67 New York (Manhattan) to Bermuda Celebrity Summit Cruise Reviews

This was our second time on the Celebrity Summit to Bermuda. We had an excellent time. We enjoyed the thalassotherapy pool in the Solarium. However, we were not able to understand why some nights it closed earlier than other nights. We ... Read More
This was our second time on the Celebrity Summit to Bermuda. We had an excellent time. We enjoyed the thalassotherapy pool in the Solarium. However, we were not able to understand why some nights it closed earlier than other nights. We would have liked to see it stay open later at night so we could have enjoyed it after we went to the shows, etc... The shows on this ship were all excellent. They were probably the best that I have ever seen while on a cruise. Also, during many shows the cast members stood at the back of the theater and thanked everyone for coming. Our room stewards were excellent as well. They knew us by name by the end of the first night. They remembered our preferences and were quick to make sure that we had whatever we needed. We found that it was a lot easier on this ship to find 2 deck chairs together then on the other ships we have been on. We noticed that the staff would watch chairs and remove personal items from them if they had been "abandoned" for an excessive amount of time. They also did an excellent job of making sure that the adult only Solarium was occupied by only adults. The one disappointing thing about this cruise was the dining room. We had anytime dining. Every night except the 2 nights in port we had to wait 30-45 minutes with a buzzer in the lounge next to the dining room. (We got to hear a lot of the Frissom Band!!) So, basically we spent about 3 hours waiting for dinner. I have been on 7 other cruises and had anytime dining on 4 of them. I have never run into this problem before. Then, once they called us, on 3 different nights the host/ hostess had difficulty finding the table that they were supposed to be taking us to. We walked round and round... Many nights the service was slow. We were in the dining room for at least 1 1/2 hours pretty much every night. (That is in addition to the 30-45 minutes we waited to be seated.) My one huge pet peeve was the coffee service. The coffee in the buffet was terrible, so I always looked forward to having coffee with dessert. For some reason it took forever to get a cup. It almost always came after we were completely done with our desserts. I even tried ordering a cup before I was finished with my meal, hoping that it would arrive before or with my dessert. Nope, didn't work! Overall, the cruise was excellent! I would highly recommend it. (I would also recommend a seated dining time or, if you have anytime, make reservations the first day on the ship. After the first day of waiting we tried to make reservations but they already had standing reservations for the whole week and would not let us make any.) Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
A little late in getting this review out, but not a reflection on the outstanding trip we had on the Summit in June, 2016. A little about us…we love our vacations, and have been on smaller and mega-ships, balconies and suites, and ... Read More
A little late in getting this review out, but not a reflection on the outstanding trip we had on the Summit in June, 2016. A little about us…we love our vacations, and have been on smaller and mega-ships, balconies and suites, and throughout the Caribbean and Mexico areas. Out time on the Summit was, from the moment we drove into NJ to the moment we sadly got in our car to depart, by far, the best experience we have had in 4 years of cruising on four different cruise lines. EMBARKATION NJ is a breeze; tons of parking, easy luggage drop off, and friendly porters. Parking is a bargain at around 150$ for the week. Now, I admit, we were spoiled because as Suite guests, we had no line, a lovely waiting area, and literally a 30 minute wait to get onto the ship. That being said, we noticed very few lines in general, tons of seating, and very helpful staff for all passengers. Why spend the extra money on a Suite? Well…in addition to the bigger room, the amenities cannot be beaten, especially literally getting out of your car and having a hop, skip and jump right into your vacation! When we got onto the ship, the touch of mimosas and champagne was lovely and refreshing. We had fun wandering around the decks for a while and enjoying the beautiful skyline. We then headed to Michael’s Club for a snack, and were greeted with a hug BY NAME by our Suite Concierge Maja… Oh “Falla, Falla” (Macedonian for “Thank you”) to this tirelessly cheerful and wonderful woman. She is an absolute treasure – there is nothing that she could not do for us, and was extraordinary in arranging unforgettable adventures for our son – a private galley Tour with Chef Wayne (more about that later), and meet and greets with the Captain and Senior Staff. Maja should be congratulated on making us feel like we were the most treasured guests on the ship – what a woman! She also arranged for us to be on the helicopter landing area as we pulled away from NYC – the most beautiful views of the harbor and with patriotic music playing as Captain Kate “buzzed” the Statue of Liberty. Michaels Club was wonderful – the events there were nightly and varied, from High Tea with a classical string duo, to Senior Staff meet and greets, nightly snacks, photo ops…also a quiet place to mingle with other guests. The whole of Michael’s staff was great. So…after meeting Maja, it was off to one of many fantastic meals at Lumiere. Again…I know it’s the Suite Restaurant and the service is expected to be a level above, but the entire staff took it to the roof! Charles, the Head Maitre D, knew my son’s name from 5 minutes in, knew his meal preferences, and always himself or Olga (absolutely wonderful smile and patience), escorted my picky and occasionally fussy 7 year old to “his” seat, and had his preferred lunch or dinner meal ready within 5 minutes of being seated. No fuss, no questions. All of the waiters, Vlad, Jose, and Louis the Sommelier were fantastic, but a special shout out for Dominic who was our main waiter, and made it his mission to make each meal better than the one before. I have heard criticism that the menus are limited…of course they are…why would you need more than 5 or 6 amazing entrees on a 7 day sailing? Guess what…all you have to do is ask, and they will make anything you could possibly want to tailor your mood. For me especially, a vegan, Dominic went out of his way to recommend / modify anything I was interested in on the menu. My husband said the lamb burger he had at lunch on day 3 was by far, the best thing he had ever eaten. We never had a bad meal, and I personally had some of the best vegan cuisine of my life. Louis was great in choosing wines / drinks to go with our meals, and again, knew our preferences by dinner on the 1st night. He was even great in helping us choose a wine for a lovely couple we met celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary. A great hello also to a great couple we sat next to for three nights before figuring out that they lived in the town next to us in New York! They also agreed that the Summit was fantastic, and they are veteran cruisers (very, very jealous of their international trips). FUN FACTORY While waiting for our room to be ready, we enrolled our son at the Fun Factory. The Fun Factory staff, especially Nellie, were amazing – My son has some communication challenges and this was, along with our Disney trips, the best experience we have ever had on a cruise ship. All of the counselors were absolutely fantastic adapting to our son’s special needs, and when he had a few challenging days, they were 100% willing to work with us to make sure we had alternative activities for him. I highly recommend the “VIP Package” – for I believe 75$, this includes a special trip to the Bridge, a backstage theater tour, special meet and greets, and sleep-overs / dinner times. What a great treat for us as parents to have a safe place let our son play while we went on our own “play dates”. SUITE We splurged on an upgrade to a Concierge Suite (7138) from a Sky Suite, and were not disappointed. The room layout was fantastic, and having the extra living room and dining space was perfect for our family of three. The entire wall of windows and large balcony were amazing, especially for sunrises and sunsets. The only downside – it was very open to seeing other balconies. General word of advice – do not assume if you are on your balcony naked or in your underwear that no one can see you (just sayin’). The room was gorgeous, clean and the bathroom was spacious. There was more storage than we had luggage for, and we especially loved the changing room in the closet – perfect for a “work space” for my busy 7 year old. Literally the only complaint was like others, we found the deep bathtub challenging to get in and out of. Special shout-outs to our butler Kim who was amazing in finding daily treats for us, arranging room service, and making sure every detail was perfect. She was absolutely tireless, and her sweet smile and endless hugs for our son were truly welcomed. From housekeeping, Jose and Kumar were outstanding. Our room was spotless, the towel animals were fantastic, and it only took us asking once for extra supplies for them to be present every day. The best past of these three, was Kim, Jose and Kumar arranging a special anniversary and birthday celebration for us – what a wonderful surprise! SENIOR STAFF Of the senior staff, five stood out among all. Cannot say enough about Captain Kate – so personable, funny and available in every corner of the ship. She was heading to see her husband for her 3 months off-ship, and you could tell was excited! We had the great fortune of having a few private meet-and-greets with her, and my son absolutely fell in love. She remembered his name, and he was able to have 2 private deck tours – one with the Kids Club, and one with the suite guests. The Summit is a wonderful ship, and we are booking specifically next year for a cruise in which she is at the helm and Chef Wayne is in the kitchen. Chef Wayne gave our family the most incredible experience of a private galley tour – gave my son his own chef’s coat, and we spent 30 minutes touring the galley, and were amazed at the cleanliness and efficiency of the entire staff. He introduced my son as “the new head chef”, and everyone saluted and said “Hi Chef” or “Yes Chef” when we walked by. Seeing how this one small area produces amazing meals for the entire ship was so cool – I definitely rank this among the coolest things I have ever done. World Wide Wayne, Srjeon, Eddy and Oz are senior staff members who are ever-present making sure all guests have a great time, organizing events, games, entertainment – and still, remembered our names and faces every time we saw them. All four should be commended on their professionalisms and politeness. ENTERTAINMENT Great Broadway-style shows, wonderful “pop-ups”, and a fantastic cello-violin duo were highlights. The pianist’s repertoire was endless, and he was incredibly talented. We loved sitting down before and after dinner and listening to the jazz groups, pop singers, and even the country duo – really lovely. OTHER RESTAURANTS Though we had the luxury of eating almost 75% of our meals at Lumiere, we absolutely loved Café Al Bachio for coffee and nightly snacks. The Tapas restaurant Qsine was such the experience. Our waiter made suggestions for my vegan palate and my husband’s love of meat and seafood – the tapas were gorgeous, and we actually had to cancel a few “flights” as we were stuffed to the gills. We ate at Tuscan Grill twice – outstanding service and meals. The fresh pasta was perfect, and they even made a special pizza for our son. I had amazing soups and salads, and the sommelier was right on point with his suggestions. Some of the best Italian food we have eaten in a beautiful, warm setting. We did not eat in the main dining room, but loved the juice bar by the pool (yes…I do love a good morning cucumber and apple smoothie), and thought that the buffet was fantastic – so clean, and the staff were vigilant in making sure that everything was sanitized and keep either warm or hot. There were not a thousand options, but who needs a thousand mediocre dishes when you can have 100 really great choices. BERMUDA Beautiful island, and had the great fortune of taking a private tour with another couple we met online at CruiseCritic – Kim…you made this trip so special! Winsome Tours with Julie (the owner) was a private van tour for 5 hours of the entire island tailored to our taste – wonderful stops, feeding the ducks and fish, and sitting in the first chapel on the island were highlights. This tour was a surprise, and there is a reason that they are rated so highly on Trip Advisor. What we really loved about Bermuda were the clean beaches, lack of tourist traps, and easy ferry and bus access. There are taxis everywhere, and the restaurants are plentiful. A few thoughts – were were underwhelmed by the Crustal Caves – nice tour guide, very cheerful, but it was, um, a cave. A hot, muggy, sticky cave. FINAL THOUGHTS Cannot wait to come back – we loved Bermuda, loved the Summit, and loved the luxury of our Concierge Suite. Could not more highly recommend this ship and this crew. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We took our grandson on the celebrity summit to bermuda as his high school graduation present. We have sailed celebrity many times before and enjoyed it but, this was not true for this trip. The food was very good as we've had in the ... Read More
