Day 1-embarkation on the Celebrity Summit from Bayonne, NJ. We parked at the Premier lot, which was a bit cheaper. It was difficult to see their sign, so we had to back-track a few times. They had a shuttle that took us to check-in and there was another shuttle that transported us to the ship. We had two minors (non-family members) traveling with us, so we had notarized documents detailing our itinerary with both parents signing that we were able to take their children out of the country and seek any required medical care. The staff at the check-in commented that people often forget to do this and they have to delay their embarkation until this is all taken care of via faxed documents back and forth. So... if you have non-family member minors with you, remember to take care of this step to avoid a big hassle and delay. Everyone was congenial during the check-in process. We were on board at approx. 1:30 and our luggage showed up by 3:30. The people at the check-in DID check our wine carry bag...to see that we had only two bottles and that it was wine and not liquor. We had Select Dining, which we enjoyed....no problem ever waiting for a table. Our usual time to dine was between 8:00-9:00pm. We did find the dining room on the warm side at times. The first day our weather was nice. We did have rocky seas upon sailing and some people were having issues with it (2 in our party!).
Day 2-cool and rainy weather. We were very disappointed in the Olympic coverage. 90% of the time, they had the velodrome/indoor cycling! Can't imagine that many people were overly excited about that event. We wanted to see the soccer, so that was quite painful. The sea was smooth sailing after that first evening. Regular coffee served is just O.K. Cafe Bascio had very good capuccino. Bistro Five was fantastic and we dined here often...mostly for breakfast, but also for lunch and dinner. Excellent food, very nice ambiance and not crowded.
Day 3-another cloudy day at sea. We dined at Normandie, which was wonderful. The dress was smart casual, so you can dress up or be less dressy. No coat and tie required. Went to see comediene Troy Thirdgill, who was hilarious. Later in the week, they did an adults-only show that was packed. The martini bar is definitely the fun, hot-spot. A great place for a before dinner drink or a late night "party".
Day 4-Bermuda! Very nice, sunny day (finally!). We bought the 3 day bus/ferry pass. Depending on your plans, you could go for less. We could have just done the 2 day. Cost is $28 for ages 16 and up for the 3 day. Under 16 is $14. The passes can be bought just off the ship. Everyone is extremely helpful in providing tourists with guidance. There is an "express bus" #7 or #8, to Horseshoe Bay. Probably about a 25 min ride from the dock. Horseshoe Bay is gorgeous with warm, blue water and beautiful coves. There is an area to rent chairs and unbrellas ($11 plus $5 deposit each). It gets a little crowded, but moves along quite well. There was a large amount of seaweed along the beach, so that would be the only negative that I would comment on. There are large rock formations that kids are jumping and diving off of....including mine! Plus the kids in our care! I was not wild about that. The sand is so soft. There is also a nice choice of "fast food" type items and drinks available.
Day 5-we jet-skied at Somerset Water Sports. They are a very nice, reputable place. Our group of 6, had a tour guide (Kyle), all had life vests, etc. Our guide was fine about letting the kids take off and have fun...but it offered a controlled environment. He did allow our 15 year olds to drive, once in open water. They would have been very disappointed if they had not been able to do so. When I inquired on the boards, I was led to believe that reservations were not necessary. Definitely make reservations! They were booked when we arrived (and for most of the week as well), so we had to go back the following day. We visited the Sea Glass Beach, which was pretty cool and the kids really enjoyed it. The bus drivers can guide you on the location. You just walk down a rickety area of steps between houses. I had taken ziploc bags for everyone to retrieve some. We were desperate to see the US Women's soccer final and learned of Flanigans in Hamilton. We traveled there via ferry boat, which was a nice ride and the ferry is very large and well-equipped with nice seating. We ate a fantastic lunch at Flanigans. I am not an Irish-food fan, but they had a great, extensive menu. The atmosphere was very nice and cozy and the staff was great. They had tv's, but there was actually another HUGE sports viewing area around the corner. We were able to watch the US win!!
Day 6- we did a snorkel tour through Fantaseas. It was very nice and enjoyable. I can't say that the things we saw underwater were amazing, but it was a fun trip on a nice boat with fun tour guides. Everyone of age, was entitled to some good rum swizzle drinks too.
Day 7-sailing back into Bayonne, we hit the same type of rocky waters. The weather was, once again cloudy. Fortunately, our Bermuda weather was very nice....not so much on the sailing days.
My husband and I really enjoy Celebrity. The kids had a fun time, but RCCL certainly offers them more chances to meet up with LOTS of kids. For the older teens (we had two 15 year olds and two 17 year olds), they just met up with people and hung out. It would be nice if they had a dance club or a living room type spot for these older teens. Lisa, the cruise director, was really funny and engaging. We thought that she did a great job. The shows that we saw were all entertaining. We found the oceanview stateroom to be fine for two people. We had three cabins next to one another. I would not want more than two in a cabin though! We slept well in our cozy little room. Our cabins (3140, 3142 and 3144) all had very large windows...more so then the average. If you want to dine at Normandie or Qsine, I would make reservations asap. We could not get into Qsine :( I regularly used the gym and it was well-equipped and nice. Food, in general, was very good. The Saturday brunch was very extensive and worth checking out. The Normandie was certainly superior. The staff was FANTASTIC. The entire week, we NEVER passed a single staff member who did not have a smile and a kind word. We enjoyed talking with many of the staff, who are away from their families for 6 months at a time. We found the ship to be well-maintained. Have fun and enjoy your Summit vacation!!