38 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) to Caribbean - Southern Celebrity Summit Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise because of the fact my tour group was interested in gathering with like minded people. I couldn't believe the odor on this ship (smelled like urine and a stale ashtray!) The ship stunk! The food was terrible ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the fact my tour group was interested in gathering with like minded people. I couldn't believe the odor on this ship (smelled like urine and a stale ashtray!) The ship stunk! The food was terrible and disorganized especially in the ocean view cafe. Nothing was where is should be, nothing made sense. Hamburgers and hotdogs outside were cold and laying in tins, nothing freshly made. Cold french fries anyone. Staff members could be seen talking amongst themselves. Horrendous. Officers barging in front of guests to get there own food! Horrendous. No eye contact save a few staff members. Ugh! No towel animals, no umbrellas in drinks, drink and wine menus obsolete. "Sommelier" bringing to the table crappy wine and turning the label away from passengers (we had the drink package so I think he didnt care), when asked for another wine, more of the same. Ugh again. The food in the dining room had minuscule and insulting small amounts on the plate. Tbs. of mashed potatoes etc.. the escargot was cut into 4ths and put into this dishes with holes, and very chewy and overcooked. The french onion soup was thick broth, salty, tasted like it came out of a can with a blob of cheese that was dark brown and overcooked. I hear they are renovating this year but who cares. Are they renovating the horrible food, horrible service, the attitudes of the staff I don't think so. There is so much wrong with this line that its too much to list. You don't feel like your on vacation. When I got on board I "schlept" my own bags, was not greeted or shown my room or offered a drink! Horrible Horrible. I also hope you like caribbean stews every day, and you really have to search that cafe for the food you like. Every day salty ham, turkey and american cheese ugh. Never again. Dont do it. The suite people said they had filthy mattresses and all the amenities that were supposed to be with those classes they didnt get and when questioned they were told they did away with it. One woman took a picture of what she was supposed to get on a flyer handed to her by her cabin steward only to be removed by a man banging on her door to retrieve it back with an oops! She photographed it instead!! So it was apparent in all cabins, that service, quality, food, and attitude was just horrendous! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We picked the cruise because it had better ports than a similar one on a newer/better ship. We assumed that the days at sea activities would keep us happy the two sea days on each side of the four ports of call. We were horribly wrong. ... Read More
We picked the cruise because it had better ports than a similar one on a newer/better ship. We assumed that the days at sea activities would keep us happy the two sea days on each side of the four ports of call. We were horribly wrong. On the plus side, the food was really good almost every day and we found something to enjoy at St. Kitts, St. Marteen, St. Thomas, and Puerto Rico. That's about where the good ends. We ate dinner once at the Tuscan premium steakhouse and it was fantastic. (always bargain for a deal - 2 for 1s were easy to be had). Embarkation was pretty smooth. We thought that since this took place over a winter break for schools in many parts of the country it would be kid friendly. It was not. I didn't ask but I'd say the average age here was at least 62. Our NCL cruise had an average age of 42. Service in the restaurant was generally very good but I would rate it as mediocre to bad everywhere else. For some reason the Maître d'hôtel insisted on seating people right next to each other even in an empty restaurant and some of the tables are literally 3 or 4 inches from each other - it's like eating at a community table. I had an issue with some maintenance guys ruining my morning and sent what I thought was a pleasant note to the Chief Engineer suggesting his teams who need to do work in a public space guests are already using simply say hello and share the duration of their assignment so the guest can make an informed decision. I got no response. The guest relations crew was mediocre - one guy was really good, one guy was really rude, everyone else seemed to be unhappy to be at work. Attendant was fine but nothing special. We missed the towel animals more than I thought we would - I guess it's an NCL thing. The ship experience itself was a major disappointment. In talking with some of the crew, this itinerary with back to back sea days is notorious for an ancient crowd. At 46, I was easily one of the youngest men on board. There are scooters and wheelchairs and walking canes everywhere. There may be 20-25 other kids besides mine (which is not altogether terrible as kids can be as spoiled or worse than these wealthy old people). The consequence is the ship's activities are very geared to really old people. The high points of their activities were things like a guy talking about the book he wrote 15 years ago on the best players in major league baseball history. He things Barry Bonds - a known repeat cheater - is number 1. Three of the four days at sea offered very little of interest to us. They don't even show movies in the theater - they do it on a fairly small rooftop terrace where there is enormous competition for seating with people who aren't even there for the movie. They use the theater during days at sea for bingo which is a shame because it's a nice venue. The last day at sea I literally got up at 6:30 to go claim a spot to see the movie Trolls at 1pm. To be clear, I am saying the best way I could think of to spend 6.5 hours of my last day of vacation on this ship was sitting in one spot waiting for a really average movie to start. Entertainment on the cruise was okay. Our only other family cruise on NCL had far better entertainment. They did have some live music around the ship that was pretty good - probably better than half their big evening shows. Cabin size was good but the people who say the staterooms/bathrooms need work are basically right. We did not fully appreciate the evening dress code well when we were packing. Our focus was on the two "formal/evening chic" nights but to eat at the main restaurant or see a show you actually still needed to be somewhat dressy every other night (long pants, nicer shirt). We made it work but with all the focus on their move to evening chic, it's easy to lose sight of Celebrity's desire to "honor this grand sailing tradition" of a dress code for dinner and the evening shows. Disembarkation was a disaster until you got to customs and immigration. Anyone with even a little experience in queue management would have found six our eight process improvements without trying very hard. The mandatory safety briefing was useless and long and will end up getting people killed if there was a real event (these things need to be realistic to provide any actual life safety value). The gym looked nice but it was like 100 degrees in there all the time. When I'm done with a vacation I like to ask, "If I had to do it again knowing what I know now, would I do it?" In this case the answer is 100% no. We gave Celebrity over $4k all told plus airfaire, dog boarding, etc. so all told we spent nearly $6 for the getaway and it was beyond a doubt the worst spent vacation money of our lives. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We generally get away on Celebrity every winter but always on a balcony. Wanted to get away this year but with the canadian dollar so low,had to choose a cheaper option so booked an inside. Was upgraded to 9011 which is at the front but is ... Read More
We generally get away on Celebrity every winter but always on a balcony. Wanted to get away this year but with the canadian dollar so low,had to choose a cheaper option so booked an inside. Was upgraded to 9011 which is at the front but is an adjoining cabin. Had an adjoining cabin on Princess which had no sound proofing so was leary of taking this one. As soon as we were able to settle in to the cabin we could hear every cough, sneeze, word from next cabin. Felt like they were in our cabin with us.We talked to our room steward Putu , who was wonderful . He immediately got maintenence to install a rubber gasket around the door frame and while not perfect, certainly muffled the sound a lot! Location was so good, one flight up to pool and short walk to buffet. . Loved the Thalassotherapy Pool ,very relaxing. Difficult to get a lounge ,lots of chair saving going on as usual .Food was great at main restaurant, ate dinner one time at ocean view cafe and found the food cold. They do offer a pasta station and that was very good. Breakfast is amazing, fresh omelets made to order, crispy bacon, fresh fruit etc. Didn't have beverage package this time and the drinks were pricey, especially factoring in the 33+% exchange. The bartender Ivan was at the casino bar and amazing to watch him in action. Very nice person and so organized and efficient. The casino was actually fun this time, won enough to play for awhile on slots, unlike last year on Equinox where we had no luck. Entertainment in theatre disappointing compared to earlier years. Basic with OK singers and dancers, no wow factor. Guest comedians , vocalists and Illusionist were entertaining.The guest band Jim Beam made up for it, I thought the lead singer had an amazing voice! Piano player and string duo were great as well. Embarkation was fast,but had to wait til 130pm to access our room. The fastest disembarkation ever, 10 minutes to get through customs after picking up luggage. Probably because we were the only ship in port on a monday. Weather great, didnt do excursions as have been on these island a few times before, same shops etc. No deals to be had this year. :( The staff in every category are very friendly and welcoming,most have a smile and hello when you see them. Captain Alex was very visible as well and very approachable. Was hoping to see Captain Kate but she was on holiday. Hoping she will be on Canada /New England cruise this fall. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We selected this cruise as a short get away for a group of adults. Close proximity to port; size of ship and based on prior experience on Summit. We enjoyed the Summit when we cruised on her in 2015. Now, she is in need of some TLC: ... Read More
We selected this cruise as a short get away for a group of adults. Close proximity to port; size of ship and based on prior experience on Summit. We enjoyed the Summit when we cruised on her in 2015. Now, she is in need of some TLC: painting; rug replacement; elevator repairs. Embarkation: Easy, speedy and cabins were ready before 1:00pm! Dining in the main dining room was great! We had table 430 with Shurmon and "Nelson" were pleasant, attentive and after the first day,our beverages were waiting for us. Food was great; hot or cold appropriately; nice presentation. Buffet: Great selection of food. Servers were helpful and went out of their way to assist. Disembarkation: A heads up: should you need a wheelchair AFTER entering the terminal, once on the lower level, there are NO wheelchairs. We had a member of our group suddenly in need of a wheelchair and no one knew how to get one from the second floor. We asked staff, security and no one had radio contact with the second floor! Need better preparation for emergencies. A great big thank you to Laura El Massaoudi, Event Coordinator and Jack Falconer, Guest Relations Officer for their kind assistance with our group events! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
As an Elite member of the Captains Club have cruised several tmes with celebrity. I was 50 at xmas and my partners birthday is on 24th Feb, so we decided to push the boat out and treat ourselves to Aqua Class rather than balcony. So ... Read More
As an Elite member of the Captains Club have cruised several tmes with celebrity. I was 50 at xmas and my partners birthday is on 24th Feb, so we decided to push the boat out and treat ourselves to Aqua Class rather than balcony. So booked stateroom 9095. As most people do rsearched the extra amenities we should expect for the 'aqua class experience'. Embarkation day did not start so well as our stateroom was filthy, dont think it had been cleaned at all (over 18 years cruising now with Royal CAribbean and celebrity) never had to ask for a stateoom to be recleaned.... Gave the stateroom attendant the opportunity to clean it again, he did it but only the bits we pointed out to him...not a great start, complained and asked to speak to his supervisor. Ship overall, tired and obviously old but I guess we knew that... By day three we realised that some of the amenities we were expecting for the 'aqua class' had not been provided so what we did not receive were....oversized bath towels, lip balm, facial spray, aromatherapy diffuser, pillow menu, personal spa concierge, impoved rooom service menu, Whilst I am not bothered about not receiving a lip balm or facial spray, these amenities are what they state they will provide and there were quite a few that were not provided, not just the odd one or two. Olga the Captains Club Host totally understood and tried to deal with our complaint - she even googled the amenities they should have been providing and think knew where we were coming from... However noone seemed willing or able to resolve our issues. Olga informed us there was no such person as Personal Spa Concierge on this ship - but she had asked the Spa Manager to ring us - we did get a call from the Spa asking us what treatments we wanted to book eh...no? we wanted to speak to ur spa concirge and discuss options like they say in the brochure???And the manager did not ring us. For the oversized towels they gave us towels from the pool, what a joke they were oversized I guess but not what I expected in my bathroom...... On the positive side loved loved Blu the dining room, the food, the service brilliant...... Olga provided us with some money ff certificates but they expire soon so have written a long letter off compaint to celebrity , so we'll see what response we get...... We had a great holiday, enjoyed the caribbean but wanted what we paid extra for otherwise could have just taken a balcony cabin and saved ourselves the extra expense......... Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I sailed Celebrity 3 times 15 to 20 years ago. They were a notch above the others then. Not now. They are as good as any but have lost their advantage. I can say the food was great as was the staff. The bands were good but not enough of ... Read More
I sailed Celebrity 3 times 15 to 20 years ago. They were a notch above the others then. Not now. They are as good as any but have lost their advantage. I can say the food was great as was the staff. The bands were good but not enough of them. Acoustic singles and duos are not my cup of tea. The main theatre shows were a notch below the competition. Embarkation and disembarkation were rough and tiring. I have seen others do that much better. The Summit is a nice ship and the rooms were extremely quiet. The drinks were generous. While there was supposedly 900 crew to 2100 passengers, it didn't seem to me like there was enough crew. I would have liked to have seen more bands to chose from. On a 9 day cruise you can quickly tire of the same band every night. All of the bands were of top quality but I don't think an acoustic soloist and or duo are appropriate on a ship. We wanted to go out and dance and only one dance band was on board and everything they played was fast. The entertainment was a corny pianist, 2 different acoustic guitarists, a violin duo, a jazz quartet and a rock quartet. The average age on the cruise was probably over 65 and the on board music was geared to much younger. This is not knowing your customers. The shows consisted of 3 comedians, 2 singers, 1 magician and 3 nights of the ships singers and dancers. Boring. Still it was a good value for the price and we enjoyed ourselves. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My husband and I recently returned from our first-ever cruise. Our travel agent set up all of the details and suggested the Summit as a good first cruise experience due to the size of the ship, the package offerings and the fact that we ... Read More
My husband and I recently returned from our first-ever cruise. Our travel agent set up all of the details and suggested the Summit as a good first cruise experience due to the size of the ship, the package offerings and the fact that we preferred to cruise on a ship with more adults & fewer kids. All in all, we had a great time! We went Concierge Class and the attention to detail in our stateroom by our room attendant was second to none. Every detail was attended to - even doing things that we did not expect! Food choice was very good and service in the dining room was excellent. On board entertainment was also a highlight as we didn't realize EVERYTHING would be live - from signing to dancing to the music. Having only done all-inclusive resorts before we were used to the mediocre dance groups and the lip synced songs. There was certainly enough to see and do on board and everyone on staff was excellent! We thoroughly enjoyed our time on the Summit and already have our travel agent checking into options for another cruise with Celebrity in 2019! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Left FL on Feb 18 for a 9 day cruise...a fill in between charters. Loved the ship...perfect size to get to know fellow passengers and staff. The friendliest staff encountered in our 35 days of Celebrity cruising. Dining staff ... Read More
Left FL on Feb 18 for a 9 day cruise...a fill in between charters. Loved the ship...perfect size to get to know fellow passengers and staff. The friendliest staff encountered in our 35 days of Celebrity cruising. Dining staff excellent...Cafe de Bachio also. Definitely intend to sail on Summit again......probably from San Juan her home port....which is an excellent place to spend a few days prior. Our stateroom was a midship balcony...although smaller than Eclipse and Equinox was fine for us (retired couple) Entertainment provided by the Summit entertainment staff was first clsss.......guest entertainers not so much...with the odd exception. Ports of call....the usual suspects...St.Kitts, St.Martin,St.Thomas and San Juan....enjoyed San Juan the best. Amazng the difference in Old San Juan from 20 odd years ago..had the best jug of Sangria there...just to replace body fluids you understand Overall a very enjoyable trip..we hope tò duplicate in the near future..God willing. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Found Family Value cabin a couple of weeks before sailing only on Celebrity site. These cabins have 2 rooms with a slider partition between them, 2 TVs and 2 thermostats. Room closest to veranda slider and very large verandas has 2 sofas( ... Read More