We took our grandson on the celebrity summit to bermuda as his high school graduation present. We have sailed celebrity many times before and enjoyed it but, this was not true for this trip. The food was very good as we've had in the past but that was the only good thing. The cruise was extremely boring and the average age of cruiser's seemed to be 55 plus. The few younger people our grandson did manage to find and hangout with also found the cruise to be very boring. All of the pools were closed by 8 every night and the music that was played during the day were the same five songs on a endless loop. There were not many activities for the 18-20 age range. Also once 7 pm hit you would think the ship had been abandoned there was virtually no one out at night it felt like a retirement community in Florida. The year before our grandson had traveled on the Norwegian breakaway there were endless activities going on until all hours of the night and other teens for him to mingle with and the pools most definitely did not close at 8. To wrap up all in all we love Bermuda but would not recommend the summit for anyone under the age of 70 it is a total snooze fest. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I have cruised numerous times, but this was my first Celebrity Cruise. What an overall disappointment. The ship is in need of an upgrade. The food was not very good, and neither was the food service. They advertize anytime dining, but ... Read More
I have cruised numerous times, but this was my first Celebrity Cruise. What an overall disappointment. The ship is in need of an upgrade. The food was not very good, and neither was the food service. They advertize anytime dining, but whenever you tried to use it you could only be seated at 5:30 or 8:30. The pool area was packed like sardines, and the cabin was much smaller than comparable ships, and I had an upper level room with a balcony. They actually had a drug arrest during the disembarcation which helped to slow things down. The only thing good about it was the entertainment. I would certainly never use Celebrity again and would not recommend it to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Admittedly it’s been a few years since my last cruise using the same cruise line, Celebrity Cruises, but things are apparently different now. I have heard that the Summit is used as a training vessel, and talking with staff this was ... Read More
Admittedly it’s been a few years since my last cruise using the same cruise line, Celebrity Cruises, but things are apparently different now. I have heard that the Summit is used as a training vessel, and talking with staff this was their first cruise. Everyone has to start somewhere. However, there seemed to be a notable lack of coordination of simple services, like getting a cup of tea, and a certain amount of brusqueness exhibited by some. There is also no excuse for stained sheets and the amount of soliciting by staff to always upgrade, buy restaurant packages and spend, spend, spend was tiresome. The ship is not “user-friendly” with a huge inconvenience of purchasing an Internet package if you want to communicate with family and friends at a cost of 79 cents per minute, $59 for a day or $299 for the week. Other services and events were satisfactory, with some floorshows being excellent and special kudos to the onboard house band. But what is obviously a no-no was to come across a couple of staff in uniform having a romantic tryst in a public area. One thing any good company should know involved in the tourism/lodging industry is that services and features can always be added, but not taken away. A case in point was a chest of chocolates that was offered in the café on board that is no longer available. This is a small ship as far as modern day cruise vessels go and dated in some areas with noticeable peeling paint, rust and heavy salt deposits in areas and wafts of sewage from time to time. Despite its smallness it is relatively confusing and needs some time to get used to the layout. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Firstly... with the exception of Celebrity's oh too unfortunate corporate blunder of reserving "Michael's Pub" (once my favorite jazz/caberet type musical experience on Celebrity) for the very "select few" ... Read More
Firstly... with the exception of Celebrity's oh too unfortunate corporate blunder of reserving "Michael's Pub" (once my favorite jazz/caberet type musical experience on Celebrity) for the very "select few" (even us "Plain Jane "Elite" cruisers are no longer permitted in it's hallowed halls) our recent 7-day jaunt to Bermuda (just got back in this afternoon) was yet another wonderful excursion about the big "X". Combine a terrific new Captain and a wonderful Cruise Director with a world class cruise ship and even a fully booked voyage can become an individual, special & unique experience. There are all kinds of changes being "floated" (pardon the expression) on the Summit... especially in regards to some incredible dining experiences being readied for future cruises. From incredible new desserts, to a re-styled sushi menu and some fascinating new oriental dishes... those of us about this cruise were able to see... and even sample some of the as-of-yet cuisine during it's final preparatory stages before being introduced to the Summit... and eventually all around the fleet. These new dishes are stunning and way beyond and reasonable expectation of even the most seasoned cruiser, especially considering "Celebrity" is far from a premium-priced cruise line. Truly inspiring... you won't want to miss what will surely be in store for you in the very near future. Yes, the main dining room, ship cleanliness, and staterooms were all up to Celebrity standards... certainly no small feat and nothing to complain about. My personal gripes ?... I have a few.... but very few indeed. I cruise as much for the music as the food and Celebrity, in an obvious and successful attempt to increase revenues... has turned the Martini Bar into a loud disco/techno music club. To be sure folks in there were drinking and enjoying themselves... an yes, for Celebrity it seems to be a very big hit indeed... BUT.... on deck 5... just above the Martini bar sat a wonderful entertainer/pianist who could barely be heard above the exhuberant party-goers just a deck below. Celebrity... would it be so hard to make "Michael's" available again so your musicians could perform in their proper venues ????? Yup, I wasn't the only one displeased about this.... Celebrity has managed to dictate it's talent walk the proverbial plank by forcing them to perform under these types of circumstances. Who on the managemental team came up with this plan ? I'd really like to know. Lest I seem to bitter about this please understand that some passengers come for the food... some for the gambling...me ?... I come for the entainment. Celebrity would not serve it's food on paper plates but is willing to treat it's talent in that very same manner. Really. What a shame.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Concierge Cabin 7208 (AFT) We were slightly nervous as my husband and I have only cruised with Princess before. Embarkation at Cape Liberty We arrived at 11.40am, there was hardly any line. We had to wait about 10 minutes to go through ... Read More
Concierge Cabin 7208 (AFT) We were slightly nervous as my husband and I have only cruised with Princess before. Embarkation at Cape Liberty We arrived at 11.40am, there was hardly any line. We had to wait about 10 minutes to go through security and that was the longest part. It was effortless. First Impression of the Ship The ship looked very well looked after and clean and we were very happy with the look and feel of everything. You could tell that the ship was older though but not an issue. Main Dining Room The food was fantastic and so was the service, the menu was very similar on every evening though. Qsine Amazing experience, great food and fantastic service. Bistro I really enjoyed our 4 courses of food, one problem though, we were given about 1 minute between each course to digest. Felt rushed. Oceanview Café The buffet I felt was disappointing. The food choice was so limited and they brought out the same food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When you were ordering food with someone I found it extremely hard to collect my plate from them because of the very low glass counter. The cleaning up staff were great. Drinks Package We had the Classic Alcoholic Package. At no point did we feel we were being treated any differently because we had a drinks package, we believe we were treated the same as the paying customers. I did think though that the Bar Staff were grumpy though except for Rikki from Jamaica who worked mainly in the Mast bar. Staff Amazing and such an entertaining and charming Captain. Aft Cabin 7208 In comparison to a Princess cabin room, we preferred the décor on the Summit. We believed the room was bigger and the layout of the bathroom was much preferred. We knew we were having a large balcony because we were at the back of the ship but it really was a lovely surprise to see how big it actually was and because of this we ordered room service for breakfast most days - what a pleasure. There was a down side though, the balcony railings and loungers were all covered in salt and horrible to touch. I appreciate this happens during the cruise but wished they had a wipe down for your arrival. Also the glass under the railings was really dirty as well. But on the plus side our cabin attenders were fantastic. Public Toilets 90% of the time they were great but on occasions they seemed neglected. Bermuda What an amazing place, looking forward to going back one day. Celebrity Summit - we thank you for a great vacation.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
My husband I and are world travelers, have stayed in many five star properties, and took a Baltic cruise on Regent two years ago, so we have high standards. We were looking for a relaxing, low-stress getaway from our hectic lives in ... Read More
