We traveled on the Celebrity Summit from January 9-16, 2010, a 7-Day Southern Caribbean cruise from San Juan, PR.. Background Information: My wife and I are in our mid-sixties and we prefer smaller quieter ships such as HAL and Celebrity because they are less hectic, more relaxing and with less emphasis on shows, casino, shopping, drinks, and other superficial activities. Nevertheless, these are all there, if desired. But they are not continuously advertised as on other lines. The Summit is too large for our taste, but it was still manageable. Ship Info: The ship is well maintained and clean. Although built ten years ago, it is in good shape but starting to show a few signs of age or lack of proper maintenance, e.g., areas requiring varnish or paint (the bow looks bad!!). The tipping policy (paying up-front) does not necessarily increase the crew's motivation to go the extra mile. Nevertheless, in general terms they were nice and very willing to help.
• Port of Embarkation: Embarkation was well organized and we were on board at 12:00 PM and had lunch at 12:30PM. Our cabin was ready immediately after boarding. Luggage arrived rather late at 5 PM.
• Stateroom: Balcony room in the 7th deck. Very nice but rather smallish, the bathroom is very small but for 7 days it is ok. Our stewards were excellent. The balcony was rather narrow but pleasant.
• Dining; Very good in the main dining room. Similar but maybe of less quality in the Buffet (open for breakfast and lunch). If you expect outstanding food this is not it. It is high-end cafeteria food. We did not try the Normandie. We had our meals in the main dining room (Cosmopolitan) when possible (only breakfast and dinner, and also a sea-day brunch). We had a table for two as requested. (we were assigned to the late dining group, which is a bit late, 8:30 to 10:30 PM). Most entrees were mediocre or just ok, presentation was poor. An outstanding feature of the restaurants: The deserts, especially the pastries and chocolate based patisserie.
• Entertainment; I did not participate in many of these, but it seemed ok. We enjoyed the violin/piano chamber duo several times after dinner. They are a group of East European musicians, that played classical chamber music as well as transcribed semi-classical and popular tunes.
• One salient feature is the large outside pool with sea water, very nice to swim, especially when everybody is exploring the ports of call (most days). The library is nice but not as good as the HAL libraries. The internet is slow as in all ships.
• Disembarkation: Rather slow and messy, we were standing in line for more than 30 min in a hangar-like building without AC. This should be organized more efficiently by the cruise line by better spacing disembarkation in order not to crowd people in an overheated room.