1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Celebrity Summit
Celebrity Summit December 21, 2019 – January 4, 2020 Caribbean B2B Sailing You can see photos from this cruise and our other sailings by following the link on our Cruise Critic profile page: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/profile/35108-jgnova/ A change in winter break itineraries sailing from Baltimore, our favorite home port, forced us to look at other options for our annual trek south. After a bit of research, we decided to do a back-to-back on Celebrity Summit from San Juan, which had two different itineraries stopping at 9 islands over the two weeks, with one stop (plus the San Juan turnaround) duplicated. Embarkation / Disembarkation: Getting on the ship was amazingly fast. Instead of waiting in a line to then go to the check-in desk, we were sent to someone standing on our side of the desks. He scanned my boarding pass, decided to use my photo that I had uploaded, took a photo of DW, and sent us on our way up the escalator. We crossed the gangway, had our boarding passes scanned again on deck, and entered the ship on deck 4, where we were handed our boarding-day mimosa, and sent on to our cabin. Our seapass cards were in a pocket on the cabin door and we entered, staying long enough to stow our carry-on luggage. From there it was on to a Concierge Class lunch in the MDR, which was delicious and gave us an opportunity to sit and chat with a few fellow passengers. I would guess it took us less than 30 minutes from being dropped off by the taxi to being seated for lunch! Getting off the ship was equally efficient. We waited for them to call our number, took the elevator down to deck 4, and walked right off with no perceptible line. From there we walked through immigration, again with minimal delays, found our luggage, and were in a taxi within minutes. B2B Turnaround: This was our second time on a B2B from San Juan and they have really improved the process. Our previous experience required us to leave the cabin around 8, with no allowed return until the cabins were all ready for the next week, even though we were in the same cabin. Then we had to wait in a meeting room until the ship was cleared by the Customs people, walk off the ship after turning in our old seapass, wave our passports at the Immigration officer, and walk back on to pick up our new seapass, and wait until the cabins were opened. This year, those of us staying in the same cabin were allowed to stay there until around 9, when we went to the Sky Lounge, which had coffee/tea and pastries, and wait while they cleared the ship. We then swapped our old seapass cards for new ones (we got the old ones back the last night), waved our passports at the Immigration officer, and were free to wander the ship or return to our cabin. So much smoother! Ship: This cruise represented our fifth and sixth weeks on Summit, but our first after she was “Revolutionized.” Our previous sailings included both before and after her “Solsticization” in 2012. The various changes have been addressed elsewhere and I’ll focus on the subtleties that we noticed most. The library has been removed and we spotted a few books stuck in shelves in Rendezvous lounge and Cellar Masters between a few checker and chess sets. I think removing the library is a major loss as there have been several times on a cruise when I found books in the library that I wanted to read instead of what I brought on my e-book reader. The new layout also moved the Tuscan Grille entrance from near the mid-ship elevators and the atrium to the rear of the ship, hidden among cabins. This change, to create space to add more cabins, also removed the S.S. Normandie artifacts collection from the Tuscan Grille entrance and its contents were dispersed elsewhere on the ship. I am positive that on previous sailings I could find places to sit on deck away from the pool crowds and noise that were shaded but I could find nothing on this sailing other than the few covered seats near the movie screen. This left the Promenade Deck (4) as the only place I could reliably sit in a quiet and shady spot to read. Cabin: We were in 8134, a Concierge Class cabin about mid-way between the aft and mid-ship elevators and this was a great location for moving about the ship as the aft stairs (missing on Solstice class ships) were great for getting to the MDR and Oceanview café. The renovated cabin was bright and had more than enough storage for the two of us. The bathroom renovation added more shelf space and a bright night light that was extremely helpful. The only complaint we had about the cabin was that the switch for the bedside lamp on one side of the bed was not reachable from the bed, which we thought was strange – had the designer not actually tried sleeping in a cabin? Food: The food was as we remembered on previous Celebrity sailings – varied and delicious. Select dining is now on deck 4 with traditional dining on deck 5. The addition of Luminae meant that everyone with