Celebrity Summit Review: Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by luvtravel88

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Celebrity Summit Review

Sail Date: March 2011
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan
My husband and I really enjoy cruising and have been on several cruises on several different lines. We had sailed on the Celebrity Summit five years ago to Alaska and really liked the ship.

We chose this cruise based on its itinerary and were excited that we would be able to cruise the Summit again.

We flew into San Juan a couple of days before the cruise, to be able to spend some time wondering the streets of Old San Juan. We stayed at the Doubletree San Juan. The hotel was very nice, but is not near the Old San Juan or Condado area. It was a $20 taxi ride to get into the Old City. We chose to stay there because we are Hilton members and were able to stay free with accumulated points. It was very easy to get taxis there and we would stay there again.

On the morning of March 19, we left our hotel, to arrive at the Pan American Terminal. We arrived at 11:50, were given some documents to fill out and sat down in an empty section to wait our turn to board. We had not More been sitting for a minute when we were told to go to check in. There were two other sections of chairs that were jammed full of people waiting, that had arrived before us and I wasn't sure why they weren't allowed to check in first. We just were lucky I guess.

We had checked in online, so all we had to do was give the check in person our filled out document, which was just asking you if you had been sick recently, give him our credit card and get our Sea Pass. This acts as your room key, ID and onboard credit card. We were on the ship by 12:10. Amazing!!

The ship itself is in need of a facelift but we knew that it is going into dry dock in January and is going to be upgraded to a Solstice Class ship. Knowing this, we kind of closed our eyes to things that needed repair. There are many areas along the rails on the perimeter of the ship that are rusted, the carpeting in many places is faded and much of the wood railing that you lean on around the edge of the ship needs to be resealed. Some of the furniture is worn, but not horribly and we noticed that some new furniture was coming onboard with us. That being said, the ship is very well laid out, it is very easy to get around and the spaces have been well used. We never felt crowded, even at the pool and at times we wondered where all the people were. We never had a problem finding an empty table at the buffets and we were always able to find empty lounge chairs somewhere by the pool.

There were many activities to keep you occupied if you desired. The ship offered various activities in one of their large lounges everyday that we were at sea. They were the same choices everyday however. We didn't participate in these, as we left the ship each day. They had additional activities on the at sea day if your wanted to participate.

On this ship they had an expert in forensics and there were hour long lectures each afternoon about various aspects of using forensics in court. There were also lectures about navigation and astronomy.

There were several lectures about choosing wines, as well a a couple of days where there were cooking demonstrations with wine pairings.

There was live music everyday in the afternoon around the pool deck.

Everyday there was a different movie in the theatre if you wanted to do that.

The entertainment in the evening was excellent! The Celebrity performers did three complete shows. The people performing were very talented and the five "stars" all had really good voices. The costumes were fabulous and there were many costume changes in each show. Within these shows were a pair of acrobats that have been with the Celebrity line for a while. They were also phenomenal.

There was a comedian that performed one evening and he was hilarious. He did a late night, adult show one other evening in a smaller venue that I wish we could have seen, but we needed our beauty sleep.

Another night there was a guest singer that was also wonderful. He had a large range and his voice was very pure and powerful.

The smaller lounges had an acapella group which was very good, a trio that played standards, and a pianist/vocalist.

The service was excellent. Everyone that we encountered on the ship was friendly and helpful. We called for an ice bucket change two afternoons and a new one was brought each time within five minutes and room service that we ordered one morning that was to be brought between 8 and 8:30, was on our table at 8:00. Our room steward was great and checked with us everyday to make sure we didn't need anything. We chose Select dining so we had a different waiter each night, but all of them were also very solicitous.

There were two formal nights and the rest were business casual. The majority of the men now wear a dark suit and tie on formal nights instead of a tux, but there were several men we saw in tuxes( my husband included!). Women still dress up on formal night. Not many in long dresses, but there was a lot of sequins.

Casual nights were khaki's and collared shirts for the men, and dress pants with nice tops or a casual dress for women. You didn't see anyone in jeans in the evening.

The food was all acceptable. With the exception of a soup at dinner, that wasn't very good, all the food was fine.

We ate at the buffet for breakfast and lunch everyday. There are plenty of choices. At breakfast they have made to order omelets, which I had most days, but the variety of food was great.

The lunch buffet also had many choices. Many people have complained about the amount of Indian inspired food, and there is some of that, but there are plenty of other choices. The pizza is particularly good.

We wanted a cheeseburger one day, so got lunch at the outdoor cafe by the pool. It was very good and there were also hot dogs, fries, onion rings and fixings for nachos.