My husband I and are world travelers, have stayed in many five star properties, and took a Baltic cruise on Regent two years ago, so we have high standards. We were looking for a relaxing, low-stress getaway from our hectic lives in Pennsylvania, and being able to drive to the port in less than two hours and not worry about flying fit the bill. We both had been to Bermuda before and knew what to expect. I had read all of the negative reviews of the Summit and anticipated it to be "less than" our experiences on the Solstice a few years ago, which we really liked. Suffice it to say, we fell in love with the Summit. Perhaps we had a difference experience than most, because we were in a Sky Suite, and had a fantastic butler named Filipe. I just read a few reviews where people said they got a few olives and not enough for two people to share for the afternoon canapes. Well, we would usually get two separate plates. Sandwiches and cheese and crackers, all vegetarian, which we requested. We always ate dinner late because we were so full from the snacks Filipe brought us! Ice was constantly replenished and we felt very well taken care of. We never ate in the Cosmopolitan restaurant, which always seemed really hectic when we walked by. We chose to pay the $5 per person fee for Blu a few nights (suite passengers can always get in), and also did course by course room service one night. We were very pleased with the quality, taste and presentation at both Normandie and Qisine. Qisine was so creative, fun and delicious, we were really impressed. We enjoyed lunch at Bistro on 5 one day and also the Spa Cafe had some great choices. All in all, we thought the food was terrific. My husband usually hates the shows on cruises, but we had Jarrod Spector, who was in Jersey Boys, and the hilarious Michele Balan from Last Comic Standing. We also enjoyed listening to Jordan Peterson and Brandi (forget her last name) for piano and guitar music around the ship. We skipped the other production shows. Yes, the ship is not brand-new. I did notice a couple minor things. The tiles in our bathroom had brownish grout... just old, but clean. The railing on our balcony was pretty chipped. The public restrooms were not as spiffy as the ones I remembered on the Solstice. Honestly, none of it bothered us one bit. The warm and friendly staff, the manageable size of the ship - not too big, but enough of whatever we would want - the relaxing sea days, our comfortable cabin and a great value all made it a trip we look forward to repeating again next summer.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
This is the only cruise so far where I couldn't wait to get off the ship, and I was expecting something upscale from Celebrity. It was our first Family Vacation so it was definitely different from other solo/couple cruises. But the ... Read More
This is the only cruise so far where I couldn't wait to get off the ship, and I was expecting something upscale from Celebrity. It was our first Family Vacation so it was definitely different from other solo/couple cruises. But the ship was underwhelming, No Wow factor at all. No central focus on the ship. Lots of mold areas in the room, and the drain didn't go down in our shower. The curtains did not block out the light, and there was a flourescent/neon light connected to the lifeboats shining on us which ruined our balcony experience. We didn't realize till the last day that the the newspaper in several languages was available at the customer service area. The food in the Main Dining Room was mostly very good, though the service was slow and there were some dead pockets in the dining room...The Maitre D' Gaby and her staff were wonderful however, and helped us to get seated with Anytime Dining for Seven of us when needed..Also kudos to Charmaine the lady's room attendant who was so lovely! The Buffet was like a College Dining Hall and the main issue was that it was always sticky, not clean, tables were not bussed, and were cleared only when requested, usually with a dirty rag, etcetc. Was it lack or staff or inattentive servers? Other cruises we've been on the buffet staff is so attentive.... We went to the buffet only because we couldn't get served in the Main Dining Room, due to shortened hours for breakfast or lunch, or MDR not open or no lunch hours in the MDR....Buffet Food was ok but some stations were incredibly inefficient like the paninis, pancakes, pasta, etc. Celebrity should revisit what's going on. Often couldn't find ordinary teabags? Hot water empty? No Ice/ No spoons or silverware? Sticky or slippery floors at the ice machines? For dinner we didn't want to pay hundreds of dollars extra each night for family dining in the specialty which didn't seem worth it so we ate only in the MDR. We had no perqs such as parking, or all-inclusive drink packages, and yes we agreed to pick up everyone's tab, but we felt like we were nickled and dimed when we saw the bill. The pool area was WAY too small for the number of guests. We had our grandchildren with us. Teenagers were shut out of the adult pool, so took over the small kid pool which made it unsafe and unpleasant for the little kids. The warm water salt pool was great for adults but no room for kids...The Kids Club was fun and there was a lot going on considering the lack of dedicated space for them... Entertainment was ok though nothing was outstanding. We weren't impressed with the small venue musicians though we wanted to love everything. The kids ebjoyed the Costume shows but the timing was so off, that we could barely see what we wanted to. Main concern was the issue with my daughter's ocean-view room which smelled like urine. We could not resolve it with the management though they gave us some minor OBC (not enough) but it ruined our family cruise, because we were constantly discussing the smell in the room and headaches and what to do etcetc. The steward Emmylou was fabulous so so wonderful with the kids. But the supervisor said the smell was due to the sprays and lotions my daughter used...So insulting and offensive. My husband and I had this issue on our very first cruise (RCI) and our room was changed..which is what they should have done here or made some other arangement... Well I could go on but won't. Probably our first and last Celebrity sorry to say!   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
I traveled with my mother (80) Sister (61) and me (58). We had a balcony cabin and premiem beverage package. We really liked the ship. Big enough but not huge. The Norwegian Breakaway was on the same itinerary, and the taxi drivers in ... Read More
I traveled with my mother (80) Sister (61) and me (58). We had a balcony cabin and premiem beverage package. We really liked the ship. Big enough but not huge. The Norwegian Breakaway was on the same itinerary, and the taxi drivers in Bermuda were telling us that they were hearing mixed reviews from the passengers on the Breakaway. The Summit was a lovely ship. Yes, some of the things I have read were true - tile in shower needs re -grouting. It is not a new ship, but it certainly does not look worn. There was a great variety in terms of food and places to eat. We had the late seating, and one night we asked to go to the early seating. We were told to come at 6:30 and if there were free tables we would be seated. We were, without problem. I am a foodie. I like the food, but have certainly had better food at some restaurants. Qsine was very fun and well worth it. So was Normandie, but Normandie is fancier -- lots of table side prep, etc. Like a fine French restaurant. Serves a cheese course before dessert, etc. Children would be better off at Qsine than Normandie. We had room service coffee and rolls every day. Was delivered promptly. Coffee was not piping hot, but drinkable. We did write in some items that were not on the room service menu, such as fresh fruit, and it was delivered, no extra charge.With three in the room it was tight. We did bring an over-the-door shoe bag for all our toiletries and it was a God send. The upholstered chair folded out into a twin bed each night. With that open, there was zero floor space, so as soon as we woke up, we folded it back into a chair.Entertainment was fantastic. We like Broadway musicals, which was the type of entertainment we had most nights. If you want to do specialty dining and go to the show (7 PM and 9 PM) you need to make your reservation for your meal accordingly (e.g. 6-6:30 or 8:30.)We had the classic beverage package at first, and found the wines to be tasteless, so we upgraded to premium. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
This review is for a May 2013 sailing of the celebrity summit from Bayonne, NJ to Bermuda. DH and I are in our 30s and this was our second time on the summit, the last was a Southern Caribbean Cruise a few years ago before her ... Read More
This review is for a May 2013 sailing of the celebrity summit from Bayonne, NJ to Bermuda. DH and I are in our 30s and this was our second time on the summit, the last was a Southern Caribbean Cruise a few years ago before her refurbishment. We drove to NJ the day before and stayed with family. We arrived at the cruise port around 11:30am, dropped off the luggage, and waited in line about 20 minutes to get through the security scanners. Check in took only a few minutes and after that, we were on a bus that took us over to the entrance to get on board. A glass of welcome champagne in hand and we were ready to start vacation! As many will say, the summit is an older ship and it is showing some wear and tear in places. With that said however, crew members were constantly cleaning and painting and I think they work hard to take good care of her. One thing we love about celebrity or the summit in particular is her particularly hard working and excellent crew. We went to the martini bar to upgrade the beverage package we received as part of the 1-2-3 promotion and one of the bartenders took our cards, promised to remember our names for the week and take good care of us - and he did. Our stateroom attendant was similarly excellent, called us by name by midway through the week, went over and beyond to help us with anything we asked for or that he felt we might want. Bermuda is beautiful and we found the public transportation to be very easy and reliable to use. Despite the breakaway being in port as well, we were able to hop right off the boat after docking, buy 2-day transportation tickets right outside of the boat (bring cash! $25 pp for a 2 day pass), and were second in line for the 9:30 ferry to St. George. No problems there. St George is fun to walk around in, we also walked to Tobacco Bay. It was pretty but not a lot of fish, good for kids though because the water is shallow and very calm. There is a bathroom and changing rooms - no shower though! The weather was beautiful and hot enough to want to go swimming, but being that early in May, the water was still too chilly for me to want to spend much time in the ocean. There is a snack bar and also a place to rent umbrellas and chairs ($5 for chairs, $7 for umbrellas). There is a guy in his car there that will take you back to town for a dollar. We had tea at the Sweet P next to the Bermuda Perfumery and took the late afternoon ferry back to the dockyard (about a 40 minute ride, bring a sweater as it can get chilly up on top deck). The second day we took the bus to horseshoe bay. Here there are public changing facilities and showers as well as a beach bar and place to rent umbrellas and chairs (more expensive here, 30 something for 1 chair and 1 umbrella but I think they gave us 10 dollars back when we returned everything). The walk past the beach into the little rock coves is very pretty . There were people in the water but again, too cold for me personally. We spent a few hours here and then hopped back on the bus as we wanted to check out church bay, which is on the way back to the dockyard. This beach is at the bottom of a rock cliff, really dramatic and beautiful. There is a staircase down the hills and again a place to rent umbrellas and chairs. The only facilities are at the top of the hill and they are rudimentary so don't expect too much. I had read that this is a great place for snorkeling but again, too windy with rough water on the day we went for me to want to get in for this although I did see 2 people out snorkeling along the rocks. The third day was Bermuda day, which is a holiday with reduced transportation on the island. In retrospect I think we probably could have made it out to the beaches again if we had left earlier enough but instead to be on the safe side, we booked a ship's excursion, this time a boat ride from the dockyard to the zoo/aquarium. Flatts village is very picturesque and the aquarium/zoo has some surprisingly nice fish and animals for such a small island. I think kids or anyone who likes zoos or aquariums would probably like it. The trip back from Bermuda to NJ was rocky! I did hear some veteran cruisers say they felt it was nothing but for me, it was enough to put a damper on the last day and convince me that perhaps cruising in the Atlantic is not for me. Still, we are grateful to have had a safe, fun, and relaxing cruise. Overall we really enjoyed it and felt lucky to have been able to see Bermuda. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
