6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
A little late in getting this review out, but not a reflection on the outstanding trip we had on the Summit in June, 2016. A little about us…we love our vacations, and have been on smaller and mega-ships, balconies and suites, and ... Read More
A little late in getting this review out, but not a reflection on the outstanding trip we had on the Summit in June, 2016. A little about us…we love our vacations, and have been on smaller and mega-ships, balconies and suites, and throughout the Caribbean and Mexico areas. Out time on the Summit was, from the moment we drove into NJ to the moment we sadly got in our car to depart, by far, the best experience we have had in 4 years of cruising on four different cruise lines. EMBARKATION NJ is a breeze; tons of parking, easy luggage drop off, and friendly porters. Parking is a bargain at around 150$ for the week. Now, I admit, we were spoiled because as Suite guests, we had no line, a lovely waiting area, and literally a 30 minute wait to get onto the ship. That being said, we noticed very few lines in general, tons of seating, and very helpful staff for all passengers. Why spend the extra money on a Suite? Well…in addition to the bigger room, the amenities cannot be beaten, especially literally getting out of your car and having a hop, skip and jump right into your vacation! When we got onto the ship, the touch of mimosas and champagne was lovely and refreshing. We had fun wandering around the decks for a while and enjoying the beautiful skyline. We then headed to Michael’s Club for a snack, and were greeted with a hug BY NAME by our Suite Concierge Maja… Oh “Falla, Falla” (Macedonian for “Thank you”) to this tirelessly cheerful and wonderful woman. She is an absolute treasure – there is nothing that she could not do for us, and was extraordinary in arranging unforgettable adventures for our son – a private galley Tour with Chef Wayne (more about that later), and meet and greets with the Captain and Senior Staff. Maja should be congratulated on making us feel like we were the most treasured guests on the ship – what a woman! She also arranged for us to be on the helicopter landing area as we pulled away from NYC – the most beautiful views of the harbor and with patriotic music playing as Captain Kate “buzzed” the Statue of Liberty. Michaels Club was wonderful – the events there were nightly and varied, from High Tea with a classical string duo, to Senior Staff meet and greets, nightly snacks, photo ops…also a quiet place to mingle with other guests. The whole of Michael’s staff was great. So…after meeting Maja, it was off to one of many fantastic meals at Lumiere. Again…I know it’s the Suite Restaurant and the service is expected to be a level above, but the entire staff took it to the roof! Charles, the Head Maitre D, knew my son’s name from 5 minutes in, knew his meal preferences, and always himself or Olga (absolutely wonderful smile and patience), escorted my picky and occasionally fussy 7 year old to “his” seat, and had his preferred lunch or dinner meal ready within 5 minutes of being seated. No fuss, no questions. All of the waiters, Vlad, Jose, and Louis the Sommelier were fantastic, but a special shout out for Dominic who was our main waiter, and made it his mission to make each meal better than the one before. I have heard criticism that the menus are limited…of course they are…why would you need more than 5 or 6 amazing entrees on a 7 day sailing? Guess what…all you have to do is ask, and they will make anything you could possibly want to tailor your mood. For me especially, a vegan, Dominic went out of his way to recommend / modify anything I was interested in on the menu. My husband said the lamb burger he had at lunch on day 3 was by far, the best thing he had ever eaten. We never had a bad meal, and I personally had some of the best vegan cuisine of my life. Louis was great in choosing wines / drinks to go with our meals, and again, knew our preferences by dinner on the 1st night. He was even great in helping us choose a wine for a lovely couple we met celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. A great hello also to a great couple we sat next to for three nights before figuring out that they lived in the town next to us in New York! They also agreed that the Summit was fantastic, and they are veteran cruisers (very, very jealous of their international trips). FUN FACTORY While waiting for our room to be ready, we enrolled our son at the Fun Factory. The Fun Factory staff, especially Nellie, were amazing – My son has some communication challenges and this was, along with our Disney trips, the best experience we have ever had on a cruise ship. All of the counselors were absolutely fantastic adapting to our son’s special needs, and when he had a few challenging days, they were 100% willing to work with us to make sure we had alternative activities for him. I highly recommend the “VIP Package” – for I believe 75$, this includes a special trip to the Bridge, a backstage theater tour, special meet and greets, and sleep-overs / dinner times. What a great treat for us as parents to have a safe place let our son play while we went on our own “play dates”. SUITE We splurged on an upgrade to a Concierge Suite (7138) from a Sky Suite, and were not disappointed. The room layout was fantastic, and having the extra living room and dining space was perfect for our family of three. The entire wall of windows and large balcony were amazing, especially for sunrises and sunsets. The only downside – it was very open to seeing other balconies. General word of advice – do not assume if you are on your balcony naked or in your underwear that no one can see you (just sayin’). The room was gorgeous, clean and the bathroom was spacious. There was more storage than we had luggage for, and we especially loved the changing room in the closet – perfect for a “work space” for my busy 7 year old. Literally the only complaint was like others, we found the deep bathtub challenging to get in and out of. Special shout-outs to our butler Kim who was amazing in finding daily treats for us, arranging room service, and making sure every detail was perfect. She was absolutely tireless, and her sweet smile and endless hugs for our son were truly welcomed. From housekeeping, Jose and Kumar were outstanding. Our room was spotless, the towel animals were fantastic, and it only took us asking once for extra supplies for them to be present every day. The best past of these three, was Kim, Jose and Kumar arranging a special anniversary and birthday celebration for us – what a wonderful surprise! SENIOR STAFF Of the senior staff, five stood out among all. Cannot say enough about Captain Kate – so personable, funny and available in every corner of the ship. She was heading to see her husband for her 3 months off-ship, and you could tell was excited! We had the great fortune of having a few private meet-and-greets with her, and my son absolutely fell in love. She remembered his name, and he was able to have 2 private deck tours – one with the Kids Club, and one with the suite guests. The Summit is a wonderful ship, and we are booking specifically next year for a cruise in which she is at the helm and Chef Wayne is in the kitchen. Chef Wayne gave our family the most incredible experience of a private galley tour – gave my son his own chef’s coat, and we spent 30 minutes touring the galley, and were amazed at the cleanliness and efficiency of the entire staff. He introduced my son as “the new head chef”, and everyone saluted and said “Hi Chef” or “Yes Chef” when we walked by. Seeing how this one small area produces amazing meals for the entire ship was so cool – I definitely rank this among the coolest things I have ever done. World Wide Wayne, Srjeon, Eddy and Oz are senior staff members who are ever-present making sure all guests have a great time, organizing events, games, entertainment – and still, remembered our names and faces every time we saw them. All four should be commended on their professionalisms and politeness. ENTERTAINMENT Great Broadway-style shows, wonderful “pop-ups”, and a fantastic cello-violin duo were