We were a party of 5 adults and 4 children that took a Christmas Cruise on the Celebrity Summit. I have been on several cruises before on Royal Caribbean, most recent being last Thanksgiving on the Freedom of the Seas. We were all located mid ship deck 8 in Concierge Class.
Smoothest, and quickest process I have ever experienced on a ship. We did arrive early, (11:00 am) and were among the first people to board. Being greeted with Champagne was a nice touch. We waited till 1 for our rooms to be ready (with a bottle of complimentary Champagne) dropped our carry-on's and headed to Old San Juan.
Tip: Bring your passport if you get off the boat on embarkation day, we almost were not allowed back on, luckily I had my son's passport with me and they let us on. Also, you have to wait in line with people checking in to get back on the ship. The rest of the islands we were only asked for our sea pass cards.
We choose Celebrity this time as we heard the food was a cut above Royal Caribbean. I did not find this to be completely true. Oceanview Cafe was about the same, however pizza was noticeably better and they served sushi every day before dinner. Main dining room was the same, food was not any better or worse than RC. The one thing on Celebrity we all really liked was the Salads they served at lunch at the Adult only pool area. We did not upgrade to any specialty restaurants. They also delivered Canope's to our room at 4:00 every day, they were tiny (3 olives, 2 melon balls, a teaspoon of hummus and a few chips). These were not very good, and a let down for us as it was one factor we used to go for the Concierge level.
Maybe being a older ship, it's not set up like the newer ships for serving people quickly. We found the service in the main dining room and Oceanview Cafe to be slow. I gave up on omelets after the 2nd day at Oceanview. I did wait for the pizza though, it was very good with a different pizza of the day every day.
Obviously not as many things for the kids as Royal Caribbean. Kids still had fun going to the kids club, arcade, pool, hot tub (arcade is tiny). Being a smaller ship let us keep tabs on them fairly easy.
This ship is showing her age. Really did not like the shower curtains in the bathrooms. Also showers are showing some rust. The toilet in our room would make noises once in a while. Balconies felt small and the glass had paint on them, the chairs were very comfortable though.
This is were they made it all up. St. Croix, St. Kitts, Dominica, Tortola, St. Thomas! You just can't get that in a 7 day trip from Florida, and none of the "big" ships leave from San Juan. What made it so great was the fact that we were the only ship in Port for every island except Dominica. The beaches were never crowded, the stores on shore were easily shopped, and traffic was never backed up going from or to the ship. This made our cruise so enjoyable that we could overlook the ships shortcomings and possibly sail it again.
Very smooth and quick, no complaints here. We always get off ourselves and never have an issue grabbing a taxi to the airport.
Overall was a great cruise on a older ship. Were there times when I missed the bigger, newer ship with all the bells and whistles? Yes for sure, if the boat was at sea for more than one day or if I was not planning on getting off the boat, I would opt for a newer ship for sure. But if you want to see the islands on a classy ship with a great itinerary, this is a good ship for you!