Select dining in the MDR had to enter through the starboard MDR entrance, resulting in a lot of traffic past the tables near the entrance. The service was excellent and the hostess was extremely helpful at helping guests stick with the same serving team every night. One benefit of this arrangement was that, even though we had Select Dining, we wound up sitting with clusters of the same people almost every night, allowing us to have more than cursory “who are you, where are you from, how many cruises have you taken” conversations. The new layout in the Oceanview Café was an excellent change from the old design and I found it less congested than that on Solstice class ships. The only complaint I have about the new layout was that the bakery section (with the croissants and breakfast pastries) was about as far from the omelet station as possible. The food and selections were excellent, as always. The buffet was rarely crowded, even on the last morning of the cruise. Entertainment: We did not go to the shows as we have consistently found the volume level to be louder than we find comfortable. Medical clinic: We experienced a medical problem necessitating a few visits to the clinic, during which we met with both intake nurses and both physicians. The care was excellent, thorough, and not as expensive as we anticipated – more in line with what we pay for a doctor visit at home. Ports: We had a mix of ship and private excursions: Week 1: St. Kitts: We have been to St. Kitts multiple times and have toured the island so we reserved a beach day at the Marriott at Frigates Bay and had no trouble getting a taxi in either direction. The beach was lovely and we had little trouble finding chaises under a cabana from which we could watch the waves. Aruba: This was our second trip to Aruba and had toured it on that earlier visit. The Casabari Rock Formation had fascinated me and I wanted to explore that further on this return visit. However, my research found another formation with petroglyphs, the Ayo Rock Formation, so that became our point of interest for this visit. We found a taxi at the pier and learned about the standard rates for each destination, which seemed reasonable (about $100 for the round trip and about a half hour to explore the rock formation. Unlike the better known (and closer to the port) Casabari Rock Formation, which appeared jammed with tourists when we drove by, the Ayo Rock Formation was almost empty – we were the fourth vehicle to park there. We had a great time exploring the structure with NO CROWDS! Curaçao: This was also our second visit and we used the ship excursion to the Hato Caves, which were fascinating because they were at a higher elevation and were quite warm. From there we toured the historic town of Willemstad after which we were free to wander and then walk across the floating bridge back to the port area. Bonaire: Another return visit after a previous tour, so we took a ship excursion that offered a semi-submersible tour of the reefs near Klein Bonaire, a small island across from the port area. This was a great way to see the reefs and fish without having to swim or even get wet! Week 2: Barbados: This was also a return trip for us, but our first time to tour, having walked around Bridgetown on our own on our previous visit. This time we took a ship excursion to Harrison’s Cave, which used an electric tram to guide the tourists around a huge cave formation and we thought it was a great trip. From there, the tour took us to a Highland overlook that gave us a view of the Atlantic-side beaches and then for a trip around the island to get an idea of the parts of the island we had not seen on our way back to the port. We walked on our own to the Pelican Crafts Village to see some local crafts, a place we had visited previously. Some of the work was extremely original and interesting, and a painting almost came home with us until we remembered airplane luggage limitations. St. Lucia: We had to skip our planned tour because of the previously mentioned health issue but have rebooked the tour for our next sailing that takes us there. Antigua: We booked a beach day at BeachLimerz, a place we had visited a year earlier, and enjoyed a day sitting on the beach and watching the waves and clouds. The owner arranged our taxi service in both directions and everything went quite smoothly. St. Kitts: We decided to stay on the ship and take advantage of the almost-empty ship to relax. I love watching the clouds and shadows wander across the mountains on St. Kitts and Nevis whenever we have been there. St. Thomas: I grabbed an open-air bus to Magens Bay and had a relaxing day enjoying the calm clear waters and lovely beach – and watching the pelicans swoop among the swimmers to grab their own lunch. Overall experience: This was a great vacation, with nine islands and three sea days, coupled with the great Celebrity service we’ve learned to enjoy. The weather was excellent with slightly rough seas only one evening and a little rain one afternoon.