highlights. The pianist’s repertoire was endless, and he was incredibly talented. We loved sitting down before and after dinner and listening to the jazz groups, pop singers, and even the country duo – really lovely. OTHER RESTAURANTS Though we had the luxury of eating almost 75% of our meals at Lumiere, we absolutely loved Café Al Bachio for coffee and nightly snacks. The Tapas restaurant Qsine was such the experience. Our waiter made suggestions for my vegan palate and my husband’s love of meat and seafood – the tapas were gorgeous, and we actually had to cancel a few “flights” as we were stuffed to the gills. We ate at Tuscan Grill twice – outstanding service and meals. The fresh pasta was perfect, and they even made a special pizza for our son. I had amazing soups and salads, and the sommelier was right on point with his suggestions. Some of the best Italian food we have eaten in a beautiful, warm setting. We did not eat in the main dining room, but loved the juice bar by the pool (yes…I do love a good morning cucumber and apple smoothie), and thought that the buffet was fantastic – so clean, and the staff were vigilant in making sure that everything was sanitized and keep either warm or hot. There were not a thousand options, but who needs a thousand mediocre dishes when you can have 100 really great choices. BERMUDA Beautiful island, and had the great fortune of taking a private tour with another couple we met online at CruiseCritic – Kim…you made this trip so special! Winsome Tours with Julie (the owner) was a private van tour for 5 hours of the entire island tailored to our taste – wonderful stops, feeding the ducks and fish, and sitting in the first chapel on the island were highlights. This tour was a surprise, and there is a reason that they are rated so highly on Trip Advisor. What we really loved about Bermuda were the clean beaches, lack of tourist traps, and easy ferry and bus access. There are taxis everywhere, and the restaurants are plentiful. A few thoughts – were were underwhelmed by the Crustal Caves – nice tour guide, very cheerful, but it was, um, a cave. A hot, muggy, sticky cave. FINAL THOUGHTS Cannot wait to come back – we loved Bermuda, loved the Summit, and loved the luxury of our Concierge Suite. Could not more highly recommend this ship and this crew. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Last year was my first cruise and I sailed on the Reflection. I was hesitant to try a Millennium class ship, as I enjoyed the Solstice class so much. The Summit far exceeded my expectations, and I didn't think that was even possible. ... Read More
Last year was my first cruise and I sailed on the Reflection. I was hesitant to try a Millennium class ship, as I enjoyed the Solstice class so much. The Summit far exceeded my expectations, and I didn't think that was even possible. The staff of the Summit created such an exceptional experience. I was treated like a VIP and was just a normal passenger like everyone else. It was rare that I needed to ask for anything, as it was usually provided for already. The food was excellent. From the Cosmopolitan to the buffet, all food was fresh and high quality. Qsine and Tucson Grill are well worth the extra price. The ship itself was beautiful. Lost of areas had been recently remodeled. While the ship does show some minor signs of aging, it in no way detracted from the experience. The celebrity Life Activities were fun and relevant. My cabin was fresh and well attended to. I was blown away by the entertainment. The shows were of Las Vegas quality. I would recommend sailing the Summit to anyone, no matter what the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
Our Cruise – Celebrity Summit –Roundtrip from Port Liberty to Bermuda– June 29 to July 6, 2014 This was a honeymoon cruise for my wife and I. I have personally sailed on NCL and she has sailed on NCL, RCI and Celebrity in the past. ... Read More
Our Cruise – Celebrity Summit –Roundtrip from Port Liberty to Bermuda– June 29 to July 6, 2014 This was a honeymoon cruise for my wife and I. I have personally sailed on NCL and she has sailed on NCL, RCI and Celebrity in the past. Between the 2 of us we have 10 cruises under our belts. We chose Celebrity as it claims to be a luxury cruise experience, as NCL’s Breakaway was doing an identical cruise, its port was easier to get to (In Manhattan) and was less expensive. Travel to Cape Liberty cruise port from Manhattan was reasonable and comfortable in a town car hired specifically for this trip, minimal wait for the driver to park and get our luggage into a porters hands and us into the line to get on board. Our embarkation, although traveling Concierge Class, did not seem to get us any faster service than others traveling in other classes. Once we checked in , received our boarding cards and picture taken, we were immediately allowed onto the ship. The Summit shows signs of age, rust in many places. It was recently “solticized”, thus it has newer TV’s in the cabin, and I am sure other things as well were updated, but it still seemed like an older ship. Dining was as good in the Main, Q-Sine & Normandie restaurants, although portions were small. The Café was poorly laid out and a lot of time was spent traversing the entire area to find what you wanted to eat and drink. Activities on this ship seemed very limited, at least for us. Bingo was very expensive and the games played were a joke, single line, four corners and X, thus total time of regular Bingo was about 30 minutes. Final day Bingo they added coverall and the drawing for the free cruise, this maybe added 20 minutes. Be advised, the raffle tickets for the free cruise do not only come from Bingo Players, casino also offers raffle tickets based on amount played in the daily lottery. Needless to say, on this cruise the cruise winner was someone who probably paid for it twice over, as I personally saw him put over 100 tickets into the hopper. The staff and service were deplorable, with a few exceptions. The Captain, Cruise Director, Captain’s Club Concierge and 2 Bartenders did their job very well. Our cabin Main cabin Steward was useless, her assistant at least was tolerable. Reminder, we were in Concierge Class, had to ask for towel animals, daily flowers in room apparently is no longer part of the package, although it is still listed as an amenity, free champagne that came with room, although iced upon arrival, was never re-iced until it was brought to their attention. Had an issue on this cruise and needed Guest Relations Desk to assist in sorting it out, useless they were. Met an Officer at Meet and Mingle who promised to help sort out our issue, promised to get back to us, never heard from or saw him again. Captain’s Club Meet and Greet is where we met Captain’s Club Concierge and she did everything within her power to appease us, but by this time things were snowballing out of control and the whole trip had been ruined. Please see my summary below for details. The one excursion out of three we pre-purchased was excellent. It was the Sunset Catamaran. Included bottomless Rum Swizzles or Champagne, crew was funny and informative, was not crowded and I highly recommend it. The other two were cancelled, first due to choppy seas and the other for some undisclosed operational issue. We managed to really enjoy Bermuda even without our pre-planned excursions and I will definitely visit this island paradise again. Our disembarkation was slightly hectic, we were sent from our aft cabin all the way to the front of the ship, the ships theatre, there were more people than seats and some were standing in the halls and aisles making navigation difficult. Our luggage was at the other end of the terminal and we had to wait in line for a porter to assist us. Travel from Port Liberty via Taxi is absurd, they have set prices that are twice what you will pay if you arrange a car service. My summary will not be complete without stating these facts as well. I secretly purchased the Birthday Package ($ 40.00) for July 1st and the Premium Romance Package ($ 225.00) that was to be put in our room upon embarkation. It was not, when cabin steward was queried, she stated that was to be done on the