23 Celebrity Summit Cruise Reviews for Spring Break Cruises to Caribbean - Southern

This was my second Celebrity cruise after sailing on Equinox in Mediterranean 2 years ago. This ship went through total overhaul and it did not feel like an old ship, but sadly, the staff training was not there. Cabin was well appointed, ... Read More
This was my second Celebrity cruise after sailing on Equinox in Mediterranean 2 years ago. This ship went through total overhaul and it did not feel like an old ship, but sadly, the staff training was not there. Cabin was well appointed, and kept immaculate by our attendant, but our Aqua suite was extremely small. I have never been in a shower as small as this before. I was frustrated with the dining and bar staff. Obviously, they are understaffed. Our dinner at Blu lasted more than 2 and half hours every day. Everyone in my party of 6 agreed that their bar staff are not accommodating and extremely inefficient. There is nobody going around taking orders in the lounge, and usually the line at every bar is 5 to 10 minutes. Food quality at the main dining room and Blu were ok, but the buffet and specialty dining was worse than my experience at Equinox. I used private shore excursions so I cannot comment on them, but the night time entertainment was better than ever. We used Go Best package which includes premium liquor; prepaid gratuity, and free internet and some shipboard credit. Overall, this cruise was a great value for the money we paid, however, I am not sure if I’ll sail with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our second cruise on Celebrity and our first on the Summit. Our first was on the Equinox. New beds were so comfortable and the pillows were wonderful! We were in aqua cabin 1140. Beautiful big balcony at the back of the ship. ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Celebrity and our first on the Summit. Our first was on the Equinox. New beds were so comfortable and the pillows were wonderful! We were in aqua cabin 1140. Beautiful big balcony at the back of the ship. Only three small issues overall. One was that it was tight walking around the foot of the bed with the tv on the wall. Second was the new shower door made it difficult to get in and out of the shower stall. A rather odd design but better than a shower curtain sticking to your legs as you showered. The room was otherwise perfect! Quiet and comfortable with lots of storage space. The only other issue was not with the cabin or the ship but with the bar service. We upgraded to premium drink packages but several times the bars did not have the premium alcohol that was in our package. One time when I specifically asked for a tequila that I could see they had my drink was mixed with a lesser one. Bars were not properly staffed and waits were long. Don’t get me wrong, we are not heavy drinkers but the poor bar service seemed like they were taking advantage of those with the drink packages. The Summit staff was outstanding and our room steward, Ian, was the best we have had in all of our 12 cruises! I love Celebrity and the Summit! This ship overall was absolutely gorgeous. We enjoyed our meals in Blu but also visited the buffet for breakfast and afternoon snacks. The production shows were not our favorite but the performers were very good. There was nothing to complain about and the shows were all different. The music at the Sunset Bar was also enjoyable. We could hear it from our aft balcony and enjoyed it each night. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Best, effortless vacation i have had in years. disappointed with not getting veranda room during bidding but the view of the ocean was quite adequate. there was a lack of current movies shown on outdoor big screen theater. I was less ... Read More
Best, effortless vacation i have had in years. disappointed with not getting veranda room during bidding but the view of the ocean was quite adequate. there was a lack of current movies shown on outdoor big screen theater. I was less than excited to spend my evening with die-hard fans yelling at the screen during March Madness. I was disappointed that the Cruzan Rum and West End Highlights tour excursion that i wanted was not offered. I still made it to the distillery, where we were lied to cause we couldn't take the six bottles duty free that they promised. The walk around the St. George Botanical Garden was too intense for me and didn't show me anything more than i could see at my local botanical garden. I understand that the Whim Estate has not opened up since hurricane maria, but surely one of the other estates was open that could have been substituted. I prepaid for a martinin flight and the Blendtique experience, i was charged $31 on the ship for the flight which was reversed but i was still charged $40 for the bottle of wine that i created which was part of the experience. But the fact i didn't have to go to a muster drill, there was no line to get on or off the ship, and the cabin steward checked on our room twice daily and called me by name was oh so worth it! hands down. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Summit is an older ship, but makes up with great service, food and entertainment. We booked an Aqua Class stateroom because we love eating in Blu. Also loved Captain Kate’s personality - perfect for the typical Celebrity cruiser. I ... Read More
Summit is an older ship, but makes up with great service, food and entertainment. We booked an Aqua Class stateroom because we love eating in Blu. Also loved Captain Kate’s personality - perfect for the typical Celebrity cruiser. I enjoyed her “thought for the day” she shared with us each day. I also loved she shared her journey up the ladder with Celerity to become Captain. The entertainment was very special as we enjoyed singers and dancers plus the group Our Guys - four great singers. The acrobatic performance was entertaining too. I wanted to also compliment the band playing at the Captains cocktail party too as they were super talented and loved choice of music played. I would like to suggest when renovations are made to staterooms that a better quality mattress be installed in each room! One more item to share is in Martinique excursion on Panaramic bus tour. The tour guide was great, but I have a real concern about driver who took phone calls while driving us around the narrow mountains roads; making me feel uncomfortable. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This review is being written to describe my experiences with the April 18, 2017 sailing out of San Juan on the Celebrity Summit. First, the booking process was a little trying. Every time I had another question and called the main ... Read More
This review is being written to describe my experiences with the April 18, 2017 sailing out of San Juan on the Celebrity Summit. First, the booking process was a little trying. Every time I had another question and called the main office, I would tend to get different answers. Being an Elite Status member with Celebrity, I get a 1 category complimentary upgrade. For example, when I spoke to a representative early on about upgrading from Ocean View cat. 5 to 4, there was no problem. But, prices fell, and I called back about upgrading to an Aft Balcony in Concierge. Once again, no problem. I eventually, over a year’s time, was speaking with telephone support about upgrading from Aqua Spa 2 to Aqua Spa 1. I was told that was not allowed because the upgrade was too great. I called back and the next rep. with whom I spoke was fine with the single category upgrade. Then, in terms of Choice Air, there were a few schedule changes that I became aware of well before I got notice from Choice Air. However, when looking to update the flight schedule in the ‘Manage my reservation’ portion of their website, the system would not register the changes I made. I called the phone reps. who told me ‘Choice Air’ had updated their information and saw the changes on their end, when in fact I could not see these changes under my reservation. I was told ‘all players’ had the information that was needed such as the transfers from the airport to the ship. (However, when I landed in San Juan, the transfer staff were looking for me on the initial flight and were not informed of any changes in the flight schedule.) Here is a true lack of communication. Working within their website, when clicking on destination (in this case, the Caribbean) it would show up as ‘Bahamas’. I thought the phone reps. would want to know this information, but they told me their IT support was aware of several issues that needed to be rectified. A year later, this has not been addressed. Then, there were the issues surrounding the fact that this 7 night cruise got shortened to 4 nights because of an electrical / propeller problem which required the ship to be dry docked. I was told to call the redeployment office and talk about whether I wanted a full refund, or to take the shortened cruise, or some other version of this ‘redeployed’ itinerary. I opted for the shortened cruise, understanding I would get 3/7 of the cost of the cruise refunded with an extra day as onboard ship credit. This new wrinkle led to 3 separate phone calls over a period of 2 weeks for a good hour at a time. Each time I responded to a phone call from celebrity where they would let me know they had not heard from me about my intentions. I eventually got ahold of Karen in the ‘resolutions’ department who helped me through this process. Needless to say, all of the preparatory work in preparing for this trip was exhausting. So, there seem to be a few issues here. One is lack of training, one is lack of communication both within the company and with Choice Air and one is having qualified IT staff who can correct issues inherent within their website. Also, the phone rep was not sure what sort of paperwork I was to receive regarding their insurance program and what is and is not covered. Lots of training is needed in this regard. So, now, it is cruise time. The flights were on schedule. But at the baggage area, I flagged down a meet and greet staff who did not know I was on a new set of flights booked by the Choice Air Department. Well, I got passed that and eventually got to check in. We were escorted to a check-in line – but did not have priority boarding as we were placed in a regular line, although we were in a suite. We worked our way through this line and eventually boarded the ship. I carried my own luggage on board so I could unpack right away. We got to the cabin and right away, we met our butler. I wasn’t exactly sure what I would need with a butler, but would eventually figure that out. The ship left on time at 8:30 pm. Because of the life boat drill at 7:45, a reservation for dinner in Luminae (the dining room for suite guests) could not be gotten until 8:30. This was my first suite experience. Service in this restaurant was hectic and the hostess seemed to be acting as an assistant busboy too. Essentially the staff seemed to not be on top of their game. I mentioned this to the butler, who then passed this information onto the restaurant. There was an apology note the next morning with a tray of strawberries delivered to the room. Also, the following evening, a bottle of champagne was delivered to one of the specialty restaurants in which we were eating (Qsine – which I recommend). I was glad that my comments had been acknowledged. The first morning out there was an ‘all call’ at 5:45 that the ship would be part of a search and rescue mission for another cruise ship in the area. That process took several hours and therefore our first port, Antigua, was canceled and substituted with St. Croix. The shore excursion department scurried to put together some options for sightseeing. However, they were sold out almost instantaneously. So, we just took a taxi to the beach. Also, one of the shore excursion reps seemed new and did not seem to know much about the questions I was asking. Once again, training regarding ports of call is a key concern. Also, this first morning, I had a chance to go to the gym. There were ample treadmills and other resistance equipment. Although there were wipes for the equipment, towels were lacking on more than one morning. I really did not see much evening entertainment. But near the martini bar, they had something called the silent disco. This is where you get a set of headphones which light up in different colors. Meanwhile, you gather around others listening to the same music and have a dance party where those just observing without the headphones, can not hear the music to which they were dancing. Odd, but unique. The following day was St. Marten. Here we did a catamaran trip to Mullet Bay. I would recommend. Unfortunately, that afternoon, I lost my credit card. Once back on the ship and realizing it was gone, I spoke to the butler who put me into contact with the concierge in the suite lounge – Michael’s. The concierge, Maja, was most helpful in getting in touch with my bank to cancel the credit card. The third night we ate at the Tuscan Grill. There were many menu options to choose from. Our waitress, Lady V. was wonderful. (We decided to eat here twice). The last day out, we visited St. Thomas. We did a day trip to St. John (St. John on your own). This ship offered excursion gave us more time at Trunk Bay than the standard Trunk Bay excursion. At departure, the concierge was out by the luggage and assisted us in getting through customs and immigration in record time. Generally speaking, this was a good trip. Where there were problems, staff did try to address or correct or acknowledge the shortfalls. I believe I will still sail with Celebrity, but that is not to say I can endorse the slogan of ‘Experience Modern Luxury’. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We are very happy with the attention we received in the dining room, buffet, our room steward and the concierge service they offer to some guests. The pool service has been better on previous cruises with Celebrity. My guess is that they ... Read More
We are very happy with the attention we received in the dining room, buffet, our room steward and the concierge service they offer to some guests. The pool service has been better on previous cruises with Celebrity. My guess is that they have cut the service down since most people have beverage packages now. Hence, they don't push the drinks as much. But when you do get service, the service (attitude) of the servers is great. Lots of staff have such a great attitude and it is a pleasant atmosphere. One thing I will say about this itinerary - Southern Carribbean - We really needed two days (at least) at sea to enjoy the ship and have more of a rest. I would request that they revisit the itinerary. Also I miss the "free" sushi on the buffet! Now you have to buy it in the Sushi on Five (which is great by the way) One more thing, if you are traveling with any "children" even if they are over 18, they have to share a cabin legally with someone over 21. We had two rooms. One for our two boys and our concierge room. However, our comped beverage package was one adult package and one minor package for the concierge room. and they wouldn't transfer the package to the other adult in our party (my husband!) AND we even though they gave us keys so we could switch sleeping arrangements, it was difficult for my husband to get the concierge benefits. It really felt like a slap in the face seeing as we were the ones paying for TWO rooms - it seems like we should get the benefits of those TWO rooms. I really think they need to be more aware and sensitive to those issues or change some of their policies. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Celebrity was our first choice - we had never been to the Southern Caribbean. We had been to St Maarten, St Thomas, but the others were new to us. This is why we chose this ship. I do not like it as much as The Siloutte or Reflection - ... Read More
Celebrity was our first choice - we had never been to the Southern Caribbean. We had been to St Maarten, St Thomas, but the others were new to us. This is why we chose this ship. I do not like it as much as The Siloutte or Reflection - the areas are much smaller and the crew was not as visible as the other ships. We never saw our cabin steward, my adult children joined us and their cabins were not cleaned every day, they never got beach towels, and never received wake up calls. We enjoyed the activities at sea, the captain (Captain Kate) was the star of the show - and made the trip very enjoyable. Thankfully, there was a group of younger people that knew how to have a good time - the silent disco was the best thing ever! We chose not to use Celebrity for our excursions - there were better deals on Yelp and Trip Advisor. We enjoyed a small catamaran trip that the crew went above and beyond for us. The Barbados and Antiqua ports were so loaded with people trying to convince you to take their taxi, that we went back to the ship - never even went anywhere - they followed us down the street and when we stopped, so did they - very scary. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We'd heard mixed reviews on this ship and were pleasantly surprised on how much we liked it. It was a good size, not too big or too small. The staff on the ship provided a high level of service and was extremely friendly. There were a ... Read More
