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16 San Juan to Bermuda Cruise Reviews

8 Day repositioning cruise from San Juan to Bayonne. Ports: San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles; King's Wharf, Bermuda; Bayonne, New Jersey Veranda cabin # 6094 This was my ... Read More
8 Day repositioning cruise from San Juan to Bayonne. Ports: San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles; King's Wharf, Bermuda; Bayonne, New Jersey Veranda cabin # 6094 This was my 3rd cruise with Celebrity and the first time for my fiancé. We both had a fantastic time and our overall experience with Celebrity and Summit was very good. I don’t have a detailed, day by day review to offer you, but I’ll highlight some of my key impressions for the things that matter most to us. I meant to post this review sooner, but having just booked my next Celebrity cruise, it has prompted me to finally do it. I’ll share a link to a gallery of some photos from our trip and will do my best to answer any questions. Summit is a lovely ship and she met our needs almost perfectly. We had read about the refurb and can say that Summit was in great shape. Our deck 6 veranda cabin was clean and well maintained, although cabins such as these and other areas that were not part of the refurb showed some graceful signs of age. The only unpleasant thing we noticed the entire trip was a funky smell in the corridor outside our cabin on a few occasions. There was a heavy duty dehumidifier running in the area on the same days, so perhaps there was a plumbing issue, but thankfully it was only apparent a couple times and only in the corridor. We really enjoyed this itinerary, with its mix of caribbean ports and Bermuda. We arrived one day early in San Juan and had a very nice stay at the Marriott in the Condado section of the city. We arranged ahead of time to take the “Flavors of San Juan” food and culture walking tour, which was fun and educational. It made for a great way to spend the day before boarding the ship. We booked two Celebrity excursions, snorkeling in St. Thomas and kayaking in Bermuda - both excellent. We did St. Martin and most of Bermuda on our own, which worked out great. We ate a particularly memorable lunch at Le Chanteclair bistro on Marina Port Royale in Marigot. Speaking of memorable dining, I’ll disclose that I’m a pretty good cook and a foodie who has sometimes eaten in world class restaurants, so food and wine on board were important considerations. That said, I also understand that a kitchen pumping out thousands of meals a day isn’t going to serve food with the meticulous care that a small, fine dining restaurant can achieve. However, we still felt that the food overall was quite good, especially considering what we paid for it and the challenges that serving food on a cruise ship entails. There may have been the occasional dish here or there that was disappointing, but we generally enjoyed ourselves and ate some terrific meals. I’ll go into a little more specific detail below. The quality of the food in the main dining room was usually very good and lived up to what I’ve come to expect from Celebrity in the past. It seemed as if Celebrity has taken to offering smaller portions in the MDR than I recall previously, but I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing. I actually enjoyed the experience of ordering the full range of courses and not feeling like I was overdoing it. Considering how easy it is to eat as much as you want on board, I can’t fault them on what is perhaps a sensible way to cut back on waste. I should mention here that we went with “Celebrity Select” flexible seating and we always requested a table for two. We usually went to dinner around 7pm and only once did we have to wait more than 5 minutes for a table (which was about 20 minutes). We ate a few breakfasts and a lunch in the MDR, which were enjoyable as well. Carmello, one of the servers in the MDR, was exceptionally good. Our feelings on the Oceanview Cafe are a bit more mixed. Most of the time there was a nice selection of food offered, much of which was quite tasty. However, at times we were surprised to find sections that were either closed or had been severely depleted. One evening we were hoping to enjoy the salad bar, only to find that the greens were all gone. Crew went off to try to bring more up, but if it came, it was long after we had given up. (It was probably after 8pm, for what that’s worth). There was plenty of food during peak hours, but the crowds sometimes made the experience difficult to enjoy. We tried all three of the upcharge restaurants, which was our first time eating in either Qsine, Bistro on 5, or Tuscan Grille. My only previous experience with upcharge dining was in the Olympic restaurant on the Millennium in 2008. I ate dinner there with four other members of my family and we all opted for the wine pairing option. The entire evening, from the food, to the service, and the ambiance, was exceptional and is recalled fondly by all of us to this day. Needless to say, this set a very high level of expectation for what Celebrity can and should offer for an alternative extra fee restaurant. After the Millennium, I sailed on the Mercury, which did not have any alternative dining, so I was really looking forward to dining in Normandie on the Summit - that is until they removed it during the recent dry dock and replaced it with Tuscan Grille. This was very disappointing, but I was still hoping that the same level of excellence would be evident. Unfortunately, Tuscan Grille fell far short of the special dining experience that it should have been. Whereas