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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.

Not for anyone under 60

Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by keatingfamily2001

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
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.
keatingfamily2001’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Ages 16+
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Inside Stateroom 9
Cabin 09 3089
Bigger than normal but dated. Overall it was fine and I liked being on the 3rd deck.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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    Not much to do here. We ended up renting a car and going to Butterfly World which was okay but wildly overpriced.
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  • Walking Tour of Old San Juan
    This was really good - David was our guide. Booked off of Tripadvisor which then took us to Viator but the tour is provided by Tripolin Tours. Great pace. Terrific background. Very good coverage of Old San Juan. If anything it was too good and our crew ran out of steam about 10 minutes before it was officially over. Highly recommended, but definitely have your walking shoes on.
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  • Jeep Tour
    Booked the 4x4 safari and beach tour that ended up being with Greg's Safaris. I tried to book with him direct but had to go through the ship. Absolutely fantastic. He said he is the only tour that combines the 4X4 safari with the beach so look for that.
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  • Island Tour
    Got a private tour with Bernard's Tours because it ended up being basically the same price to do that as for five of us to get a basic tour. It was fine and we liked our guide (Gerard) a lot, but honestly didn't find the island all that interesting. We ended up going back to the ship two hours earlier than we had paid for.
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  • Snorkeling
    We went on our own to Sapphire Beach and are glad we did. Just be ready for the rip off taxis that charge you per person to get where you want to go after they take on lots of other people. In our case, we were driving around for 25 minutes before the clown even headed over to Sapphire Beach.

    The beach is nice and shaded and there is enough to do for members of the group that do not want to snorkel.
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