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6 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise from Bayonne

6 Night Eastern Caribbean Cruise from Bayonne (Cape Liberty)

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Celebrity Summit
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    Cruising
  • Day 5
    St. Maarten
  • Day 6
    St. Thomas
  • Day 7
    San Juan

Celebrity Summit

Celebrity Summit - Celebrity Cruises

Pros

Smaller size means consistent service; heavy emphasis on food and wine, with good results

Cons

Despite refurbs and Solstice-class additions, ship is more than a decade old and it shows

Bottom Line

The ship presents some of the best features of Celebrity, without being too overwhelming


Cruise Reviews

Sail Date: January 2019
We had never done a cruise before and OH WOW!!! were we surprised. Ship was huge and beautiful. We ate mostly at the Oceanview café as it had plenty of variety. Stir Fry section in the evenings was our favorite and late pizza. Staff ... Read More
We had never done a cruise before and OH WOW!!! were we surprised. Ship was huge and beautiful. We ate mostly at the Oceanview café as it had plenty of variety. Stir Fry section in the evenings was our favorite and late pizza. Staff were great!! We ate at Qsine. Was very interesting. 3 dishes to chose from each then dessert. Was very good and so much food. Presentations were well done. We ate at Tuscan Grille was a pleasant experience our server was very pleasant. Great suggestions and meal was wonderful. Our Cruise Director Patrick was wondeful and the gentlemen that made our stay and every day with a smile was wonderful. Shout out to Arthur!!! Room was always clean, bed made and fresh towels. The Poolside bars, barstaff also pools and hot tubs were great!! Movie night under the stars was magical ;) We loved the excursions, saw so many places that we could not have done in 12 days. The evening shows at the Celebrity Theater and activities at the Revelations were great and fun!! Silent disco OMG that was great!! Canyon Ranch for fitness was great!! Massages were wonderful both my husband and I loved it! BUT: Being first timers, our Cruise & Vacation Consultant Expedia CruiseShipCenters did not inform us of an evening attire for every evening!! Therefore, most of our evenings were walking very quickly by the Martini bar, Grand foyer, Rendez-Vous or Cellar Masters. We have NEVER ever felt so out of place, and judge by so many people dressed up. Stares, and looking down on us incredible!! If we ever chose to cruise again, we will know next time to bring more evening attires. I suggest having those gatherings in an area of the deck where it is closed off and away from people walking through in order to get to where they are trying to go to. The age group was an OLDER crowd mostly retired people 60 and over. The other downfall was the internet pakage. Why not add it in as a hidden cost? Up the price of the cruise no one would ever know. They would simply be appreciative of the internet pakage added in with the price. Other than dreading the evenings dress up and age group everything else was great. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Well, it was our first cruise to this part of the Caribbean and we picked as to the number of different islands during the cruise. We‘ve been on a number of other cruises before, several of those with Celebrity which is so far our ... Read More
Well, it was our first cruise to this part of the Caribbean and we picked as to the number of different islands during the cruise. We‘ve been on a number of other cruises before, several of those with Celebrity which is so far our favorite cruise line. Although we enjoyed the cruise, I have to say it does not fully met our expectations. The itinerary was interesting, the islands are beautiful but very poor, i would have expected that they benefit much more from all the Cruise ship tourists coming over the year. We knew upfront that the summit is an older ship and will undergo a major overhaul shortly after our cruise. Anyhow, we recently have been on the Millennium just as well short before going into dry-dock. The overall appearance of the Millennium was nicer, cleaner and better maintained than our impression from the Summit. Food (we mainly went to the main restaurant for the fixed seating) was good quality, although we do have the feeling that the overall quality of food on Celebrity shipps is slightly getting down. Disappointing was the variety of food, menu was pretty much the same as during our last cruise on Millenium last October. That combined with a not extensive selection each given evening does not support the feeling of getting your money worth. Instead with all „special events“ being promoted by the staff you get the feeling that the cruise line wants you to pay additionally if you like good quality. We went on several days to the spa cafe for breakfast or lunch, they have nice small (and more or less healthy) food, however it is disappointing that the menu seems to never change, so after some day you had everything and it becomes boring. Service in the main restaurant was as good as always. Staff is very friendly, attentive and professional. However, the Sommelier concept (which we love as ware wine lovers) does not work anymore, if the the Sommelier has to many table to serve. How can a Sommelier advise you if he is mostly in a rush? He still did his best and we got nice wines to drink. But here as well as for the food, wine menu could need more changes from one cruise to the other. Positively we noted that the beer selection increased and they had a decent number of different beers on board. Beside the good service in the main restaurant we noted that service level in the Cafe al Bacio and in some bars was not as good as used from Celebrity. In the bars we had the feeling of a lack of staff, in Cafe al