the Olympic restaurant was elegant and classy, the Tuscan Grille was very contemporary and understated. A more modern ambiance isn’t necessarily a bad thing and it’s hard to quantify exactly why it was underwhelming, but in this case it simply didn’t feel distinctive, inviting, or special. Another factor was the quality of the service, which wasn’t nearly as personal, attentive, or polished as was evident in Olympic. In fact, the dining room was less than half full, yet the service felt kind of flat, almost aloof at times. Finally, while the food was prepared well and of good quality, the Italian steak house menu wasn’t particularly inspired. In other words, Celebrity replaced Normandie with a restaurant experience that isn’t hard to find back home in the States, whereas Olympic (and it’s sister restaurants) were each unique and offered guests a truly special experience. Going further, I should say that even if I didn’t have Olympic as my yardstick of comparison, I still wouldn’t have been particularly impressed with our time in Tuscan Grille. Thankfully, our experiences in Qsine and Bistro on 5 were both much more enjoyable. If it had been up to me, we wouldn’t have tried Qsine, as it seemed kind of gimmicky in concept and I worried it was more style than substance. However, my fiancé wanted to try it and Summit was offering a discount, so we booked it. I’m happy to say that I was very pleasantly surprised with how good the food was, as well as the quality of the service and general ambiance of the dining room. Our waiter “Madee” (not certain of the spelling) was very warm, engaging, and eager to please, which helped make the entire meal that much enjoyable. We tried Bistro on 5 for dinner on a different evening and had an extremely good time there as well. There were very few people eating dinner there (I later learned it’s much more popular at lunchtime for some reason), so it felt like we had the place to ourselves. One of our servers was Annamaria and she was a delight. I had the tuna tartar and the cowboy crepe, both of which were outstanding. A few negatives that deserve calling out: We did not enjoy the DJ party atmosphere that took over the center of the ship in the evening. The loud dance club music detracted from the ambiance of decks 4, 5, and 6. You could hear the music well inside Tuscan Grille, and detracted from enjoying an after dinner special coffee drink at Cafe al Bacio. We liked the martini bar, but avoided it when the DJ was playing. There already is upbeat music playing at Crush, so Celebrity really should leave the DJ for venues that are more isolated. I dId not appreciate the hard sell of drink packages immediately upon embarkation and throughout the first evening of the cruise. Thankfully, this disappeared the rest of the cruise. (This cruise hadn’t qualified for the go-better-best promotions offered on many others, so perhaps they don’t always do this?) The ship's photographers and the costs for photographs were disappointing / outrageous. We opted to get our pictures taken on many occasions, but found that we liked very few of the shots taken of us. We only found a few pictures that we truly loved and thought the prices very expensive and options to acquire them limited. Having recently vacationed at Disney World, we found the flexibility and convenience of their program far superior. I wish Celebrity offered more / better information on ports of call. I generally like to research destinations ahead of time, but I still would have liked to have seen handouts or presentations that gave more practical advice or historical / cultural knowledge about each location. It seemed that most of what is offered passengers is either promoting Celebrity’s own excursions or where you “should” go shop. This is of limited value to those of us who want to explore on our own and have a more authentic experience. Returning now to the good stuff: Some of our favorite places on the ship were the Sunset bar and Cellar Masters. The bar staff here were excellent and we also enjoyed the musicians that frequented these two locations - a folksy guitar player and a guitar/singer duo. (I did miss the string quartet that was on previous Celebrity cruises.) Cafe al Bacio was wonderful and was visited by us once or twice every day. We loved our veranda (aka balcony) and relished having room service breakfast there on many mornings and drinking wine there almost every night. The thalassotherapy pool area was lovely. Seeing some of the other overgrown cruise ships in port, with what appear to be entire amusement parks stuck on top of them, made me appreciate Celebrity even more! Service across the ship was generally friendly and courteous. This was particularly noticeable on a few occasions when some of our fellow passengers were witnessed being rude or obnoxious to crewmembers that nevertheless maintained their composure. I hope you found this review helpful or interesting. While I highlight some of my disappointments and gripes, I hope you won't think that we have any regrets about Summit or choosing Celebrity. We loved our time on the Summit and are looking forward to future sailings with Celebrity! As promised, here is a link to a photo album of some pictures from our trip. It’s not everything we saw or did, but with a few exceptions focuses on life on the Summit. Album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskK3i3cE Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
1 day in San Juan, Puerto Rico then St.M; St.T. NO Tortola, Bermuda overnight and ending in NJ. Captain Anastasios Lekkas, Hotel Dir.: Paul Kelly, GRM.: Monica Gomez, Cruise Dir. Rich Clesen, Capt. Club: Ashley Whitaker, Michael's ... Read More