same day as birthday package, of course this was stated in front of my wife, and thus both of my surprises were now blown. This prompted the first visit to Guest Relations Desk, they assured me it would be corrected at this time and I hoped it was all taken care of. Unfortunately it was not, a phone message received 2 hours later stated it was not going to happen until July 1st. Prompting my second visit. The Premium Romance Package includes slippers, robes- not the robes they put in your room, as I expected, but a very cheap and light-weight version, a better bottle of champagne than provided just for booking the room, and a dinner at a specialty restaurant of our choosing. Well upon bringing it to their attention that the slippers were not going to be as useful if we do not get them until the 3rd night of our cruise they managed to get it done on that evenings turn down, a little late, but better than 3 days later. They were also to secure our dinning arrangements at Normandie for the evening of July 1st at 6:30 PM. On July 1st I just happen to check and verify our time for dinner and this reservation was never made, and this time slot was no longer available, we ended up having to eat earlier than we wanted at 5:30 when they opened. Overall I have had better service in an inside cabin than was received on this luxury cruise lines concierge class.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
Previous cruise experience: 5th cruise for myself, 2nd for my husband. All previous cruises were with Princess; we decided to try Celebrity as the recommendation of a friend who has done 20 cruises with "X." This was the third ... Read More
Previous cruise experience: 5th cruise for myself, 2nd for my husband. All previous cruises were with Princess; we decided to try Celebrity as the recommendation of a friend who has done 20 cruises with "X." This was the third cruise for Summit post "Soltisizing" in January. We began with a flight from the northeast on a day that was overcast with light snow; there was a problem with connecting flights arriving in our departure airport so we started our day leaving late. By the time we got to our transfer airport we were told to sprint to the gate on the chance our departing flight was still on the ground; if it was not we were given boarding passes for the next flight. When we got to the gate they were lining up passengers who were sailing on that day and we got the last 2 seats on the flight; this made paying the extra $50.00 to the cruise line for our tickets worthwhile. The flight we got on was an earlier scheduled flight that had not yet departed; our actual flight didn't leave until late in the afternoon leaving those passengers to arrive well after sail time for our ship. I usually fly the day before and won't do this again; too close a call! We got to the ship about 5 PM, missing the planned gathering of CC friends and the ship's lifeboat safety drill. We had an early dinner in the dining room, a pleasant meal and our first shot at escargot! We had an early morning excursion and after a brief ship's tour we went to enjoy our aft balcony for sail-away. Sunday morning we had breakfast at the buffet and departed in St Croix on our ship's tour to kayak the Salt River. It was a lovely trip with some great guides and I would do it again. Interestingly I HAD to book this tour through the ship because they had an exclusive with the only kayak guide I could find for the location. I have never had this experience with Princess; we were always free to book with anyone we desired. One can certainly understand why the cruise lines and guides would do this but I hope the trend of scooping up reserves on the best tour guides isn't the trend among all the lines. We had dinner in the dining room, choosing to request a table for two during our "select" dining time. This was the first of two formal nights and we were surprised to see so few tuxes on the men; to our memory there were more people who dressed formally (tuxes, long gowns) on our Princess cruises. We both dress up for formal nights, my husband in a tux and I in a long gown or cocktail length. We tended to request a table for two all week, which we had to wait for on only 2 occasions (and not more than 10-15 minutes); the way the tables were set up we had the option of either easy conversation with couples on either side of us, or keeping to ourselves. Although many people like to have an assigned seating time we enjoy the flexibility of the open dining time and we found that most nights we were assigned to the same area of the dining room and we developed relationships with a couple of the wait staff members and most importantly to me, the two sommelier's assigned to that section. On this evening we wandered the ship, heard a delightful pair of musicians called the Mozaika Duo (accordion and violin), and retired early to our balcony to enjoy the stars. On Monday we were in St. Kitts; this was the second of our two planned ship's excursions. Today we went to a restored plantation for a culinary demo and lunch. We are serious foodies (my husband attended culinary school) and love to cook. To us the tour was pleasant but we would have preferred a more hands-on class. The food was delicious, we learned about a few new seasonings and tried delicious sorrel tea, toured the beautiful garden, and the sun was warm. What's not to like in the Caribbean in February? When we returned to the ship I attended a wine tasting-food pairing program that was a part of the Celebrity "Life at Sea" program of activities. This tasting was recommended by the sommelier and the cost was $15.00 per person; it was well worth the expense! Celebrity has a contract with Wente Vineyards of California to use their wines for these shipboard events. There was wine, a variety of food pairings, and a very knowledgeable sommelier who walked us through the pairings; it was very interesting to see not only how the wine affected the food (expected) but how the food affected the wine (unexpected). I learned a lot and left with a very informative brochure about pairings accompanied by lots of tasting notes. After the tasting I went to the spa. I had purchased a spa pass for the week ($100.00) that allowed access to the steam rooms (one moist, one dry, one moist-herbal). Near the spa there is a pool of warm salt water and two hot tubs, there is also a locker room with a dry sauna. These areas outside of the spa are accessible to anyone. I made a habit of enjoying these areas almost every afternoon while my husband read or napped on our balcony. On Princess there was a similar area with paid access however it only cost me $60.00 for the week (it was 120.00 per couple and my sister and I split the cost; it was $189.00per couple on X). If I sail on Celebrity again I probably wouldn't do the weekly access to the steam rooms, but might do it on a per day basis once or twice; the free warm salt pool, hot tubs and sauna would be enough especially since these areas seemed to be largely undiscovered. I think on the "worst" day in these public access areas there were only 30 people in the area at any time I was there. After dinner this evening we went to the show of comedienne Fred Klett who was VERY funny and also touted himself as a "clean" comic; this is a refreshing approach once in a while, because many very funny comics use a lot of foul language. Not that I care one way or another about the language, funny is funny regardless for me, but he was a comic that you could have taken your teens to and they would have enjoyed. After the show we went to the martini bar and had a drink while enjoying Nestor Santurio, a vocalist-guitarist with Latin rhythms; we had a great time dancing to his music! On Tuesday we were in Dominica where we toured with Bumpiing Tours; a member of Levi's staff took us on the requested "wet" tour where we went to Champagne reef to snorkel and to the village of Soufriere, where we sat in the hot baths. This is the second time I have toured with Bumpiing (www.bumpiingtours.com) and I would highly recommend them. I would also recommend the Champagne reef snorkel as one of the best places I have ever snorkeled, including Bonaire with a private