With a decade and a half under its belt, 2,158-passenger Summit -- which regularly sails the Caribbean in the winter and Bermuda in the summer -- would seem dated on paper. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.
That's because the ship serves as a testing ground for Celebrity to pilot new dining programs and entertainment. No matter how many times you sail, Summit is bound to have something new and the ship attracts a fair number of repeat passengers.
One of the reasons for the large number of repeat customers is the culinary experiences, which can be found throughout the ship. Not just at the two specialty restaurants, or the fresh bites at the Spa Cafe, you'll also find food-inspired activities in a food-and-film pairing at the Rooftop Terrace sun deck and a number of food and wine classes and demonstrations all cruise long.
While all cruisers will enjoy Summit, suite passengers will find many more services that cater to them. Michael's Club, for instance, has been transformed into a haven for suite passengers and VIPs, where concierge service and complimentary drinks are offered. Luminae, a companion restaurant for suite guests, serves three square meals a day, just down the hall from Michael's on Deck 4. Both give cruisers staying in the Suite Class a feeling of exclusivity, and the ability to enjoy suite perks in private spaces outside of their cabin.
And while Celebrity's culinary and suite offerings mesh with the line's modern aspirations, not everything does. The entertainment in particular doesn't live up to the line's contemporary hype. While it touts its "modern luxury" amenities, the production shows feel dated, cheesy and a bit amateurish. Celebrity eschews Broadway name-brand shows in favor of in-house productions such as "Reigning Rocks," a tribute to British rock, and "iHollywood," offering a mashup of song-and-dance numbers from Old to New Hollywood (but laced together in a rather confusing way). Indulgence, a for-fee event billed as "Great Gatsby meets Moulin Rouge," doesn't quite hit the mark and feels more like manufactured entertainment than genuine fun. That being said, we found the comedians who performed to be edgy, and the magic show, "iMagic," was solidly entertaining. The Martini Bar was almost always packed, there were appreciative crowds for live musicians in Rendezvous and Sunset Bar, and passengers got their groove on in Revelations.
Overall, Summit makes a satisfactory cruise experience, particularly for first-timers. The crew, who are more outgoing, engaging and committed than we've found on other cruise ships, make what could be an average cruise outstanding with plenty of senior staff interaction (including photo ops with your captain!). If you're looking for a smaller-sized ship that keeps current with the latest Celebrity trends, you'll find Summit a good choice.