My friend and I chose Celebrity because my travel agent said it was the only large-ship cruise line she would recommend. It was my eighth cruise, my 4th on a large ship, but the only one for which I can give a decent rating. I had switched ... Read More
My friend and I chose Celebrity because my travel agent said it was the only large-ship cruise line she would recommend. It was my eighth cruise, my 4th on a large ship, but the only one for which I can give a decent rating. I had switched to Windstar for last 3 cruises and before that, took a barge cruise with only 7 other guests through French wine country. I had sworn off large ships until I tried Celebrity.
I was looking for something more affordable this time as I was traveling not with my husband, but with my close friend. We are two middle-aged women and the only thing I would do differently next time is lie and tell folks onboard that we are sisters. Once or twice the waitstaff mistook us for a couple, and other guests gave us chilly receptions sometimes until I casually mentioned my husband back home. Yes, I'm sorry to report that homophobia does exist on cruise ships, as we experienced some firsthand even though my friend and I are happily heterosexual. I think folks would have been friendlier to us if they thought we were sisters.
Our ports were St. Croix, Martinique, Dominica, St. Kitts, and St. Thomas. Best excursions were in St. Croix (beach day at The Palms resort) and St. Thomas (beach day at state park). The worst one was on Martinique and involved "seeing" turtles through foggy glass, below deck in very cramped space, in the middle of a harbor, with a captain who did not know how to handle the boat well enough for us to get more than a fleeting glimpse. Save your $100 per person, folks, and wait til you get to St. Thomas. Go to the state park and let Kareem, your host, fill you with rum punch and set you free with a mask and snorkel. We hung out with three friendly turtles, several fish, and discovered a crab living inside a large conch shell. Doesn't get any better than that.
Back on the ship, we couldn't have been happier with our little cabin on the 3rd deck. I have stayed in suites four times, but found nothing lacking in our well-appointed and very clean and tidy quarters. Our attendant walked in on us a couple times, but he'll learn. He was super friendly and new at his job. He just needs to wait for an answer after he knocks!
The food blew us away in the Tuscan Grill. We bought the 3-dinner package and ate there twice. Simply amazing pasta and wonderful staff. Also very fun culinary experience at Qsine with the strangest menus we've ever seen. Really, even the main dining room and the buffet did not disappoint, and I'm pretty particular. Never liked those other ship buffets one bit. I am glad they've done away with trays, and we never had to wait more than a minute or two wherever we went. Burgers and fries hit the spot after a couple excursions in the late afternoon.
We thought that Sarah and her crew did a fabulous job entertaining us while at sea. She was funny and bright, and made you want to hit as many game shows as you could. The other entertainment, especially from the comedian and the flair bartender, Mykola, also impressed us. Lots of laughing and tons of music to dance to. Luckily there were lots of women on the floor without their mates! Gotta love the muted dance party. What a way to bring groups who love different genres of music together in the same room. That was a real highlight for us.
Sorry to mention this, but the magician was a bit lame. That's why entertainment does not get the full five stars.
There is a lot more I could say, but no need to, really. We were happy with the classic beverage package. Plenty of offerings if you don't mind doing without martinis. You can still have a gin and tonic or Bailey's on the rocks at the frosty counter of the Martini Bar and watch Mykola juggle and share "real" magic tricks. He deserves big tips, everyone!
No need to spend a bundle to have a very, very good time on Celebrity Summit. I will venture a guess that folks who are disappointed must have spent a lot more than we did because expectations tend to go up with the price paid.
We enjoyed exploring Dominica on our own as well as St. Kitts, and learned what to avoid next time - if we're lucky enough to have a next time - while we pose as sisters to avoid any confusion.
A few final words. We were extremely impressed with our captain, Kate, who entertained us daily with her riddles and words of wisdom. SO glad she chose to aim high and reached the Summit! Here's hoping she returns after her well-deserved 15-week vacation. Read Less