Bacio staff was there but not really attentive and not always as friendly as we are used to from former Celebrity cruises. For the stateroom, we had the impression that the staff has to less time for each stateroom to keep it in real good shape. They probably increased the number of staterooms each person has to look after. We booked three excursions with Celebrity and two on our own. We liked the fact that the groups were not as big as on other cruises, however that is most likely just based on the fact that the busses on the islands are smaller (and older). Especially as the busses are older and not that comfortable is was disappointing, that on the cruise line excursions this busses were pretty full packed, where the privately book tours left some seats empty to make it a little bit more comfortable. And if you now expect that those privately book tours have been more expensive, just the opposite is true. Cruise line charges more for less comfort. Overall: I still like Celebrity, staff is (mostly) very friendly and attentive, although the cruise line have to make sure that there is enough staff available. We very much liked the room service, which comes (except for a short blackout period during the night) free of charge and we enjoyed having breakfast in the room, although the selection in balcony class was not that extensive. However it was sufficient for a short breakfast before going on excursions. We like the ample room in the public areas, we never had the feeling the ship is too crowded and we alsways found a quiet place to sit and relax. However, we don’t like that we get the impression of a continuing lowering of quality and a continuing increase of „add-ons“ sold for „a fee“ (which is mostly much more than justified by the added quality. I know that’s not only true for Celebrity and maybe not only for cruise-lines too. Seems that companies try to reduce more and more the base fares to attract customers which then find out that they have to pay more and more additionally to get the service which was advertised and which they thought they have bought. I hope that will change back to a fair and transparent pricing. Customers may be sometimes not really clever but on general not as dump as marketing specialists believe, especially not those with enough money to pay for quality. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We have done Southern Caribbean cruises several times, but chose this 12-day cruise because of the stops in the Dutch Antilles (the "ABCs" -- Aruba, Bonaire, Cuacao), which we have never visited before. There was also a stop in ... Read More
We have done Southern Caribbean cruises several times, but chose this 12-day cruise because of the stops in the Dutch Antilles (the "ABCs" -- Aruba, Bonaire, Cuacao), which we have never visited before. There was also a stop in the Puerto Rican city of Ponce, which again, was new for us. We are familiar with the Summit, having sailed a back-to-back some years ago on a very memorable and enjoyable cruise. First issue happened before the ship even left -- the original itinerary called for us to visit some of the Leeward Islands (St. Thomas, St Croix, Antigua, St Kitts), then visit the ABCs. Two weeks before sailaway, this got flipped around so that we would visit the ABCs first, then the Leewards. We found out because we received an email from a private tour operator we had booked on St Kitts confirming that he had rescheduled our tour for the new date of arrival. Then we read about the change on our CC roll call board. Eventually with some prodding, our TA finally passed on the official news to us. However, several people we met on the cruise who had booked directly with Celebrity had never received word of the change, and only found out once they boarded. We arrived at the cruise port at 11:15 am, were ushered into the entry hall right away, and were on-board by 11:45 am. As we remembered from our last cruise with Celebrity, we were greeted with a glass of champagne. Our cabins were ready by 1 pm, and our suitcases arrived not too long after that. Overall, Summit looked very dated -- beige and dark brown seemed to be the predominant palette -- but the ship is scheduled for a major drydock refit less than a month after our cruise, so we're sure the decor will be modernized and in fact the elevator retrofits began overnight during our cruise. A stateroom overhaul is needed because some closet drawers and doors were difficult to close. In the bathroom, the sink had small cracks, the tap dripped, and the mirrors were tarnished. And in an age where we carry more and more rechargeable devices, there were only two AC outlets in the entire room. TV service on the small flatscreen was primitive, with only a few basic channels. However, our steward, who always seemed to be available and cheerful, ensured the stateroom was always spotless. Before we even departed we were informed there was a problem with the propulsion/navigation system. This kept us in San Juan 24 hours longer than planned, but the captain was very good about keeping us up-to-date on the problem. This affected our itinerary again, since we now had one less day of cruising than planned. We had been scheduled to stay in Aruba two days -- this was shortened to one day, but the sailaway from Aruba was extended until midnight for those that had planned evening activities on the island. Each passenger was given $100 on-board credit as compensation for the delay. This credit could be used for things like beverages, excursions, shop purchases, specialty dining, spa treatments and final gratuities, but was non-refundable -- if you didn't spend it all, you didn't get any left-over balance at the end of the cruise. From that point on, the cruise went as planned. Some comments about the ship. Dining was the big surprise. When we sailed on Summit several years ago, dining was the highlight, a cut above other