This was my fourth cruise overall, third with Celebrity and second on the Summit. I had cruised on the Summit out of San Juan in 2010 prior to the refurb. The changes from the refurb were in redesigning areas for new use (the flower studio was changed into Qsine, the Champagne Bar was changed into Bistro on 5, etc.). The rooms had new linens but I don't think the furniture or bathrooms were upgraded. They were fine- I had no issues with them, but definitely were not new.
Embarkation went very smoothly. It took maybe 20 minutes from the time the cab dropped us off to the time we were on the ship. This was the first time I had boarded on the 1st deck though- that seemed odd. Normally we board around deck 4 or so. But with champagne in hand we waited for the elevator to go up to the ship.
Our stateroom was on the 7th deck just past the aft elevators. We were in 7180 which had a larger veranda than normal- it was deeper not wider- and came with two chairs and a table. More
The room had adequate storage and was clean. Our steward was a ghost- not in a creepy way- we just never saw him. Everything we asked for was taken care of, he just always snuck in to do it while we were away. I requested ice and a pitcher of water and we had both refreshed at least twice a day. No complaints there! They did take over our bathroom to do some tile work, which prevented us from using the bathroom for most of one of the days. I don't mind that they did this if it was unavoidable; I just wish they explained what they were doing. Once we got back in the bathroom the floors were very sticky, which was kind of gross, and I didn't notice any other differences. The other thing is there never seemed to be cold water. I got tired of brushing my teeth with warm water.
Food in the MDR was good. I really enjoyed the Beef Wellington they had for Thanksgiving and the Spinach Ravioli was also good. For starters the Thai Spring Roll was very tasty. The desserts were not so good. There were actually a couple nights I skipped dessert. Qsine was great. The food was super tasty, I wanted to try even more but there just wasn't any room. I will say the $40 surcharge is a bit much. I can get a full meal on land for $40 at a decent restaurant so I just think they need to rethink the upcharge considering Qsine was only half full when we were there. The buffet was okay, they had a lot of variety but some of if it was just too heavy to consider. Some favorites were waffles for breakfast and sushi in the evening. The buffet dining area was always very, very hot. I don't know if the A/C wasn't working or what, but it was unbearable sometimes. Bistro on 5 was excellent. It was only $5 surchange and always empty. But the crepes and soup were outstanding.
Favorite bar is always the Sunset bar due to location. In the past trips I have taken on the M-Class ships they had entertainment out on the deck, but they never had any when I went to the Sunset bar this trip, sadly. The Martini bar was neat because of the iced bar, but I could have done without the European techno music to accompany it. The salsa and party band were good; but man, the piano player was terrible. Apparently he had been on American Idol and thought every set he played was his own indulgent concert. He played slow, boring music that hardly anyone knew. I know he is a professional, but really, he is on a cruise ship- play music people want to hear and can dance or sing along to. His sets were usually empty- not surprised. But it was a big miss because we always like the piano bars on the ships (was Michael's) in the evenings and it is lacking now.
The shows were decent. The comedienne was pretty funny and they had a singer who could impersonate other famous singers and she was quite talented. The main performers were okay when they did the iHollywood piece, but the other one, Sirens, was awkward.
We lucked out with weather- it was sunny and warm the whole time- no rain!! Didn't do too much at most of the ports- just hit the town and the beach. We did do the Taste of Barbados excursion. The bus was pretty uncomfortable and drinking rum at 9am is a bit early, but the plantation house was very nice and it was a decent way to see the island.
Disembarkation was late....we sat in the theatre about an hour past our designated time. But customs in SJ is always incredibly slow....It is just another reason to not look forward to ending the trip. Less
Celebrity Summit Cruises to the Southern Caribbean
There is lots of shopping here, but we went to the Magens Bay Beach instead. It was up over a big hill (kind of scary riding in the open truck taxis to get there!). Again, I think it is a very common beach for taxis as there were many going to and from there. Beach was nice, water was extremely calm.