The best part of this cruise was the service. We felt very well taken care of from the minute we got to Bayonne. The staff was friendly and very helpful. We booked a Concierge Class room since 3 of us were traveling together and it seemed ... Read More
The best part of this cruise was the service. We felt very well taken care of from the minute we got to Bayonne. The staff was friendly and very helpful. We booked a Concierge Class room since 3 of us were traveling together and it seemed the best value for the money. Concierge Class comes with priority check in so there were no lines, We were on the ship within 20 minutes of arriving at the port. We found a space on Deck 10 to chill out and our room was ready by 2 p.m. Our baggage arrived at our room around 4 p.m.What stood out for me was the service. It was excellent. The staff could not have been nicer or more accommodating. One person in our party was an older family member who is a bit high maintenance and the staff couldn't have been better with her. Our Concierge Class room was enough space for the 3 of us and both the pull out couch and bed were super comfortable. I highly recommend a balcony room. The balcony is a great place to read in the morning or chill out with a glass of wine in the afternoon. Concierge Class comes with a bottle of champagne the first day and snacks delivered to the room every afternoon. I didn't think the snack delivery was worth it. There was adequate storage for all our clothes and make up (with 3 women traveling together that is a lot!).The ship was clean and well maintained and I am fussy about that. The common areas were tasteful and not tacky. The Summit is not a mega cruise ship. It is on the smaller size but has most of the bells and whistles found on bigger ships. I liked that it was on the small side. It was easy to navigate and find my travel companions when we weren't together. The thalassotherapy pool in the Solarium is a must. The fitness center was good with enough equipment even on busier days. Other highlights included the bar on the back of Deck 10 (a nice place to grab a drink and some snacks in the afternoon) and the Martini Bar on Deck 4. The Martini Bar was definitely the happening place each night. I also recommend the cookies and desserts (or morning pastry) at El Bacio on Deck 5. There is an up charge for coffee drinks but not the pastry. Another can't miss are the cheeseburgers at the poolside grill. I read another review and the person raved about them. I thought to myself, "it's cheeseburger, what's the big deal?" Well, they are very good. And you can get bacon, carmelized onions, mushrooms, whatever you want on them.Overall, the food was good. Not great but very good in most cases. When eating in the main dining room, it seemed that the best choice each night was the Chef's recommendation. We ate at both specialty restaurants and enjoyed them both. Q Sine more so than Normandie. At Q Sine you order as many courses as you want, all small plates served family style. A nice way to eat a variety of foods and everything was delicious. I thought Normandie was very good, traditional, formal French food. I would have liked another specialty restaurant option. The free ice cream in the Oceanview Cafe is very good as is the gelato on Deck 5 (up charge though).We caught 2 shows. One was a Hollywood tribute. It was good and kitschy and the other was a cabaret singer who used to be on Broadway. She was not our favorite. We also went to a Dancing with the Stripes show which was a lot of fun. The decks do get crowded on days at sea but we didn't have trouble finding deck chairs. Also, the atmosphere by the pools was nice. Not overly loud with no crazy activities (i.e. no hairy chest contests). If you are looking for a big party boat, this is not the cruise for you.Bermuda is beautiful although I found Horseshoe Bay Beach to be very crowded. I recommend walking as far to the left as possible where the beach is practically empty. I didn't get to spend as much time is Hamilton as I wanted, but from what I saw, it is a lovely city with neat shops and parks. Public transportation is easy to access at Kings Wharf. The ferry takes you to Hamilton and it is easy to take a bus to Horseshoe Bay Beach. Be forewarned, once the bus drops you off, it is a bit of a walk to the actual beach. There is a shuttle that will take you down the hill to the beach for $1 and back up the hill for $2. It was worth it since we were traveling with an older person.Overall, I really love Celebrity. I only cruised once before on another cruise line that begins with a C and it was miserable (the people, the food, the atmosphere). I would definitely cruise on Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
This is our third Celebrity cruise and we have already booked our fourth. After a very disappointing cruise over Christmas on the Carnival Breeze, it was wonderful to get back to the cruising that we enjoy. Great service, food and shows! ... Read More
This is our third Celebrity cruise and we have already booked our fourth. After a very disappointing cruise over Christmas on the Carnival Breeze, it was wonderful to get back to the cruising that we enjoy. Great service, food and shows! Everything on the Celebrity Summit was exactly what we expect on a cruise! The staff aboard the ship was friendly and helpful and the Officers were highly visible all of the time. Having never cruised from Bayonne, NJ out of Cape Liberty, it was very organized and easy to embark the ship. The cost of the parking in the lot at the pier was $19 per day (or $133 for the week), but it was much better and less expensive than flying! The embarkation staff was welcoming and professional. The food on the ship was totally as expected, and the service in the dinning room was outstanding. Although we like having early seating, we had late seating for the first four nights. Fauzi, our waiter was outstanding!! It was hard to move to early seating and having a new waiter, but it was two tables over and he came over every night to say hello. The most disappointing thing for us (there are 8 of us that cruise together) was that we requested early seating the first day. It was not until the fifth day and a call to the restaurant manager that we finally were able to move and we found out that table was open for the entire cruise. The shows were great! Liz Callaway, the singer was fantastic. Jason Bishop, the illusionist was excellent, but the best show was by far James Stephens III. This show as funny and totally entertaining!! Of course the singers and dancers on the ship were also very talented and present excellent and enjoyable shows. The cruise director, Alexander, was great! He made announcements as necessary and never tried to sell you something with every announcement. The Summit, although refurbished, still shows it age and needs some additional upgrades. We asked about a tour of the bridge and were told that there is a tour - for $150 per person, the included the bridge and other areas not usually open to the public. What happened to the free bridge tours? But overall the ship was clean, the food was good, the service was great and the shows were highly enjoyable. The port in Bermuda was very nice and having the three days there allowed time to explore the island. Since our cruise was early May the weather was not very accommodating as the temperature never got about 72 degrees and there was rain, but the cruise line has no control over the weather. We are looking forward to our next Celebrity cruise and planning on many more about Celebrity!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
This is the first time I have felt I needed to review a cruise and I wish I had done a little more research on the Celebrity Summit sailing from Newark to Bermuda. I have multiple sailings on Holland America and Royal Caribbean and was ... Read More
This is the first time I have felt I needed to review a cruise and I wish I had done a little more research on the Celebrity Summit sailing from Newark to Bermuda. I have multiple sailings on Holland America and Royal Caribbean and was looking forward to 'upgrading' to Celebrity. I was so disappointed. Had I been a first-time cruiser I would have felt like I was flapping in the wind, without direction.Of course these days one has to download all the info. Okay. But is one supposed to carry along a stapler to staple baggage tags onto bags after the airline trip? Handlers at pier jumped all over us trying to help ...But?..made it clear they expected a tip. Huh.Positives: quick access to ship, but ...we were concierge class. Others waited a long time before access. Negative: no one directed us once on the ship as to where to go. As we were used to the process from other ships, we made our own way up to the buffet. Quick access to the room, but waited and waited and waited for luggage. Husband's finally arrived, and mine 3 hours later!! A friend who inadvertently had packed a travel iron, waited until 8:30 before tracking her luggage down.Cruise director, although relatively new in the position, was wonderful in getting to know people, but again, did not inform enough of happenings around the ship that were not included in the daily program.Ship was old and needs updating, but overall staff (except one at front desk) were wonderful.So, back on Holland from now on. One frequent Celebrity traveller told us not to judge this ship as representative of the line .... But hey! I paid good money and expected the usual Celebrity service. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Travelled from Baltimore on the Academy Tours bus ($130 RT with two suitcases). Was picked up at the Baltimore Travel Plaza at 10:00 a.m. with four others; picked up fourteen passengers in Wilmingon; was at the pier in Cape Liberty, NJ, at ... Read More
Travelled from Baltimore on the Academy Tours bus ($130 RT with two suitcases). Was picked up at the Baltimore Travel Plaza at 10:00 a.m. with four others; picked up fourteen passengers in Wilmingon; was at the pier in Cape Liberty, NJ, at 2:00 p.m. This is a very good alternative to driving from DC, Baltimore, Wilmington or Philadelphia (no tolls, no headaches).Unlike my embarkation in December 2011 at 2:00 p.m., the security clearance and check in was very quick. Muster drill was conducted and the Cruise Critic folks met on deck 10, aft bar immediately afterwards. We enjoyed meeting each other (beads helped) and took in the views as we sailed past Lady Liberty and underneath the Veranzano Bridge.Luggage arrived in a suitable amount of time and it was off to the first theater show. I must say that this was the best overall entertainment of all the cruises that I've taken. The production singers/dancers worked well together (it was their last cruise as a team), the comedian/sound effects guy and former 50's Letterman singer were both great. While not my style of singing, the Crewners, an a'capella group, were the best of this type of entertainment that I've seen on board. Be aware that, while the Summit has be 'Solticized', the enhancements have been made in the revenue-generating areas. It would have been appreciated if deck and pool chairs, deck planking, railings would have been upgraded. Not shabby, but worn. That said, I still prefer the older M-class ships (Constellation and Summit) over the newer S-class ships (Silhouette). More easy to navigate and better use of space without unnecessary frills and minimally-used areas. I met a wonderful group of people on this cruise, from the Cruise Critic folks, to table mates to our group of Elite happy-hour sippers. Thanks for your comradery!!!!The crew and officers were excellent. The gentleman manning the pasta bar each day deserves a medal and a huge raise. I often saw him work from lunch until dinner with no relief.The food in the MDR has been reduced in quality/selection. By no means is it bad, just not as good as prior to the for-fee venues coming on board. Our table was not happy with the demise of escargot (available with lobster bits in Q'suine, a for-fee restaurant). Did I go hungry, no; however, ecargot is one of the little pleasures of being on a 'modern luxury' cruise.My cabin was on deck three, portside, to the rear of guest relations. Bedding was comfortable; linens good. I liked the cabin but, as previously posted, the corridor was smokey. This was either from nearby crew areas or from deck four where smoking is permitted. My allergies did kick up as a result. I did alert guest relations to this issue.A small annoyance was that the temperature/humidity forecast never changed on the in-cabin TV channel. This is soooo easy to update but it wasn't. Helps to decide how to dress when not in a balcony cabin. Bermuda, as always, enchants. We had smooth seas and moderate weather - a combination of overcast and sunny with temperatures in the high seventies. Being at the Dockyards is not as convenient as being in St. Georges or Hamilton but it was doable even with the NCL Breakaway in port with us. Utilized the ferries to both cities; purchased a two day pass. Took three ship excursions: Harbour nights transportation (leisurely transfers to and from Hamilton without having to worry about overloaded public ferries; full island small bus tour (friends had not been to Bermuda in 20 years) and the Horseshoe Bay beach transport. Harbour Nights was a nice street fair. The gumbay dancers danced through the crowd a bit too quickly and the military brigades did not march like on a previous visit (only happens once a month now). I've done Harbour Nights twice now and that will probably be it for a while.The island tour was a good introduction or refresher. Did not stop at any of the lighthouses and did not go past Fort St. Catherine. The Horseshoe Bay transfer was convenient but you are only at the beach for about two hours (enough for me). This beach can get crowded but we had a nice number of people for our visit. Two umbrellas and three chairs cost $80 but $25 was refunded.Disembarkation was reasonable. Our entire bus group received 9:15 a.m. departure times; we ran a bit late but were on the bus by 10:00 a.m. which was the scheduled time to leave.It had been six years since my last Bermuda cruise. Enjoyed this one so much that I booked the same Memorial date for 2014. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
