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Celebrity does a really good job. It runs a wonderful ship. For instance, we disembarked in every port by 8 a.m. and no one had to re-board until 5 p.m. - and sometimes later. Everything ran on time and everything worked like it was supposed to. There was a Norwegian ship in St. Kitts that had supposedly lost a generator. For some strange reason, that justified making the ship sail more slowly and which in turn cut down on those guests' port time. Also, they said their cabins were warm. I have heard many stories like that related to Carnival and Norwegian ships. I have never experienced or heard about anything like that on Celebrity ships. Another plus to this cruise is that cruising from San Juan is a great way to go for travelers to the windward and leeward islands in the eastern Caribbean. Embarkation The pier used by Celebrity in San Juan (the Pan-American pier) offers and especially accessible and quick boarding process. While the facilities are not as new as those in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, the boarding experience is much better. Ship Experiences Food and Dining 5 out of 5 The quality of the food in the main dining room was quite good. It is improved from my experience last year on the Celebrity Reflection. However, the older design of the Summit’s Ocean View Café is not as good. It’s overall smaller but the food is spread out over a much larger area. The specialty dining continues to be very good. Onboard Activities Celebrity has fewer enrichment activities for adults than I would like. Also, for teens older than 17 years (Celebrity offers this group its X-Club), there are very few organized activities even though this New Year's sailing had a fair number of 18 to 25-year-olds on board. Entertainment Very good. The Celebrity singers and dancers were better than last year. The musicians were especially good. However, the visiting performers were not quite as strong as my Celebrity Reflection cruise last year. Service and Staff Absolutely wonderful staff. Celebrity always shines in this area but the staff on the Celebrity Summit is especially good. Since it's one of Celebrity's older ships, it's the opposite of what I thought I would see. I expected a good staff but thought the best and most experienced staff would be on Celebrity's newer and bigger ships. Apparently, that's not how things work at Celebrity. Ship Quality Extremely clean with a very modern and fresh feel. Since the Summit is almost 20 years old, the ship’s condition was the biggest surprise to me. Also, the Summit is very well-maintained. I never once came across anything that did not work properly and never once saw an out-of-order sign.

Expectations Beater

Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by RWilbourn

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Trip Details
Celebrity does a really good job. It runs a wonderful ship. For instance, we disembarked in every port by 8 a.m. and no one had to re-board until 5 p.m. - and sometimes later.

Everything ran on time and everything worked like it was supposed to. There was a Norwegian ship in St. Kitts that had supposedly lost a generator. For some strange reason, that justified making the ship sail more slowly and which in turn cut down on those guests' port time. Also, they said their cabins were warm. I have heard many stories like that related to Carnival and Norwegian ships. I have never experienced or heard about anything like that on Celebrity ships. Another plus to this cruise is that cruising from San Juan is a great way to go for travelers to the windward and leeward islands in the eastern Caribbean.

Embarkation

The pier used by Celebrity in San Juan (the Pan-American pier) offers and especially accessible and quick boarding process. While the facilities are not as new as those in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, the boarding experience is much better.

Ship Experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5

The quality of the food in the main dining room was quite good. It is improved from my experience last year on the Celebrity Reflection. However, the older design of the Summit’s Ocean View Café is not as good. It’s overall smaller but the food is spread out over a much larger area. The specialty dining continues to be very good.

Onboard Activities

Celebrity has fewer enrichment activities for adults than I would like. Also, for teens older than 17 years (Celebrity offers this group its X-Club), there are very few organized activities even though this New Year's sailing had a fair number of 18 to 25-year-olds on board.

Entertainment

Very good. The Celebrity singers and dancers were better than last year. The musicians were especially good. However, the visiting performers were not quite as strong as my Celebrity Reflection cruise last year.

Service and Staff

Absolutely wonderful staff. Celebrity always shines in this area but the staff on the Celebrity Summit is especially good. Since it's one of Celebrity's older ships, it's the opposite of what I thought I would see. I expected a good staff but thought the best and most experienced staff would be on Celebrity's newer and bigger ships. Apparently, that's not how things work at Celebrity.

Ship Quality

Extremely clean with a very modern and fresh feel. Since the Summit is almost 20 years old, the ship’s condition was the biggest surprise to me. Also, the Summit is very well-maintained. I never once came across anything that did not work properly and never once saw an out-of-order sign.
RWilbourn’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Ages 16+
Service
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Cabin Review

Inside Stateroom 9
Cabin 09
Very clean and fresh. The inside cabins are smaller than on the Solstice class ships but more efficiently designed so the smaller space was not that noticeable. However, the Summit's showers are a little small for anyone over 200 pounds.
Deck 11 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Island Tour
    The best thing we did during our leeward and windward islands cruise is tour Nelson's Dockyard in Antigua. It's inclusion as a UNESCO World heritage site is justified. Unfortunately, it's located some distance from the cruise port. We got a taxi driver to take us and there were at least a hundred to choose from. But if you aren't on the adventurous side (or you're worried about getting back to the ship on time), this would be the one excursion I would consider booking through the cruise line.