guide. It is a tough place to get into the water because one has to walk out 15-20 feet in moving surf, but once you can swim it's a pretty comfortable swim out to the reef. Wear a swim belt as you can tire easily between the early surf and the length of time you spend on the reef because you won't want to leave. I was in the water at least 1 ½ hours and we saw barracuda, parrot fish, clown and angel fish, and many, many others that I can't name. I had previously been to a location on this island to sit in the hot baths among the natural rock formations; Dominica is a volcanic island with underground activity that creates the bubbles as Champagne reef and the hot water for the baths. The location we went to on this day was more private; it appeared to be a state park type environment with baths built of poured cement where the warm sulfur-stained water was diverted to fill the "tubs." There were formed seats in them so that you could be seated and be up to your chest, or in my case, up to my neck in the warm water while surrounded by forest lands. A beautiful spot and a lovely day with friends! At dinner this evening we had one of our more memorable meals, a Cajun-blackened rib-eye steak with a red wine chosen from the Wendte tasting. We didn't go the show this evening, a musical stage production called "Sirens." It seemed to be well received but we just aren't interested in these types of shows after experiencing them on other cruises. We had quickly developed our end of day cocktail routine, Southern Comfort/rocks for my husband and a martini for me; we'd meet back at the martini bar and listen to the musicians in that area. This evening we wandered between our friends the Mozaika Duo and Nestor Santurio; Nestor was great fun to dance to! We also attended the Celebrity planned party for our Cruise Critic group. It was held in a bar that was located in an area where it took us a bit to find; when we got there the group was seated on a series of couches listening to the cruise director field questions and talking about the events on the ship for the rest of the week. It felt very stiff since people weren't mingling and it did nothing to help me to meet other people I'd been talking to on the message boards leading up to the cruise. The party broke up soon after our arrival since many people had late dinner seating's (30 minutes or so after we arrived, we were late for scheduled gathering time from dinner) but we were invited as a group to tour the bridge later in the week(we didn't go on this tour as we had other plans). Although I am often a night owl at home, I went to bed earlier while cruising due to early morning excursions and my husband's tendency to not be a night owl. We also really enjoy our deck time and would end our evening there watching the sea. On Wednesday we were in Grenada, where we toured with Mandoo (http://www.grenadatours.com/) who was fabulous! We went to the spice plantation and to the nutmeg station, where I was able to purchase beautiful, locally made fabric imprinted with nutmeg stamps. This is a cooperative that is finding ways to keep people employed in a spice related industry now that spice production has been diminished by hurricane damage to the trees. Mandoo is a great ambassador for the island and he doesn't mince words about the political situation there. His running commentary was upbeat and fascinating despite some of his topics (Regan and Grenada anyone?). Don't let this idea shy you away from touring with him; it was a wonderful day! On this evening we had planned to attend a Life at Sea program on celestial navigation however it was overcast so we didn't bother to see if they set up an alternative plan to star-gazing on the deck. We did go the comic David Merry's show; he was a combo comedienne and magician who was also great! He wove the magic into the comedy show in a seamless manner that was very clever. On Thursday we were at sea, and this was our second formal night. I had a massage scheduled and we had a lovely lay-low day on our balcony reading and enjoying a day of relaxation; I also spent time at the spa. I took a tour of the galley which started with an introduction to the many head chefs (pastry, prep, various kitchen location leaders) followed by each chef talking a small group down to the main galley for a tour. The program was well intentioned if not well executed. Some chefs were better than others at gathering their small groups in each kitchen area before beginning to talk about that area; in my group that left us scrambling to catch up to the group and vying for position so that we could see and hear. The head chef of the ship was touring his group behind mine and I considered joining them for a better tour as I observed him being more sensitive to the group's needs. Since this was a day where the lack of day's engaging activities was very noticeable for us, I'll comment here that overall I found that the things I would have enjoyed doing on Celebrity (more Life at Sea programs) were often scheduled while we were off the ship in a port. Likewise, much of the more off-beat entertainment was either very late (the staff talent show was at 10:30 PM, too late to start for an early riser who wanted to jump early on a port excursion). The musical talent was the same individuals and groups every night at different times and locations, which got old after the third or fourth day at sea. In addition to the duo and the guitarist I already mentioned there was a woman singer piano player (Liz Strauss) and an acapella quartet called "These Guys." A lot of the entertainment was pool games, casino related activities, or silly games such as a ship's version of the Newlywed-not-so-newly-wed game. Our group all got on this subject at the CC party and told the CD that we really thought they could at least change the questions from year to year and ship to ship. We did have fun one day helping a group of kids with suggestions on where to find items on their scavenger hunt list. This was our second formal night and my husband enjoyed the "mama's pork chops" for dinner. After dinner we strolled the ship and had a drink while listening to Liz Strauss play a "name that tune" game by playing the opening lines of a song on the piano. After researching this cruise and talking with our friends who cruise on Celebrity I had expected that there would be art auctions and viewings; there were none of these and my husband was particularly disappointed as this was a favorite activity of his on the Princess ships. On Friday we were in St. Thomas where we had hired Henry of EEE Tours (http://www.eeetours.com/); for a quite reasonable price he toured us on the island's sights, history and current economic influences. We went to "Mountain Top" the "home" of the banana daiquiri, we also went to visit a friend who owns a roadside stop where he serves fresh-made fruit and herbal drinks with or without rum, and eventually he took us to Megan's Bay Beach (our request) where we had time to relax and swim. While very beautiful Megan's Bay is not a good snorkeling location; my only other beach experience on St Thomas was a trip to Coki Point Beach, which had pretty reasonable snorkeling; there may be better locations that I have not experienced. It was a fine, relaxing end to our cruise week. This evening we attended a show that combined to two comics we'd seen earlier in the week; they were again very enjoyable. On Saturday morning we had a delayed departure from the ship that was attributed to slow customs agents; as concierge class passengers we were given the option of waiting in a conference room with coffee, tea and pastries available. We went there as opposed to the other waiting area in a bar for a more general (not concierge class) passenger group because we thought this group might be disembarked a little earlier, but it seemed to make no difference and we had no outside view. Fortunately for us we had a 3 night booking at the Sheraton in Old San Juan, so we had a few more days to linger before heading home. Some overall observations about our Celebrity experience: The price for this cruise was significantly higher than a similar cruise cabin (aft on Princess, 7 day