This was our 16th Celebrity Cruise, our 4th Bermuda Cruise with this line. We did this cruise because the price was right and drive to the port. We left Saturday morning taking I 80 and I 187 to the Best Western Morristown. We arrived ... Read More
This was our 16th Celebrity Cruise, our 4th Bermuda Cruise with this line. We did this cruise because the price was right and drive to the port. We left Saturday morning taking I 80 and I 187 to the Best Western Morristown. We arrived at 3:30 PM and had a relaxing dinner and free breakfast at the motel. We left Sunday morning at 10 AM and arrived at the Premier Parking lot at 10:40 AM. The shuttle had us dropping off our bags and checking in at 11 AM. Embarkation: Arrived at desk, lines for Elite members were short and we were on the ship at 11:30 AM. Went to the Oceanview Cafe for lunch with our carry on bags as they said the cabins would be ready at 1 PM. Lunch in was fine. The cabin was ready soon after we finished our lunch . Cabins: The cabin 9149 a CC Balcony cabin was attractively decorated and good sized for the price. The balcony offered privacy and had nice tables and chairs which we used once in a while. We had a nice shower with a movable shower head. Cabin service was efficient and unobtrusive. The bed had a nice mattress and the room was good sized. We had enough closet and drawer space. My wife liked what they had on the TV. We had a bottle of champagne on ice when we arrived and again on our anniversary. Public Areas: The public areas are nice and the ship never feel crowded. Shops had little we desired. They had good shows on board and the singers and dancers were good. We went to the Elite tea and wine tasting and enjoyed the Elite social hour on 5 of the nights. We got a night cap at the bar each night. There was plenty of activities to keep you busy all day. Dining: I requested 2nd seating dining and got a large table for 9 where we felt like part of a crowd, but we had a good but slow waiter. We ate all our meals here except when we were in port and the main restaurant was closed for lunch. We went to the open seating for breakfast and lunch in the Dining room every day we could. The attendance in the main dining rooms was far less that capacity due to number eating in the Oceanview Cafe. The food in the main dining room was good, but has slipped in quality. We had pizza, and hot dogs several times for a snacks. The food in the Oceanview Cafe was decent. Tours: We did and island bus tour on the first day, on the second day we did the glass bottom boat and we did the horse drawn buggy on the third day. We shopped at Hamilton and the Dock yard. Disembarkation was smooth. We did express walk off and were off the ship at 7:15 AM, and on the Shuttle to the parking lot at 7:30 AM. We were on the road back to Cleveland by 8 AM and arrived home at 4 PM with a lunch and several rest stops. Overall, I was satisfied, and put in several $100 future cruise letters. I did enjoy the Elite benefits and that made up for any short coming's. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Took my first cruise on the Celebrity Summit to Bermuda on Sept.2-7, which was offered thru my local AAA. Bus transportation to and from the pier, a 4 hr. drive was included in the price of the cruise so it was perfect for me. My best ... Read More
Took my first cruise on the Celebrity Summit to Bermuda on Sept.2-7, which was offered thru my local AAA. Bus transportation to and from the pier, a 4 hr. drive was included in the price of the cruise so it was perfect for me. My best friend went with me, her 2nd cruise, and we were on board within 15mins. of getting off the bus. Had a nice lunch at the Waterfall Cafe ,so much to choose from and everything I had , all thru the cruise was really good,and was in our inside stateroom around 2.I was surprised at how much room we had, more than enough for the 2 of us. Very nice.We spent the rest of the day exploring the ship, having dinner in the main dining room,we had any time dining,from 5:30 till 9. The food choices were wonderful and very good and service was excellent and quite fast, not to mention how beautiful the dining room was. We ate there 3 nites. We saw several of the shows and thought they were top notch entertainment. Also took the galley tour and that was very interesting. The crew of the Summit were all so very polite, happy, and pleasant and treated us like royalty, what a wonderful experience. Bermuda was very beautiful and easy to go out and about. We had 2 day transportation tickets and used buses and ferries to go anywhere we wanted.Disembarking was easy and only took maybe a hour by the time we were back on the bus headed for home. All in all I feel it was a wonderful cruise on a beautiful ship to a beautiful destination and I definitely would do it again the very same way.I also would recommend this cruise to other first timers as I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Embarkation very smooth in Bayonne and we were eating lunch within the hour. The only cons for us...OceanView Cafe selections for dinner had very few selections. We had to wait 25 minutes for a piece of chicken to be grilled. Room ... Read More
Embarkation very smooth in Bayonne and we were eating lunch within the hour. The only cons for us...OceanView Cafe selections for dinner had very few selections. We had to wait 25 minutes for a piece of chicken to be grilled. Room Service for breakfast forgot to bring something (Equal, napkins, utensils) every morning. Evening Room Service took over an hour. Our cabin attendent kept apologizing...not sure why it was his fault. Disappointed that Celeb doesn't do their regular, great Meet and Mingle Party on a 6 day cruise...we really like starting a cruise with meeting our blogger friends. Pros...Great weather, very smooth sailing and ship was beautiful. Select Dining went very well for us with Sweetesh and Lan spoiling us with great service every night. Lobster and beef tenderloin were the best ever eaten on a cruise (16 cruises under our belts). Joseph kept us happy with servicing our cabin very well. Thanks for the pitcher of water filled all day...shhh, I won't tell anyone that Celeb stopped this service. Didn't miss a trivia game, and we won many times thanks to Karen and Mark on our team. Jennifer and Luis were great with the games. Muriel had fun trying to explain the questions with her Spanish accent...keep practicing sweet Muriel. Thanks Luis and Kirsty for the Dance Club...my DH taped it and my family wasn't surprised to see me having so much fun dancing. Bermuda was gorgeous...we really liked Snorkel Park. Celeb is still our favorite cruiseline. Hope to do the 14 day cruise to Canada next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We took the bus down from Ct. to Bayonne. The best way to get there, in my opinion. Arrived about 12:45, and sat in the library, as we didn't want to schlep our luggage around the buffet. We were hoping for a 1:00 entry into the ... Read More
We took the bus down from Ct. to Bayonne. The best way to get there, in my opinion. Arrived about 12:45, and sat in the library, as we didn't want to schlep our luggage around the buffet. We were hoping for a 1:00 entry into the cabins, but it was 1:30. Our first concierge class, and first balcony. Not our last. :). Lunch in the buffet was good. We ended up eating breakfast and lunch there every day. We did enjoy the fresh squeezed o.j. From room service, but their coffee was awful. Did that one morning, then had tea. All meals in MDR, except one in the Normandie. It was okay, but took a long time, and wasn't much better than the MDR. We really enjoyed the escargot and Caesar salads. We got them almost every night. I guess we are stick in the MUDs, because we only saw one show. We just were tired at the end of the day. If I had one complaint, it was that we sat under the speaker at the brunch, and it was LOUD! If I were seated there every night, I would ask to be moved. We enjoyed the ship very much. The thalassotherapy pool was great. We are not knowledgeable about sushi, but enjoyed it one evening before dinner. I liked the buffet, and if it had a few more tables, would have been better. Not possible, I know. The movies on the t.v. were mostly in French. A few in English would have been nice. I liked the Fox channel, and CNBC, but somedays it wasn't live. I like seeing the ticker going by, and keeping up with the news. Really enjoyed sitting on our balcony. It made the room feel larger, too. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
My husband and I are very experience cruisers and this cruise was chosen because it departed and returned from Port Liberty and made i a very easy cruise for us New Yorkers. There was not one area in which this ship excelled others we have ... Read More
My husband and I are very experience cruisers and this cruise was chosen because it departed and returned from Port Liberty and made i a very easy cruise for us New Yorkers. There was not one area in which this ship excelled others we have been on, including the Holland America, the Queen Mary II (Cunard) and Crystal. First of all,the pool was the least inviting part of the ship. If you look at the brochures, they never, never show it crowded like it always was..... More than 2000 passengers in the summer heat and a tiny pool with not enough louge chairs....it was a flesh pot...crumpled towels all over, unfinished drinks,trays of food. 15 people in tiny, tiny hot tubs, loudspeakers playing raucous music and games. As for the spa.....WHAT SPA? I always pay for a spa to have a quiet relaxation room... soft lounge chairs facing the ocean with soft music....Forget it, it doesn't exist on the Summit. Every other Spa has a private whirlpool and relaxation area with their spa....not so with the Summmit. They have a THALASSO POOL for adults only. (18yrs+) Of the 2000+ guests on the ship, that might be 1500 eligible adults and this pool is also jammed with people who are in many cases jumping the "waves" with drinks. I went to the pool on Day 1 and not again.My last cruise on the New Amsterdam set the standard for a pool and offered inexpensive canvas cabanas to rent poolside where butlers served champange an chocolate covered strawberries. There is no comparison, in my opinion of these two ships in the same price category. Next: Dining. The Cosmopolitan Dining Room, the main dining room. The food was quite good for what it was, the main dining room in a mega ship. he staff was good and eager to please. However, there were only two alternate venues with a $40. per person surcharge. ($80. couple +gratiuity? +wine?) In the Holland America there were several more choices and more sophisticated alteratives.The Verandas: Because the ship was designed to maximize the number of cabins with verandas there are very few decks with nice wallking decks and lounge chairs, cushioned long deck chairs. That could be compensated for if your veranda had long, adjustable lounge chairs, No, they are not. Even in Concierge Class your chairs are sit up chairs and a drink table. If you want to put your feet up, just use the table. OK..SO HOW ABOUT THE LIBRARY: Two tiny rooms. Hardly deserving of being called a library. When we saw it, we thought it was the entrance. Does not compare to Cunard or Holland America. What we enjoyed:Deck 5. Deck 5 has lots of small nooks with comfortable chairs that overlook the sea. Al Bacio serves wonderful espresso and capuccino. Bistro 5 is open all day and is never crowded. There are lots of small nooks to read and relax in comfortable chairs. On the 11th floor the Revelations Lounge is opened all day and very quiet, EXCEPT for when it is taken over by the FUN FACTORY for children and disco dancing at night. Otherwise it is comfortable and exquisite. On September 3, I am signed up for the Equinox in the Eastern Mediterranean, with friends. I hope I have a better exerience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
