We just came back from our 7 day Southern Caribbean cruise on the Summit. We have cruised with Celebrity 3 times before this one, once on the Galaxy and twice on the Constellation, once in the RC Adventure of the Seas, twice in the PC, Golden Princess and once on the PC new Crown Princess. We wanted to take our family to what we thought was the greatest experience of Celebrity Cruising. My in-laws, my brother in law, his wife, their 17 year old son, my husband, our daughter (17) and I embarked on March 22, 2008.
The embarkation process in San Juan was excellent and very fast. Most of our luggage arrived fast but we had a suitcase missing almost until departure time. We all had a 2A balcony category cabin on the 9th floor just below the Aqua Spa. The cabin was fine and the bedding was the best. We had what it seemed to be a queen size bed for us and a twin sofa bed for our daughter. The closet space and the bathroom were smaller than on the Crown and Golden Princess, but fine.
The gym was very well equipped, the aqua spa pool was great and even the 20 minute $15.00 massages by the pool were great. The sushi bar, the waffle station and the Cova cafe were excellent.
The Cruise Director, Gary Walker was always around and when we asked for a 70's and 80's disco night he did schedule one and he made sure that he found us at the disco that night. Very nice detail!
The ship does show that it needs some renovations, especially on the carpets, bedspreads, pool floor, etc. The service was good but taking into consideration that this is supposed to be a 5 star cruise line, the Crown Princess had better service in many areas.
The waiters were not as friendly and looked as happy as on the Crown Princess. The first and second night at the Cosmopolitan Restaurant (5th floor) we had to wait for more than half an hour to get bread and water. The third night we had to complaint about it and from there on it was fine, not excellent, but fine.
On the main restaurant, we remembered the food on the Constellation (5 years ago) to be excellent, both good in presentation and taste. On the Summit, in every restaurant we ate, to our taste, the food was lacking seasonings, salt and most of the meat dishes (not to say all) were over cooked. The soups, needed taste, seasonings, and to be hot, the croutons on the Caesar salad were the smallest you can buy at the market, not like the ones made with chunks of good bread. We found the main restaurant too hot every night; it seemed that the air conditioning was not working properly.
We decided to try the Normandie! After the experience, we thought that thirty ($30.00) p/p for the Normandie Restaurant was excessive. We were very impressed by the service but the food was not as good as they claim. The only two things I found good were the goat cheese soufflE and the mint chocolate ice cream. The risotto was terrible, it was so overcooked that it looked like grits. Specialty restaurants on Royal Caribbean and Princess range between $15.00 to $20.00 p/p, and both, the service and the food were much better, they were excellent!!
Overall it was a nice vacation for all of us but I was a bit disappointed because we had talked to our family so much about Celebrity that we felt that this time the Summit was not up to the best standards of Celebrity. We even wondered how Conde Nast can select the Summit as the second best ship!