1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Celebrity Summit
Four of us cruised on Celebrity Summit departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico on Saturday December 29th, 2018. It was a 7 night cruise returning to San Juan. Ports of call were St. Thomas, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados. We have sailed before on Celebrity, Disney, Holland America and Royal Caribbean, on Royal Caribbean the most. Our favourite class of ship remains Royal Caribbean’s Radiance Class. On this cruise both couples stayed in a Concierge class room, 8th deck aft. It ended up being the perfect location as one of our group had a knee injury and it was close to the elevators to the dining room and buffet. Because this was a holiday cruise there were more children and youth than what are normally on a Celebrity cruise. The Good The food on Celebrity ships remains excellent in all the included venues. They have speciality restaurants but we didn’t bother with them. Food is one area where Celebrity seems to outshine their competitors. The senior staff were quite visible and very friendly. As with every cruise I have taken, the wait staff and room stewards were excellent. We love San Juan and stayed 2 days before and after at the Sheraton Old San Juan. It is great place close to everything and for Canadians, there is a Scotiabank ATM around the corner in the CVS drug store, so there are fee free withdrawals for Tangerine and Scotiabank customers. Cruisers out of San Juan tend to be great folks to cruise with. The ports of call are all excellent out of San Juan. Every day is a new island and they all have lots to see and do. St. Thomas is always a busy port so we normally take the “St. John on your own” tour and go to Trunk Bay, one of the most stunning beaches in the Caribbean. Thanks to the US government's partial shut down, there was no entrance fee this time. All of the other concessions, including chair rentals were open. Trunk Bay is much less crowded than the St. Thomas beaches when lots of ships are in port. In St. Kitts and Nevis we did the Celebrity excursions, Nevis tour with lunch. The tour got delayed because our boat to Nevis broke down and we had to be rescued at sea. They extended the tour and we got to see and enjoy everything on the tour including lots of beach time. Someone must have complained about the boat breakdown because we all got our money refunded for the tour. In Antigua we took a taxi to Dickenson’s Bay beach where we met up with some friends who were staying at a resort on the beach. All the beaches on Antigua are beautiful and we loved our day there. Taxis are just $3 per person to Dickenson’s Bay. In St. Lucia we did the Celebrity excursion that was a Segway tour and beach. It was lots of fun and they tour operator took good care of us and made sure we all knew how to operate our Segway before we departed. Lots of beautiful views enroute. In Barbados we booked a highlights tour through the Shipmate app. It was excellent and we saw lots of the island with some great scenic views. We’ve booked other tours through Shipmate and they always been excellent. The stateroom shower was spacious, and the bathroom well laid out. The Constellation Lounge at the front of the ship, Deck 11, is a beautiful space and particularly nice on scenic cruises like one we did in South America. The shows were typical cruise shows with singers and dancers. One night was a sixties retro boy band. They were very good. The Fair to Bad The ship is getting tired and long overdue for some updates. Our stateroom had missing tiles in the shower, hooks that were broken and well worn furniture. We went through 7 sea passes each as they failed daily. The sea passes were nowhere near our phones. It is a known issue as there was always someone else at guest services getting their sea passes replaced. This class of ship is an odd design and there are some decks where you can’t get from one end to the other. The staterooms have much less storage and lighting options than a Radiance class balcony stateroom. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity seem to want to fill every corner of their ship with noise and activity, particularly on sea days. It’s one area where HAL outshines them. I have no need to be entertained and love to sit and read. It’s one of the reasons we always get a balcony room as it is often the only place to get away for quiet. Even the hallways normally have music being played over the speakers. There is a small Library that can be respite, but there is no view. The internal motto of the Royal Caribbean brands is Revenue, Reviews and Repeat business. I think there was a fourth “R”, but I can’t remember what it is. There is constantly people trying to sell you stuff. Almost all the paper dropped in your room is ads, and even the daily cruise info is mostly ads. It takes some effort to find the basic info you need. They now robocall your voicemail so you have to go through annoying sales messages to get to any important voicemails. One of the robocall ads even marked itself as urgent. It’s kind of sad, because it’s becoming more and more tacky. I expect this kind of thing from Carnival not Celebrity. They no longer publish the daily newspaper for different countries. Guest Services claimed it has something to do with “save the waves,” although the volume of ads on paper being dropped in our room makes this argument not true. It’s likely just cost cutting. Celebrity continues the inconvenient practice of having most of their Shore Excursions meeting in the theatre at the front of the ship. It creates bottlenecks in the stairs and elevators and was a real pain for our fellow cruiser with a knee injury who had to walk all the way to the opposite end of the ship and then back to the middle to get off. As with our experience on Infinity in January of 2019, the shore excursion staff don’t really care. Thankfully HAL and even RCI don’t do this. In fact, I organized an Alaskan cruise for 10 last summer and we chose HAL because I wouldn’t put the older folks in our party through this. I’m working on a Baltic Cruise for about 15 people in 2020 and will likely go with another cruise line. We have a Celebrity cruise booked in January of 2020 and will use Shipmate for all our excursions. We looked into going with Celebrity on a Baltic cruise in 2020 but in addition to the Shore Excursions issues, their pricing was about double an equivalent cruise on a RCI Radiance Class ship. They were also substantially higher than HAL, which is a very similar product. We are not heavy drinkers, so even with less included on an RCI cruise, the savings is substantial. The Captains Club loyalty program is essentially useless until you get to the Elite level. The only “perk” I could have used was one scoop of Gelato. We are at the Select level. There were some activities on board like meet and greets with the senior officers, but that didn’t interest us. Royal Caribbean offers much more even at lower levels than we are at. I belong to a number of excellent loyalty programs that actually motivate me to be loyal. This one provides no motivation in my decisions about future bookings. The Internet was spotty, particularly in our room. It seemed to work best in public spaces. At the end of the day, we choose our cruises based on the itinerary first, price second and brand third. There are lots of great options for cruising out there. From my perspective Celebrity seems very pricey compared to others, for what they offer. For the Caribbean, cruises out of San Juan are just excellent as the Eastern and Southern Caribbean islands are stunningly beautiful and fairly stable and safe. We had a great cruise in spite of the few areas where Celebrity could improve. In summary, we had a great week and enjoyed all the ports of call.