My wife, 14 yr old daughter and I returned this morning from the 8/19 Summit cruise to Bermuda. This was our first cruise on Celebrity, after previously cruising on Royal Caribbean and Carnival. I wanted so much to love this ship, but... ... Read More
My wife, 14 yr old daughter and I returned this morning from the 8/19 Summit cruise to Bermuda. This was our first cruise on Celebrity, after previously cruising on Royal Caribbean and Carnival. I wanted so much to love this ship, but... Still, all in all we had a good cruise. Boarding: Boarding was quick and easy, We had a concierge club veranda stateroom, so were on board in no time at all. We bought the premium drink package, although my wife and I disagree about its value. Having enjoyed so many of my favorite beers along with Bombay and tonics all week, I'm certainly on the "pro" side. Grabbed sandwhiches and ate outdoors on the aft section of deck 10. Drink machines were out of service, and the sandwich counter ran out of fries and chips (hints of things to come). Room: Our Concierge Club veranda stateroom (8072) was a good room, but the bathroom was not re-done during the Solticizing. The shower curtain was no problem, but the bathroom had a strong musty smell that was a bit much. A painter trolley was tied to our balcony, partially blocking our view. I don't remember seeing 8072 as partially obstructed, but a trolley that's moored to your balcony and that reaches up to the next deck sure counts as an obstruction in my book. My wife spoke to guest services, who told her that the cabin was indeed listed as an obstructed view cabin on the Celebrity website, and that we should have seen that when we booked. Wrong answer! I just now went through a booking process on Celebrity's website for a Summit southern Caribbean cruise, Concierge Club C2 cabin, and here's what it says: "Note: Staterooms 8047, 8048, 8049, 8050, 8051, 8052, 8053, 8054, 9040, 9042, 9044, 9045, 9046, 9047 and 9049 have partially obstructed views. Staterooms 8102, 8108, 9094 and 9100 have smaller verandas that are semi-private." So there'll be some 'splainin to be done about that. The veranda had 2 chairs and a table, and ample space for two. The room was a nice size, and was large enough for 3 people, but the vestibule is a choke point with the bathroom door opening opposite closet doors, which open against the entry door. The in-room PA speaker only worked part of the time. The in-room safe lost our combination twice, but the cabin attendant was quickly able to gain entry. The veranda slider was hard to open and close. It stuck somewhere on bottom runner. Our room attendant Sydney was superb. He worked for 2 days to get us the pillows that we requested. He was always around, and was always friendly and helpful. Concierge perks: The canape and cheese plates, and fruit bowls, were a nice touch. The ice bucket was constantly refilled The Celebrity tote bag came in handy. BTW - they no longer exchange the complimentary bottle of champagne for wine, (regardless of the presidents shown). Dining: Our table number was not printed on our cards - curious. We requested a table of four so that we three could dine alone (I'm a lung transplantee and am immuno-suppressed), but we ended up as half of a six top. I requested a change, which came through the next day. Entry to the main dining room is a mess, with lines snaking back from the two entrances (port and starboard) through the Rendezvous lounge (where shows were happening despite lines of waiting diners blocking the views of the show). The first night was a mess, as nobody knew either their table, or its location. Head waiters were barking table numbers to junior waiters who acted as guides. The first two nights started late, so we came later after that. Contrary to reviews mentioning slow sommelier service, we had excellent service each night, courtesy of Jomkwan. She was always around when needed, and offered good advice. One wine problem was that they would recommend a wine on one night, then run out the next. To me this reflects poorly on management. Their forecasting should be better than that. Our wait staff was outstanding. Head waiter Sebastaio (aka Pedro Fernandez) and assistant waiter Zaira couldn't have been better. They were always there, and when problems arose they were dealt with quickly and effectively. Sebastaio even somehow managed to get us three servings of Coq au vin without mushrooms - a minor miracle. Food reviews: Day 1: Prime Rib was good, but not great. Cold granny smith apple and peach soup was great -- tasty and refreshing. Day 2: Tournadoes of beef -- the first attempt was raw, but the second try was perfect. They were excellent. I also found that frogs legs do indeed taste just like chicken. Day 3: Steak and French onion soup -- again good, but not great. Day 4: The Anjou pear and gorgonzola cheese tart was incredible. The Coq au vin was out of this world stupendous, the best dish of the cruise in all of our opinions. The T-bone steak was good, but not great. We missed day 5, as we were all too tired after beach day. Day 6: The proscuitto arugula salad excellent, as was the chilled wildberry soup. The smoked tomato bisque was a cup of heaven. I could have just eaten many of bowls of that, and been perfectly happy. The Beef Wellington was very good, and the lobsters were good, but a little tough, per my wife and daughter. Still, they managed to put away two tails apiece. Day 7: The Vichyssiose was cold perfection, and the chicken Kiev excellent. Desserts were uniformly excellent throughout the cruise.. Buffets: Breakfast pretty much the same as RCCL or Carnival - bad. Except for fresh- made waffels, it was all sub-standard ( which perhaps is indeed the standard). Lunch has a good sandwich station, but the setup is confusing and peope aren't sure where to line up, or who gets served next. I saw a few disputes over this. This is basic stuff and should be cleaned up. The sushi and stir fry stations in the evening were outstanding. Other notes on buffet: there was virtually no self serve, and while this is presented under the guise of enhanced service, it seemed much more like portion control to me. I saw much food lost when colliding with one of two sneeze plates as plates were being passed back and forth between servers and guests. Certain beverage machines remained inoperative all week. Huh? How does that happen? The buffet staff were attentive, and were often around to clean up plates and to get drinks. We found them to be very helpful Pools: Undersized and overused. They all say "no children", but where are the kids supposed to go? Deck chairs were non-existent, and chair hogs did indeed abound. Some chairs were non-reclining, and were formed in a way guaranteed to cause pain if you stayed in them too long. Some days the only chairs available were this painful variety, and only up on the sun deck. The thalassotherapy pool was indeed "old people soup", although it was nice to sit in the enclosed area during the heat of the days. Dishes and cups piled up on the ground, due to lack of pickup by staff. Activities: Ho-hum. The comedienne was adequate. (Everything was "crazy"). The lounge acts were forgettable, especially the piano player who opened up his set with an unfortunate piano version of Hendrix's "Hey Joe" (really?). Typical cruise guitar players -- so technically proficient, but so limited to one particular playing style that everything ends up sounding the same. I'd like to throw all cruise guitarists into a room together for a month, and perhaps each would come out a more rounded musician. The a cappella quartet was talented, but their homesy "college geek" style is fatally outdated in this day and age. The Dapper Dans called. They want their act back. I had been looking forward to the National Geographic talks, but none captured my attention. The "Summit Idol" show and the Employee Talent Show were lots of fun. Bars/lounges: Michael's is beer heaven. Say no more. The Martini bar was always hopping, and the bartenders put on a show. Rendezvous handles the crowds pretty well. Teen club: Club X was nothing at all, according to our 14 year old daughter. She spent the week with us instead. Bermuda: Hamilton is officially my favorite port city, and will soon be a destination of ours, minus the cruise. It was lovely. Horseshoe Bay was just as beautiful as Warwick Long Beach was a few years ago. Crowded, but a great beach nevertheless. Unfortunately though, St. George is either dying or dead. My family was so disappointed at our day up there. So many stores closed, so little to see or do. Perhaps it was just us, but I didn't see anything there that justified the trip, and I'm a history buff too. It appears that, with no ships docking in town, it is withering away. That's too bad. Guests: This was your typical tri-state area crowd, loud, proud, and sometimes extremely pushy. It just goes with the territory. Language observation: It seemed that many of the buffet staff had extremely poor English skills.. I understand that the buffet is often an entry-level position, but in some cases they seemed not to understand words that were crucial to their station. I can understand when they don't get "frankfurter", "a few" or "a couple". But if you're working the grill you need to understand "hot dog" or "onions". A review from a few weeks ago mentioned new staff, so perhaps that was the case. I want to stress, however, that language barrier or not, the buffet workers all busted their humps to provide great service. Management observations: The ship seemed to be constantly running out of food materials such as ice cream in the buffet, bread, chips and french fries in the sandwich section, and wines in the main dining room. There were the previously mentioned broken drink machines in the buffet. Planned sales in the Emporium on the last sea day were train wrecks. Masses of people ripping open boxes, and there not enough employees to handle the crowds. It was ugly. Elevators were out of service and being repaired at an alarming rate throughout the cruise. Michael's pub was closed daily for the repeat cruisers' happy hour get together. I'm not against the function, but could you consider maybe moving it around to other venues on a daily basis? Maybe the Wine Cellar? And speaking of the Wine Cellar...oh that's right. Nobody speaks about the Wine Cellar. Nor do they go there. This is wasted (ie; non-profitable) space. Speaking of wasted space, my daughter showed me a large open area up on the 12th deck that looked completely under-utilized, although perhaps they put more deck chairs out there in the day. When I saw it, it was vacant space. Perhaps a mini golf course? All of the above are issues that reflect poorly on both line and upper management's ability to plan for the short and the long term. Overall. The ships' workers were fantastic, trying their hardest to please. Sure there were some communication issues, but they aim to please regardless. We enjoyed our cruise, but not as much as we'd hoped. We all agree that we'll probably stick to Royal Caribbean in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