We'd heard mixed reviews on this ship and were pleasantly surprised on how much we liked it. It was a good size, not too big or too small. The staff on the ship provided a high level of service and was extremely friendly. There were a lot of late night entertainment options besides gambling, which we didn't see on our crusie on Princess. Captain Kate was awesome - great, humorous announcements and she really enjoys her job and enteracting with the guests. It was refreshing to have a young captain, and you've got to love the fact that she's the first American female ship captain. There were a few times when we'd see worn upholestery or wall coverings, but nothing that impacted the quality of our trip. I'd heard good things about the food on Celebrity - the food in the buffet was better than what I'd had on Princess; the food in the main dining room was usually good, though the main dishes and desserts were nothing spectacular. The food in Qsine was extremely good, worth the extra charge if you have OBC. We loved the martinis at Crush and the coffee at Al Baccio. We'd definitely go back on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
It was the third cruise out of dry dock for the Summit so the public areas were all in great shape. The terrace (and its large screen TV), added during dry dock, is a nice feature that keeps the Summit competitive with other ships. ... Read More
It was the third cruise out of dry dock for the Summit so the public areas were all in great shape. The terrace (and its large screen TV), added during dry dock, is a nice feature that keeps the Summit competitive with other ships. Unfortunately, while certain aspects of the cruise were very good to excellent, the overall execution fell short of expectations. Service ranged from very good to indifferent, the cruise director and his sidekick came across as buffoons,Headline entertainers lived up to their billings and the acrobats were good and misused but the cruise line singers and dancers were at best average. Furthermore, the production shows were disjointed and dreadful. Not one of the ship singers displayed any range in style so just about every song came out sounding the same. It wasn't just a problem with the ship's cast as, with some exceptions, the musical groups on board went postal, they just mailed in their performances. The food in general ranged from good to very good (but not exceptional), and I had only one questionable entrée that was overdone. What was good on the cruise, the spa services were excellent, Celebrity is much more laid back than other lines so there was a marked lower level of in your face marketing of upcharge items (think bingo, pull tabs, retail sales pushes). The passengers seemed a bit more friendly and the ships officers were both visible and accessible. The adults only solarium and spa café were a real refuge and delight for those seaking a degree of solace and a light meal (a feature that may get us to return to Celebrity despite the shortcomings of this cruise). The beverage card is a must, even it not used extensively, as it allows you to avoid signing and collecting all those receipts. As people that do not like ship water, the ability to get bottled water (without cost) at any time was a big plus. In general, we got what we were looking for, a change to relax and recharge but without some of the additional amenities that we have come to expect from a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We returned last week from a southern Caribbean cruise on the Summit. Our pre-cruise travel to the ship was uneventful. Our plane arrived on time and our luggage was in our hands within 20 mins. We grabbed a cab to the ship and were ... Read More
We returned last week from a southern Caribbean cruise on the Summit. Our pre-cruise travel to the ship was uneventful. Our plane arrived on time and our luggage was in our hands within 20 mins. We grabbed a cab to the ship and were promptly greeted by the luggage handlers. We went through security and the embarkation process in less then a half hour. Entering the ship, we were greeted, handed a glass of champagne and then off to our stateroom. At first glance, the ship appeared to be very clean and attractive. We entered our stateroom, and were immediately surprised by how worn and outdated the cabin was. I want to mention, the room was very clean, just seen better days. We dined in the Blu restaurant every morning and evening. The menu had a nice selection of meals and changed every night. The food was nicely prepared and the presentation was very nice. We were very pleased with the service and staff. Everyone we encountered was very polite, friendly and attentive. The entertainment and special guest performers were much better then we saw two years ago on this same ship. Although we didn't attend all the activities or entertainment, the ones we did, were very entertaining. We booked our own excursions before we departed for our cruise. We were at these islands two years ago and knew what we wanted to see and do. All of our private bookings were great, and we were back to the ship in plenty of time before departure. Disembarkation went smoothly. We stayed in our stateroom until 7:45 am, the off to breakfast at the Blu. We took our time eating breakfast and before you knew it, they were calling our number to disembark. We grabbed a porter for our luggage. They had a special line for porters, which only had about 20 people in it. This is only a guess, but it appeared the general line to leave the terminal had hundreds of people in it. The whole process for us took about 30 mins. We were in a cab heading to old San Juan at 9:45. We had a great time on our cruise. The ports of call were great and the staff was wonderful, catering to any request we had. The ship was very clean, but needs some updates. We noticed several areas of rust, which draws your attention because of the brown rust stains in the bright white paint. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Some background info about me- I am a 29 year old female who traveled with my husband (30), his parents, my brother in law and his wife, as well as their two young boys ages 3 and 6. This was my 9th cruise but my first time on Celebrity. ... Read More
Some background info about me- I am a 29 year old female who traveled with my husband (30), his parents, my brother in law and his wife, as well as their two young boys ages 3 and 6. This was my 9th cruise but my first time on Celebrity. The rest of my cruises were all on Royal Caribbean. We got to the ship around 2 o clock I think after flying in to San Juan. Embarkation was quick and painless. Our stateroom was all ready for us and most of our party got their luggage before dinner. We stayed in stateroom 7129, and it was nice, although we never officially met our stateroom attendant. As I had read in other reviews, the bathroom and balcony was really where the cabin was showing its age. Dinner in the main dining room was good and our waitstaff was amazing, especially with the kids. I was expecting the food on Celebrity to be a cut above Royal Caribbean, and I do think that the Oceanview cafe buffet was a lot better and had more selection than the Windjammer on RCCL. I found the main dining room food to be hit or miss. I don't eat seatfood or any "less common" meats like duck, lamb, etc. so on some days there really wasn't much a selection for me. I think the rest of our party also felt like the food was hit or miss. Service was great though. We got the classic beverage package for free as part of a promotion. We really enjoyed it and were fine with everything that was included. It was really nice to just be able to get bottles of water whenever you want, as well as the specialty coffees and alcoholic drinks. We found the entertainment and nightlife onboard to be a little lackluster. We knew it was not going to have much of a younger crowd, but were surprised how few people showed up to some of the events, like the newlywed game, 90's night etc. The 80's dance party and Dancing with the stripes were really well attended and we enjoyed those. When talking to the staff, they even seemed to think this particular cruise was on the quieter side. The comedian was pretty good. The cruise director and his staff were also pretty entertaining. My husband, myself and my mother in law were all contestants on family feud. We didn't care for Sirens, but those type of shows really aren't our thing. We did the Captain's Club backstage tour which was interesting. Our nephews really enjoyed the Fun Factory and were begging to go most days, so we were pleasantly surprised by that. As far as the ports go: St. Croix- We did the West End Bike Tour. That was fun and interesting. It got to be a little long towards the end, but the tour guide was good. We then took a taxi to see the beer drinking pigs. It was quite the cab ride to get up there, but it was worth it. St. Kitts- We just got a cab to Cockleshell Beach, Reggae Beach was the specific complex. We were really disappointed as there was not much to the beach and it was expensive to rent chairs, etc. It was also a bit dirty. They did have some monkeys, and also saw a wild monkey come into the restaurant while we were there. I would recommend doing an excursion or maybe checking out the other beach on the island. Dominica- We did the whale and dolphin safari. It was a bit long and there is a lot of waiting involved (the whales go down for 45 minutes at time). We did spot about 5 whales. Towards the end a baby sperm whale actually came up to the boat and was investigating. That made the whole trip worth it. At the end they also take you on a mini tour around some of the island on the boat. We learned a lot, and I enjoyed it although I don't think my husband was that into it. Grenada- We took the water taxi to the beach. The vendors are really competitive, and it can get to be a little much. It was a beautiful beach though- we saw a lot of fish and starfish. We took a ride on one of those rafts they drag behind the boat. This was the best beach we went to in my opinion. St. Thomas- It was raining, windy and chilly in the morning, which was unfortunate because we planned to just get cab to Sapphire Beach. The beach was nice and had some great views but unfortunately the rain ruined it for us. It did clear up as we were leaving and the rest of the day was beautiful. Disembarkation was also really quick and easy. We took our luggage off the ship around 7. Our flight got delayed out of San Juan so my father-in-law arranged for us to get day rates a the Hilton Condado Plaza Inn. They have a beautiful pool area and have great views of the ocean. That was a nice way to spend the day before getting on a plane. All in all, we really enjoyed our first Celebrity Cruise. The free beverage package is a perk that will make us consider Celebrity in the future. Although we felt like we were some of the youngest people on the ship and there wasn't much nightlife, we still had a really good time. We also enjoyed some of the special touches that Celebrity has that RCCL does not. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We just returned from a back to back on the Summit cruising 2/28 to 3/14. It was a family vacation with 6 of us ranging in age from 13 to 71. This was our second time on this ship, as we choose this ship because of the itinerary and ... Read More
We just returned from a back to back on the Summit cruising 2/28 to 3/14. It was a family vacation with 6 of us ranging in age from 13 to 71. This was our second time on this ship, as we choose this ship because of the itinerary and based on previous Celebrity cruises. Lets start with the positive, the service overall was fantastic, dining room staff in main restaurant and speciality restaurants did a great job. Food was great along with the selection in the ocean view café. The ship is showing its age in some areas, but considering it is 14+ years old it looked pretty good considering. There was signs of allot of rust in some areas, but we never saw anyone working on this, usually in port you see painters but not on this cruise. Captain Leo, the voice from above was very visible with his officers getting involved with activities onboard. For the most part staff had a smile and went out of their way to provide you with good service. Thelma a cabin attendant and her assistant on our deck always said hello and took interest in our day even though they were not looking after our cabins. Areas for improvement, our cabin attendants did as little as possible and it was apparent no one was checking on their work. The bathroom was kept clean, garbage's done and bed made and turned down at night but our room was never vacuumed once in the two weeks. The bed sheets were never changed, glass doors were never cleaned, balcony was never cleaned in the two weeks either. We left notes about getting these things looked after but no luck. It was very had to get a waiter around the pool deck or in the show lounge to order a drink. We are not heavy drinkers so we did not have the all you can drink packages, we had to stand in long lines at the bars to get served. Bars were under staffed and struggling to keep up with the drinkers. This was not being managed well either as there was many people beyond drunk, falling off bar stools, passed out or doing things in the hot tubs and pools that should not be allowed. When mentioned to officers around the pool all we got was apologies but issues not being addressed. Saw bottles and other things floating in the pools and hot tubs. Being most passengers on a Celebrity ship are 60+ they were very discussed with what was going on and like us were only getting apologies when raising the issue with staff as well. If this is the new norm on the celebrity ships it will cost them allot of passengers jumping ship to other lines in the 60+ range, but it will attract the Carnival Cruisers. The shows at best were average, the Broadway style shows the costumes and sets were nice but performing not so much. Comedians were alright but need to change their shows a bit as they were the same both weeks, along with Broadway shows. Cruise director the same thing on both weeks. The best show was I magic. Room service was hit and miss, days we never got it or when we did was not always correct. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We chose this cruise based on itinerary. We are an extended family of 5 (dad, mom, preteen, grandmother and aunt). It was our 10th cruise (previously Disney, Princess, Celebrity and 1 Norweigan) and we were looking for different ports. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on itinerary. We are an extended family of 5 (dad, mom, preteen, grandmother and aunt). It was our 10th cruise (previously Disney, Princess, Celebrity and 1 Norweigan) and we were looking for different ports. The islands did not disappoint. St. Kitts, Dominica, Grenada and St. John (by way of St. Thomas) were spectacular, offered great tour options, and friendly experiences. Frankly, we had a mixed experience on the Summit. Celebrity does many things well, IMO. The embarkation and disembarkation process was easy, clear, quick and painless. We arrived at the ship at 12 noon, went thru the Concierge Class line and spent less than 30 minutes getting onboard. The food was consistently good. Main dining room food was among the best we've ever had on a cruise line- consistently diverse, appetizing choices, great quality, and served hot. The specialty restaurants were terrific. Normandie was excellent- both in service and food. Try the goat cheese souffle or the bisque as a starter! Qsine was very fun. You order foods from different regions and share. We ordered too much but the staff was great about allowing us to cancel the last entree when we were overstuffed. The Painter's Filet Mignon was excellent as was the Treserviche. The staff tried very hard to please, were friendly, and when told about a problem, for the most part, tried their best to fix it. Our issues had less to do with the staff than with the systems onboard. Physical Appearance- This is not the ship for those who like new and perfect. Our cabin had its share of scrapes, scuffs, and tears. The silvering was eroding in the bathroom mirrors, the lights flickered in the vanity, the hairdryer plugs did not fit the outlet and kept falling out. Still, it is very clean, very well kept and some public areas are gorgeous- Cellar Masters lounge, the Martini Bar, Normandie Restaurant. The Summit is a gracious "older lady" and her small size and uniqueness were very pleasing. Concierge Class- not sure it's worth the $$$ to upgrade. Cabins are really no bigger than standard balcony. The amenities are not so easy to come by. The canapes have to be ordered every day. The order form would appear in our cabin after breakfast and had to be submitted by 11. The problem? We left each morning for an early tour. We missed out on the stale tortilla chips, olives, squirt of hummus and mystery dips more days than most. You must request the "pillow menu"- we never saw it nor was it discussed by the attendant. The "fresh fruit" in the cabin could be obtained by getting an apple, orange or pear from the buffet each day. Three people in the cabin was a problem. The pullout couch completely blocked access to the balcony. We chose balcony cabins so our child can go to bed while we sit out and have a drink. We didn't have that option bc we would have had to climb over the pullout to get back in. Getting a Drink at Dinner- We didn't choose a beverage package. 