My husband and I left Pittsburgh on Friday, Dec. 10 and arrived in San Juan around 2:30 in the afternoon. No problems with the flghts. Upon arrival we took a taxi to the Intercontential Hotel, which we purchased on Hotwire for $129.00. The hotel is very nice. The outside grounds are beautiful. They have a beautiful pool area and it is right on the beach. We were tired from getting up early and the stress of traveling. So, we just decided to just take it easy at the hotel for the day. We ate dinner at the hotel. Which was alright but I wouldn't do it again. It was expensive and not that good.
Saturday morning we got up and went across the stree to a small family style restaurant for breakfast. There was also a Ponderosa across the street. Then we walked a couple blocks to a local grocery store to get some things we needed to take on the ship.
We proceeded to take a taxi to the ship around 11:00 a.m. I told the taxi driver we needed to go to the Pan American pier and the Celebrity Summit ship. As we entered the cruise port we could see the Summit. The taxi driver lets us out and hands over our checked baggage to the porters. Meanwhile, the doors are not open to go in. So we wait in line until noon when the doors finally open. Upon getting up to the door we were informed that we were at the wrong ship!! Here the taxi driver dropped us off at a RCCL ship. The first thing I thought about was OMG they have our baggage. Now what do we do. You talk about panic! I went and explained our situation to a porter and he immediately took us to the terminal where they take the baggage. The security would not let both my husband and I go in. I went with the porter and thank God we found our luggage!! The Celebrity entrence was right next door, so we didn't have to go far.
With having a suite we were usered in right away. We were told the rooms were not going to be ready until 1:30. We did take a peak at our room and it just so happened the steward was cleaning the room. He was very kind and let us drop off our carry-ons in the room. Then we preceeded up to the buffet. Being we were suite people and one of the first people allowed on the ship the buffet was not busy when we were there.
This was our 15 cruise and the first time on Celebrity and didn't know what to expect. We booked a Celebrity suite on deck 8. The room was fabulous. What I liked was the seperate bedroom from the rest of the cabiin. The four big floor to ceiling windows were awsome. I didn't know if I would like not having a balcony but the windows were great. We liked having a regular dining room table to have meals served on, not those small little tables you normally have to bend over to try and eat. On all the cruises we have been on I have gotten upset that the only news that is shown is CNN International. I want to know what is going on back home in the US. On the Summit they had CNN American and Sky news and my favorite Fox News channel. The cabin had lots of cupboard and drawer space. The one thing I thought was not good was the bath tub. It is so high up that both my husband and I had a very difficult time getting in and out of it. I found it to be very dangerous especially if the seas would have been rough. Us senior citizens cannot climb up and down like you have to. There should have been some kind of step stool to use.
I have read several reviews about the Summit looking tired and in bad shape. I saw none of that. Of course, I don't go around looking for flaws. After all it is a ship that takes alot of beatings. I thought she was a beautiful ship. The staff was very friendly and always wanted to please you. We did not encounter any unfriendly staff.
On this cruise I would say that about 60% were the locals from San Juan and there were numerous families. I do have to say all the children on this cruise were very well behaved. The only thing we saw that was disturbing was right before sail away in San Juan there were 3 or 4 young couples together I would say in their 20's who where smoking and throwing their cigarette butts over board. Other than that, people on board seemed to be very nice. There were all ages on this cruise.
As for the food, breakfast and lunch were the typical buffet foods that we have had on other ships. The food was good and I enjoyed it. I liked that Celebrity gives you trays to carry your food. I also saw employees carrying people trays for them, especially elderly and handicap. I thought that was a nice touch.
Now for the dinning room menu. This is my own personal taste. I found of all the ships I have been on that the Summit dining room menu was what I would call "too fancy" food. I had a hard time finding somthing to eat. I ate alot of the so called off the regular daily menu steak. Their Monday menu I found was terrible. I only ate a shrimp cocktail and French onion soup. I didn't want steak again!! I always look forward to the soups on a cruise and I was looking forward to the potato soup until I finished reading the discription that said potato soup with frog legs. If I wanted frog legs I would have ordered them. Let soup be soup!! We went to the Speciality restaurant one night and the same thing. They seem to cook everything with mushrooms, spinach and/or sauces all over everything. The only thing I had to order from their menu was a filet mignon and I had to tell them DO NOT put anything on my filet. Just cook it plain. I do have to say the filet was excellent. Again, the food is my personal taste. I like home cooking, regular food. They seem to have alot of sea food on the menu which I do not eat.
We went to St. Croix. just go off the ship at port and walked around for awhile. Next, we went to St. Kitt. We took the sugar train ride. I enjoyed that tour. Warning if you take that tour be prepared as that train rocks back and forth alot!! Dominica, we had been there before and just walked around the port. On Grenada we took a tour around the island and to the spice factory. We enjoyed this tour very much. We were fortunate enough that at the top of the rain forest we were taking pictures and out of the forest came a monkey coming running right up to us. That was really cool to see. OUr last stop was Tobago. We hired a taxi at port and he took us for two hour tour of the island. We went up to the King George fort. The view from their was fabulous! We ejoyed that tour very much.
The seas were so calm all week you could not even tell you were cruising. The only time the seas were a little rough was after we left Tobago and we had a sea day heading home. It did not bother me and I am a person who is pron to getting sea sick.
We were off the ship and at the San Juan airport by 8:30 a.m. That is the fastest we have ever gotten off a ship.
SUMMARY: We really enjoyed this cruise. Yes, we would book with Celebrity again. Hats off to Celebrity for a well trained and friendly staff. The entertainments was nice. The casino needs to fix their machines as there were too many penny machines not working/on.