Found Family Value cabin a couple of weeks before sailing only on Celebrity site. These cabins have 2 rooms with a slider partition between them, 2 TVs and 2 thermostats. Room closest to veranda slider and very large verandas has 2 sofas( not especially comfortable as they are sleepers). The end cabins have a veranda with a table and 4 chairs, 2 loungers and 2 lounge chairs. One bathroom. These rooms are only released at the last minute. They are not suites and do not get extra perks but the size alone makes them very desirable. Deck 9 is under the Sunset Bar on the Lido deck so there is some noise early am when the set up and at various tomes during the day. Due to the addition of Blu and Luminae the main dining room is very crowded and noisy. Many guests also do not understand that shouting in a restaurant is not cool. Shows were not well done even though the cast is very talented. Saw one comedian who was very low key and talented. Musicians around the ship were all quite good. Persian Garden on this boat is an interior room- not the loungers shown in the adverts. Beach excursion through the boat in St Kitts was very nice. Would do the one in St Martin through Twin Island excursions as much less crowded. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I will start by saying Captain Alex is running a tight ship. He has a crew with high morale that go above and beyond to make sure every aspect of our vacation was excellent and went smoothly. From embarkation to debarkation, everything ... Read More
I will start by saying Captain Alex is running a tight ship. He has a crew with high morale that go above and beyond to make sure every aspect of our vacation was excellent and went smoothly. From embarkation to debarkation, everything worked like clock work and there was never a worry or concern. The food was spot on in the dining room and the buffet. Our server Xiomara was a cut above and never ceased to insure our experience was top notch. Never a miss on any meal though there was a temperature issue at times with the after dinner coffees but she doesn't make them. The condition of the ship is superb for a ship its age. There are some spots that need some paint, but hey, I spent 20+ years in the Navy so I notice those things. And the reason they call ships "she" is because it costs so much to keep them both in paint and powder - Chester Nimitz. The bartenders and servers were quick and responsive everywhere. And the pool area, while crowded was clean and enjoyable. There could be better enforcement of the holding of chairs as we saw multiple groups of chairs held for hours with no on in them. The staff entertainment was superb and two of the comedians were very good. Sure, the age of the guest was elevated, but that is what you get in mid February. We had an excellent time with our travelling partners and enjoyed every bit of the cruise. The negative reviews seem to be from people who need others to help them have a good time or were stressed by their kids. Any vacation is what you make of it. My only concern is the obvious and blatant cost cutting. No ice sculptures, no towel animals, no midnight buffet. We wanted for nothing, but could not help but notice the corner cutting. If there is anything I would like to impart to Celebrity is that if you are going to be a luxury cruise line, you can't do it while making you cost cutting so apparent. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We had an absolutely perfect cruise on the Summit. Our room was great, lots of storage room and a big balcony. We were in Concierge Class in room 8084 and it was wonderful. Our room Steward Belvin was a treat. He was seemingly always ... Read More
We had an absolutely perfect cruise on the Summit. Our room was great, lots of storage room and a big balcony. We were in Concierge Class in room 8084 and it was wonderful. Our room Steward Belvin was a treat. He was seemingly always around with a smile on his face. He met out requests quickly and professionally. The food on board was excellent. From the MDR to the buffet to all the specialty restaurants, everything we had was wonderful. The only real complaint on food was that the breakfast room service was not very hot. The food was still good however. Captain Alex and cruise director Chris were very visible and both are really fun to be around. We had nothing but friendly and excellent service no matter where we went. It was like being on a boat full of friends. Embarkation was super fast and smooth as was disembarkation. Celebrity made every aspect of our cruise great. We loved it so much we booked another on board. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My husband and I were celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary onboard, and we were treated like a King and a Queen. Maja, the Michael's Club Concierge, greeted us in the Embarkation area and walked with us on board the Summit. She ... Read More
My husband and I were celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary onboard, and we were treated like a King and a Queen. Maja, the Michael's Club Concierge, greeted us in the Embarkation area and walked with us on board the Summit. She told us that since we were in a Suite (our first time and it will be very difficult to go to a regular room), we could dine in Luminae for lunch. The food was absolutely fabulous not only for lunch, but for the entire time we were on the ship. Since my husband was in the food business, it is always difficult to please him, but not onboard the Summit!!!! Captain Alex was the friendliest Captain that we have ever had the pleasure of meeting and he and his staff were visible all the time!!! Every crew member on board always greeted us with a smile and seemed to be enjoying their jobs. We walked off the ship with Maja and it was the easiest de-embarkation ever. This was a cruise of our lifetime and hope you too will cruise on the Celebrity Summit!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Celebrity Summit out of Port Everglades February 18, 2017 Our Group: Our group consisted of 6 70 year old seasoned citizens and seasoned cruisers. Pre-cruise: We booked this 9 day cruise from a TA who gave us a $100.00 pp ... Read More
Celebrity Summit out of Port Everglades February 18, 2017 Our Group: Our group consisted of 6 70 year old seasoned citizens and seasoned cruisers. Pre-cruise: We booked this 9 day cruise from a TA who gave us a $100.00 pp refundable onboard credit in addition to the $150.00 pp non-refundable onboard credit from Celebrity. We all had the Classic Drink Package. One couple winters near Orlando. They had a 4 hour drive and parked at Park and Go. The other 2 couples had non-stop flights on United the day before the cruise. We stayed at Embassy Suites on 17th St. On cruise day, we took a shuttle from the hotel to Terminal 25. We were onboard the ship at 11:30, which means that I had a beer at 11:31. Cabins: We had 3 cat 2A cabins on deck 7. Rose and I had cabin 7166 which is on the starboard side. It has an angled balcony which is about 4 ft. on the bow side and about 6 ft. On the stern side. The balcony chairs were not very comfortable and did not recline there are no footstools. The bed is against the stern side wall and faces the bow side wall. There was a "love seat" between the bed and the balcony window. It is really the size of a "grandfather's chair" where a grandfather and a grandchild could sit. It has a mechanism under the cushion that I would assume could unfold and a child could sleep there. A chair is underneath the small desk. There are two 110 volt outlets on the balcony side of the desk and two European type outlets below them. The shower is adequate and has a height adjustable hose and nozzle. The Ports St. Kitts - Rose and I have been here twice. Once we took the Thenford Grey tour and once the train ride. Both are good excursions. This time, I guarded a bench while Rose shopped. St. Maarten - Rose and I have been here many times, another shopping day for us. The others took the 150 long double deck catamaran tour that served rum punch. St. Thomas - The ship docked at Crown Bay. We prefer Havensight. More shopping. San Juan - I accompanied Rose shopping, the others went to the square and the Cathedral. When you leave to pier, there are tons of drivers offering tours. We didn't ask the price, but a couple of years ago, we had a great tour in a nice bus for $15.00 each. Dining Breakfast and Lunch Rose and I had breakfast in the dining room on the 1st day. The service was excellent. For the rest of the breakfasts and all lunches, we picked up food from the buffet and eat at a table at the outdoor sunset bar. The layout for the buffet is confused. You may have to go on both sides if the ship to find everything that you want. Signage is not the best. All along, their a pot in front with either a scoop or a set of tongs for you to select items. However, there is an additional pot behind the front one. You can't reach the utensil of the rear pot so you must wait for a buffet staffer to do it for you. Dinner: We had Select Dining on Deck 4. We had table 134, a table for 6, reserved each night. The staff was great. I t consisted of I Komang - Waiter, Zainal - Assistant Waiter, Grace - Sommelier and Milton - Assistant Maître Di. The other two couples checked the menu posted each day. Rose and I would rather be surprised. One day they did not like the menu and told us that they would be eating in the buffet. When Rose and I showed up for our reservation, we informed them that the others would not be there. They moved Rose an I to a table for two with the Sam staff. and 6 walk-ins were able to use table 134 that evening. Rose and I really enjoyed the red snapper that evening. The others said that they would have eaten in the dining room if they knew that "red fish" meant red snapper. The bars: The bars were a challenge. It seemed that many in the bar staff were inexperienced. Rose and I only experienced the Sunset And Rendezvous Bars. Rose had a couple of frozen strawberry daiquiris, but her usual drink is Bacardi rum, Diet Coke and a slice of lime. I had mainly Chivas on the rocks, Heinekens and I ordered about 6 Celebrity Bloody Marys. I ordered them, but never received one. They are a signature drink and are pictured with the recipe on menu set on each table. No bartender made them per that recipe. Our friends like Mai Tais when in the Caribbean. Each bartender made his own recipe for them and our friends disliked most. Later in the cruise, they would go to the pool bar, order their drinks and bring them down to join us in the Rendezvous. The Shows: We attended all the evening shows. The only one that we didn't like was the magician. Comedian James Stephen III is one of the most talented performers that I have ever seen. In one of the shows, "The Flashback Four," a group that dis 60's music, my cousin Bill was selected to join them on stage. The rest of the cruise, everyone kept yelling,"there's Bill." Summary: Another great cruise on Celebrity. Although an older ship, Summit seemed to be in fairly good shape. If I saw something like a poorly varnished railing, I just had another glass of Chivas and it immediately improved. The seas were 3 feet or less the entire 9 days. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
First things first! 80s Cruise was spectacular. An entire week of great music, great people and great times! Definitely look into it if you’re looking for something special! The boat was great. Captain Alex was hysterical and so ... Read More
First things first! 80s Cruise was spectacular. An entire week of great music, great people and great times! Definitely look into it if you’re looking for something special! The boat was great. Captain Alex was hysterical and so friendly, he did a stand up skit that would rival any comedian. The members of the crew were fantastic and a bit overwhelmed at times, the 80s cruise crowd were all about drinking and having fun, a number of the crew said they were amazed at how much fun everyone and the cruise itself was! The Summit herself was a great boat. Pools, spa, restaurants etc, all of it; pretty fantastic. We ate in Quisine, a great experience. Tuscan grill was really good, we ordered half portions of a bunch of dishes so we could sample a lot of the menu. Sushi place was excellent(sorry I forget the name) but the sushi was super fresh! We loved the buffet and only ate in the main dining a handful of times. It’s nit a preference thing, it’s a flow thing. We like to get busy doing things and being involved in enjoying our vacation without time constraints or schedules on any level so, we opt to hit the buffets more often than the MD, even with the my-time stuff. MD to me is about dressing nicer and being casual and sometimes, I just want to wear my crocs, shorts and a T-shirt and I don’t feel that’s respectful attire to subject others to when they’re dressing up a bit more. Just my two cents. Anyway, the buffet was bangin! Flat out good to really good each day. No, it doesn’t compare to MD dishes and yes, MD is better in the sense that it’s more restaurant level offerings. The couples massage at the spa was cool, but it’s a punch in the wallet’s mouth for what you actually get. I’m thinking stone massage next time or, a bucket of beers and get my feet done. Our cruise hit Cozumel, we didn’t venture far but, we did enjoy fresh salsas, chips and real Mexican foods. A little shopping and some laughs in Senor Frogs were how the day unfolded. Grand Cayman was next. Drinks, good eats and plenty of sun and fun on 7 mike beach. Beautiful restaurant right on the beach, $$ but nice. Next up: Dunne’s Falls Jamaica. Do it. Don’t ask questions, do it. Get some beef patties and Red stripe to celebrate your conquest afterwards! Coco Cay followed up and man, I love this island. It’s fun, there’s a hammock swinging from a palm tree waiting for you there and delicious Pina Colladas...best ones I’ve ever had. Plenty to do or, not to do on this wee island. P.S. It’s MY ISLAND. I’ll fight you for it. HAHAHAHA. Summit is a fine boat. Movie screen in the back, check out a film or sports in a quiet and comfortable atmosphere. Def get the cabanas! Basketball court up top in the aft section. I’m allergic to basketball so, I can’t help you with any opinion there. Two pools and a few nice jacuzzis midship. Great places for plenty of sun or shade all over this boat. The clubs are all cool spots to hang out in. On our cruise, there were MJ, Tina Turner and Madonna impersonators who were all great and, they had tons of interactive game shows and trivia things going on. I hope to be on the Summit again one day and experience her on a normal cruise. I hope some of this helpsvyou plan your trip. Nothing like cruising, right? If you haven’t, it’s ridiculous. You’re traveling from One paradise or bucket list location to another with your hotel room and restaurants following you everywhere. Meet new people or dint, make new friends or don’t. Enjoy yourselves/yourself or, make every day a party. Memories for life and a drug you won’t want to quit. Cruising is amazing. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My wife and I and 3 other couples booked this cruise over a year in advance. This was our third cruise but first with Celebrity. We let Celebrity book our flights as this was not a round trip cruise and the price seemed very reasonable. ... Read More
My wife and I and 3 other couples booked this cruise over a year in advance. This was our third cruise but first with Celebrity. We let Celebrity book our flights as this was not a round trip cruise and the price seemed very reasonable. There were no disappointments with the air arrangements, in fact I could have not done better had I booked the air myself. Celebrity put us up at the Marriott north Fll, which is a fair distance from the airport and terminal but with 5 cruise ships in port at the same time I understood why. The transfer from the hotel to the ship went smooth and without much hassle. I have to say that getting on the ship was the smoothest experience I have had cruising. I think it was 15 minutes from the time we got off the bus until I had my glass of champagne. This cruise was on that we had been wanting to do since we discovered cruising 10 years ago so expectations were high to say the least. I will say right now we were not disappointed. As far as the ship goes, the Summit was very nice, clean and well taken care of. The artwork on the ship was not to my liking and looked as if someone very strange had picked it. To be honest I really don't care but just an observation. The crew was very friendly and helpful and some where a highlight of our cruise. The group of 8 that I traveled with are in their late 30's to early 40's and I would say the average age of the rest of the cruisers were in their late 60's to early 70's so their was quite a bit of age difference but this did not stop us from having fun. Their was little to no night life on the cruise and our group was often the only ones up past 11pm and we had the only nightclub on the ship to ourselves almost every night. I admit it would have been nicer to have had more people our age but you work with what you get and as I said we still had an excellent time. The evening entertainment was hit and miss with us (again due to our age some of the entertainment was geared towards the older age cruisers). The casino was nice and the staff was fun to be around. Dinner was fantastic. We had late seating so we didn't have to rush around getting ready for dinner while there was still time to lay out by the pool. Our waiter was a great man who did very well to accommodate our group. We did not do the specialty dinning option as the food we were being served was exceptional and found no reason to do the other option. About halfway through the cruise there was a virus outbreak and the crew was everywhere cleaning and serving us so to try to contain it. I am happy to say that none of us got sick and that Celebrity did an excellent job keeping us healthy. The only problem we had was a sprinkler pipe in our cabin ceiling developed a leak and got our entry floor very wet. We notified the front desk and they offered to move us to another cabin. We declined as they were fixing it and we did not want to pack up to move down the hall. They surprised us the next day with a free bottle of champagne and fruit delivered to our room. Nice touch for a small problem that really wasn't a problem for us. Overall I would give this cruise a big thumbs up. I do think that they do overcharge for drinks, not that it stopped us from spending a lot for them. We were able to offset some of the cost by having cocktail hours in our cabins with the bottles we smuggled on at various ports. Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
Part 2: Just finished a review asking Celebrity to manage its passenger list better. More positive and achievable is to ask them to manage their passengers better when they're on the ship. People who wear swimsuits to dinner in ... Read More
