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14 Night Canada & New England Cruise from Bayonne

14 Night Canada & New England Cruise from Bayonne (Cape Liberty)

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Celebrity Summit
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Itinerary


Celebrity Summit

Cruise Critic Editor Rating:
4.0
2,153 reviews
Why Choose Celebrity Summit?

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: May 2018
First the disclosures - we have cruised many times with Princess and for the past few years have enjoyed several river cruises/upscale trips with Scenic and Silver Sea. This was our first trip on Celebrity and we chose this because of the ... Read More
First the disclosures - we have cruised many times with Princess and for the past few years have enjoyed several river cruises/upscale trips with Scenic and Silver Sea. This was our first trip on Celebrity and we chose this because of the itinerary, Bermuda. It's been on our list for a long time and we got a great deal (free grat, free wi-fi, classic drink package, and OBC) as well as a good price. The Celebrity Summit left from Port Liberty, New Jersey. We arrived the day before, staying at the Jersey City Courtyard by Marriott (very positive experience - highly recommend). We took an Uber from the hotel to Port Liberty (~$20 with tip). Took about 20 minutes. The check-in/embarkation process at Port Liberty was a well oiled machine and we were through security, checked-in, and on-board in about 25 minutes. Our boarding time was 11-3pm. We arrived about 11:15. The crowds were manageable and the staff working were friendly and helpful. Once on-board we enjoyed lunch in the Cosmopolitan restaurant (a perk for those book in Concierge class) . The wait staff was attentive and the food was good (I had salmon and my wife had the pasta). We walked around a bit while they readied our cabin. Our first impression of the ship was that it was in good shape (despite some of the previous reviews) and had all of the usual items (casino, shopping, pools, etc.). We were impressed at the layout of the shopping "mall" area which included the shops, as well as the future cruise area which was easily accessible. Basically it was all in a central area which made it nice to find later in the cruise. We also liked the enclosed Solarium Pool. It was a large whirlpool type area that you could enjoy the sun but not the wind/weather. The regular pool area contained to smaller pools and the usual matching set of hot tubs. I did use the Solarium Pool but not the regular pool (water was too cold). During our trip most people sat around the regular pool but not in it (so I wasn't the only wimp). The two other areas of the ship that impressed us were the gym and the theatre. Both were much larger than we would have expected for a ship this size. They were both well designed and maintained. The crew was a mix of Greek, Dutch, and American. The Cruise Director, Patrick, was from the Philippines . Super friendly and lots of good energy. Overall the crew was friendly and nice. There was one waiter, Donovan, who would sing in the Oceanview Café (main buffet area) each morning. That made for a pleasant start to our day. I thought the ship was organized ok, but the lack of a full multi-level piazza meant you had to find your way to the front of the ship and take the regular stairs. It was fine but seemed harder to navigate than other ships we've been on. I do think there was a bit of rehabbing that was recently done on the ship. In a few cases the names of the venues (main dining room) didn't match what was in the material either on-line or in the room's information book. Speaking of the room's information book it contained a few extra sheets (welcome notes from the current and past Carnival CEO - same exact wording, just different names) or missing sheets. So in some cases it felt like a bit of lack of attention to detail on the materials on the ship and in the room. Passenger makeup: Many people from New York, NJ, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Mostly older, but a few younger families as well. Not a wild bunch but that was more than fine with us. I should have brought my NY Yankees hat with me to fit right in. Stateroom: Please see my comments about our room in that section. Dining - We spent all of our breakfasts and lunches in the Oceanview café, even though during sea days we could have eaten in the sit-down Cosmopolitan. We just never made it. The Oceanview café was a mixed bag for us. The layout and selection of food (regardless breakfast or lunch) was really good. Lots of choices and they were really good about listing if an item was gluten-free and/or no added sugar. However, the quality of the food was marginal at best. The biggest pet peeve I had was that most food on the line was tepid at best and usually not very hot. The only exception was at the make-to-order (omelets, burgers, etc.) or carving stations. I first thought that it might have been because of when we were eating but it happened all the time. Inexcusable for food operation. Another pet peeve was that the food items in the 2nd row of the buffet were very hard to reach and I noticed many people had issues trying to get their food. I don't know if the sneeze guards were too low, but it was difficult. The past pet peeve from a food standpoint was that sometimes there were no serving utensils out so unless you wanted to grab it with your hard you couldn't get that item. In some cases many of the labels were missing or incorrect. Again, things happen but from a food service standpoint, there shouldn't be the case at a buffet. The other issue that I saw ONLY at the Oceanview Café was the terrible condition of the chairs. There were three types. A wooden backed chair, which looked like it was in decent shape, a "pleather" chair which were all peeling and looked HORRIBLE, and then another section where they had