4 Celebrity Summit U.S.A. Cruise Reviews

Let me begin by saying that we are Celebrity brand loyalists. Which is why writing this review is, not to be dramatic, a bit painful as I am not used to writing much about Celebrity that is negative. Things that felt "off" on ... Read More
Let me begin by saying that we are Celebrity brand loyalists. Which is why writing this review is, not to be dramatic, a bit painful as I am not used to writing much about Celebrity that is negative. Things that felt "off" on this cruise, on lesser lines, would be business as usual for mass market or lower rated premium lines, but Celebrity has always been top notch, excelling in the ultra premium category. So one might argue that I am nitpicking, but my comments are about what seems to be a lowering of standards, small indications that at least on this cruise, were troubling, and I hope not signs of a corporate decision to cut back across the board. First, the Good, a few highlights: Embarkation in San Juan went very well - smooth, efficient. In the port building, immediately at check in for the cruise, is a San Juan liquor store - a great location to buy your allowed two bottles of wine that you can bring on board. Although the selection was somewhat limited, it was quite serviceable and the prices were very reasonable, so I wanted to make a note of that for future cruisers. On board, greeters were there with champagne and mimosas. Our suitcase arrived in our stateroom with record speed. Our stateroom attendant, Gregorio, came very promptly to our cabin to consult. Our cabin was always exceptionally maintained, we were very happy. Since we sailed Aqua Class, we received afternoon canapés delivered daily; we requested canapés with no shellfish so every day, Gregorio made sure we had a rotating, varied, lovely selection of olives, hummus, fruit, chips, pancetta, deviled eggs - to name only a few. He knew that 4pm was our preferred delivery time and after two days, we no longer had to fill out the sheet, he just did his thing, and we were all set. Everything about the room was always top notch. The entertainment in the theater on Summit we thought was exceptionally outstanding. So much talent in the production shows! We frequent Broadway so I have a reference point and truly, the singers and dancers on board, the choreography, the wow factor, did not cease to amaze us! The Celebrity production cast and orchestra, demonstrate so much energy and commitment, pure raw vitality. The guest performers also we felt were excellent! The entertainment around the ship we also enjoyed, in particular the duo called "5 O'Clock Somewhere", very talented. We also found it very clever, and another testament to the versatile talent of the production team, that Dustin, from the production team, doubled as one of the around the ship entertainers. I think that the singer/guitarist Steve Aubrey did not arrive on board until a few ports into the itinerary, so Dustin filled in the time slots until he arrived - we loved Dustin, fabulous voice and guitar skills! We loved the Sin City comedy show, "late night" comedy. One of the comedians received two Emmy awards for his comedy writing, one Emmy for his work on the famous show, "Home Improvement". We are Elite so we participated in many of the Elite events. We thought that the Elite cocktail event nightly in the Revelations Lounge on Deck 11 was very nice - lovely appetizers and a special nod to the bartender Iwan who provided exceptional service. The Elite High Tea was also very nice. It was clear that a new crop of servers was being trained by the senior servers, so service was especially attentive. We ate in Q-Sine, our most favorite BY FAR of the specialty restaurants. The food, the service were as we have come to expect in Q-Sine on the other ships. Loved it, well done, Celebrity!! So fun, so inventive, so whimsical, so delicious! Modern Luxury at it's best in Q-Sine! The Captain was particularly charming, "Captain Leo", Leonardos Palaiokrassas, or, hysterically, Captain Acidophilus, as one of the brilliant comedians in the Sin City comedy show at night in the Revelations Lounge called him! He could often be seen greeting passengers throughout the ship, once sitting at a table in the buffet for breakfast next to our table. I think it's very nice when the senior officers are visible and accessible. Now, the Not so Good, a few lowlights: This vignette I am about to describe, was particularly troubling to me: In the Rendezvous Lounge, a server came to see if we wanted a drink - there was a piece of garbage on the floor, a silver aluminum wrapper type of paper - he looked at it, touched it with the toe of his shoe, and walked away! He did NOT pick it up! This was shocking to us - as stated, we are fiercely brand loyal and this frankly blew our minds. We wanted to report this guy to a manager, but, we didn't. He also was less than enthused when we didn't order a drink - we just wanted to sit and enjoy the performer. But, that, we could excuse, but NOT that he left the piece of trash on the floor! This was not something we saw elsewhere on the ship, at all, but, one wonders, was he not trained well enough? Were the line's standards not imparted? Are people being hired who are not qualified? Again, one episode, but a troubling one when the subject is an employee of a ship in a fleet of an outstanding premium cruise line, one that presumably wants to maintain their business model...