Relaxing Holiday B2B in the Caribbean

Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by jgnova

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Concierge Class 3
Celebrity Summit

December 21, 2019 – January 4, 2020

Caribbean B2B Sailing

You can see photos from this cruise and our other sailings by following the link on our Cruise Critic profile page:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/profile/35108-jgnova/

A change in winter break itineraries sailing from Baltimore, our favorite home port, forced us to look at other options for our annual trek south. After a bit of research, we decided to do a back-to-back on Celebrity Summit from San Juan, which had two different itineraries stopping at 9 islands over the two weeks, with one stop (plus the San Juan turnaround) duplicated.

Embarkation / Disembarkation:

Getting on the ship was amazingly fast. Instead of waiting in a line to then go to the check-in desk, we were sent to someone standing on our side of the desks. He scanned my boarding pass, decided to use my photo that I had uploaded, took a photo of DW, and sent us on our way up the escalator. We crossed the gangway, had our boarding passes scanned again on deck, and entered the ship on deck 4, where we were handed our boarding-day mimosa, and sent on to our cabin. Our seapass cards were in a pocket on the cabin door and we entered, staying long enough to stow our carry-on luggage. From there it was on to a Concierge Class lunch in the MDR, which was delicious and gave us an opportunity to sit and chat with a few fellow passengers. I would guess it took us less than 30 minutes from being dropped off by the taxi to being seated for lunch!

Getting off the ship was equally efficient. We waited for them to call our number, took the elevator down to deck 4, and walked right off with no perceptible line. From there we walked through immigration, again with minimal delays, found our luggage, and were in a taxi within minutes.

B2B Turnaround:

This was our second time on a B2B from San Juan and they have really improved the process. Our previous experience required us to leave the cabin around 8, with no allowed return until the cabins were all ready for the next week, even though we were in the same cabin. Then we had to wait in a meeting room until the ship was cleared by the Customs people, walk off the ship after turning in our old seapass, wave our passports at the Immigration officer, and walk back on to pick up our new seapass, and wait until the cabins were opened.

This year, those of us staying in the same cabin were allowed to stay there until around 9, when we went to the Sky Lounge, which had coffee/tea and pastries, and wait while they cleared the ship. We then swapped our old seapass cards for new ones (we got the old ones back the last night), waved our passports at the Immigration officer, and were free to wander the ship or return to our cabin. So much smoother!

Ship:

This cruise represented our fifth and sixth weeks on Summit, but our first after she was “Revolutionized.” Our previous sailings included both before and after her “Solsticization” in 2012. The various changes have been addressed elsewhere and I’ll focus on the subtleties that we noticed most. The library has been removed and we spotted a few books stuck in shelves in Rendezvous lounge and Cellar Masters between a few checker and chess sets. I think removing the library is a major loss as there have been several times on a cruise when I found books in the library that I wanted to read instead of what I brought on my e-book reader. The new layout also moved the Tuscan Grille entrance from near the mid-ship elevators and the atrium to the rear of the ship, hidden among cabins. This change, to create space to add more cabins, also removed the S.S. Normandie artifacts collection from the Tuscan Grille entrance and its contents were dispersed elsewhere on the ship.

I am positive that on previous sailings I could find places to sit on deck away from the pool crowds and noise that were shaded but I could find nothing on this sailing other than the few covered seats near the movie screen. This left the Promenade Deck (4) as the only place I could reliably sit in a quiet and shady spot to read.

Cabin:

We were in 8134, a Concierge Class cabin about mid-way between the aft and mid-ship elevators and this was a great location for moving about the ship as the aft stairs (missing on Solstice class ships) were great for getting to the MDR and Oceanview café. The renovated cabin was bright and had more than enough storage for the two of us. The bathroom renovation added more shelf space and a bright night light that was extremely helpful. The only complaint we had about the cabin was that the switch for the bedside lamp on one side of the bed was not reachable from the bed, which we thought was strange – had the designer not actually tried sleeping in a cabin?