folding chairs. Not sure that that was all about but it looked like something you'd set out when you realized you had more company coming over than fancy chairs you actually had. The rattiness of the pleather chairs was a real turn off and not sure why that was corrected. it just looked bad. I doubt they just got ruined on the previous cruise. Cosmopolitan Restaurant (regular formal dining): We really enjoyed the dinners at this traditional venue. The staff was professional and always asked how we were doing. The overall quality and choice offered was quite good. Of course they always had the staples on the menu (shrimp cocktail, steak, chicken, etc.) The portions were not huge which made trying multiple appetizers acceptable without feeling like they need to roll you out after dinner. The one exceptional evening was the traditional lobster tail night. The lobster tail was huge, Much bigger than we've experienced on other cruises. All and all we were impressed with the main dining venue. Most evenings we were able to eat in about 60-90 minutes). We never felt rushed or felt like we had to hurry up to make the show. During our particular cruise they had two celebrity chefs who did a number of demonstrations and meet/greet. We didn't attend any of those sessions. One evening they each prepared a full course dinner as part of the overall menu. The menu items they presented were quite good and it was a fun way to enhance the main dining experience. Pool Grill: One day we tried the pool grill for a burger and fries. We hit during the rush hour with a bit of a wait but the result was a really decent burger and good fries. Typically we try to eat differently when we are on a cruise sometimes you just want a burger. Drink package: As part of our deal we got the classic drink package. I wasn't quite sure how it was going to work (there are 3 different drink packages) but it was fine. It was nice not having to sign anything and we never got the sense the wait staff didn't take care of us as well as people who were paying by the drink. The only niggle I had was I would have like to see more drink menus so that I could have taken advantage of trying new drinks versus sticking to what I know. We did enjoy a martini at the martini bar and for that we just paid the difference in the drink amount and the limit of our drink package ($9). Easy peasy. Susi on Five - This is a pay as you go Sushi specialty restaurant which we tried one evening. The food and assortment was excellent and since you only paid for what you ordered you could try as much or as little as you wanted. We didn't try any of the other specialty restaurants as on previous cruises they really serve you a ton of food and we just wanted something small. Entertainment: Simply outstanding. There were two comedians who were funny and entertaining. A musical group from NYC who did a great job singing some golden soul oldies, a piano maestro who was terrific, and 3 in-house productions. The in-house talent was a blend of singers, dancers, and some magnificent acrobats/gymnasts. The music was provided by the "Summit Six" - the house band which included two horn players. All of the shows were entertaining and didn't feel overproduced as on some other cruise lines. The singers were quite good with one young lady even playing the piano during a show. Bermuda/on-shore excursions: We docked at the far end of the island at the former Royal Navy Dockyard. There were lots of shops and restaurants at the section of the island but it's more for the cruise ships than actually being "in town". We spent nearly 3 full days in Bermuda and really enjoyed our time there. Think Caribbean, but cleaner, safer, and no-one asking you to braid your hair. Yes it's expensive but that's par for the course for an island in the middle of the ocean. On our first day we took a 5 hour mini-bus excursion that basically took us from one end of the island to the other (it's only 26 miles long). It was a long day but well worth it as you got to see the two main cities (Hamilton and St. George) and decide what you wanted to do the other two days. For our second day we went out on our own and took the ferry to St. George (highly recommend the ferry versus a bus or taxi). The RT ferry was $9/pp (if you bought tokens) or $10 if you paid cash. Very economical and much faster than other means of transport. Our third day we took a shared mini-bus $7 (vs. individual taxi) to Horseshoe Bay. It's the signature beach for tourists and you won't be disappointed. The sand is pink and the water is amazing but be careful it can get rough. While at Horseshoe Bay we each enjoyed the native Bermudian alcoholic beverages - Rum Swizzle and Dark and Stormy. Try it, you'll like it. Getting back on the ship after doing our day trips: Not sure why this ship/itinerary would be different but getting back onto the ship was time consuming. It took at least 20-30 minutes with barely any line-up. They made it clear that the gangway was open 24 hours and you could come and go as you please, but it was a headache. On other cruises we've been on it was a quick process. Not so for the Celebrity Summit in Bermuda. To be clear, this was not due to excess security or mobility issues. It just took, in my opinion, a long time to get back on board. Disembarkation: They collected our luggage by 10pm the night before we landed back at Port Liberty. In the morning we enjoyed our last breakfast on board and waited in the lounge while they called our number to disembark. Once we got off the ship our luggage was easy to find and we made it through customs in about 30 minutes. Very efficient process. So our overall impression about Celebrity was positive. There was nothing that we thought was outstanding but nothing (aside from the food/furniture issues in the OceanView café) that told us to never come back. In fact while on-board we booked our second Celebrity cruise (Asia in 2020). So we were happy enough with Celebrity to try it again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