1st night at dinner, no waiter/asst waiter took drink orders. Sommelier appeared, I ordered a bottle of wine, he didn't ask anyone else, and ran away. Tried to ask asst. waiter for drinks, she was not happy and when asked for a glass of prosecco, she told us that had to be ordered from sommelier. When my husband complained to head maitre'd the problem was resolved that night but on subsequent nights, further problems arose. Getting a 3rd lifejacket in room- Called for a 3rd lifejacket on night of muster drill. Guest svcs said they'd send. None came. Asked again. Still no life jacket. By Thursday, had been annoyed enough with problems onboard, went to Guest Svcs to complain. Told by cabin attendant that we left lifejacket out in the hallway. What? In a nutshell, that was our experience with Celebrity. Very few things were easy- getting a drink, activities in the kids' club, finding answers, etc. The worst was the spa. Canyon Ranch launched the week of our cruise. I had pre-booked via email w/ Canyon Ranch. Got a "tentative confirmation" email but told to look for letter in cabin. No letter upon embarkation so on Tuesday, 1st day spa office open, went down to confirm. Told "no appointment for you- no accupuncturist onboard". I had never been contacted by phone, email, etc. by the booking company or spa. They didn't have the common courtesy to give me another option, just dropped the appointment. I made a fuss and was offered the massage of my choice at 50% off. Got the treatment, it was ok, not the best I've ever had and when presented with the bill was full price. My mother was double billed for the product she purchased. Long story short, this cruise was not an "upscale" experience. Bumpy service, lack of activities onboard, not a tremendous bang for our buck. However, the itinerary can't be beat and the crew really did try hard to please. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We had a very good time cruising with Celebrity. It was our first time after two trips on Carnival. We met lots of very friendly people. Our staff on the ship did an excellent job! We have been pleased with this aspect on both Celebrity ... Read More
We had a very good time cruising with Celebrity. It was our first time after two trips on Carnival. We met lots of very friendly people. Our staff on the ship did an excellent job! We have been pleased with this aspect on both Celebrity and with Carnival. Much fewer children on Celebrity which made it quieter and more enjoyable. You could actually use the pools and hot tubs. On Celebrity, there were no children running down the halls on the ship at night unsupervised. Our Celebrity ocean view room was nice, but not as nice or as large as our Carnival ocean view room. Also the bathroom was much smaller on Celebrity. It was difficult using the closets on Celebrity when someone was using the bathroom. The doors lined up so if you were using either at the same time, there would be a collision. We've heard the newer Celebrity ships have larger staterooms and are quite nice. The entertainment was much better on Celebrity. Acts seemed more professionally arranged and performed. Check in and debarkation seemed much smoother on Celebrity. Overall, it was an excellent experience! kentuckynohio Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
We had a different experience on the Summit than some of the other recent reviewers had. Sure, there were some glitches but we had perfect weather during a great itinerary(Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, St. Martin, St. Thomas) so it was ... Read More
We had a different experience on the Summit than some of the other recent reviewers had. Sure, there were some glitches but we had perfect weather during a great itinerary(Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, St. Martin, St. Thomas) so it was hard not to have a great time. We enjoyed the layout and refurbished furniture and finishes in CS 6106. I will try to post pictures of the room and balcony later today on the Celebrity forum. The balcony was long -- we easily fit 9 adults out there a couple of times. On the other hand, the balcony is also narrow. There was a smallish table with two regular chairs. It would have been nice to have loungers of some sort but I think it is too narrow a space for them. It was also nice having the three large windows in the room although the pulley mechanism in the middle broke a couple of times. They need to replace those along with some adjustments to misaligned cabinets. Also, if you are taller than me (5'7") you may not like the adjustable hand held shower which was barely higher than me at its peak. Service ranged from very good to excellent (our butler, the sommelier) across the ship. In fact, we thought the service on this cruise was better than the last couple we have taken. Our butler, Elvis, was a great surprise to us given the lackluster butler we had on the Solstice a couple of cruises ago. He managed to setup a couple of nice sail away parties (with plenty of free food) that we hosted for several families we were traveling with and otherwise was always around ready to assist or so it seemed to us. The main dining room was pretty good; service was very good and the sommelier was great and the food was good considering it is a large banquet hall. Not sure why people expect a fine dining experience in this type of setting. On the other hand Qsine is a great fine dining experience and one you should not miss. We also ate at Bistro on Five twice which we enjoyed and was always almost empty. Don't' be in a hurry; service is a bit slow compared to other venues. I can't really comment on the buffet since I only went there once the afternoon we embarked. As on the Solstice, Penthouse, Royal and Celebrity suite passengers were given Elite benefits. The captain's club nightly events were held in Revelations at the top front of the ship. This was a nice change since we could enjoy the sail away and sunset. Both the drinks and canapes seemed better this time around for some reason. Then again, there were never more than 20 people when we were there. As far as night life, we attend some shows which were pretty good. My wife frequented the casino which she enjoyed and I frequented Cellar Maters (never busy) trying as many wines as I could during the cruise. All in all, another great cruise. Will we sail Celebrity again? You bet, we have a Med cruise this June on the Solstice. As a family, we have decide to stick with Celebrity and as a couple we will continue to cruise Crystal. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Since this was our first time on Celebrity, but loyal to Royal Caribbean we were a little sceptical. We always thought that Celebrity catered for the 60+ generation; we were pleasantly surprised that this was not the case. We arrived at ... Read More
Since this was our first time on Celebrity, but loyal to Royal Caribbean we were a little sceptical. We always thought that Celebrity catered for the 60+ generation; we were pleasantly surprised that this was not the case. We arrived at the airport from Atlanta around 4:00 and was on board by 4:45pm (in time for the mandatory muster drill at 5:00pm. Because we arrived later than normal we did not have a chance to check the ship out nor did we get to eat the lunch. I would suggest taking a taxi (plenty to choose from) from the airport to the pier. $19.00 ($1.50 fuel charge)plus $1.00 per bag charge. So for our party of 4 it was $35.00 (including tip). was much cheaper than the cruise transfer of $17.00 per person. We were booked in an Aquaclass balcony cabin and it was no different than the other balcony cabins we have booked. The only difference is the bathroom shower has nice glass doors with a showerhead from heaven. It was a rain showerhead with full body massage option. We had canapes delivered to our room every afternoon around 4 by our room steward Sidney, who was excellent. Very attentive to detail and our requests were always met. His assistant Rudy always had a smile on his face and again was there if we needed anything. The canapes were not of our liking so it was a waste after the second day. A bottle of champagne was waiting for us upon our arrival as were the fresh flowers. We had a carafe of tea and two bottled waters provided every day. Plush robes and slippers were also provided. In the Aquaclass you have the option to dine in the Blu dining room. It was a very nice setting but the food was too fancy for us. The nightly options were extremely elegant and it wasn't until the end of the cruise that we found out that there were "classic" appetizers, dinners and desserts available if we chose to eat them. I also missed the attention and special activities you get in the MDR that you do not receive in the Blu. We did not try any speciality restaurants. I wished I had tried Bistro on 5 for the crepes however. Heard many raving about that. We were extremely disappointed in the lunch buffets. It took way too long to be served in the pasta section and the pizza was never ready which caused the line to grow quickly. Also it was not your typical buffet style. The food crew served everything to you and if they weren't their it was difficult to reach under the glass and get it yourself. The setup is unlike anything I had ever seen as well. You had to walk around the entire dining room to see what was being served. We had breakfast served to our balcony most mornings and which was enjoyable; We ate in Blu the last morning and that was the best breakfast we had all week. Must try the Bluberry Pecan pancakes!!!!! The shows were your normal cruise shows, some good, some not. The aerial acrobats were incredible as was the special musical entertainer. Alejandro the Cruise Director was funny and very knowledgeable. We frequented several venues only to find them empty or catering to the Latino guests. Of the times we wanted to dance it was to Salsa music so the four of us were disappointed in that. Being Aquaclass we were able to enjoy the Persian Gardens in the spa - free of charge and it was a nice way to end the evening relaxing in the saunas and heated tile benches. On our first visit to the spa, we spoke with Louise and she gave us more information than we could comprehend and then remembered our names when we saw her outside at one of the ports. VERY VERY impressed. Overall the cruise was very nice and the staff were more than helpful. I would consider Celebrity again, just not the Summit as it is in need of a lot more attention. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Celebrity Summit Cruise April 16-23 2011We just got back from this cruise with our teenage daughter and her friend and had a great time. The weather was fabulous and I wish I was still on the ship!To set the scene....we had a C3 cabin ... Read More
Celebrity Summit Cruise April 16-23 2011We just got back from this cruise with our teenage daughter and her friend and had a great time. The weather was fabulous and I wish I was still on the ship!To set the scene....we had a C3 cabin (7194) and an inside (7210). We are Captains Club Elite, had Select dining for the first time and had purchased premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage packages in advance. We enjoy exploring the ports and don't really go to shows or organised activities on board and look to make our own entertainment.Here are the highlights and lowlights of our trip.CabinHighlights. Cabin was a good size and in pretty good shape. The balcony looked out over white awnings shading the cabins which jutted out below us on deck 6. We could not see directly down into the water from the balcony, which was perfect for me as I have vertigo and usually am unable to go near the edge of a side balcony. Nice CC options for room service breakfast, but typically we just had pastries and fruit as we were up and off the ship early most mornings. Sparkling wine was nice, as were the flowers, but we had to get the latter removed as they gave me allergies.Lowlights. Concierge class benefits were pretty pathetic. Bed was hard as a rock, never saw a pillow menu and the pillows we had were flat and hard. Occasionally we saw one of the plush CC towels, but usually we were given regular towels. Afternoon canapes were pretty feeble, small circles of bread with bits of fishy or cheesy paste on them, occasionally shrimp or caviar. Cabin StewardSadly there were no highlights to his service. I can't help feeling that because we had select dining and all tips were prepaid, he had no real incentive to perform well.LowlightsHe explained he had just come back after vacation and to let him know if he had forgotten anything. We did let him know about a few things but he chose to ignore them. It was really hard to get him to increase our towels to 4 bath towels and 2 hand towels. In the end I left a note permanently stuck on the bathroom door. One night we returned to the cabin at 9pm and saw the steward who told us we had no towels but he was going to the laundry for them. An hour and a half later there were still no towels and no steward so we left a note on the door saying we were going to bed and to leave them outside the cabin. At 11pm he woke us up, knocking on the door and trying to get in the cabin with the towels...At the first port visit he didn't leave beach towels in the cabin. We thought they would be available at the gangplank. They weren't. Spent half an hour trying to get towels via the concierge and room attendant. If we had been booked on an organised excursion we would probably have missed it. In the evening we left the dirty beach towels in the cabin and went to dinner. When we returned the towels were gone and the steward said we could not have more because we had not returned the originals. We insisted we had and he just said "Oh someone else must have taken them away". Here are some more. Totally unnecessary and left us feeling like he didn't really believe us.We never got a tote bag or a "How are we doing so far" mid-cruise survey. The inside cabin never got a Passenger Questionnaire at the end of the cruise, despite a visit to guest relations and them calling the steward to deliver one. In the end I wrote a letter instead of the survey.In a dozen cruises on Celebrity, this was by far the worst cabin service we have ever received. Hopefully it was just a one-off.Select Dining.This was the first time we had tried Select Dining, and from now on it will be our first choice. We reserved dining times and a table for 4 online, several months before our trip. HighlightsWe requested a table for 4 and were seated in Irfan's section the first night. We enjoyed his service and requested his section for the rest of the cruise, and were accommodated there with the exception of one night when we showed up early and just needed a table for 2. We were offered a shared table for 4 with Irfan or a table for 2 with another waiter. We chose the 2 top, and the waiter again was excellent. Efficient and courteous service all round. I had been concerned that with the tips paid in advance, it would affect the level of service in the MDR but that was definitely not the case.We were a little worried about getting wine by the glass in the dining room with the drink package. Our concerns were unfounded as the sommelier was excellent and even served us the rose prosecco which they served in the champagne bar, but which was not on the MDR wine by the glass menu, with dinner. The Normandie.We had one dinner in the Normandie. Sadly it didn't live up to expectations.HighlightThe service was very attentive.LowlightsI had trouble finding things on the menu I really wanted to eat. I mainly eat lighter food, fish, seafood and chicken, and tend to stay away from cream based dishes and rich, heavy foods. Unfortunately the Normandie menu was mainly made up of these, and the things I ordered really didn't wow me. The menu said that all dishes were cooked to order, but my husbands filet