My wife and I are rather plain, ordinary people; we're both about sixty years of age - she works in a Library and I drive Taxi. Our house is paid for and our three children have "flown the coup", so we enjoy Cruising the ... Read More
My wife and I are rather plain, ordinary people; we're both about sixty years of age - she works in a Library and I drive Taxi. Our house is paid for and our three children have "flown the coup", so we enjoy Cruising the Caribbean for two weeks in the middle of our Canadian Winter. This was our fifth time sailing out of San Juan, Puerto Rico - it's closer to the islands we wish to visit and there's only one sea day per week!
We chose to stay at the Sandy Beach Hotel for the two nights prior to boarding the Celebrity Summit - it was inexpensive and very close to the beach in Condado. This hotel was very "basic"; had hot and cold water, air conditioning, a bed to sleep on, and was old; with some plaster deterioration here and there - Remember, "You get what you pay for." On our free day in San Juan, we took the local bus (only 75 cents each - but they only accept change; not bills!) to Old San Juan to do some exploring. We noticed that the bus went right near the Cruise Ship Terminal; so the following day we jumped on the bus with our five pieces of luggage and were merrily on our way to embark on our two week Cruise!
Unfortunately, we ended up at the bus transfer station, which was well past the Cruise Ship Terminal and on the other side of the port! We had taken the wrong bus and decided to wait in the "stinky" bus terminal for the right one. About a half hour later, I couldn't stand the stench any longer, so we decided to walk to the Cruise Ship; carrying/dragging five pieces of luggage. From the time we left the Sandy Beach Hotel, to the time we finally arrived at the Celebrity Summit Cruise Terminal, four and a half hours had elapsed!!! It was now two-thirty in the afternoon; we were very hot, sweaty, and thirsty; but we had finally arrived. Processing at the terminal was very efficient and quick - no line up at all - so we then stepped into the ship for the first time. We were welcomed with a delicious flute of champagne or orange juice and the worst type of music you could imagine - loud pop music with enough bass to make your ribs vibrate!!! My wife and I love music - but not that kind of music! One of the reasons we chose this ship was because we thought it was geared toward Seniors - only 2,000 guests, no rock wall, no huge movie screen in the pool area, etc.
Well for the next two weeks we heard music on this ship that was obviously aimed at a very young crowd - it was much too loud, too much bass, too much rap, too much yelling/wailing, and not enough "quality" music that 55+ people enjoy listening to. My wife and I wore our ear plugs most of the time; in fact, I even wore my "sound reduction ear muffs" a good deal of the time! Had we known, before hand, about this type of music being broadcast throughout most of the ship, we would never have chosen to sail on the Celebrity Summit!! I don't understand why "the upper management team" of Celebrity would choose such awful music, when most of the guests on the ship were older. This was our third time sailing with Celebrity, and we will never choose to sail with them again!!! I complained numerous times to Guest Relations about the music, but they said there was nothing they could do to change it. The Playlist was apparently over 70 songs long; but to us, it all sounded similar, with very little variation. Our only means to "completely" escape from this horrid music was to hide in our stateroom or when we left the ship.
This "music" issue is our only big complaint - all other aspects of our two week cruise were handled extremely well!!! We ate nearly all our meals in the Ocean-view Cafe, which was very noisy around eight in the morning, when everyone is rushing to eat before leaving the ship to explore the Caribbean Islands. The cumulative sounds of so many people talking/laughing, the clatter of dishes, and the disturbing music made for a chaotic start to each day. The food was exceptionally good, though!!! I opted to purchase the Soda package, since I'm a self-proclaimed Diet-Coke-A-Holic. At three dollars a can ( Yes, no plastic refillable containers on this ship.) I clearly saved lots of money by getting the package deal - since I averaged, eight twelve once cans, per day! Andres was super friendly (he speaks fluently in five languages) and always searched for a "cold" can of pop for me.
The Summit Singers & Dancers were extremely talented, but the volume was cranked-up way too loud!!! Over-all, the music on this ship was very disappointing - I cannot overemphasize this point!!! Our Inner-cabin stateroom was very well planned out with lots of storage space - we did hide the glass-top table in the closet though, to gain more floor space and to eliminate a potential tripping hazard. We brought our own snorkel gear rather than formal attire, since snorkeling and swimming at the beach is more appealing to us than lingering in the fancy ship restaurants.
Coki Point Beach on the island of St. Thomas was our favourite place to snorkel - lots of colourful fish and a lovely natural atmosphere. (Only nine dollars per person by cab to get there.) Disembarkation from the ship was well organized and once again, we thought we'd try the San Juan bus system to get us to the airport. We carried/dragged our five pieces of luggage to the lovely Park at the end of the Pier and waited about half an hour for the bus to come - it didn't come and I hate waiting around in the 85 degree heat! So we decided to walk back to our Sandy Beach Hotel and then either bus or cab the rest of the way to the airport. Remember: We're trying to save money by not taking one of the 300 cabs lined up at the Pier! Some might say we're being "savvy with the silver" - I say, "I'm just a cheap Dutchman!" An hour and a half later, we arrived back at our hotel - we then received instructions as to which bus to take and where to catch it. And then waited another hour for it to arrive. The bus driver expressed dismay at allowing us to board his bus with so much luggage.....fortunately for us, his kind heart won out and we were on our way to the airport. Mostly, we had a very wonderful vacation; but had we known about the "terrible music" on this ship, we would have picked an alternative ship to cruise with. Read Less