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Update from previous reviews by others: • Floor soft spots: The ship still has some soft spots in the flooring. I didn't find any in the dining room, but there were some at the entrance to one of the lounges and in one of the hallways on a cabin deck. We were surprised that these were not fixed while it was in dry dock. I didn't find them particularly hazardous, just surprising. - Ship Review - Embarkation. We arrived at about 11:30. No need to get there any earlier because they didn't open the doors to begin embarkation until shortly after we arrived. They didn't want anybody aboard until noon. We stood in line about 10 minutes and then sat in the holding area about 5 minutes. Inprocessing with the Express Pass was faster than any cruise we've ever takenabout two minutes to swipe the passports and credit card and hand us our keys. It took longer just to ride the escalators to the ship! We were onboard before noon and went directly to the spa and Normandie Restaurant to make reservations. We dropped our carry-on luggage in the room at 12:30, but the rooms were not officially ready until 1:00 pm. Bags were waiting for us outside the door when we returned to the cabin after lunch about 2:30. Some of our table mates embarked mid-afternoon, but didn't have their luggage until after late-seating dinner. Service. The Assistant Maitre'd was the only person who really impressed us. Dining room service was better than some ships we've been on. Overall service was pretty good, but there was nothing fantastic and no horror stories. Clientele. A wider demographic than you will find on many ships. Some families with kids, some young couples, but most of the crowd was working professionals in the 30-60 age range. Most were Americans, but there were lots of other international guests from around the world. The cruise is geared for adults, so kids will have more fun on RCL or Carnival. Cabin. 8th Deck, Concierge Class. Very adequate. Lots of little touches to make concierge class special—umbrella, binoculars, welcome champagne, and a bowl of fruit. Canapes were caviar, cheese, blue cheese mousse, prosciutto with cantaloupe, etc. They went well with the champagne and the grapes from our fruit bowl. The balcony was actually a good size with two cushioned chairs and a large table. Other balcony cabins on this and other ships have a smaller table and may not have cushions. The starboard balcony was great for the sail away from San Juan. Most of our neighbors were out on their balconies in their PJs at 11:00 pm! Although there was plenty of storage room for two, a flat screen TV and a full length corner built-in in that space would be nice improvements. We saw another "outside" cabin with such a corner unit. The note with the fruit bowl said we could make special requests, and although we asked for extra bananas, all we usually got was the standard banana, apples, orange, and grapes every evening. However, we did get a pear one night. The shower isn't the smallest we've seen on a cruise ship, but the "friendly" shower curtain sure got annoying after a while. Two of each 220V and 110V outlets at the desk made it easy to recharge camera batteries, etc. There is a ship-mounted hair dryer in the bathroom and a more powerful one in the desk. Captain. Somewhat quiet, we didn't see or hear from him until halfway through the cruise. He did an excellent job keeping everything on time or early. Cruise Director. Gary was all over the place, providing lots of useful information. Entertainment. Standard cruise fare and not particularly impressive, except for an aerialist couple who was excellent. Although some of our table mates were impressed with the juggler's first show, his "encore" on the last night was pretty horrible. Gary told us the new entertainment crew was onboard practicing and would officially begin shows on the 7 Mar cruise. Food. The dining room food was probably below average for a cruise ship. It ran the gamut from marginal to very good. My wife was severely disappointed in many of her meals. Whenever I asked the waiter for his recommendation, his first choice was always beef and his second choice was always fish. The most impressive person we met was our Maitre'd Yusuf. He took great care of my wife's special dietary needs and visited our table several times throughout the meal to make sure everything was going well. My wife got better food when she ordered it directly from him the night prior. When the waiter accidently knocked a cup of coffee in my lap, Yusuf was there with a free dry cleaning voucher in less than a minute. Although still somewhat limited compared with luxury cruise lines, Concierge Class room service breakfast was pretty good. AquaSpa salmon was excellent. Much of the lunch buffet food was horrible. The pasta bar was particularly disappointing. You really had to pick and choose to get edible food from the buffet. Afternoon sushi was good, but not available until after 5:00 pm. It would be nice to have it earlier in the afternoon for a snack after returning from shore excursions. Editorial comment on food & entertainment: In the current economy we have a large supply of cruise cabins with somewhat limited demand. Many cruise lines are significantly discounting the fares to fill their ships. While that may sound like a bargain, I believe you tend to get what you pay for. With lower fares, cruise lines have to cut costs to survive. It appears they are cutting costs primarily with food and entertainment and somewhat in ship maintenance. Food quality is lower, portions are smaller, and dining rooms are now often closed for breakfast and lunch on port days. If you just want to get away and are more concerned about the itinerary, this may suit you fine. However, if you want a "full cruise" experience, I believe you should look to the luxury cruise lines. Some are still quite a bit more expensive than the mass market lines, although many are also deeply discounting these days. Normandie. The recent menu change now has the dinner with wine pairing at $140 per person! The standard menu has most of the same items for only $30 per person without wine. The menu items were very complex and rich, with larger portion sizes than the main dining room. I thought the service was impeccable and the food was excellent. In my opinion, dining rarely gets much better than this. However, my wife was not as impressed. Her duck was rare and she thought the service was slow. (I thought they were pacing the service to let us digest all the food we were eating!) We do agree that the rhubarb and strawberry desert recommended by our waiter was outstanding. Dress code. Five "dressy casual" nights and two formal nights. Formal meant coat and tie and cocktail dresses for most people. Only 20-30% wore tuxedos and formals. Feel free to dress up if you want to, but you'll be fine in a suit if you don't have a tux. Internet. Wireless worked pretty well in the hot spots. Unfortunately, wireless is not available in the cabins. I bought too many minutes on the assumption that I could get some work done in the room. If you buy a package on the first day, you can get bonus minutes. Housekeeping. Standard. Room stewards do their usual great job keeping the room clean. Ship Cleanliness & Condition. Overall pretty good. They were constantly working to keep things clean. There were only two things I didn't like. First, they were constantly wiping things down with a diluted chlorine bleach solution. While that is great for killing germs, it isn't very pleasant if you grab a wet handrail or doorknob. The solution also left smears all over the chrome and stainless steel. Second, they need to touch up a few rust spots around the ship. As I was relaxing in and by the Thalassotherapy Pool in the AquaSpa, I found the rust spots in the steel covering somewhat distracting from an otherwise very nice experience. Photographic services. The pictures seemed more reasonably priced and packages were available. With scores of cruise pictures at home, we had very few pictures taken. Of those that were taken, few turned out very good, so we only bought the one of everybody at dinner on the second formal night. The photo shop also had a good selection of cameras and accessories. The only negative was the aggressiveness of the photographers while getting off the ship in port. "No" means NO! I saw them throw a life ring around somebody's neck who clearly did not want their picture taken. Ship DEcor. Simple elegance. The public spaces were classy, not flashy. Some areas are getting worn, but it wasn't too bad. After seeing all the great artwork on Mercury, I was disappointed with the limited and somewhat boring artwork on Summit. Spa & Fitness Center. Fitness center was well equipped. We decided to skip St. Maartin and stay on the ship for a day at the spa. We enjoyed the Persian Garden on a $30 day pass, which we think is the best value. Don't waste your money on 20 min for $20you'll need much more time to enjoy the different steam rooms and showers. The $99 weekly pass may be good if you want to go every day, but on port intensive itineraries we doubt many people would go that often. One of the things we really liked about this ship is that the Thalassotherapy pool is in a public space and free for all adults to use. It was large and warm with two other Jacuzzis in the same room. It was particularly popular after returning from shore excursions. My wife had a nice massage and we enjoyed the Rasul together. (If you don't know what a Rasul is, ask. It's a lot of fun for couples.) The spa staff was incredibly friendly. They let you know about their products, but didn't give you the hard sell. Gift Shops. Excellent. Lots of products and a wide selection. Some of the specials weren't bad. They had a two-for-one T-shirt and polo shirt sale on Wednesday morning before we arrived in Bonaire and all day on Friday at sea. In summary, this is a middle-of-the-road cruise that will satisfy most cruisers. It won't "blow your socks off," but the pricing is aggressive, which makes the Summit a pretty good value. Given the low prices, we thought the few extra dollars for a Concierge Class balcony were worth the improved experience. We enjoyed Azamara more