Food:

The food was as we remembered on previous Celebrity sailings – varied and delicious. Select dining is now on deck 4 with traditional dining on deck 5. The addition of Luminae meant that everyone with Select dining in the MDR had to enter through the starboard MDR entrance, resulting in a lot of traffic past the tables near the entrance. The service was excellent and the hostess was extremely helpful at helping guests stick with the same serving team every night. One benefit of this arrangement was that, even though we had Select Dining, we wound up sitting with clusters of the same people almost every night, allowing us to have more than cursory “who are you, where are you from, how many cruises have you taken” conversations.

The new layout in the Oceanview Café was an excellent change from the old design and I found it less congested than that on Solstice class ships. The only complaint I have about the new layout was that the bakery section (with the croissants and breakfast pastries) was about as far from the omelet station as possible. The food and selections were excellent, as always. The buffet was rarely crowded, even on the last morning of the cruise.

Entertainment: We did not go to the shows as we have consistently found the volume level to be louder than we find comfortable.

Medical clinic:

We experienced a medical problem necessitating a few visits to the clinic, during which we met with both intake nurses and both physicians. The care was excellent, thorough, and not as expensive as we anticipated – more in line with what we pay for a doctor visit at home.

Ports: We had a mix of ship and private excursions:

Week 1:

St. Kitts: We have been to St. Kitts multiple times and have toured the island so we reserved a beach day at the Marriott at Frigates Bay and had no trouble getting a taxi in either direction. The beach was lovely and we had little trouble finding chaises under a cabana from which we could watch the waves.

Aruba: This was our second trip to Aruba and had toured it on that earlier visit. The Casabari Rock Formation had fascinated me and I wanted to explore that further on this return visit. However, my research found another formation with petroglyphs, the Ayo Rock Formation, so that became our point of interest for this visit. We found a taxi at the pier and learned about the standard rates for each destination, which seemed reasonable (about $100 for the round trip and about a half hour to explore the rock formation. Unlike the better known (and closer to the port) Casabari Rock Formation, which appeared jammed with tourists when we drove by, the Ayo Rock Formation was almost empty – we were the fourth vehicle to park there. We had a great time exploring the structure with NO CROWDS!

Curaçao: This was also our second visit and we used the ship excursion to the Hato Caves, which were fascinating because they were at a higher elevation and were quite warm. From there we toured the historic town of Willemstad after which we were free to wander and then walk across the floating bridge back to the port area.

Bonaire: Another return visit after a previous tour, so we took a ship excursion that offered a semi-submersible tour of the reefs near Klein Bonaire, a small island across from the port area. This was a great way to see the reefs and fish without having to swim or even get wet!

Week 2:

Barbados: This was also a return trip for us, but our first time to tour, having walked around Bridgetown on our own on our previous visit. This time we took a ship excursion to Harrison’s Cave, which used an electric tram to guide the tourists around a huge cave formation and we thought it was a great trip. From there, the tour took us to a Highland overlook that gave us a view of the Atlantic-side beaches and then for a trip around the island to get an idea of the parts of the island we had not seen on our way back to the port. We walked on our own to the Pelican Crafts Village to see some local crafts, a place we had visited previously. Some of the work was extremely original and interesting, and a painting almost came home with us until we remembered airplane luggage limitations.

St. Lucia: We had to skip our planned tour because of the previously mentioned health issue but have rebooked the tour for our next sailing that takes us there.

Antigua: We booked a beach day at BeachLimerz, a place we had visited a year earlier, and enjoyed a day sitting on the beach and watching the waves and clouds. The owner arranged our taxi service in both directions and everything went quite smoothly.

St. Kitts: We decided to stay on the ship and take advantage of the almost-empty ship to relax. I love watching the clouds and shadows wander across the mountains on St. Kitts and Nevis whenever we have been there.