Part 2: Just finished a review asking Celebrity to manage its passenger list better. More positive and achievable is to ask them to manage their passengers better when they're on the ship. People who wear swimsuits to dinner in the dining room when others are in sport coats, or people wearing beach wraps on formal night could certainly be discretely "managed." The man who complained that his granddaughter's underpants were soiled as he set her on the Martini bar and ordered a "Ketel One and don't be cheap with the pour..." could have had a discrete word with Security, and all of us would have been healthier. The men and women of a certain age and size who insisted on wearing string bikinis and smoking cigars in the non-smoking section could have been pleasantly reminded that these are publicly-shared spaces... So much of the displeasure I displayed in a previous review could have been discretely managed as a discreet hotel in Europe or a big Casino in Vegas would have done. Perhaps Celebrity doesn't find this "tasteful." Well, as a victim of these fellow-travelers, I can tell you it's less tasteful to witness and attempt to recover from their grossness. A Perfect Guest. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
I can say only wonderful things about Celebrity and the Summit. Yes, it's true that the majority of passengers are older....but we had no problem relating to our fellow passengers or having a good time ourselves. (We are in our 30s.) ... Read More
I can say only wonderful things about Celebrity and the Summit. Yes, it's true that the majority of passengers are older....but we had no problem relating to our fellow passengers or having a good time ourselves. (We are in our 30s.) We took the Summit for our 10th anniversary cruise and it lived up to all the planning and anticipation. The entertainment did not suit our tastes, but the Aqua Spa and the Thalasotherapy pool more than made up for that. We enjoyed lingering over dinner with our friends (also on their 10th anniversary) and talking more than we would have enjoyed a show anyway. We spent our days enjoying room service for breakfast on our balcony. (The concierge class cabins have an expanded room service menu that we really enjoyed.) We then went to the gym for a Yoga class (Have you ever tried to do Yoga on a moving ship? That in itself was pretty entertaining!) Or to the spa for a massage. We spent our days lounging in the thalasotherapy pool and jacuzzi or in the beautiful teak loungers by the pool. This area of the ship and the spa are its' crowning glory. The Rasul mud treatment has to be the best couple's treatment anywhere! The food on the ship was excellent. We have sailed with Royal Caribbean and Disney - and preferred the Celebrity fare hands down. The spa cuisine by the pool was superb. The daily lunch buffet was generally very good. We enjoyed the daily sandwich selections at the back of the buffet line the best. We did try the buffet and the dining room for breakfast, but much preferred ordering room service...it was more relaxing and the food was better. We also enjoyed the grilled hamburgers very much....and my husband and I rarely eat red meat....so that's saying quite a lot! We had the late seating, so many nights we would grab a sushi snack, do some shopping (quite a nice selection for on-board shops), and then dress for dinner. The sushi was not the best I've ever had, but it was fresh and flavorful. The dining room was superb simply because of our waitstaff. Our head waiter, Alex was so warm and friendly. We quizzed him on what to do in the upcoming port at every meal....and his recommendations were always right on the mark! Our assistant waiter, Keyan, was great too, and always in such a good mood that it was contagious. The first night of our cruise, we were seated at a table for 6. We talked to Fabio, the maitre d' and explained that since we had not seen each other in 10 years, we would prefer a table for 4. The next evening, we were moved to a table for 4. Not only that, but Fabio, Alex, Keyan, and Maggie (our sommelier) all came over to sing 'Happy Anniversary' when our dessert was served! We hadn't said a word! Fabio had filled our new waitstaff in on our story. On the last formal night at sea, he also arranged for us to sit at the Captain's table! Our hostess was the Assistant Hotel Manager, Ms. Hautaniemi. It was a lovely evening. Ms. Hautaniemi was the perfect hostess. At the end of the night, we truly felt like actors in one of the Celebrity commercials talking about how they were treated famously! The Normandie restaurant was so exceptional that we dined there twice. It is well worth the cover charge and more. The goat cheese souffle was to die for. The itinerary of this sailing was also excellent. Our husbands enjoyed the 12 metre sailing regatta and scuba diving in Barbados. We all took the shore excursion to St. John from St. Thomas and loved it. The St. John excursion still left plenty of time to explore St. Thomas. Next time, we would definitely do an excursion in St. Lucia (not enough to see on our own, wish we had gotten a better look at the Pitons) and Barbados. While our husbands enjoyed the scuba excursion, my friend and I decided to take a taxi to one of the nearby beaches to relax while the guys were gone. The port is VERY commercial, the taxi stand was chaos, and the drivers were quite rude. I am sure there are beautiful experiences on Barbados, but I would NOT try to find them on my own again. St. Maarten is great and it's so easy to reach the charming shopping area from the ship. (Taloula Mangos has a great vista of the beach and the ship and wonderful fried gouda cheesesticks!) I hope this review was helpful. We will book another Celebrity vacation as soon as our schedules allow! Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
The cruise was nice but not exceptional. Here are some areas most people are interested in when picking a cruise - I hope they are helpful as you make your decision. Feel free to email me with questions. 1) Food - varies by meal. ... Read More
The cruise was nice but not exceptional. Here are some areas most people are interested in when picking a cruise - I hope they are helpful as you make your decision. Feel free to email me with questions. 1) Food - varies by meal. Breakfast: We ate in the "cafeteria" all but 1 day. Decent selection, but pretty much the same every day. Some days there was smoked salmon, other days pickled herring (strange for breakfast, but good). All days, they offered bacon, sausage, corned beef hash, scrambled eggs, hot and cold cereal, cheese, breads, pastries, fruit. There was an omelet station, which was good, and sometimes a belgium waffle station, which wasn't so good. Even though there was usually 2-4 paths to get the same food, the traffic flow was pretty poor since everyone comes in from the same end of the room. The other aggravation was toasting - if you want toast or a bagel, you have to ask 1 person in a central place to do it. With 2 lines feeding into this single person, it got backed up and often the rest of your food would be cold by the time you got your toast. We went to the dining room once - less selection, not really relaxing, and you can't wear shorts. Lunch: varied significantly by day in the cafeteria. Some days were lousy, like day 1, other days were very good (American theme day). Mexican was awful, Chinese was OK. Admittedly, we didn't eat there daily - we really liked the "healthy choice" offering near the spa. The food there was beautiful and delicious, even if you need to supplement it with fries or a burger from the grill (fries are GREAT!) Dinner: Dining room is nice but kind of noisy. It seems there were a lot of large tables for 10. We travelled with family and had a table for 6. All tables seem relatively near a server station where dishes clang, etc. Don't get up during dinner else you will be mowed down by a waiter! The food was pretty good most nights. Better than other cruises I've been on. As with most cruises, if you order 1 item from each category (appetizer, soup, salad, entree, dessert) you will have plenty, even if 1 or more of your choices aren't to your liking. Salads are very small - get 2 if you are a salad fan. They bend over backwards to make you happy here, so for example, we asked for escargot every night even though it wasn't on the menu, and they accommodated. As I said, most meals were pretty good. Rack of lamb was excellent, as was the chicken. Don't get excited about the lobster tails though - they were dry and chewy (not Maine Lobster). Deserts: lots of selection in the cafeteria and dining room - most look better than they are, but nothing to complain about. Desserts at the healthy area were very good - not sweet but really fresh. Cabins: We had a balcony cabin on the Penthouse deck. It had plenty of storage space - even the biggest luggage fits under the bed. You can remove the items in the minibar and use the fridge. The room looked a lot more "worn" than I expected given the ship is only 3-4 yrs old. Need new bedspreads, curtains, and deck furniture. The bed was very comfortable, although I needed more pillows and was able to request feather. The bathroom got musty towards the end of the week - we should have asked for the shower curtain to be washed mid-week. Lousy hair dryer (like a shopvac on blow). Bring one. The vanity was chipped, but the bathroom had plenty of storage and the shower had a hand-held shower head. TV choices were very limited. A bunch of ship stations with pitches for the auctions and ports, plus CNN (not headline), TNT, Cartoon Network, and one other station. Movies are pay per view and very expensive compared to home. Ports of call: I don't cruise for the ports, I cruise for the experience. That being said, I did like Costa Rica and Panama since I'd never been, and we did some nice excursions at most stops - contact me for more details. General: I don't recommend this cruise unless you are 65+, since that's the avg age I'd guess. There was very little to do during the 4 days at sea, and the entertainment was positively AWFUL. There was a good comedian 1 night, but other than that, it was mostly song and dance similar to a high school production. Don't get fooled by the Cirque du Soleil stuff - there are 2 "aerialists" who do a short performance on 2 nights as part of the show. They are very good but sitting for nearly an hour to see 7 minutes of good performance is not a viable trade-off. There is also a funky bar on deck 11 that features Cirque theses some night. It's odd, and not suited to the cruise passenger population. Shopping: decent selection of stores, auctions (art and wine), etc. Casino: good - big, lots of tables and machines - decent payouts, and fun competitions during sea days Movies: they have a theater but play 3rd rate movies only a few times a day that generally conflict with other activities (like dinner or excursions) Health Spa: double or triple the cost of home, but you'll get a 40% off coupon for 1 service if you book an excursion. They also have specials. Bottom line - we had a good time because it was vacation, but I won't sail Celebrity again until I'm in my 60s. Read Less
Sail Date April 2005
The Summit is different -she is white-the service though is still the same, excellent. I was expecting much after the dry dock period but it seems that only the hull was repainted CduS was not ready but hey who cares we are back cruising. ... Read More
The Summit is different -she is white-the service though is still the same, excellent. I was expecting much after the dry dock period but it seems that only the hull was repainted CduS was not ready but hey who cares we are back cruising. Embarkation was a dream and for all those wondering about CC Don't bother, (Only so I can make sure its available when I book again). Seriously, you are treated special from the moment you arrive at the pier it took us 20 minutes and we were on board sipping our welcome champagne and reacquainting ourselves with the ship. This was very easy as the deck plans are very easy to understand and the Summit is so easy to get around. Our cabin on Sky deck 9125 was perfectly placed for the elevators and also the stairs -- the extra touches from CC class were nice and the room was light clean and the bathroom was well fitted with nice big towels and bathrobes, the flowers were a nice extra. The Cabin Steward whilst smiling and friendly was not as attentive as those we have experienced previously and needed to be reminded and asked 2/3 times before some things were sorted and he just did not seem to do the job as well. Maybe I have been spoilt in the past but hey he was 7/10 and was always smiling. The overall service on Summit is 1st class in my opinion, and the in room service is the best I have experienced. Breakfast on the balcony was superb, you can choose from the full menu and it was always delivered on time and hot take advantage of this service. The food as you would expect was very good, plenty of choice and a good selection of Entrees-our waiter and Asst. were probably the best we have had and also the Maitre D' was informative and did not just visit at the end to get his tip!! Visit the Normandie --The food and service are second to none and would cost an arm and leg ashore. Expect very fine dining the food is rich and flavoursome the Soups are delicious as is the Cheese board, well worth $30. The Buffet dining was also quite good and the pasta and Soup and Sandwich stations are good options. The area at the back of the ship is a great place to have lunch, there is nothing better than enjoying a nice lunch with wine watching the wake from the stern of the ship as you sail to your next Caribbean destination. I will not talk about itinerary as I think this is a personal choice and also most have been covered in depth previously. The deck areas are spacious and we always found a bed the pool was freezing and maybe Celebrity should think about heating it a little as there was hardly anyone using the pools even though the temperatures were in the 80's. The Spa is great and the extra touches like shaving cream etc. in the changing rooms/Sauna was good to see. The entertainment around the pool was normal cruise type -join in if you want or sit and read, the band was quite good played all the usual pool songs and also did spots in the rendezvous lounge. There was also a duo here that played before dinner again the usual soup music to dance to but of good quality. The bar staff were always friendly, they made you feel like you were at home in your local bar-and nothing was too much trouble. Michaels Club -no longer a cigar lounge -was our favourite venue. The entertainer was 1st class and this reminds me of a Vegas Cabaret Lounge, I cannot speak for the Theatre Shows as we did not see any but all the Artists we did see perform were 1st Class. As you would expect from Celebrity. Disembarkation was as usual like a Cattle-market, get a porter to take your bags through customs, you will sail through. Overall this was an excellent cruise Summit is a beautiful ship and the staff and crew deserve a lot of praise for their hard work and attention to their passengers comforts. Hope this has been of use. Read Less
Sail Date February 2005
This was our 6th cruise - our first with Celebrity. Our others have been Festival Mistral, Royal Caribbean Voyager and Explorer, Norwegian Star and Costa Atlantica. Our experience didn't start off too well, when we discovered ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise - our first with Celebrity. Our others have been Festival Mistral, Royal Caribbean Voyager and Explorer, Norwegian Star and Costa Atlantica. Our experience didn't start off too well, when we discovered Celebrity had booked my wife and myself onto our American Airlines, Heathrow-Miami flight, in a group of 6 (with 4 others). This meant we were allocated seats in the middle block of 5 and would have had restrictions had we not found the Celebrity agent to complain. I am 6'4" tall so really needed an aisle seat. We arrived at Miami to find the baggage reclaim belt had broken, which changed our very quick 10 minute immigration passage into an inconvenient 1hr+ wait. This was obviously not the fault of Celebrity, but did cause frustration. The transfer bus took us to our hotel - the Sheraton at Ft Lauderdale airport (unfortunately, not the ones at the beach which would have been much better). The reception staff gave us a copied sheet with details of our ship transfer for the following morning. Although the sheet was headed Royal Caribbean and not Celebrity, we were assured it was the correct sheet. It stated to meet at 11am for the transfer bus. We left our bags in our room and took a taxi which dropped us at Los Olas, an area we enjoyed for the evening. If you are staying pre/post cruise in Ft. Laud, we can recommend walking the length of Los Olas Boulevard. On embarkation morning, we went to the lobby area at the appointed time of 11am and sat with the other cruise guest (around 150 others). What we didn't know - and what nobody told us - was that we should have registered with the Celebrity staff on duty, in order to be allocated a bus (there were 6 buses). We also didn't need to be at the meeting point until 12 noon. As none of this had been explained, we were allocated the last bus. We then had to wait nearly 3 hours for our bus to arrive. This time could have been better spent exploring the Ft Lauderdale area for the morning rather than having to sit in the hotel lobby. We were very disappointed with the handling of the transfers. Once we arrived at the ship, things went very smoothly - we were onboard in around 20 minutes. This would have been even quicker had people completed the various forms before arriving at the desk!, but we could hardly complain at 20 minutes as we have waited over an hour with some previous cruises. We then boarded the ship and a staff member "escorted" us to our cabin - except that he couldn't read our stateroom number and didn't know the way. When we got to our cabin (8094) we were pleasantly surprised that it was larger than the normal balcony cabins we've experienced before. However, there was a connecting door to the adjoining cabin, which had coloured tape around all of the gaps (apparently to cut down on the noise of the TVs between the two cabins). The toilet seat was also very badly worn. These were not going to ruin our cruise experience but were not expected in a ship of this class. We enjoyed the ship for the afternoon and then got ready for dinner (late sitting at 8:30pm). We had requested to be seated at a large table of 10, but were allocated a table for 2 (420). This table was situated next to the serving area and was in the main run of the waiters. We spent most of the evening expecting a plate to come crashing down on our heads from the busy waiting staff running past - this table was in a very noisy area. We decided to speak with the maitre to enquire about being moved. The food was of very good quality, excellently presented - although limited in choice, with not that much variety thrum the cruise. We had pre-booked our excursions before we left the UK. Unfortunately, of the six tours we booked, two were cancelled and one (St Kitts Railway) ended prematurely due to a breakdown. We had read of a previous problem with the St Kitts Scenic Railway (aka The Sugar Train), but had booked already so continued with the tour. Unfortunately, we soon discovered why the train is called the Sugar Train - if it rains and you have to sit in the downstairs carriage, all you will see is sugar cane! The train was painfully slow as it had trouble gripping the tracks, until it finally broke down with engine trouble. We cant complain too much as we had got three-quarters of the way and were immediately informed that a full refund was being given. Alas, the guests waiting for the 12:30 tour had already boarded buses and were sat at the station before being informed their tour was cancelled - this was a wasted day for them. Our other cancelled tours were Grenada Flight-seeing (mechanical trouble) and Ft Lauderdale Highlights (poor sales). We questioned why the Ft Lauderdale tour had been cancelled (due to poor sales) with 4 days of the cruise still to go - we spoke to many people who were yet to think about final day excursions and would possibly have booked. We can't accept that tours needed to be finalized so quickly. As we had done the Everglades Tour (which was the only other option) several times previously, we didn't want to do it again. We asked the Concierge desk to try to source any alternatives for us. They suggested that as we had a hotel transfer and day room booked at the Miami Hilton, they would forward our bags so that we could enjoy our day in Ft. Lauderdale without the hassle of carrying bags. This was a good idea, so we spent some time in the internet cafe locating things to do in Ft Lauderdale - this cost $15 in internet fees. Unfortunately, when we approached Guest Services on our final day, they informed us that we had to physically go with our bags to the hotel - this totally ruined our plans again! Regarding the cruise in general :- We found that despite 20% of the guests being British, it was still very much a US-focussed cruise (quizzes etc on US TV shows and personalities etc). The age range was definitely much higher than previous cruises we've enjoyed. I would say the average being 55+. The entertainment was generally good - the production shows were excellent and SoulD Out were fantastic. Some of the others were definitely aimed at the target audience of oldies. The food was good in the main restaurant, although a little limited in choice over the cruise. The buffets were much better although something should be done to extend the lunchtime from 2:30pm to 3:00pm or so. Bars were OK, but the staff were a little slow to spot customers at times and the ship ran out of draft beers on the last day. In-cabin air conditioning - this was very noisy. Our final complaint of the ship was the smell. At several times during the cruise the front part of the ship (especially around Revelations and the Theatre) smelled of what can only be described as sewage. Would we cruise with Celebrity again - No. Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
