Subscribe today
Get Cruise Critic in your inbox
Your Ultimate Cruise Guide

Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by jampat69: GREAT ITINERARY BUT FOR MORE LIFE/FUN GO ROYAL CARIBBEAN!(1)


jampat69
2 Reviews
Member Since 2011
9 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 3.0
Dining 4.0
Embarkation 4.0
Enrichment Activities 3.0
Entertainment 2.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Rates 4.0
Service 4.0
Shore Excursions 2.0
Value for Money 4.0

Compare Prices on Celebrity Summit Southern Caribbean Cruises

GREAT ITINERARY BUT FOR MORE LIFE/FUN GO ROYAL CARIBBEAN!(1)

Sail Date: February 2011
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan

This review will cover the first week of a back-to-back cruise. The reason I booked this was the itinerary -11 islands in 14 days--for me, the best way to see the Caribbean is by cruising. Serenade of the Seas had no balconies left when we were booking and had one or two duplicate stops on their back-to-back itinerary. But every time I saw it in port with us I wished I could jump ship. So here goes:

SHIP

I took us a couple of days to get our bearings-I think our previous cruises on RCCL (Liberty & Mariner) had spoiled us--the promenade is the centre of all that is happening so is easy to find shops, info, etc--we met some people who hadn't found the emporium shops on Summit until the last day! There seemed to be a lot of dead space onboard--meeting rooms, etc that weren't being used. Even the hairdressers was huge and empty when I went for a haircut. Also, to get a feel for what is going on you really have to scour your "Celebrity Today' sheet-everything seem to be More broadcast to you better on RCCL. There may have been great artworks onboard, but if I wanted to see that, I'd visit an art gallery. The ambience of the ship is fine though-just a tad dowdier and more formal and staid than RCCL.

STATEROOM

Was fine but smaller than the equivalent RCCL one. Yes, I know Summit is a smaller ship but..... our balcony was tiny and had a great view of the top of a lifeboat. Have to say I was gutted when I read the 'no-smoking on the balcony' rule--talk about an infringement of your rights-it's fresh air FFS! However, I was a good boy and it wasn't too much of a hassle to nip down to 4th floor-was on the right side for it :-)

EMBARKATION/ DISEMBARKATION

For UK visitors, we have to fly to Antigua first before getting to San Juan. I think this has only being going on for a short while and they haven't got it quite right yet at Antigua. Meant we didn't board ship until 6.45pm --missed the irksome safety drill but luggage didn't get to room until after 8pm which was a bit of a rush for dinner (we had 8.30pm sitting)

Between cruises, seemed a bit shambolic for folk disembarking and doing an excursion prior to their departure later that day but have to say the process at end of our cruise was pretty straightforward and uneventful.

FOOD

Celebrity definitely scores higher than RCCL for food. Quality and variety is better.

Breakfast: We are not heavy daytime eaters but freshly cooked poached eggs and omelettes at breakfast were great, as was pizza/sandwiches when we got back onboard after days out. Always seems to be something available-think there was only a couple of instances where we had to wait eg transition between breakfast/lunch. One of the best-kept secrets is the Cova Cafe--as we are generally not morning people (esp. on holiday), go there for a tea/coffee and a couple of croissants and you can take them with you off the ship.

Lunch: Only on the days at sea did we have this and was fine--freshly made sandwiches at Waterfall Cafe on Deck 10--for us, the best place on board to sit, eat and chill

Dinner: Generally excellent, if a bit red-meat heavy. First week, we were upstairs on Deck 5--better, less crowded and the main waiter and the sommelier were lovely, attentive and good fun. We always dine later as we go out during day, chill out at pool-deck with cocktails until the sun goes down and then get ready for dinner. Had a couple of interesting people at our table for a couple of days, and another couple who only dined once in the MDR on a 14-day cruise-buffet instead-WTF!!?? Food was pretty decent overall- wide choice, and now I know what a Vichy-soisse is. Formal nights we always dress for--why? because it's a cruise tradition and for me, adds to the experience. A good thing was you don't have to be there for 8.30 sharp- which suited everyone we dined with.

However, I would have liked to have seen a Caribbean 'dish of the day' and some Caribbean beer promos-- some of the beer eg Kubuli in Dominica is award-winning--the Cruise lines never do this which is a shame.

ENTERTAINMENT

This is where Celebrity falls down, IMHO. I think it's more geared towards early diners. We did catch a couple of shows in the (nice) theatre, and they were reasonably entertaining. However, the place was dead by midnight! Ok, I know it was an 8am arrival at all the ports of call but i would have expected a bit more life at that time. Even the Tuesday night pool party was quietish although I know the ship wasn't full the 1st week. The band Fusion were excellent (what a great voice the girl has) but for us were on at pool at the wrong times, and just as they had a great atmosphere going at the Rendezvous Bar on Deck 11, they pulled the plug. Cue the execrable DJ Ron--who played modern rubbish totally incongruous with the clientele on board. Hence, the place emptied tout de suite. A bit of disco with a great compere would have kept the 'oldies' interested and would have pleased everyone but not-to-be--BORING! Even in the Casino, nobody to generate atmosphere like with RCCL. Just a bit too formal and downbeat for us. Not asking for it to go on all night, but a 1am finish would have been more welcome.

Charlie Butler( guitarist/singer) at the Waterfall Cafe was great all week , but the other bands- Upscale Trio (like Chinese karaoke singers) & Melao Trio were shockingly bad. The classical duo were good, and the acapella group not bad. But we missed the parades/ parties on the promenade that RCCL do so well. And just the overall livelier, fun vibe we had experienced on our previous cruises.

