) that have cruised before on many lines (Costa, Celebrity, MSC, Norwegian, Princess, and RCI), however this was our first trip to Bermuda.
After a lot of thinking and research we chose the Celebrity Summit over the Holland American Veendam, mainly because of the ship having just newly been "solstized" and having sailed Celebrity before knowing they have a great product. We were not disappointed.
Our cabin was 6024 a category 2C, which is the lowest category balcony room on the ship. We were originally in a category 7 ocean view but chose to pay to upgrade to the 2C when we realized we could get on the "sweet sixteen" cabins with the extra large balcony. If you are not familiar with the "sweet sixteen" cabins on the M class ships search the boards and you will find that these cabins located on deck 6 forward have DOUBLE the size balconies of the other rooms in this category and most other categories higher (with some exceptions of course).
We arrived at the pier at about 11:30, used our privilege as select members of the captains club for the preferred checkin and waited only a few minutes (long enough to fill our the health questionnaire). The regular checkin line was quite a bit longer. We were on the ship in about 20 minutes from the time we went through security.
The first day we had lunch at the grill, which wasn't crowded at all. From past experiences I knew my favorite was the turkey burger (you do have to wait about 15 minutes as they are cooked to order) as it was just as good as I remembered. Rooms were ready after 1 pm. Our room was adequate, double bed, small couch that turned into a single bed and one pull down bed. We had enough storage for the 4 of us. As others have stated the bathroom grout and tiling was neglected during the renovation but ours wasn't anything too bad just a little stained grout. We requested lounge chairs for our huge balcony from our room steward Raul, but he said he couldn't get us any, so I requested two additional chair since there were four of us and plenty of room on the balcony for two more chairs. He stated he would have to check with his manager, that evening he told us we weren't able to get the two additional chairs. We made do with the desk chair, but come on Celebrity... you have a room for four and a HUGE balcony why can't there be four chairs???? The next day our room steward approached us and asked if we had been on the Summit before and we said no, but then asked if we had been on the Mercury and we said yes. As it turns out he remembered us from our cruise on the Mercury back in March 2010!!! He was our room steward then too. He looked familiar to us but I find it amazing that with all the people he sees week after week that he would remember us. He was excellent once again.
The menus in the dining room changed the week of our cruise. We always had no problem finding something we liked and none of us ever ordered an entree from the everyday menu. The first night service was very slow, we had early seating and did not leave the dining room until 8:15 and we weren't just sitting around, we had just finished our desert. The service got faster after that. It seemed that our waiter was having some difficulties with the new menu as he was always looking over your shoulder at the menu to make sure he got your order correct. We had no complaints about the food. The fillet minion was excellent.
We ate in the dining room once for breakfast and once for lunch. The lunch menu wasn't as interesting as it used to be but the banana creme brulee was excellent.
We ate breakfast about 8 am in the buffet and found it to be almost empty with no lines, had excellent omelets, eggs benedict, and waffles. I did go back to get something to drink about 10 am and found the area jam packed with people (sea day). We had not seen the buffet so empty at 8 am on all our previous cruises usually between 8-9 was the peak time, so we were pleasantly surprised.
Lunch we enjoyed the sandwich station or grill most days, which we found to be good, the lines at the sandwich station could get long if both sides weren't open.
We didn't go to any of the shows so I can't give any information on them. We met the cruise director Sue Denning at several functions and she was great. Captain Theo was extremely personable and informative.
The fun factory had been recently moved to forward deck 11 during the renovations. The new facility was great. My 9 and 11 year olds were in the Cadet group. They enjoyed arcade time, dodge ball, ping pong, ga ga ball, and lots of other activities. They would read the schedule the night before and almost everyday find lots of activities they were interested in. There were not many kids on our sailing, which in my opinion is a plus because the counselors had a much more manageable group and were able to more fun activities. They did a great job and our kids loved it.
Bermuda was AWESOME! We loved it. We bought the transportation pass and used the ferries and buses. We went to Hamilton, St. George and the beaches. In my opinion, the beaches in Bermuda are way better than the Caribbean. The beaches had the beautiful pink tinted sand and blue green crystal clear water, it was amazing. Even though it was the end of May beginning of June the water temperature was fine, it wasn't hot by any means but refreshing and it was not problem to enjoy swimming. The island is very clean and the people are very friendly. We went to the sea glass beach and collected several bags, it was a great place to take the kids they loved looking at all the different kinds of glass. Even though we were there 3 days it wasn't enough, Bermuda is on our list to go back too and we would definitely go back on the Summit.