My DH and I took our first cruise on board the Celebrity Summit over the week of Christmas. We have cruised on several other lines before, this was our first time on Celebrity.
We flew into San Juan on Friday and stayed overnight at LaConcha resort in Condado. It was a lovely resort with plenty to do, infinity pools, beach front, and in a safe area of San Juan. We enjoyed our stay. We took a cab over to the port around noon on Saturday and boarding was the easiest I have ever experienced. We walked right through everything and were on board in less than 15 minutes sipping our champagne.
We had a number of excellent upgrades this trip including pre-paid gratuities, premium beverage package, and concierge class balcony stateroom. We never had any trouble using the beverage package, everyone was very helpful and we never had to wait or try to flag down a waiter. I think we received better service from most of the bar staff because we had the package. They knew who we were by the 2nd day and they were always quick to wait on us.
The stateroom was very nice with a decent size bathroom. DH appreciated the slightly larger shower that allowed him enough room to wash his hair without damaging his elbows. We enjoyed our balcony a number of times to just sit and read or observe an island before or after going onshore. The beds were clean and comfortable and stateroom stewards Makir and Jonathon were very helpful. They delivered fresh ice daily, our afternoon canapes, and were always smiling and happy when we saw them in the hall.
Michaels pub was our favorite place on board, being rather picky about craft beer, it was nice to have a varied selection. Iwan and Julio were fabulous as bartenders in the pub. The elite reception was held in Michaels most afternoons so it didnt' open to other customers until 7pm. We enjoyed early access at 5pm each night. We would often stop in here for a drink or two before dinner. Dinner was always good, with some dishes being exceptionally good and other just good. We ate in the main dining room every night for dinner. We ate breakfast at the buffet most days, lunch was on shore since we had so many ports. The buffet breakfast was always good and they had sushi and snacks available every time we went by. The hamburger grill was good, the pizza station was excellent and always crowded, we enjoyed the build your own panini station a couple of times as well. The omelettes were very good at breakfast as was the benedict station.
The overall appearance of the ship was very good with only a few places showing wear and tear. There was always someone cleaning and painting and repairing as you went around the ship. Everyone was always very friendly and smiling. The shows were very good, the aerialists really stole the show each night. We had all the regular shows and then a special Christmas Eve show after the last show that was very good. It was standing room only for the Christmas show but all the other shows had plenty of seating. The only time we waited in line for anything was the Christmas Day buffet brunch. It was good and there were tons of stations and lots of food but I don't think it was that much different from the regular buffet. They also had Christmas Carolling, Christmas Trivia, and Christmas music playing in most of the public areas.
We got off the ship and wandered around Frederickstead for a little while then got one of the cheap taxi shuttles over to Christianstead where we explored the fort, town, and boardwalk. We stopped at tle local brew-pub but they were out of their local beer so we drank Carib and had a bite to eat. The fort here was beautiful and very peaceful. It was Sunday so there were no rangers to give tours but it was great to just wander and read the signs.
We had been here before so we arranged a private tour that included Brimstone Hill, Caribelle Batik, Romney Manor, and time on South Friar Beach. The tour was excellent, we had a lovely time. I highly recommend seeing Brimstone Fort, it was amazing.
Almost all of the tours and excursions were cancelled due to heavy rain the night before. We couldn't get to the gorge or any of the waterfalls. Roseau was a dirty town with tons of solicitors, the people were rude and dirty. I didn't feel comfortable walking around, we had two different men follow us trying to get money and then yell at us when we wouldn't give it to them. We got back on the ship and wrote that island off.
We arrived on Boxing Day which is a local holiday. This made it a wonderful day to wander the island with no one hassling you to buy things or give them money. We enjoyed a leisurely walk and visit to Pussers pub.
We'd been there many times so we just hopped a cab over to main street and walked around to do a little shopping. Had bushwackers at the bar on the 99 steps then lunch and local beer at Jen's cafe near downtown. We walked back to the ship along the water, it was a very relaxing day.
Overall, we really enjoyed our trip on the Celebrity Summit. We had received a lot of upgrades and perks which made it very easy to enjoy our trip. The weather was good, the services was great, and the islands were beautiful. I would travel with Celebrity again.