New Years Cruise in the Eastern Caribbean

Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by chisholmag

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Four of us cruised on Celebrity Summit departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico on Saturday December 29th, 2018. It was a 7 night cruise returning to San Juan. Ports of call were St. Thomas, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados. We have sailed before on Celebrity, Disney, Holland America and Royal Caribbean, on Royal Caribbean the most.

Our favourite class of ship remains Royal Caribbean’s Radiance Class.

On this cruise both couples stayed in a Concierge class room, 8th deck aft. It ended up being the perfect location as one of our group had a knee injury and it was close to the elevators to the dining room and buffet.

Because this was a holiday cruise there were more children and youth than what are normally on a Celebrity cruise.

The Good

The food on Celebrity ships remains excellent in all the included venues. They have speciality restaurants but we didn’t bother with them. Food is one area where Celebrity seems to outshine their competitors.

The senior staff were quite visible and very friendly.

As with every cruise I have taken, the wait staff and room stewards were excellent.

We love San Juan and stayed 2 days before and after at the Sheraton Old San Juan. It is great place close to everything and for Canadians, there is a Scotiabank ATM around the corner in the CVS drug store, so there are fee free withdrawals for Tangerine and Scotiabank customers.

Cruisers out of San Juan tend to be great folks to cruise with.

The ports of call are all excellent out of San Juan. Every day is a new island and they all have lots to see and do.

St. Thomas is always a busy port so we normally take the “St. John on your own” tour and go to Trunk Bay, one of the most stunning beaches in the Caribbean. Thanks to the US government's partial shut down, there was no entrance fee this time. All of the other concessions, including chair rentals were open. Trunk Bay is much less crowded than the St. Thomas beaches when lots of ships are in port.

In St. Kitts and Nevis we did the Celebrity excursions, Nevis tour with lunch. The tour got delayed because our boat to Nevis broke down and we had to be rescued at sea. They extended the tour and we got to see and enjoy everything on the tour including lots of beach time. Someone must have complained about the boat breakdown because we all got our money refunded for the tour.

In Antigua we took a taxi to Dickenson’s Bay beach where we met up with some friends who were staying at a resort on the beach. All the beaches on Antigua are beautiful and we loved our day there. Taxis are just $3 per person to Dickenson’s Bay.

In St. Lucia we did the Celebrity excursion that was a Segway tour and beach. It was lots of fun and they tour operator took good care of us and made sure we all knew how to operate our Segway before we departed. Lots of beautiful views enroute.