This was our third Celebrity cruise, with the previous two being on Infinity. We're in our late twenties and cruise for the relaxation, the time together, the food and the pleasure of being on a ship. The ports are not our first ... Read More
This was our third Celebrity cruise, with the previous two being on Infinity. We're in our late twenties and cruise for the relaxation, the time together, the food and the pleasure of being on a ship. The ports are not our first priority. Our last four cruises have been on a combo of Princess & Royal, so we were anxious to get back on a Celebrity ship again, and our expectations of it being a nicer all around experience were met. Embarkation/Disembarkation, Cabin, Ship, Service Embarkation was the easiest we've ever experienced. We flew to FLL on a Red Eye from California, got a taxi to the port and more or less walked right on the ship. I think this was a result of being Concierge Class or Founders Captain's Circle - I'm not sure, but I'll take it. Our rooms weren't ready, so we had lunch and a drink in the Waterfall Cafe, then headed downstairs to stow our bags. Disembarkation was truly a breeze - we were allowed to stay in our rooms until 9, which we did. At 9 we headed to a lounge, only to hear our color called. We walked along the hallway to the door and off the ship. No fuss, no muss. Collected our bags easily and made it to the taxi stand, which was a zoo, but not at all the fault of Celebrity. Our stateroom was pleasant - large enough for the two of us to not feel cramped, plenty of storage, always impeccably cleaned by our attentive cabin steward. The mattress pad and pillow menu were the most appreciated parts of the CC experience - the bed really was more comfortable than any other I've experienced on board a ship. The canapEs every afternoon were nice, and the towels, showerhead and robes were fine, but overall, we didn't think that the up charge for CC was worth the extra to us. Additionally, I prefer being a little lower on the ship, as I felt the balcony on deck 9 had a somewhat "closed in" feeling due to the overhang from Deck 10. If the up charge is minimal, we will choose CC again and enjoy the small touches, but we'll most likely spend the extra somewhere else on the ship and go for a basic balcony cabin in the future. The ship was well maintained and attractive. The color scheme is warmer and lighter than that of the Infinity, so although we knew the layout of the ship, we felt it had a bigger and more spacious feel because of the colors used in the decor. It was a very pleasant place to spend time. The layout was easy to navigate, and I never felt lost or trapped in one place. The pool areas were predictably busy, but we were always able to find a chair somewhere, and the Thalassotherapy pool was a wonderful place to relax, particularly in the late afternoon when the crowds dissipated. The fitness area had a nice view, and the saunas with their large porthole window were a wonderful place to sit (though they were often not warm enough). We felt the ship was well maintained and clean, and managed the traffic of a mostly full sailing quite well. The service on the Summit was, in our opinion, one of the highlights of the cruise. The staff was almost uniformly pleasant, cheerful, friendly and very, very competent. Our cabin steward and waiter were the best we've had in eight cruises. The staff in the Martini lounge knew us and went out of their way to make us happy. Even the cruise staff remembered us, and we had minimal exposure to them. The spa staff was the best and least pushy that I've ever encountered while cruising. Our assistant Maitre'd was excellent, and a perfect example of what such an individual should be. He told us that the crew of the Summit has been together for years and requests to return to the ship - this has paid off in spades for the customer experience. Food, Entertainment & Ports As I mentioned, the ports are not a selling point for us when choosing a cruise, but we did enjoy this itinerary. St. Kitts was our favorite, as it was the least developed. While at St. Thomas, we visited St. John (via ferry) and would highly recommend it. We did take a Celebrity excursion in Barbados, wreck snorkeling and swimming with the turtles. The excursion was good, the snorkeling and turtle interaction excellent and the coordination and transportation (and booking through the TV) all easy. We felt the food on board was quite good. The dinners each night in the main dining room were nice, and our waiter was very accommodating in making sure we had whatever we wanted or needed. The meats were all cooked to our specifications and tender. The soups and appetizers were always interesting and well prepared. The vegetables are probably the weak spot, as they were often of the "mixed, steamed" variety, but they weren't terrible either. Between the appetizers, soups (esp. the chilled soups, Celebrity does these very well), salads, breads, meats... the veggies were a side note. The desserts were quite nice, though they tended towards the drier, less sweet side. The Waterfall Cafe was usually better than it looked - though we felt that they often "try too hard" in the entrees they serve there, and would be better to prepare simpler dishes at lunch. The carved meats were always excellent, and we also enjoyed the pizza, the Spa cafe, the grill... it wasn't difficult to find a good meal or a good snack. We used room service for breakfast most mornings, and enjoyed the option of eating on our balcony. The Normandie was a wonderful experience, well worth the $30pp fee. The food was excellent - a bit more refined in flavor than the main dining room - and it was beautifully served. The sommelier did a wonderful job with the bottle we brought - I don't know if I've ever had such good wine service. The cheese cart here was particularly impressive, containing a few very nice French cheeses that we didn't expect to find. We were also impressed with their wine cellar - some very old bottles tucked away in there! The entertainment was fine. We really enjoyed SoulDOut, the a cappella group. The music in the Rendezvous Lounge often leaned toward the Muzak, which we were sorry to hear. The stage shows were, again, fine, but not spectacular - still, they were pleasant to watch. We ended up enjoying our table mates so much that we spent evenings talking with them rather than seeing all the shows, so I didn't get a complete picture of the entertainment. Honestly, the one thing I think Celebrity could improve on here is having better musical "entertainers" in the lounges. We felt the ship was quite quiet at night. We're not "partiers" but a slightly more lively atmosphere would have been nice. Often, we were the only people in the Martini Bar after 10:30. The Disco was empty. And people "watched" the Karaoke but didn't participate. This isn't Celebrity's fault, per se, and we certainly made our own fun and had a good time, but we wondered if there was some way Celebrity could make the lounges a little more appealing to people ... Overall Slight negatives: The future cruise sales rep was miserable. She more or less bad mouthed the Horizon & Zenith (we were interested in a Bermuda cruise) as she quoted us a fare for that 7 day cruise that was more per person than we had paid for our 10 day Summit. All the fares she quoted us were outrageously high, she was reluctant to offer any suggestions, and her general attitude was that we should be so lucky as to even get the deals she was offering. Further, we were told that we were more or less "too late" to book late summer/early fall cruises for 2005. We've rebooked onboard before and always been pleased with the experience, but she left such a bad taste (and high prices) that we spent that evening discussing giving Crystal a try - we figured if we had to pay $3000 and up a person, maybe we should be doing it elsewhere. Our sommelier in the Cosmopolitan restaurant was average, at best. We felt that for a $15 service charge each bottle (and we had one 9 of the 10 nights) we should at least get the basics of wine service, which we really didn't. To be fair, we did address this issue to the maitre'd, and the service improved slightly after that, but only slightly. I don't mind paying corkage, but I would like to at least have my wine served correctly if I do. In conclusion The cruise experience was wonderful. After two Princess and two Royal cruises, we were so pleased to return to Celebrity. We enjoyed the food, the atmosphere and the lack of announcements over the PA. We found the service to be excellent, the food to be very good and the overall ship attractive and comfortable. While we liked our Concierge Class cabin, we likely won't pay the up charge again. Our shore excursion experience was a good one, so I wouldn't hesitate to book another through Celebrity if it was the best way to do a certain activity (as we felt it was to swim with the turtles). We really enjoyed the four days at sea and the ten day itinerary in general, and would like to take a cruise of this length again. There are so many things going on that we never got around to doing them all. Certainly, there are grumps and chair hogs, as there are on every cruise, but we also met and saw pleasant people. Nothing is completely perfect, but a cruise on Celebrity, in our opinion, is one of the easiest, most pleasant ways to spend a vacation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
We thought we try another cruise line to see where they stand compared with RCI. The ship is the Summit and we were told by a lot of people that you will have great food and a real good time. The rooms are great and the people took care ... Read More
We thought we try another cruise line to see where they stand compared with RCI. The ship is the Summit and we were told by a lot of people that you will have great food and a real good time. The rooms are great and the people took care of us all the time. The main setting for dinner was 8:30 for us. We like to take our time and enjoy the day. We asked for a table for two, but received a table for 8? We booked in June of '04 and thought we would have no problem. Wrong! T he service was good and the table was very interesting. The food was ok, but not what we were told. I cook and I can tell you, not enough food to start and a very simple foods. The pool chairs were gone before 8:30 in the a.m. Celebrity line needs to do a better job in letting people hold 5 to 8 chairs. Their pools were good except for all the loose tile in one of them. I did find someone to tell and he said they knew about the problem three cruise ago???? So why not fix it? You could have cut your foot if you stepped on them wrong. My wife and myself felt let down on this cruise. We have gone on 12+ and the age difference was far older than a good mix of young and older people. There was no tv to see sports shows (Red Sox). The one they had was at the slots mech. The ship went to sleep by 9 p.m. there were no people around. That tells you how old most of them were. I have to say one thing. Boy can they dance!! We will see what the Star Princess has to offer this month. Have a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2004
PleHi-- first let me tell you-- this was my 5th celebrity cruise....but this one definitely had some problems... The first was embarkation in FLL...got there at 11 am and did not get into line up for ship til 1 1/2 hours later (and YES, ... Read More
PleHi-- first let me tell you-- this was my 5th celebrity cruise....but this one definitely had some problems... The first was embarkation in FLL...got there at 11 am and did not get into line up for ship til 1 1/2 hours later (and YES, we are Captain's Club-not that that made any difference).............Everyone was complaining because after waiting standing up in line, we were then marched to seats to sit for another 1/2 hr and then move to the last set of seats for the final 15 min...TOTALLY unacceptable..and TOTALLY disorganized.. Finally got on board--went to cabin- 3063--cabin was fine- and the cabin steward, Albano was a dear--but the LOCATION of the cabin was right across from the pantry that the stewards bring you room service...Mornings were the pits due to the NOISE level from that pantry...we complained 3 times during the cruise to the guest services, and each time we complained, the noise stopped for a day or so and then proceeded to get bad again...Got to the point, we just went up to pool deck way earlier than usual and slept up there in the am...WOULD DEFINITELY NOT get this cabin again, even if it were FREE---But the location was good-totally midship and easy to get to other areas in ship.... Food on this ship was exactly how another poster described it....skimpy and not as good as past Celebrity cruises...Prime rib was about 1/2 inch thick== sirloin steaks looked like minute steaks and were almost impossible to get cooked medium rare due to the thinness...RACK of LAMB was FABULOUS!! Lobster was the pits--all rubbery or mushy from being previously frozen--plus they only brought out 1 lobster tail at a time---FISH was SUPER SALTY--we tried it 3 nights in a row and gave up on fish.... Service in the main dining room - the Cosmopolitan- was FABULOUS!! Our waiter, Lance-from South Africa and Lazaro from India (asst. waiter) were top quality..and right on the ball with our likes and dislikes..the cruiseline tried to move Lance to another section of the dining room- AFTER we had him for 2 nights and fell in love with him..A talk with the maitre'd 2 days later got him back to our table... Tables in the dining room--MOST all were for 6 people MAX except for a few table for 10 and a few table for 2.. we were used to tables for 8 from past cruises--so this was surprising....However, we did have a FABULOUS table with old friends and new friends.. The Waterfall Cafe on the pool deck was GREAT for breakfast--WAFFLES were fantastic- and there was also an omelette station--plus the normal breakfast items..breads were to die for! As were desserts during lunch... Our BEST lunches daily were at the AquaSpa lunch buffet..WONDERFUL- Low CAL beautifully presented spa food..Wanted to take THAT chef home! Room service was on time--but got the orders mixed up on a continued basis--we just laughed it off and went up to the Waterfall if the room service breakfast arrived wrong..however, serving OUT OF DATE milk was a definite NO NO!! and that happened on day 1 for room service! Nothing like curdled milk in your cereal! Yuck! Dinner in the NORMANDIE RESTAURANT was FABULOUS and sooooooooooo worth it...service was impeccable and food was totally awesome...had a leisurely 3 hr dinner-- not that you were eating that long-only that the courses were carefully spaced out and left time for food to settle and tablemates to talk.......truly FINE DINING!! and well worth the price for the service alone. We had the Cheese souffle, chateaubriand, cheese course and chocolate souffle for dessert PLUS a second dessert of a sampler plate of desserts-one of which was passion fruit creme brulee........and then they bring out petite fours...INCREDIBLE!! The Martini Bar was our favorite place to sit before dinner- gorgeous room and you have to order a weird martini--I fell in love with the Chocolate Martini... Pool chairs were held like in previous cruises..everyone was doing it.. Thallosotherapy pool was wonderful only one day someone turned up the heat so much that the regular pool felt like a jacuzzi.... Entertainment on this ship was some of the BEST we have ever had...Samantha Jay- a English female who played the obo, violin, piano and saxophone was TERRIFIC.. Elliot Finkel-pianist-was also good..the COMEDIAN- Steve Solomon is NOT to be missed--extremely funny!! and their aerialists were also good...The Celebrity entertainers were FABULOUS...the voices on these people were TERRIFIC-- Islands--- St Martin- we did our usual shopping. ST Lucia- we stayed on the ship and did it as a ship at sea day as we did not want to do any excursions here... St Kitts- FABULOUS- got our own guide- toured the island and stopped at Rawlins Plantation for a traditional West Indian Lunch- $26 pp and well worth it...Need reservations-and our guide made them for us after he picked us up... Barbados--AWESOME catamaran sailing excursion- booked on our own..boat only held 12 people and we were only 8--so it was perfect..Day started off cloudy,then rainy, then the sun came out and it was wonderful---swam with turtles and went snorkeling.. St Thomas--shopped... BEST BUY for watches or jewelry were on St Martin..although a friend got some gorgeous things in St Thomas at Lucky's..................... Saw a friend's AFT cabin-- HUGE DECK-but don't know if I would want if due to the movement... First 2 days at sea felt like you were rocking and rolling out of Ft Lauderdale..then it calmed down... We arrived home in Ft Lauderdale at 2am for maintenance....wonder if that was why ship was so rocky???Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Met cruise director- Simon Wier-super funny man and a terrific cruise director. All in all, a good cruise...would I take the Summit again- YES- IF they got rid of the chef and decided to cook things properly...and PLEASE CHANGE THE DINING TO PERSONAL CHOICE like PRINCESS-- I hate eating at 830pm and 630pm is too early for me... To me, Princess had MUCH BETTER food. ( we went on the Golden in Dec.03) than Celebrity and it USED to be the other way around.......... But we did LOVE the ship- and all the public places-- the pool band, Voltz, was TERRIFIC~ This was NOT the CELEBRITY that we were used to cruising on............cutting back bigtime-- Come on Celebrity--go back to 2 years ago when we last cruised on you! Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
