With much trepidation, we booked a 7-night cruise from beautiful Bayonne, NJ to Bermuda on the beautiful Celebrity Summit (a phrase you'll hear repeatedly onboard- lol). We were hesitant because of the previous cruise troubles and my fear that all the kids would be seasick and therefore ruin the trip. In our party are myself, my husband, father-in-law and five kids (ages 7,9, 11, 13, and 15). We booked two cabins, a Concierge cabin with balcony for the girls and a cabin directly across the hall for the boys.
Driving up the turnpike was nuts. A huge amount of traffic for a Sunday morning. It took us a little over two hours to get from Burlington County, NJ to the terminal. Upon arriving at the terminal, we were helped with our 11(!)pieces of luggage by the vulturesque porters. Since we had a Concierge room, we were allowed to bypass the huge line to get our documents checked. The rest of the procedure took about 15 minutes.
As soon as we stepped onboard, we were given a squirt of hand sanitizer and a glass of champagne (adults) or fresh-squeezed oj (kids). It was after 1 pm, so our cabins were ready.
Concierge cabin 9185 was very nice. For two people. Not four. Balcony made all the difference with an extra 25% space. Everything was very clean, regardless of what other reviewers have posted. Our cabin attendant, Shubert, was ALWAYS there to handle anything we needed. I really don't think that poor man got any sleep. Ever. I saw him in the hall attending to rooms all day, and at 1:30 am, 3:30 am, 5:30 am! (I had a nit of insomnia and sleeping on the pullout sofa (metal bar across the back) with the 7-year-old - not comfortable.
The boys had a tight squeeze in 9187 across the hall. Their attendant, Edwin, was also very accommodating. The room had the two beds that pulled down from the wall and two twin beds made up as a queen. That wasn't going to work, as it was harder to get in and out of the bed on the bottom without smacking your head on the bunk above you. A quick call had the bed converted back to twins under the berths before we got back from lunch.
Everyone said the beds were really comfortable.
Beware the toilets are vacuums. Close the lid and then press button to flush. Arthritic thumbs got a work-out! Too hard for my 7-year-old.
Main dining room, table 209, head waiter Asencio, 2nd waiter Alexander B. - both exceptional. Food - superb. There wasn't an item all week that was not cooked to perfection. My FIL found things a bit salty. Lobster tail a bit rubbery. The kids loved everything - especially the escargot. The French bread was just like fresh baguettes in France.
We didn't' try any of the specialty restaurants because we didn't feel the need to. My 15-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter went with the teen club to Qsine for the second formal night. For an upcharge of $25 each. They were very impressed with the 9-course meal, ordering on iPad's and Rubik's cubes. They didn't like that it took more than 2 hours, though.
We ate lunch at the buffet - which was GREAT! We stayed away from anything raw (signs right there saying food-borne illness comes from eating raw and undercooked food ), so we stayed away. Plenty of choices for everyone. Younger kids ate a lot of pizza. And ice cream - "Enjoy!"
We did not buy a beverage package, instead getting $200 onboard credit which we used towards the gratuity bill. Glad we did that. We brought four bottles of wine onboard (you're allowed two per cabin. However, the confiscated my corkscrew when we boarded. Good thing two bottles were screw off, and we got two bottles of champagne onboard (free). My FIL purchased 2 or 3 bottles with dinner, and drinks a la carte. Much more cost efficient than the alcohol beverage package. I must say that the self-serve drinks weren't great. We brought water bottles (which I refilled at the MDR, and also a case of bottled water. It made for heavy baggage, but worth it (especially at night).
Very good. Celebrity Theater had all good performers. I can't believe how many routines those dancers have to memorize! The kids came to some shows -and they enjoyed them too - especially the illusionist. A lot of the entertainment started after 10:30, which is too late for those of us that have to get the kids to bed.
Gombay dancers came onboard the ship while docked - so there was no need to go into town Wednesday night. I enjoyed the Gombay dance contest (I won! Yay, me.).
Plenty to do. I enjoyed the twice daily Zumba (good job, Pamela!). I'm a ZUMBA instructor myself, so I know she was good.
