For my overall impression, see the first part of this review, but it was a full ship the second week and as a result a bit livelier, thankfully! We changed cabin from 6079 to 8140 and it was better too. Everything inverted but we soon got used to it although I ventured into the wardrobe whilst looking for the toilets in the dark the first night! Thankfully, no accident's!:-) Was fresher, cleaner-had towelled robes instead of cloth ones and the stateroom attendants were better too. Better views from balcony too-no lifeboats to stare at! Worth remarking that the internet rooms on the ship were great- big Macs which was great for watching the soccer! The spa was good also ,according to my g/f!
Was also good that the attendants transferred our luggage for us on the middle Saturday so no hassles for us as we were ashore in San Juan.
Celebrity aren't too fussed about pool towel usage etc-RCCL seem to 'control' it a lot more-but we had 6 towels in use at one point-no problems.
Because we had cruised the 1st week, that was technically one cruise so I arranged membership of Captain's Club for the 2nd week. Gave you a few discounts on things but to be honest we never really took advantage of them but I'm sure if you're back-to-back and haven't sailed Celebrity before is worth doing.Just go to desk at Captain's Club bit on Deck 3 and they will sort it out for you.
We spent over $600 on alcohol the first week (included 7 bottles of wine for our meal) so may be good to keep that in mind if assessing value of drinks packages. We did meet a couple of people who were drinking copiously the last two days of the cruise to ensure they got the bang for their buck from the drinks package they had purchased.
The problem with back-to-back is the replication of the menu the 2nd week. We also moved to 4th Floor MDR in the middle, and the first two nights it was chaotic. Too cramped--one night the photographer put her foot in our wine bucket and tipped it (she kicked the bucket!), no co-ordination between waiters, the sommelier didn't turn up until course 2 the 1st night, the main waiter was rubbish the whole week. On a brighter note, the asst.waiter and drinks waiter were better second week but I would dine on deck 5 again if given the choice. However, as stated before, overall the food was generally pretty good quality.
They had a food-tasting event on Deck 3 on the Tuesday- a taste of the Normandie restaurant- have to say, the Filet mignon was outstanding! Costs $35 each if you want to dine there but probably worth it!
See part 1- but as the ship was full was livelier. Pool party on Tuesday had great atmosphere and the casino was rammed on the formal nights. The nights at Deck 11 Revelations ( I think I mistakenly called this the Rendezvous in part 1) when the ship's entertainers had their shows (60's show etc) were busy and had a great atmosphere. However, once they had finished the band would do half an hour and leave-enter the terrible DJ Ron and the emptying of the room. Benefit of back-to-back is you know what you missed the 1st week & what you want to miss 2nd week so can go do something else.
The ship's shore excursions were nothing great overall. We only did one ship excursion this week-all the rest I pre-booked with an independent operator or just went ashore and grabbed a local taxi.
If you are not doing an excursion with ship they will try to give you a later departure slot. However, we had booked with our travel company to go to a hotel in new San Juan for a day at the beach/ pool and to get use of the shower facilities etc at hotel prior to travelling so still required an early departure. i had to get this changed at reception desk . Wasn't a problem but look out for it.
I think they are pretty fair, but the 15% on top of the drinks is always a killer. probably better than RCCL where you have to hand your waiters envelopes at end of cruise which can be embarrassing if service has been less than great, but we managed to slip a few bucks to our waiter and sommelier the 1st week and to a great barman in Revelations the 2nd week.
'Celebrity Summit's passenger base is comprised mostly of well-traveled, middle- and upper-middle-class Americans in the 45 - 65 age bracket. A good number of families can be found, particularly in the summer and holiday periods. There are a decent number of usually well-traveled, international passengers, too.'--that's from Cruise Critic's own summit review. And I think for the 35-44 age bracket, it's just a bit too formal and staid. That said, we met some lovely folk onboard and on the excursions but for a bit of a livelier, more fun cruise experience, I would take Royal Caribbean over Celebrity anytime. The food is better on Celebrity , that's all! But we went for the itinerary and i think that's the only thing that would make me cruise with Celebrity again until I am older!
St Maartens is interesting- French side/ Dutch side-2 currencies etc-very different. Great beaches too, and pretty lively . Great duty-free prices for liquor and cigarettes. Very dry island , which distinguishes it from many others-well worth a visit!