We had dinner every night in the dining room except one night that we at at The Normandie Restaurant. The food in the dining room was good, but nothing was particularly memorable. The food was always beautifully displayed on the plate, the portions were perfect as there are so many courses and all of it was acceptably tasty.

There was also dinner buffet is you wanted and a sushi bar from 5-9 each evening.

Our dinner in The Normandie Restaurant was exceptional! It is an additional $35 per person but worth every penny. Everything we put in our mouths was superb.

The disembarkation process was very easy also. We had placed our luggage outside our stateroom the night before.(Be sure to take a carry on bag to place some items the next morning.) We arrived in a lounge at the time we were given to wait to get off the ship. We arrived a couple of minutes before our 9:00 time and were taken off the ship at 9:00. Once off the ship, you walk into a large warehouse where you pick up your luggage. The longest wait was to go through customs, which took about 30 minutes. Then it was to a taxi and to the airport. It was $25 for the taxi ride, including tip.

As an aside, be sure to sign up for the Roll Call Party. The ship held a very nice party for us. There was champagne and several crew members were there. There were probably 50 people there and it was fun to put names and faces to peoples Cruise Critic handles. The ship also invited everyone from the Roll Call to a bridge tour during our at sea day which was the highlight of my husband's day.

Tobago was the last stop on our itinerary and as it's not an option under port reviews, I'll review it here.

We chose to do the Argyle Falls excursion through the ship. It was a very nice 4 1/2 hour tour.

We left about 9:00 for the hour and 1/2 drive to the falls. Our guide gave us a lot of commentary about the island, it's history and what we were seeing on the way. Once we arrived at the falls, there was a 20-30 minute flat walk to reach the falls. As it had rained the day before, some of the dirt path was soggy and muddy. Once we reached the falls, you had to traverse a creek and climb over several large boulders. The guide was very helpful with that. The falls were beautiful and the pool below was a nice place to swim. The drive back to the pier only took about an hour as we were going mostly down hill.

We arrived back at the ship about 1:30 and stayed onboard. Less

Published 03/28/11

Cabin review: 2C6048 Deluxe Ocean View with Balcony 2C

We were in cabin 6048. This was an oceanview room with a balcony. This particular room is on the corner of the ship where the room next to ours juts out, widening the ship there. That meant that our room had a larger balcony than the others on our floor but it was triangular shaped instead of rectangular. There are evidently 2 of these rooms per floor. Having a bit of extra room outside was nice. There was ample space for storage for two people, with a large two door closet and a third door that opened to a 6 drawer dresser, with a tall shelf on top. The safe was on a shelf above in this closet. There are 2 drawers on either side of the bed and there are 2 shelves on either side of a mirrored table. There was a usable shelf above the TV and the refrigerator is below the TV. You have to ask for it to be unlocked, but then there is a drawer for storage above the refrigerator. There are 2 outlets by the mirrored table and the ice bucket and fresh water with glasses are sitting on here as well. There was a small couch with a glass table near the sliding glass door, for additional seating. The room was laid out well and had plenty of room, but needs updating badly. The carpet on the floor is faded and worn with stains. The curtains have noticeable repaired areas instead of being replaced and the couch, although comfortable was in need of a good cleaning. The bathroom was small by standards we are accustomed to, but it was sufficient. There were 2 shelves over the sink and plenty of under the sink cabinet space. The shower is of adequate size, but the shower curtain leans in on you as you are showering, taking up space and causing a constant fight with the curtain. Even magnets at the bottom of the curtain to hold it to the bottom of the shower would help. The room was far enough away from the elevators to be quiet. The only noise was from inconsiderate people walking down the hallways and talking loudly late at night. We couldn't hear any noise coming from above or below our room. The room was pretty forward on the ship and was about 5 rooms aft of the forward elevators. It was a very smooth cruise without a lot of harsh movement except for one evening and morning where the seas were a bit rockier. The room was much more comfortable as far as movement when you compare it to the level of movement at the back of the ship.

Read All Deluxe Ocean View with Balcony 2C (2C) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Today we did a private excursion with Bumpiing Tours. I contacted Levi about 3 months before and made a reservation. I then put a message out on Cruise Critic for anyone that wanted to join us. We ended up having 14 on our bus, which was the maximum and we also filled 2 other 12 passenger vans of people from the ship. The roads here are also very winding, so be sure to take your motion sickness medicine. The tour was called Roseau Valley Treasures and it truly was. Levi took us to Titou Gorge first, where he helped all of us traverse the Gorge. It was a very cold swim, but you became accustomed to it quickly. It was quite beautiful! We then went to Trafalgar Falls, which was a strenuous climb. If you have bad knees or legs, it would be a very difficult climb. The twin falls were very beautiful and worth the climb. You then could climb a bit farther and find several hot pools where you could go in and soak. Levi then drove us through the Botanical Gardens and then on to Morne Bruce, which was a beautiful overlook to take some great pictures. If you chose, Levi would then take you on to Champagne Reef for some snorkeling. The trip without Champagne Reef was about 5 hours and Levi took his time everywhere we were. He would stay as long as we wanted. The cost was $40 per person and we gave him a $10 tip for two of us. If you added Champagne Reef, it was an additional hour and a half and an additional $7. Levi had snorkeling equipment for rent and he offered complimentary beer, soft drinks and bottled water.