Caribbean) and I didn't feel that the differences between the lines were great enough to justify the higher costs. We were in concierge class because it was what was available when I booked in order to get an aft cabin. We had a bottle of champagne in the room on arrival that we never drank but carried home (we arrived so late and tired and just didn't want it, then never got to it during the cruise). One of the "perks" of concierge was daily appetizers before dinner (6 pieces); these were made up too many hours before delivery to be very special, but most were ok, just not reason enough to spend the extra cost for concierge class; to my mind the only reason for investment in this class is future cruise credit if you are going to be a long-term Celebrity cruiser because you get more credit in their version of the captain's recognition program. Food overall was quite good; we can admire the challenges of getting out food that is beautiful, interesting and tastes good on the scale of any cruise ship, however our friends suggested that Celebrity food was 'over the top' great and it wasn't for us. I certainly know that food quality is very subjective, but overall I am happier with the food on Princess for the price. We didn't eat in the specialty restaurants at all. This was a mix of wanting to experience overall dining room food choices and quality, and not wanting to pay extra for a meal that might not be "worth" the cost. Our friends on the ship told of their experiences at Qsine, where I had considered eating. They thought the presentation was very unique and fun, but overall not significantly tastier than the food in the main dining room. Another ship acquaintance recommended that we order breakfast from room service each morning; we did this twice with overall disappointing results. We were spoiled by our coffee cards for espresso and cappuccino from the coffee bar near Bistro on Five and the dining room coffee delivered with breakfast was pretty awful by comparison. Our food was cold when it arrived, and was somewhat limited in selection. After two tries we started going to the buffet and carrying trays of food back to the cabin to breakfast on the balcony; we were only one flight down so this was not a big deal and was worth the view as we docked each morning. The other disappointment was that the lunch buffet had very little variation each day; it was always a pasta bar, an Asian bar, a deli bar, pizza, and fish and chips. Burgers and fries on the deck grill were good the one day we tried them; pizza options were the usual margarita, veggie, pepperoni and white pizzas; they were good but not exceptional and the daily special was gone every time I tried to get it (they seemed to make fewer of the special ones without adjusting to demand). A nice touch was antipasti options to go with the pizza. On each buffet bar there were some exceptional items, and many that seemed the same day to day. I can see when reading this comment that many folks would look at my list of options and think, who'd be critical enough to think those weren't great options? Let me give you a more specific example of what I am comparing to, lest you think I am crazy. On Princess the buffet would have different cultural options every day. So there might be two Asian days, and the choices would be different from one another on those days. On my Celebrity experience, the Asian choices would be essentially the same every day (maybe know favorites?) and they would change two of the options to something else each day, including some curries. On Princess the other days were not Asian, but were based entirely on other cultures reflecting the staff of the ship's kitchen and I felt I experienced a wider range of choices of things I would otherwise not have an opportunity to try. This might be riskier, because even as adventurous eaters there were moments when we thought there were things that we stretching our palates a little bit far. To be fair I need to go back to Princess and do a real comparison to these notes, not one based on my vacation induced fond memories, especially since a subtle sense of decline in overall food quality on Princess on my last cruise had driven my desire to try a different cruise line. Overall though I believe I prefer my Princess food experience, where on my third cruise I did try one of the specialty restaurants, which I found to be well worth the additional cost for both exceptional food and service (Sabatini's Italian restaurant). There were a lot of great options in the Celebrity Life at Sea programs but their timing was not conducive to enjoying them as well as a day ashore. They are great options on a cruise with more sea days to enjoy them and I wish Celebrity would consider shore time when scheduling these events. This program does stand out over Princess's similar offerings for its more interesting topics (celestial navigation, charting the ship's course, wine and food pairings and ships tours are some examples, compared to craft type programs and photography and computer classes that dominate on Princess). Similarly I thought that some of the more interesting entertainment options were too late at night for our tastes; I read in the last few days that most people return to their cabin after midnight so perhaps we are more of the exception to that rule about late night participation in events, but I'd love to know how others feel about this subject. Lastly, because I participated in reading and commenting on several message boards about the beverage packages (cost-benefit ratios can be discussed forever can't they?) I will add that we purchased a classic non-alcohol package for each of us which served us well. This got us each a large bottle of water on departure from the ship each day, all the high-end coffees and teas we wanted (dining room staff would go to the coffee bar for us at meal time if we requested this), and fountain or canned soda if we desired (think we had 1-2 all week as we don't really drink soda). This took care of our biggest daily costs. We do drink alcohol and with the sommelier's assistance we purchased 3 bottles of wine and some single glasses of wine or beer over the course of the week to drink at dinner. Additionally we each had one other drink in the evening and I had one midafternoon drink one day at the pool. If one is not a big drinker then I'd suggest this classic non-alcohol package ($14.00 per person per day) is a very nice option if you enjoy good coffee and tea and don't want to have to search for water in port. To me the alcohol packages were pricey and I came nowhere near the cost of them with my consumption. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
This was our first Celebrity cruise. We did a 10-day Mediterranean cruise on Oceania last spring which was our main comparison. We were concerned that although Summit is small for Celebrity, it is much larger than Insignia--but we never ... Read More
This was our first Celebrity cruise. We did a 10-day Mediterranean cruise on Oceania last spring which was our main comparison. We were concerned that although Summit is small for Celebrity, it is much larger than Insignia--but we never felt overwhelmed or crowded. Every aspect of this cruise was equal to or better than the level on Oceania, and the price was considerably lower even with the extra charges, so we consider Celebrity an excellent value for luxury cruising. In the review that follows I will call out the particularly excellent features and the things that we didn't like. This may give the impression that there were a lot of things to complain about so let me state clearly up front that we had a great time, Summit is a wonderful ship, Celebrity is our new favorite cruise line, and we will be back. Embarkation The embarkation process was very smooth, even though this was the dry-dock shakedown cruise and work was continuing. We took an early-morning flight from NY and were able to board as soon as we got to the ship (just before 2 pm but others were already on board), with no lines or hassles. The cabins were available immediately, although luggage was delivered throughout the day (ours was among the last, just in time to change for late dinner). Had