White dance party, I supplied the glow bracelets - they should next time.
Trivia - very cute.
Hubby and I worked out a lot. A little unsettling with the rocking of the ship. Just Monday morning was crowded. The rest of the trip there were plenty of machines available. Not a lot of room to do free weights, though.
We took advantage of the walking track on the 11th deck every morning except while in port.
Hubby and I enjoyed the thelossotherapy pool inside. Warm salt water (keep out of eyes though). Younger kids enjoyed the one pool kids are allowed in - but it was freezing!! Needed to warm up in the hot tubs.
Everything was always getting cleaned and tidied. Everything looked fresh - lots of new looking cushions.
Teen Club/ Fun Factory
Kids LOVED teen club (X Club) - shout out to Mikola!! Made friends they'll probably have for a while. Never saw those kids except at dinner time. Then they were off until 1:30 am!
Fun Factory - pretty good. My 9-year-old son did everything, the 11-year-old son not so much. Shout out to Carlo! 7-year-old wanted no part of it. Oh, well, she liked the pool.
We didn't partake of the spa, casino, revelations or rendezvous lounges except for trivia. Or martini bar, Michael's lounge. We tried not to spend any extra money.
Amazing how the color of the water changes as you get closer to Bermuda. The kids fascinated by this. Pretty cool for me too. That's when the balcony comes in handy. We slept with the door open since it was beautiful, sunny, warm (but cool at night) and not humid. A great time of year to go to Bermuda. Water was warm (83 degrees)
Regretfully, the ships are docked at Royal Dockyards which is either a 45-minute ferry ride to St. George or 25-minute ferry ride to Hamilton or one-hour bus ride (of terror) to Hamilton. The last departing ferries from these places is a 5:15. For the night. We bought 3-day bus/ferry passes when we got off the ship. They only take CASH!! Nothing like spending all your cash the moment you disembark. Could have gotten away with the 2-day, as no one wanted to leave the ship on Friday, and there really isn't any time to do anything except at the Dockyards.
Beaches were overrun with cruise passengers - leaving behind all their trash. Disgusting. Tobacco Bay pretty from a distance, full of trash up close. Church Bay, great climbing rocks and snorkeling. Tiny beach area, and no amenities. Horseshoe Bay, lots of amenities, fine sand, lots of people, but manageable. Couldn't stay there long at all because we had so little time that day if we wanted to get to Hamilton before that last ferry left.
Snorkel Beach okay, wear swim shoes.
And then the trip back to Bayonne...
On the way to Bermuda we experienced "moderate" seas. So moderate that me and some kids had to leave the MDR(rear of ship) during the meal because they got dizzy. We were all Bonine-d and Dramamine-d, Sea-Banded and lavender oiled, ginger gummed-up. Fine.
Friday, upon leaving, Captain Leonardos(seemed nice)said we are heading into "rough" seas. Great.
Friday night for the formal night was fine. That night, the wind was howling and that ship was rocking. Hubby and I did our usual morning work-out and breakfast. Getting back to the cabin, we found 7-year old vomiting and the boys dizzy. We got them to the 4th deck midship ASAP. Not pleasant. Barf bags everywhere. You could hear people getting sick around you. That 4th deck filled up fast. Gross.
I ran out of children's Dramamine. The ship just stocks meclizine (which is just for ages 12 and up). The entire ship ran out of ginger ale. So bring plenty of each of these with you.
So many of the crew were sick that all of the days events were canceled. Eventually Captain Leonardos slowed down the ship. That was around 3 pm. The damage had been done to everyone's appetite. So much for afternoon tea.
The rest of the ride back was okay.
We waited what seems like a long time. We had to be out of the cabin by 8. Poor Shubert waiting for us to leave, to get the cabin ready for the next cruisers.
We were let off around 9:40. Customs pretty quick. Crazy in the parking lot with people departing and arriving at the same time.
Great ship. Lots of activities for any age (probably not under 5). Food great. Clean, not super-crowded. Don't go if you get seasick. It kinda ruins stuff.