My wife and I are in our early 50's and have sailed 8 times on RC and once on Disney. We wanted to try Celebrity and this itinerary was great because it went to Quebec. We had been to New England and Canada on RC, but they stopped going to Quebec about a year before I booked that one. This cruise also did a stop in Newport R.I. and P.E.I. which we didn't get on our earlier trip.
As Diamond members with RC we were automatically made Elite members on Celebrity. We got the cheapest suite they offered. Because of this, we bypassed the long check-in line and were directed to a line with only one couple in front of us. According to the greeter "suite trumps everything" and the sky suites are not much more than the balconies. I'll get into other perks later because they are worth noting.
Ship: Summit is one of the smaller and older ships we have traveled on but was very nice. I have read a lot of reviews talking about how old it is and showing its age. Because of them I spent a lot of time looking for defects and found problems here and there with cosmetics and deck tables which were in really bad shape. I don't know that I would have noticed or cared if I hadn't been purposely looking for them. I understand the ship is going into dry dock next spring for refurbishing but there was little to detract from our experience as it was. Being a cold cruise the crew repainted the pool, sanded the aft deck and did a lot of re-varnishing since most people didn't use the pool deck much. The only real problem I had is that at 6'6" I had to duck while taking a shower. I couldn't stand in the tub and I doubt the refurbish will correct this.
Room: The room was small, about the size a standard balcony is on most ships. Storage was difficult going to a cold climate on a 14 day cruise but we managed. The closet was large but without a lot of hangers and there were only six shallow drawers and a couple small cabinets for folded clothes. I found the window from the living area into the bathtub (with mini-blinds) amusing.
Food: I don't know why I have seen so many bad reviews on the food. We ate almost every meal in the Waterfall Cafe. We went once to the MDR on the second formal night and the food was great there as well. We don't like eating in formal settings much and prefer to grab meals whenever we like. Waterfall always had a great selection. There was always a sushi area, stir-fry, pasta and Indian section. They also had American fare which changed every night. There was usually a pizza area and sandwiches. I couldn't believe how good the steak was on the buffet, tender and medium-rare. The only thing I had which was bad was the grilled lamb, over-cooked and tough. But they had Scotch Eggs! The breakfast buffet always had 4-8 egg stations open for whatever you wanted, along with the excellent waffles. If the lines look long, just move toward the back of the Cafe, there are usually stations open with no line. I also have read complaints about how you cannot serve yourself at places on the buffet. This wasn't a problem with me and I think it helps keep the chance of contamination down.
Entertainment: Celebrity seems to try to emphasize the music on the ship. The big band group was fantastic, as were the string quartet, Elk Island Quartet and A Capella group. The comedy show was very good. We were not really happy with the cruise director though. He seldom made announcements about events on the ship and just didn't really seem to be trying to make the cruise enjoyable. But his staff was fantastic, we especially like Lori, who did the trivia.
Staff: This is where the cruise really shined! Servers in the the Waterfall were singing while they worked. They all seemed happy doing their jobs and some said it was because the managers treated them well and didn't run rough-shod over them. We were always greeted by the staff in a genuine manner and they went out of their way to make sure we had whatever we wanted. I have never been on a ship where all the staff seemed so genuinely pleased with their jobs. And did they have talent? You bet. They did a talent show on the last night which was fantastic. James, from the Philippines blew everyone away. But aside from that, we had some other examples. We spent a lot of time in the disco lounge. It was the only indoor area we disgusting, black-souled cigarette smokers could smoke. Yovani and Winston were a real team up there running the bar. Yovani brought his guitar up and played for us one night. We were usually the only people there between 7-10. He was excellent and a real professional at his job. Winston had a fantastic voice and sang with the band every now and then when they started up at 10:00. There was also a young man who juggled wine bottles when he wasn't busy.
Perks: OK, here are all the perks we saw. A glass of champagne when you checked in. We had a bottle of Champagne in our room because of the suite and fresh fruit, canapes and desert tarts every night. When a clerk in the shoppes found out it was my wife's birthday, she got another bottle of champagne. (I think it helped that she bought a diamond ring). We don't drink wine, so we made some other cruisers happy and gave them away. Every single night there was a party for Captains Club members in the disco area and they got free drinks from 5-7. We never went to those, we had purchased drink packages before the cruise and could get whatever we wanted anyway. But I was really impressed that they did this for their members. There were also coupons for free laundry and other things along with a really nice leather-trimmed purse for my wife. Oh, we had a butler along with the normal cabin staff. How cool is that? And he really went out of his way to get us anything we wanted, brought my wife roses for her birthday.
This cruise had an older crowd. There were only 3 children on the ship and they were all from the same family. Most of the people were around our age or older, not many younger, mostly older. This made it very relaxing. Lots of people from the U.K. on cruises out of Cape Liberty which is nice. I was impressed with the quality of the cruise line and booked another for next September in Alaska. I'm not going into any reviews of the ports because I wanted to keep this short and have already failed. But I will say Quebec and Bar Harbor should not be missed, absolutely fantastic. And take the horse-drawn ride in Cadillac Mountain in Bar Harbor if you go.