1 day in San Juan, Puerto Rico then St.M; St.T. NO Tortola, Bermuda overnight and ending in NJ. Captain Anastasios Lekkas, Hotel Dir.: Paul Kelly, GRM.: Monica Gomez, Cruise Dir. Rich Clesen, Capt. Club: Ashley Whitaker, Michael's Club Concierge: Jole Jacoby, pronounced Yo-La, Butler: Dominic, Room Steward: Anthony, Asst: Ida, Waiters in Luminae: various Juan Carlos, Lazaro, Dominic, Johan. Luminae is three weeks old. We've done this cruise each of the last few years in the spring. The car picked us up at 4am for a 710 flight at EWR. We flew Jet blue down to SJU for $200pp plus $50 for the second bag. We grabbed a muffin, bagel and coffees while waiting to fly. For once, I was able to get some serious additional sleep in on the plane, which is unusual for me. The cab took us to the Sheraton Old San Juan around noon. No bargain this time for the hotel which was higher than last time at $259 plus taxes but nothing beats the convenience of being in the center of Old SJU. We were able to check in right away so we did our usual routine in town. We stopped for tappas, Randi got blessed by a bird, then strolled to the Ralph Lauren outlet. We picked up a few sale items and continued through the streets of old San Juan, toward the other outlets. When we got to the Coach outlet we saw that the Dooney store across the street was for rent. Randi found a Coach wallet she was looking for. On the way home in front of CVS, a pan handler was asking for money. Since neither of us had small bills we popped into CVS to make change for him. We killed some time before dinner by lounging by the pool, catching some cat naps and enjoying the 89 degree temperature after another terrible northern winter. Randi had been looking into biting into a big burger all week and especially since the accident, so we strolled down stairs to the outdoor Chicago Burger joint and were pleasantly surprised to find a live band playing some great oldies. We enjoyed listening while we sipped Margaritas and Pino Grigios. The burgers were great too! The next day we saw Summit docked at the Pan Am pier across the water. It wouldn't be long now. Randi had the buffet breakfast and I had the buttermilk pancakes and sausage in the hotel. We spent the remainder of the morning by the pool, chilling out before our cab ride to the ship. We got to the pier about around noon. Check in was a breeze. One of the first crewmembers we met was the perky, Ashley, who is the Captains Club Hostess. She handed us off to a dancer who escorted us to Michael's club. They were just putting the finishing touches on the newly frosted windows at Michael's. We were introduced to the very bubbly, Jole Jacoby, pronounced Yo-La, who is the Michael's Club Concierge. Some old friends were there also. Dave and Denise, originally from Keyport, now from Freehold, were there. Also we saw Frank and Marylyn. We had a light lunch of berries, cold cuts and Prosecco. That’s all we needed since we were dining in the Normandie that evening. We walked the ship, checking out some of the new things like the Luminae restaurant for those passengers in suites higher then sky suites. We also saw some new Celebrity and Summit sinage on board. Of course Randi wanted to walk past the closed shops, if only to look and imagine they would open magically. When our bags hadn't arrived by 4pm, which was odd, we went down to guest services to inquire. After talking to Erica, we decided to give it til 4:30. Before you knew it, poof, they magically appeared. We got them un-packed, only finding one maybe two items that needed pressing. We then got ready for our early 6pm dinner in Normandie. We ate early since it was the first night and the muster drill was at 7:45.Randi had the Lobster bisque soup and the tableside prepared lobster and cognac cream sauce, minus the bacon, while I had the mushroom soup and the venison. We shared the pear cheese tart. The meal was delicious. Everything went like clockwork and we were done minutes before the emergency signal was sounded. The muster drill has changed since the last cruise. We met in the Rendezvous Lounge, but people were placed into formation order rather than a causal stance. The instructor’s directions from the floor was longer then in the past, lasting a full 30 minutes. It was hot in the venue and it was hard to stand in one place for a full half hour, especially after you've had a few glasses of wine. After it was over we strolled to the Martini bar, but didn't stay too long. It seemed that it would be quite a while until they got back on track, following the drill. Rather we went to Michael's and were served a cognac and a pino immediately. We strolled around deck until bedtime. St Martin was the first port, the following day. We had an exquisite breakfast in the new Luminae restaurant. I had a bagel and lox and Huevos rancheros and Randi had fruit and Buttermilk pancakes; all tasted yummy and were served on modern plates. Originally we thought we would walk to town but we decided to take the water taxi because it was so hot. We found that many stores on Front Street were not opened by 10:15 since it was Sunday. After searching from store to store, Randi found all the perfume that she and her friends wanted. I was able to get my liquor order filled and Randi found a ring and ankle chains that she wanted. Damage done, we returned to the ship and ate at Bistro on 5. We both had potato soup. I had a Chicken Caesar salad and Randi had a turkey club. I enjoyed seeing her chomp into that. After relaxing the rest of the afternoon away, we got ready for our dinner at