lunch, went back to the Pan Am port building to buy bottled water, explored the ship a little, and attended the Muster Drill. We were very impressed by Celebrity's attention to the Muster Drill. Every passenger was checked in at least twice on the way into the muster station, the presentation was thorough, and we were given a complete printed version of everything they said. The crew stayed at the end for further instruction. This was very reassuring. Cabin We and our friend had inside cabins on deck 7 (we had initially accepted the Celebrity website's default choices on deck 9, but changed after reading cabin reviews on another website that warned about noise from lounge furniture being moved around early in the morning). These cabins--7101 and 7127--were completely quiet and located close enough to midship for a smooth ride. The cabins were similar to our inside cabin on Oceania Insignia, and completely satisfactory for our needs. The mattresses were brand new, firm but not hard, and we slept very well throughout the cruise. The new color scheme is nice and contemporary. The bathroom is very functional, and the shower stall is larger than on Insignia so I didn't hit my elbows. The new shower curtain kept the water where it belonged. We would gladly take either of these cabins again. Dining We went to Bistro on Five for lunch on embarkation. It was empty and I think we were the first passengers ever to dine there, so it was surprising that the crepes smelled of old oil. None of our three lunches was particularly good so we never went back there. Select Dining in the Cosmopolitan MDR was mostly excellent. The first night we had excellent service from our waiter Melvin, so after a less satisfactory experience at another station we always requested (and got) him again. We never had to wait for a table to open up. The food was better than Oceania, despite their gourmet claims. Plenty of interesting choices every night. Some items were truly excellent, a few were disappointing (having been spoiled in Maine we should have known not to order lobster, but it wasn't even cooked properly). Overall the food was at least very good. It was generally served hot; soup was always hot because they pour it in the bowl at your place from a thermos. One night I asked for a substitution of mashed potatoes instead of boiled, and that was no problem. Quantities were sufficient and we were encouraged to ask for more or different if anything was not satisfactory. Qsine was a hoot. We went in a party of seven, which allowed us to sample a wide selection of the menu. Service was very attentive. Two examples of the stellar service: one menu choice includes lamb chops which wouldn't have been enough for everyone--so they brought extras without being asked; when my wife asked if something contained tomato, the waitress immediately brought her an extra item that she knew was tomato-free. The quality of the food was much better than the description of Qsine led me to expect: filet mignon, lamb chops, authentic Indian recipes; not a loser all night and so many offerings that even if you didn't like something you could get stuffed on everything else. My only reservation about Qsine is that it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun if we had gone as a two-top. Normandie is to die for. There have been some snarky comments about other rave reviews, implying that the reviewers don't know from top restaurants, so let me state my creds: my favorite restaurants are Radius in Boston, Citronelle in DC, Eleven Madison Park in NYC, and Michael Mina in San Francisco. Normandie is on that level. Everything we had was excellent. We never splurged on the 5-course wine pairing dinner, but they were happy to let us order a second appetizer course to achieve a similar result (it was too much food). I will single out the rack of lamb because of comments in other reviews about the MDR version only including 2 chops; in Normandie you get 4 chops which add up to a very satisfying portion. We made another reservation before we left, and would have gone a third time except that they were sold out. Next time we'll book three nights in Normandie before sailing. We had all our breakfasts in the buffet (which is called Waterfall Cafe on the deck plans and Oceanview cafe in Celebrity Today). There was a large selection of meats, eggs and pastries. Fresh fruit was disappointing: we rarely saw fresh berries and they were not top quality; even the melons and pineapple weren't fully ripe. I felt that all the pastries were overcooked, but this is true of many of the bakeries where we live (except that at home we can shop at the other bakeries). There were at least five kinds of sausage but I didn't really like any of them (or the bacon); and the waffles that some reviewers rave about did not appeal to me (I prefer the ones at Hampton Inn). Luckily there was almost always Eggs Benedict so I only sampled these other choices for informational purposes... All the above comments are based on our likes and dislikes; your mileage may vary. We never tried the buffet for lunch or dinner. Coffee was consistently terrible in the buffet. There has been a thread about this, but I wasn't sure what they meant by terrible. It wasn't too strong or too weak, it was that it tasted bad. It also varied from day to day in strength and flavor (one day for some reason it was pretty good, but only the once). The chamomile tea was weak, even with two tea bags. The ship's water also tasted bad, so I don't know how you could make good coffee or tea--but they do in Normandie (where the Chamomile Tisane was excellent). Entertainment We aren't big on shows or casinos, and we like to dine late so the shows are often over by the time we finish dinner. We did attend parts of two of the shows on Summit and were impressed by the quality compared to Oceania. But I'll be snarky here and state that these are definitely not "Broadway quality." Entertaining, yes--but nothing like a real Broadway show. The dance classes were enjoyed by DW, and there was such a wide range of ability that even my two left feet could have joined in. Luckily I had the camera and instructions to take pictures... The Cruise Critic reception was scheduled at 8 pm early in the cruise in the Rendezvous lounge. I popped in between dinner courses as the group was being welcomed by the Cruise Director. It's a nice gesture, but it's very difficult to find a time that works for everybody. Smoking Three cheers for Celebrity's very restrictive smoking policy. It was great to be able to visit every single area inside the ship and never worry about being assaulted by secondhand smoke, and on deck there was enough of a breeze that I didn't have to choose my path to avoid the smokers. I'm glad that the whole industry is moving this way, so Celebrity won't feel any pressure to backtrack on this excellent policy. Shopping We did our shopping in port, so we only browsed through the boutiques on board. A check of liquor prices at a duty-free shop in St. Thomas showed that Celebrity is fairly priced. Photographers We also brought our own camera, so we weren't tempted by the efforts of the shipboard photographers--who were getting a little pushy by the end of the cruise [no, I don't want my picture taken with someone in a dolphin suit]. Oceania has dropped this "service," do we only realized in retrospect how much we enjoyed its absence... Shore Excursions This was an area where Oceania really fell down: the range of offerings was slim and prices were dramatically higher than you could do on your own, and as a result they were often cancelled due to poor sales. Celebrity was much better: many more choices and fair prices. We did most ports independently either because someone from our roll call had made arrangements or because we just wanted a quiet day at the beach or shopping, but the two Celebrity tours we took (described below) were excellent and well worth it. Announcements and Muzak First the good news: announcements were kept to a minimum, and since they are only in English they are short and sweet. Canned music, on the other hand, shows the schizophrenia of Celebrity's attempt to reach out to a younger clientele: it was often too loud and the styles didn't match Summit's classy decor, but it also wasn't authentic enough to really appeal to those who like that stuff. There were a couple of computer-generated tracks that were really annoying (one sounded like a new synthesizer-based dental drill; the other like a violin section tuning up for 10 minutes at a stretch). We complained about the sound level in Normandie one night, and it was lowered; a few minutes later someone else must have complained, because it was replaced by Classical music which fit Normandie much better--please make that change permanent! Post-Dry Dock Teething Problems I expected to see much more last-minute work going on. The aft end of Deck 11 was roped off the entire cruise while they completed the new AQ cabins there, and that also blocked off the new aft Deck 12 (with the rumored basketball court which I hope is not real). There was constant painting, but this is true of all cruise ships trying vainly to prevent the inevitable oxidation process that salt brings to steel. The only real problem on this shakedown cruise was a complete failure of water pressure on day 2, which prevented showers before dinner on the first formal night; we were told that the kitchen coped by cooking with Evian, which given the bad taste of the tap water would seem like a good idea all the time. But all in all this was an incredibly smooth shakedown cruise, and kudos to the entire Celebrity team involved in the Solsticization program. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
FOOD: The Summit still has trays in the buffet area for carrying your food which is greatly appreciated. There is a cloth on the tray and the eating utensils are wrapped in a napkin next to the trays. If you look like you may need ... Read More
FOOD: The Summit still has trays in the buffet area for carrying your food which is greatly appreciated. There is a cloth on the tray and the eating utensils are wrapped in a napkin next to the trays. If you look like you may need assistance, There is always a staff member discretely asking if you would like any assistance. We ate most breakfasts in Michael's Club or the Waterfall Buffet. There was a "Poached Eggs and More" near the exit to the fantail area of the ship. Eggs Benedict were made as you asked for them, not before hand. Omelets were made to order at the Omelet Station. The chef always had two omelet pans going at the same time to reduce the time at this most popular station. Pastries from the bakery were light and fluffy. Oatmeal was very creamy as it always is on a celebrity ship. The coffee is always hot and the wait staff came by the tables every few minutes with a refill insulated urn to see if you wanted more. If you wanted, there was open seating for breakfast in the main dining room where you ordered off the menu. Lunch was usually eaten near the pool from the AquaSpa Cafe which had Light and Healthy Breakfasts, Healthy Choice Dining for lunch. Or the Poolside Grill where I had a "Naked Cheeseburger" (no bun) which got a chuckle from the chefs the first day I ordered it. Along with the lettuce, pickles, & onion. They patties were taken off of the grill when I asked for it. Hotdogs were also grilled to perfection. The Cova Cafe & Pasticceria had Croissants & Danish along with Tea Sandwiches, Pastries and Cova Tapas. The Cosmopolitan food was excellent at dinner. Escargot A La Bourgogne is a must appetizer . Everything that was ordered at our table was prepared to perfection. We had wine at every meal and our Sommelier kept our remaining bottle at the correct temperature until the next evening. During the cruise I forced myself to forgo an appetizer or desert during the same meal because I did not want to gain too much weight. The waiters were attentive and always at hand to pour more water, and if you needed assistance being seated or managing your food (cutting a steak for instance) they would assist you in that if you let them. This is an appreciated benefit for a person who has a disability that hinders the use of a hand. On our sea day, there was a brunch in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant from 10: AM to 2:00 PM that was over the top in what was laid out for your dining pleasure. There is an ice-cream station that has scooped dip creamy ice-cream in about eight flavors as well as soft ice-cream. It is served in either a dish or cones. I prefer a dish because I can then get the toppings like Hot Fudge, Reeces Pieces, M &M's or some of the others and they do not fall off STATEROOMS: We had a Veranda Stateroom that is adequate in size and a shower that was quite roomy. Towels are changed daily unless you wish to participate in "Save The Waves" program by using them for two days like you would at home. If you leave them on the bathroom floor they are changed if you hang them up, they are left for you to use again. Water pressure was great and the hot water was available within two seconds. Our stateroom that was always clean and straightened up. We always keep our shoes and clothes in the closet or drawers and our suitcases under the bed. I do have a battery charger on the desk along with my BioNess unit, stationary, pens, and "The Celebrity Today" but that is just normal stuff. The Room steward could be found somewhere in the hall or a stateroom running a vacuum or cleaning. He was very attentive and always greeted us upon meeting. ENTERTAINMENT: "Summit's g\Got Talent" was a show where the crew entertained us, and they all were very good. "Celebrity Showtime Hollywood" was an evening of spectacular music where we actually knew the words to and could sing with your neighbor sitting beside you. The standup comedian Fred Klett started out very slowly.....About two seconds worth. From then on until the final curtain, I laughed so hard my sides were physically hurting. He is a family oriented comedian that one would not mind taking their Mother, Sister, Daughter, or Grandmother to see. It was truly a Hilarious show that everyone in the audience related to on many levels. His encore routine was also great as well as different material Magnitude was the party band playing island music poolside as well as other locations around the ship. Other musical performances were by: Antonio Salci along with the Celebrity Orchestra was a fantastic concert event. Lizl Strauss, Piano and vocalist. Salvador Hasard guitarist & vocalist, Mozaika Duo classical favorites, Melano Quartet & Latin rhythmus, DRESS CODE: The dress code was fairly well respected by everyone on the cruise. There were no blatant infractions that I observed. I realize that not everyone has Dinner Jackets or Tuxedos, but there were no jeans, shorts, or cutoffs evident on formal nights. NO SPORTS BAR: Note this ship does NOT have a sports bar with a big screen where you are able to watch football, soccer, baseball, or basketball just to name a few. However some passengers only turn on the TV in their staterooms to listen to some music or find out about shipboard or excursions. If they wanted to watch TV they might have stayed at home. If one was going through TV withdrawal, desperate, I am sure you could find something to watch. As Celebrity Elite Captain's Club members we get 3 hours of internet time and I log on the day before departure to print our airline boarding passes. Nothing else. I probably use 7 minutes of internet time. Our Cell phone is off from the tine we leave the airport at home until we get back to the airport at home. Celebrity has a fantastic procedure for emergency contacting one of their passenger. If it is not an emergency, there is no need to call us. We are just fine, do not worry about us, we are in excellent hands. Monday night. The only other public TVs are 2 small TVs behind the small casino bar. NEXT CRUISE: On-board reservations were made for our next cruise with only $100 deposit per person which also included a four category upgrade (three upgrades is the maximum for our stateroom to put us at the top) and there is a $300 on-board purchase credit. Now the most difficult part starts; Waiting to go on the next Celebrity Cruise. THINGS TO DO BUT DID NOT DO (just to name a few) the entire list would be seven times as long at least. (the cruise was 7 days) There are so many things to do on the ship, it is impossible to do all of them. The thing to do is read the "Celebrity Today" publication that you receive every evening in your stateroom and select the things for the next day that appeal to your interests and tastes. Some you will decide are not for you, and the rest will have to be selectively chosen so you can see and do as much as possible. You can also select a longer cruise and as soon as you can get away for it. Here are just a few of the on board activities I missed.: A taste of Celebrity World Wine Tour. Modern Line Dancing. Arts & Crafts with Judith Sandstrom Island Celebration Party & Fruit Buffet. Let's Dance: swing & foxtrot with the production cast dancers to learn how to dance swing & foxtrot with style. Officers & guests Pool Volleyball games. Fruit & vegetable carving Demonstration. Newlywed, not so Newlywed Game Movies in the Celebrity Cinema Center every day with 2 or 3 showings. (Did not see any of them) Bingo. Jamison Whiskey Tasting. 