My husband and I are very experience cruisers and this cruise was chosen because it departed and returned from Port Liberty and made i a very easy cruise for us New Yorkers. There was not one area in which this ship excelled others we have been on, including the Holland America, the Queen Mary II (Cunard) and Crystal. First of all,the pool was the least inviting part of the ship. If you look at the brochures, they never, never show it crowded like it always was..... More than 2000 passengers in the summer heat and a tiny pool with not enough louge chairs....it was a flesh pot...crumpled towels all over, unfinished drinks,trays of food. 15 people in tiny, tiny hot tubs, loudspeakers playing raucous music and games.
As for the spa.....WHAT SPA? I always pay for a spa to have a quiet relaxation room... soft lounge chairs facing the ocean with soft music....Forget it, it doesn't exist on the Summit. Every other Spa has a private whirlpool and relaxation area with their spa....not so with the Summmit. They have a THALASSO POOL for adults only. (18yrs+) Of the 2000+ guests on the ship, that might be 1500 eligible adults and this pool is also jammed with people who are in many cases jumping the "waves" with drinks.
I went to the pool on Day 1 and not again.My last cruise on the New Amsterdam set the standard for a pool and offered inexpensive canvas cabanas to rent poolside where butlers served champange an chocolate covered strawberries. There is no comparison, in my opinion of these two ships in the same price category.
Next: Dining. The Cosmopolitan Dining Room, the main dining room. The food was quite good for what it was, the main dining room in a mega ship. he staff was good and eager to please. However, there were only two alternate venues with a $40. per person surcharge. ($80. couple +gratiuity? +wine?) In the Holland America there were several more choices and more sophisticated alteratives.
The Verandas: Because the ship was designed to maximize the number of cabins with verandas there are very few decks with nice wallking decks and lounge chairs, cushioned long deck chairs. That could be compensated for if your veranda had long, adjustable lounge chairs, No, they are not. Even in Concierge Class your chairs are sit up chairs and a drink table. If you want to put your feet up, just use the table.
OK..SO HOW ABOUT THE LIBRARY: Two tiny rooms. Hardly deserving of being called a library. When we saw it, we thought it was the entrance. Does not compare to Cunard or Holland America.
What we enjoyed:Deck 5. Deck 5 has lots of small nooks with comfortable chairs that overlook the sea. Al Bacio serves wonderful espresso and capuccino. Bistro 5 is open all day and is never crowded. There are lots of small nooks to read and relax in comfortable chairs.
On the 11th floor the Revelations Lounge is opened all day and very quiet, EXCEPT for when it is taken over by the FUN FACTORY for children and disco dancing at night. Otherwise it is comfortable and exquisite.
On September 3, I am signed up for the Equinox in the Eastern Mediterranean, with friends. I hope I have a better exerience.