Qsine. We had a nice table side window, watched our sail away and enjoyed a scrumptious meal including the Mediterranean shadowbox, lava crab and lobster escargot. We made our way to Michael's club for a meet and greet with the officers at 745. We sat with passengers Dave and Denise and met the Captain, the HR officer, Kat and the Guest relations officer, Monica. After spending a little time with Jole, we went to the show to see a great acapella group, "the edge effect.” Five outstanding guys performed all the vocals and percussions using their mouths only! They were pretty amazing. St Thomas was the 2nd stop. Randi's suggested switching things around by going off ship later. it was a great idea. After eggs benedict and an egg wrap at Luminae for breakfast, we went to the pool for a while and soaked up the St Thomas sun. Pretty soon we jumped in the hot tub for a while and chilled. We both noticed that all the lounge chairs have been replaced with new grey ones. Also new grey towels are now given out from the cabana room, poolside; perhaps a way to prevent holding of chairs with towels. Around noon we showered and took a walk through Havensight but couldn't find anything to buy. Is it possible we've reached our buying limit? LOL. Got a couple of sandwiches on deck 10 and went back to our veranda to chill and nap a bit in the lounges. Later, Randi sorted through work emails and I cleaned my personal ones. Tonight is formal night. Yes on the third night not the second. This is a first for us. Day 3 was a sea day. Last year it was Tortola, but we were not stopping there this cruise. We went to the Captains club breakfast in Normandie. Gail would be happy to know that you now order off a menu and sit at cafe style tables watching the sea go by. It is a full service continental and drink menu. We are missing her a bunch and also missing Joan and Al. All the window tables were taken when we got there so we sat in the second row. We both had a light breakfast of cold cuts, bagel and lox since we were supposed to be in Qsine for a special lunch. Checked in with the future cruise person to see if upgrades were available on our upcoming cruises but nothing changed. We spent the rest of the morning on deck 5, the lifeboat deck, sitting in the shade on a lounge and watching the waves drift by. We returned to the cabin about 15 minutes before lunch when I spotted on the table the confirmation to Normandie for lunch- not Qsine. We quickly dressed and went down to lunch and we were not disappointed. We a wonderful new Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough New Zealand called Clifford Bay. We both had the sautéed scallops and I had the poached lobster while Randi had the Loop de Mer (sea bass). For desert I had the Ivory Carmel Tart and Randi had the Gianduja Soufflé. Now we have to rest up before dinner. LOL. Dinner was in Luminae. We both had the crab cakes and I also had the seafood soup, creamy and good. We both selected the lamb prepared as a rolled-tenderloin. For dessert it was a double flavor sorbet. Went to see the new show tonight called iMagic, which offered great illusions using ipads, with magician, Adam Heppenstall. Our 2nd sea day, heading to Bermuda, it was colder about 73 and rainy, but after waking to a new time after the clocks moved ahead, we had breakfast in Blu for the first time this cruise. Randi had an omelet with fruit and I had poached eggs with pecan pancakes. Afterwards we bought a few things in the shops and meandered back to Michael’s club. We have been spending some quality time there sipping on complementary coffees or drinks and eating snacks. It is quiet place mostly and Randi reads her book while I write this blog. The solitude does however take you out of the mainstream of passenger interaction which we also enjoy. We had another wonderful dinner in Luminae. I had the duck and pasta bolognaise with a Chianti while Randi had the short ribs; Yummy. Sat next to Larry and Donna from Medford Long Island and had some good dinner conversation. We strolled afterwards to the wine cellar for a nightcap then retired early since we planned on going to St. George and the 930 ferry. The wakeup call rang at 7 am but it was raining so we killed the St George idea and went back to sleep til 9am. After breakfast at the buffet, and since it stopped raining, we decided to stretch and walk around Kings Warf. There was nothing much new there. The NCL Breakaway was docked in front of us. Walked through some of the shops and found a few shirts to take home. After killing a few hours, we took the tram back to the ship and wound up in Bistro on 5. Apparently the menu has changed with this cruise. Between that and the fact that all the staff for this shift were from other restaurants, it took us about 75 minutes to have lunch. I should mention that the cover charge is now up to $10 per person. I had a burger while Randi had a steak crepe; both good but I think I liked the old menu better with more of a selection. Now that the sun finally came out, sure… because we didn’t go to St George. We headed to the lounges by the pool. We started covered with towels because it was cool, but the sun came out strong and it sure felt good. Went to Michael's club this evening and meet some officers and friends. We stayed there longer than we expected but finally left for dinner at 8 rather than at 7. We went to Blu for the first time for dinner. While my pumpkin gnocchi over salad was good I guess since it wasn’t what I expected so I was a little disappointed. Randi had the salmon. We also saw a few waiters that we knew from the past like Jose from Indonesia and a few