Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by Liz Washko
- Sail Date: July 2015
- Destination: Bermuda
- Cabin Type: Family Ocean View with Balcony
As a first time cruiser I was not sure exactly what to expect. But most everything was great.
We departed from Cape Liberty in Bayonne, NJ. We drove up on Sunday morning and had no difficulty finding the port. We pulled up to the terminal (like an airport), dropped our bags with the porters and our two drivers went off to park their cars. We arrived around 10:30 am and had a very easy time getting through the check-in process.
We were permitted to get onto the ship around 11:00 am. On board the ship we were greeted with glasses of champagne, mimosas and OJ for the kids. That was a nice touch. Then a group photo and off to Deck 10 to relax poolside and have lunch. We could not get into our rooms until around 1:00 pm. We had planned for this and had the kids dressed for the pool and everyone else carrying their bathing suits, etc. in their carry-on bags. We quickly found lounge chairs in the shade and were greeted with cocktail waiters carrying Bahama Mamas which were delicious. We had a great view of the NY skyline and the Statute of Liberty while in port and when the ship first set sail.
The adults had the basic alcohol beverage package and the kids had the premium nonalcoholic beverage package. These were well worth the price for all but my mother who does not drink. The drinks were easy to come by and even frozen drinks, like pina coladas, clearly had plenty of alcohol in them (this is not always the case in restaurants). The kids were able to enjoy having sodas and virgin pina coladas without worrying about the cost of every drink. Of course, we tipped our cocktail servers and bartenders with some frequency - to ensure continued good service. Our favorite cocktail server by the pool was Richard.
Each morning we had breakfast in the buffet restaurant - I think it was called the Ocean View Café? Fabulous. Eggs made every way; bacon, ham and sausage; fresh fruit; yogurt and granola; cereals; rolls, croissants and bread; waffles, pancakes and French toast; hashbrowns, etc.
Each day we had lunch and snacks in the buffet restaurant as well. So much variety and everything was quite good. There was always pasta, pizza, sandwiches, carving stations and salads. Other entrees were changed from day to day with lots of Asian and Indian foods, fried and grilled fish, etc. Sometimes we ate in the restaurant and sometimes we brought our food to the pool.
6 out of 7 dinners we ate in the main dining room - requiring us to dress nicely and, on 2 nights, more formally. We had 6:00 pm reservations each night and that worked well for us. We had Jony as our head waiter and Savio as the assistant waiter and they were both great. Each night we had our choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and desserts. For those who are not familiar, the left side of the menu remained the same each night - French onion soup, escargot, fruit plate, Caesar salad; entrees of salmon, grilled chicken and NY sirloin; desserts of cheesecake, apple pie, crème brulee and chocolate cake. The right side of the menu changed every night. I typically ordered off the right side of the menu and really enjoyed nearly every bite. For starters I tried Caesar salad, watermelon gazpacho, prosciutto di parma, scallop Rockefeller, braised short ribs; for entrees I had prime rib, beef tournedos, branzino, lobster tail, steak Dianne; for desserts I had crème brulee, chocolate cake, tres leches cake. Everything was very good. In my opinion the portions were just right - as I had 3 to 4 courses each night and never left feeling overstuffed. Someone else might consider some of the portions too small.
While we were at sea, we spent most of our day near the pool - with several lounge chairs in the shade. The one disappointment we had about the cruise was the limited pool space for kids. The ship had three pools and several hot tubs. The two large pools were reserved for adults only. A very small pool and 2 of the hot tubs permitted children - and kids were reprimanded for jumping or splashing. This was disappointing as we had 5 boys ages 9 to 13 who enjoy pool activities. Given the number of kids and families on the cruise, I would recommend that Celebrity reserve only one pool for adults only and allow kids to have access to the other 2 pools.
During the day there were many activities throughout the ship - music, dancing, shows, etc. We enjoyed observing some of those that occurred poolside but did not partake of much of the onboard activity during the day. We did attend a "Top Chef" event in the theater on one day at sea that we enjoyed.
In the evenings, after dinner, we typically attended the 9:00 pm show in the Celebrity Theater. The shows were on the weak side but we had an ok time. The singers and dancers we watched were excellent individually, but their voices did not go well together and the shows themselves were rather disjointed.
While docked in Bermuda, we chose our own path to explore. So we did not purchase any excursions from Celebrity. Bermuda is absolutely gorgeous - so many shades of blue water; soft sand; beautifully colored houses and buildings; friendly people. It really is a magical place. Our first day, we took a cab to Horseshoe Bay where we enjoyed the sun, sand, sea, breeze and snorkeling. There is a little restaurant there where we had amazing grouper sandwiches and fish and chips (although these were pricey for a beach restaurant). We had great weather and a great time. One days two and three we did not have great weather - it rained on and off each day - but we still had fun. On day two we took the ferry to St. George, then went to the Crystal Caves (a great option on a rainy day), then to Hamilton. I would like to have spent more time in Hamilton. On day three, we wanted to go to Church Bay but, due to the weather forecast, we decided to stay closer to the ship and went to Snorkel Beach which is at King's Wharf. We had a great time there too.
Disembarkation in Port Bayonne was very, very easy.
Overall, we had a great time. Service was excellent - so many people to help at every turn; the food and drinks were great; everything ran smoothly. We would definitely take another Celebrity cruise in the future.
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The room worked very well for us with 5 people per room, with plenty of closet space and drawers/shelves - even for a room that had 5 females with lots of clothes! The room had plenty of space except when the beds were all opened up - then it was a tight fit. But this was at night time and was not an issue.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
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