St. Thomas: I grabbed an open-air bus to Magens Bay and had a relaxing day enjoying the calm clear waters and lovely beach – and watching the pelicans swoop among the swimmers to grab their own lunch.

Overall experience: This was a great vacation, with nine islands and three sea days, coupled with the great Celebrity service we’ve learned to enjoy. The weather was excellent with slightly rough seas only one evening and a little rain one afternoon.
jgnova’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Celebrity Summit price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Concierge Class 3
Cabin C3 8134
8134 is a Concierge Class cabin about mid-way between the aft and mid-ship elevators and this was a great location for moving about the ship as the aft stairs (missing on Solstice class ships) were great for getting to the MDR and Oceanview café. The renovated cabin was bright and had more than enough storage for the two of us. The bathroom renovation added more shelf space and a bright night light that was extremely helpful. The only complaint we had about the cabin was that the switch for the bedside lamp on one side of the bed was not reachable from the bed, which we thought was strange – had the designer not actually tried sleeping in a cabin?
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Antigua
    We booked a beach day at BeachLimerz, a place we had visited a year earlier, and enjoyed a day sitting on the beach and watching the waves and clouds. The owner arranged our taxi service in both directions and everything went quite smoothly.
    View All 1,584 Antigua Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Antigua Cruise Port Review
  • Aruba
    This was our second trip to Aruba and had toured it on that earlier visit. The Casabari Rock Formation had fascinated me and I wanted to explore that further on this return visit. However, my research found another formation with petroglyphs, the Ayo Rock Formation, so that became our point of interest for this visit. We found a taxi at the pier and learned about the standard rates for each destination, which seemed reasonable (about $100 for the round trip and about a half hour to explore the rock formation. Unlike the better known (and closer to the port) Casabari Rock Formation, which appeared jammed with tourists when we drove by, the Ayo Rock Formation was almost empty – we were the fourth vehicle to park there. We had a great time exploring the structure with NO CROWDS!
    View All 1,691 Aruba Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Aruba Cruise Port Review
  • Harrison's Cave
    This was also a return trip for us, but our first time to tour, having walked around Bridgetown on our own on our previous visit. This time we took a ship excursion to Harrison's Cave, which used an electric tram to guide the tourists around a huge cave formation and we thought it was a great trip. From there, the tour took us to a Highland overlook that gave us a view of the Atlantic-side beaches and then for a trip around the island to get an idea of the parts of the island we had not seen on our way back to the port. We walked on our own to the Pelican Crafts Village to see some local crafts, a place we had visited previously. Some of the work was extremely original and interesting, and a painting almost came home with us until we remembered airplane luggage limitations
    View All 87 Harrison's Cave Reviews
  • Bonaire
    Another return visit after a previous tour, so we took a ship excursion that offered a semi-submersible tour of the reefs near Klein Bonaire, a small island across from the port area. This was a great way to see the reefs and fish without having to swim or even get wet!
    View All 13,779 Bonaire Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Bonaire Cruise Port Review
  • Cave Tour
    This was also our second visit and we used the ship excursion to the Hato Caves, which were fascinating because they were at a higher elevation and were quite warm. From there we toured the historic town of Willemstad after which we were free to wander and then walk across the floating bridge back to the port area.
    View All 71 Cave Tour Reviews
  • St. Kitts (Port Zante)
    We have been to St. Kitts multiple times and have toured the island so we reserved a beach day at the Marriott at Frigates Bay and had no trouble getting a taxi in either direction. The beach was lovely and we had little trouble finding chaises under a cabana from which we could watch the waves.
    View All 1,740 St. Kitts (Port Zante) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Kitts (Port Zante) Cruise Port Review
  • St. Thomas
    : I grabbed an open-air bus to Magens Bay and had a relaxing day enjoying the calm clear waters and lovely beach – and watching the pelicans swoop among the swimmers to grab their own lunch.
    View All 4,759 St. Thomas Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Thomas Cruise Port Review