We chose this cruise based on itinerary. We are an extended family of 5 (dad, mom, preteen, grandmother and aunt). It was our 10th cruise (previously Disney, Princess, Celebrity and 1 Norweigan) and we were looking for different ports. The islands did not disappoint. St. Kitts, Dominica, Grenada and St. John (by way of St. Thomas) were spectacular, offered great tour options, and friendly experiences. Frankly, we had a mixed experience on the Summit. Celebrity does many things well, IMO. The embarkation and disembarkation process was easy, clear, quick and painless. We arrived at the ship at 12 noon, went thru the Concierge Class line and spent less than 30 minutes getting onboard. The food was consistently good. Main dining room food was among the best we've ever had on a cruise line- consistently diverse, appetizing choices, great quality, and served hot. The specialty restaurants were terrific. Normandie was excellent- both in service and food. Try the goat cheese souffle or the More
bisque as a starter! Qsine was very fun. You order foods from different regions and share. We ordered too much but the staff was great about allowing us to cancel the last entree when we were overstuffed. The Painter's Filet Mignon was excellent as was the Treserviche. The staff tried very hard to please, were friendly, and when told about a problem, for the most part, tried their best to fix it. Our issues had less to do with the staff than with the systems onboard.
Physical Appearance- This is not the ship for those who like new and perfect. Our cabin had its share of scrapes, scuffs, and tears. The silvering was eroding in the bathroom mirrors, the lights flickered in the vanity, the hairdryer plugs did not fit the outlet and kept falling out. Still, it is very clean, very well kept and some public areas are gorgeous- Cellar Masters lounge, the Martini Bar, Normandie Restaurant. The Summit is a gracious "older lady" and her small size and uniqueness were very pleasing.
Concierge Class- not sure it's worth the $$$ to upgrade. Cabins are really no bigger than standard balcony. The amenities are not so easy to come by. The canapes have to be ordered every day. The order form would appear in our cabin after breakfast and had to be submitted by 11. The problem? We left each morning for an early tour. We missed out on the stale tortilla chips, olives, squirt of hummus and mystery dips more days than most. You must request the "pillow menu"- we never saw it nor was it discussed by the attendant. The "fresh fruit" in the cabin could be obtained by getting an apple, orange or pear from the buffet each day. Three people in the cabin was a problem. The pullout couch completely blocked access to the balcony. We chose balcony cabins so our child can go to bed while we sit out and have a drink. We didn't have that option bc we would have had to climb over the pullout to get back in.
Getting a Drink at Dinner- We didn't choose a beverage package. 1st night at dinner, no waiter/asst waiter took drink orders. Sommelier appeared, I ordered a bottle of wine, he didn't ask anyone else, and ran away. Tried to ask asst. waiter for drinks, she was not happy and when asked for a glass of prosecco, she told us that had to be ordered from sommelier. When my husband complained to head maitre'd the problem was resolved that night but on subsequent nights, further problems arose.
Getting a 3rd lifejacket in room- Called for a 3rd lifejacket on night of muster drill. Guest svcs said they'd send. None came. Asked again. Still no life jacket. By Thursday, had been annoyed enough with problems onboard, went to Guest Svcs to complain. Told by cabin attendant that we left lifejacket out in the hallway. What? In a nutshell, that was our experience with Celebrity. Very few things were easy- getting a drink, activities in the kids' club, finding answers, etc. The worst was the spa. Canyon Ranch launched the week of our cruise. I had pre-booked via email w/ Canyon Ranch. Got a "tentative confirmation" email but told to look for letter in cabin. No letter upon embarkation so on Tuesday, 1st day spa office open, went down to confirm. Told "no appointment for you- no accupuncturist onboard". I had never been contacted by phone, email, etc. by the booking company or spa. They didn't have the common courtesy to give me another option, just dropped the appointment. I made a fuss and was offered the massage of my choice at 50% off. Got the treatment, it was ok, not the best I've ever had and when presented with the bill was full price. My mother was double billed for the product she purchased. Long story short, this cruise was not an "upscale" experience. Bumpy service, lack of activities onboard, not a tremendous bang for our buck. However, the itinerary can't be beat and the crew really did try hard to please. Less
Celebrity Summit Cruises to the Southern Caribbean