I have traveled on 5 cruises and this was my 6th cruise. I sailed on the Celebrity Summit for the very first time with my wife and 10 year old son. We overall were pleased with the ship's service and amenities but there were a few things that could have been improved.
The embarkation process at Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey was very simple. The lines weren't very long and we boarded the ship fairly quickly, faster than other ships that we've boarded. The staff was very friendly at Cape Liberty, which made us feel very welcomed.
Once we boarded the ship we entered one of many glass elevators and were welcomed in the elevator by Andre, one of the casino staff. He was very friendly and interacted with our son. He asked him what his name was and what he wanted to do this cruise. My son mentioned that one thing he wanted to do was visit the arcade so Andre led us to the video arcade on Deck 11 personally. We later encountered Andre around the ship and he still remembered my son's name. When we arrived at the arcade, my son was disappointed though as the arcade was very small and half the games weren't even working. Some of the games were old and hard to play.
The Oceanview Cafe buffet was good. I really enjoyed the curry, sushi and desserts. The Asian Delights were also tasty. I was pleasantly surprised to see Chinese Roast Pork Buns offered. Though the lunch was good, the breakfast options did not rise to the occasion. The options were the same every single day. The hash browns were hard and became worse by the day. They tasted like they had been re-heated from day to day. The waffle/pancake station was very slow. The lines for the waffles and pancakes was excessively long everyday. The station manager seemed not to care even when I told him that the line was too long. The staff cooked french toast when people were asking for pancakes. The pancakes tasted good, but they weren't worth the 30 minute wait. The concentrate for the drinks at the drink dispensers was out several times. I think the drinks should have been checked more often.
The Cosmopolitan restaurant was decent. The food was good, not great. I was disappointed in the seafood offerings since they were limited. When we did order the seafood, it was disappointing. Our server was good. He was on top of things and he interacted with my son. He noticed my son was into magic and showed him some card tricks. His tricks were impressive and my son enjoyed them. Our assistant server was also very kind. My wife didn't enjoy the lemonade some nights and asked him to replace it. He responded very kindly and he told her one night he made it himself especially for her. He even saw us in the buffet on disembarkation day and offered to help with our luggage.
The dessert at both the buffet and Cosmopolitan restaurant was out of this world. Since it was my son's birthday and our anniversary, we received 2 special chocolate cakes. They tasted delicious and we loved them. Also, the fruit tarts and the creme brulee were spectacular.
The kids' program (Fun Factory) was awesome! Our son loved it. He was in the Ensigns program (ages 9-11). Though he was not in the Fun Factory all the time, he enjoyed it when he was there. Some activities included the scavenger hunts, bingo games, arcade tournaments and art projects. On the second day, the Ensigns counselor took the kids to the video arcade and let them play for free.
The entertainment on board was fine. The Celebrity Theatre was nice and spacious. The production shows, Sirens & iHollywood were exceptionally good. On board was an a Capella quartet called Up Till 2 and a pianist named Antonio Saulchi. Both acts were good but not amazing. Then, there was a comedian named Troy Thirdgill. We had seen him before on a previous cruise, however he was still very funny. Our son almost fell out of his seat laughing. Troy also did a late night show one night and it was a full house. Also, the crew talent show was very entertaining. The game shows were also very funny, though they never started on time. The Not-so-Newlywed game was hilarious but not for little ears. The Liars Club game show was very funny but also not for little ears. Our son enjoyed both game shows however. Dancing with the Stripes was a funny interactive version of Dancing with the Stars.
Bermuda was beautiful. It was one of the most beautiful islands I have ever visited. I have been on multiple Caribbean and Bahamian islands but this was the most scenic. Horseshoe Bay was a wonderful family beach and very relaxing. But, Snorkel Park Bay was a disappointment. First, there was a $5 per person fee to even enter the so called "bay". There was barely any sand and the water was very rocky and there were no waves. When we asked the lady for a refund, she sounded irritated and answered no. I felt like it was a rip-off.
Our stateroom was satisfactory. We had a balcony stateroom. The bed was comfortable and the bathroom/shower was bigger than other ships. Our room did feel small however. Our room steward, Anthony, was exceptional. He seemed to love his job and like kids. He made our son towel animals such as a monkey and a bunny. Every time we saw him he said hi, smiled and took the time to talk to us. He seemed to take great pride in his work. He was one of the best room stewards we have ever had.
We thought the cruise director was going to be Sue but it wasn't. The new cruise director, Alejandro was average. He had an Argentinian accent and was hard to understand at times. Even with his accent, he was nice and funny. On the last night, he revealed he would not be on the Summit much longer as he would be transferring to the Celebrity Solstice in a week.
The pool area was overcrowded and hard to find a lounge chair. The deck staff did a good job of locating abandoned chairs and removing their towels. I suggest leaving your personal belongings on the chair and not be gone for more than 30 minutes. It's also helpful to have someone stay by the chairs to keep an eye out for you if that's possible. The hot tub was very relaxing though the staff in charge of the hot tub didn't monitor it as people were in the hot tub for hours when they were only supposed to be in the tub for 15 minutes.
Our disembarkation process wasn't as good as our embarkation process. When we went to pick up our luggage one was missing. We had to file a report and had to look for someone to assist us with our problem. We found out the next day that another guest had accidentally picked up our luggage instead of theirs which we suspected since one piece of luggage similar to ours was left behind. Also, while we were waiting for a parking lot shuttle, it was extremely uncomfortable under the hot and unventilated tent. I would suggest to at least provide fans to keep the air flowing and water for the workers and passengers to drink.
The ship had a $4 million makeover in January 2012. We felt that there was a makeover and thought the ship was fairly clean. The ship felt modern and relaxing.
All in all, this was a good cruise. We had a great time and will probably sail with Celebrity Cruises again. We most definitely will visit Bermuda again.