Cruise With Our Three-Year Old: Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by Family of Three

Celebrity Summit 5
Family of Three
Member Since 2011

Overall Member Rating

Cruise With Our Three-Year Old

Sail Date: April 2011
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan
My husband and I planned this cruise for our 10 year anniversary. We brought our 3-year-old son along and arrived in San Juan a day before our departure. Embarkation was fast and easy.

We have been on five previous cruises - two on Celebrity, one on Disney, and one on Royal Caribbean. This one was on the Celebrity Summit and it ranked above the Royal Caribbean cruise, but did not live up to our first cruise on Celebrity five years ago. Disney was of course the best cruise with our young son, but the Fun Zone for kids on this cruise was great as well. Our son is having some separation anxiety right now so he only spent a total of about 6 hours there, but the staff worked very hard at engaging him and keeping him happy. They had tons of activities planned and the staff constantly played with the kids rather than just sitting back and watching them.

The ship overall showed some wear, most notably in the carpet in some areas. The pool area also needed attention More with broken tiles, etc. The bathroom in our stateroom also showed some signs of age. My only real complaint however, was the odor that arose in our bathroom half way through our cruise. It was a sewer odor with almost a mildew-type smell mixed in. I tried to disregard it for a day or so, assuming that it would dissipate over time. When it got to the point that my son wouldn't go in the bathroom any longer because of the smell, I called guest relations and they said they would send a plumber. We never saw evidence of a plumber, the smell never went away, and guest relations never followed up with us on the problem. Since we only had one day left, I never called back, but was disappointed that the problem wasn't resolved.

The food on the cruise was better than Royal Caribbean and Disney, but it still did not compare to our first Celebrity cruise. My husband noted a lack of fresh fruit variety, and there seemed to be less variety in general than on our first cruise. This being said, I should add that the food was none-the-less delicious and fresh. I think just the economy in general is creating the necessity to cut some corners that may be evident in the food.

The service we received was excellent with all of the staff willing to go the extra mile to accommodate us.

We did not go to any of the nightly shows, but we did participate in several on-board activities that were great. We enjoyed the scrapbooking session where a very nice scrapbook page kit was provided. Also, the tour of the kitchen was very impressive.

Overall, we had an excellent cruise and Celebrity still rates as our favorite cruise line. Even with the cutbacks, the food was still outstanding, and we were very pleased with the value for our money. Less

Published 04/24/11

Cabin review: 3077

This cabin had a great location. We were right beside the main lobby area affording us easy access to the kid's Fun Zone, the Dining Room, and the buffet restaurant. We never felt like we had long walks down narrow hallways to reach our cabin. This was the best cabin location we have had on a cruise.

Port and Shore Excursions

It was cloudy and a bit rainy when we visited Antigua so we did not tour the island or visit a beach. We briefly walked through the shopping area which was nice. There were a wide variety of shops available. There were also plenty of cab drivers offering tours, so seeing the island without buying a shore excursion through the ship would be easy.
Read 1191 Antigua Reviews

We used Glory Tours to take a half-day tour of the island. The tour included scenic drives through Cherry Tree Hill, a sugar plantation, a tour of the Flower Forest, and a stop at Bathsheba (which was beautiful!!). We also took a glass bottom boat to swim with sea turtles. This was an awesome experience!

I would highly recommend Glory tours. Sara was a great guide - very knowledgeable and professional. She went out of her way to ensure that our young son had a great time too.

Barbados is a beautiful island and a great cruise destination.

Read 1223 Barbados Reviews

We arrived in San Juan a day before our cruise departure. We rented a car through Charlie Car Rentals. They picked us up at the airport and shuttled us to the rental car location (all the rental car companies at the San Juan airport do this). We waited for the Charlie shuttle for about 15 minutes and when one didn't arrive, we asked one of the airport porters if we were in the right location. He was so helpful and used his own phone to call Charlie Rentals for us, at which point they promptly sent the shuttle.

We stayed at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Casino that evening, and it was a very short easy drive from Charlie Car Rentals to the hotel (about 3 blocks). We were very impressed with the hotel and wished we had arrived earlier to extend our stay there. The pool area was beautiful and very clean. There was a great play area for kids with swings, ladders, and slides for both toddlers and older kids. There was also a large kiddie pool with a slide that our son really loved. The Outback Restaurant in the hotel was good also. Of course, the room was very clean, comfortable, and everything was in good condition (tile, paint, fixtures, furniture, etc.).

