I would actually give the cruise 4.5 stars if possible....This was my 3rd Celebrity cruise with the other 2 being in the Mediterranean on Constellation and Silhouette. It was my husband's first cruise ever. We had flown in to San ... Read More
I would actually give the cruise 4.5 stars if possible....This was my 3rd Celebrity cruise with the other 2 being in the Mediterranean on Constellation and Silhouette. It was my husband's first cruise ever. We had flown in to San Juan the day before, staying at a lovely, small guest house at a great location in Old San Juan- 352 Guest House. The Summit did not sail until later in the evening, so we had lots of time that day to get to the ship and enjoy San Juan a bit. We had a nice breakfast at our hotel, walked the streets of Old San Juan for a while, then got a Uber to the ship around 11am. We checked in (this was very fast as we had done everything ahead of time even our pictures), waited for a very short time, then were allowed to board around 11:30-12. We got our Seapasses from behind the sign on our cabin door, dropped off most of our luggage, and started exploring. We found a spot outside behind the main buffet out of the sporadic raindrops. Everyone talks about how crazy the main buffet is that first few hours, but before 2pm that day, it never got very busy. We had a few "snacks" while we sat there for a while waiting for them to announce the cabins were clear. (although we never did hear an announcement). We sailed at 8:30pm and dined at 8:45pm in the MDR.
Our cabin was 2C 6028 - this was a good cabin, one of the Sweet Sixteen cabins with the double deep balcony. Even though it is quite far forward, we felt very little movement. I like the cabin renos. There are many spots for storage, but the closet rod space seemed less IMO and does not seem quite high enough for longer shirts. The bathroom reno is a great improvement. Our bathroom floor kept getting wet each day as if there was a slow leak somewhere, and we could not figure out why until I mentioned it to our room attendant and he said it's probably the AC unit dripping because it was so hot that week - sure enough, he opened the compartment to check, and that's what it was lol...I should have told him sooner - he must have thought we were messy people leaving wet towels on the bathroom floor every day. Marville was a great room attendant. Quiet and kind. The decor in many spots on the ship is all lighter, more airy colors now. It looks great IMO. Cafe El Bacio is still the same as it used to be - I like those yellow chairs :)
We had Select Dining all week, and I had made our reservation times in our Cruise Planner. Only one night had extremely long lines. The other nights we only waited max 2-3 minutes. They seated us in the same section each night as well which we liked. We often had a table for 2 with the high backs and did not mind them at all. We enjoyed the MDR very much. It was nice seeing the same waiters, sommelier, etc each evening. We tried Tuscan Grille one evening, and it was excellent as well. I enjoyed early morning coffee and a croissant at Cafe el Bacio and then breakfast at the main buffet every day. Everything was very good - I love the cold choices at breakfast - smoked salmon, fruit, bagel. The buffet was busy every day, but we always went around 9am which is peak time. We had lunch one day at the main buffet, and it was very good with lots of choices. We really like the burgers at the grill by the pool at lunch time. We actually had one dinner at the buffet, the one night the main dining room line was backed up horribly right at 8pm. The food was very good at the buffet, but it was pretty quiet and empty lol. It was definitely "private" lol.
We had the Classic Beverage Package perk and had no trouble finding drinks we liked that were included. One night I did get a chocolate martini at the martini bar expecting to pay the difference, but the bartender didn’t make the extra charge :) Perhaps he used the included alcohols. This was a pleasant surprise. Overall, I find the service on Celebrity to be excellent; however, I will say that in many cases, the bartenders aren’t the friendliest staff. (and I don’t mean at the Martini bar…just in general). They should really work on this. Many of them even after “getting to know them” during the week were still quite abrupt and standoffish. We are more used to some friendly interaction and missed that in many cases this cruise.
We went off ship each day but tried not to do any early tours as we liked to not have to rush our morning and breakfast. We spent 3-5 hours on shore most days and came back for a late lunch and to relax in the sun by the pool. It was extremely hot many afternoons on the top deck (there often was another ship docked beside us blocking the breeze) Up on the top deck, there is also not much shade. It would be nice to see a few more shaded spots up there. The pool was often very crowded on those hot afternoons, so it made it difficult to jump in and cool off.
We enjoyed the production show, Life, the a Capella group Revoiced and the Adult Comedy very much. They were the only shows we made it to as our dinner time was kind of in the middle. We had fun spending the rest of our onboard credit in the casino. You can cash in the amount you wish at the desk for either the slot machines or for promo chips for the tables. For the slot machines, the value you cash in is loaded on your seapass card which you play from in the machines. It is a bit tricky and several steps to actually get on to play. They did have a sheet with instructions. You can play the games at the tables with promo chips. Anything you win above these can be pocketed to cash in; however the promo chips cannot be cashed in. We didn't do very well with the slot machines but did okay with roulette. It was fun once we got a dealer who was helpful with some of us "newbies" trying to get used to how the system worked while using our promo chips.
I did the ship's tour with some more of the onboard credit. It was quite interesting; however, I still didn't see as much as I'd hoped of where the crew live, dine, socialize, etc. It was interesting learning about the recycling plans in place, food purchasing/ storage, and visiting the bridge. I will add here to watch your cruise planner for sales, because all the excursions I had booked in the cruise planner, I rebooked once or twice at lower prices. There were sales several times during the months previous. We liked the Rendevouz lounge area. It has had a lovely renovation, and is a nice spot to sit and have a few drinks, listen to the live music, karoake, trivia, etc. I wish they would keep things going all evening there instead of something for an hour there - then switching up to the Sky Lounge, then back down to Rendevouz.... etc... The 80s music and trivia up in the Sky Lounge was fun.
We did one regular shore excursion in Dominica. It was alright; however, we felt it was a bit disorganized. They never let people know where and when washrooms were available, didn't have bottled water, etc.
We had no issues or waits when leaving or returning to the ship at all except the day we docked in San Juan. The lines at the dock were very long for customs, and we were even leaving for the ship's excursion and drop off in Old San Juan. We were probably 45 minutes at least getting out through there. This was quite disorganized. We booked the excursion because it included the 2 transfers - in to Old San Juan then with a pickup and transfer to the airport for our later flight (and they transferred our luggage). We booked it because originally we didn't have to leave until 9:15. Once we boarded, our ticket said 8:15....And after the wait through customs, we got in a bus that waited probably another 45 minutes to head to Old San Juan. You'd think when booking a ship's excursion, we'd have been able to get right off and head out. A large bus picked us up at the prearranged time and spot and got us to the airport in lots of time. All our luggage was in a designated area outside the airport where we just picked it up and headed to departures.
Overall, we had a wonderful cruise, although I did miss the humour of the Kafetzis captains (especially Tasos) who have been on my previous cruises. Three staff stood out to us the most - Jason, who worked at the Mast Bar; Chelsy, our 2nd waiter in the MDR, and Raluca at Cafe el Bacio -they were excellent from day 1. My husband, who was very apprehensive and nervous about being on the water all those days for his first time cruising, was very impressed when it was all said and done. Fortunately, we had quite smooth waters for our whole cruise. Chances are, maybe we'll do another one :) . Read Less