…….. Another issue we found troubling was the severe reduction in the Celebrity Life Activities staff - first, the cruise director, Lisa Richard, who is wonderful, but, she doesn't actually count as a staff person for activities, since she is the directing officer, so forget about her for the moment. Directly under her is her right hand who seemed very very new and not yet adept at coherently addressing large audiences (though a good Latin dancer), Luigi, the Activities Manager, we also can't count him, but ok, let's since other than him there were only 2 actual Activities staff people, Mark and some other guy. WHAT? and, WHY? Lisa was the cruise director on our Adriatic cruise on Silhouette in the fall of 2013. Mark was also on the Activities staff that same cruise - both very good!! Our problem this cruise was the REDUCTION in Activities staff. We sail Celebrity precisely because of the number of staff - more staff = more service; we love the Activities team and we love to participate in the activities - you can refer to all of our past cruises - all had huge Celebrity Life Activities teams........which brings me to the activities themselves - on Summit, they were primarily sales events - the Bella Perlina jewelry "event", or the liquor "event" etc - events designed to get us to buy something, not events designed for us to have fun. Yes, they existed, but barely. The vast majority of activities were designed to get the guests to spend more money. Overall, in all departments, there seemed to be less staff - ie, bathroom attendants - there always used to be an attendant in the ladies bathrooms in the evenings, around the main lounges and the theater - but only once did that happen on Summit this cruise. And in the buffet, we had problems at breakfast with the opening of the stations. For instance, at 7am, when we were docked in Tortola, the poached egg station was supposed to open, but it did not open until 7:25am. So, big deal, you say? But, this was a PORT DAY - we had to get off the ship, we had a scheduled excursion - so this disregard for the published station opening time was disturbing - we had someplace that we needed to go, and the ship certainly wants to maintain it's business model, which means, doing what it says it is going to do, and it did not. People are on vacation and what may seem like a small thing, really isn't, in this context. So don't give me any grief about First World Problems - this is a review of services that are supposed to be provided. At turndown, Celebrity used to have high end dark chocolates custom made, with the signature "X" logo. They had lovely flavors like orange, ginger, elderberry, etc - but now, they are using a generic milk chocolate, yes, Belgian, and yes, it is tasty, but still, pedestrian, and now with a smiling moon face, no brand identity - something anyone for any cruise line or hotel, could purchase. No, the new chocolates simply do not present the same image as the old design and flavors. And in Blu, as we sailed Aqua Class - for the first 2 days, the assistant waiters were not in sync AT ALL with their partnered head waiter - but, that improved as the cruise went on. Someone had said they had heard that this cruise was a training cruise, that there was a whole crop of new employees on board - if true, that could explain a lot, but still not the clear cutbacks in some of the departments. In Blu, and again, this does sound silly, but remember, my point is that there seems to be a lowering of Celebrity's high standards - the specialty breads in the nightly bread baskets were non-existent. In all of our past Aqua Class cruises, the bread baskets, every night, had a differently featured 'exciting' bread option, a specialty bread - ranging from olive rolls, to focaccia, to very dark richly grained options, etc - this cruise, I think only twice were we offered the dark grain, and that was it, no other options, and only offered twice - primarily, the basket was overflowing with very very boring white bread, in the shape of French bread, but it tasted nothing like it - it tasted like and had the texture of Wonder Bread in a round shape. Yes, the bread sticks we have all come to know and love were there, but the bread options were very sad and severely reduced. AGAIN, on another line, this would be, so what?? But, we have sailed X so many times, we are VERY brand loyal - this is disappointing to us. On the fitness side of things, we were disappointed that there were no zumba classes. A very big gaping hole was that there was NO GRAND BUFFET! Every cruise, on a sea day, in the MDR, there is a brunch buffet, gorgeous, the ice sculptures, lots of pomp and circumstance, quite nice - NOT THIS CRUISE. Again, why? We are concerned that Celebrity might be diluting it's brand. We do not need another NCL, another Holland, another Princess. Oh, no, definitely NOT. Modern Luxury. We love that concept and have found that on our other Celebrity sailings. I am concerned about the apparent cutbacks, as I mentioned previously. I wonder if it is only on Summit, I HOPE that it is only on Summit - I fear there is a biased though not necessarily incorrect perception that people who sail this itinerary may be less discriminating and so the line has chosen to save money on this specific itinerary, and the following one of sailing back and forth to Bermuda ad nauseum for the next many months to come.......I wonder if corporate is putting their money into the Mediterranean cruises, Australian cruises, Asian itineraries, etc, where a generally