mignon tasted like it had been partly precooked and then finished later. He had a better version of the steak in the MDR the 2nd formal night of the trip. For us it definitely was not worth the $35 per person cover charge.Drinks package.HighlightsWe loved the drinks package as it gave us the opportunity to try out lots of non-alcoholic cocktails, frozen drinks and specialty coffees that we would otherwise not have experimented with. We thought the selections of wine by the glass and beers were quite varied and acceptable and would definitely choose this package again. I think we more than got our moneys worth!LowlightsOur teenagers (aged 16) had trouble getting served sodas either with waiter service or by sitting at the bar, especially in the waterfall cafe aft bar. They were ignored in favour of adults. Regardless of age, I believe all customers should be served in order.The waiters in the above mentioned bar had a habit of substituting the Rose de Provence (light, crisp and dry) with White Zinfandel (heavy, sweet and headache inducing) and pretending it was the same when they ran out. It would have been better to be honest and say there were out of it and ask if I had a 2nd choice, which I did, and which was not the White Zinfandel!!!!Spa TreatmentsHighlightWe had 2 couples hot stones massages on this trip. They were wonderful.LowlightWe never purchase the product recommendations offered at the end of the treatment as we are not high maintenance people and the products are very expensive. Usually one polite, but firm "No Thank You" ends the discussion. This time the sell just went on and on and on. I resent having to decline 3 or 4 times and then being blatantly asked why I won't buy the product. Totally unnecessary and unacceptable, and took away from the pleasure of the massage.FoodI thought that the food on board was adequate, not great but not bad either. I must say that I much prefer the old Raymond Blanc menus to the current Jacques Van Staaden ones. To me, the former were light and continental in flavour and had a lot of flair, and the latter are very bland, heavy and meat-centric, and typical fare you would find in any american restaurant. Sadly I never felt spoilt for choice, and often had to resort to the "Always Available" side of the menu.HighlightsPastries in the Cova cafe in the morning and scones in the afternoonLight fare in the spa cafe at lunchtimeCoq au vin in the MDR on the first nightFilet mignon in the MDR on the 2nd formal nightFrench fries from the grill, surreptitiously stolen from my daughters plate!MDR version of the Mushroom Capuccino Soup from the Normandie.MDR mushroom vol-au-ventEvening curries in the Waterfall BuffetEnglish bangersSmoked salmonThe poached egg station in the Waterfall CafeLowlightsThe Normandy version of Mushroom Capuccino - way too rich and creamyThe MDR frogs legs. Now served buffalo style, heavy and breaded instead of the old provencale styleMDR broccoli cream soup with lemon oil - tasted like a lem-sip cold remedy - nasty!Thai style spring rolls - think they had been hanging around a while, very rubbery.7. Ship Facilities and Organised EntertainmentHighlightsThe Thalossotherapy Pool - fabulous spa pool with jets and bubbling beds to lie on and a nice quiet area to read in the afternoon.Cova Cafe - great coffee, excellent service and a perfect people-watching spot!Aft bar was a great place to enjoy sailaway and watch spectacular sunsetsCruise Critic get-together was nicely organised by the Summit staff and the Bridge Tour was very interestingComedian was funny, especially his slideshow presentationLowlightsCrows Nest type Bar was always icy coldChampagne / Martini Bar spoilt by very loud spanish music coming up from the rendez-vous Lounge a deck belowTrivia was disappointing. I only went once and found it odd that people graded their own answer sheets and that unusually there was not a lot of good sportsmanship amongst the players.Guest pianist show was very over the top. Sometimes less is more.Music around the ship was definitely too loud and I don't see why music has to be piped into empty lounges. Some of us just like to sit quietly and watch the world go by.8. Captains Club Elite BenefitsWe received a sheet of coupons in our cabin. Additionally there was a complimentary daily morning coffee and evening cocktail hour in Michaels, and various behind the scenes and Bridge Tours offered for Elites. As this was a very port intensive itinerary, and as we already had the drink package we did not really participate in these.Highlights 30 items washed and folded free$49.99 free internet packageLowlightVase of roses, which had to be removed from the cabin due to my allergies!9. Ports of CallHighlights St Croix - Went to Sandcastle on the Beach with members of our Cruise Critic group. A relaxing, fun day at a really nice resort.St Kitts - Took the ships Fan-Ta-Sea catamaran excursion with snorkelling and a lunch on Nevis. Very well organised, lovely well kept catamaran and an excellent crew.Dominica - Arranged a customised half day tour with Reyno Tours as we really wanted to visit the Screws Sulphur Spa. Walked through the rainforest and saw the spectacular Trafalgar Falls, saw the bubbling spring at Wootten Waven, went in the Botanical Gardens and saw the scenic view at Morne Bruce. Screws Sulphur Spa was fabulous, 4 hot pools of differing temperatures and a cold plunge pool, all set among lush landscaping. Very relaxing experience and well worth the $10 per person admission fee.Tobago - Island Girl Catamaran private charter with our cruise critic friends. Beautifully kept catamaran ably crewed by Captain Dan and his crew. Snorkelling and a private beach followed by a delicious lunch on board, more snorkelling and then whilst under sail on our way back, we were accompanied by a group of dolphins swimming alongside and jumping out of the water. This was the best day of the trip!Lowlight Grenada - We decided to get of the ship and wander around town and head for the fort. Big mistake. We were constantly hassled by the locals be they offering taxi tours, walking tours, things to buy. They would not take no for and answer and would not leave us alone. Totally spoilt our day, and made this our least favourite port. With hindsight we should have booked a tour here.All in all we had a great time and would not hesitate to sail Celebrity Summit again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We did our first back to back cruise March 2011 on the Summit and were not disappointed at all. We had been on the Constellation twice before so we knew what to expect on the Summit. Yes, the furniture needs to be replaced and carpeting is ... Read More
We did our first back to back cruise March 2011 on the Summit and were not disappointed at all. We had been on the Constellation twice before so we knew what to expect on the Summit. Yes, the furniture needs to be replaced and carpeting is wearing but they are easy to overlook due to the amazing service offered by such a pleasant crew. Everyone, without fail, smiled, greeted us and went out of their way to please. We never felt pressured to buy although there is ample opportunity for that - we just avoid the photos, bingo, shopping and art. Since it was a Caribbean cruise, we know we are going to be up on deck so we always get an inside stateroom and spend that money on drinking. The drink package was about $400 but worth every penny. I started each day with a perfect cappuccino from Cafe Cova, was able to take bottled water off ship for excursions, had fresh squeezed OJ for breakfast and Dr. Feel Good kept me well medicated at the Mast Bar. The Summit has a gem in Dr. Feel Good - absolutely the best bartender at sea. Not only does he make the best drinks but his personality gives you that feeling that he cares about his job and the folks he talks with. I was able to complete each evening with a fine port in Michael's Club and a martini by Leo at the Martini Bar. I do believe that the food quality in the main dining room had taken a hit when Michael Roux and Celebrity parted. We had noticed on a few cruises in the past 5 years it just wasn't up to par. But this one was different - excellent quality, everything came to the table still steaming and the taste was what we had remembered in the Celebrity food of many years ago. I recognized that Celebrity had actually listened to its many loyal supporters and responded. Of course, there were a few misses - the lamb shank was so huge it made us feel like cannibals, the creme brulee a little too runny and the Caesar salads obviously made several hours before. But the vast majority of the food in the MDR was excellent. Our waitress - Mayra from Peru was amazing - could not have done more to keep everyone happy and actually suggested dishes based on what she had noticed each person had previously enjoyed. We were a family of 8 so we also stayed longer than we normally would have at early sitting - never felt rushed. Our maitre d' had to deal with gluten free, diabetic, and lactose issues which he handled smoothly giving each of our family members individual attention. Vedran was amazing! He works the lower floor. Our first week was quiet and a lovely experience whereas our second week was spring break and somewhat loud. I was embarrassed by the behaviour of some fellow Canadians who seemed to make up about half the ship that week - the feeling of entitlement always leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. On the first formal night, about 10 children of one family were left unattended by their parents who were allowed to eat at separate tables in the MDR and, as would be expected, their behaviour was absolutely unacceptable. It ruined the evening for anyone who sat close by. Of course, many complained when dinner was over and for the rest of the cruise, there was no longer a problem. I applaud Celebrity for doing something about the situation. We ate in the Normandie twice - once each week and each time it was a wonderful experience. The warm goat cheese souffle - ah!!! the grand marnier souffle AH!!!! and crepes suzettes - the coulis reduction with a hint of pepper on the strawberries was perfect. The chef's special was a beautiful quality filet mignon - cooked rare to perfection - could almost cut it with a fork. The $35 upcharge is well worth it. We normally ate at the spa for breakfast and lunch and the staff there is often the same as at the Normandie. One way to control caloric intake somewhat is eating at the spa with a wonderful assortment of portion control beautifully presented. Entertainment was better than expected - the singers and dancers were quite good. It is very difficult to get a good tenor and that was still the case - should have left out the Frankie Valli song and he butchered the tenor solo in Les Mis. The Neptunes weren't in tune so we just left, but the dance band Fusion was excellent although the sound system was too loud. The aerialists were wonderful and if you haven't caught Clett the comedian - I have never laughed so hard. The pianist tried hard but again the sound system was so loud it ruined his talented performance. Too bad! Unfortunately we have yet to enjoy a good cruise director on Celebrity and again both weeks they were terrible - the first week he was pompous and the second week she just grated - choosing to sing some opera after a show was a bad choice. I don't speak Italian but I could swear I kept hearing "tsunami" throughout the song which, given the circumstances, showed a lack of judgment. Our best cruise director (HAL) was everywhere. She greeted us on the gangway every day coming and going, she walked the pool deck, was in the dining room, she seemed to know where to be and at the right time to make sure folks were happy. These two were duds. Oh well, not a huge complaint. All in all - it was a fabulous cruise and we would definitely return to the Summit tomorrow (just to have a drink from Dr. Feel Good). Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Our family chose the Celebrity Summit for a Spring Break cruise based on price and ports-of-call. Our daughters are now in high school and this is our eighth cruise as a family. We arrived in San Juan on Thursday night and stayed at the ... Read More
Our family chose the Celebrity Summit for a Spring Break cruise based on price and ports-of-call. Our daughters are now in high school and this is our eighth cruise as a family. We arrived in San Juan on Thursday night and stayed at the Caribe Hilton, booked room on Hotwire for $119/night. The hotel was a wonderful place to start our vacation. The grounds are beautiful and relaxing. We spent Friday doing some last minute shopping at the Las Americas mall, picked up a couple bottles of wine to take aboard at the convenience store across the street from the hotel and had a nice dinner in Old San Juan at the Cafe Puerto Rico. On Saturday we checked out of the hotel at 12 noon and took a taxi to the pier, by 12:30 we were eating lunch in the Waterfall Cafe. Embarkation was painless, no lines, no hassles, no worries! After lunch we stopped by our cabin and put our carry on luggage away, by 1:30 our luggage arrived. At 5:30 they had the muster drill. The ship was in good shape overall, some of the railings could use sanding and varnishing and some exterior paint was needed, but otherwise everything else seemed great. Our stateroom was a balcony on the 9th floor forward, starboard side. The balcony was well shaded by the beauty salon above but this just fine with us, you can always find sun up by the pool but shade can hard to find. Cabin had a King bed, pull out couch bed and pull down ceiling bed, a little crowded for 4 people, but comfortable. Our cabin attendant, Elizabeth, was wonderful and attentive. Only two US plugs in cabin, next time might bring a powerstrip for more plugs. We initially had a table for 4 at the late seating but after the second night decided to switch to the early seating and sat at a table for 7 by the window. The food each night was very good as was the service. Our waiter was named Jimmy Carter and he was from India. We ate in the main dining room each night and usually ate breakfast and lunch up in the Waterfall Cafe. The teenagers had soda cards, probably a good deal for them. We usually drank iced tea or water with meals; coffee, iced tea, lemonade, and orange-passion juice(great mixed with rum;>) were always available at the cafe. We attended some of the shows, the singers and dancers were good as was the xylosynth performer. The impressionist was a little boring. Our two high school girls met some nice kids on the ship and spent much of the on board time hanging out, they did not spend much, if any, time in the ship-sponsered teen program. Disembarkation was very easy, we were at the airport in San Juan by 8:15. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
This was my first cruise as well as my mother's. This cruise was an amazing way to spend our Spring Break! We embarked from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and were on the boat in under 15 minutes (would have been shorter but we forgot to get ... Read More
This was my first cruise as well as my mother's. This cruise was an amazing way to spend our Spring Break! We embarked from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and were on the boat in under 15 minutes (would have been shorter but we forgot to get our sea passes). We got on the ship pretty early, so there weren't many people aboard. We were greeted as soon as we got onto the boat with complimentary mimosas and champagne. One of the staff members took our bags from us and brought us to our room so that we wouldn't get lost. The room we stayed in was one of the best rooms we have ever stayed in. It was very clean, not the biggest room ever but it was comfortable. The shower was surprisingly big and there was plenty of room to move around in. We had an oceanview room and the window was much bigger than I imagined it would be. We had a wonderful room attendant named Meriam and our room was cleaned at least two times a day. She even folded my clothes, put all of my things away, and left me towel animals on my bed. We had the late dinner seating(which was at 8:30), we were apprehensive about the assigned seating arrangements and sitting with strangers. It turned out very well though. I am 20 and seemed to be one of the few young people on board, but Celebrity made sure to seat us with two families that had children my age. I think due to this, my mother and I made lifelong friends. Our waiter and waiter's assistant took great care of us every single night. The food was some of the best I have ever had, they changed the menu every night, but had a separate menu to choose from if you didn't like the menu for the night. Also, there was the Waterfall Cafe and Grill which was buffet style and equally as delicious. I couldn't believe the service either. There was always something happening on the ship, not all of it geared toward my age group though. We were a little disappointed by that, but there was plenty for older age groups. Overall, I don't think I would ever cruise with another cruise line after experiencing this one. I would recommend this ship to anyone and everyone. Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