others. We sat next to some nice ladies who wanted to chat so we did. We than went back to the stateroom. I woke up early around 5 but stayed in bed watching the news about the protests in the US cities regarding Baltimore. Looked out the veranda to see whitecaps on the bay and although it was pretty warm, would estimate the winds to be between 25-35 mph gusts. After an 8 o’clock breakfast in Blu, we walked back to the store we were at yesterday to see if he found a shirt for Randi in his warehouse, but no luck there. Walked back slowly to the ship and took a picture in the moon structure for lovers. Did a few odds and ends and grabbed a coffee at Il Baccio when we got back. Picked up the computer and the Kindle and went to the inside pool to do some reading, but were soon napping in the lounge chairs. Then we went to the "brunch" in the Cosmopolitan which turned out only to be a lunch but well worth it since the BBQ ribs were delicious. We packed two suitcases after lunch to get a jump on that then headed to the sunset bar at 10 aft, where I’m writing this blog and with a tequila sunrise and Randi is reading her kindle. It turned out to be a beautiful afternoon with a light breeze and a temp of about 72 degrees. We went to dress in our formals. Randi looked beautiful in her pink and silver dress and she got many compliments. After meeting some friends in Michael's we went to see Dan Wilson, the comedian in the theater then back to a singer and guitar in Michael's than to the wine cellar to meet up with Jole before dining again with Paul Kelly, the Hotel director at 830. It was fun because he is a great host. Joining him was the chief revenue officer. There was another couple from NJ, Kirk and Elena and a couple from Ottawa who just got married in St Thomas and their two girls. We were also invited to a new "closed" event after dinner called Indulgences. Normally $20 per person, we were comp-ed. The wine cellar was closed off and reinvented into a red velvet cafe, with burlesque style entertainment and music, free odd drinks and food. While we were there many officers including the captain filled the room. It was different and exotic, maybe if we weren't tired and in more comfortable clothes then in formals we would have enjoyed it more. Time now, for bed. The next sea day on the way back to NJ, we found Luminae closed so we went to the Cosmopolitan. Bananas and cream was no longer on the menu but the Matre'd, went out of his way to get heavy cream for Randi's sliced bananas. That was the best part. Otherwise, Randi’s French toast was cold, sugar free syrup was forgotten and my side of sausage was missing with my fratatta. Oh well. Afterwards we packed a little and Randi went to fortunes casino to make a donation. I went to Michael's. The waves of the sea began to get angry and before you knew it they were up to 8 feet. We still tried to lunch in Luminae for their brunch but Randi didn't make it through the meal. When we went back to the stateroom, she got sick. Meanwhile the waves in my estimation rose from 8 to about 14 feet so we spent the rest of the day in the cabin. I packed while she rested. Finally it calmed around 730 and while I thought solid food would be good for her, it didn’t agree. We went back to the cabin. I put the bags out and said goodnight. Enjoyed our last breakfast in Luminae then headed to Michael’s club which was our disembarkation venue. There was an announcement that there would be a delay this morning. Even though it was out of the ships control I overheard people blaming the ship. I think it was around 8:45 when we got the word to go. Apparently the port attendant didn’t get the same word. He began to send us back to the ship from the jet-way. He repeated, “only numbers 2 through 10 can get off.” That was impossibility. We were actually number 1 VIP, but no one apparently told him. After walking past the port attendant “Victor” the new terminal was almost a breeze. First, you don’t have to board that bus to the old building, since the new terminal is right there. They do however need to reconfigure the bag placement there. Lower numbers should be placed closer not farther away. As first off, we had to walk down to the far side of the room, gather our bags and walk back against the crowds to the exit. Once we got a porter, we were through customs and out the door in no time flat, with our car, minutes away. As this cruise came to an end, we found it to be one of the most relaxing yet. Just what we wanted and how it should be. Now we wait for the Panama Canal, next. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I just returned from a Celebrity Summit 8 day Cruise that my wife and I booked as an anniversary cruise. Being a long time Celebrity cruiser, I figured this would be just another great vacation on a "Luxury" Cruise ship. What I ... Read More