EXCURSIONS

I'll do the port thing separately, but in the two-week period we had onboard, three of our excursions were cancelled. One being the helicopter trip over Montserrat, which I was gutted about. Only told us ten minutes before disembarkation--apparently one of the choppers was bust--so fair enough, and they gave us a free excursion of our choice from what was left. Overall, the choice was poor and timed for 'early morning, early finish'--back at ship by lunchtime. The weather was mixed 1st week , so folks who booked beach excursions were all back by lunch having spent a morning at a beach in dull, overcast conditions. For us, a day in Caribbean is best spent with an island tour ending on a beach chilling in the sun. Or snorkelling/sailing/beach then a tour. For that reason, we mostly booked independently or walked off and grabbed a local guide/ taxi. The ships excursions we did go on were island tours where the beach was incidental eg Dominica, Tobago - we checked weather night before and booked accordingly-seemed to be plenty of space on most things. Also, it's worth pointing out that for booking before cruising, the website doesn't show the same number of departure time slots available as when you enquire onboard.

TOBAGO

..is not in the drop-down box for Ports of Call so will quickly review here. As we knew weather wasn't going to be great, booked a shore excursion through the ship the night before-Tobago Island Explorer- was alright--had a magnificent Caribbean lunch on the beach in Speyside, but the heavens opened and had a half-hour storm whilst eating which was a shame,as was a nice spot. Was interesting enough, but there are nicer Caribbean islands with more going on, better beaches, and a more interesting history so this was the 1st and last time in Tobago- glad to have seen it though!

CONCLUSION

A great itinerary: 1st week- St Croix, St Kitts, Dominica, Grenada, Tobago, San Juan but Summit just a bit too formal and lacking a fun vibe to attract me to cruise Celebrity again. Less


Read more Celebrity Summit cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic's Celebrity Summit Review >>

Cabin review: Celebrity Summit Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Veranda Penthouse Deck (6) 6079

6079: Small balcony overlooking the top of a lifeboat. No problems with noise.

Port and Shore Excursions


Dominica is beautiful- a totally nature-lovers paradise! Tried to pre-book something with an independent operator but no e-mail response, so just booked 'Aerial Tram and Trafalgar Falls' through ship which was cancelled. So had to settle for Trafalgar Falls and Emerald Pools tour which was good but would have preferred an all-in-one tour which covered these and the Titou Gorge, Sulphur Springs etc.Swam in the Emerald Pool. The rainforest is beautiful and you could definitely spend more than one day in Dominica if you are a nature lover. Had a quick look around Roseau before heading back to boat. Interesting enough, but nothing very exciting.
Read 491 Dominica Reviews

Would probably get a 5 if the weather had been good. In fact, it was rotten-so much so that it was close to being a day at sea! Ship tendered and transferred us ashore by lifeboat. Due to delay in getting ashore, was glad I hadn't pre-booked anything. Grabbed a local taxi for island tour--was great, very informative, drove towards Grand Etang, nice scenic drive and showed us all the natural produce that grows here while giving us a talk of history of island.Went to Annadale Falls. Stopped at rum bar, showed us how nutmeg is produced etc etc. and had a look at herb and spice garden. Went to Grand Anse bay -beautiful beach but weather still poor. Not much time for a quick look around St. George's which was a shame. But seems to have the spices, rainforest, a more-populated capital, and great beaches so well worth a visit. Wouldhave be great if the sun shone.
Read 357 Grenada Reviews

If you are doing back-to-back cruises, definitely get off the boat before 9.30am on the middle Saturday and see San Juan. The ship offers 3 excursions- one to El Yunque rainforest, one to old San juan, and one combining Old & new San Juan. You can do them all in one day! We booked the rainforest tour, was told instead of airport drop off we would be returned to ship-that didn't happen and it cost us $20 for taxi from airport to Old San Juan. No worries, but was a bit peeved! The rainforest is beautiful- great vistas, colours, educational for kids- and the drive there and back gives you a snapshot of Puerto Rican life. Old San Juan is beautiful- the Spanish colonial architecture great, the walled city and forts picturesque, had great lunch and walk around. Great shops too- my girlfriend liked the Coach Factory shop- 50% off !! Has nice lively, friendly atmosphere and great for walking around, taking it in. Got back to ship at 5.45pm after a beer or two in the disappointing Hard Rock cafe. I'm sure you could add on the new San Juan bit in one day no bother- we took our time walking around and had a drink-cut that out, grab a cab to new San Juan and then back to ship. Would be shame if you had stayed on board and missed this- we liked it and would return!
Read 1380 San Juan Reviews

Nice, but boring and not much-to-do(or see) . Got a local taxi when we disembarked ship and gave us an island tour from Frederiksted to Christiansted , telling us all about it on the way. Nice enough, but pretty dead. Saw the Hotel on the Cay but glad I never paid the ship's price to go there--could do it way cheaper yourself. Next time, think I would do the Buck Island snorkelling--saw pics of it and looked amazing.

Weather was rotten in the morning- we had booked the St Kitts Scenic Rail and Sail trip through the ship. Was good- interesting and a great and unusual way to see the island and get a feel for it and it's history. Treated to lovely acapella singing by an all-girl group too. The road trip from the end of the line to the departure point for the catamaran was good too--a quick snap of island life on St Kitts. By sail time, weather was better so had a nice sail back to ship on a catamaran- good fun-sun, a sail, and a Carib in one hand, a rum punch in the other. The heavens did open again whilst sailing but quickly passed. Overall, not bad but would have been nicer to see it in better weather.

Worth pointing out that didn't see this 'combination 'tour on the excursions list pre-cruise.

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@cruisecritic.com to your address book.
We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.