We are avid and happy cruisers. This was our 8th cruise and having never sailed Celebrity, we were lead to believe that Celebrity would provide us with an experience that would be a cut-above other premium cruises. In reality, it was a ... Read More
We are avid and happy cruisers. This was our 8th cruise and having never sailed Celebrity, we were lead to believe that Celebrity would provide us with an experience that would be a cut-above other premium cruises. In reality, it was a huge disappointment. In general, the Summit is a rather generic cruise ship with average cabins and facilities that struggle to cope with its number of passengers. Systems seem lacking in the food services area where it was always a confusing scramble to find a table. Food quality was more "miss" than "hit" with the theme being "dry" and "salty". Likewise, the sterile-looking buffet area continued to serve the same food over and over again, frequently closing stations and announcing that drink stations were being repaired. Overall, there seemed to be a lack of energy and excitement on this ship; there was no soul. The basics are there but the wow factor is missing. Here are some more details: WHAT WE LIKED The Aqua-spa pool area for adults (although kids are not regulated) The rattan-style deck chairs (not nearly enough) The entertainment (particularly the guest-entertainers) The brunch buffet hosted on the last sailing day Bermuda (wonderful!) WHAT WAS JUST OKAY Cabins Cabin service Common areas and grand foyer Cosmopolitan Dining Room (although congested) Fitness area WHAT WAS NOT GOOD Filthy balcony Mold in the shower Lounge areas that were depressingly dark Overcrowded pool area Open seating dining (no system; we waited 90 minutes one night and other guests were fuming, commenting on how disorganized things were) Pay-dining rooms that were frequently empty while the main dining room was consistently packed with people waiting No place to return our sandy wet beach towels on our return from Bermuda Plumbing issues (Leaking sink on arrival; malfunctioning toilet later in the cruise) Frequent cancelling of teen program activities Limited and dirty public toilets in the common areas, particularly the buffet area Dis-embarkment procedure that was vague and not helpful Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
This was my first Celebrity cruise and I am very pleased with their line. My party arrived at the pier at 1pm. Within one hour from us arriving at the Pier, we were on board the ship. This includes dropping off the luggage, parking ... Read More
This was my first Celebrity cruise and I am very pleased with their line. My party arrived at the pier at 1pm. Within one hour from us arriving at the Pier, we were on board the ship. This includes dropping off the luggage, parking the car, taking the shuttle back to the ship and checking in. However, we were given priority check in, due to the fact that I have taken a number of cruises with Royal Caribbean and the loyalty plan is extended to Celebrity Cruises. After negotiating the crowded buffet,we had a comfortable, indoor, muster drill inside of Michael's Sports Bar. We enjoyed sailing away from NY on the fourth floor sitting on cushioned sun chairs. At 5:30, I went back to my stateroom and all of my luggage was there. The same goes for the rest of our party in their cabins. We entertained ourselves until our late seating reservation. We had a lovely table in the back of the main dining room and the serving staff were professional and hardworking men. As with most things I have noticed about Celebrity, the subtleties were what made it stand out. Our wait staff were friendly and polite without interrupting our conversation with silly gimmicks. The next two days were enjoyed at sea. I prefer to choose seating away from the pool to avoid the noise of crowds, fools and bad parents. Sadly, the quality of chair available in these areas were of poorer quality than the ones available near the pool. Naturally, all of the most comfortable lounge chairs were "reserved" at dawn with enough towels to soak up the pool itself. However, the pool butlers would remove a towel or book if the people in the adjacent area would agree that the owners of the towel, book and hat had not been seen in more than one half hour. I never ate in the specialty restaurants, but wanted to. Qsine looked especially interesting. I just got carried away having fun. The breakfast and lunch offered outside the spa was wonderful. They had yogurt parfait's, granola, fresh fruit and packaged yogurt for breakfast. For lunch you could have tuna, salmon or pork grilled. They had an interesting salad bar with more sophisticated options than the salad bar in the buffet. The buffet lunch was tasty, but nothing unique. The dinners in the main dining room was fantastic every night. No one was disappointed. The one excursion we did was paddle boarding. It was very difficult and the experience was sub par. The catamaran was not like the white, netted quasi sail boat that I have taken previously. This boat was a more functional, gray boat with cushions around the perimeter of the boat. The Captain did not treat us as paying customers. He treated us like fraternity brothers. Some gems from his mouth included "I used to captain a much bigger boat which would take people to an island party, but those people were incapable of intelligent conversation" and a particularly long winded story about showing up to work hungover. Not exactly the kind of island information I wanted to know. Apparently, the two other guides provided information on the history, flora and fauna of the island.Bermuda was beautiful. We took the bus to Horseshoe Bay Beach. It was very enjoyable. Another day, we took the ferry to Hamilton. Shopping is not a favorite activity of mine, so I spent about 90 minutes there. I have been to Bermuda several times, so I didn't feel the need to jam pack my stay with activity there. However, most other passengers seemed to have enjoyed themselves. I don't particularly mind children, but I do mind poor parenting. Sadly, though there weren't many children on board, they did stand out by their behavior. From the two boys trying to score a basket by throwing the basketball off the second story pool deck to the little girl and her mother singing into the child's microphone five feet away from where I was reading. Poor parenting abounds. Let's not forget about the drunk teenagers screaming as they ran past my cabin at 2 a.m. Due to the loyalty program, my party was able to enjoy drinks and snacks most evenings in Michael's. The staff was incredible. After one evening, they knew our names and preferences, how much time for small talk was appropriate and remembered details that we had spoken about previously. Top notch. I will definitely cruise with Celebrity Cruises again. However, I would stay in a balcony cabin and make sure I tried the specialty restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Travel To Port of Embarkation - By car from Pennsylvania (via I-78) Hotel Info (if any) - very familar with Newark Airport from consulting experience. We drove to Newark Airport and spent the night at the Newark Airport Marriott hotel. ... Read More
Travel To Port of Embarkation - By car from Pennsylvania (via I-78) Hotel Info (if any) - very familar with Newark Airport from consulting experience. We drove to Newark Airport and spent the night at the Newark Airport Marriott hotel. Port of Bayonne, NJ Terminal is so new it your best bet is to stay at hotels near Newark Airport. Marriott is pricey but worth the 5 star property is has been for years. Ship Info - Celebrity Summit sailing 7/29 - 8/5 Embarkation - VIP Check-In was outstanding. The Conceirge Kevin T. escorted us to the VIP area (Normandie Restaurant) since the staterooms were not yet ready. Both Kevin and the Captain's Club host, Lionel who introduced himself to us were very the best of the best on the ship. We really enjoyed Lionel and as I work professionally with many people from India and abroad, we really hit it off with him. He ended up providing us 2 complimentary ship-board passes with access to the Captain's club daily exclusive club meeting locations. We did not take advantage of these as we spent more relaxation time than we did socializing. (Shame on us!) Activities - my wife and I selected this cruise to relax and stare at each other, the sea and explore the quaint solitude of Bermuda. We are not active cruise-regulars. So we are not activity-driven on a cruise, yet the ship's activities were numerous if that is what you are looking for on a cruise. We had planned on using the Aqua spa pool Thalassotherapy pool, yet it was quite crowded on the pool deck most days. We did take advantage during the dining hours however. The comedian on-board was a big hit, and they added a special adults-only late night show on Friday night. Sorry we missed you Tom, we will look for you on cable... Service - My first career path was working in the hospitality industry, and running a single restaurant each day is difficult enough. Unless you have broken down or set-up a Sunday brunch, or managed an institutional cafeteria, then you really don't get to complain. My only complaint was two-fold - there was a double-line small grill in back of the Oceanview Cafe near the outside bar, if it is set up as a double-service line, then please provide the staff to work both sides...Steam tables, keep those eggs, bacon and sausages at the correct temperatures-most were cold most days. Work-around - wait for the omeleete station and get em prepared hot...Fish and Chips station- keep that open longer please. Everything was shut-down at midnight...except the very limited room service. Port & Shore Excursions We had read and asked others on the way there what they recommended as far as shore excursions in Bermuda. We did pick one of the Celebrity excursions (Night Glass Bottom boat excursion) prior to sail date. This was outstanding. Bermuda was closed-down on Thursday and Friday due to their Emancipation Day holiday. The ship Shore Excursion staff was very informative about the holiday, and how most buses and taxis would be limited - we felt like they were trying to scare you into only selecting their excursions. When we arrived at King's Wharf on Wed AM, we decided to buy the 2-day Bus and Ferry pass for Wed and Thursday. An old family friend told me once to begin excursions at the farthest point and work your way back to your hotel/ship...We took the ferry to St. George on Wed. To our surprise, there was a Bermuda Volunteer Tour Guide of British descent, on the ferry. He provided us with a fantastic overview of Bermuda, St. George, as well as their Holiday and the cross-island Cricket Cup-match...