Ship: Celebrity Summit Cabin: 2A balcony - 9024 Itinerary: Southern Caribbean with San Juan embarkation (St Maarten, Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire, Aruba, day at sea) Prior cruising history: All seven-night cruises to Caribbean ... Read More
Ship: Celebrity Summit Cabin: 2A balcony - 9024 Itinerary: Southern Caribbean with San Juan embarkation (St Maarten, Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire, Aruba, day at sea) Prior cruising history: All seven-night cruises to Caribbean (1-southern, 2-western, 3-eastern) and Alaska. About us: Mid-30s math teacher limited to school breaks and airline employee who married one another on a cruise in 2003 and booked this for our anniversary, leaving our toddler at home with grandparents. This was our first time to leave our daughter for over 48 hours, and chose this cruise so we would be in port each day should something arise we needed to catch a flight home. Let me first preface this review by sharing this: In December 2001, we cruised Celebrity Galaxy out of San Juan for a 7-night southern Caribbean cruise. We booked it in January 2001, paying about $800 for an inside cabin. After 9-11 happened, we chose to continue with the cruise. No discount or credit or upgrade was ever given to us. Yes, our fault for booking months in advance. Once onboard, we learned local specials had recently been $199 (inside), $299 (outside) and $399 (balcony) with a $99 rate for 3rd/4th passengers, so we essentially paid quadruple for our inside cabin. The ship clientele on that 12/14/01 was 80% local residents and 20% other (according to our room steward). Being our first Celebrity experience, it was not what we had read about. We saw lots of jeans in the dining room (even on formal night), dancing on tables by the pool, groups singing louder than the pool band, loud dinners in the dining room, smelled drugs being smoked out on the aft deck (no, they were not cigarettes or cigars), etc. We wrote two letters to Celebrity to no avail. All seasoned passengers at our dinner table said they would never cruise Celebrity again, and especially not out of Puerto Rico. Well... we tried Celebrity again in 2006 for our "babymoon cruise" and enjoyed the ship (Infinity) immensely. I somehow coerced my husband to try San Juan again for this cruise, saying that at least if we book a balcony if it's the same nonstop party crowd we can at least retreat to our own balcony. Our good friends reminded us of how miserable we were on our Galaxy cruise in 2001, and they would not join us. So yes, we were extremely skeptical of cruising out of San Juan again from that 12/14/01 experience... Note: this review of Summit 3/14/09 represents our personal opinions of this specific cruise Travel to San Juan: To save money, we pieced together two separate airline tickets from Dallas. Although we would have loved to fly AA nonstop from DFW to SJU as we have in the past, airfares were not within our budget (over $800 each booking months in advance). From Dallas, we flew Southwest (March 13) on a green pass won from the Luv Classic fundraiser for Ronald McDonald house (like a Rapid Rewards ticket with no blackout dates or seat limitation - as long as a seat is available to be booked, one can use the green pass). After arriving in Orlando, we stayed in a king-size room at Fairfield Orlando Airport for $49 with my husband's employee discount. This nonsmoking hotel provided free breakfast beginning at 5:30 AM along with free 24-hour airport transportation and computer with internet. Several restaurants were in short walking distance, and we had dinner to kick off our vacation at Tony Roma's. Out of Orlando on March 14 (day of embarkation) we flew the 8:00 flight on Jet Blue nonstop MCO-SJU. This was our first experience on JetBlue and thoroughly enjoyed it. Because our tickets had dropped $67 within 90 days of purchase, they credited our TrueBlue account so that we could use the difference for seat upgrades. We upgraded our seats at check-in to the "more legroom seats" for $20 each. This could not be done at the kiosk, but rather the ticket counter since the agent had to phone TrueBlue to verify our credit. The flight was not full as there were at least 15 empty seats. We chose this flight because it was first of the day, had several "back-up options" in case something went wrong since we were flying in the day of the cruise, and Jet Blue also flies to our first port of call (St Maarten) should that be necessary. This was our first time to ever fly in the day of the cruise, so we wanted backup plans. We also made sure to not check any bags - yes, we packed for a 7-night cruise using one regular backpack, one Kelty daypack, and one carryon sized roller bag that easily fit in the overhead bins. Two people, three carryons, with one backpack being small enough to fit under the seat (personal-sized carryon). Our flight: http://flightaware.com/live/flight/JBU737 Transportation to pier: Once arriving in San Juan (a few minutes early) we proceeded to ground transportation and found the taxi cab stand. Fare to the Pan American pier was $20 plus $1 per bag. Obtain the receipt, get escorted to cab, and off you go! We arrived to the ship prior to the main doors being opened. Embarkation Day: We arrived around 11:15, and the main doors opened at about 11:30. We were seated in a huge room with white chairs, sitting at the end of row one. At about 11:40 they had the first row stand up and enter the lines for paperwork and room keys. That was completed quickly, so we headed across the checkin counters to the alcohol shop and purchased a 12-pack of bottled water ($6), two bottles of wine for about $11 each (allowed by Celebrity at embarkation only) and one small bottle of Bailey's ($8). The lady in the shop said the ship would not care since it is a small bottle, but to hide it away anyway. We kept it separate from our wine bottles. At the second x-ray machine (onboard ship) the Celebrity staff did look in our bag at the bottles to be sure we had wine only, but they missed the Bailey's that went through the scanner in a backpack. We received a glass of champagne with no notice that cabins were not ready, so we proceeded to our cabin and dropped off our bags. It looked ready for the most part, so we hung up hanging clothes from the roller bag and put the wine/Bailey's in the vanity cabinet. After closing the door, we went to the Waterfall buffet area for lunch. (AquaSpa grill was not ready when we passed). At 1:00 a message was made that all cabins were ready, but we were enjoying lunch on the aft deck. After finishing lunch, we returned to our cabin to finish unpacking. My husband noticed our bottles were missing. I called our room steward at 1:45, and we had them back by 2:15. They apparently thought they were left from the previous guests... even though we already had our baggage in the room (clearly visible). Again, since we had only two backpacks and a small rollerbag, we had not given any bags to the porters to be delivered to our cabin. At 4:00, we had our informal CruiseCritic.com get-together where we got to meet Texed (Ed and wife Jacque), Beachbum1978 and husband Jared125, ILCruiser (John and wife Bev), RickCanada, sally47, Ozark74, and some others. We had our get-together at the Mast bar overlooking the pool where my husband enjoyed my Bahama Mama (that I wasn't fond of) and I ordered a different Malibu-cranberry-pineapple concoction. At 5:15 we had muster, which took about 30 minutes from start to finish. The first part was in a meeting location (for us, in the Theatre) and the second part was standing under the lifeboats out on deck. While in the theatre, we chitchatted with the folks next to us, which is when we learned that was ad_arrow from our rollcall. We made our Normanie reservations for our anniversary night (March 20 - sea day - 6:00 PM). This had not been available online previously, so it was nice to book once onboard. We also were invited to join Texed's table (412), so we ate there instead of our previously assigned table (436 by Normandie statue). We never made it by to meet those folks (table of 8) but absolutely loved our table, and especially our tablemates at our new table! Cabin: Category 2A - 9024. Yes, this has an overhang and is under the salon. However, we loved the cabin and would absolutely book it again. Yearly visits to the dermatologist have us very aware of the sun, so we appreciated the overhang. It did not impede our view at all. Being under the salon was not a problem at all, although we did hear someone in heels walking by a couple times. It was definitely not like being under a pool deck though! We really enjoyed the close proximity to the AquaSpa area - just around the corner and up a quick flight of stairs. Storage was more than plentiful, and the shower was large enough for the two of us. The shampoo and lotion dispensers were mounted but no longer being used - instead we received small bottles of lotion, shampoo, and conditioner along with soap. We did have to ask for our safe to be fixed (apparently low battery) and the fridge was not as cold as we normally would have at home, but it was fine. Ship: The ship is in excellent condition. We mostly enjoyed reading the history of the Normandie on deck three, relaxing at the AquaSpa on deck ten, and having predinner drinks listening to the band on decks four and five (RendezVous Lounge and Martini Bar). We prefer the t-pool to the main pool, and only spent one afternoon by the main pool (Aruba day). I appreciated being able to be in the casino without gagging from smoke, although I never made any donations to the casino. For spa experiences, see ports below - St Maarten (we enjoyed the spa that day). We also took time on embarkation day to tour the kiddo area (aft deck eleven) since our daughter will probably be joining us on our next cruise. Wow, that place looked great! It was our first time to go inside the kiddo area onboard any ship, and the crew answered all of our questions. Meals: Breakfast was usually waffles on the aft deck, along with some protein. (Thanks to Texed for introducing us to the fresh waffles on Celebrity!!) If we needed a quick snack prior to breakfast, I would run up to the AquaSpa cafe for breakfast and bring items back downstairs to enjoy on our balcony. One morning I did get waffles and bring back to my husband to surprise him in bed - it was our anniversary. He had already gotten up and was sitting outside, so we enjoyed them out there. When possible, I would have lunch at the AquaSpa, enjoying their freshly prepared fish. The tilapia and broiled cod stand out in my mind. A couple of times my husband enjoyed the pool grill just for a change-of-pace, and we did have the buffet a couple of times and brunch on our sea day. Dinner was always at our table in the main dining room except for one night when nothing jumped off the menu at me (night four). We went upstairs to the Waterfall Bistro for $2 each to try it. Not as upscale, and supposedly waiters in training, but still a good meal. Being the alternative restaurant, some were dressed in more casual attire, and some were louder than what we observed in the dining room, but it did not hinder the dining experience. Our final night was our anniversary, so we enjoyed a 6:00 PM reservation at Normandie. We were there almost three hours, enjoying sunset from our table for two. Food was over-the-top delicious and worth trying, although I don't think our tummies could have handled the richness more than one night. For the main dining room we had table 412 with Wawan. Ironically, Wawan had been our assistant waiter on Infinity in 2003, and my husband remembered him mostly because of how he rolled his r's when saying various things like "crème brulee". Each meal was superb, and I enjoyed trying different foods that I would not normally cook at home. There was no course that I had to send back or turn away the entire week. Our tablemates were awesome!! We enjoyed meeting them and hope to end up on another Celebrity cruise with them in the future. I will add that with recent higher blood pressure, I thought I would be good and try the "no sodium" dining that Celebrity offers by calling at least 45 days in advance. I could not tell a difference unless I dined somewhere without preordering no sodium! Then my ankles would swell some. No sodium is definitely worth a call to your travel agent to arrange, as it does not cost a dime and helps out your heart. Our area maitre'd was George. He took my meal order each evening by brining over the following night's menu (around dessert time), and also gave recommendations as needed. George also came and found me in the alternative restaurant on night four to get the following night's order! He was great. I will say that the following night when waiting on each course to arrive, I would have no recollection of what I had ordered, so it was always a pleasant surprise!! There was only one night that the menu did not look appealing to my personal tastes, and although we could have ordered from the "every night offerings" they have, that was the night we chose to just try the $2/per person alternative dining. Onboard entertainment: We only attended one show, and it was just fine. We are accustomed to the Cirque shows in Vegas, and the aerial acrobats were great onboard! We really did not attend anything other than the band in the RendeVouz Loung (deck four). At dinner, we enjoyed the string quartet, and did take time to take in a movie on the sea day. With me being a teacher and my husband working evenings/weekends, we very rarely get to see a movie together with our conflicting work schedules, especially now that we have a child, so this was nice to enjoy. And although not entertainment, we really appreciated not being bombarded with announcement every few minutes! It was nice only having one or two announcements a day. Ports: St Maarten - we won 50% off a massage through the AquaSpa on embarkation day, so we did couples massage onboard ship to start the week, relaxed at t-pool with few people onboard, and did do a little shopping but electricity on the island was out since 7:30 AM so many shops were closed (very few shops at pier - suggest going in town). We had previously visited Maho Beach to watch airplanes (see pics at sunsetbeachbar.com) and decided this time to just enjoy a semi-empty ship. Be sure to enter the raffle when boarding for AquaSpa! The couples massage was 50 minutes for $270, so half-price almost made it reasonable. Otherwise, a massage was 50 minutes for $119 (per person) so they do charge more to have you both in the same room at the same time. Had my husband enjoyed the Rasul treatment, we would have done it again (did it on Galaxy) but last time it just zonked him out. We did not do the Thermal room - it was $99 per week or $30 per day. No specials were ever offered for either of these, even at the AquaSpa auction later in the week. Dominica - We did an amazing hike with Levi - Roseau Valley Best tour - and cannot recommend him enough. He was CPR and first aid certified, friendly, encouraging on the hard hike, took pictures for us, etc. This was $60 each, and included Middleham Falls (labeled "strenuous" on the ship shore excursions), Titou Gorge (swimming with life ring into the gorge where Pirates of the Caribbean 2 was filmed), and Trafalgar Falls (and natural hot springs). The $60 per person price included everything (transportation, guide, entrance fees, beverages) and lasted about 7 hours. We also tipped $20 at the end. Levi's van (with A/C) held about 14 people but we only had 9 on our tour. I will also point out that when hiking back from the falls, we passed one group where it seemed there were 30 people, and three uniformed guides who seemed to be there for "the job" and not necessarily because they loved hiking and people. Levi took time to get to know each one of us, and we learned about things along the hike (berries to eat, trees and Indian history, vines to swing like Tarzan, etc.) We will definitely book another tour with Levi when we return to Dominica. Again, I cannot recommend Levi enough- I felt safe, my husband also enjoyed the day, we got dirty, and loved every minute of it. That particular part of the island receives 450 inches of rain per year. A good pair of Keens is worth the investment (like Keen Newports). We did the most strenuous part of the tour first (Middleham) and Levi had it all timed where we were the only ones enjoying each of the sites. Also, some guides would not have allowed swimming at the falls, but Levi was right there with us, encouraging us. Here is Levi's website: http://www.bumpiingtours.com/cruise-ship-visitors.html By comparison, the ship offered each of these three attractions as their own separate tour, with Middleham Falls being $44 each (no Titou Gorge or Trafalgar Falls). As always, with any hike, you need to evaluate your physical well being. I do not workout regularly (did before our toddler was born) and am in mid-30s, but did have a stress test last summer and know how I am with inclines such as our hiking in Zion and Sedona in the past 6-8 months (have to stop and catch my breath every so often). I communicated with Levi ahead of time, was honest, and had switched to a different tour, but after meeting him he asked me if I was sure. I knew he was looking me up and down to see if I looked fit, and he thought I would have no problem. He was right, there was only one time on the Middleham hike I had to be the one to ask for a stop (about 1-2 minutes) but otherwise stayed right on Levi's heels the entire hike. I just didn't want to be the one "dragging the rear" or asking for stops. But yes, it was a challenging hike with inclines, and constantly watching your footing, but I also did do the "extra" things like scrambling over rocks to go swim in the 58-degree water at the falls, climbing up into the cave, and diving off into the falls. Once we got back onboard, I was so hungry I could have eaten one of everything that was still out for lunch buffet. I think I used about a million calories on that hike, and was only slightly sore the next day or two. (Think of a stairmaster for about an hour - that's Middleham). We would not have had the energy to do Champagne snorkeling afterwards ($7 more) but did enjoy grabbing lunch. The last stop had souvenirs, which is where we purchased our magnet we always get when visiting somewhere new. The T-pool in the AquaSpa was a welcome return!! (And several times during our cruise was hotter than the hot tubs!) Grenada - We were off the ship at 9 AM (with ziploc baggie of rolls/snacks for beach) and took a taxi to Magazine Beach ($20 each way). There, we relaxed under shade on beach towels (could have rented loungers for $5 each - by Aquarium Restaurant - previous reports had said these were $10 so it must vary), and the cab picked us up at 1:00 (which was just after ship tour arrived - which was about $44 per person for ship tour including a beverage). We went back onboard to enjoy lunch on the ship (saved us money in port and some time to enjoy the ship while others were still off the ship.) As a FYI, according to TripAdvisor, the Aquarium Restaurant is rated #1 of the 29 restaurants on the island, but we didn't even look at a menu. We didn't bring our snorkeling gear, but it looked like you would have to snorkel out quite a ways to get to anything and you needed fins - quite a little current. We chose Magazine Beach over Grand Anse because we wanted a less crowded experience, which we received (until the tour group arrived about 12:45). http://www.grenada-beaches.com/beaches/magazine-beach/ After arriving back at the ship, we asked our driver to drop us off at the spice market. We bought some cumin (part of our rub mixture when grilling steaks) and spice necklaces (3 for $10). Those smelled great in the cabin back on the ship hanging on a light fixture!! Also, I had bought a shell necklace from a guy on the beach (Dexter) and had three others approach as well, but I was broke by then. I later figured out I spent too much, but that was okay. What's an extra ten bucks? He probably could have used the money, and I was able to sit on my rear on the beach while he showed me his assortment as opposed to going vendor to vendor and bargaining. We were surprised to have four vendors approach us, whereas we knew it would be like that at Grand Anse... part of our reason for going to Magazine instead. Bonaire - We did Discover Scuba with Blue Divers (our divemaster was Bas from Holland) who is PADI certified. He picked up at 1:00, had us back by 5:45, shopped at market, all onboard by 6:45. http://www.bluedivers-bonaire.com/eng/diving.html ($80 plus $10 marine park fee ship tour was $129 plus marine park fee). We had done Discover Scuba in Cozumel with someone who was not listed on the PADI website and had a blast, but it was not nearly as thorough as this course. In Cozumel, it was literally reminding us how to breathe with a regulator (since we had done Snuba before), a few hand signals, and off the boat we went. With Blue Divers in Bonaire, we watched a 20-minute PADI video, spent at least 20 minutes going over things person-to-person, got fitted for booties, fins, wetsuit, and all that other stuff, then drove to a dive location (shore dive). After getting in the water, we went out a little ways to a sandy area, descended to the floor (about 6-8 feet), and practiced a few skills (regulator retrieval, using the divemaster's octopus, and something else). If he felt we were ready, we proceeded on our dive from there, which we did. I concentrated on my breathing, long slow breaths, and after an hour still had over 1000 on my gauge for oxygen! I could have kept diving!! Bas kept our camera that we had purchased, and took over 50 pictures of us diving. After he felt comfortable with us and our diving, we used the camera. (Underwater SeaLife digital camera good for up to 75 feet deep - we stayed under 40 feet in depth.) If returning to Bonaire, we will definitely dive with Blue Divers again. Our safety, and following all of the PADI guidelines, were of their upmost concern. While we had fun diving in Cozumel, we now know much more about diving and can definitely tell a difference in diving through a PADI instructor or someone else. It was a completely different learning experience. Aruba - We just went shopping for souvenirs. We previously did Snuba at DePalm (snuba/snorkel to shipwreck) and rented jeep to see natural bridge, lighthouse, island sights. Sea Day - We enjoyed a movie (we never get to do that at home!), brunch, Normandie for dinner, relaxing on balcony (chairhogs in full force for shady beach chairs prior to 8 AM lots of chairs saved with towels, books, and a sandal here or there typical of any cruise when you have passengers with the me-me-me attitude and like to save unused chairs by main pool for hours on end). We also picked up future cruise material to have something to read... and I've already been online researching!! Disembarkation: We had JetBlue booked for 11:20, and everyone always says nothing earlier than noon. We were the first two off the ship (7:43 AM) having gotten in line on deck four midship at 7:00 instead of reporting to the theatre at 7:30 as we had been told (lavender group three). Again, having only our carryon items (two backpacks and one small rollerbag) we were quickly in a cab. We were at the gate by 8:15. Yes - walking off the ship at 7:43 and at the GATE (through security) by 8:15. Can't beat that. Flights home were fine (JetBlue to Orlando, 90 minute connection to Southwest just a few gates away, and then Southwest home to Dallas). Lots of travelers in Orlando being Spring Break. We had a quick dinner after getting off the plane (we were starving!) and were home before 8:00. For some reason, room service did not work this morning... on waffles... and my bed feels like it is swaying. I think the only thing that will help is to book another cruise. Overall thoughts: We had an absolutely wonderful time on Celebrity Summit's southern Caribbean itinerary. There are no negatives to report. I'm a "glass half full" type of girl, and I realize for many , their glass if half empty. Yes, if you look hard enough you might find a strand of carpet out of place or a window that wasn't washed in the past thirty minutes. However, the Summit looked outstanding, the crew worked their rears off, and my hubby and I had a great anniversary week. We would love to book the Summit again once our daughter turns three so she can enjoy the kiddo program, and will definitely cruise with Celebrity - AND out of San Juan - again in the future. This cruise was the complete opposite of our Celebrity Galaxy experience from 12/14/01 as I shared in the opening of this review. Thank you, Celebrity, for winning us back. Please excuse any typos that have been made. I am now officially going through cruise withdrawal and I awoke with my bed feeling like it was rocking gently like the ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
Celebrity Summit March 7 - 14, 2009 Review Background. My wife and I (42 and 48) along with our daughter and her friend (both 16) sailed on the Celebrity Summit from San Juan on March 7th, 2009. The cruise was fantastic. This was the ... Read More
Celebrity Summit March 7 - 14, 2009 Review Background. My wife and I (42 and 48) along with our daughter and her friend (both 16) sailed on the Celebrity Summit from San Juan on March 7th, 2009. The cruise was fantastic. This was the 23rd sailing for my wife (Mary) and I, our daughter's 13 and the FIRST for her friend (it was fun to watch all the "new" stuff through her eyes). Mary and I did the exact same sailing last March, and enjoyed it so much we brought the girls this time. We had regular Outside Balcony {7129} and girls were across the hall in {7123}. Note of interest, if you are bringing along a companion that is not an immediate family member and under the age of 18, you MUST have Passport AND notarized Letter of Consent from parents. Celebrity asked for and we provided this documentation at the check-in, they even rubbed the area of the Notary Seal to make sure it was an original. Worked out great, the girls had the inside cabin but would come over to our room to watch sailaways. My lovely wife will also be posting a review that will be more indepth for items such as food, service and overall quality. This review will focus mainly on the itinerary, excursions and my general thoughts/opinions. Flew from Atl to San Juan on Sat March 7th. Since we do not have to worry about connections, we fly the same day as embarkation to save on a hotel room in San Juan. Delta has several flights on Sat mornings from Atlanta to San Juan, we were on the 8:30 am (Delta actually had First Class seats available for $100 upgrade so I moved all 4 of us up there, it was great and very comfortable). A little delay out of Atl., got into San Juan around 2:00, took more than 30 minutes for luggage, but very simple getting a cab right to the Pier. Porters were there to take luggage and I was surprised at the number of people ahead of us that did not tip the Porter Master. I figured the $10 spent there would hopefully insure that my luggage got on board promptly. After the porters, Celebrity had a pre Check-in area where you filled out a form about any "sickness" prior to sailing. Then on in to the main Check-in area. No wait at all. While my wife was completing this task I went over to an area set up for Normandie Reservations. Asked for 4 for Wed Night at 7:00 pm and they said no problem. Very simple. Walked right on board and to our room in just a matter of minutes. I did proceed back off the ship to go to the Duty Free shop in the Pier lobby. Purchased 2 bottles of Wine, a 6 pack of Diet Coke and a 12 pack of bottled waters. Went back through Security with no problem. Next order of business was to check on our Table for dinner. Went to the MDR station and he informed me that instead of a table for 4 as requested, we were at a table of 12 (YIKES). However, he showed me that there were 3 other families with teenage children and asked if we would try it to see if it would be okay. Table 449, waiter was Renato (whom we had as a waiter the previous year). We were tentative at first but it worked out great. Other families were very nice, the girls got along nicely and it worked out well. Muster Drill at 5:15 pm instead of late night is FANTASTIC. Seemed very organized, took about 30 minutes, but then we were done and could relax. Our bags were back in our room after the drill, changed for dinner at 6:00 and STARTED our vacation. Sailaway on Deck 10 was fun. Very Very windy, but we listened to the band, did some dancing and enjoyed the sights of sailing past El Morro. Must say that due to the Wind, the seas were very rough the first night. No problems, but did hear several people complaining the next day (oh well, you are on the open ocean, it might get a little rocky). ITINERARY AND EXCURSIONS Sunday - St. Martin. Kind of a late night on the Sailaway, but we still managed to get up and ready for 8:00 am Mass in the Cinema (well, at least Mary and I made it, since the girls go to a Catholic School they "took a cut"). Turns out the Priest never made it on board from San Juan so No Mass, but at least we tried. Had a quick breakfast and then went to the Cruise Critic meet and greet in Michael's club at 9:15 am. A relatively small turnout, mainly due to Celebrity NOT putting out invitations to several of the people signed up. But still had about 20 people and it was nice to put faces with names and exchange stories. We have been to St Martin several times and decided to just have a beach day with some Parasailing for the girls. Got off the ship around 11:00. Went right to the Taxi stand, had a very nice van that took us over to Orient Beach. We walked left along the beach looking for a good spot for chairs. Picked out 4 at Bikini Beach. Unfortunately, too windy for any Parasailing, so the girls were a little disappointed but still had a good time relaxing on the beach. I swam in the surf for a long time, very fun body-surfing. The people at Bikini Beach were very accommodating, Restrooms were clean. The vendors were a little bothersome but not too bad. The sunbathing "sights" were minimal and overall it was a fun day (EXCEPT for the sunscreen). We decide to go back to the ship a little earlier than planned, but had no problem catching a taxi right out the backside of Bikini Beach. 3 other ships in port that day, so a little crowded on the pier put not bad. Went back to pool area of Summit to swim and relax. As we sailaway, the girls come over to our room and Callie, our daughter's friend is RED, RED, RED. Turns out she NEVER put ANY sunscreen on all day and now she is hurting. Actually turns out she has 2nd degree Sunburn and blisters on her face and shoulders. We took her to ships hospital, but they said just apply Aloe and Yogurt and it will heal. It did and she is fine, but learned a VERY valuable lesson. Monday - Dominica We have pre-arranged to go with Levi Barron on the Rouseau Valley Best Hike which includes Middleham Falls, Titou Gorge and Trafalgar Falls. We have used Levi's tours previously, he is FANTASTIC. Ship arrives at 6:30, clears customs at 7:00 and we are walking off the ship at 7:15 to meet him at 7:30. We are a group of 13, supposed to be 15 but the last couple does not show up by almost 8:00 so we proceed (that couple ended up going with a later tour with another of Levi's guides). I have posted a rather lengthy review of this hike over on the Dominica Site. It was fantastic but very hard. Middleham is a LONG hike over very hilly terrain. Titou Gorge was much more enjoyable and easier. Trafalgar Falls was very crowded and there was a "local" enjoying non-legal smoking substances in the Hot Springs area. Levi ran him off and we were able to enjoy the springs and take lots of pictures. Coming back down the mountain we drove through the Botanical Gardens, up to Morne Bruce for Pictures with Levi and the ship in the background. Overall a very tiring but fantastic day. Tuesday - Grenada Maybe our least favorite island. We had planned to make it a Beach day at Magazine Beach near the Aquarium, but with Callie's sunburn we decided against it. Slept late, big breakfast. Just walked through the Tunnel to Dot's Spices. Back up to the Fort for Pictures and then back on the ship. Must say that the local Guides and Vendors are VERY AGGRESSIVE and not a relaxing time right in the Pier area. The girls did indoor activities to stay out of the sun. We relaxed by the pool and enjoyed the Drink of the Day (and now have forgotten what it was). Had a very pretty sailaway. Wednesday - Tobago BEST DAY OF THE CRUISE. I had contacted a private tour, Captain Peter with the boat Zoe. This is a small Jet boat out at Pigeon Point. Corresponded with Peter prior to cruise. He said to find a Taxi and have them call his cellphone for directions. Tobago is set up very nicely. Inside the terminal bldg are just a few Taxi Managers. They take your request and then find you an appropriate taxi. It was simple. Easy ride out to Pigeon Point and the Corado Hotel. Peter was there waiting with his boat. We had to walk about knee deep out to get onboard. He can take a max of 6, but it was just the 4 of us. Girls sat in the front, Mary and I in back and it was a blast. Very comfortable, safe and FAST. We went up to the Bucco Reef area, first ones there, and did some snorkeling. WOW, Peter led the way and found a Sea Turtle, Moray Eel, Nurse Shark sleeping on bottom, Starfish, Cowfish, tons