and would prefer to sail them again, but with only two ships, their itineraries don't always match our needs. - Port Review - This itinerary was a good sampler of Caribbean islands. Some islands had good beaches, others don't. Some were lush, but others were dry. There is something for everybody on this cruise. Docking at every port was a huge convenience and time saver. St. Maartin - Skipped it for a day at the spa. We've been there before and didn't feel compelled to go ashore. Dominica - Champagne Reef Snorkel Tour. This was a very professionally run tour with a nice powered catamaran. First stop was a guided snorkel tour of Champagne Reef. The guide was very informative and the "champagne" bubbles were pretty cool. The second stop was a snorkel on our own at the edge of "The Abyss." Overall it was a nice tour. Our tablemates liked their tour to the waterfall. Grenada - Several tours go throughout the island and most stop at many of the same spots—-nutmeg factories, national park, waterfall, and fort. These are all done on small vans due to the size of the roads. Our guide was very informative and the tour was very comprehensive. Bonaire - I went diving and was a bit disappointed. With all the hype for diving Bonaire, I didn't find our dives to be anything extraordinary. The second tank dive got screwed up and a few divers were pretty upset. I'd like to try diving Bonaire again (with another company) because I think we missed the best diving Bonaire has to offer. My wife took an island tour and found it to be very informative. Aruba - We are frequent visitors to Aruba, so we rented a car and did our own thing. We really liked having a sea day on the last day to pack, relax, and enjoy the ship after all the port days.

Good, but not great. It still went by way too quickly.

Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by We4lv2trvl

Trip Details
Update from previous reviews by others: • Floor soft spots: The ship still has some soft spots in the flooring. I didn't find any in the dining room, but there were some at the entrance to one of the lounges and in one of the hallways on a cabin deck. We were surprised that these were not fixed while it was in dry dock. I didn't find them particularly hazardous, just surprising.
- Ship Review - Embarkation. We arrived at about 11:30. No need to get there any earlier because they didn't open the doors to begin embarkation until shortly after we arrived. They didn't want anybody aboard until noon. We stood in line about 10 minutes and then sat in the holding area about 5 minutes. Inprocessing with the Express Pass was faster than any cruise we've ever takenabout two minutes to swipe the passports and credit card and hand us our keys. It took longer just to ride the escalators to the ship! We were onboard before noon and went directly to the spa and Normandie Restaurant to make reservations. We dropped our carry-on luggage in the room at 12:30, but the rooms were not officially ready until 1:00 pm. Bags were waiting for us outside the door when we returned to the cabin after lunch about 2:30. Some of our table mates embarked mid-afternoon, but didn't have their luggage until after late-seating dinner.
Service. The Assistant Maitre'd was the only person who really impressed us. Dining room service was better than some ships we've been on. Overall service was pretty good, but there was nothing fantastic and no horror stories.
Clientele. A wider demographic than you will find on many ships. Some families with kids, some young couples, but most of the crowd was working professionals in the 30-60 age range. Most were Americans, but there were lots of other international guests from around the world. The cruise is geared for adults, so kids will have more fun on RCL or Carnival.
Cabin. 8th Deck, Concierge Class. Very adequate. Lots of little touches to make concierge class special—umbrella, binoculars, welcome champagne, and a bowl of fruit. Canapes were caviar, cheese, blue cheese mousse, prosciutto with cantaloupe, etc. They went well with the champagne and the grapes from our fruit bowl. The balcony was actually a good size with two cushioned chairs and a large table. Other balcony cabins on this and other ships have a smaller table and may not have cushions. The starboard balcony was great for the sail away from San Juan. Most of our neighbors were out on their balconies in their PJs at 11:00 pm! Although there was plenty of storage room for two, a flat screen TV and a full length corner built-in in that space would be nice improvements. We saw another "outside" cabin with such a corner unit. The note with the fruit bowl said we could make special requests, and although we asked for extra bananas, all we usually got was the standard banana, apples, orange, and grapes every evening. However, we did get a pear one night. The shower isn't the smallest we've seen on a cruise ship, but the "friendly" shower curtain sure got annoying after a while. Two of each 220V and 110V outlets at the desk made it easy to recharge camera batteries, etc. There is a ship-mounted hair dryer in the bathroom and a more powerful one in the desk.
