Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by elizadolittle: pros and cons on Celebrity's Summit
Overall Member Rating
pros and cons on Celebrity's Summit
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan
This was my husband's first cruise, my second (I'd previously cruised on Carnival). We were on the 9th level deck in Concierge Class.
Pros: Our room was very nice, with a small balcony, loveseat/coffee table, desk/chair. It was clean. The cabin attendant, Joaquim (sp?), was wonderful as was the cleaning person. Joaquim gave us good personal attention on a day when I was ill and had to spend most of the day in our cabin (brought us dinner, tea, etc.) We left him an extra tip beyond the required amount. The cabin was a good value for the price and pretty quiet too. My husband also liked the size and style of it.
Cons: On the ship, in some areas of the cabin hallway and stairs there was the distinct smell of mildew. It was pretty bad. I have asthma and this worried me. I wondered what I would have done if it was in my cabin. By the last day, we could smell this same smell in a corner of our cabin where there was a connecting door to another cabin. By that time I was More in the full throes of a cold caught onboard, which turned into bronchitis.
Another con: In the San Juan airport it was a LONG line to wait for the buses to take us to the dock. There wasn't much direction or communication. After two days of travel (for us) to get there, it was further tiring to have to stand up in line. Once we got to the dock, embarkation was easy and pleasant.
BUT, we'd been told by Celebrity that there was no specified time seating the first night. Whenever we were able to show up at the dining room would be fine. Not so! The staff was not prepared for us at 7:30 pm (we didn't get to the ship until 6:30 or so, our dining time was early dining at 6). Still, they fit us in, but we felt ill at ease as if we'd made a mistake right off the bat.
Dining: we did not care for our main waiter, Crescent. He talked fast, was difficult to understand, talked too much, every night spend too much time saying how much he liked waiting on us, was everything okay and how was he doing? (in a way that prevented real honesty)... By night four I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, but in the end wished we'd gone to the Normandie every night for dinner. It would have been more enjoyable for us, though our table mates were quite pleasant and suffered with us through our waiter's ministrations. Perhaps it was a cultural thing, but he seemed to be doing things by rote and looked like he wanted to be anywhere but on that ship. His assistant Carlos was great, though, and I wish we could have had him solely.
The Normandie Restaurant is a gem. The food was some of the best we've eaten, the presentation was pure art, the wait staff is specially trained and wonderful and the price... we didn't realize it until afterward but only $35 per person, plus tip! My husband and I are "foodies" travel just for good restaurants and my husband was in the restaurant/food business and his family in the hotel business. He is a good judge of food and said the dessert was the best dessert he'd ever eaten in a restaurant. We didn't dine there until our last night and said next time we'd eat there every night. Totally worth it.
San Juan airport: long long security lines. Be prepared to stand up a long time. There is a nice place to sit and eat in the airport. We had quite a wait for our plane. Less
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Port and Shore Excursions
The tour the last day, post-cruise tour, was wonderful. The guide was excellent. The city--I loved it. We ate lunch at a little cafe on the square where the bus stopped for an hour. It was delicious. Lots of little shops. I liked the shop in the old Ft. I would love to return to San Juan.
This was a fun excursion and worth the price. We didn't snorkel, but just floated around the boat (it was 20 ft deep there, and you can't go up on the shore, a protected area). The guides were three young 20-somethings, one who thought he had a better sense of humor than he really did, but other than the fact we were told to wear nonslip footwear but then everyone had to take their shoes off before getting on the boat (why?), it was a nice outting.
The pool was nice, beach was nice, lunch was nice too. It was 7 miles from port. The ride there was pleasant, took about 20 minutes, very scenic. The ride back...the driver decided to take us on a scenic route. Almost 1 hour in a bumpy bus, on a windy road, in a hot bus... not any fun at all. Totally ruined the relaxation I'd gotten being at the beach. I wish they hadn't taken that long route back to the ship.
This was a lot of money for what we got. zooming around for four hours in the hot sun, in one area, trolling for fish that weren't biting. The captain first off said he'd had 1 hour of sleep the night before. He ended up falling asleep and leaving the controls to his 20something assistant. When he woke up, he turned on the radio and entertained us with loud pentecostal-type Christian music and New Testament readings while he and all other guys but my husband drank beer. (I was only female). There was no pop, iced tea, or water for me. My husband and I shared 1 small bottle of water, plus the bottle we brought with us. Not enough water and 4 hours on a boat were not that pleasant for me. I would not sign up for this again, though guy fishermen who drink beer and want to get away from shopping wives, might like this trip. I'm pretty sure my husband didn't think it was worth the $175/person, I think it was, pricetag.
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