more sophisticated clientele exists.......In any case, there were several missteps that I detailed and a few which I didn't mention: once after the production show, Lisa Richard, the Cruise Director, said how the group 5 O'Clock Somewhere would be playing on the Sunset Bar - but no, they definitely were not playing, as we and several other couples disappointingly found out - not only were they not there, no group at all was there, and it wasn't even in the schedule that they would be there, so why Lisa said that they would be there, I don't know. Again, on another line, no problem - but we expect more of Celebrity. Also, back to 5 O'clock Somewhere - once during their scheduled time, only the male performer appeared - the female never showed up - he stayed the full 45 min of their scheduled time, but not performing solo - rather, he fiddled with his iPad music directory - he must have felt very awkward, I'm not sure why he stayed! It was very odd indeed, to have him just there, seemingly waiting for her to show up, fussing around with his iPad as he sat on his performing stool. If we were not brand loyalists due to the many amazing sailings we have had with Celebrity, we would not be at all concerned with the cutbacks we witnessed on this cruise. But we have seen the best the brand has to offer, and this, was not that. The ship? The itinerary? Corporate afraid to raise prices when they need to in order to maintain the level of service that is expected? The latter I think may be true, and I do hope that prices are raised if need be, because the high standards we have come to expect must be maintained - PLEASE.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We were on the April 27th repositioning cruise from San Juan, PR to Bayonne, NJ. As always, we left on the 23rd, staying at the Waldorf Astoria Casita Village at the El Conquistador. We had a wonderful time. I got to play golf every day ... Read More
We were on the April 27th repositioning cruise from San Juan, PR to Bayonne, NJ. As always, we left on the 23rd, staying at the Waldorf Astoria Casita Village at the El Conquistador. We had a wonderful time. I got to play golf every day and work on my tan before the cruise. We had a car service take us to the ship on the afternoon of the 27th. There needs to have a better way of checking in luggage as most people stand in a long line. We had our driver get a person to take our luggage. From there it got easy. We were in a Royal Suite, so check in was fast and very easy. I think we were out of the car checked in and in our suite within 15 minutes. We ate lunch in the Bistro on 5. Very good. We got our luggage within 2 hours, so we were unpacked and ready to relax. The suite was a little small but very nicely appointed. I was not thrilled with the veranda. There were chaise lounge beds, not chairs, with thin pads, that had paint droppings on them. They very uncomfortable and never were made up for use. The whirlpool was not really usable, since the stopper was on the floor and it never was kept real clean. Not a big problem, I used the chairs and whirlpool on the pool deck. I'm a cigar smoker and found the area outside designated for smoking. A little challenge to get a chair, everyone was friendly and helped find unused chairs. Got to meet different people every day. Had pre-purchased a premium drink package. Also used the specialty restaurants for dinner and did not use MDR. The food and the service was spectacular. Sean from Normandy Restaurant was probably one of the finest and most professional people that I ever met on a cruise line. My wife and I have been on excess of 50 cruises. All the people on the Summit were very interested in making the trip exceptionally pleasant. The shows were okay. Not terrible, not great. Disembarkation was quick. We had breakfast and found our way to our appointed waiting area and then off the ship and in the Limo home by 9am. Another great trip... Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Celebrity Summit Cruise April 27-May 5 2013 After having a great cruise on Celebrity Eclipse during New Year 2013 we decided to sail on the Summit relocation cruise from San Jun Puerto Rico to Bayonne NJ, as this seems to be most popular ... Read More
Celebrity Summit Cruise April 27-May 5 2013 After having a great cruise on Celebrity Eclipse during New Year 2013 we decided to sail on the Summit relocation cruise from San Jun Puerto Rico to Bayonne NJ, as this seems to be most popular cruise for those of us who live in NJ-NJ area. We left NY by Delta Airlines and arrived in San Juan on 26 noon from JFK. After staying overnight in Comfort Inn, very friendly, right in the middle of Condado, near shops and restaurants, steps from the beach. We embarked at noon on 28th April. No line ups, no hassle, no problem and plenty of champagne to go round. We sat down to eat lunch at 12:30 at the Garden Cafe buffet, with the good quality of the food. OUR Balcony room was 8040 was very close the Forward section of the ship it was ready around 1 PM. The room was in an amazing location (close to everything) and had tons of storage space. The veranda size was fairly standard and everything related to the cabin was in good shape. At 3 PM we took a ship tour organized by entertainment staff to familiarizing ourselves with the layout of the ship and our luggage arrived at 4pm. We chose fixed seating to eat in the Cosmopolitan dining room 6 PM time slot. Dinner was always excellent, service superb and the