Captain. Somewhat quiet, we didn't see or hear from him until halfway through the cruise. He did an excellent job keeping everything on time or early.
Cruise Director. Gary was all over the place, providing lots of useful information.
Entertainment. Standard cruise fare and not particularly impressive, except for an aerialist couple who was excellent. Although some of our table mates were impressed with the juggler's first show, his "encore" on the last night was pretty horrible. Gary told us the new entertainment crew was onboard practicing and would officially begin shows on the 7 Mar cruise.
Food. The dining room food was probably below average for a cruise ship. It ran the gamut from marginal to very good. My wife was severely disappointed in many of her meals. Whenever I asked the waiter for his recommendation, his first choice was always beef and his second choice was always fish. The most impressive person we met was our Maitre'd Yusuf. He took great care of my wife's special dietary needs and visited our table several times throughout the meal to make sure everything was going well. My wife got better food when she ordered it directly from him the night prior. When the waiter accidently knocked a cup of coffee in my lap, Yusuf was there with a free dry cleaning voucher in less than a minute. Although still somewhat limited compared with luxury cruise lines, Concierge Class room service breakfast was pretty good. AquaSpa salmon was excellent. Much of the lunch buffet food was horrible. The pasta bar was particularly disappointing. You really had to pick and choose to get edible food from the buffet. Afternoon sushi was good, but not available until after 5:00 pm. It would be nice to have it earlier in the afternoon for a snack after returning from shore excursions.
Editorial comment on food & entertainment: In the current economy we have a large supply of cruise cabins with somewhat limited demand. Many cruise lines are significantly discounting the fares to fill their ships. While that may sound like a bargain, I believe you tend to get what you pay for. With lower fares, cruise lines have to cut costs to survive. It appears they are cutting costs primarily with food and entertainment and somewhat in ship maintenance. Food quality is lower, portions are smaller, and dining rooms are now often closed for breakfast and lunch on port days. If you just want to get away and are more concerned about the itinerary, this may suit you fine. However, if you want a "full cruise" experience, I believe you should look to the luxury cruise lines. Some are still quite a bit more expensive than the mass market lines, although many are also deeply discounting these days.
Normandie. The recent menu change now has the dinner with wine pairing at $140 per person! The standard menu has most of the same items for only $30 per person without wine. The menu items were very complex and rich, with larger portion sizes than the main dining room. I thought the service was impeccable and the food was excellent. In my opinion, dining rarely gets much better than this. However, my wife was not as impressed. Her duck was rare and she thought the service was slow. (I thought they were pacing the service to let us digest all the food we were eating!) We do agree that the rhubarb and strawberry desert recommended by our waiter was outstanding.
Dress code. Five "dressy casual" nights and two formal nights. Formal meant coat and tie and cocktail dresses for most people. Only 20-30% wore tuxedos and formals. Feel free to dress up if you want to, but you'll be fine in a suit if you don't have a tux.
Internet. Wireless worked pretty well in the hot spots. Unfortunately, wireless is not available in the cabins. I bought too many minutes on the assumption that I could get some work done in the room. If you buy a package on the first day, you can get bonus minutes.
Housekeeping. Standard. Room stewards do their usual great job keeping the room clean.
Ship Cleanliness & Condition. Overall pretty good. They were constantly working to keep things clean. There were only two things I didn't like. First, they were constantly wiping things down with a diluted chlorine bleach solution. While that is great for killing germs, it isn't very pleasant if you grab a wet handrail or doorknob. The solution also left smears all over the chrome and stainless steel. Second, they need to touch up a few rust spots around the ship. As I was relaxing in and by the Thalassotherapy Pool in the AquaSpa, I found the rust spots in the steel covering somewhat distracting from an otherwise very nice experience.
