We left Montreal a day prior to sailing. Thank god because between US Airways and the weather, we might have very well missed the boat, as many did due to the weather and power outages on the east coast.
We arrived in San Juan after midnight and checked into the new Sheraton Hotel in the convention center. The hotel is beautiful, our room was a huge King size suite and just gorgeous. We we awoke Saturday morning, we stepped out onto the Sheraton's pool deck and directly across from us was our ship. We could have walked to it but with the all the luggage and the heat, we took a taxi. We gave the driver $10 US.
As we had had so much trouble the day before we proceeded to the ship (Celebrity Summit) as soon as we checked out of the hotel at noon. We were on board the ship by 12:20. It amazed us the entire week how organized they were. Upon getting on we were told that our room would not be ready until 1:00 pm, but we could proceed up to the pool area (deck 10) were the buffet would be serving lunch.
We walked around the ship for a while, then at 1:00 pm proceeded to our room and sure enough it was ready. We put the things away from our carry on luggage and changed into our swimsuits and back up to the pool area. We made arrangements to have a couples massage for later in the week on our one day at sea. About 3:00 pm my husband went back down to the room and sure enough our luggage was in the hall awaiting us. As it was a beautiful day, without a cloud in the sky, we really enjoyed our time around the pool. The band started playing about 4:00 pm and really started to get everyone in a good mood. Activities and tours started about 2:00 pm. We choose the 'select dining', which to me was great. We could eat at any time in the dining room from between 6:00 pm and 9:30 pm. So dining was a very wonderful and leisurely affair.
We loved our room. It was a simple cabin with a very large porthole window. King size bed (very very comfortable - as I slept better on ship then I did at home the past year). Suitcases fitted underneath the bed, and lots of hangers and storage room in the closets. The bathrooms are small, but well laid out and again lots of storage. I have short hair, so I left my hair dryer at home. For those of you with long hair, I would recommend that you bring your own blow dryers or you could take all night trying to dry your hair. They gave us bathrobes, which were perfect for after a shower or just lounging in.
We loved the Cosmopolitan Dining Room, and always ate upstairs on the 5th floor. Although we frequently changed waiters, we often asked to be seated at Vinod's table as he took such good care of us and really knew what to recommend (my husband owned a beautiful French Cuisine restaurant here in Montreal and is sometimes hard to please, but never ever had one complaint!). Although we had said we would go one night to the Normandy (very high praise from everyone) we enjoyed the Cosmopolitan so much that we never made it. Every morning we ate on the 10th floor - going to the back of the ship were they were serving waffles and French toast. I started each day with a dinner plate stacked with fresh fruit and another of French Toast, waffles with blueberries, and sausages. A couple of times we went to the pizza bar and had made to order pizza, but the best afternoon was when we discovered the pasta bar, in which you choose all the ingredients for you sauce and they make it fresh in front of you... OMG it was so, so good. It was nice to see that the pool grill also offered the choice of grilled turkey burgers, for those of trying to eat a little healthier! I tried the ice cream which was great (with lots of M&M's on top), but with 85 to 95 degree weather, you could understand very well why there was a lineup at times! We did not have one bad meal or snack... and let me tell you they have it all... 4:00 pm high tea, with specialty sandwiches and desserts, sushi bars, BBQ, healthy buffet in the spa area... Great late night fruit buffets or chocolate and dessert buffets.
As someone who works out quite often it was very much my intention to use the fitness facilities on a regular basis, especially when I saw how great they were... but there was so much else to do and with the heat, the joke became that I waived to fitness center everyday as I passed by....
We tried to sample a little of everything. We lost money at the casino one night, the we went to see two shows and enjoyed them very very much... danced in the disco one night with all the 'young folks' and that was fun as well. We would walk around to the various bars and enjoy the various types of music and dancing. Karaoke was a huge success!
We are non drinkers, so we I ordered the H20 package and my husband ordered the soft-drink package before we left. I had liters of Evian water everyday and San Pellegrino at night with dinner. Towards the end, the waiters were putting my San Pellegrino in ice buckets as they would white wine, which was fun. I did have one Martini on our last night, they are $10, but it was a really nice drink! I would advised everyone to check out the water/soft drink/beer/wine packages ahead of time. I think you can save some money.
We did five ports of call - St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. Kitts, Antigua, and St. Lucia.
Friday was our 'at sea' day. It was extremely hot and as everyone says if you don't get a chair by the pool early in the day you are out of luck. There was little shade, but I was actually using the kids pool in the day care center at the back of the boat. I could go alone, because I don't think I could drown in only one foot of water, but it was covered and the water was cool, compared to the other pools and hot tubs, which were just not refreshing and really overcrowded! We also had a couples massage, which was very nice, but it was over $300 US for about 50 minutes for the two of us, plus of course they try to sell you a whole range of products.
I think we were the last ones off at 9:30 am because our flight was only at 5:00 pm. I thought they were going to have to call security because we really didn't want to leave.... We lined up and were off the ship and through customs in a matter of minutes. We took a taxi to the Venetian Jewelry shop in Old San Juan, where Celebrity has arranged that they store your luggage for free in their back offices. We toured Old San Juan for about 4 hours before we headed off to the airport. It was $22 US from Old San Juan to the airport with our two large suitcases and two carry on bags.
I can't say enough good things about the ship and the wonderful staff... we have never been treated that well in any of our world travels and can't wait to do it again...