We were pleasantly impressed with our cruise on the Celebrity Summit, sailing Christmas week, 2013. This was our first cruise with Celebrity, having sailed many times with Princess, NCL and Royal Caribbean and it surely will not be our last. There was something different about Celebrity. The entire staff was not only efficient and friendly, but they all had very positive attitudes. This is something we had not seen before on other ships. Also, the ship did not abuse their announcements. Twice per day we heard that we were in port and then later we heard from the captain that we were ready to sail and what the distance to the next port and the expected seas. There was no announcement for "Bingo Bingo Bingo" or "Art Auction begins in 5 Minutes", like we have had on other ships. Even the disembarkation ran without announcements. Passengers left their rooms on time, had a delicious full breakfast and met at their various destination points on their own. Leaving the ship was quite smooth. We were traveling with a family of ten: my parents (73, 75) and my sisters family (48,45,19,17) and my family (52, 49, 21, 19) in a total of five rooms. Four were outside cabins on Deck 2 and my parents stayed on Deck 6 with a balcony. Our rooms were practically the same size as my parents room minus the balcony. There was ample closet/drawer space and our luggage fit nicely under our beds. Nice flat screen tv with good channel selection. Bathroom was fine, shower was good. Window was a very large circle. We had no problem with staying on Deck 2. We had read about a slight smoke smell in the Deck 2 hallway and we noticed it ourselves. It did not effect our stay but we did write about it on the comment card before we left the ship. The food exceeded our expectations. We had breakfast in the Oceanview Restaurant on Deck 10 every morning. There were so many stations that there were no lines. There were at least a dozen omelet stations. Many, many items to choose from. There also were waiters coming around with coffee/tea refills and fresh pastries. We were usually off the ship at lunch time, but visited the Oceanview in the late afternoon for a snack. Many flavors of ice cream both soft serve and hard were available with candy toppings if desired. We also loved the fresh tossed Caesar salad, the fresh grilled pizza and the pasta and salad bar. Also, water, iced tea, lemonade, coffee and tea are available all day long. We appreciated this! Dinner we had select dining and had reservations for 6:45pm on Deck 5 of the Cosmopolitan. Our waiters were fantastic and really made our dining experience so pleasant. My daughter has food allergies to soy, vegetable oil, shellfish and tree nuts. We had filled out a special needs form on Celebrity's website before the trip and once onboard we met personally with the assistant maître 'd. We cannot fully express how wonderful her allergies were addressed. She pre-ordered her dinner for the next night each night before with the asst maître 'd. He let her know which foods she could have and she did not have one allergic reaction the entire week. We were very impressed and thankful to Celebrity!! We did not pay extra for the specialty restaurants. $45 per person is not necessary to us. The food choices in the main dining room were original and creative and delicious. Don't miss the crème brulee. The shows on the ship were great! The stage in the theatre had a multiple hydraulic system. Parts of the stage went up and down. The cruise singers and dancers were very good and we enjoyed their productions. We especially liked the performance of the "cirque acrobats". We also saw Comedian, Buzz Sutherland and really loved our Finalists@Sea performers: Melinda Doolittle, American Idol finalist from Season 6 and Matt Giraud, American Idol finalist from Season 8. We also enjoyed the Motown band. During our Sea day, we watched the Chef competition which was like Iron Chef. So much fun. We also had a wonderful discussion about food on the ship and then toured the gigantic galley. Because this was Christmas Day we were lucky to have an elaborate Christmas Brunch in the main dining room. On Christmas Eve in the same room we were treated to an elaborate dessert reception. Yellow beach towels were left fresh in our room each night and blue pool towels were available at the pool. This was a nice touch. In addition to the main pool and hot tubs, we enjoyed the salt water Thalassotherapy Pool, but remember to take off your sterling silver jewelry before entering, as it can tarnish. The fitness center has newer equipment and a nice variety. There is a beautiful two story library located mid ship. We enjoyed relaxing in the late afternoon on Deck 4 in very comfortable lounge chairs. Here is where we watched the best sunsets. We had five ports of call: St Croix, St Kitts, Dominica, Tortola and St Thomas. Our favorite beach was Garden Cane Bay in Tortola and our best shopping was in St Thomas. Dominica is a volcanic island with beautiful flowers, plants and trees. We did not book excursions through the ship. We negotiated for island tours and beach afternoons with cab drivers in each location. Prices varied from $100 for all ten of us to $200 for all ten of us, depending upon the island. We rented chairs at the various beaches from $3 to $10 each chair depending upon island. Our cruise on the Celebrity Summit was just wonderful. We loved the level of service on this ship. The ship itself is not so huge so you do not get lost. Its rather classy. The staff was polite and friendly, especially the guest relations staff. There are just the right amount of games and activities! All ten of us had a fantastic vacation! We will definitely cruise with Celebrity again.
