Cruise With Our Three-Year Old: Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by Family of Three
Overall Member Rating
Cruise With Our Three-Year Old
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan
We have been on five previous cruises - two on Celebrity, one on Disney, and one on Royal Caribbean. This one was on the Celebrity Summit and it ranked above the Royal Caribbean cruise, but did not live up to our first cruise on Celebrity five years ago. Disney was of course the best cruise with our young son, but the Fun Zone for kids on this cruise was great as well. Our son is having some separation anxiety right now so he only spent a total of about 6 hours there, but the staff worked very hard at engaging him and keeping him happy. They had tons of activities planned and the staff constantly played with the kids rather than just sitting back and watching them.
The ship overall showed some wear, most notably in the carpet in some areas. The pool area also needed attention More with broken tiles, etc. The bathroom in our stateroom also showed some signs of age. My only real complaint however, was the odor that arose in our bathroom half way through our cruise. It was a sewer odor with almost a mildew-type smell mixed in. I tried to disregard it for a day or so, assuming that it would dissipate over time. When it got to the point that my son wouldn't go in the bathroom any longer because of the smell, I called guest relations and they said they would send a plumber. We never saw evidence of a plumber, the smell never went away, and guest relations never followed up with us on the problem. Since we only had one day left, I never called back, but was disappointed that the problem wasn't resolved.
The food on the cruise was better than Royal Caribbean and Disney, but it still did not compare to our first Celebrity cruise. My husband noted a lack of fresh fruit variety, and there seemed to be less variety in general than on our first cruise. This being said, I should add that the food was none-the-less delicious and fresh. I think just the economy in general is creating the necessity to cut some corners that may be evident in the food.
The service we received was excellent with all of the staff willing to go the extra mile to accommodate us.
We did not go to any of the nightly shows, but we did participate in several on-board activities that were great. We enjoyed the scrapbooking session where a very nice scrapbook page kit was provided. Also, the tour of the kitchen was very impressive.
Overall, we had an excellent cruise and Celebrity still rates as our favorite cruise line. Even with the cutbacks, the food was still outstanding, and we were very pleased with the value for our money. Less
Cabin review: 3077
This cabin had a great location. We were right beside the main lobby area affording us easy access to the kid's Fun Zone, the Dining Room, and the buffet restaurant. We never felt like we had long walks down narrow hallways to reach our cabin. This was the best cabin location we have had on a cruise.
Port and Shore Excursions
I would highly recommend Glory tours. Sara was a great guide - very knowledgeable and professional. She went out of her way to ensure that our young son had a great time too.
Barbados is a beautiful island and a great cruise destination.
We stayed at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Casino that evening, and it was a very short easy drive from Charlie Car Rentals to the hotel (about 3 blocks). We were very impressed with the hotel and wished we had arrived earlier to extend our stay there. The pool area was beautiful and very clean. There was a great play area for kids with swings, ladders, and slides for both toddlers and older kids. There was also a large kiddie pool with a slide that our son really loved. The Outback Restaurant in the hotel was good also. Of course, the room was very clean, comfortable, and everything was in good condition (tile, paint, fixtures, furniture, etc.).
The next morning we drove to El Yunque Rainforest. The drive was easy (using out TomTom GPS) and the rainforest was beautiful. I wish we had packed a lunch - there were great picnic pavilions at the entrance to the La Mina Falls trail, and the food that we ended up eating at the Yuquiyu Cafe in the park was terrible!! The hike to La Mina Falls was wonderful, and well worth the walk. Our 3 year old son walked all the way down, but was tired by the end and we carried him most of the way back out.
After leaving the rainforest we returned our rental car to their port location and took their shuttle to the port. This was a very convenient option that Charlie Rentals offered.
We met our guide in the designated area right where we disembarked from the ship. Those on the tour were divided into smaller groups and we boarded very comfortable, air conditioned vans to begin the tour. Our guide was Cosol himself, though the other guides that work for him seemed as personable as he was. We visited all the places listed on the website except for the waterfall, and only because it was recently destroyed by a storm on the island.
We made numerous stops along the road at scenic overlooks. We never felt rushed and free beverages (soft drinks, water, beer, and rum punch) were offered freely and frequently. One stop included a sampling of local dishes and fruits which we really enjoyed. It was great to sample so many different local foods during the tour. At the end of the tour before the ride back to the ship we enjoyed fresh baked warm bread served with cubes of cheese. Throughout the day Cosol pointed out the various fruits and plants that grow wild on the island and told us about their uses - fascinating!!
Cosol has done an excellent job of choosing great locations to visit. The beach between the Pitons was beautiful with great snorkeling and the water taxi ride there was fun with great views. We wore our swimsuits under our clothes and there were changing facilities to use at the beach before riding the water taxi back. The volcano was awesome to see as well.
Cosol was a great guide. He takes pride in St. Lucia and is very knowledgeable. Throughout the tour he shared both the good and the bad about the country and made our time there both educational and entertaining. We booked our tour by email confirmation and paid in cash at the end of the tour. His email communication was prompt, detailed, and accurate.
I highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to see the special places St. Lucia has to offer. We cruised on Celebrity and none of their tours encompassed everything that Cosol tours offered, and all of them were much more expensive. Cosol went out of his way to see that all of the guests on the tour were happy and comfortable throughout the day, and he was especially considerate of our three-year-old (who also had a very fun time on the tour)!
St. Lucia was one of my favorite stops on our itinerary.
The beach was nice and clean though the surf was a bit rough for our son to swim. Many people seemed to be enjoying the snorkeling. If you want any shade you have to rent a chair and umbrella at a cost of US $10 - $15 for two chairs and one umbrella. There is a restaurant on the beach and also some condos so this is not a beach with trees for shade and scenery. Also there were about 5 or 6 people who came by selling jewelry, CDs, massages, food, etc. so it was not entirely peaceful.
Magan's Bay beach was absolutely beautiful and I highly recommend it. It does cost $4 per person but children are free. Changing facilities were available and the beach is huge with beautiful white sand. Palms and other trees line the beach for shade. We were there on a Sunday afternoon and it was not crowded at all. It was also a great beach for kids to swim at because of the gentle surf and clear water. I see why it ranks as one of the top 10 beaches in the world!