We usually venture farther afield, but chose this cruise for several reasons - a very high percentage of adults, recently upgraded ship, good friends were going, and we had never done a Celebrity cruise and wanted to find out if it's ... Read More
We usually venture farther afield, but chose this cruise for several reasons - a very high percentage of adults, recently upgraded ship, good friends were going, and we had never done a Celebrity cruise and wanted to find out if it's a cruise line we would use again
This Caribbean cruise won't be our last. We surprised ourselves by loving the whole experience, especially the beautiful waters and charming ports. The Summit docked for a crazy amount of time at St. John’s, Antigua - an appealing port with way too many people trying to sell stuff. Next time we won't even bother going ashore there. We loved all the other stops. MUST DO: Cuban cigar shopping at La Casa Del Habano in Basseterre, St. Kitts. Sit on their balcony, enjoy a balmy breeze, and watch the world go by as you drink FABULOUS coconut mojitos while the other half roams the humidor. What could be bad?
My partner snorkled in Bermuda - went on a high priced inflatable boat escapade to a reef. The currents were strong, there were no fish, and a woman got swept out and almost drowned. Our friends went on the shipwreck snorkeling trip and had a fantastic experience.
CABIN: we were forward on deck 7 just off the elevators in 7072. Never heard annoying noise and the convenience was great. The recent refurbishment meant our cabin felt up-to-date and clean. The showers were always hot, The bathroom was immaculately cleaned twice daily and virtually every time we returned from whatever we were doing, our room had been made up. The housekeeping was flawless.
The same could not be said for dining, which was a mixed experience. At Oceanview Cafe - the casual buffet - we spent a couple of days exploring and found a few favorites, which we ate whenever we went there - the eggs benedict station, the salad bars, and the surprisingly good pizza. With a few exceptions, the food had a sameness about it that was disappointing - flavorless, factory farmed eggs didn't help. There was no reference to the flavors of the Caribbean. The desserts were flat-out horrible, mostly fake tasting sheet cakes - like something at a bad Chinese buffet in a strip mall. The breakfast pastries were poor - heavy and stodgy. Sometimes a chocolate croissant was worth having, but the danish was awful. By contrast, afternoon tea at the Oceanview was worth having, with fluffy scones, jam and cream and delicious petit-fours, buns etc.
Food hygiene at many Oceanview buffet stations was poor - too many cooks handled food without gloves. Some staff appeared to have no professional skills at all. What well-trained chef would present so-called "coddled eggs" which were in fact raw - the whites only half cooked and the yolks not to safe temperature!
We dined often at Sushi-on-5 in groups of 6 or more friends- reasonable prices, great noodle bowls and well-made sushi. Other than one evening of inept service, the staff were attentive and friendly and we just kept going back.
We were pleased with more formal dining at the Cosmopolitan, for breakfast (much better than the Oceanview buffet), lunch and dinner. Overall the food was good and the service was excellent. We hit Qsine on lobster day- definitely not worth the extra charge. The food was dry and reheated - ugh. The restaurant was poorly ventilated, gaudy, overly warm and just plain second-rate. Maybe we hit it on a bad day.
The Martini bar was a highlight - great mixology and a lot of fun!
The "service" desk staff on level 3 were slow and unfriendly both times we had the misfortune to seek assistance. Example: our disembarkation day-tour of NYC was cancelled, and no one told us till the day before. So we went down to book a transfer to JFK to void being stuck with all our luggage in the city all day. We were told we could not arrange a transfer as bookings were now closed. In the end, after we persisted, she caved and booked our transfer.
We then asked for change of a $100 so we could tip housekeeping and the same unhelpful woman made some excuse and said she could not do that. Incredible.
On balance, we would return to Celebrity Summit without hesitation for another cruise, but would book Aqua or Concierge, at least, next time. We book suites on our favorite cruise lines but won't spend the extra $$$ without trying out the ship or cruise line at a lower cost first - as we did with this cruise. Read Less