Photographic services. The pictures seemed more reasonably priced and packages were available. With scores of cruise pictures at home, we had very few pictures taken. Of those that were taken, few turned out very good, so we only bought the one of everybody at dinner on the second formal night. The photo shop also had a good selection of cameras and accessories. The only negative was the aggressiveness of the photographers while getting off the ship in port. "No" means NO! I saw them throw a life ring around somebody's neck who clearly did not want their picture taken.
Ship DEcor. Simple elegance. The public spaces were classy, not flashy. Some areas are getting worn, but it wasn't too bad. After seeing all the great artwork on Mercury, I was disappointed with the limited and somewhat boring artwork on Summit.
Spa & Fitness Center. Fitness center was well equipped. We decided to skip St. Maartin and stay on the ship for a day at the spa. We enjoyed the Persian Garden on a $30 day pass, which we think is the best value. Don't waste your money on 20 min for $20you'll need much more time to enjoy the different steam rooms and showers. The $99 weekly pass may be good if you want to go every day, but on port intensive itineraries we doubt many people would go that often. One of the things we really liked about this ship is that the Thalassotherapy pool is in a public space and free for all adults to use. It was large and warm with two other Jacuzzis in the same room. It was particularly popular after returning from shore excursions. My wife had a nice massage and we enjoyed the Rasul together. (If you don't know what a Rasul is, ask. It's a lot of fun for couples.) The spa staff was incredibly friendly. They let you know about their products, but didn't give you the hard sell.
Gift Shops. Excellent. Lots of products and a wide selection. Some of the specials weren't bad. They had a two-for-one T-shirt and polo shirt sale on Wednesday morning before we arrived in Bonaire and all day on Friday at sea.
In summary, this is a middle-of-the-road cruise that will satisfy most cruisers. It won't "blow your socks off," but the pricing is aggressive, which makes the Summit a pretty good value. Given the low prices, we thought the few extra dollars for a Concierge Class balcony were worth the improved experience. We enjoyed Azamara more and would prefer to sail them again, but with only two ships, their itineraries don't always match our needs.
- Port Review - This itinerary was a good sampler of Caribbean islands. Some islands had good beaches, others don't. Some were lush, but others were dry. There is something for everybody on this cruise. Docking at every port was a huge convenience and time saver.
St. Maartin - Skipped it for a day at the spa. We've been there before and didn't feel compelled to go ashore.
Dominica - Champagne Reef Snorkel Tour. This was a very professionally run tour with a nice powered catamaran. First stop was a guided snorkel tour of Champagne Reef. The guide was very informative and the "champagne" bubbles were pretty cool. The second stop was a snorkel on our own at the edge of "The Abyss." Overall it was a nice tour. Our tablemates liked their tour to the waterfall.
Grenada - Several tours go throughout the island and most stop at many of the same spots—-nutmeg factories, national park, waterfall, and fort. These are all done on small vans due to the size of the roads. Our guide was very informative and the tour was very comprehensive.
Bonaire - I went diving and was a bit disappointed. With all the hype for diving Bonaire, I didn't find our dives to be anything extraordinary. The second tank dive got screwed up and a few divers were pretty upset. I'd like to try diving Bonaire again (with another company) because I think we missed the best diving Bonaire has to offer. My wife took an island tour and found it to be very informative.
Aruba - We are frequent visitors to Aruba, so we rented a car and did our own thing.
We really liked having a sea day on the last day to pack, relax, and enjoy the ship after all the port days.
We4lv2trvl’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8098
Excellent location for convenience to the mid-ship stairs and elevators. Starboard was good for the San Juan sailaway. 8th deck was insulated from noise that you might get on the 9th deck, just below all the activity. Deck 8 was also better than Deck 9 because you were further below the overhang of deck 10, giving a more open feeling. Balcony had cushioned chairs and a large table which was excellent for meals.
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