We were pleasantly impressed with our cruise on the Celebrity Summit, sailing Christmas week, 2013. This was our first cruise with Celebrity, having sailed many times with Princess, NCL and Royal Caribbean and it surely will not be our last. There was something different about Celebrity. The entire staff was not only efficient and friendly, but they all had very positive attitudes. This is something we had not seen before on other ships. Also, the ship did not abuse their announcements. Twice per day we heard that we were in port and then later we heard from the captain that we were ready to sail and what the distance to the next port and the expected seas. There was no announcement for "Bingo Bingo Bingo" or "Art Auction begins in 5 Minutes", like we have had on other ships. Even the disembarkation ran without announcements. Passengers left their rooms on time, had a delicious full breakfast and met at their various destination points on their own. Leaving the ship was quite smooth.
We were traveling with a family of ten: my parents (73, 75) and my sisters family (48,45,19,17) and my family (52, 49, 21, 19) in a total of five rooms. Four were outside cabins on Deck 2 and my parents stayed on Deck 6 with a balcony. Our rooms were practically the same size as my parents room minus the balcony. There was ample closet/drawer space and our luggage fit nicely under our beds. Nice flat screen tv with good channel selection. Bathroom was fine, shower was good. Window was a very large circle. We had no problem with staying on Deck 2. We had read about a slight smoke smell in the Deck 2 hallway and we noticed it ourselves. It did not effect our stay but we did write about it on the comment card before we left the ship.
The food exceeded our expectations. We had breakfast in the Oceanview Restaurant on Deck 10 every morning. There were so many stations that there were no lines. There were at least a dozen omelet stations. Many, many items to choose from. There also were waiters coming around with coffee/tea refills and fresh pastries. We were usually off the ship at lunch time, but visited the Oceanview in the late afternoon for a snack. Many flavors of ice cream both soft serve and hard were available with candy toppings if desired. We also loved the fresh tossed Caesar salad, the fresh grilled pizza and the pasta and salad bar. Also, water, iced tea, lemonade, coffee and tea are available all day long. We appreciated this! Dinner we had select dining and had reservations for 6:45pm on Deck 5 of the Cosmopolitan. Our waiters were fantastic and really made our dining experience so pleasant.
My daughter has food allergies to soy, vegetable oil, shellfish and tree nuts. We had filled out a special needs form on Celebrity's website before the trip and once onboard we met personally with the assistant maître 'd. We cannot fully express how wonderful her allergies were addressed. She pre-ordered her dinner for the next night each night before with the asst maître 'd. He let her know which foods she could have and she did not have one allergic reaction the entire week. We were very impressed and thankful to Celebrity!!
We did not pay extra for the specialty restaurants. $45 per person is not necessary to us. The food choices in the main dining room were original and creative and delicious. Don't miss the crème brulee.
The shows on the ship were great! The stage in the theatre had a multiple hydraulic system. Parts of the stage went up and down. The cruise singers and dancers were very good and we enjoyed their productions. We especially liked the performance of the "cirque acrobats". We also saw Comedian, Buzz Sutherland and really loved our Finalists@Sea performers: Melinda Doolittle, American Idol finalist from Season 6 and Matt Giraud, American Idol finalist from Season 8. We also enjoyed the Motown band.
During our Sea day, we watched the Chef competition which was like Iron Chef. So much fun. We also had a wonderful discussion about food on the ship and then toured the gigantic galley. Because this was Christmas Day we were lucky to have an elaborate Christmas Brunch in the main dining room. On Christmas Eve in the same room we were treated to an elaborate dessert reception.
Yellow beach towels were left fresh in our room each night and blue pool towels were available at the pool. This was a nice touch. In addition to the main pool and hot tubs, we enjoyed the salt water Thalassotherapy Pool, but remember to take off your sterling silver jewelry before entering, as it can tarnish. The fitness center has newer equipment and a nice variety. There is a beautiful two story library located mid ship. We enjoyed relaxing in the late afternoon on Deck 4 in very comfortable lounge chairs. Here is where we watched the best sunsets.
We had five ports of call: St Croix, St Kitts, Dominica, Tortola and St Thomas. Our favorite beach was Garden Cane Bay in Tortola and our best shopping was in St Thomas. Dominica is a volcanic island with beautiful flowers, plants and trees. We did not book excursions through the ship. We negotiated for island tours and beach afternoons with cab drivers in each location. Prices varied from $100 for all ten of us to $200 for all ten of us, depending upon the island. We rented chairs at the various beaches from $3 to $10 each chair depending upon island.
Our cruise on the Celebrity Summit was just wonderful. We loved the level of service on this ship. The ship itself is not so huge so you do not get lost. Its rather classy. The staff was polite and friendly, especially the guest relations staff. There are just the right amount of games and activities! All ten of us had a fantastic vacation! We will definitely cruise with Celebrity again.