My husband and I (47 yrs old) have cruised 7 times, all with Royal Caribbean. This time we decided to try Celebrity sailing from Bayonne to Bermuda. I have to say we were a bit hesitant at first....we assumed that the cruise would probably be comprised of mostly senior citizens. We were right in our assumptions. This is definitely NOT a cruise/itinerary that someone with teens or small children should take, especially at an off week like we did (5/22-5/29). On the first day, I was thankful that I DID not take my teens on this cruise. I think they would have jumped ship....lol!!!!
SHIP: The Summit is an older ship. Everything is dimly lit. We were begging for more light. However, It is clean and well-kept. I hear it is going in to be Solsticized. That is a good thing. Our inside stateroom had plenty of storage, more than Royal Caribbean inside staterooms. As far as the layout of the ship...I did not like it. There is not a "main spot" for mingling/people watching or activities (I guess I am spoiled by the Royal Promenade on Royal Caribbean). Everything is tucked away and separate from one another. It just does not have a nice flow. There are a few nice places: The Martini Bar, The Deck on 10 (outside of the Waterfall Cafe) and Revelations is an awesome spot to watch the Bermuda Sunsets!
DINING: We were not impressed with the food in the main dining room. As a matter of fact, after 2 nights of eating there, we started looking for different venues. We went to "the normandie" for a fee and let me tell you, it was well worth it. The food and service was amazing. A few nights we also went to the waterfall cafe for sushi and stir fry. That was enjoyable. The buffet was NOT good. The eggs were gray and watery....huh?? After two days of that...we ventured into the Aquaspa Cafe which served fresh, organic breads, fruits and made to order egg white omelets for breakfast. They even had a healthy choice lunch which was WAY BETTER than the stuff they were serving in the Buffet. I have to say, I did try the pasta station in the buffet for lunch and that was decent. Give it a try.
SERVICE: The staff was wonderful. Nothing bad to say about them. They don't know what else to do to make you happy. I give them high points in all areas!!!
SHOWS: The Fusion Band is AWESOME. Best band I have ever heard on cruise ship. Some of the shows are cute but seem to be similar night after night...bway show tunes, etc. The guest entertainers....we really did not stay for those shows.
PIER: Cape Liberty was a breeze this time around. However, last time we went out with Royal...it was a nightmare. It's easier to be dropped off but a hassle when you need to be picked up. Not enough spots and the Port Authority personnel are constantly telling you to move the car!!
ACTIVITIES: I was not thrilled with the activities. Wii Bowling??? Really?? BORING!!! Very little music trivia or name that tune, which I like. One night it was the two of us at a music trivia...no one else showed up!!! The cooking demo show...boring. The same ol' line dancing thing...day in and day out. I guess I am used to the Royal Promenade parades and the upbeat vibe you get on Royal Carib. I did not get that vibe on Celebrity. The Sailaway Party?? Where was it....we were sitting right in it at Revelations...so quiet and subdued.
BERMUDA: Beautiful, safe island. I did not find it necessary to book an excursion. We jumped on a bus for $4 each way and went to Horseshoe Bay Beach on our own. We stayed ALL day with no time limits. That was GREAT!!! That beach is a must visit!!
We did not eat in Bermuda, the prices are like Manhattan....very expensive. The dock is a nice place to meander and browse.
HELPFUL HINTS: Bring a sweater or light jacket. The AC is blasting night and day. I think they hang meat in the corridors!! Get to the pool early if you want a chair poolside because as usual, you have those people who get their at 9am and place their towels down to reserve. However, I did see the pool butlers removing quite a few after a while. YAY!
OVERALL: Given the option, I would probably choose Royal Caribbean for all my cruising but I have to say, I hear the Silhouette is coming to Bayonne. If I get a good deal...I'd give it ONE MORE SHOT!!! Not sure if i would risk taking my teens though!! It is definitely a "quieter, more relaxed cruise" and if you are prepared for that....GO FOR IT!!!