A Fun Itinerary for Inexperienced Cruisers: Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by ae0620t

Celebrity Summit 4
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A Fun Itinerary for Inexperienced Cruisers

Sail Date: January 2010
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan
This Celebrity cruise was very enjoyable for someone not looking for luxury on the seas. The Summit is a clean but older ship and is looking a little shopworn; carpets and upholstery need some updating, and most of the furniture is a little scarred. That said, the cleanliness is very good, and everything works properly.

This was a 6 day 7 night cruise with stops in St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. Kitts, Antigua, and St. Lucia. We always docked except for in St. Lucia where it was a 10 minute tender ride into the port.

The cruise was very casual for us. We elected to skip the formal nights, but took advantage of the Destinations Restaurant, which must be the best kept secret on the ship: for a $2 (yes, two dollar) reservation fee, we dined at a sit down restaurant which we had almost to ourselves, therefore the service was impeccable. The menu was limited but all the food delicious. We only took advantage of the dinner seating in the main dining room once, as we didn't More really care for the table location (in the center of the room, in between a large column and the waiters' station). Two other nights we had room service (which was anything being served in the main restaurant at the time) and two nights we used the buffet or poolside grill.

Most food was very well done, although with a few exceptions the desserts were only fair.

Service by room attendants, poolside waiters and butlers, and everyone else on board was terrific.

We only had one glitch on the whole trip, and that was we opted to use Celebrity's Express Luggage service, whereby we could get our boarding passes and airline luggage tags on board ship, and the bags would automatically be transferred to the airport. This was helpful because we were off the ship by 8:30 AM and didn't fly out until 2:30, so we didn't want to lug bags through San Juan until our departure. The fee for this service was $20 per person, plus airline luggage fees. Because we are elite fliers and were going first class, the airline wasn't charging us for bags. However, Celebrity charged us $70 for the bags plus the $20 per person fee. We had to spend a lot of time on the phone and in line at guest services, and although someone told us the charge would be removed, we never got a copy of our shipboard account before we had to leave the ship to take advantage of the service we had just paid for. Be very careful of your statement if you decide to use this service!

Another small criticism is that the information on Celebrity's website is not very accurate. We arrived in San Juan at 1:00 PM believing we couldn't board until 5:30 (per the website). However, we went out to the ship at 2:00 and they were already boarding. Less

Published 02/07/10

Cabin review: 9041

Cabin 9041, balcony, standard. This is the further aft cabin before concierge class cabins begin. It is close to the forward elevator, but not so close as to be noisy. Because it is right at a jog in the hallway, the hall there is very wide, so the attendants park a cart right there. What a bonus! Instead of calling for an attendant, most of the time we could stick our head out the door and get instant service. It was a really, really good cabin location.

Port and Shore Excursions

In Antigua, we used another excursion arranged by the Cruise line to swim with the stingrays. That trip was a lot of fun; about a half hour drive to the Sting Ray city dock, a ten minute boat ride, an hour and a half of swimming and photographing stingrays, about half an hour at the shore, then a half hour ride back. The folks who run the operation take pictures of you with their won equipment, and then sell you pictures later if you want them, but they also will use your camera and take pictures of you with the sting rays very freely. The guides were very knowledgeable and this was a great tour. Back at the pier, we wandered the local market place for a while. The vendors in Antigua are more aggressive than in the other islands, but are also will to negotiate a little more.

Read 1192 Antigua Reviews

We took a bus from the docking area in Fredricksted to the main city of Christainsted, where we did a walking tour and checked out the fort. When we returned to Fredricksted, we visited a private beach club, so we didn't take advantage of any tours and only did a small amount of shopping in the immediate pier area. However, St. Croix seemed like a pretty laid back place.

In St. Kitts, we took a horseback riding tour up into the rain forest and visited some abandoned sugar mills. The ride to the stable was short if a little bumpy (six adults in the back of a Toyota pick up truck) but the ride was very long--two and a half hours (we did a similar ride on Roatan a few years back, that had an hour ride to the stables, an hour on horseback, and an hour back). The horses seemed healthy, the tack was okay, and the guides were knowledgeable. The view was spectacular and we saw lots of interesting trees, monkeys, birds, etc. We arranged this tour independently of the ship using Shoretrips.com Upon our return we wandered the shop in the port area. Beware of the guys with the monkeys...they'll take a picture with your own camera of your with their monkeys and then try to charge you $20. We paid $5; but the pictures are great! The vendors in St. Kitts are really nice, not at all aggressive, but they'll still bargain to a slight degree.

Read 1321 St. Kitts Reviews

In St. Lucia, we tendered into the main pier at Castries, and caught a cab out to the Rex St. Lucian resort in Gros Islet. The cab ride was about 15 minutes, cost $15. I had stayed at the Rex before, and they have a great beach and very reasonable lunch buffet prices. On the beach, you have available to you all manner of water sports from para-sailing to sunfish, snorkeling, whatever you are willing to pay for. If you go to the Rex from a cruise ship, you can use their pool and beach, but you will pay for lounge chairs, food, drinks, etc. on your own.

Rather than taking a cab back to the pier, we caught a water taxi from a local named Levi (758-721-5188) who brought us back to the pier for $40. He has an open 22 foot skiff with a Bimini top. The trip back took about 1/2 hour and he gave us the waterside tour of all the resorts between the Rex and Castries. We had a great time with him! He also offers tours down to the Pitons, fishing trips, and snorkeling trips. We plan on returning to St. Lucia and will use Levi again!

Upon returning to the pier, we visited a few shops but were quite glad to get back to the ship as Castries was the most crowded of all the ports we visited, as well as being the Southernmost and therefore the hottest.

Read 1136 St. Lucia Reviews

We used the ship shore excursion, and went on the BOSS underwater scooter adventure. Once again, not the best info...we spent half the time snorkeling and half the time on the scooters. The snorkeling part wasn't made clear on the website; if it had been we would have brought our own equipment. Still the underwater scooters were a fun and very unique experience.

The port is clean, well laid out, and has lots of variety of shops.

Read 4002 St. Thomas Reviews

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