We flew in the day prior and stayed at the Verdanza Hotel in San Juan which we booked thru Hotwire. We got a decent rate on this but saw a number of negative reviews prior to our stay so were somewhat apprehensive. Our fears were for nought. While the hotel was older and had a few blemishes in the bathroom such as some rust and peeling paint in a spot or two it was very comfortable and very clean. The service by all hotel personnel was very good and more than friendly.
Embarkation was very smooth. While embarkation time was shown as 2:30 PM we arrived at the port about noon via taxi and were on board in less than 10 minutes. The cabin was not ready for an hour or so and we had lunch at the buffet until about 1-1:30 and then went to the room. Luggage arrived by 3 PM.
Summit is 10 years old and scheduled for a major update in January 2012. We had heard that the ship was looking worn in some spots. Again we saw a little of this in the bathroom and balcony and it had the old CRT TV but we did not come to the Caribbean to watch TV so it was not a big deal. The rest of the room was in good condition and kept very clean. Celebrity was still doing normal maintenance as they painted railings on the balcony during our cruise. We did not see anything major in public areas except a few carpet stains. Nothing major.We had an aft balcony cabin which was Concierge Class. A little larger cabin and balcony plus a few other perks. Our steward was outstanding and kept everything clean and responded to any request very quickly. All in all a a very comfortable accommodation and as good as we have experienced in our cruising history.
This was a very port intensive cruise but we only took a couple of excursions. In St Kitts we toured with 24 other Cruise Critic members with Thenford Grey. We have another driver but Mr Grey conducted most of the land tour. He as very informative about the island, plants, and history of sugar on the island. He also arranged for those who wanted to stay at a beach (Cockleshell) for an hour or so while those who wanted to return to the ship could do so. A super tour. We also did a tour with the ship's excursions on Grenada. A long tour of about 5 hours but comfortable and informative. A beautiful island. We were married on St Thomas 18 years ago so visited this site (a part overlooking the harbor) and did some shopping. We just wanted around St Croix and Dominica as we had visited both previously. The one day at sea was not enough but we knew that when we booked.
Dining--we elected to do Select dining so we could have the flexibility we desired. You can make reservations for a particular time or just show up between 6 and 8:30 PM and wait to be seated. We elected to share with others and never had any wait. We enjoyed this very much as we met quite a number of people and had a great time at dinner. The food was good to very good and the service was excellent despite the fact that we had a variety of waiters and asst waiters as we only had the same table once or twice. We also dined at the specialty restaurant-Normandie to celebrate our anniversary. The food was outstanding and the service excellent as well. We ate some much tho that we almost had to be rolled out . A wonderful experience!
Entertainment--The ships company of dancers/singers were very good and performed with such energy and enthusiasm that we had a great time. A pianist named Antonio Salci (I think) was aboard and was very good as well. Fred Klett was the comedian and did two shows during the week. Everyone loved him. He drew humor from his upbringing, marriage, and some hilarious bits regarding cruising. He got rave reviews from everyone we spoke to and worked squeaky clean which is nice for a change.
Disembarkation went very smoothly. We used coded tags of course and were asked to report to various lounges and than called to pick up bags. From our meeting time in the cinema till arrival at the airport was 1 hour. We had an 11 AM flight was wondered how tight it would be. We be at the gate after all the check in etc and had an hour and a half till departure.
It summary this was a very enjoyable cruise and we liked nearly everything about it. The most outstanding thing about this cruise was the service aboard Summit. The officers were engaged all during the week and we received the most excellent service from every staff member we encountered. I would have to rate the service on this cruise as the best I have seen in my short (13) cruise history. Often during a cruise we encountered a complaining staff member or someone with a bad attitude. We never heard or saw any of this on this trip. It would be difficult to sail another line after receiving this service from Celebrity.