Summit 10-Day Ultimate Caribbean Cruise: A Long, Informative Review! We just returned on Monday, April 26th from our April 16th, 10-day Ultimate Caribbean cruise on the Summit. This was the second time we sailed this itinerary - we loved ... Read More
Summit 10-Day Ultimate Caribbean Cruise: A Long, Informative Review! We just returned on Monday, April 26th from our April 16th, 10-day Ultimate Caribbean cruise on the Summit. This was the second time we sailed this itinerary - we loved it so much in 2002 that we just had to do it again - and it didn't disappoint the second time around. This cruise was excellent in all areas. Below is what I hope will be an informative review that will assist others in planning a wonderful cruise vacation. If there is anything I missed, please feel free to e-mail me your questions. Here goes - I'll try to organize my thoughts, but if something pops into my head, I'll just add it where I can! Embarkation: Celebrity has definitely improved this process. We easily dropped our four pieces of luggage with the porters at 10:45 a.m. and stood outside the terminal in an orderly line until approx. 11:00 a.m. at which point the Celebrity staff opened the doors to Terminal 25. We were then led to a large, comfortable room and seated in rows of chairs. We were arranged by Suite holders and Captain's Club Level (we are Classic Founders). A Celebrity staff member checked our documents to ensure both the SeaPass charge form and passenger information forms were properly filled out. Suite holders, then high-level to lower level Captain's Club members were led to the large check-in area. We were on the Summit, glass of champagne in hand by 11:45 a.m. As we boarded fairly early, we were not escorted to our cabin; we've sailed M-Class ships before and as the ship's layout is easy to negotiate, we found our way to our cabin in about three minutes. Our cabin wasn't quite ready, however, we dropped our carry-on luggage, locked our valuables in the safe and proceeded to the buffet! All of our luggage was delivered to the cabin by 4:00 p.m. State Room: We were booked in an aft cabin, #8172 (Category 1B) on the Panorama Deck (8th floor). This was our second aft cabin cruise and, yes, we're still spoiled! The balcony is very long and about 2/3 covered, allowing sun for a good portion of the day depending on the direction of travel. We had two padded lounge chairs, two unpadded lounge chairs, one very small table (we could have asked for a larger one) plus two, regular upright chairs. The 172 s.f. cabin was comfortable for the two of us and afforded lots of storage space (on day 8 we actually discovered a stack of cubby holes we hadn't seen or used upon our arrival! Two of our suitcases are very large - 29" - we were able to nest the smaller ones inside, and by leaving the tops open and flopped to the other side, all of them fit under the bed! We always bring an over-door shoe holder with clear plastic pockets to maximize bathroom storage space but we almost didn't need it - lots of room on the counter, the 2-tier open shelf and cubbies below the sink. Amenities included a well-stocked Lucite Q-tip and cotton ball holder (coincidentally the same one I have here at home), two shower caps, two Celebrity French-milled soaps, wall-mounted hair dryer - very efficient, but the part you hold does get hot quickly, wall-mounted lotion dispenser and a shampoo dispenser mounted in the shower. I don't like the lotion or shampoo, however, my husband, Kevin, does and used plenty of both. We brought our own bottled water and kept 2-3 chilled in the mini-fridge. We removed only a few of the pre-stocked items just in case we wanted to splurge at some point (which we never did - too much food and drink available elsewhere!). All fabric items (bedspread, cushioned headboard, draperies, sofa-bed, carpeting, etc.) in the state room were clean and in excellent condition. Ship Overall: As was the case with both Millennium and Century, this ship is beautiful: elegant, tasteful, clean and no neon anywhere. The staff is always polishing railings, cleaning mirrors and woodwork and even painting the outside of the ship. All of the public areas are comfortable and clean. My only negative observation was that some of the chairs and couches in the lounges really need to be recovered as they are worn at the edges. I really didn't notice this myself until one of our tablemates mentioned it - and it's not noticeable at night in ambient light, only during bright, daylight hours. The ship is very well laid out and there are diagrams of the ship floor by floor at almost all staircases. A nifty little deck plan can be found on the blue "pleather" information folder on the desk in your cabin; if there isn't one there, they are available at Guest Relations. Staff: This ship had the friendliest staff ever - and we've cruised on Millennium twice, Century once and RCCL twice. I am not exaggerating when I say that I never passed ANY staff member (even a mechanic or outdoor painter) who didn't look me in the eye and say "good morning/afternoon" or "how are you" or "hello! have a nice day." Okay, let's be honest: we all know that the staff is told to do this, however, I really felt the friendliness was genuine. It really made walking around the ship so pleasant and congenial. I must give praise and our sincerest thanks to "our" staff: our Waiter, Gusti from Bali and his assistant, Pariman, from Indonesia; our Cabin Steward Rosidi and his assistant, Irwan, both from Indonesia; the fabulous Social Hostess, "Miss Camilla" from Canada and last, but not least, Zanna, our Sommelier from Croatia. Our Cruise Director Simon Weir and his Assistant, Stuart Tumbull were both excellent - highly visible all around the ship and very friendly. All of these wonderful people did SO much and worked so hard to make our cruise perfect. There are many others, too, just too many to name them all! Dining/Food: We found the food to be excellent in all venues, and food is available all the time somewhere on the ship! In the Cosmopolitan Restaurant we sat at a table for ten (#551) on the second level. Again, we lucked out: we were seated with four other wonderful couples who made dining a pleasure every night! Breakfast and lunch is available in the dining room every day and seating is open. We found this to be a nice way to meet more new people while avoiding the busy-ness at the buffet. We did have breakfast and lunch frequently at the buffet when we needed to eat and run to get to excursions on time. We also enjoyed a late afternoon snack or "mini-meal" in the Spa Cafe - the only item we didn't enjoy there was the sushi - the rice was hard and a little dry. We did not, however, go to the Sushi Bar (6-10 p.m. daily) which might have had a better, fresher selection. We enjoyed the Grill by the pool - hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza were (too) good and the French fries were the best! The Cova cafe served wonderful coffees along with chocolates or pastries according to the time of day we went - lovely atmosphere and Barbara, the harpist was wonderful. Gourmet Bites were passed by waiters late at night in the public rooms and lounges - excellent, but we were usually too full from (late sitting) dinner! We probably ate four meals per day, quite consistently! I gained seven lbs. but lost three of them already! The Normandie: Yes, we went to the Normandie on the second casual night and had a wonderful meal. Be sure to eat minimally the day you go, as you will be very full after all four courses which takes approx. two+ hours to be served. We enjoyed all courses - appetizer, entrEe, dessert and cheese tray, however, friends of ours told us they were able to forego a dessert or cheese course to have two appetizers. There seems to be more flexibility in this area than before. Gym: While we didn't partake of any Spa Treatments, we DID use the gym. There are many weight-bearing machines, free-weights and treadmills and stair-steppers. All machines appeared to be in excellent condition and were clean. Each treadmill had a clipboard with a sign-up sheet, however, on all occasions I went, there were plenty available on a walk-in basis. About halfway through the cruise we decided it was nicer to speed-walk on the track on deck 10; this was easiest after 4:00 p.m. when people had had enough sun! Kevin and I were filmed speed-walking one day and actually made it into the Cruise in Review video. We did not take any of the Pilates, Step or Spinning classes that were available for a nominal fee. Kevin, did, however, enjoy the T-Pool "Ggoing to take a bubble, honey!" on a daily basis! Pool: The pool deck, though full, was not the chair-hogging scene we were dreading! This may have been due to the "Pool Butlers" who stripped unused towels off of the unoccupied lounges. There were always lounge chairs available on the 11th deck: this made me very happy as I don't like to witness fist fights while on vacation. Lots of fun pool games every day and the pool band, Voltz was great! Entertainment: We don't usually go to the shows, so I don't feel I can adequately discuss them. We DID go to bingo with our tablemates three times and had a blast (we'd never played before) and two of our group won two out of five games. Karaoke was a great show - no we didn't participate, but we DID enjoy Marie and Ian's performances - you go guys!!! Trivia contests were fun - congrats to Doreen who won several! Captain's Club: We had our get-together one evening before dinner. Very nice to have it at night when we were all awake, instead of at 10:15 a.m. when still sleepy! Captain Manaras came out and said a few words and we all enjoyed a cocktail or two while the orchestra played dance music. On the second or third night we received a small box of Cova chocolates as part of the turn-down service. How they made it home and are still in our fridge, I don't know - I guess we're hoping to relive a few "Cova Moments" later! Coupons: Upon embarkation, I went to Guest Relations to be sure my Specialty Restaurant, Shipboard Credit and Cabin Credit had been received: all coupons were accounted for and actually located on a typed list. A word of caution: although our Specialty Restaurant coupon had been received, it was not posted on our account until I noticed it was missing when I checked our account via TV in our cabin. Kalina in Guest Relations handled it very professionally and graciously. Itinerary/Shore Excursions/Ports: As stated above, we loved this itinerary: two sea days followed by St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas and two more sea days prior to the return to Ft. Lauderdale. As all of the shore excursion descriptions are available on the Celebrity website, I'll simply list the port and the shore excursion (all Celebrity-sponsored) we took and my rating. As we had done tours of all the islands on our last trip, we chose all sailing/catamaran excursions this time. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to e-mail me directly. I've based my ratings on price, overall experience and friendliness of staff: St. Maarten - Golden Eagle Island Sailaway: A+... St. Lucia - Pigeon Island Sea Kayaking: C+... Barbados: Swim with Turtles, Shipwreck & Beach: A+... St. Kitts - Catamaran Fan-Ta-Sea: A-... St. Thomas: Turtle Cove Sailing & Snorkeling: A++... All in all, we loved these excursions - and for those who want to know, yes, we swam with turtles during the excursions in Barbados and St. Thomas and it was AWESOME! Kevin took some great shots which I hope to post when all of our pictures have been developed. Improvements: These are all little details, however, it's the combination of many small things that often adds up to a major improvement across the board. Daily program (left on bed at turn-down): we found this be easier to read, better organized and more comprehensive than past versions. Pillow chocolates: these were of better quality than those of previous cruises on Celebrity. Sorbet Parade: similar to the Baked Alaska Parade in the Dining Room on the last formal night - excellent, refreshing and a decent portion - not to mention somewhat hilarious to watch! Truly excellent when you're baking in the sun! "Pool Butlers:" As mentioned above, these people were pleasantly official and very efficient! "Simon Says" daily TV chat: We loved this daily update: Simon Weir appears on Channel 15 daily (continuous loop) and narrates the highlights from the previous day/evening and gives a rundown of the current day's activities, dress codes, etc. Simon is very entertaining and witty and we didn't miss a single day! The passenger credit acount used to sign for all on-board purchases is now called "SeaPass." You can now charge gratuities to this account. As our cruise ended first thing Monday a.m., the gratuity form needed to be submitted to Guest Relations by 6:00 p.m. the Friday before. We opted not to use this new system; I bring greeting cards from home so we can present cash to everyone who serviced us so well with a personal note from both of us - we feel it's a nicer way to thank the staff and it makes us feel good, too. Others, however, may feel the new way is more convenient! Cruise Critic: Thanks to Deb and Rick's shirt, a large group of us met by the pool bar on the first day at 3:00. It was great to meet so many people with whom we've been communicating over the last several months. We had our official get-together a day or two later in the morning. A nice spread of coffee and breakfast breads were available and Camilla, the Social Hostess gave each of us a Cruise Critic lapel pin. Even though Kevin and I are very independent, we loved seeing familiar faces around the ship and on our excursions - it really enhanced our cruise experience! Debarkation: While this is its own subject, perhaps I should have listed it above under "Improvements!" We received our letter telling us where we had to be and when for debarkation and our (5) baggage tags: we are Miami Beach residents with no flights to catch as well as Classic Founder Captain's Club members, so our luggage tags were "Brown 1" and we were to meet our escort off the ship (Ariel, one of the Celebrity Dancers!) in the Rendez Vous Lounge at 9:15 a.m. We were led off the ship at 9:30 and were collecting our luggage a few minutes later. All luggage is arranged in groups by colored bag. Porters are available to assist you with your luggage and get you to the taxi/private car pick-up/shuttle bus areas. We made it home by 10:45 a.m. All in all, this was our best cruise (our 6th, 4th on Celebrity) yet! Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
CELEBRITY SUMMIT, 10 day cruise, 4/16/04, Southern Caribbean itinerary out of Fort Lauderdale. This is a very long review but organized so that you can find only the items you may be interested in if you don't care to read the ... Read More
CELEBRITY SUMMIT, 10 day cruise, 4/16/04, Southern Caribbean itinerary out of Fort Lauderdale. This is a very long review but organized so that you can find only the items you may be interested in if you don't care to read the entire "volume". This was our 5th cruise and the best yet by far. Celebrity is a wonderful cruise line that strives for excellence and it shows. They have some of the best crew to passenger and space to passenger ratios in the business. Celebrity definitely made a positive impression on us with their M class ship and we look forward to cruising with them again. They know how to do things right and have wonderful ideas for the future. They try to be innovative and have implemented some wonderful ideas since our last voyage with them. Any criticisms in this review are meant to be constructive in hopes that somebody from Celebrity will be reading it. We are a couple in our early forties traveling during Massachusetts school vacation break with our two sons ages 11 and 13. Joining us were friends and their 13-year-old son. THE SHIP The Summit is a beautiful ship and very well designed. We had cruised on Galaxy before and although Summit was at full capacity it did not feel crowded at all. The flow from one public area to another was very easy. The dEcor was classy and sophisticated. The ship itself was kept very clean although the crew was very unobtrusive about it. The artwork was very interesting and I realize this has been commented on quite a bit previously. I would say that it would appeal to a range of tastes. It is an accent to the dEcor but is not the dEcor itself. The demographic on board tended toward an older mix of passengers although there were a wide variety of ages present. This is not a party ship but these guests definitely know how to have a good time. We had a very classy group on board and everywhere you went guests were courteous and polite. Everyone was so friendly and we enjoyed meeting others at the open seating times at breakfast and lunch in the dining room as well as around the ship. The entire atmosphere was relaxed and elegant without being stuffy. The pool area is well designed. We never had a problem getting loungers even though we usually looked for them during peak times. Yes, it was crowded near the pool on sea days but we usually wandered a little bit to find four chairs in a location that may not have been our first choice. We then kept an eye out and as people left we relocated closer to the pool in the sun. The pool butlers were fairly efficient about removing towels from the chairs. If guests could drop their own used towels in the hamper as they leave this would free things up a bit more quickly. Toward the end of the week this seemed to be more of the case as people noticed where the towel hampers were located. On sea days they had the sorbet parade around 2 PM usually followed by one or two fun and silly games. If you order four beers from the pool bar you get the fifth free and all come in a big bucket of ice. Great touch since it can get pretty hot our there. Passing out chilled towels poolside was another nice touch as well as when you came back on board from the ports. I only tried the thallasotherapy pool once and really enjoyed it. It was like a giant hot tub but with added minerals. I could feel my skin tingle. The bubble loungers were something else! These were very comfortable and relaxing. We enjoyed the martini and champagne bars quite a bit. The first or second evening they offer a martini sampler with 5 small martinis for $5. Ours came with a traditional gin martini, citrus, peach, French (chambord), and melon martinis. This is a great way to try out a few. We enjoyed this area frequently throughout the cruise even treating ourselves to the champagne and caviar one night, which was outstanding. The only problem here is the smoking. Since the champagne bar allows smoking the entire area does become smoky sometimes, which is too bad. We also found the casino to be extremely smoky and couldn't stay in there for too long which is probably a good