(as they say in the UK, John's overview was "the Bee's Knees"... On Thursday and Friday, there were plenty of Taxi-mini vans, Buses and Ferries running despite the Holiday. St. George and side streets - great little town and go see all the gardens and sites from Fodor's, etc. Ate at White Horse Tavern - i realize Bermuda is pricey but no value for the $$ is another issue altogether. Great free shuttle that was running to Fort St. Catherines. Stateroom - 6140 simply the best - we had a butler but feel like we got off on the wrong foot with him. When they told us our staterooms were ready we did not see nor hear from him until later on that evening. The hotel director Ugo? Provided us with complimentary champagne and a nice bottle of white wine that we did not discover in the mini-bar fridge until second or third night...he left notes, yet that would be better left with a personal note on the coffee table in the future...The butler (John M.) - a very professional butler, yet our suggestion on the ship to the conceirge was to ask butler to provide more of an overview of what he is there to provide you. Some guests know what the butler is there to assist you with...we never were even asked if we required unpacking or packing assistance (who really does need that?) The cruise line would be better to inform the guest about the stateroom dining options, yet they want you to go to all their restaurants now, don't they. Dining Normandie - 5 star - but let the customer enjoy their meal...a little too attentive and interpersonalable at times - F&B directors should train staff better. Outstanding Dover Sole, Filet, Souffle appetizer scrumptious. Save room for the chese cart and dessert...perhaps try refusing the bread..ha ha Children's Clubs - our children are 3 aussie shepherds - not allowed on the cruise but we will be looking for a doggy theme cruise in the future with a poop-deck :-) Entertainment - already mentioned Tom. Really need to look at more professional bands. Guitarist sorry, forgot your name, was good, Rendezvous lounge band - sorry but you need help and were too lowd... Celebrity needs to improve there entertainment. I agree with a separate reviewer, who is a professional musician, mentioned the same thing. BBH - on the Steel Drum keeps the Deck 10 Aft Bar hoppin...need music playing back there at all times. Entertainment officier should take note back there. Disembarkation - well - for what we paid - VIP all the way getting on board, but they couldn't care less about you getting off...no VIP early off in Jersey...good fight between a man, his mother and a crazed woman who refused to step over his luggage, surprised the switchblades didn't come out, next time we will bring the mace just in case- I LUV NY! Casino - run away, run away! Stop at the Martini bar or the Gelato bar and and spend your money in a much better way (and you get numb without the sadness)... Summary - Cruise lines are a business and to my wife and I, it is all about what you want to make of it. We picked this cruise knowing that Celebrity just re-invested 20 or 40 million dollars in the ship...if you don't think you are paying for it then you need to get more creative about your vacation planning... Nicest Complement - Goes to Conceirge and Captains Club Host. 5 star guys and thank you. 2nd Nicest Complement - Goes to Deck 10 Aft Bar staff and the Casino waitress (Anca? - congratulations and best of luck to your wedding in Nov. in Romania) Activties Director and assistant - seemed to be all about them...didn't meet them. Harshest complaint - Afternoon tea service - really? someone leaves me 6 quarter sized round toast points on an ungarnished covered plate, 2 with baby shrimp and 4 with salmon/pate...really? 2nd harsh complaint - yes we smoke and know we are fools, but proper designation of the smoking areas with better signage would benefit smokers and non smokers alike...at the suite level, exceptions should be made permitting smoking on the balconies while at sea...it is windy enough at 20 knots... Beverage Package - Premium - worth ever drink/penny, like that you only pay the upgrade difference. Recommendations - a more enigmatic Cruise Director - with only 8 Royal Suites - you could add a coordinated meet and great time for the Bulter, where he provides you the overview of the ship...or have the butler come to the Normandie restaurant and escort you to your room... Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Background- We were on the July 22, 2012 cruise to Bermuda on the Summit. We're 30 (me) and 32 (my husband "J") from CT. No kids. It was my 3rd cruise, J's first. I can't really compare this cruise to my first 2, ... Read More
Background- We were on the July 22, 2012 cruise to Bermuda on the Summit. We're 30 (me) and 32 (my husband "J") from CT. No kids. It was my 3rd cruise, J's first. I can't really compare this cruise to my first 2, because I was young and didn't have an eye for service or food then. However, my second cruise was on RCI and we had an inside room, which I will never do again because of the lack of daylight. You should also know that we are self proclaimed "food snobs". Our only hobby as a couple is dining out and being obsessed with the Food Network-Chopped, Iron Chef, etc. So here we go! Embarkation: We drove to Bayonne from CT in just about 2 hours. We had no traffic thank goodness. We arrived at the dock around 12:45 I think, and parked in the regular parking area. We got through embarkation in about 30 minutes then made some dinner reservations at the kiosk before we got on the ship. Normandie for Sunday and Thursday nights. Cabin: We had a balcony cabin 6053. It has a triangle shaped balcony because it's on the spot where the ship moves from wider to narrower. It was nice and big and I was very impressed by the room! Very tasteful decor and everything was clean and ready to go. I found the storage, bathroom size, and bedroom size very suitable for 2 people. Our cabin steward was Orlan, who was on time and polite almost to a fault. We actually spent a lot of time in the cabin, which interfered with the cleaning sometimes. I think I will always want a balcony from now on, and I wouldn't even feel bad upgrading to a suite since we liked spending time in the cabin so much. Public Areas: I LOVED this ship. It was tasteful, understated modern elegance. I loved the art everywhere (I'm an art teacher) and all the furniture was so cool. I hate tacky cruise ship decor like on the Carnival Sensation and Monarch of the Seas. Those were the 2 ships I've been on before. The pool on the summit was nice, but I had a really hard time getting a chair. The only good times to get a chair are on port days when a lot of people are off the ship. Otherwise, good luck getting a chair after 9am. However, I did notice one pool butler taking towels off empty chairs, but by that point it was kind of too late. The Gym: I never thought I'd be one of those people who works out on vacation, but the gym was so nice and comfortable that I ended up working out almost every day. Also those workouts were pretty necessary after some of the dinners we had! Service: Overall, the service was really great. If it hadn't been, I wouldn't have let that ruin my vacation, but it was so nice to be treated to such good service. An example of good service- in the buffet it was kind of crowded at lunch time, and we were looking for a table. One of the waiters took my tray and led me to a perfect table by the window. I didn't even have to ask! Another example- We got to the theater late and there were no seats to be found. I was looking around and all of a sudden one of the attendants pulled up two rolling chairs for us and we were able to sit right away! In the specialty restaurants the service was excellent. And, the food and wine servers work in different places during the day, so our wine server from the main dining room found us in the buffet during lunch the next day and addressed us by name and remembered what kind of wine I liked. Food: We ate in the MDR twice, both formal nights. The rest we split between the specialty restaurants. Here's my take on cruise ship food. In other reviews I've read, people say the food is excellent, great, fabulous, delicious, etc. I wouldn't use any of those words to describe the Main Dining Room and Buffet food. Really, it's not that good. I'd call it decent banquet hall food. But what can you really expect? I'm sure they can't keep a tank with 5000 live lobsters on board. They said they only load food once a week (learned that in the galley tour), so it's inevitable that food will have to be frozen. Plus, they said they make 9000 meals a day, so everything can't be fresh and perfect like in a 5 star restaurant. So for what it is, working with the limits that they have, it's good enough. But don't tell me it's fabulous, because that is just not true. Did this keep us from stuffing ourselves every night? No. Normandie- In short, it's worth the 40$. If you eat at Normandie, you get SO MUCH FOOD. Apps were great, I recommend the scallop wellington and the risotto. We both ordered two apps each- the other two being quail salad and pork belly. The quail salad was ok. Pork belly wasn't that good- I've had better. All the entrees looked good. We ended up getting the lobster that was prepared tableside, made in a cognac cream sauce, and I got the duck. It was a huge portion. We also got desserts, but before they brought them out they had a cheese course and some petit fours. The best part of Normandie was the ambience and the service. Carlos was the best server. Qusine- Probably also worth the 40$, but we had two experiences that marred the experience a bit. One was that even though it's supposed to be a more casual "family style" place, my husband got sent back to put on long pants when we got there. I swear I heard them say it was casual when they did their pitch at the end of the galley tour, but I guess shorts are not acceptable. The only other problem was that we ate too much, but I guess I can't complain about that. The whole "uniquely unordinary" concept was really cool and I'd like to see it in a land based restaurant. Ordering on iPads, not using conventional serving vessels...it was cool. And the decor in there is to die for. But, it is probably best to go with more people so you don't have to stuff yourself. When you order, you add the dishes to your "favorites" on the iPad. We had nine in our list. After 4 we were stuffed but we managed to eat one more before we had to tell our waiter to stop bringing food. And then we had dessert. I would say don't miss the Painter's Filet, it was the only real filet we had on the ship. (in the MDR on the first formal night, J had a filet steak but it was not really a filet. It was sirloin in filet's clothing, I promise. I know my meat!) Bistro on 5- We LOVED this. 5$ cover charge is really worth it and we ate there at least 3 times. We like that there was no reservation needed, we liked that the food was freshly made and didn't have that mass-produced feel. We got to watch the cooks making the crepes each time, and we were inspired to buy some crepe-making materials ourselves! Everything we tasted was awesome. It was surprisingly empty each night, and it was nice to be in a quiet place. This is not just for lunch! Activities: Overall the activities were great, but a little repetitive especially at night. We don't really drink, so we found ourselves a little bored at night. Almost all of the night activities were various bands playing in various bars, which for us, isn't really an activity. If we liked to get drunk, we might not have been bored. Daytime activities were all pretty good, but the cooking demos were kind of cheesy. I really enjoyed the galley tour. If you're going to go to that one, make sure you get there early or you'll end up waiting a long time for your group to actually get into the galley, since they have to take small groups in. Bingo was fun, I won 457$! Interesting fact though, they credit your sea pass card with your winnings, which was fine, but I wonder what would have happened if I had won the 5000$ jackpot they were advertising. I wouldn't have wanted that on my sea pass. Evening shows: Only 2 were good- the comedian Steve Caouette (don't miss!), and the Xylophonist. The other shows were terrible in a fun way- just about as tacky and cheesy as one can handle. Luckily, I was so starved for musical theater that I didn't care, but if I had expected anything like Broadway, I would have been disappointed. If you like colors, lights, sounds, and costumes, you'll like the stage shows. Bermuda: Oh yeah, I almost forgot we went to Bermuda! It was great! It's such a unique country because it's a 50/50 blend between tourism and real Bermudian culture. Very expensive, but cool. For excursions, we only did one, which was the Crystal Caves and Aquarium tour. It was an excellent way to see the island and two really good sights. Our tour driver also stopped at a few smaller sights so we could take pictures. I would recommend this tour. We visited St. George's on our own by ferry, and it was very cool. We went to the visitor's center and got the self-guided walking tour pamphlet, and took a walk around. The third day we explored the dockyard and went to the snorkel park. It was crowded but we had a good time at the beach. Gambling: If you are going to do any gambling in the ship's casino, do it on the first day or immediately after you leave Bermuda. I'm sure it's no coincidence that my husband won a lot on those days. The casino wants to keep people happy in the beginning. With my bingo win and his roulette and poker wins, we managed to break even for the week and do everything we wanted including all those specialty restaurant dinners and email checks in the mac lab. Debarkation: Smooth, easy, back home in CT by 11am. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
Celebrity Summit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 3.5 3.7
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.1

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