Our rooms were practically the same size as my parents room minus the balcony. There was ample closet/drawer space and our luggage fit nicely under our beds. Nice flat screen tv with good channel selection. Bathroom was fine, shower was good. Window was a very large circle. We had no problem with staying on Deck 2. We had read about a slight smoke smell in the Deck 2 hallway and we noticed it ourselves. It did not effect our stay but we did write about it on the comment card before we left the ship.
We visited St Croix on a Sunday and 90% of the town was closed. We decided to walk to the beach that was 2 minutes from the pier. We paid $7 per beach chair. There were a few bars open selling beverages and a gentleman cracking fresh coconuts. We swam and relaxed and it was nice to sit on the beach and see our cruise ship at the dock. There was an art museum open that we walked through.
We negotiated a great price ($120 for 10 of us) for an island tour in a beautiful air conditioned van. Our driver took us for a 1.5 hour tour all around the island. He spoke about the history of the island and pointed out the scenic highlights. He drove us to the top of the island and we were able to get out and take photos. Then he drove us to the Carambola Beach Club...very pretty with a full restaurant. Calm waters. Fun watching the pelicans dive bomb for fish. They charged $7 for chairs here. Free wifi.
The forecast was for a rainy day and many of the excursions were cancelled, including our planned hike. Dominica is a beautiful volcanic island with black sand beaches and beautiful flowers, plants and trees. The people are very friendly. Sadly, the rains caused mudslides and we witnessed many homes full of mud. In the afternoon we went for an island tour for $15 per person (four of us joined three others). Our cab driver was very knowledgeable about the beautiful plants and trees on the island and stopped to show us as much as he could. We also drove to the top of the island and saw a panoramic view with our ship in the harbor. He attempted to drive us to Tralfager Falls, however, the road was washed out. The good news is that the rains held off during our tour.
Our best day! We negotiated for a taxi driver that could accommodate 10 people in an air conditioned van for an island tour followed by some beach time. The driver started at $25 per person, which we negotiated down to $20 per person ($200 total). He took us on a wonderful island tour, explaining the history of the island. We drove to a fantastic lookout at the top of the island where we could see many other neighboring islands in the distance. At the end of the tour, he drove us to Cane Garden Bay for a few hours of beach time. He introduced us to a nice woman who gave us a discount on 10 chairs - only $3 each. There was a restaurant, bar and bathroom available. We enjoyed this beach time so much! Beautiful white sand and calm, aqua water! Paradise!
Our ship was docked about a five minute cab ride to the main town of Charlotte Amalie. We were a bit surprised to find out it cost $4 per person for the five minute ride. Our ship was the only one in port and the town was quite empty. We decided to go shopping first, so we didn't have to shop in wet bathing suits later in the day. A mix of stores through the quaint streets from high end jewelry to linens to souvenirs. After shopping we got in an open air taxi to go to a nice beach. This cost us $6 per person. We chose Emerald Beach which was close to the St Thomas airport. We had nice chairs and enjoyed the calm water of this nice beach. There was also a bar/restaurant operated by the Best Western hotel. After a few hours, we paid another $6 per person to take a taxi back to the ship. We shopped at a new section of multi colored stores that were probably built for cruise passengers. We found a shop where the owner makes her own popsicles, jams and sauces from all natural ingredients.