60's Groove: Interactive Theme Party Fitness Seminar: Burn Fat Faster Golf Chipping Challenge Wii Bowling Fun Pilates Fishing pole Challenge Yoga True False Trivia Total Body Conditioning Basketball Free Throw Bean Bag Toss Tournament Celebrity OlympiX: Golf Putting Disembarkation was a breeze. We had to have Early Disembarkation because our 12:43PM flight home was canceled and we were put on a 9:40AM flight. No problem though. We did not get to enjoy the Elite Captain's Club Disembarkation Lounge in the Normandie Restaurant, because we had to disembarked at 7:30. I have a photo of our bags I give to the pier baggage handlers and they can spot them in a coupe of minutes. We zipped through customs, on to the waiting taxis where there was no line. In San Juan there is no need to try to share a taxi. The cost is $22.50 (plus tip) and you do not have to lift your bags in or out of the taxi and you are delivered right to the airline you are flying with. We arrived at the Airport at 8:00 which was plenty of time. All in all, this was the most enjoyable cruise we have been on. Not only because Celebrity is the Premier cruise line, but the entire Ship's Staff are the best in the world. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2011
I just enjoyed the Nov 12 sailing of the Celebrity Summit from San Juan. It was a 7 night cruise that stopped in Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. We arrived at the terminal at 1:30pm and the flow was very ... Read More
I just enjoyed the Nov 12 sailing of the Celebrity Summit from San Juan. It was a 7 night cruise that stopped in Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten and St. Thomas. We arrived at the terminal at 1:30pm and the flow was very smooth through the luggage and arrival lines. We were quickly on the ship. Our luggage arrived prior to 5pm. John, our Stateroom attendant and his assistant Luis took excellent care of us during our stay. They were gracious and accommodating with all requests. We stayed in the Concierge Staterooms which provided welcome champagne, fresh flowers and evening hors d'oeuvres. These were very nice touches. Also, there was quite a lot of cupboard space. We both had more than enough room to store all of our items for our 7 day adventure. We were fortunate to meet Sasha, the Maitre D'hotel for the 5th floor of the Cosmopolitan Restaurant and he accommodated our special requests for our evening dining. Sasha was very gracious and flexible to our needs. We appreciated his nightly recommendations for the stops for the following day port locations. He is a true professional and the Summit is lucky to have him. Our server Roldan and his assistant Diego provided excellent service each night as well. Head waiter Edward was very outgoing and oversaw the Aqua Spa Healthy Choices area. He went out of his way to take care of special lunch requests for us during our trip. The overall service from the staff was very detail oriented and friendly. Every member that I came in contact with smiled and greeted me professionally with a "good morning/afternoon or evening". My travel companion and I took advantage of the "Perfect Day" spa packages offered for a port day and enjoyed the services very much. I also had a manicure done by Tandy at the spa and she did an excellent job. She was very friendly and gracious. We did a tour of the Persian Garden amenities and were very impressed with these additional options. The Fitness area was well kept and the machines were very clean. There were many choices of activities and health sessions available to guests. The evening entertainment was very good. I enjoyed the cast member productions the most. The cast members were very good, especially the vocalists. Damian, the Cruise Director had a great sense of humor and his interaction with Matt on the daily in room video was a source of entertainment. The many events for dance competitions, vocal competitions were a great his as well. Shopping is always a treat in the shops on the ship. It was a great area to wander through prior to or after dinner if we had a few minutes. Good variety of items with a wide range of prices. I was sad to see my trip come to a conclusion; however I can't wait to book another cruise so that I have another adventure to look forward to. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2010
We are a 50-60sh couple who have sailed several times, this was the first time on Celebrity. And it won't be the last time! We can't understand most of the mixed reviews this ship gets. we spent 3 nights prior to cruise at the ... Read More
We are a 50-60sh couple who have sailed several times, this was the first time on Celebrity. And it won't be the last time! We can't understand most of the mixed reviews this ship gets. we spent 3 nights prior to cruise at the Hilton Molino Stuckey Hotel. It was very nice, but next time we will choose a place closer in to center of city. Embarkation was smooth & easy, used the luggage tags that came to us and luggage was delivered to our room almost immediately. We were on board by just after 12 noon, had lunch in the buffet, and came back to our luggage waiting. We found the food delicious in the main dining room in just about every case. we especially enjoyed the French Onion soup & Caprice Salads. The beef dishes were always tasty & tender. Chicken & seafood selections good too. Our waiter, Lisme, and his assistant were great...funny & helpful & always anticipated our needs. The Waterfall buffet was great for breakfasts, especially the omelette & waffle bar. Didn't have lunch on board often as we were in ports so much.Probably the only disappointment was in the Normandie specialty restaurant. Although the service was impeccable, the food wasn't any better than the MDR. We thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment nightly. there was a violinist we would have gladly paid to see in Vegas. The Broadway productions were good & the aerialists fantastic. No complaints at all. Our stateroom (just a lower deck ocean view) was very nice. Plenty big (larger than our previous cruises on Holland & Carnival) and well equipped. our room steward was wonderful...always went over & beyond what she needed to do, left more toiletries than we could use. I've read reviews about the rooms being in poor condition - ours was just great! We love the Therapy Pool, wish i could have brought those jets home! After a long days touring, the pool with a peach daiquiri hit the spot! We did all the ports with Cruise Critic friends...folks we'd met online & arranged tours with or just grouped together & did it on our own. much more fun to get lost in a group! This was great in every country. Made friends we are still in touch with. Disembarkation was even quicker than embarkation! Totally smooth & easy with our luggage just where they said it would be. All in all, this was truly a wonderful "trip of a lifetime". We hope to do lots more cruises with Celebrity. Read Less
Celebrity Summit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.7
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.1

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