Celebrity Summit Review
- Pros: Smaller size means consistent service; heavy emphasis on food and wine, with good results
- Cons: Despite refurbs and Solstice-class additions, ship is more than a decade old and it shows
- Bottom Line: The ship presents some of the best features of Celebrity, without being too overwhelming
Celebrity Summit Overview
With a decade and a half under its belt, 2,158-passenger Summit -- which regularly sails the Caribbean in the winter and Bermuda in the summer -- would seem dated on paper. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.
That's because the ship serves as a testing ground for Celebrity to pilot new dining programs and entertainment. No matter how many times you sail, Summit is bound to have something new and the ship attracts a fair number of repeat passengers.
One of the reasons for the large number of repeat customers is the culinary experiences, which can be found throughout the ship. Not just at the two specialty restaurants, or the fresh bites at the Spa Cafe, you'll also find food-inspired activities in a food-and-film pairing at the Rooftop Terrace sun deck and a number of food and wine classes and demonstrations all cruise long.
While all cruisers will enjoy Summit, suite passengers will find many more services that cater to them. Michael's Club, for instance, has been transformed into a haven for suite passengers and VIPs, where concierge service and complimentary drinks are offered. Luminae, a companion restaurant for suite guests, serves three square meals a day, just down the hall from Michael's on Deck 4. Both give cruisers staying in the Suite Class a feeling of exclusivity, and the ability to enjoy suite perks in private spaces outside of their cabin.
And while Celebrity's culinary and suite offerings mesh with the line's modern aspirations, not everything does. The entertainment in particular doesn't live up to the line's contemporary hype. While it touts its "modern luxury" amenities, the production shows feel dated, cheesy and a bit amateurish. Celebrity eschews Broadway name-brand shows in favor of in-house productions such as "Reigning Rocks," a tribute to British rock, and "iHollywood," offering a mashup of song-and-dance numbers from Old to New Hollywood (but laced together in a rather confusing way). Indulgence, a for-fee event billed as "Great Gatsby meets Moulin Rouge," doesn't quite hit the mark and feels more like manufactured entertainment than genuine fun. That being said, we found the comedians who performed to be edgy, and the magic show, "iMagic," was solidly entertaining. The Martini Bar was almost always packed, there were appreciative crowds for live musicians in Rendezvous and Sunset Bar, and passengers got their groove on in Revelations.
Overall, Summit makes a satisfactory cruise experience, particularly for first-timers. The crew, who are more outgoing, engaging and committed than we've found on other cruise ships, make what could be an average cruise outstanding with plenty of senior staff interaction (including photo ops with your captain!). If you're looking for a smaller-sized ship that keeps current with the latest Celebrity trends, you'll find Summit a good choice.
Celebrity Summit Fellow Passengers
Celebrity has been marketing itself to professionals 35 and older who love food and wine, although the ship still attracts a substantial number of baby boomers. When the ship makes its Bermuda runs in the summer, the passenger base is primarily from New York, New Jersey and the East Coast, although we noticed a fair amount of Canadians. In general, Celebrity does not attract as many families; while our summer sailing had 400 children onboard, they were generally seen and not heard. This is also a crowd of low-key partiers -- in general, imbibing seemed responsible.
Celebrity Summit Dress Code
During the day, dress is resort casual, but Celebrity passengers tend to dress up for dinner -- typically button-down or dressy Tommy Bahama-type sport shirts and slacks for men and dresses or smart-casual pants for women. Formal night on Celebrity has been replaced by "evening chic" in the main dining room. This means that men can ditch the full suit and tie in favor of a sport coat and collared shirt, with designer jeans. Women can wear cocktail dresses, sundresses or designer jeans or nice pants. In the buffet, almost any form of dress is allowed except swimwear, flip-flops, spa robes and bare feet.
Celebrity Summit Gratuity
Automatic tips of $13.50 per person, per day, are added to passenger bills, with the amount increased to $14 per person, per day, in Concierge and Aqua Classes and $17 per person, per day, in suites. You can adjust these amounts through Guest Services or give more to your attendant directly. Drinks are assessed an automatic 18-percent service charge, as are spa services.