The next morning we drove to El Yunque Rainforest. The drive was easy (using out TomTom GPS) and the rainforest was beautiful. I wish we had packed a lunch - there were great picnic pavilions at the entrance to the La Mina Falls trail, and the food that we ended up eating at the Yuquiyu Cafe in the park was terrible!! The hike to La Mina Falls was wonderful, and well worth the walk. Our 3 year old son walked all the way down, but was tired by the end and we carried him most of the way back out.

After leaving the rainforest we returned our rental car to their port location and took their shuttle to the port. This was a very convenient option that Charlie Rentals offered.

Read 2953 San Juan Reviews

Me, my husband, and our three-year old son visited St. Lucia as a stop on our Caribbean cruise. We chose Cosol Tours because of the overwhelming positive feedback I read online and we were not disappointed in the least!!

We met our guide in the designated area right where we disembarked from the ship. Those on the tour were divided into smaller groups and we boarded very comfortable, air conditioned vans to begin the tour. Our guide was Cosol himself, though the other guides that work for him seemed as personable as he was. We visited all the places listed on the website except for the waterfall, and only because it was recently destroyed by a storm on the island.

We made numerous stops along the road at scenic overlooks. We never felt rushed and free beverages (soft drinks, water, beer, and rum punch) were offered freely and frequently. One stop included a sampling of local dishes and fruits which we really enjoyed. It was great to sample so many different local foods during the tour. At the end of the tour before the ride back to the ship we enjoyed fresh baked warm bread served with cubes of cheese. Throughout the day Cosol pointed out the various fruits and plants that grow wild on the island and told us about their uses - fascinating!!

Cosol has done an excellent job of choosing great locations to visit. The beach between the Pitons was beautiful with great snorkeling and the water taxi ride there was fun with great views. We wore our swimsuits under our clothes and there were changing facilities to use at the beach before riding the water taxi back. The volcano was awesome to see as well.

Cosol was a great guide. He takes pride in St. Lucia and is very knowledgeable. Throughout the tour he shared both the good and the bad about the country and made our time there both educational and entertaining. We booked our tour by email confirmation and paid in cash at the end of the tour. His email communication was prompt, detailed, and accurate.

I highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to see the special places St. Lucia has to offer. We cruised on Celebrity and none of their tours encompassed everything that Cosol tours offered, and all of them were much more expensive. Cosol went out of his way to see that all of the guests on the tour were happy and comfortable throughout the day, and he was especially considerate of our three-year-old (who also had a very fun time on the tour)!

St. Lucia was one of my favorite stops on our itinerary.

Read 1134 St. Lucia Reviews

We did not participate in an organized excursion here and instead chose to take a taxi to Dawn Beach. I didn't really like the way the taxis operated here. Rather than individual cars or vans, the taxis were more like tour buses. We waited for a bus to fill up with others going to the same location. On the way back, we were fortunate that there happened to be a taxi tour returning to the port that we caught a ride with. Otherwise I assume we would have had to call for a cab and may have had a long wait.

The beach was nice and clean though the surf was a bit rough for our son to swim. Many people seemed to be enjoying the snorkeling. If you want any shade you have to rent a chair and umbrella at a cost of US $10 - $15 for two chairs and one umbrella. There is a restaurant on the beach and also some condos so this is not a beach with trees for shade and scenery. Also there were about 5 or 6 people who came by selling jewelry, CDs, massages, food, etc. so it was not entirely peaceful.

We did not participate in an organized excursion while in St. Thomas. Instead we took a taxi to Magan's Bay beach. I didn't really like the way the taxis operated here. Rather than individual cars or vans, the taxis were more like tour buses. We waited for a bus to fill up with others going to the same location. On the way the driver asked if we all wanted to come back at a certain time, saying that we may have to wait a long time for a cab to fill up if we didn't arrange for him to return for all of us at a specific time. He wasn't being manipulative, just trying to be helpful to make sure we didn't have to wait for a cab. I think we just lucked out when we were ready to leave because an organized tour was leaving at the same time and we joined them for the bus ride back. I was a little disappointed in the taxis because I had really wanted to get a private taxi that would take us by Drake's Seat overlook for a quick photo stop on the way to the beach or back but with the group taxis that just didn't seem like an option.

Magan's Bay beach was absolutely beautiful and I highly recommend it. It does cost $4 per person but children are free. Changing facilities were available and the beach is huge with beautiful white sand. Palms and other trees line the beach for shade. We were there on a Sunday afternoon and it was not crowded at all. It was also a great beach for kids to swim at because of the gentle surf and clear water. I see why it ranks as one of the top 10 beaches in the world!

Read 3995 St. Thomas Reviews

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Family of Three
Member Since 2011
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