Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by Staplerman
- Sail Date: April 2013
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean View with Balcony 2A
Once we arrived at the port, it took us a grand total of 10 minutes to check in and board the ship. The recent refurbishing of the Summit shows, she was in great shape and has character that is lacking on the newer/larger ships. Our balcony cabin (8153) was a little smaller than we are used to, but was in an amazing location (close to everything) and had tons of storage space. The veranda size was fairly standard and everything related to the cabin was in good repair. Our cabin steward Norma was very pleasant and went out of her way to make our cruise enjoyable.
Musical acts around the ship were all very good (we especially liked The Crewners, an a capella singing group). The evening shows were weak, with the exception of the comdian (clean comedy, can't remember his name) and the illusionist (can't remember his name either, but that quality of his act should land him on a show like Americas Got Talent. You know the guy's good when the audience doesn't clap because we're trying to figure out how he's doing these amazing tricks and stunts. Very funny, personable and he was the talk of the ship for several days after).
NOTE: Please be aware when you book your trip, some of the Celebrity ships (like Summit) allow smoking on the verandas/upper decks on one side of the ship while the other side is non-smoking. Others (Solstice-class vessels) do not allow smoking on verandas and have specific areas of the ship where smoking is allowed.
We decided to try the "Select Dining" option this cruise and found the service in the Cosmopolitan Dining Room to be exceptional. Food was very tasty and the waitstaff was extremely personable even though we had different waiters each night. My wife requested some sauteed spinach the first night and although the staff could not provide it, each subsequent night in the Cosmopolitan dining room the servers brought sauteed spinach to our table. Cafe al Bacio was wonderful for cappuccinos each morning, and Bistro on 5 has great panini's and crepes (although it was empty quite often as we had experienced on the Solstice-class ships. We wonder how long Celebrity will stick with this concept?). Oceanview Grill was adequate at Breakfast (hey, it's breakfast? How much can you do with it?) and very good at lunch. Lines move rapidly and there is lots of seating, which is definitely an improvement from the Solstice-class ships. The pool grill was wonderful, some of the best hamburgers we've ever had on a cruise ship.
The premium restaurants on Summit were very good, but do yourself a favor and book early in the week. Be sure to ask for discounts if you book on Day one, we found the staff willing to knock 20% off the price per person.
Qsine is a super-fun dining experience, this was our second time eating at Qsine (in 2012 on the Eclipse) and the food was great. We have found that Qsine is easier to book earlier in the week and as time goes on becomes very difficult to get a reservation. If you go, plan on spending 2 hours for dinner. If you've never been, I guarantee you've never seen anything like it.
The S.S. Normandie restaurant (comparable to "Murano" on Solstice-class ships) was a dining experience that exceeded our high expectations. We arrived at 6pm for an early dinner and while only a few other tables in the restaurant were full, all of the waiters helped our main waiter Cuneyt serve us. The Normandie sommelier was Anna from Turkey, and we have rarely met two individuals who are so passionate about what they do for a living. While Murano was a wonderful experience on the other ships we've sailed (Eclipse, Solstice), we found the waitstaff in Normandie to be much more personable. Everyone took time at our table to chat, answer questions about themselves and their homelands as well as make food/wine suggestions. This was our 12th cruise in the past 17 years, and our visit to Normandie was one of the most memorable dining experiences we've ever had afloat.
Disembarkation was extremely smooth and we were at the airport in less than 45 minutes. San Juan is a breeze.
This was our first cruise on the Summit, and we will visit her again soon. Now I understand why long-time Celebrity fans love the Constellation-class ships so much. She is one of our favorites and we cannot say enough about her outstanding crew! Do yourself a favor: cruise on Summit and be ready to relax and be pampered!
NOTE: Be mindful to check on which side of the ship where smoking is allowed if you are a smoker or you don't want to be around smokers. The Summit allowed smoking on the left side of the ship (including verandas and outside decks, not inside).