thing since it appears the odds were always against us. Words and Notes were a nice touch. We didn't use them much although the kids would visit Notes occasionally. Bring along your own headphones though otherwise you must travel down to guest relations on deck 3 to obtain some. The Conservatory was different. I wish they would consider turning it back into a sports bar, which I believe the space was originally designed for. In fact the only thing I felt was missing from this beautiful ship was a comfortable place to view sporting events on a large TV. I am not a big sports fan although my husband is and some of the other guests also seemed concerned about missing certain events. We didn't get a chance to have any Aqua Spa treatments but did walk through to see it. The staff here were very friendly and informative and provided us with some brochures. This is an attractive area that is kept very clean. We also browsed by the gym but unfortunately never had a chance to visit (the best intentions...). This area had a nice selection of equipment and was also kept very clean. Michael's club is a terrific place for relaxing cocktail in a quiet atmosphere. We loved the warm intimate environment here. We took many photos here in front of the fireplace and at the piano on the formal nights. Revelations is a very nice dance club. We enjoyed dancing here at the beginning of the cruise but didn't frequent this as much as we would have liked. It could either be empty or active depending on what time you went by there. Things picked up a bit later here. We saw many elegant couples of all ages that were terrific dancers. Very enjoyable to watch! The photography area was convenient and we took advantage of many sittings. They actually offered photo taking every evening not just on the formal nights. We had rented tuxes for the boys so of course we made certain to have a lot of pictures taken of which we purchased many. If you purchase three 8x10 shots you receive a free Celebrity 5x7 photo album with removable ship photos in it. They do a decent job here and the photos are reasonable. We also purchased the cruise in review video here for $24.95 and it will be mailed to us in a few weeks. We are hoping that it is longer than the 10- 15 minute one we saw on board but nobody here seemed to know for certain so we took our chances. OUR CABIN We were in cabin 9197. This was a corner FV aft on the sky deck. The design of this cabin was wonderful and there was plenty of storage and space for our family of four. The main entry led you into a hallway, which then led to another door to the room. This hallway was great for storing our 7 pieces of luggage. We also could easily fit some luggage under the bed for packing dirty clothes back into during the week. The main area of our cabin had a very comfortable bed that I believe was a queen but it felt a little larger. Two sofas in the seating area converted into a twin bed and full size bed every evening. There are two double closets with a tie/belt rack and lower hanging bars that fold down if desired. A single closet adjacent to these has 6 drawers, a few shelves, and the safe. The door to this particular closet was off and hanging by the hinges when we arrived. We notified our stateroom attendant and it was fixed that evening. There was additional storage under the desk (cabinets) and in the nightstands (drawers). There were two TV's, a VCR, and mini-bar. Power outlets were by the desk. The bathroom was normal ship sized and provided a shampoo dispenser in the shower, bars of soap, cotton balls, q-tips, and shower caps. No lotion or conditioner was provided although we always bring our own. We were on the concierge class level and our cabin was not designated as such although we did receive the fresh flowers once or twice. The balcony was enormous. Our views went from the entire aft section of the ship up along the entire port side. There were four cushioned loungers, a small side table, a larger dining table and two regular strap chairs on the balcony. An overhead light is in the overhang. The overhang covered our balcony halfway with the awning adding another few feet. Along the edge of the deck was a perimeter drain with a deep edge so the deck was never very wet. The support post housed a drain from the deck above. This design makes it difficult for any water or loose items to make their way down to the lower balconies. Our only wish was that we had more time to spend on this great balcony. We were so busy with everything else there was to do that we didn't take full advantage of it. Upon arrival to the cabin there were some areas that had been missed due to hurried cleaning. Some spots on the toilet seat and some spilled coffee. I took care of these myself and didn't complain. The carpet has some stains and also could have used a better vacuuming. They just don't get into the corners. We found old crayons and things under the edge of the bed. The bedspread had something spilled on it. The glass partitions needed to be cleaned better too. The countertops that are marble need to be sealed as everything leaves a mark on them due to the porosity. I ended up with some sawdust on my clothing from the closet door that had been fixed (also must have been worked on previously and the closet shelves were never wiped off). Overall the rest of the room was very clean but just a step below the cleanliness of the public areas, which were kept immaculate and polished. This didn't bother me tremendously but I mention it in hopes of Celebrity reading this and giving a little bit more attention to this detail. Our cabin steward Rodriques was very good with the day-to-day cleaning of the bathroom, main vacuuming, etc. but the room needed a deep spring cleaning overhaul if you know what I mean. Also, I never bothered to point everything out to Rodriques who was very nice and friendly. I am sure he would have taken care of this but I felt that I would have been picky to ask and at the time it wasn't important enough to me. Prior to the cruise I was concerned about the reports of noise above the sky deck. Our cabin was situated directly below the outdoor section of the waterfall grill aft. Yes, you do hear the occasional chair scraping. No, it didn't bother me much at all and I am a very noise sensitive person. The crew does NOT go out there at 7 in the morning moving furniture and hosing down the deck as some have reported previously. In fact not once did we have water wash down from the upper level onto our deck. We had one napkin and one straw blow down and that was all and Rodriques removed these. Only once did the chair scraping wake me up and that was 9:30 AM and I needed to be up anyway. I would not hesitate to be in this cabin on this level again. On the balcony you can hear the chairs much more loudly than in the cabin because of the metal above. Still not very bothersome. You are outdoors and everything is louder including the wind, which is the loudest. You don't hear very much of the conversation going on above. In the evening we could hear the guitar player, Ron Thompson, who we thought was enjoyable to listen to. You could also hear him from the other levels aft on the ship. There was plenty of privacy on the balcony, sun and shade depending on where you were. All aft balconies look down onto each other since they are tiered. I didn't feel that the lower ones were any more private than the upper. The aft grill overlooks them all although people just don't stand there to look down at you. They are enjoying the view. DINING Cosmopolitan Restaurant (main seating, table #551) - We were seated at a table for 10 with our friends and another couple with their 12 year old daughter. This couple actually live in the town next to us at home! This is a beautiful restaurant. The Pomeranian quartet is a very nice touch. There are nice views from most areas although they should not cover the windows on formal nights since you miss the view. Food ranged from excellent to fair with the majority being very good. Not as good as when we were on Galaxy several years ago but still better than Royal Caribbean. Excellent veal oscar, lobster tails, salmon steak, rack of lamb. The lamb steak was tough though and the shrimp scampi was seasoned differently with the pasta being overcooked. The appetizers and soups were consistently excellent but the salads were just okay. Not bad, not great, but consider that they don't have a garden out back to select the vegetables from. The desserts were fabulous and we enjoyed the baked Alaska parade on the last formal evening. Our waiter Gusti from Indonesia was outstanding. The assistant waiter Parimon (also from Indonesia) was fabulous. If you like a range of food just ask your waiter for his recommendation each evening. He will let you know what is not so good and what is the best. The restaurant manager also seemed genuinely interested in our opinion and making certain we were satisfied. They knew the lamb steak was tough and apologized while making certain that extra food was brought without our asking. The restaurant manager was very concerned and didn't want us to experience a bad meal. He was the best we have experienced in all our cruises. Gusti was also concerned and always wanted to be certain we were happy. Unfortunately for us but fortunately for him, Gusti is going back to Indonesia for 3 months to be with his family. He has two young boys at home. Gusti always had some origami tricks to share with our boys and our tablemate's daughter. The children were treated fabulously. Gusti even cut their meat for them one evening. You may get to experience his wonderful friendly service in the future if you are lucky! Our wine sommelier Zanna from Lithuania was wonderfully friendly and very helpful. She shared some of her black and white sketch drawings with us one evening and we were very impressed. It turns out she is also a very talented artist. She also had some nice little games to share with the boys and our tablemate's daughter. Casual Dining - We decided to try this the evening we were in St. Kitts since the port departure time was changed to 6PM. You need to make a reservation here but you can do it the same afternoon. They had one section of the waterfall grill arranged with nicely set tables. This is not a buffet. There is waiter service and several courses are served here. The menu had 5 or 6 entrEe selections and the sirloin steak was excellent. You also may walk around the corner to the sushi bar and select some for your appetizer here. We were very pleased with this wonderful option. The food was quite good here and the service was terrific even though the sugar train tour ran late and they were inundated with unexpected customers. They would not turn anyone away who had missed their dining room seating time. Eventually they had to call in some waiters from the main dining room as soon as they were not busy. We ran into Gusti who wanted to take our dessert order. All the staff were running around trying to serve everyone and we thought they did a wonderful job. They do use this venue to train the waiters and it is a great way for them to gain experience. Celebrity has created a very nice option for dining here. We enjoyed the main dining room but this is a welcome change the day or two you may need to dine at a different time. The Normandie - Where do I begin! This was unbelievably outstanding and a wonderful treat. I had the goat cheese soufflE, delicious, the chateaubriand for 2 with fois gras and truffle (shared with my husband of course!), several delicious selections from the cheese cart, and the chocolate soufflE with hot coffee sauce for dessert. They also brought a cucumber soup at the beginning and a selection of petit fours for dessert. The food and presentation were amazing. My husband had the French onion soup, which was the best he has ever had. Our friend had the lobster bisque which was another success. The staff were very attentive and entertaining. They even escorted me to the ladies room! We started our evening there in a giddy mood with an attack of the giggles since our friend accidentally brought the wrong shirt that was too small for him. The laughter was contagious and trying to behave in such a nice place only made it worse. I was afraid we were going to cause a scene. The wait staff picked up on the fun and we had a great time with them. Also, a nice coincidence was that one of our waiters, Harish, had been one of our group's waiters on the Galaxy several years ago. My husband and I both thought he looked familiar but it wasn't until we asked him if he had been on that ship and the location of his tables there that it was confirmed. This was a nice surprise. We chose our wine for this evening from the suggested pairings on the menu and were very pleased since the wine complimented the food perfectly. These were very good wines and you could actually order many by the glass here so that you could try a different wine with each course similar to a wine tasting. At the end of the evening they gave us booklets detailing the history of the Normandie. This dining option is another great innovation by Celebrity. Had we dined here earlier in the week I may have had to go again. The $30 per person surcharge was well worth it and we even tipped extra since we felt it was so deserved. The only issue we had was that when I made our reservation (in advance since we are captain's club members) I was firmly told that children could not dine there unless they are 12 and older. Our youngest is 11 so this was not an option for the boys and they would not make an exception. The reservationist then told me that the boys could not dine in the dining room without us. Later I asked at the casual dining restaurant if they could dine there without us and was told that they would ask permission from the manager and although not allowed it probably would be okay (they could see that the boys were well behaved at that point). When we saw Gusti at the casual dining restaurant and told him we were going to the Normandie the next evening he assured us he would take good care of the three boys. I told him I had been informed that they were not allowed without us and he then insisted that we send them and he would make sure everything was okay. This was extremely kind of him. Later we were complimented by the tables around us how well behaved the boys were and how cute they looked dining the evening without us. Again I cannot say how much we appreciated Gusti. The kicker to all this is that when we walked into the Normandie on the evening we dined there the first thing we saw was a table seated with four children much younger than our own! Waterfall Grill - Very good for breakfast although we prefer the dining room with the fabulous eggs benedict. The grill choices were the same everyday. I felt adding one or two specialty items each day like an egg strata, quiche, huevos rancheros, etc. would have made it stand out. There was plenty to choose from though of your standard breakfast fare along with a Belgian waffle station and an omelet station at the back There were limited fillers for the omelets though. The fruit here was good but it would be nice to add some grapes, mangos, kiwis, and papayas occasionally. It was always melon, pineapple and oranges only. The coffee was very good here and readily available with waiters providing refills at your table. The orange juice dispensers frequently had problems dispensing concentrate at times but you could easily add water yourself. Lunch at the waterfall grill did have a lot of selection with a different theme each day. Food was very good here for buffet food. Unfortunately I did not make it to the sandwich bar around back since I forgot until the end of the week and was hooked on the Aqua Spa cafe by then. Trays were usually carried for you from the waterfall grill to an inside table or outside anywhere you desired. Aqua Spa Cafe - Again, another wonderful concept by Celebrity. The food here was fabulous. I enjoyed this quite a bit. The selections were light and tasty although I usually tried more than a few items throughout the day so I don't think I saved any calories here! Sushi Bar - Open from 6 to 10. Great concept and delicious sushi with a nice selection. I was very pleased to have this option. Pool Grill - Delicious hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and fries with a few other accompaniments. This was very convenient with great beer selection on ice here. Ice cream bar - My boys frequented this more than I want to know about. Wonderful availability. I think some of the teens were trying to set a record of the most ice creams in one day. Has anyone ever seen a teen boy eat? I believe one boy had 13? But hey they are on vacation too! Evening pizza and pasta - Waterfall Grill - Another place given a good workout by my boys. The teen counselors frequented here with the gang in the late evening. This was great since we had the main seating and of course the boys would be hungry again later. Cova Cafe - My husband enjoyed this frequently for espresso, which I don't drink unless I want to stay up all week. He was very pleased that this was available. We missed the afternoon snacks here so I guess we will have to go back again and try them! This is also where you purchase the soda cards. They are $5 per day plus 15% gratuity. We purchased these for the kids and it was worth it. They affix a small sticker to your room card for unlimited fountain soda. As a bonus the kids all received an insulated coke logo drink holder with lid. Midnight Bites - We thought this fabulous concept of serving appetizers in the public lounges late in the evening was a terrific idea. The first night they were excellent but after that they were very good. In the rendezvous lounge the waiters were prompt about offering them around on trays. In the martini bar though they were slow to come around and frequently just stood there with their trays. We couldn't understand this and would either signal them or get up and walk over to them. Midnight Buffet - This was presented once during the cruise on the last formal evening. One time per cruise is sufficient in my opinion. It takes them hours and hours to prepare and display everything. There were stunning ice sculptures and beautifully arranged delicacies. The only problem here with the traffic flow was having four food lines flow into two dessert lines. Of course most seemed to want only the dessert so the food line would come to a complete stop from time to time. Poolside Caribbean party - or "melons on parade" as Simon called it. Since we attended after the Normandie we ate nothing. Our kids told us that the food was delicious and they enjoyed the ribs and other selections. This was a fun atmosphere with Voltz playing and a lot of dancing, macarena, conga line, limbo, etc. All in all the variety of dining choices was very pleasing and the availability was very good with a variety of food offered frequently throughout the day. The options were much improved since the last time we have cruised and we were very happy with the choices. THE CREW I have mentioned a few crewmembers already in the dining section and I have to say that they are all wonderful. Everyone was genuinely friendly and seemed very happy. The service is very prompt and attentive without being obtrusive. We had enjoyable conversations with many of the staff. Michael Sunga at the martini bar was so pleasant. He always had a joke or a