Overall we enjoyed our recent Bermuda cruise aboard the Celebrity Summit but we feel a little bit of a let down as we have sailed with Celebrity previously and felt this most recent cruise could have been better.
The embarkation was probably one of the best of all of our many cruises. We arrived around 10:40 and by 11:30 we were aboard and enjoying the pool deck.
The only negative was with the porter with the cigarette in his lips while he unloading our bags who felt he needed to remind me they work for tips. I know they work for tips and don't need to be reminded. There is a sign posted that reminds you that it is at your discretion to tip the porter. Tacky.
The interior public areas of the ship are clean and decorated nicely. The recent upgrades however fall short of making this class of ship feel like the Solstice class ships. We sailed the Silhouette last year and the Summit did not have the same feel. The Wine Cellar and the Rendezvous Lounge were nice spaces but in the evening were so dark you could barely see. The addition of the Aqua class staterooms on deck 11 took space that used to allow you to walk all the way around the deck. The rear open deck 12 was mostly unused and is a waste of precious space. Not like the Silhouette at all.
The ship was also filled and included almost 500 children. They behaved but the noise and the overwhelming amount of them at the pool was a little bit of a problem. The main pool is deep and most of them stood on the stairs that lead into the pool which made it difficult to get in and out of the pool. They liked to jump from the ledge of the pool onto the basketball hoop at end of the pool and hang on it, sometimes two at a time. They were asked not to do it by the staff but as soon as they turned their back they were back at it. Also can parents who have children in diapers stop putting them in the pool? Can you read? Want to use a sauna? Get up early or wait until the end of the day. Filled with kids.
The pool decks were also very crowded and by 10:30 a little difficult to find a lounge. The pool staff did well in assisting guests. I did notice one passenger who had two chairs, one in the sun and one in the shade. The other annoying thing is the folks who use spray on sunscreen. Do you know what it is like sitting down wind of you? That stuff gives you a headache and is nauseating. Go somewhere out of the wind or spray yourself in your cabin.
The other was a German couple who like to throw their cigarette butts overboard. REALLY? I would like them to read about the Princess ship that had a fire caused by a cigar or cigarette thrown overboard that caused a fire that killed fellow passengers and see if he will do it again. Morons.
The music was too loud at the pool. During the pool volleyball event the activities assistant Kirstie was so loud it could break and ear drum. We ran as it hurt our ears. Not very relaxing. Why do cruise lines make everyone scream to prove they are having a good time? Go to the show and if you don't respond loud enough you have to scream until they are satisfied. Come on. Get on with the show. This is like this on every ship. Stop it.
The veranda cabin was very nice, plenty of storage. The interiors of the room were upgraded. However the bathroom were not. Shower curtain and the walls in the corners had black mold on them and the curtain hooks were rusty. There was a musty odor which they must have sensed as one day it seemed they used bleach. There were two cigarette burn marks on the counter top. The bed was uncomfortable and the first night left us achy. We requested an egg crate pad and immediately received one as well as better pillows. The room also had a damp feel to it and I think it was the sliding glass door was not sealing and you could here the air whistling in. The carpet felt damp and the room never really felt cool. Our cabin stewards were very good. Derrick and Cowin. The interactive TV did not work as well as the one on the Silhouette. The programming was minimal and the Navigation channel stunk. We had the same weather forecast the whole cruise. Chance of thunderstorms. When trying to decide on what to do while in Bermuda there was no way other than making sure to listen to the captain's daily update. The veranda had two comfortable chairs and a table. The deck was dirty. The sliding door did not slide easily and there was no handle on the outside which made it difficult for my wife to open it.
The room however was in a very quiet area of the ship. Never heard any noise and fellow passengers never slammed doors. Never heard them. We had very calm seas and it was very smooth sailing.
Staff- Other than our two room stewards, the bar staff and the dining room waiters, we found the crew rather unfriendly. They seemed out of it and ignored you. The captain and officers went out of their way to say hello though. Mario and Nelson at the Mast Bar were very friendly.
Dining- We found the selective dining at the MDR to be very unorganized and chaotic at times. The hostesses used radios to communicate with waitstaff. Tacky. We usually go for traditional but it was not available. It also seems geared for those not wanting to dine with others. We did however meet two nice families that we dined with. Otherwise we had to dine alone. The waitstaff was good. They made sure you were happy with your service and food. The food was good and was consistent except for the prime rib. Over cooked and bland. Fish was very good. Soups excellent. Desserts were also excellent. Wine stewards attentive. One night the waiter poured water into a glass of beer. He ran and replaced it immediately.
The buffet we really did not enjoy. The food was not that good and we did not enjoy it. Juice machines broken. Coffee dispensers empty. Worse scrambled eggs ever. Good waffles. Terrible pancakes. Some of the staff unfriendly. No hello or good morning. One day a young male passenger could not master the tongs for the bacon so he put them down and reached in with his hand and grabbed a handful of bacon. The desserts however were very good. The pool grille hamburgers were good as I had read. We did go to Bistro on Five for the crepes. Very good and very nice spot to get away from the hordes. The crepes are huge. Worth $5 per person up charge. We did not go to Normandie or Qsine. Not worth $40 each.
Entertainment was okay. The comedian Rondell Sheridan was good.
Casino and the shops are closed while in port in Bermuda. Black Friday sales at the shops was a frenzy of people looking for a deal. Don't forget your Advil because if you buy it on the ship it will cost you $11.50 for 24. Not much of a selection of ships gear, t-shirts, hats etc.
Bermuda itself is very nice. Horseshoe Bay was beautiful. Avoid Snorkel Park Beach. Although in walking distance of the pier it is poor compared to the other beaches in Bermuda. It used to be free as are most beaches in Bermuda. Not now. It will cost you $5 each to get on. Want a chair? That will cost you $15. Loud island rap music. Not very relaxing.
Don't buy ship excursions. Transportation in Bermuda is very good. Buy a day pass and use the ferries and buses. You can go anywhere.
They cancelled Harbor Nights in Hamilton on Wednesday. Too bad. That is a good show and a nice way to spend an evening. It did not rain until 8:30 that night. Sorry to miss it. It would have been nice to hear that this event was cancelled by the ship staff. They had announced the event on our way and reminded everyone about the ferries back from Hamilton but we did not hear about Harbor Nights being cancelled until we were waiting for the ferry. We were not the only ones. We missed dinner in MDR and ate in buffet which was not a good idea. If you want a decent dinner you stand in line while they cook it. I ate Sushi instead while my wife waited. Would have rather ate in MDR instead if we had known event was cancelled earlier in the day.
Disembarkation was as smooth as embarkation. Our group was called 10 minutes earlier than listed and we were off the ship by 8:20. Parking on site was close by so we walked with our bags to the car.
Overall we had a good cruise. We felt it could have been better. We have previously cruised 12 times before on Celebrity, Royal, Princess and Holland America. We did the Holland America Veendam to Bermuda and have to say we enjoyed that ship better. The service, the food and a more adult crowd. Too bad this year was the last year for the Veendam going to Bermuda.
If choosing the Celebrity Summit as a Bermuda cruise next year I would suggest going before school is out. There is not enough on this ship for kids. August also dicey with regards to the weather. We dodged the weather on this cruise.
We will probably cruise again in the future with Celebrity on one of their Solstice class ships.
We still think Celebrity is a good choice for a cruise. Holland America is also one of our favorites.