I got a great last-minute rate for a Concierge Class balcony stateroom that I couldn't pass up, and had 2 of my friends join me for this southern Caribbean cruise out of San Juan.
We arrived at the port at 1130am, and we had dropped off our bags in our stateroom at 1155am. That was almost a record in getting on board! We used the Concierge Class line, which moved very quickly and efficiently.
I read many complaints about the balcony Concierge Class cabins on deck 9. We were in 9189, which has a wee bit more room that others due to the bulge in the aft part of the shift. There was *NO* noise from upstairs in the Waterfall Cafe. Obviously, because of the overhang, there was little direct sunlight during the day, but the advantages were having the balcony door open during the pouring rain without getting wet, and still being able to see the awesome sunrise or sunsets. I don't regret the location at all.
Having 3 people in the Concierge Class rooms with a fold-out sofa isn't the greatest idea. The sofabed was very hard, even after I asked for an eggcrate padding for the top. The middle section had a natural sag, and your feet were a good 3-4 inches higher up than your head due to the way the spring layout worked. When the sofabed was extended, you have only about 8 inches of clearance between the foot of the sofabed and the desk in front. I got a nasty cut in my leg trying to squeeze by, and got caught on a metal burr on the bed itself. So... if your going to the balcony, you're going to have to navigate carefully, or climb over the sofabed to get there! I would *NOT* suggest putting 3 people in that room, if you want a balcony for 3, get one with the pullman-type bed from the ceiling.
The bathroom was another story as well. We had black mold growing on the wall, around the top of the ceiling, and behind the light fixture. One of my cabin-mates pointed this out to the cabin steward, who just wiped it off. The next day, it was back again. We reported this to a deck supervisor, who had the whole bathroom scrubbed with bleach, and the light fixture replaced. No more black mold.
Concierge Class amenities were nice, and the service was good for any of the special requests that we had. I don't know what the regular room-service menu items were, but the french toast with orange butter was awesome! There are a few speciality items for those Concierge Class staterooms.
The Summit is showing her age in some areas, with the faded carpets, bleached out decking, stained walkways, ripped chairs, and the dated color schemes. Some cabins have already gotten new carpeting, which made a world of difference in the overall look. The showroom has great sightlines, and the moveable mini-tables are a nice feature to get in-and-out easily. The shows themselves were hit and miss, there again, depends on what you like. Never did the showroom seem even half-full.
Service in the dining room was good, never rushed and never long waits. I am confused about the complaints about the food and size of the portions. There was always a variety of items to pick from. Sizes were the same as on HAL or Princess that I can see. One interesting note about this cruise was the lack of people going to the anytime dining setup. The maitre'd explained that the option hasn't been that popular on the Summit for some reason.
The gym, spa, and T-pool were great; and the hours were a pleasant surprise, staying open until 10pm. That was a nice change from some other lines that like to close at 8pm!
Disembarkation in San Juan was mildly chaotic, as there are no announcements being made on board shipwide. You simply go to your assigned meeting area shown on your documents, and the personnel in that area will direct you when it's your turn to leave. Ironically, one issue is for the top-tier members, who have the luxury of leaving first. You could be an Elite member, travelling in Concierge Class; but if you miss your call in the beginning to disembark, you're going to be stuck in line with the rest of 'common folks'! I got a laugh at a lady complaining loudly about her 'GOLD CARD' and she should be at the front of the line. (her group was called 2.5 hours prior!)
All in all, it was a good cruise. Was it the best of my 6 Celebrity Cruises? No. Was it the worst of any of my 45 total cruises? No, far from it. I would go again on Summit, just not expect her to be up to the standards of the newest ships sailing today.