of Parrot Fish and Blue Tangs. School of Squid and lots more. Water was about 10 to 15 feet deep. Very clear. As other boats started to show up, we moved on. He took the boat outside the barrier reef and up to Turtle Beach. Fascinating Island and Peter has tremendous knowledge of the Ecosystem and all aspects of the island, plus his story is very exciting. After riding around for a while we went back into Bucco Reef and went ashore at No Man's Island. Relaxed, took pictures (put on LOTS of sunscreen). Then he took the boat for a "ride". He was going around 45 knots and making hairpin turns. Very exciting for the girls. Lots of fun. We then cruised around slowly in Nylon Pool for more pictures. He had us back at the Hotel at exactly 12:30 and our cab driver was sitting there waiting, just as we had discussed. It was perfect. At sailaway, they opened the Helicopter Pad for picture opportunities. We talked with Gary Walker, the cruise director, but had the most wonderful conversation with Sue Richardson, the Hotel Director. She is basically the #3 person on the ship, only answering to the Captain and First Officer. She is in charge of all hotel operations including food, entertainment and housekeeping. Lovely lady with a charming personality. Thursday - Barbados Arrive into Barbados and immediately notice the number of ships in Port, 5 in all. Barbados is an origination point for Seabourn and they had one of their ships embarking new passengers. Our tour for the day is the Silver Moon Catamaran. Thanks to suggestions from SweetAir, a CC friend we made on last year's trip, we signed up well in advance and were placed on the smaller of the 2 Catamaran's that Silver Moon sails. It was very nice. Only 13 passengers with Ben and Tony along as the crew. Huge boat, can normally hold 40, so we had plenty of room to spread out, very worthwhile. The other Silver Moon was also nice, it held 24 but seemed to have plenty of room also. Not a complaint, but Capt Ben is a very young man that really "likes" being Captain. He basically said that the wind was too strong and the Turtle location would be too crowded so we would NOT be sailing up to Crane's Bay to feed the turtles (which was the main purpose of the tour). Several other boats did sail up there and had a wonderful time with the turtles. Oh well, his boat - his choice. We sailed South, down past the Hilton. {Sidenote concerning something we saw. As we were sailing along, all of a sudden a couple of Scuba Divers surfaced about 200 ft away from our boat. At first I thought they were from shore, but then noticed a couple of dive boats about 500 yards away. I mentioned it to Ben and he just said they were drift diving and ignored it. I have logged over 100 dives and never had a drift dive where the boat was not at the PICK-UP point instead of drop off. Rather strong current was pushing the 2 divers farther away and they were waving their Fins in the air trying to get attention of the dive boat. I spoke to Tony about this and he was getting concerned also. Just as I was about to ask Ben to maybe "make a phone call" the dive boat roared to life and took off after the divers who were more than a half mile away at this point. Everyone ended up okay, just a little scary and very nonchalant from our Captain.} Anyway, back to the Silver Moon tour. We anchored off a beach that had an artificial reef. Swam a lap around the reef, saw a lot of little fish but nothing spectacular. Back to the boat for lunch. It was GREAT. Flying Fish and Chicken, plus several salads and bread. The beverages were wonderful also. Mary enjoyed the Rum Punch, the girls had cokes, punch or water and I had 2 or 3 or 10 Bank's Beer (local to Barbados). After lunch we sailed back up to the shipwreck area for more snorkeling. Very crowded but Ben found a good mooring buoy. Tony led this swim, brought along bread to bring the fish close. We did a little free diving through the wrecks. Mary unfortunately scraped her heel as she was going through a passage. When we got back to the Silver Moon, Ben's only comment to her was - You are bleeding on my boat. No offer of band-aid or any first-aid at all. Luckily Mary had a little kit she brings along in our bag that had band-aids, and after another couple of rum punch's all was fine. Sailed back to the harbor and off at exactly 2:30 as promised. Sailaway was BEAUTIFUL. Sunset was perfect and enjoyed the departure. It was formal night, the girls got all dressed up and had fun having formal pictures that evening. Lobster dinner was good (Renato brought me 3 of them). The Baked Alaska parade was fun to watch, sort of corny but still fun. Friday - At Sea As expected, ALL the good chairs around the pool were "reserved" by the time we had enjoyed the Brunch and decided to get some sun. However, we were lucky that a brief Rain Shower came over just as we were looking for chairs. People grabbed stuff and the staff cleared the towels, so suddenly lots of chairs became available. We ended up with 2, beside the pool, and enjoyed the "pool activities" for the afternoon. We had packed 90% of our luggage early that morning so we were able to relax by the pool, listen to the music and appreciate the last full day of vacation. Saturday - Departure This was a very organized and simple disembarkation. We had Red 1 tags. Ate breakfast around 7:00, got to the Theatre at 8:00 and they called our color by 8:15. Walked right off the ship without any line. Plenty of porters helped with the luggage, zipped right through Customs, out to a cab and we were through Security and sitting in chairs at our gate by 9:15 (for a 12:50 flight). Airport got REALLY REALLY crowded and no chance to upgrade, but all in all, it was a fine flight home. At our house in Atlanta by 7:00 pm. Celebrity is certainly our favorite cruise line. This was our 6th time with X and we are looking forward to more. Concierge Class would have been better again this time, but just not available with an inside cabin across the hall for the girls. Food overall was good. AquaSpa for breakfast was perfect amount. The Poolside Grill did a wonderful job with Burgers and Side items. Dinners were Hit and Miss. I tend to eat more fish on cruises and it is hard to prepare fresh fish in a large dining setting. Did have Oso Buco (sp?) one night and it was FANTASTIC. Service was good. Our Steward, Santana, was above average. If we needed something taken care of, he was very fast to accomplish the task. The Ship is in fine shape. No Complaints or comments at all. I have attached our Shutterfly album. Scroll down to the Summit March 09 cruise. http://summitcruisemarch09.shutterfly.com/ Also, these are the websites of the Tour Operators we used. http://www.bumpiingtours.com/ http://zoe-tobago.com/ http://www.silvermoonbarbados.com/htdocs/contact/index.html Once Again - We LOVED the cruise and give 2 Thumbs Up to Celebrity. Tiki Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
Over the last five years I have been on five cruises. In that time I have come to read Cruise Critic's boards to check out where I might head next. I have yet to post a review. So I figure I owe it one and here it is. History; ... Read More
Over the last five years I have been on five cruises. In that time I have come to read Cruise Critic's boards to check out where I might head next. I have yet to post a review. So I figure I owe it one and here it is. History; Having been on five cruises over the last five years, all on different cruise lines (the top 5 = Princess, Carnival, Holland America, Royal Caribbean), Celebrity was the last of the lot.We chose the ship by its route/ports and not by the reviews, age of the ship or services provided on board. Having been on 4 cruises, we have been to many of the ports of call in the east and west Caribbean and looked forward to seeing the sunny south. Booking; We booked our cruise though a local CAA (AAA in the USA) travel agent. I like the security and expertise of having a veteran on your side. That said, I did compare the price to that online/self booking and found little difference. I would consider going directly through the cruise line in the future as equally as going through an agent again. I guess it will come down to price and my confidence with the cruise company and my ability to hit the right buttons on the computer. Using credit card to book might provide me with that extra security I feel using a Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) approved agency.We booked a balcony cabin(6069-2C), with flight for three. I travel with three very close, family like, friends(aged 40ish). We can share a close space and they can put up with my snoring...for the most part. The fact is you spend so little time in your room. The balcony provides a private get-away and I would highly recommend it. The cabin for three cost $899 each, the flight cost $799 each. We are "educators" so our travel dates are fixed to the school holidays. In Toronto this means "peak" season and the need to book extra early to get what you want. Flight ; Our flight time was 6:15am on Saturday morning. Which means for us to beat the "March Break" (aka Spring Break) madness we need to be at the airport 2 hours before. Luckily for us we checked our flight the night before to confirm its departure and discovered that the time printed in our Celebrity cruise book was wrong. It stated a flight time of 6:30am. Now that would not be a problem in a non rush period, but at "March Break" that can be BIG trouble. We quickly adjusted our departure time from home and set the alarm clocks for 3:30am. The airport parking in Toronto is not the best. We have decided that "Park and Fly" is the way to go. For those of you who live in TO, we find the economy lot works. Print the coupon before hand and a week of parking cost $75.00. The "Park and Fly" bus was right there to pick us up and had us to the airport by 4:20am. By 5:45am we where at the gate. Looking back we decided that was too a little close for us. In the future we would give ourselves even more time to ensure we didn't miss our much anticipated holiday for a few more minutes of sleep. Our American Airlines flight was smooth and got us to our connection in Miami in time for a quick bathroom break and to the connection to San Juan, PR. We would so prefer a direct flight, but from Toronto that is hard to come by. This was the 1st of the 5 cruises that departed San Juan. Having just stopped there on cruise 4. Our flight home on Untied was also uneventful and on time as we connected in Chicago and then home to Toronto 20 minute early. Transfers; The transfers both to the boat and to the airport where well organized and smooth. We had booked vouches with our cruise tickets and found Celebrity to be on the ball as any. Embarkation; We arrived at the dock at 1:30pm and where on the boat by 2:00pm. We had processed the "express pass" on our home computer and besides the annoying "photo" and the need to pass our hand luggage through two scanners we stepped onto the boat and where greeted rather abruptly by the need to "hand sanitize" and then a room steward who showed us to our room after a quick pass by the champagne. I grab a glass of orange juice and we where escorted to our room. I am the kind of guy who likes to find his own way. While this may be a service enjoyed by some I find it "necessity" an annoyance. Cabin; Our cabin was #6069. It was a outside, balcony and convertible to three beds. The room appeared in good shape and perhaps had been recently remodeled. The bathroom was small, but no smaller than what we had experienced in the past. It was as clean and well laid out as any we had been in. Our room steward team (Edwin and Simpson) were always in the hallway or cabin down the way if we needed anything. We did make some request of them and they obliged. I would say of all the cruises I have been on they where effective, efficient, but certainly not personable. I don't need them to wait on me hand over foot. I was happy that we needed little interaction. But in comparison with other room stewards, I knew little about them in the end. Which was fine, but also prevented us from feeling a personal connection to them or the need to recognize them with an additional tip beyond the standard deduction. I would recommend the balcony. Even if you end up spending little time out there. The time you do spend, in port or at night just before bed, is a peaceful and worthwhile expense. We opted for the sofa to be unfolded and stay as a bed for the majority of the cruise. The other option was a pull down above the two singles. We had experienced the pull down last year and I was not happy be suspended (300lbs) above two other, unsuspected sleeping cabin mates. Edwin did add the mattress from the pull down to the sofa bed at my request, which made the sofa bed a much more enjoyable lateral sleeping location for 7 nights. Ship; We loved the ship. We didn't find it old, worn or dated. Understanding that our last cruise was on a brand new Royal Caribbean ship (4000 passengers), we where concern having read reviews here. Don't get me wrong, the ship is not new, but the work they have done to keep it ship shape has paid off. The "soft" spots in the restaurants didn't swallow us and the common spaces seemed updated and well cared for. We loved the ships layout, size and feel. The adult pool area was defiantly a high light with the therapy pool and cafe/spa food choice(more on that in the food section later). We had a great table for dinner and enjoyed the fact that the ship didn't tender once. We found the staff to be friendly and ready to serve. There where few lineups and when you had to line up they moved quickly and efficiently. There was one or two exceptions...EDDIE at the upper pool bar was not enjoying serving cruisers one day, perhaps a bad day, perhaps a need for a job change or perhaps just a bad bartender/server. On the other hand Reveena and Sophia in the Rendez-Vous lounge where exceptional and provided a personal service to us like few others have on any cruise. Food & Wait Staff; Why do we cruise? At the top of the list would be the food. We are foodies. We live to eat. As a foodie I have had many experiences eating in my life. From five star restaurants that cost a small fortune, to cheap and dirty but delightful meals in the smallest greasy spoon where the food is off the hook but the bathrooms are out of bounds. We like the constant food choices on cruises and with our vacations spent comparing the different options over the past five years Celebrity ranks high (especially in comparison with a Caribbean Island resort). The buffet lunch on the first day is always a good test. Having travel for twelve hours, I look forward to a good chow down and the fact that we have made it to the ship, its a tradition and marks the official start of the holiday. Our first trip to the buffet didn't disappoint. The pizza was fresh and hot. The salad bar was full and abundant, although hard to reach through the spit guards. The pasta bar was manned and ready. The hot buffet offered southern friend chicken plus other "meat choices, several hot potato and veggie options as well as a carving station and dessert bar. The beverages offered free of charge where standard fare, ice tea, lemonade, fruit punch, guava/orange punch, coffee, hot tea, milk, ice and iced water. We where pretty happy with the selection and didn't grew too tired of the coffee quality until half way through the week. The beverage stations where well kept and maintain through most of the week. There was various ice machine break downs and one perhaps that was possessed, as it threw ice cubes out randomly as you passed. We didn't take too much advantage of the pool side grill. We did stop by for a few nachos or fries. I tried a hot dog with sauerkraut one day and it was yummy. Breakfast was again pretty standard cruise buffet dining. The options where countless and all was served for the most part by a helpful staff. The breakfast omelets and hot buffet required some wait but little complaint here. The waffle/French toast station on the other hand seemed over whelmed and under trained. One day we where told to go away and come back when they had gotten time to regroup. I never did get that piece of coconut French toast or a taste of that orange butter, but I did enjoy the waffles i did manage to score and the cherries that i topped them with were delicious. We did go to the dining room for one breakfast. It was a little disappointing. Eggs benny is a fav and we looked forward to trying out what Celebrity could pull off. The eggs where small and cold the hollandaise thin and electric yellow, the ham tough and frigid. I later found out that the same dish was offered on the buffet that morning and bet the quality was little different, if not better. It was nice to be served breakfast and the hot oatmeal and hot milk was a nice change, although again available on the buffet. We also went to to the brunch offered