I just returned from a Celebrity Summit 8 day Cruise that my wife and I booked as an anniversary cruise. Being a long time Celebrity cruiser, I figured this would be just another great vacation on a "Luxury" Cruise ship. What I found was anything but "Luxury". For starters, Celebrity has decided to take another 30% of the main dinning room away and make a new specialty restaurant for its Suit guest. In order to do this, they jammed all the tables in the main dinning room closer together. Basically to the point where you need to squeeze between tables and have to slide your chair out carefully so as not to hit a passenger at the table next to you. To add to this, the Main Dinning room (MDR) has only 7 or 8 waiters serving it, where the new Suite Restaurant has 10 waiters and blue has 7. Basically 7 or 8 waiters to serve 80%-85% of the guest, while 17 or 18 waiters serve the other 15%-20% of guest. The special treatment doesn't stop there though... After you sit, it can take a half hour before your waiter gets you a menu or water or even has time to acknowledge you. After you order, it could take up to 45 minutes to get any food. The food in the MDR now is simple and basic stuff you would expect from your local sports bar or chain restaurant, nothing special or classy or gourmet about it. In fact, it is so bad that the captain and officers prefer the buffet over the MDR. They only showed up at the captains table in the MDR on formal nights. I don't blame them! The food in the buffet was more gourmet and better tasting (not to mention, it didn't take more than an hour to get it to the table). As stated, the cruise line has decided that Suite and Aqua class guest are all they care about. Their restraints had better food, more waiters and were better appointed and decorated. I understand you should get a bit more when you pay more for a suite, but when you buy any room on a cruise, especially one that sells and advertises itself as a "Luxury" cruise, you should at least receive a sign of "luxury" or appreciation for your business. The MDR tables are old and many are wobbly with bad legs or other issues (especially doesn't help when the ship decides to sail through a storm with 70 MPH winds and 30-40 foot waives, but I will get to that). On the second day, my wife and I decided to go to the pool. We spent 20 minutes looking for a lounge chair. We finally found one along side the pool in the blazing hot sun. We walked amongst the hundreds of chairs in better locations (shade) with towels and books placed on them by other passengers who weren't even at the pool at the time or anywhere near the chairs. We placed our stuff down and went to take a dip in the pool. The chairs were in our sight the whole time as we looked at all the chairs that guest had marked for themselves even though they weren't there using them. Kind of selfish if you ask me. After about 20 minutes, a pool butler walked by our chairs and placed a small laminated card down on one of our chairs. I figured it was a menu, being that he had saw us place our stuff on the chairs and also saw us sitting on the side of the pool looking at our stuff. We walked over and found out it was a laminated sign that said "As a curtsy to other guest, we will remove any items left on a chair unattended for more than 30 minute. You may reclaim your stuff at customer relations later." The pool butler did not take our stuff, and our stuff (unlike stuff on the chairs around us) wasn't "Unattended". We were there. I took the card and found the pool butler and asked him why he put that card there when he saw us by the pool. He replied it was a warning card and he did it because we weren't in the chairs. I asked about other chairs that had stuff with people no where around and he said "That stuff belongs to other guest." I continued to ask why those chairs weren't getting the card I got and he told me to not worry about it since he didn't remove my stuff. I pushed further and he finally said that the reason other chairs (with no people around) didn't get the cards was because he didn't know who the stuff actually belonged to and didn't want to remove stuff that may belong to suite guest. But since I was around, and he saw me, he knew who the stuff belonged to and could easily tell me where my stuff was if he did have to remove it. We decided to leave the pool area and go down to the shops where we encountered a rude Australian cashier, who was unhelpful and neglected to tell us (after we spent over $300) that there was a raffle taking place on the cruise and that for every $150 you spend, you get a card to fill out as your raffle ticket. We found this out later in the cruise from a friendly Romanian cashier who was shocked we weren't informed about it by her co-worker. Bad service aside, there were a ton of "private" parties held in public lounges for suite members only, and a ton of other functions for suite members only. Basically if you weren't a suite or Aqua member, you didn't exist on this ship (less than 20% of the cabins are suits and Aqua and most were either sold out or over priced when we were looking to book). Next I will mention Maintenance. While we were in the pool, we noticed some form of algae or other slimy build up on the inside walls of the pool. Showing that it wasn't subbed for atlas a few days. Most lines that I have sailed on empty the pool at night and clean it. This wasn't the case on this ship. The pool was not cleaned the full 8 days. There is also a window above the solarium that is fully shattered and just waiting to fall on someone. It is in the front right corner of the roof of the solarium and is very noticeable. If you are sailing on the summit, look for it, and lets see how long it is before the cruise line fixes it. The canopy above the band stand by the pool was ripped, and was almost torn off on the last sea day when the captain chose to sail through a storm rather than wait it out (like another ship behind us did and was only 3 hours late pulling in to port the following day). Steps on the forward and aft stair cases had rips under them and carpet coming lose. One night my wife almost tripped because of it. Our cabin attendant was excellent, however we had to practically beg him every night for towel animals. Any night we didn't ask, we didn't get them. This was my wives first cruise and I thought it would be a nice thing for her every night. A friend of ours who had an Aqua