We sailed the Summit to the Southern Caribbean out of San Juan. It was my 5th cruise, I am 49 and sailed with my older sister...just the girls on this cruise. It was the first cruise ever for my sister, so it was interesting to see things from her perspective. We had a balcony cabin #7180. This cabin has a larger than usual deck, which was very nice. We had enough room for a lounger, a small table and 2 chairs. The cabin itself was adequate, with plenty of storage for the two of us. We had twin beds, which were barely long enough for us...we are both over 5'7. I'm not sure if you were 6' tall how comfortable you would be. The cabin did have a refrigerated mini-bar, but when we asked the room steward if we could open it to put our own soda in it, he said it really didn't keep things cool. I'm not sure if this was true, or if he just didn't want to bother with it. The television channels were...well, non-existent would describe your choices. No movie channel, but you did get CNN.I don't take a cruise to watch TV, but it's nice sometimes to just relax and watch a movie. I would rate the cabin a 3 star accommodation. The staff were all very friendly. I especially enjoyed the casino staff. Boris...you made our cruise so much fun! He was our great blackjack dealer. The spa staff were also great. I purchased the Persian Garden for the week. I'm not sure that I would do it again. The Persian Garden is an extra $99 for the week. It is basically a spa area with soft lights, spa music and steam rooms. There are 2 showers with a whole array of buttons to push...but only a couple of them actually work. The heater tile bench is a nice touch. I am a spa junkie, and I can tell you that Celebrity needs to improve this area if they want to charge an extra $99. The paper cups at the water fountain were pretty tacky. What about having some drinks like teas or even lemon water??? The larger Aqua Spa area is very nice and it is accessible without an extra charge. There is a nice heated pool with bubbles and water spouts and two whirlpool tubs. This is an area that is for adults, but I did see a few teenagers cruising through. I had a nice massage, but did get a sales pitch along with it. This ship has a Doctor on board who does minor cosmetic procedures like Botox and Restylane. Not sure what prices are like, but I had not seen that offered on any of the other ships I had been on before.
Dining: The room service food is bad, don't bother. We had breakfast one morning...plain omelette (basically scrambled eggs) and lunch-meat ham. Yuk. Coffee is not good either. Go to Cova Cafe and buy a good coffee. Room service lunch wasn't any better, so we gave up on room service. The main dining room was a mixed bag. The first 2 nights we were seated in a back corner at a 8 seat table where no one but us showed up. The waiter was inattentive and we sat next to a crying baby. After the 2nd night, I asked to be moved and we were seated at a table with 2 other couples. The waiters were much better and the service up to standard. The food however, was not up to standard. I really felt like the selection and quality of food has gone down hill since my last Celebrity cruise in 2004. The lobster risotto was really quite bad. Salmonwas dry. I would suggest sticking to the beef or pasta dishes, as those that I tried were decent. Shrimp cocktail was great. Pass on the seafood broth...yuk. The desserts were pretty good. All in all, the main dining room wasn't all that impressive. Normandie was a different story. If you can afford it, eat there! The food and service were really spectacular. I had an excellent filet mignon. The presentation of the food is wonderful. We had the dessert sampler which was beautifully done.
Ports: St.Maartin is beautiful and clean. We shopped, bought jewelry and the sat on the beach and swam. what a perfect day.
Dominica- We took the Champagne Reef tour. Pretty basic snorkeling tour with the addition of bubbles from the gases leaking up from the floor of the sea. Not much to see at the port, book a tour.
Grenada- DO NOT BOOK THE ECO_KAYAK TOUR. We did, and boy did we regret it. It was billed as an 'Eco" tour, but no one said one word about the ecology of the island on this tour. It was billed as 'mildly strenuous', but in fact it was VERY difficult due to high wind and waves. Our guides on this tour proceeded to suck down large quantities of rum punch during our rest period on a small island, then took off leaving us kayakers to our own devices. If anyone would have had an emergency while out on the water, there could have been a tragedy. I complained to Celebrity guest relations as soon as I got back on board the ship. They should not be offering this tour, in my opinion. Celebrity refunded me $16 of the $64 cost...gee, thanks.
Bonaire- We booked a snorkeling tour with Rene, who was recommended on the Bonaire boards. Very informative lady, knew all the fish and pointed out many things we would have missed. Good value for the $35pp cost. You can do it on you own, though. We were snorkeling right off the Promenade within sight of the Summit. Just walk off the ship down the bay front road about 1/2 mile. The water is shallow and there are so many fish, you feel like you are in an aquarium. really amazing.
Aruba- We took the bus to Eagle Beach and rented a couple of beach loungers under a palapa for $12. Beautiful beach. There were jet-skis to rent there, also. We had drinks and lunch there. Aruba is very nice and clean, but expensive.
Before embarkation we stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan. I had booked it through Priceline for $125 per night. We stayed 2 nights. I wouldn't rate it more than 2 1/2 stars, even if Priceline rates it 3 1/2. It's an older property and the rooms are basic. The pool area is up on the roof and small. The staff were pleasant, but no one really was attentive or helpful.If I would paid more than $125, I would have been very unhappy. The location for touring Old San Juan is ideal.BTW, we were there on Good Friday before Easter. ALL Of the shops were closed except Walgreens and the restaurants. That was a disappointment.
Over all we had a great time. The Summit is clean and well kept. The itinerary is good if you like water sports and the outdoors. If you are elderly and like to sight see in port, I don't think this would be the cruise for you. My favorite islands were St. Maartin, Aruba and Bonaire...which are all (or were) Dutch. Very clean, pleasant people, beautiful islands. Grenada reminded me of Jamaica..enough said. Dominica is beautiful and undeveloped. Enjoy your cruise!