In Barbados we booked a highlights tour through the Shipmate app. It was excellent and we saw lots of the island with some great scenic views. We’ve booked other tours through Shipmate and they always been excellent.

The stateroom shower was spacious, and the bathroom well laid out.

The Constellation Lounge at the front of the ship, Deck 11, is a beautiful space and particularly nice on scenic cruises like one we did in South America.

The shows were typical cruise shows with singers and dancers. One night was a sixties retro boy band. They were very good.

The Fair to Bad

The ship is getting tired and long overdue for some updates. Our stateroom had missing tiles in the shower, hooks that were broken and well worn furniture. We went through 7 sea passes each as they failed daily. The sea passes were nowhere near our phones. It is a known issue as there was always someone else at guest services getting their sea passes replaced.

This class of ship is an odd design and there are some decks where you can’t get from one end to the other. The staterooms have much less storage and lighting options than a Radiance class balcony stateroom.

Royal Caribbean and Celebrity seem to want to fill every corner of their ship with noise and activity, particularly on sea days. It’s one area where HAL outshines them. I have no need to be entertained and love to sit and read. It’s one of the reasons we always get a balcony room as it is often the only place to get away for quiet. Even the hallways normally have music being played over the speakers. There is a small Library that can be respite, but there is no view.

The internal motto of the Royal Caribbean brands is Revenue, Reviews and Repeat business. I think there was a fourth “R”, but I can’t remember what it is. There is constantly people trying to sell you stuff. Almost all the paper dropped in your room is ads, and even the daily cruise info is mostly ads. It takes some effort to find the basic info you need. They now robocall your voicemail so you have to go through annoying sales messages to get to any important voicemails. One of the robocall ads even marked itself as urgent. It’s kind of sad, because it’s becoming more and more tacky. I expect this kind of thing from Carnival not Celebrity.

They no longer publish the daily newspaper for different countries. Guest Services claimed it has something to do with “save the waves,” although the volume of ads on paper being dropped in our room makes this argument not true. It’s likely just cost cutting.

Celebrity continues the inconvenient practice of having most of their Shore Excursions meeting in the theatre at the front of the ship. It creates bottlenecks in the stairs and elevators and was a real pain for our fellow cruiser with a knee injury who had to walk all the way to the opposite end of the ship and then back to the middle to get off. As with our experience on Infinity in January of 2019, the shore excursion staff don’t really care. Thankfully HAL and even RCI don’t do this. In fact, I organized an Alaskan cruise for 10 last summer and we chose HAL because I wouldn’t put the older folks in our party through this. I’m working on a Baltic Cruise for about 15 people in 2020 and will likely go with another cruise line. We have a Celebrity cruise booked in January of 2020 and will use Shipmate for all our excursions.

We looked into going with Celebrity on a Baltic cruise in 2020 but in addition to the Shore Excursions issues, their pricing was about double an equivalent cruise on a RCI Radiance Class ship. They were also substantially higher than HAL, which is a very similar product. We are not heavy drinkers, so even with less included on an RCI cruise, the savings is substantial.

The Captains Club loyalty program is essentially useless until you get to the Elite level. The only “perk” I could have used was one scoop of Gelato. We are at the Select level. There were some activities on board like meet and greets with the senior officers, but that didn’t interest us. Royal Caribbean offers much more even at lower levels than we are at. I belong to a number of excellent loyalty programs that actually motivate me to be loyal. This one provides no motivation in my decisions about future bookings.

The Internet was spotty, particularly in our room. It seemed to work best in public spaces.

At the end of the day, we choose our cruises based on the itinerary first, price second and brand third. There are lots of great options for cruising out there. From my perspective Celebrity seems very pricey compared to others, for what they offer.

For the Caribbean, cruises out of San Juan are just excellent as the Eastern and Southern Caribbean islands are stunningly beautiful and fairly stable and safe. We had a great cruise in spite of the few areas where Celebrity could improve.

In summary, we had a great week and enjoyed all the ports of call.
chisholmag’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Celebrity Summit price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Concierge Class 1
Cabin C1 8177
Nice shower and well laid out washroom. Less storage than Royal Caribbean equivalent rooms and poor lighting options. Less storage than Royal Caribbean staterooms. Balcony furniture was nice. Room is in need of upgrades with missing tiles in the shower and broken hooks and worn out furniture. Room key failed daily.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews