We have just returned from our last Celebrity cruise and neither of us can imagine how it could have been any better!
This was our 8th Celebrity cruise and the 3rd on the Summit. We have cruised with other lines, but have always thought Celebrity does it just a little better. Our last Summit cruise was just before her dry dock in 2012. We both really liked the changes they have made and as always the staff was great.
Embarkation- Flew into SJU on Friday Jan 3rd- some delays but was able to avoid most of the bad weather, that had many passages not getting to the ship until St. Croix. We spent the night and the entire next day in Old San Juan- we love the feel of old San Juan and didn't board the ship until 5 on Saturday. As a result- we walk to our room (7200) and our bags were there within the hour. We chose a concierge C3 cabin - mostly based on the location. This was our third Concierge type room- can't really say it is worth the up charge if the locations isn't right for you.
We choose Selet dinner because we like to be leisurely and have a table for two. We made reservations each night and were able to stay at the same table (433) and with the same waiter staff. With so many complaints about people not happy with Select we were nervous - Rosemary took great care of us each night.
Food- We don't necessarily cruise for the food- but we do like to have nice meals at night and want an atmosphere of elegance. Here is where Celebrity rises above the rest. The food is always good and is great at times. The Main dinning room has great food and service. We typically follow the waiters recommendations but always have 3 meals to share. This time we were very pleased with the food and preparation. The lamb shank is to die for!! but rest of the meals where great as well. The Cosmopolitan restaurant is always a great experience and the lighting , background music and service has a flare of elegance. Last year we sailed on the Carnival Legend- I really don't want this to be a Carnival bashing but there food and experience in the main dinning room on Celebrity in heads and shoulders above. We had a great time on the Legend but it wasn't up to Celebrity caliber.
Bistro on five- we typically will eat in a fee based restaurant once on the cruise- We ate at the Bistro - twice!! It is only $5 pp and it is very much worth it. The Crepes are amazing and we had the place to ourselves.
Qsine- Ate there once- it was a great experience, it was offered at a discounted price. The presentation was very interesting and the food was great- but there is a lot to eat to be prepared!!
Breakfast we ate in the room- we love being able to have eggs and hot item delivered to the room. This was another issue we had with Carnival- only continental to the room. On the Summit- if you put down 9am it was there hot at 9am. We always tip the room server cash- maybe that helps??
Buffet- We hate buffets!! Having said that - the lunches on the Summit were great. They offer a lot and it is always very fresh.
Enough about he food- the Ship is in great shape and there were always cleaning and doing some type of maintenance on board. The staff were always smiling and inquiring about our experience and if we were enjoying ourselves. That was very nice and I have to say it goes a long way to show that they really want you to have a good time. One note on Captains Club-We are select members and I have to say there didn't seem to be much in way of extras offered?? Maybe we just missed them if they were there. We met a lot of really great people on board. Typically we do our own thing but this past week we were able to connect with some great people everywhere and it was a lot of fun. I also learned a very important life lesson- Don't try to drink beer with a Canadian!! You may hurt yourself!!!! Gordon- your the man
They say experts do the little things well- Here is were Celebrity rises above the rest; when you are heading back to the ship and its hot and you have been in the sun all day- they meet you with a ice cold towel and cold water/punch at the pier. Its a small thing but no others (in my experience) have don that. The service on the ship, everywhere, coffee bar, wine bar, buffet, was all over the top great. We might have waited for a beer during a busy rush but when it came it was cold and we were not forgotten. Crowdedness- The ship sailed full but we never felt it was crowded?? There was always a little space we could find to be alone or a seat to find in the pool, bars, etc.
We have seen our fair share of cruse boat singing and dancing productions- we typically avoid most of that and do our own thing. However- we did really enjoy Justin Wade the guitarist on the ship. We both think he is the very best musical talent on a cruse ship that we have seen in 17 cruises! His voice is amazing and he did 3 sets each night. A few times his girlfriend ( one of the singers on board) would close with him and it was amazing. We became groupies in a week. Justin is not to be missed if you like acoustic type music.
St Croix- Relaxed on the ship and walked around town a bit. We really don't care for St. Croix, this was out third time there and it is just Okay for us.
St. Kitts- Took a taxi to Cockelshell beach for the day. It was great and the island is beautiful If you haven't seen it- the Fort is a must and is a world heritage site.
Dominica- We have been here a few times and didn't want to fight the crowds at the Falls ( they are beautiful though) We relaxed and workout in the morning and found a lone taxi to take us to the gorge in the afternoon. The Gorge is cool and the swim if fun. Although it is not a huge space and it can be crowed.
Grenada- took a water taxi to Grans Anes beach- it was a really fun day and the water/sun didn't disappoint. A note on organized excursions. We have done our fair share of cruise organized trips. I have been disappointed with the sail and snorkel as well as with the dive trips so we tend to do our own thing now. It is person preference-
St Thomas- We love St Thomas and it was another beautiful day. Went to Sapphire beach where we have stayed before. Have to say- it is not in great shape currently. The dive shop and restaurant have close unfortunately . This is a beautiful spot on the island close to Red Hook and the beach is beautiful. I really hope they can get things worked out and back to normal.
We both feel fortunate to be able to cruise for a week and escape the cold of the mid-west. We believe that you make your own fun and there really isn't a bad cruise. We have had fun on Carnival, Costa and NCL- however, we both really love Celebrity. It meets our needs with food, flare, and service each time.
If you are planning on sailing on the Summit I am confident you will have a blast. Life is too short and the great times can be hard to find. Take the person or persons you care for most and make some beautiful memories for the week. Trust me, life's issue's and concerns will be there when you return.