little trick to show us. He is from the Philippines and also has two young boys. The bar waiter Antonio was very funny and we enjoyed Ian Reid the pool bartender. The crew were always greeting you and saying hello as you passed by. ENTERTAINMENT Cruise Director - Simon Weir - A hilarious goofball. He definitely enjoys his job and has a lot of fun while providing a lot of entertainment. His accent makes things even funnier from the American perspective. He is very enthusiastic and energetic and seems to be everywhere. His assistant Stuart Tumbull was a little more subdued than Simon but very friendly. Off the Top - A cappella group - Nice group with a good range of music. Voltz - Caribbean band - Very enjoyable, beautiful voices, nice selection of your typical Caribbean tunes poolside while branching into others up at Revelations night club. By the end of the week the poolside music did become a little repetitive although I didn't mind since I love all those Caribbean tunes. Frank Duo - They were not for us but they definitely fill a niche here. Many passengers were enjoying them and we also saw many very excellent dancers on board. Ron Thompson - Guitar player - Very enjoyable out on the aft grill deck outdoors. Unfortunately many nights it was too windy (just our particular week) for us to comfortably sit out here and relax. Also this is where the cigar and other smokers go although it wasn't bothersome with the fresh air. Steve Solomon - Comedian - Absolutely hilarious if you enjoy bathroom humor. Seriously though he was very talented and had the audience in stitches. We enjoyed listening to him and I even want to buy his new book, "My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish, and I'm in therapy". He grew up in Brooklyn, NY where my Dad is from and I definitely drew some parallels here. Samantha Jay - Musical sensation - Unbelievably talented and lovely. This young beautiful woman plays the violin, saxophone, and oboe and plays these instruments extremely well. She is quite entertaining and charming. We saw her on the last evening along with Elliott Finkel and were sorry we had missed her previous performance. We had hoped at least that our boys had caught it with the teen director but they had told the boys they wouldn't like it and it would be boring for them. I couldn't believe this since both my boys play the saxophone and my oldest also plays violin. I know that one would not know this and even we weren't sure what the first performance was all about and didn't make the effort to get there. It was a disappointment to have missed this. She is a natural entertainer and amazingly musically gifted. Elliott Finkel - Pianist - Another extremely talented performer. Also, he is funny and witty. His personality really comes out on stage. He played a nice varied selection and also a piece with Samantha Jay. He has played around the world for many famous people. We enjoyed his talent, humor and wonderful personality. Tibor - Action comedy - Not my favorite type of entertainment with the spinning plates, juggling, etc. although I do have to say that he was quite talented and entertaining. Also nice to look at by the T-pool if you happen to run into him during the day! Csaba - Specialty aerialist - Amazing graceful gymnast. Amazing strength! Kept looking by the T-pool! We didn't get to see any of the production shows with the Celebrity singers and dancers so I cannot comment here. We are looking forward to the new collaboration with Cirque du Soleil and hope to have a chance to experience this in the future. KID'S/TEENS CLUB There were approximately 37 kids on board between 3 and 17 years old. Also, I believe 6 more under the age of 3. We were told that there had been several hundred on board the previous cruise. I have to say that all of the children and teens were wonderful kids and very well behaved. My boys and our friend's son met a lot of new friends and by the end of the week were spending most of their time with the teen group. The counselors were excellent and the kids enjoyed them tremendously. It was nice that there was both the shipmate's fun factory as well as the teen tower. There also was a video arcade but cost $1 per play. My boys enjoyed the tower and this is where their group frequently met for activities and games. It doesn't turn into a teen disco until midnight. They also have a nice plasma TV there for occasional movies, sporting events, etc. For an hour each day in the early evening the teens could visit the fun factory and use the playstations, play in the ball pit, etc. and believe it or not they loved doing this! Also, the younger kids sometimes went to the tower for some of their activities. The wonderful design of the ship provided a lot of flexibility here. I have to say that at the beginning of the cruise there was some concern whether or not our youngest, age 11 would be able to join his Brother and friend, both 13 since the age groups were split differently. This worked out okay in the end since there were so few kids that some of the ensigns (10-12) joined the admiral t's (13-17). Unfortunately though at the beginning this did cause some stress for my son as well as a few others in the 11 to 12 age category. On top of this they made the kids up to age 12 wear a bracelet causing them stand out from the rest of the group. Well of course every single one of them "lost" their bracelet. Although everything turned out fine I wish Celebrity would be more sensitive to this. I believe that the age groups are not grouped correctly and they should be more flexible with blurring the lines right from the beginning especially when parents request it. At home our middle school has kids from grade 6 to 8, which translates into ages 10 and 11 to 13 and 14. They all attend school dances together. This would be a more appropriate age grouping in my opinion. The teen disco allows age 13 and up and although this turned out not to be a problem for our 11 year old, it should possibly be lowered to accommodate middle school age kids. Also, 17 year olds don't really fit well with 13 year olds but are grouped this way. There is no perfect solution here except to be flexible from the beginning with the age groups and maturity levels on board at that time. PORTS OF CALL / SHORE EXCURSIONS St. Martin - In the morning we went on the Golden Eagle Sailaway a ship's excursion. This was early with an 8:15 AM departure. We sailed for about an hour out to Tintemarre Island. There was plenty of room on board this very nice catamaran. It was a bit rough on the way out with waves washing over the front of the boat, which was actually a lot of fun. They raised the sails and got the men to volunteer pulling the rope for the main sail. At the island we had about an hour to relax on the beach, swim, snorkel, or explore. You could jump off the boat or take the center stairs that drop down into the water about 6' deep. We love to snorkel but since you have such little time here I wouldn't bother with it. We tried snorkeling but it is a rocky entry with some wave action making it difficult to get in there. Once in there was not a lot to see. The time there is better spent relaxing on the beautiful beach or exploring a bit. There are many lizards in the area behind the beach and some interesting landscape. The crew brought out buckets of volcanic mud for us to smear all over ourselves for a "spa treatment". It was fun and funny to see everyone like this. It did make the skin soft and was very exfoliating. They also brought a cooler up onto the beach that had a nice selection of beverages. The crew was excellent, friendly, courteous, and attentive. We sailed back with some nice music and great beverage service from the crew. They also handed out sub sandwiches but the challenge here up by the nets was keeping them dry! There is a large covered area on the boat where you can relax in shade and stow your gear. On the way back it was now the ladies turn to raise the sail! Not as easy as it looked. All in all I would highly recommend this excursion. We came off the Golden right at the same dock as the water taxi. Since it was a walk back to the Summit we didn't bother going back for lunch but just hopped on the water taxi, $5 round trip all day. It was very crowded but a short ride with the second stop bringing us close Everything's Cool beach bar and restaurant. We exited off the dock turned left and strolled down the beach a few blocks to their beachfront area where we had a nice view of our ship. An employee Gavin immediately collected $10 for two beach chairs and an umbrella as well as the $5 water trampoline fee for each boy. The tramp was fairly crowded most of the time so the boys weren't enjoying it that much. Gavin also took care of renting jet ski's if you desired. We relaxed in the loungers and let Gavin bring us cocktails, menus and lunch. He was terrific waiting on us all afternoon and of course we gave him a nice tip for this fabulous service. We were so content where we were that we never made it into the restaurant until we passed through on our way out. When we did walk through there were a lot of people enjoying the outdoor deck, listening to music and watching a volleyball game that was in action. This was a good place to stop for a bit if you are in town. I probably wouldn't want to spend the entire day here though. I also want to mention that we were bothered by beach vendors literally every 30 seconds. They would plunk their wares down on your chair and interrupt your conversation. We did eventually buy a few things that we did want to purchase but I found them to be the most aggressive I have ever seen. Also, if you wait a bit the selection does get better but unfortunately if you even look at something they assume you are buying it. On the way back we strolled through Phillipsburg and went into a few shops. I found the prices to be no better than the jeweler's exchange in downtown Boston. Actually they were higher in my opinion. My friend and I both bought gold flip-flop pendants with a few diamond chips on the straps and blue green inlay on the sole. These were around $100 each and were a fun souvenir purchase for their novelty. We weren't comfortable making any serious jewelry purchases here though. St. Lucia - We decided to go on the Caribbean Pirate's Extravaganza a ship's excursion and I have to say that after reading many excellent reviews we were quite disappointed. The Brig Unicorn was very overcrowded and we felt like a herd of cattle. The entry onto the ship while being easy enough for us was very difficult for many of the older passengers. There was a big drop from the dock to the ship and they tried using a steep little gangway that was more dangerous than just jumping onboard. The ride over was scenic but the crew did nothing to entertain or service the passengers. There was an announcement that the bar was open and what the available beverages were but it was too crowded to get over to it and get much. One of the crewmembers busied himself making bracelets to sell at a later time I guess. We sailed to Pigeon Island national park but then had to sit on the ship while they tendered passengers. Eventually we got on the 3rd tender which was crowded and another difficult entry and exit onto the dock. Some of the older passengers didn't think they would make it. The tender was so overcrowded that they had to wait until it was almost empty and rose up in the water a bit so they could get off a little easier. One good wave and it would have gone over. Once at the island it was an interesting place. You only have a short time here before they start tendering you back which again takes a while. Some of our group hiked up to Fort Rodney and took some nice photos of the beautiful view. The pirate ship in the bay did make a good photo op I have to say. You could also see one of the Sandals resorts from here, which is actually within walking distance. There is a small beach here and trails with picnic areas. The restrooms were not in good order. We did not bother to try the snorkeling. Some of our group went out on the treasure hunt but didn't listen to the clues and came back empty handed. This was just as well because we decided to cut our losses, salvage the day, and taxi to another destination. We informed one of the crewmembers, gave him our names and the number not returning. He didn't seem surprised. We later heard from others on the tour that they served some food on the ride back that wasn't very good and had been sitting out in the sun. We did hear that it was a little bit more fun on the return trip. The treasure hunters who found keys claimed their prizes and I guess there was a little more music, etc. Still not a worthwhile undertaking and I would not recommend this excursion. Also, St. Lucia is a very beautiful island and you will not get to see much of it this way. We then walked out to the park entrance and easily found a taxi van for the seven of us. We had previously spent a week in St. Lucia at the Windjammer Landing and we decided to visit there. It was still as wonderful as we remembered. We relaxed and had lunch and cocktails poolside and after lunch moved down to the beach a few steps away. I strolled along the shore to the next resort for some snorkeling but it was not as good as I remembered. I heard from a guest staying there that a storm the previous week had stirred everything up. The Windjammer now has a large water trampoline and the kids were thrilled with it. It was very relaxed and uncrowded here and we had an enjoyable time. This is a lovely villa resort that is very family friendly while also appealing to couples and singles. We met our taxi driver at the entrance at 4PM as we had previously arranged. He mentioned that one of the staff of the resort told him that cruise ship passengers were not allowed there anymore since there is a new owner. Well, I had emailed previously and was not told this. Also, the restaurant we dined at is open to the public and all the beaches in St. Lucia are public by law so I am not sure that they could not allow you. I think possibly he was trying to discourage the taxi driver from bringing too many tourists in there. Barbados - We went on the ship's excursion, Swim with the turtles, shipwreck, and beach. This was an excellent excursion and I highly recommend it. We were on the Cool Runnings catamaran, which I believe had been chartered for the day by another outfit. There were also a few crewmembers from Ocean Adventures along to help crew the boat. I got the impression that all these different outfits support each other in their business ventures even though they are competitors. The crew was absolutely fabulous and we had the best time. They were funny with their antics and not shy about posing for our photos. We got out to the turtles fairly early since this tour left at 9:15. There were a few boats ahead of us but it wasn't too bad. One of the crew fed the turtles and soon enough quite a few were attracted to our area. They were all different sizes and would swim closely by you. You could touch them by holding out your hand and letting them lightly brush by. Holding onto to them or grabbing them is turtle abuse and the crew instructed us in this. Sure enough I still saw one woman grab a small turtle with both hands. Fortunately the crew did too and scolded her. Unbelievable! There is always one in every crowd! We could not wear flippers here but actually they weren't needed since you didn't have to go very far. Some people complained of crowding around but each time I encountered this I would just swim around to the other side of things and have plenty of space. Just use common sense here. Most of the time I would just float and plenty of turtles would swim by. There is no need to swim after each and every one that goes by. This was a unique experience and we all enjoyed it tremendously. Our next stop was Folkestone Marine Park. On the way here we passed through a driving rainstorm. It was so heavy that it was difficult to open your eyes since the rain was driving sideways toward us. Eventually one of the kids got the idea to put on their snorkel mask and soon enough everyone followed suit. We looked hilarious. A bunch of people wearing snorkel masks riding along on a catamaran in the pouring rain in our bathing suits. I wish I took a picture! As soon as we got to the marine park the ocean water felt 10 times warmer than the air. It continued to rain a little but that didn't matter. Here we explored an interesting wreck with many fish swimming about. I believe it is the Stavronkita. There is also a fabulous reef a little closer in to shore with a lot of marine life. This was an interesting place and we were fortunate to visit here. After snorkeling we enjoyed some Banks beer and other libations while we sailed over to a deserted beach at the defunct Paradise Island Resort. This property has been bought by Sandals but not developed yet. Just as we arrived the sun came out. Perfect! The water here was breathtakingly beautiful and the sand was like powder. We relaxed and swam around here enjoying ourselves. As we sailed back to the ship we asked the crew for directions to the Boatyard since we had noticed their advertisement on the crews t-shirts. After dropping the passengers off they told us they were sailing over in that direction and offered to let us stay on and sail over with them. This was a blast and they blared the music for us and kept the bar open as we sailed around the Summit and into downtown Bridgetown. Again I cannot say enough about how awesome the crew was. We all posed for pictures together and then we swapped a Patriot's t-shirt for a Cool Runnings one. We had a blast with these guys and now tipped them a second time for the extra ride, which they definitely were not expecting but we felt it was so deserved. From our drop off point we walked about six blocks to the Boatyard at Carlisle Bay. We strolled in paying $12 per adult and $5 for the kids and were led to some beach chairs with the now needed umbrellas. They had given us $10 back in food and drink tokens for the two adult entry fees. It was crowded here. We found an employee to take care of us again and he brought us everything we needed right to our loungers. We never would have been able to eat at the restaurant since things were so busy at that point about 2 PM. This had a crowded fun beach party atmosphere. The food was decent and I tried a flying fish sandwich that is a specialty in Barbados. It was very good. The water trampoline was crowded and the iceberg looked impossible to climb. My boys informed me that most of the handles were broken off so I guess it was although I saw a few individuals up there. We relaxed, had lunch, took a swim and then it was time to head back. It was good to stop here but I wouldn't spend an entire day here either since I am sure there are more picturesque beaches on Barbados. No problem finding a cab since they lined up outside. We shared one back with some ladies cruising on Princess for a 14 day Panama Canal cruise. They said their ship was empty. The taxis in Barbados drop you at the cruise terminal and after you walk through the gift shops (disneyesque?) you board the correct shuttle for your particular cruise ship. This is a huge port with some distance to the individual ships. There were six ships in port that day. St. Kitts - We arrived in port and were cleared by 8:30 AM, which was much earlier than our scheduled time of 10 