This cruise, I realized that what I like most about sailing on the Summit is the opportunity to encounter the wonderful culture that its crew has created/maintained. It just feels different from other ships. The vast majority of crew members appear to like each other and enjoy working on the Summit. That makes it a great place to spend a week or so. This was my 3rd sailing with them in the past 5 months.
With that said, there were challenges: Embarkation was a zoo. I'd just done it in San Juan in January, so know that it can be handled better if imperfectly, but this was pretty miserable, complete chaos out front ( a well placed tip and mentioning suites did eventually get some help, though. I bring this up because it's an area some large lines are improving on-- MSC's yacht club tent for example. My hunch is that if the cruise is good enough then the beancounters assume that memories of how things went getting on board will fade. Not so.
With Luminae closed on port days, and because I was mostly just staying on shp, I had opportunity to visit the buffet. I thought the food was pretty darn great up there, but the manners of many (not all) fellow passengers left a bit to be desired-- know, silently looking away when cutting in front of someone does not make you invisible; a simple "pardon me" would work wonders. While the food was tasty, the furnishing are beyond time for an overhaul. Given the way the seats are already shedding their upholstery, I can't imagine what things will look like after a summer of doing the nyc/hamilton shuttle. Oddly enough one area was already furnished in folding chairs and tables.
The Luminae team on Summit is just fabulous. They seem to all work together so near perfectly that it'd be a fun place just to eat PB&J sandwiches. Although the menu is a bit long in the tooth, nothing was disappointing and several dishes proved memorable.
The spa/gym were a place of various challenges/issues this trip.-- trouble with machines not working, and ship's dancers using the space as rehearsal hall combined with a little spat between canyon ranch staff and men's locker room staff member made this a bit less relaxing than normal.
MC appeared pretty busy when i stuck my head in a couple of times, so I remained pretty close to my balcony most of the trip. But they do put on a nice daily spread at tea. And it is a lovely room.
The two comedians and the 3 visiting musical acts I saw were all lots of fun. The comics were especially terrific.
I can't say much about the ports this time around. I'd not visited Bermuda before so splurged on a night at a hotel whose reputation I'd known since my youth. That proved an enjoyable adventure, and it is a lovely island.
All in all, a good trip. But the embarking issues and other mass crowd moments left me curious about trying a smaller line. I know I prefer M to S class ships on Celebrity, so think Azamara might be the Fall trip. Although they seem intimidatingly small, I am interested in really small, like SeaDream offers. So, while on this trip, I arranged for a tour of the SD1 next week while doing an 11 niter on Reflection. I still have trips booked on Summit so not looking to venture too far afield, but think it might be time to nose around a bit.
Awesome cabin. I travel solo, so sky suite is all the room i need and i prefer them to the inside cabins with living room attached that are the CS's. But the balcony on 6132 and 6131 is just terrific. Being on the slant of the hump cuts down a little on privacy but opens up terrific vistas. And there's just enough of an over hang to be able to sit outside and enjoy the evening's 18 shrimp the butler dropped off...even if there's a little rain.
Not a spot I'd seek out, but if beaches are your thing and you've not been there, then worth a visit.
Hoping the old fave place re-opens this fall.
Any excuse to spend a night at Condado Vanderbilt. Awesome massage therapy, gorgeous views, tasty food and near the ship.
It is a pretty place. At the same time its colonial past/present is omnipresent and makes for a certain discomforting atmosphere.
40 minutes in the "express" line at customs/immigration.