room got the towel animals every night without asking (better made as well) and so did a friend of his in a suite. Another friend of ours with an inside cabin didn't get towel animals at all. Towel animals don't cost the cruise line anything and I don't see why this is such a hard thing to get your attendants to do. We tried a few specialty dining restaurants while on the cruise and while the food was better than the MDR, it wasn't worth the added $50 per person. Basically, by the end of the cruise I was exhausted from asking for things and seeing suite guest get treated like gold, while none suite guest were treated like they didn't exist. By the last day, I was looking forward to getting off the ship (especially after watching things get tossed around my cabin while we struggled to stand and walk because the captain chose to sail through a storm with 50+ MPH winds and 30 foot waives. In the end, this cruise made it obvious that Celebrity advertises "Modern Luxury" but leave out that it is only for their suite and Aqua class guest. This cruise was far from "Luxury" and "Modern". It appears that Celebrity is trying to bring back the old days of cruising, where first class (suite and Aqua Guest) are treated like gold or royalty and second class (Veranda and Ocean view guest) are treated like trash. I don't even want to know their plans for guest traveling with inside cabins. It is okay to give Suite and Aqua class guest a little more since they pay a little more, but doing it at the expense of other guest is unacceptable. Why should 80-85% of guest be squashed together in the MDR so the 10% of Suite guest and 5% of Aqua guest can have extra space? Why should they have more waiters in each of their dining rooms than the entire rest of the guest have in the MDR? Why does the quality of the food in the MDR have to go down so Suite class food quality can go up? The ships main dining room was not designed to be separated the way they did it, and was not designed to hold all the tables it has for 80-85% of guest in the 60% of the MDR that is left now. Why dose 15% of guest get 40% of the dining space? To add to it all, they removed a port (Tortola) to add an extra sea day and raised their prices almost 25%. So they expect people to pay more for less. The last sea day (Saturday May 2nd) there was a storm (The crew and captain warned it was coming on Thursday April 30). The captain or the cruise line decided to sail through it (despite warnings from weather officials). The ship rock back and forth all day and passengers were sliding into walls as huge waives and high winds tossed the ship around like a toy. Several passengers were pushed into each other as they struggled to walk down the halls. Deck chairs and other objects slid across the decks, plates and cups fell on the floors, and the canopies above the band stand were torn further than they were. Even a few canopies above the aft bar and the suites on deck 6 got a bit torn. The NCL Breakaway was more considerate of customer/ Passenger safety and decided to hold back and wait the storm out. They arrived only 3 hours late to NYC. The summit was sailing at 13 knots, and could have easily waited the storm out and picked up to 20 knots and still made it on time. Disembarkation was even worst. Suite guest and Aqua guest sat in Michael's club and other cafe's and received food, drinks and snacks while they waited to leave the ship. None suite or Aqua guest had to wait in other lounges with no snacks or food or bar services while they waited hours to disembark the ship. If you plan on cruising on the Summit or any Celebrity Ship, and are not going to be in Aqua or a Suite, prepare to experience low quality service. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was the third time on the Summit. I prefer hands down the Solstice class. We have taken this ship three times because it was going where we wanted to go. We have sailed other Solstice class ships and knew the Summit was old and ... Read More
This was the third time on the Summit. I prefer hands down the Solstice class. We have taken this ship three times because it was going where we wanted to go. We have sailed other Solstice class ships and knew the Summit was old and tired. We got from this cruise what we wanted and that was a low key, laid back, enjoy the ocean type experience. We were not seeking entertainment (as we know Celebrity entertainment sucks) just a respite that only the ocean can provide. Dining: We did not eat in MDR except the first night. We had no intentions of ever partaking in a sit down meal. Our experience in the past that the MDR is totally over rated, service is slow and food mediocre. Food is food, it sustains you. It is not the reason we take a cruise. WE happily found food on the Oceanview buffet that met our needs. Cabin: Just ok. Tile needed scrubbing, no ice in ice bucket, minimal attention. Just make the bed up and move on. Entertainment: I am so sick of the Circque type entertainment that Celebrity has embarrassed. Boring! However a great comedian that had our sides busting! Most entertainment on Celebrity is a big yawn. Bar and Lounges: The house band called The Bandmates were tremendous! They were on our Dec cruise and remembered us. I would take any cruise that Sheila and the Bandmates were part of entertainment!!!! Liquor packages: Here is where I get my ire up! I up graded to premium package. I wanted to drink the best brands while vacationing. I deserve it! When I asked for those labels at Oceanview or mast bar or pool bar, they are not available. I found them only in Rendezvous and Casino bar. I attended that Captain's Club