company at our table very cordial, a couple from Texas and another from NJ. The entertainment was enjoyable and varied, the comedian Buzz Sullivan very funny without being vulgar, and the ships dancers and band really good. We ordered room service every morning, coffee, juice and croissants, arrived promptly at 7 PM and fresh. Our room attendant and her Assistant were great did a wonder full job attending to our needs and wants right down to the towel animals and the chocolates on the pillows at night. The whole ship was clean and well-kept for an older ship. Disembarkation was well organized and we were off the ship sooner than we expected. The negative the food at the Garden Cafe Asian foods were not nearly as good as we ate in Eclipse. Disembarkation was extremely smooth and we were picked up by our daughter around 10 AM.. All in all we would definitely sail with Celebrity Summit next year from San Juan. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
About us: This was our 8th cruise with Celebrity or RCI and our 2nd on the Summit. We cruise for the experience of cruising, fine dining and dancing, together with visiting the posts, makes a perfect vacation. Embarkation: Smooth and ... Read More
About us: This was our 8th cruise with Celebrity or RCI and our 2nd on the Summit. We cruise for the experience of cruising, fine dining and dancing, together with visiting the posts, makes a perfect vacation. Embarkation: Smooth and easy but a little confusion when you first arrive as the line is not to get onto the ship but to check you luggage for the porters to take to your room. Have your tags on your luggage ahead of time as it will save you some time. No line up to get on the ship and it was around 3:00 pm. We received our welcome champagne and checked into our room and then checked out the ship. It is an easy ship to get familiar with and the staff are so friendly. The Waterfall Cafe is open if you need a treat. Dining:It is a beautiful ship offering many options for dining. Dinners: We were at the fist sitting in the main dining room for supper. Formal nights were St Maartin and Barbados and all the other nights are Smart Casual. Enjoyed all the meals, especially the desserts. You have 2 menus to choose from, the daily menu that changes each day or the left side of the menu remains the same and is available every day. There is Casual Dining in the aft of the Waterfall Cafe offering the same menu all week and there is small charge to dine there. The buffets have a great variety of foods for breakfast, lunches and supper. Breakfasts: We went to the main dining room, the Waterfall Cafe, and had room service on 2 mornings. Lunch: We had lunches either at the Waterfall Cafe, the Lido deck, or the Aqua Spa Night Time Nibbles; usually found in different locations around the ship at 11:30pm plus there was a fruit buffet by the pool one night and a dessert buffet as well one night. Some ships have gotten away from offering this but the Summit is still going all out with ice sculptures and all. Cabin: We had an aft cabin with the larger balcony and thoroughly enjoyed it. Our attendant took very good care of us and the room Music & Dancing: Best Band on board: The Elk Island Trio playing in Michael's Club, Rendezvous, Aft 10th Deck, they play everything form Jazz & Blues, Beatles, to Country. Great Musicians follow them as they are moved about the ship to different venues. Simon Blair could be found strumming his guitar most nights on the aft outside deck 10th floor. Easy listening and we could hear him from our deck. Katie G - pianist - Michael's Club - she can really play the piano and her specialty is movie themes Classical Duo - Casa Cova - can be heard on your way to dinner Celebrity Swing Band - play one night in the Rendezvous Lounge - they are fabulous and I wish they had played again Salsa Band - Rendezvous Lounge most evenings - salsa or Latin style music Celebrity Theater: The Celebrity Dancers and Singers put on a great show and are very entertaining. We did not go to the shows offering a Comedian or to see the singer. Spa; They had a special one day offering mini treatments pool side for free it was there Wellness Clinic. It was a great opportunity to enjoy a bit of pampering and to decide how you would like to be pampered Pools: Loved the T pool and the inside lounge chairs, plus enjoyed the Sauna few times as well. Highlights of our Cruise: The Elk Island Trio Celebrity Swing Band Fine Dining with great service Dominica; fun cat snorkel Cruise Critics -getting to meet all the people that I had been communicating with over the past year planning this vacation Disappointments of our Cruise: -2 year old at our dining table in main dining room - solution next cruise I will ask who is sitting at our table as I feel families should dine with families as all would feel more comfortable - limited dancing before 10:00 pm as we like to dance pre and post dinner before going to the show. The Salsa band in the Rendezvous Lounge was very fast and difficult to dance to. We will cruise with Celebrity again and am presently booked on the Summit for next Jan. They provide an excellent total package for Cruising. If any one wishes to contact me or ask me any questions you can contact me at islandkeeper@yahoo.com Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
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 3.6
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.1

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