in the dining room on the last day. I would recommend it highly. The variety was hugh and a nice change. I enjoyed the fresh carved roasted ham and several hot food stations as well as the entertainment(more on this later too). Lunch remained consistent for most of the week. We did discover the Spa/Cafe right when we needed a change. It is located in the adult pool area and proved to be a fresh take on some standard cruise food. The sushi bar that opened everyday at 5:00pm however was the best I have ever had on a ship. There was a sushi guy there hand packing and replenishing the sushi. The ice cream window was also very popular with everyone. Some day the ice cream was hit or miss, but what it lack in ice cream quality, it made up in candy availability. The caramel sauce was not from a bottle and was browned sugar awesome. Same with all the dressing on the buffet and in the dining room. This attention to detail is what I would say puts Celebrity at the top of our cruise ranking. Not just with dressings or ice cream toppings, but every where on this cruise you could see the caring of the staff and crew. From the presentation of the brunch to the chocolate/dessert buffet, the quick reactions to a forgotten section on the upper pool deck as we watched the sunset or the pleasant greetings of staff through out the ship, Celebrity seems to be not forgetting that exceptional presentation goes a long way in costumer satisfaction. Dinner was fun. We had awesome table mates with very different points of views and personalities. We where sat at table #440, late sitting ( shout our to Jeff & Pam and Evan & Miriam). We like to stay late and laugh and chat and share our days and really enjoyed hangin' with our table. Our waiter and assist waiter where working hard to provide top notch service to all their tables (18 people at our seating from talking to Gama). Bob and Gama are great. Again not too personable, but striving to provide the best service, they can archive. Gama worked hard each nite to share histhoughts on the menu with us. I appreciate his insight and often took his recommendation. I and others would often order many courses, much to his chagrin i bet, he would bring them all, do the check ins and fix any problems. Gama was great and I hope he receives his fair share of the tips which I paid for daily as well as the last nite's thank you note and cash we provided for his work. Bob was his assistant waiter and worked well with Gama to ensure our table had everything we needed, including a transport truck of spenda.They were always running, and seemed overworked. That may be an understatement on a cruise ship. From what I understand all staff work long hours for a long time to receive a large payout. An amount I am sure which works out to very little an hour in the end. I support their choice to work on a ship and enjoy the service they provide and with out getting to far into the politics of it all, I continue to work to understand both sides of the arrangement. The head waiter in our section did his robotic best to stop by and pay us some lip service. On one visit he asked if everything was good and someone asked him for more water. Rather than grabbing the water jug and filling our glasses, he left and directed some other sog to do so. Obviously this was not in his job duties, he was a team player or perhaps saw it below himself to do so. I didn't ask. I have never found a head waiter I liked on a cruise ship. I feel their love of the hierarchy and deplore it. The food in the dining room to be honesty was a bit hit and miss. All the beef dishes for the most part where good and that is what Gama would recommend, the fish dishes ranged from delicious (seafood risotto) to uneatable (seafood wrapped with cod). The appetizers ranged from disaster (clear broth soup) to awesome ( ). The shrimp cocktail was available every night as well as a steak, chicken and fish. The rest of the menu changed. One of the biggest disappointments of all was the lobster. On our first cruise (Princess, where the food was least impressive of any cruise) the lobsters where whole and fresh. Here the lobster was a half a rock, lobster tail. Like a giant crawfish, served on a seafood something. It was a waste of time and money. It was over fishy and lobster tasteless. SHAME on Celebrity for trying to cut corners. I would suggest, you reduce the menu choices and focus on quality and not quality. The desserts on the ship in general where not great. The best dessert we had on the ship was a pavlova served at lunch in the Spa/Cafe. The banana's foster, baked Alaska and cherries jubilee where all done, but lack, again a quality, that I was expecting from Celebrity. The food in general was good. Please don't over think my criticism. I am not your average foodie. I have graduated from cooking school, cooked professionally and would expect most people on the ship found the food to be outstanding. From having talked to a 35 cruise-timer, who shared our table one night, the food has dropped in quality on this ship and all of Celebrity...I would cruise this ship again and eat my glorious way through another week. Celebrity was in the end the best of the food experiences we have had on a cruise ship...but it is in the end just that...a cruise ship and not a five star French bistro...but a little bit of everything, which would be hard to do on land never mind at sea for 2000. We didn't go the the "Normadie" , but two table mates did. They had a great time and enjoyed the service and food. I don't like being served by a flock of waiters and from the many descriptions i have both read and heard I wasn't moved to try it. Cruisers; We meet some very nice people on this cruise. We don't cruise to make friends, but we always seem to meet some good people. The people on the Summit were as friendly as any cruise we have been on. Being "March Break" the cruise seemed full and I won't be able to support the feelings of other cruise critic posters as far as types go. I would say there was very few children on board, or very few that we saw. I would say an older crowd (40+) of mixed races. We didn't notice anyone taking flowers or sugar packs and didn't find people pushy or rude. There where quite a few Canadians, EH! Entertainment; We loved going to hear the Elk Island Trio every night in the Rendez-Vous Lounge for a pre-dinner drink. The whole band was top notch and one of the best we have every heard on a cruise. The first production show we went to was also top notch. The Broadway theme show was very commentary. Having seen many of the shows on Broadway and in local productions, it seemed they "borrowed" much of the staging and choreography. It made for a great show with some very enthusiastic dancers and talented singers working to reach their potential. We attended one other show which featured songs from Barbara Streisand to the Bee Gees and it was less well staged and produced. We enjoyed the A cappella group at the brunch in the dining room and the classic, piano and guitar performances around the ship. The worst of them all was the band that often played by the pool and at the "Sock Hop". OMG! Their diction was off and their attempts to recreate the hits horrid. One day they were attempting a Bob Marley song and two of the "pool Butlers' were mocking them and doing a better job. We also attend arts and crafts and learned how to fold an origami crane. It was fun, but I did feel that Celebrity could have provided a better quality craft, come on...paper folding! We didn't get to bingo and never made it to the casino. The cruise staff seemed friendly and we did watch some of the standard cruise ship games taped on the TV. We didn't really have problem with the Cruise Director, he seemed to be enjoying his job and reminding us of the few overhead announcements being made. Ports; 1. Puerto Rico - We had been to San Juan before so we didn't take time to explore. If this is your first time here I would recommend a walk around old town and an admission to the fort. I also would tell you to take the water taxi across the bay to the Barcardi rum factory. The tour is good and the rum better! 2. St. Maarten - Again this was not our first time here. The beaches are awesome and our plan to take a taxi to Orient beach was fooled by the weather. If you are given a good beach day make the trip to one of the beaches, they are awesome. We ended up walking to downtown from the ship docka nd doing a little shopping. We also sat on the beach in front of town for a short bit. It was clean and open, it started to get full as the weather cleared and the sun came out. 3. Dominica - This was our first visit to Dominica. It was a beautiful and tropical delight. We booked an excursions through the ship to go river tubing. Our original booking time was 9:00am I believe. When we arrived in our room the first day our excursion tickets were waiting for us with a time change to 2:00pm. We ended up really enjoying the later time. In general we fond the pace of later worked for us. In the past we have always aimed to get the earlier excursions. In the future we would defiantly book the later. It allows for a more leisurely wake up, breakfast, and morning. As far booking through the cruise vs. finding your own. We know the cruise marks up the excursions. We also know the cruise waits for you if you are late. If you book on your own or find your own way, as we do in some cases, you risk missing the ship, literally. We booked our excursions weeks before online. We had found in he past that by the time you wait to book at the ship some, if not all, excursions are full. The river tubing was great. I would highly recommend it as a excursion. The bus picks you up right at the end of the pier and you get a nice tour/ride to the mountain/forest/river area. The river is beautiful and lined with hugh trees and jungle scape. The valley walls are lush and untouched beauty. The river water was cool and refreshingly clear. The tubes have covered bottoms that protect your bottom from the rocks that line the route. There is some adventure here and a helmet protects your head from possible interaction with rock. I would recommend water shoes to protect your feet as you free flow with the current down the rapids. There are guides on tubes that follow and direct your journey, but it does get pretty rocky and sometimes you are left on your own. I would highly recommend this excursion. 4. Grenada - Having read some mixed reviews here we were unsure of what to expect. I would say the port area was very different from others. We were "escorted" for a short distance by "Jimmy" who wanted to show us around the island, we declined and he was gone. We took the advice of the ship's shopping guide and walked to "Dot's" to buy some spices. The walk was short and through the tunnel, which was fine and a fun adventure. We bought our spices and made our along the water front for a jaunt. We decided to turn around and stopped by a local grocery store and a couple of other shops. We did climb the stairs at the port side of the tunnel to get a good view. A short hike and a nice panorama of the port. On our way back to the ship I did buy an "steel rum" from a seller in the little shops outside the mall for $25US. 5. Bonaire - We booked an snorkel excursions through the ship here, a week or so before we departed online. We didn't get the first excursion we wanted, we settled with the "Junk Snorkel". We were very happy with this excursion. Having done a catamaran snorkel on our last cruise in Grand Cayman, we looked forward to another adventure on a different type of sailing vessel. We were not disappointed by the boat or the snorkeling on this awesome Caribbean gem of an island. The "Junk" is an old pirate looking ship owned by some local folks who came to the island from Switzerland. The boat has a long story and is a wooden ship covered in carvings and shrouded with history. The port in Bonaire is small and has the most beautiful turquoise blue water I had ever seen. As we pulled in we spotted a sea turtle from the ship. There is little here but a dock and a transportation pick up. A larger centre seemed to be a short walk away. Our excursion started right off the ship's dock. Small tenders (Zodiacs) picked us up at the dock and whisked us to the "Junk". In no time the boat was full and we where on our way. The captain and crew were friendly and served punch as we crossed the straight to Little Bonaire. Little Bonaire is a island/park surrounded by reef and outlined with beautiful sand beaches. The crew handed out the gear and briefed us on the fish/ocean life we may see. The captain then explained the two options. 1. Take tenders to the beach and snorkel in the immediate area of the beach. 2. Take the tenders to the beach and then once everyone was off the ship take the tenders up current and drift snorkel back. YEAH 2! I have always wanted to drift snorkel and if you are up for an adventure I would highly recommend it. After making our way to the beach, we put on out gear to work out any problems and then we jumped back in the tender and headed up current. There was about 10 of us and two crew. One crew drove the tender and the other jumped in the water and escorted us back as we drifted back to the first stop on the beach. It was awesome snorkeling. They asked that we didn't swim over the reef, which did limit our perspective and result, but what we did see was awesome and full of life. There were some deep spots and I got to see my first wild sea turtle, which was a HUGH standout for me. The whole water part lasted about 90 minutes, with a 30 minute ride there and a 45 minute ride back. On the way back the crew served rum punch and fruit trays and sold T-shirts and hats. I would highly recommend this snorkel adventure. Aruba - Aruba's port is the opposite of Bonaire. Over developed and commercial. The island itself is beautiful all be it windy. We decided on making our own way to the beach and I would do it again. We caught the bus right across from the port for less than two bucks and rode out to Eagle beach. I had done some research on the beaches and would recommend Eagle to you. The beach is white soft sand and warm turquoises waters. We found a spot, left our stuff and waded out into the water. We stayed in the water for almost two hours. Floating and swimming and enjoying the sunshine we had been missing after a long, cold Canadian winter. There are beach bars along the beach and I was lucky to have a friend make a visit so that we could enjoy a cold one as we floated. Oh mama, life is good! thxs JL!! We did have to wait a short time to catch the bus on the way back, we had left ourselves lots-o-time and weren't too concerned. The bus came just as we were finishing up a conversation with a couple from New Hampshire that were spending the week on the island and were interested in our ship and cruise history. The bus had us back to the ship in no time (maybe a 10 minute bus ride). We decided to buy some sodas and water to bring onto to the ship and found a little convince store just behind the main mall that met all out needs. Aruba is a sunny paradise, but be warned it is very windy and that wind moves the sand into all the wrong places...if you know what I mean:O) Day at Sea - I do love to have a few days at sea. This cruise offered just one. We did keep our excursions low key knowing we would be visiting so many islands. I would in the future book a cruise with less islands/more sea days. I would also consider booking this cruise for two weeks and really seeing more of the islands at a more leisurely pace. I really do like the private islands that many cruise lines offer on one day as a stop. Of those I found the best to be Holland America's. The ship didn't feel over crowded on the sea day and while finding a chair at the pool would have been difficult, there were many others just beyond the pool area. Disembarkation: Getting off the ship was quick and well organized. We put our luggage out the night before and had received ut tags and time slot well in advanced. We didn't get off the ship until 9am-ish, so we had time for breakfast and a shower. We made our way to our on board meeting place (the theatre) and hardly had sat down when they called our color. A short walk to the gang-way and into the port terminal. The lines moved quickly and the luggage was waiting for us. We lined up for our transfer and were at the airport before we knew it. If this is going to be your first cruise consider yourself lucky. Celebrity hits all the right cords and surpasses other cruise lines with it attention to detail and service. If this is not your first cruise I believe you will find the Summit to be all that other ships are and what it lacks in newness it makes up in layout, atmosphere and overall cruisability. Bon Voyage! Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
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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