First let me thank all of the cruise critic members, especially those on the Celebrity board, who asked so many great questions, and those who provided all the answers. Your efforts aided immeasurably to our experience. THANK YOU! Now onto the review.
My DW and I had never cruised. When we retired 2 years ago we planned a cruise on Celebrity for March 2019. We had never been on a cruise and were keen to find out if we liked the experience. However we received a great offer on our house and choose this time to downsize so the cruise had to be postponed. We re-booked for 2020 on Celebrity Summit with a similar itinerary.
We sailed out of San Juan and choose to fly in a day earlier to avoid any flight issues. United came up trumps and upgraded us so we were very happy with the flight. We stayed at the Caribe Hilton on points. It is a great location near the airport and the cruise port as well as being right on the water.
After a pleasant nights sleep and a good breakfast we headed to the port around 11:30. Embarkation was a breeze with no lines at all. We left our luggage with the porters and headed straight to lunch. We were travelling in Concierge Class so lunch was provided in the MDR. Good start as we both enjoyed the light lunch. After that we had a quick look around the ship to get our bearings and then headed to our cabin.
We had an aft cabin (8185). It was great. All the furnishings were in good condition, there was more than adequate storage and there were plenty of hangers. We also like the design of the bathroom. All in all it never felt cramped for us. And the balcony was huge! We knew it was going to be larger than average but we were surprised by its depth.
As for dining we tried many of the restaurants on board. We used the buffet for breakfast and lunch. The MDR for two dinners. Tuscan Grill twice and Sushi on Five twice as well. Overall we were very pleased withe the experiences which often exceeded our expectations. The MDR was pretty much as expected. Decent food, rather like you would find in a large hotel for a convention. Perhaps a little bland. The specialty restaurants were different entirely. Very good food, full of flavor with excellent service We were very impressed. As good if not better than many land based restaurants we have visited. Only small disappointment were the steaks we had on our second visit to Tuscan. Tender but not as much flavor as we were expecting.
We really enjoyed all the live music on board. Almost wherever you went in the evening there was a musician playing or singing. We especially enjoyed the music as 'sail away' time from the Sunset Bar. We could sit on our balcony staring out to port with the pleasant sound in the background. One of the trip highlights. We also enjoyed the shows in the Theatre. The live band, singers and dancers made for some memorable experiences. On a slightly different note we also enjoyed the Celebrity Channel 'Daily Show'. We watched it while getting ready in the morning and it really set up our day. Kudos to the cruise Director Eddy and Activity Manager, Brittany.
Service was terrific throughout the ship. We were especially pleased with our cabin attendant. She seemed to have a ninja like quality to sneak into our room when we were out to transform it back to its original state.
We had not been to any of the islands on the itinerary. So our days followed a similar patterns. Up early to the gym (which was great BTW) ,breakfast, back to the cabin, then taking an island bus tour for 3 or 4 hours. This way we got a flavor for the islands but we did miss out on other activities that were available, like snorkeling, horse riding or zip lining. Next time :-)
Overall as you can tell we had a great experience and cant wait to go cruising again!
Already said a good amount about the cabin in my main review above. We loved the color palette used, very much to our taste. The bed was comfortable if a little firm. There were enough plugs for all our gadgets plus CPAP machine. Storage was good and the bathroom was well designed. As I've already said the balcony was huge and a great place to lounge about if the mood takes you.