AM. We were also scheduled to depart at 6 PM rather than the original 5 PM giving us a much longer day here. Our plan was to head to Turtle beach for monkey viewing but our friends were getting a late start so our family headed off to the shops with two way radios so our friends could notify us when they were ready. By the way I would highly recommend bringing these radios with you especially if you have teens along. They also work great if you want to split up at different times. Anyway, we explored the few shops that are within walking distance of the ship. We were on a mission for a silver chain for our youngest son and found a nice one for $32. I'm sure I could have bargained it down but didn't bother. There were many taxi drivers along the way politely offering rides. The shop keepers and taxi drivers wanted to find out where you were going and make good recommendations to assure that you would enjoy their beautiful island. They seemed concerned that you wouldn't get to see everything of which they were very proud. After speaking with various people we decided we could take in more than just Turtle beach with our time there. Our friends radioed they were on their way around 11 AM and we found a taxi driver with a van. His name was Bobsie and he has seven children! The taxi drivers here have different license plates and they wear ID cards on their shirt. They are trained to give excellent information about the history of the island. Bobsie drove us around the downtown area pointing our various sites of interest and explaining the history, which was very interesting especially noting the area where slaves were traded not so long ago. We drove out to Brimstone Hill Fortress ($5 admission for adults, $2.50 for children) and spent a half hour exploring here taking in the spectacular views. It was quite amazing and took 104 years to build! We then drove on to Caribelle Batik for a quick tour and a brief look at Romney Gardens. Along the way we passed through the village that Bobsie grew up in. Very humbling. Everywhere we went Bobsie provided interesting detail. He was very enjoyable to listen to. We then drove out to Turtle beach enjoying the spectacular views along the way. We stopped for photos at the lookout point where you can see the Atlantic and Caribbean oceans together. The drive out to Turtle beach is worth it alone. We arrived at Turtle beach and it was now around 2 PM. We sat down and ordered lunch, which was quite good along with a few cold Carib's. According to Bobsie they are the best on St. Kitts where special water is used in the brewing process. We had passed the Carib plant earlier. We saw one monkey at Turtle beach helping himself to a leftover sweet drink and took a few photos. Unfortunately he was the only one we saw the entire time we were there. After lunch we strolled over the footbridge down to the beach and found many empty loungers to chose from. We selected the better ones and relaxed a bit. The beach itself is nice with fabulous views of Nevis but yes, there is a lot of sea grass in the water and it is not level on the bottom but rather rocky in areas. There is not a sandy entry after the first 10-12'. This didn't bother me and I swam right over the grass and ledge out to the snorkel area that is to the left of the swim raft. There is decent snorkeling here but it is a bit of a snorkel adventure to get there. It is nice that the raft is out there for snorkel breaks. Back on the beach my husband fell asleep on one of the loungers in the shade (unfortunately he was suffering with a head cold) when this huge red pig woke up and started his adventures. Did I mention the pig yet? Anyway, the pig doesn't seem to have the best vision and appears to be around 500 or so pounds. He was biting a picnic table that had some abandoned French fries on it and was lifting the table up moving it. A woman took pity and fed these to the pig snatching her hand back at the last moment after each frie. After the show was over we wandered back to our loungers only to turn around and see the pig nuzzling up next to my husband. After waking him with the pig wiggle the pig just plopped down on the ground next to him and went back to sleep next to his new friend. It was absolutely hilarious to see the groggy surprised expression on my husband's face. Bobsie our driver met us at the pre-arranged time of 4:30 and we enjoyed another scenic ride back to the ship. Along the way we could see monkeys in the distance running up the steep hillsides. We also saw one perched on a boulder on the side of the road. Bobsie told us there many more monkeys than people on St. Kitts. Arriving back at the dock there was still some time for shopping. We had agreed on a price with Bobsie of $22 per person for this full day tour with the seven of us. Of course we paid him much more than this and it was still the best bargain we had. St. Thomas - We had prearranged a daysail to St. John with Coconuts and Daydreamer catamarans from 9 to 4, $110 for adults, half price for kids. We found an excellent friendly taxi driver Roy and taxied over to the Grand Bay Palace resort where the catamarans are moored. We boarded Coconuts and after some short instructions from our fabulous crew, Captain Frank and Carly, we were on our way. There were around 20 of us total on board. This was a wonderful way to spend the day. We snorkeled at a small island on the way to St. John where a turtle is frequently seen and an occasional dolphin. A few people saw the turtle but we missed it. Many nice interesting fish though although the reef was not as healthy as it should have been. I did witness one person from another catamaran standing on some coral and also a woman from ours picking things up off the reef although we had been instructed not too. This is ignorant and selfish behavior. It is unfortunate that a few people will not follow the rules and ruin things for others. I could see why the reef was becoming unhealthy with what I witnessed in the short time I was there. We then sailed over to Honeymoon beach on St. John, which is just beautiful. All of the scenery was spectacular. Captain Frank would point out some items of interest as we sailed. For example a small island that is for sale on Ebay for $18,000,000. Such a deal! Another was a rock formation that was used for target practice of cannons when emptying the stores. We anchored in some soft sand (Captain Frank was very careful about where he dropped anchor) and lunch was served. They put out an excellent spread with a nice deli platter, fresh rolls and variety of delicious salads; jerk chicken, hearts of palm with mango, pasta salad, etc. The bar was open all day with good selection and delicious rum punch sprinkled with cinnamon on top. We snorkeled over a nice reef to the right of the beach (as you are looking from the boat). There were also a lot of fish taking shade under the boat, which provided nice viewing for us. There were some floats available to use and we could spend time swimming or lounging on the soft sand beach. The time here passed much too quickly. We started our sail back at quarter to 3. On the way they raised a beautiful spinnaker sail that was red, white, and blue. This was interesting and Carly did a lot of the work herself. It made the catamaran go much faster, so fast that it then had to be taken down as we were coming in much too quickly. We could see a rainstorm passing through some areas but never over us. This was a wonderful day with a fabulous crew and I highly recommend a daysail with this outfit. Upon arriving back to the resort, Roy was waiting for us at the prearranged time of 4 PM. We drove back to the ship and had some time to shop at Havensight mall. Again I found the jewelry prices to be higher that what I have seen here at home. We were docked right next to the Constellation and they blew the horns back and forth to each other at departure. It was loud and funny. EMBARKATION / DEBARKATION / CUSTOMS Embarkation - We flew into FLL early arriving at 10:10 AM. We quickly found our luggage and had a 5-minute taxi wait for a van instead of sedan since we had four people and seven pieces of luggage. We were at the cruise terminal by 10:35 and were quickly assisted by a porter who helped us get the room tags onto the luggage quickly and took the luggage away. We walked around to the front of the terminal, through throngs of people who I assume were debarking passengers, to the terminal entrance where we were meeting my Dad to go out to lunch. The line appeared long and wasn't moving at this point so we were glad to head off for a bit. We had a nice lunch nearby at Kelly's landing and were back at the terminal by 12:30. There was still a long line but it was now moving. At the first checkpoint they look at your docs and then escort you to different seating areas. They allowed Captain's club select and elite members, concierge class, and suite holders priority embarkation only. I stopped to use the ladies room and my husband and boys couldn't go into the seating area until I came out. This now put us back a bit. We finally got to the seating area, sat for a while and it seemed to be taking a long time. Nobody wanted to explain much and this raised the anxiety levels of more than a few people. It was crowded and it seemed like everyone was arriving at the same time. They slowly strolled around checking documents. Finally our section was dismissed and we lined up to go through security. We proceeded down a hallway, had a picture taken, a visit to the kid's club table, and then chose a short line to get our room cards and sea pass accounts activated. They automatically activate the kid's cards so you have to visit guest relations on board to deactivate them. We had to try this twice before they could finally do this for us, which was a bit of an annoyance to take care of. We then proceeded up an escalator and joined another line entering the ship after passing through a spot that takes your photo with your room card. This line moved slowly and when we finally got on board the next tray of champagne had just been emptied. They were greeting you and having crew escort you to your room. I believe the champagne and escort was possibly the final thing slowing everything down and I would have passed on these for a quicker embarkation. We didn't bother waiting for the next tray of champagne anyway. We were onboard close to 2 PM. All in all not bad but the longest we have experienced so far although the others were pre 9/11. Our luggage was waiting by our cabin when we arrived back from the lifeboat drill after 4 PM. Debarkation - This went smoothly. We were to report to the rendezvous lounge by 8:45. After a leisurely breakfast in the dining room, we went back to our cabin to collect our few remaining items, and visited our balcony one last time. Celebrity is great about making you still feel you are a still a guest on this final day. There was a Navy show in town and we viewed a submarine go by with crew at attention along with various other vessels from our balcony. It was very interesting. We proceeded to the lounge waited 15 minutes until those with gray tags were escorted off the ship. While my husband searched for our luggage I stood in line for a porter who then collected our luggage and brought us curbside to wait for a taxi. It wasn't immediately clear that you had to find your luggage and then wait in line for a porter. You definitely needed two people coordinate this. Both inside and outside passengers were running around all stressed out, which was unnecessary. It all worked out fine but the behavior definitely added to the anxiety level. Unfortunately our porter did not put us in any distinct line for a taxi dispatcher and we had to move our luggage a few times before we figured out we would never get a taxi without one. There was a lot of chaos here with too many people and not enough taxis and like us many people didn't understand that you needed to get in a taxi dispatcher line. We eventually got into one and lucked out when we were next in line and a van came along. All in all it didn't take that long but was stressful at the time. We were on our way to the airport by 9:30 and the rest was uneventful. I do want to mention that my film packed in my luggage did receive some x-ray damage so from now on I will pack it in my carry on and hope that I can request it to be hand inspected. Our digital camera was perfect for this situation. Also, our luggage never got weighed but we did stick to under 50 lb on the way down and hopefully on the way back. Curbside check in at FLL is a lot slower than Boston but we made it onto our 11:10 AM flight with plenty of time. Customs - This went very smoothly. We had some prior anxiety about this and received a notice that assigned us a 9 AM inspection. Since we needed to be on our way to the Grand Bay Palace by 8 AM we checked in with guest relations and were told to just show up earlier. We got in line at quarter to 7 that wasn't moving causing many people stress. Actually this was because the doors weren't open yet which nobody realized! The doors opened at 7 and we were through around 10 minutes later. They gave you a little yellow slip to show upon leaving the ship here in St. Thomas, which we had no problem doing a little before 8 AM. GRATUITY SYSTEM We decided to try charging our gratuity to our shipboard account this time to make things easier. The form was very easy to fill out and they did the math for you. You fill in the number of days to multiply the suggested amounts by and there are areas to add extra if you desire. You bring these down to guest relations where they give you a receipt and charge your sea pass account. I had to go back since they accidentally only put through two adults rather than four the first time. We had expected to receive something to hand out to the staff indicating the amounts given but all we received the next day were a bunch of vouchers in one envelope with no amounts listed or any other info indicating that they were from us. We weren't certain if they were receipts for us or were meant for the crew. Since we already had a receipt we decided to write the amounts on these vouchers along with our name and cabin number and a thank you. I had to refer back to my original receipts to obtain the correct amounts. We then obtained some envelopes for these and passed them out. At dinner Gusti thanked us for the gratuity but told us that it had been accidentally credited to another waiter. We were concerned about this and he assured us that it would be straightened out. He told us that the restaurant manager knew about it and had originally informed him. We made sure he took note of our voucher and the amount since we had given him extra and wanted to be sure he received this. It is a nice convenience to be able to take care of the gratuity this way but I think they need to provide you with something better to present to the staff that indicates the correct amount given along with your name and cabin number so there is a record for the staff in case of errors like this. CRUISE CRITIC What a great group! We met some wonderful people. I won't mention names here for fear of leaving somebody out but you know who you are and we very much enjoyed meeting all of you. Unfortunately we didn't get the opportunity to meet everyone in our large group that was close to 100 members. Rick, Chessbriar, had a great idea to get the group to meet at the pool bar 3 PM on the first day using his bright orange shirt as a signal. We stopped by quickly and met a few before we had to go to the lifeboat drill. Celebrity scheduled our party for Sunday morning at 10:15 AM in Michael's club and since I am not a morning person I got the time mixed up and arrived at the tail end of things missing the group photo. I had a little time to chat with a few but still didn't meet everyone. It was nice that Celebrity had another 2 PM pool bar meeting for us on one of the last sea days but I'm not certain if everyone picked up on it in the program. In retrospect it would have been a good idea to have a daily meeting place and time if you wanted to stop by and chat a bit with a few new friends. A suggestion would be the pool bar at 3 PM on sea days and the martini bar between the dinner seatings 7:30 to 8:30 PM on port days. CAPTAIN'S CLUB We missed the cocktail party since it was at 5:15 on a port day with a formal night and we didn't have enough time to get back and be ready for our 6:00 dinner seating. I heard that it was nice. We received credit for our sailing coupon of $150 on our credit card before the cruise. The Normandie didn't have a record of our coupon when we arrived but it showed up on our stateroom account the next day. I believe this is not handled through the Normandie where you pay the $30 fee at the door prior to being seated. It was nice to be able to make our reservation for this restaurant ahead of time. We received cova cafe chocolates and casino chip ($2 each) and match play coupons ($5 each). We didn't use the custom air since we weren't aware of it at the time of our booking and handled our own. Also, our kids would not have qualified. Even though they have sailed Celebrity twice now they are ineligible to become Captain's Club members and we also receive no added benefit for paying their fare. We didn't receive any notice of a wine tasting. We forgot about the golf simulator discount and paid full price. We didn't take advantage of the aqua spa bonus gifts with purchase. All in all I would say that I was satisfied with the benefits having only cruised once prior with Celebrity although they should either provide us with double sailing credit for paying for the larger cabin along with the 3rd and 4th passengers or allow the children to qualify for some benefits. OTHER The Daily program was informative and was delivered to your stateroom during the bed turndown each evening. A few nights we did not receive the kid's itinerary but could pick it up the next morning. We saved the pillow chocolates in a ziploc bag since we usually couldn't eat them at bedtime and are still enjoying them here at home. We didn't bring along any lanyards for the kids passes expecting to purchase one on board or receive a complimentary one through the kid's club. There was not a single one to be found anywhere on board! The gift shop does not carry them and neither guest relations nor the kids club could provide one although guest relations will punch a hole in the card for you in the appropriate place as not to deactivate anything. Next time we will bring some from home. We loved this itinerary with the two days at sea at the beginning and end to ease into your cruise and also relax before heading home. The ports we visited were all very desirable and I would love to visit each one again and again. This was the first time I have ever enjoyed sea days this much. This was due to the extremely intelligent design of the ship and the fact that things never felt crowded or hectic. There was no such thing as a line or waiting. Everything was convenient, easy and accessible even with the ship at full capacity. IN SUMMARY Our family enjoyed this vacation tremendously and cannot wait to cruise with Celebrity again. Feel free to ask me any questions. We were treated fabulously! Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
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

Find a Celebrity Summit Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click