cruise lines, both in terms of food and of service. This time, the appies were sometimes disappointing to occasionally okay. The mains were usually okay, sometimes very good. The desserts were a disappointment. But it was the service that was the big surprise. Or perhaps to be more accurate, the length of time for service was the big surprise. The waiter and assistant waiter were friendly, attentive and helpful. But the wait times were extraordinarily long. This is our 8th cruise, and we have never experienced anything like this before. Often once we finished a course, our plates would sit in front of us for 15-20 minutes, and then there would be another long wait for the next course to arrive. Then a long wait to order dessert, then another long wait for dessert to arrive. Our cruising experience has been that dinner usually takes about 90-100 minutes, a leisurely meal that still left us lots of time to get to the theatre for the evening's entertainment. Not this time -- we always either had to leave the table without dessert to get to the show on time, or wait for dessert and arrive late. For example, one night we sat down at 6:30 pm expecting to easily make the 9 p.m. show. But by 8:50 we still hadn't even ordered dessert, so we scampered up to the buffet, grabbed some dessert and got to the theatre just as the show started. (So, 2 hours 15 min to serve two courses.) Part of the problem seemed to be that we were on the Dining Select program, where we could eat at whatever time we wanted. and it almost seemed like the kitchen didn't know how to deal with our orders that were arriving at different times than the usual 6 pm and 8 pm seatings. Also, if we asked for a table for 2, we would be told there was a substantial wait, but if we agreed to sharing a table, and were the first to be seated at a table for 8, the waiter wouldn't take our order until the table was full, which might take 15 or 20 minutes for enough other Dining Select cruisers to arrive. On the other hand, many times the table was filled immediately, and our orders were taken immediately, and the service was still incredibly slow. We tried several different dining times hoping for faster service. One night the service at 5:30 was a bit faster, but the next night at 5:30 dinner took more than two hours. We were also disappointed in the table layout in the main dining room. We don't know if there were a few extra passengers on this cruise, but tables were really crammed tightly into the dining room. We were often seated at a table sized for 6 people but set for 8 people, and the backs of our chairs would be touching the chairs of the table behind us. We usually ate breakfast in the Oceanview buffet, and most of the food was okay. However, the croissants and other pastries were uniformly terrible -- chewy, sodden, just awful. Also avoid the buffet's cakes and squares at lunchtime or dinner: bland and tastless, not worth the calories. The ice cream bar was good though. (And free, unlike the gelateria, where the gelato cost money.) In the past, Celebrity's food was a definite cut above the others. On the Summit, at least in the main dining rooms, the food is good but not exceptional, however we did not pay to eat at any of the upgraded restaurants. The shows were the usual mix of revue-type shows, solo singers, tribute bands and comedians. The house troupe of young singers and dancers were good and enthusiastic but not Broadway-quality. The house "orchestra" was very tight, a real pleasure to watch. The solo singers were good but nothing special. The two tribute bands were great -- one doing a high-energy collection of Motown hits, the other all Paul McCartney hits. We didn't spend a lot of time in bars or by the pool, but the duets and small bands providing music in those venues seemed fine. The movie theatre was in a curious place -- outdoors, up on the upper (12th) deck at the stern. For afternoons at sea, this made for fairly uncomfortable viewing, since you were sitting in the sun, and it was also quite a windy place. You also got the occasional whiff of exhaust from the ship's funnel. We were much happier with the small 20-person indoor theatres found on RCI's Radiance-class ships. One other disappointment was the lack of perks for being basic Captain's Club members. There were some small discounts for services we didn't use -- 10% off an internet package, for instance -- but the only real perk was a complimentary dish of gelato from the gelateria. We did appreciate the large number of ports we visited -- 8 in 11 days. We did not use a Celebrity shore excursion -- we always find them 50%-60% more expensive than private tour operators. The one port that was a bit of a puzzle was Ponce, on the south shore of Puerto Rico. This is a brand new port for Celebrity, and it was clear that the locals were happy to see us -- there was an arts & crafts fair set up dockside, free pina coladas and rum samples, and welcoming dignitaries. But clearly both the residents of Ponce and the cruise lines are still trying to build up some activities for cruisers. The old town (a $10 cab ride from the cruise dock) has an attractive main square, but once you get past that, there isn't much to see or do. There is a nearby boardwalk with small bars and restaurants and a beach, but the infrastructuire was devastated by the 2017 hurricane, and has yet to be rebuilt. If cruise ships keep calling, hopefully there will be more things to do in the future. On our last cruise with Celebrity Summit, we felt they were ahead of the others in terms of ship and food, and we definitely wanted to sail with Celebrity again. This time, although the staff were just as courteous, friendly and professional, we feel that there was definite cost-cutting happening, and in terms of ship and food, Celebrity Summit has fallen back into the pack. Read Less
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