Older Ship, But Great Cruise Nonetheless: Celebrity Summit Cruise Review by Aquahound

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Older Ship, But Great Cruise Nonetheless

Sail Date: November 2011
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: San Juan
I just returned from a week on the Celebrity Summit. For what it's worth, this review will probably only be helpful to those sailing Summit for the next couple months because after January, she will be totally refurbished.

Embarkation - It is what it is. Like most services in Puerto Rico, embarkation is not a well thought out process. If you show up prior to the ship being opened, you are made to wait outside without any seating. From there, you check-in, then make your way up 4 stories to the ship. Do not carry anything heavy because the escalators were broken. The broken escalators are an important thing to remember if you plan on doing self-disembarkation, carrying off your luggage, at the end of the cruise. The whole terminal is old and is falling apart. Boarding began at 11:30.

Despite the ship scheduled to sail at 8:00pm, all aboard was 4:45.

Ship - we found the ship to be very nice. She is definitely showing some wear, but that was to be More expected for a ship her age and only 2 months before a refurb. Some areas, like the Centrum, Cova Cafe, shopping area, and theater, showed little to no wear at all. Areas that need attention are the Aqua Spa Solarium and Waterfall buffet area.

We noticed several activites were held in a lounge called "Revelations." Unfortunately, it took a couple days to figure its location. Revelations is actually a lounge all the way forward on deck 11. The confusion is caused by the lounge having a different name on the walls out the entrances. The signs say "Bar on the Edge of the Earth." I'm told this will be fixed in drydock.

Stateroom - I was impressed with the decor of our room. We were in balcony room 9173. The walls were mostly wood, giving the room a comfortable, classic feel. Storage was ample and we had no noise issues from the halls or neighboring cabins. The negatives - The bed was awful. It was rock hard. Also, the balconies were never cleaned, and the old television did not work right. Another thing to consider if in this particular room or another room in this location on other floors - The balcony was very large, but due to it being on an angle, there was no privacy at the rail.

Service - I canot say enough good about the service on board. Service was excellent in all the venues. Plus, the senior officers were very visible and very social.

Food - This is where I have to complain. For the first time in 30 something cruises, I actually returned dishes in the main dining room. It does not take much to please me, but this is one area I was disappointed. The frog legs were over-breaded, oysters rockefeller were inedible, and fish was flavorless. On the other hand, we dined one night in Normandie. It was excellent and well worth the price. If not for traveling with a group, we would have eaten in Normandie more than once. The buffet selection was pretty good. The sushi spread was one of the best I've seen on recent cruises. Another warning - avoid the room service coffee. It could have stripped paint.

Activites - I noticed an improvment in activites from past Celebrity cruises. There was much more to do. Kudos to the Cruise Director and Activities Manager.

Itinerary - We visited St. Croix, St. Kitts, Dominica, Grenada, and St. Thomas. We found St. Croix and Grenada to be very dirty. Typical Caribbean. However, we were very impressed by Dominica. I highly suggest the sulfur springs and gorge swim. In St. Kitts, we rode the train, which was a very nice and lengthy excursion.

Disembarkation - This went fairly smooth. However, the luggage claim is in a large warehouse where you have to seek it out. This is fairly common for cruises. However, there were only 2 CBP officers clearing everyone. This created a long line across the warehouse that got to be a hassle for people trying to pull all their bags around.

Taxis - Ever see that Jet Blue commercial, joking about a taxi driver charging for bags in the trunk? Well, they actually do this in Puerto Rico. They advertise $19 for a taxi ride to the airport. However, they charge an extra $1 for every bag and another $1.50 for a "gas surcharge." It's just something you have to laugh about because it's typical Puerto Rico (if it's not obvious, I am not a fan of PR).

All in all, it was a great cruise and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Less

Published 11/19/11

Cabin review: 9173

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