My friends and I chose this cruise to Bermuda upon the advice of my TA. Embarkation was a breeze. The Concierge Embarkation lunch was very nice. We then toured the Persian Garden, but chose not to pay the $99 for a full week's access. ... Read More
My friends and I chose this cruise to Bermuda upon the advice of my TA. Embarkation was a breeze. The Concierge Embarkation lunch was very nice. We then toured the Persian Garden, but chose not to pay the $99 for a full week's access. We did take advantage of the spa special that day and enjoyed the BEST massages ever at the Canyon Ranch Spa. We enjoyed them so much that we cancelled our scheduled in-port massages and opted for another on-board massage our last day in port! The CruiseCritic Meet n' Greet was okay and we met some wonderful new friends that day. I especially appreciated the Singles and Solos cruisers lunch that day, because I made two new friends that made our cruise even more special! The silent discos were fun and we appreciated the fantastic shows at the Martini Bar. QSine, Tuscan Grill and Sushi on Five were all stellar experiences. Another nice perk of Concierge status was the surprise invitation to sail away from Bermuda on the Helipad. Way cool! Disembarkation was wonderful! We chose a post-cruise tour of Manhattan and were in Group 1 off the ship. I'm sad we didn't get to use the Concierge disembarkation lounge at Sushi on 5, but the bus tour really made up for that! I highly recommend this tour for those who have late flights out of Newark, LGA or JFK. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We have been to Bermuda on Celebrity before, and we noticed that the first cruise of the season was a "Moveable Feast" cruise. Chefs Richard Blais and Bryan Voltaggio were both on board offering cooking demos and private cooking ... Read More
We have been to Bermuda on Celebrity before, and we noticed that the first cruise of the season was a "Moveable Feast" cruise. Chefs Richard Blais and Bryan Voltaggio were both on board offering cooking demos and private cooking classes. Normally we wouldn't go to Bermuda this early in the season, but we really wanted to be on this specialty cruise, so we decided to go earlier in the season. We were lucky enough to get into both private cooking classes and they were the highlight of our cruise. Sadly, Celebrity did NOT offer the originally promised excursion with the chefs that included a private dinner after the excursion. They only offered a Bermuda excursion to an organic farm with a cooking demo. Service on board was very good, and our cabin attendant was EXCELLENT. We had one of the "Sweet Sixteen" balcony cabins and our attendant, Javier, was probably the best we have ever had. We loved our cabin so much that we booked exactly the same cabin as our last cruise on the Summit! Food was mostly very good in the main dining room, although there were a few misses (and the misses were pretty bad). The first night in the main dining room was chaotic and unorganized, but that straightened out for the second night. We absolutely loved most of the food in the OceanView cafe - there was an abundance of choices - and they always had something different to try. The eggs benedict station in the morning was great! It's amazing how they can serve perfectly (usually) poached eggs in a buffet, but they managed to do just that! Cafe Al Bacio was great for morning coffee and pastry - it was nice having the beverage package just for the premium coffee alone! Not all of their pastry was great, but the morning apple turnovers were delicious. I already miss my morning cappuccino! We only did afternoon tea once, since we came back from Bermuda and it was between lunch and dinner. I am glad we did because it was pretty good - creative little sandwiches and just enough to hold us until dinner later that evening. While we were mostly happy with the Classic Beverage package, they really should increase the limit another dollar or two. Many of the brands we had on our last cruise were no longer within the price limit on this cruise. Taking things like Tanqueray and Baileys off the list for the classic package were just not necessary. Increasing the limit by just a dollar would have given us a better selection for package. Entertainment, for the most part, was great. The production shows were good, and the acrobatics were amazing. They had a group called "Uptown", and their Motown sounds were incredible. I would pay to see this group on land in concert! I just wish they did more than one show! The comedians were good. There was just one show - with a piano player (Liberace style) that surprises us - not in a good way. Let's just say we didn't stay for the show. We loved all the trivia games and the game shows - especially the interactive shows. There were so many things going on that we couldn't even do everything we wanted to do. I guess that's a good thing - we just had to choose which events to attend. We didn't buy any shore excursions since Bermuda has such a great public transit system, and we didn't need to get back at a certain time. We took ferries or buses or vans, and we were able to get around very easily. We loved the beach and exploring St George and Hamilton. We went to the Harbour Night festival in Hamilton on Front Street, and while the actual street vendors were just average, the Gombey dancers were absolutely amazing!!!! If you are in Bermuda on a Wednesday night in season, you absolutely MUST go see the dancers. We always book cruises while school is in session, and as we hoped for, there were very few children on this cruise. We understand that the Summit is going into dry dock in early 2019 for some much needed upgrades and renovations - so we hope it is better than ever when we decide to book our next Bermuda cruise. Read Less
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