Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by pd4st: A REVIEW - Just back from the Summit Oct 29 to Nov 5
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A REVIEW - Just back from the Summit Oct 29 to Nov 5
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan
My husband and I sailed the Summit Oct 29 to Nov 5 2011 in a Concierge class cabin on deck 6. We did Select Dining. The cabin (6143) is surrounded by the highest level suites (we purposely did this as we heard cabin service would be outstanding due to the close proximity to these suites). We have cruised about 20 times starting in the mid-1990's and have done RCCL, NCL, Princess, Disney, Carnival and one other Celebrity. We booked this cruise based on our outstanding experience with our previous Celebrity cruise -â€" a ten-day Alaskan in the late 1990's. We are a pretty active and professional working couple in our mid-50's.
Food was better than average, but like all cruise lines, there were some hits and misses. Hits for us were; a beef filet in the DR that was outstanding as well as excellent soups, breads, and ice creams/sorbets . Great sticky rolls in the morning at the buffet (not available every day though). Food always came out hot. I More could go on and on here but everyone has their preferences. Our experience recently with a lot of cruise lines is the DR food has fallen off. Celebrity still had some bright spots.
All public areas of the ship appeared very clean.
Public areas were tastefully decorated and spacious -â€" we never felt crowded (she didn't sail full though)
Generally polite, professional and helpful staff
Head Chef visible throughout the cruise -â€" approachable, knowledgeable and fun -â€"danced at Halloween Deck Party! He looks just like Chef Gusteau from the Disney movie Ratatouille (no kidding!)
Best pool band at sea called "Magnitude". Absolutely outstanding! They did a great job getting folks up to dance and party, especially at the Halloween Deck Party.
Fitness center was suitable appointed with the standard equipment. (On at least one of the treadmills the belt slipped though.)
No one to greet/welcome you aboard and direct you to your cabin. We, as well as others, boarded and wandered around with our carry-on luggage trying to find the elevators. Poor first impression. We can't remember this happening on any other cruise.
No active dance-exercise classes such as aerobics or Zumba. I would gladly have paid extra in the gym but all they offered were Pilates and Yoga. They did have a spin class but that's not my thing. Pretty sedate line dancing on the pool deck was about as close as I was going to come to a dance-type workout.
Cabins are tired -â€" she's going into dry dock soon to be refurbished and it's sorely needed. Several bathroom tiles cracked, grout stained with dirt and rust, old bulbous and blurry Phillips TV, TV remote held together with clear packing tape, faded carpet, broken furniture on balcony, etc.... We were able to look into the pricey suites and they appeared in much better shape and with upgraded electronics (e.g. flatscreen TV) and furnishings. The Concierge Class room we had did not seem any larger than a standard room except for the balcony.
Cabin steward was just OK and not that available. Perhaps he was busy with the suites. Not sure if it's worth booking this deck for upgraded service as it didn't happen on our cruise.
Normandy specialty restaurant was just OK and overpriced at $40 per person. (La Bistro on NCL is so much better.) My husband got the filet mignon in the Normandy and in the main dining room a few nights later. He said it was better in the main dining room. The one in the Normandy didn't have much flavor and seemed baked (even though they sear it at table side). The one in the dining room was seared and more flavorful. The Normandy restaurant food did not live up to its hype. They try to tell you that a comparable meal stateside would easily be twice as much. Save your money here. Instead of comparing stateside consider whether it is worth $40 more than the main DR. The place was dead and became maybe a third full by the time we finished at 8:30. Plus, no extraordinary dÃ©cor or ambiance. Dining room was equally as nice, aesthetics-wise.
Wine corkage charge ($25) was the highest yet for any cruise line we've sailed.
Jogging track was short and wrapped around the pool area making it difficult to jog without having to dodge people, drinks and lounge chairs. I'm sure those enjoying the pool did not relish the idea of having to watch out for joggers and walkers.
The port Celebrity uses in San Juan is far away from anything. This is our third cruise out of San Juan and on the previous two, the port was adjacent to Old San Juan. You could walk off the boat and be right there in Old San Juan. The cruise terminal used by Celebrity is located in an industrial area next to a small airport and NOT within walking distance of anything. Right off the boat is a long aluminum- walled building with a fence surrounding it. You would definitely have to get a taxi to get over to Old San Juan. Very disappointing and not picturesque.
Summary. Celebrity didn't hit it out of the park compared to other cruise lines. Food was potentially better but I am not sure that alone merits choosing them over some other excellent experiences out there. We would only sail them again if it were a good deal. Less
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