    After our tour, we walked out to the end of the boat pier where the huge sailboats are docked despite the sign saying boat passengers only. We walked up to admire the boats which had lots of people lounging on board these mega-sailing-yachts with no problem. I recommend visitors next walk on the trail to English Harbour pointe.

    Nelson's Dockyard is a great area to have lunch. There are many wonderful hotels and restaurants in the area. Most of the restaurants are expensive but many are really good. We then went to Shirley Heights Lookout. (There is a restaurant on top but it was closed when we were there.) The Lookout has amazing views and is so close to Nelson's Dockyard, missing it would be a crime. On our way back to the port, we went to Jolly Beach for a couple of hours. It is just one of Antigua's many wonderful beaches. Next time we go, we plan to ride horses on the beach. Also, we passed a zip-line set up that looked like a lot of fun.
    View All 174 Island Tour Reviews
  • Island Tour
    Paid a taxi $200 to drive three of us around the island for about 4 hours. This is a good idea if get your driver committed up front to include time for: 1) a one hour tour of Nicholas Abby, 2) a 30 minute ride on the nearby sugar cane train, 3) a brief stop at Cherry Tree Hill Overlook, 4) a 15 minute photo stop at Bathsheba Beach, 5) a one hour visit to one of the many gardens, 6) a 5 minute photo stop at Rihanna's childhood home, and 7) to drop you off at a beach near your ship. Our taxi fee did not include admission to any of the foregoing.

    I was not impressed with Bridgetown. Other than being more urban feeling, the restaurants there and the shopping at the cruise port are sub-par.
    View All 136 Island Tour Reviews
  • San Juan
    A walking tour of old San Juan is a good choice if you are in pretty good shape. Arrange it yourself before your cruise. There's no need to go through a cruise line and that probably complicates things. Tripolin Tours' is good in that the guide is very knowledgeable. However, the guide is very factual and lacks a sense of humor.

    Note that in San Juan, Uber works great. We used it at least 8 times and never waited for more than 5 minutes.
    View All 3,925 San Juan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's San Juan Cruise Port Review
  • Brimstone Hill Tour
    Brimstone Hill Fortress is not very close to the cruise ship pier but is the best thing to see/do in St. Kitts. It's quite remarkable and affords some impressive views. I want to go again someday but my family says once is enough.
    View All 60 Brimstone Hill Tour Reviews
  • Island tour
    Not too much to do on this small island. Fortunately, there is great shopping right at the cruise port. We went to Brimstone Hill Fortress which is not very close to the cruise ship pier. I thought it was very good. I want to go again someday but my family says once is enough. We also went to Romney Manor (once is definitely enough) and a beach (that was crowded, expensive and average). St. Kitts is a volcanic island so some beaches have white sand but many don't.
    View All 277 Island tour Reviews
  • Scuba Diving
    We went scuba diving in Soufriere Marine Park. If you are a certified scuba diver, that is probably the best thing to do in St. Lucia. St Lucia's diving is especially good in the Marine Park and the 40 minute dive boat ride there is interesting and full of beautiful coastline with lots of impressive yachts anchored along it. However, participating in the dive trip which allows you to ride in a dive boat from the cruise ship pier to Soufriere requires reserving spots weeks in advance. Alternately, you can take a taxi to Soufriere but it's a longer trip and the road is bad. Also, you miss the boat ride which is an excursion in itself.

    We used Steve's Scuba which is a decent operator. I wouldn't mind using it again. However, Steve's Scuba is a small operator with only two dive boats and neither one is very big. Next time I might try someone else with a bigger dive boat.

    The town of Castries is dirty and primitive. It has a traditional Caribbean market that is large and interesting. That market even includes an animal butchering area where you can buy meats that were walking around earlier in the day. But otherwise, Castries is quite forgettable.
    View All 7 Scuba Diving Reviews
  • Magen Bay Beach
    Megan's Beach is the best beach we saw anywhere on our cruise. I actually have a friend who got married there. (However, I've been next door to St. John before and it has the prettiest beaches I have ever seen anywhere.)

    Transportation around the US Virgin Islands (and also Puerto Rico) is much more efficient than on any of the other islands we went to. Uber does not work on St. Thomas but the open-air buses on St. Thomas get you around quickly and inexpensively.
    View All 247 Magen Bay Beach Reviews
  • Ziplining
    Lots to do in St. Thomas. We did the Tree Limin Zip Line Adventure and it was very good. However, even though we booked it ourselves weeks in advance (advance booking is necessary), it was over $120 per person. Also, it's a ways from the cruise ship. But on the good side, it's quite close to Megan's Beach. Megan's Beach is the best beach we saw anywhere on our cruise. Transportation around the US Virgin Islands (and also Puerto Rico) is much more efficient than on any of the other islands we went to. Uber does not work on St. Thomas but the open-air buses on St. Thomas get you around quickly and inexpensively.
    View All 51 Ziplining Reviews