He was absolutely wonderful during the trip and was easy to work with during the planning stages, emailing me back and forth within a day as I kept adding to the number of people in our van.

Levi had us meet him as soon as the ship allowed us to leave and we were on the road by 8:30. This allowed us to get to Titou Gorge before the crowds arrived. It was a great plan and we had the Gorge pretty much to ourselves until we got ready to leave. We arrived back at the ship about 1:00 and decided to spend the rest of the day on the ship as we were exhausted.

This port was the shopping port if you were interested. The other ports in this itinerary weren't really good shopping ports except for t-shirts, etc...

Read 669 Dominica Reviews

We took an excursion through the ship today. It was the Grand Etang, Annadale Falls tour. It was about a 4 1/2 hour trip. We left for our tour about 9:00 on an air conditioned bus. Again, the roads are very winding! We went first into Grand Etang National Forest and up to an old spice plantation, where they showed us how spices were preserved. They had packets of spices for sale and they were very reasonable priced. The driver told us these would be fresher than purchasing them in a store by the pier. We then went to Annadale Falls which was very beautiful. We were then taken to Fort Frederick which offered a beautiful view of the island. It was also interesting to see that the prison on Granada was done the hill from the Fort, allowing you to see the various buildings. We did get to drive through quite a bit of the island which was nice to see. We arrived back at the pier about 1:00 and decided to do a bit more spice shopping. The cruise ship suggested a store called Dot's for spices, so we followed the ships directions and found it. It was an easy 10 minute walk and the people there were very nice. Don't buy spices at the port stores as they're about 3 times more expensive than at Dot's. There are a lot of open markets that were interesting to see. You have to bargain with the vendors though. Also we were told that when it comes to buying spices at the markets, you don't know how fresh they are.
Read 531 Grenada Reviews

We chose to do an ATV excursion with a private company called Gecko Tours. It cost $125 per ATV and two could ride at a time so hubby and I shared one as did all the other couples in our group. I contacted Gecko Tours by phone a few weeks before we left to make reservations. They have an office right off the pier that was very easy to find. You pay there, before the tour begins. They do have a one week cancellation policy. Pretty much no exceptions with that. The owner used to live in Colorado and lost his job so decided to give this business a go. He was really great! He was very concerned about everyone's safety and gave several instructions before beginning. We were actually on the ATV for about an hour and a half which was a great amount of time. He took us up into the rainforest and stopped several times at overlooks to give commentary and take pictures. We also stopped at one of the old sugar mills which was interesting. We thought this was a great excursion and would do it again! Our tour time was 10:00 and we were back on the ship by 12:15.

We had time after lunch to go back out to look around if we had wanted. Fredricksted is right off the pier and there is a fort that can be visited. Christensted is the larger city, but is about a 30 minute taxi drive away.

We were pretty tired after our ATV ride and decided to stay onboard the ship and lay by the pool.

We did a Zip Line excursion through the cruise line in St. Kitts. We had never done anything like this before and I was pretty scared! We boarded buses at the pier and were taken on a 30 minute drive to the zip line sight. It is near the Batik Factory so we got to visit there as well. The roads are extremely curvy so if you have any type of motion sickness, take some medicine before you leave the ship! Safety was again the priority which I was glad to see. We were taught what we needed to do on a short, practice line and then we got started. There were 4 lines. The first was the longest at 1200 feet, and the highest at 250 feet up. Each line was a bit shorter than the first and a little closer to the ground. The third line had you zooming at 45 miles an hour! This was an exhilarating excursion. I was very glad I did this and as I am afraid of heights, I felt I had accomplished something!

Our excursion was from 11-3:00 which took up most of our at port day. We had a heavy, later breakfast, knowing lunch would be late. We did get to see a bit of the countryside on the way to the zip line sight and we got to see a lot of the rainforest but if you want to see other areas of St. Kitts, you won't get to do it on this excursion and there's not really time for anything else.

Read 1321 St. Kitts Reviews

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