reception and called out bar manager. I asked why I could not get premium brands in this night club lounge if I paid for upgrade. He immediately found some premium brands and stocked the bar. However after two nights it was gone! The casino bar on 'Derby Night' had the skimpiest bar brand display I had ever seen! Just an example of short changing the passenger who paid to upgrade. It is all about profit. Best part: Having the same wonderful bartender that we had on our Alaska cruise! What is the chances of that? We were on the Solsitce Celebrity in 2014 and were quite surprised that on embarkation day we met up with our former bartender Dewa! What a homecoming. AT least he KNEW where to find the premium brands to serve me. Anyone else said they were not available. That is service and someone who aims to please beyond all limitations. Final thoughts: Cruising has changed. Plain and simple. The days of high quality MDR food is gone. It is nothing more than place to go. Service is less than desired. Back in the day it was the midnight buffet you would not miss! It is all about where a company can make a few dollars more by cutting service and products. I knew when I booked this cruise service and amenities were limited. But what bothers me more is that cruising is going to this 'do as little as possible for the passenger'. I don't care how big of ship you go on, so corners are cut and I notice. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
After a disappointing trip on the Millennium left me wondering where the modern Luxury had gone, I seem to have found it on the Summit reposition from San Juan to Bayonne! We had a somewhat poor experience this past January on the ... Read More
After a disappointing trip on the Millennium left me wondering where the modern Luxury had gone, I seem to have found it on the Summit reposition from San Juan to Bayonne! We had a somewhat poor experience this past January on the Millennium in Asia/Komodo itinerary, but I decided to give Celebrity one last chance for the sake of so many wonderful past cruise memories. I am very glad I did! I have elite club status and I took this trip with my sister, who had never been on this cruise line before. We were both treated to fantastic service and all the amenities anyone could ask for! We took a cab to the port from the Condado Conrad Hilton, a most forgettable place, compared with my past 5 experiences in this wonderful city. From the time we arrived at the pier at 2pm-things were as smooth as silk! We boarded immediately, rooms were ready. Before even going to our cabin we signed up for the Chef's table. This is something I had wanted to do for some time, but it books up so quickly I have never had the chance before. It's offered on 2 nights only 10 guests per night, and we signed up for the second dinner. We went to our cabin and then realized our rsvp was for our overnight in Bermuda. So we quickly tried to change it to the St Thomas port day, only to be told it was already fully booked. No problem! The manager of the Normandy added us in to the first night making the table for 10 a table for 12. We then saw that our Captain's Club Hostess was the beautiful Ti Ann, who my husband and I had had the pleasure to get to know on the Solstice it's first season. I immediately went to say hello. She gave me a very warm greeting, asking after DH Jimmy, and from that moment on addressed my sister by name. Very impressive! There was a list, as is usual of elite events in my cabin, and Ti Ann always left a message on the phone to remind us where and when to meet foreach special event. There were many offered. Wine tasting, high tea, Elite cocktail party, Captains club reception, behind the scene tours, ect ect. She was always in attendance mingling with everyone. I heard nothing but wonderful comments on numerous occasions from the other captain's club members. Ti Ann is a real gem, warm, friendly, sweet and a great listener as well as a great source of information. She is simply X! But more on the Chef's Table event... I must say, the whole experience from the toast in the wine cellar to the tour of the galley to the table side flambe preparations by the executive chef through to the table service overseen by the dining room manager-everything was impeccable! Oh, and did I mention very delicious? We each received a long stem rose, an 8x10 photo of all the guests we dined with (a great fun group, I add) and a beautiful coffee table book signed by our Executive Chef. This is a very time consumptive dining experience, so keep it in mind, we did have to sacrifice the elite/select cocktail party to do this, but oh well, it was worth the sacrifice! Some general points on the cruise to mention: +Officers were very visible and friendly. +Our assistant maitre D, Anatoli, saw to our every desire in the Select dining each night, which meant a lot to us, as we were traveling without our husbands (for the first time). We never had any problems getting a table at 7:30 each night. Anatoli came to check on us each dinner and we were even able to have a 4 top with another couple we had made friends with one night and at a table of 8 friends we met on board on another night. We would just appear, and things would be arranged immediately. Magic! Fantastic! =I did notice an element of disorganized confusion in the select area, but these professionals were bending over backward to serve everyone at peak hour, and since no is not in the Celebrity vocabulary, a certain amount of this is unavoidable. This was my first select dining experience on Celebrity and I will definitely do it again. =The food itself ran from wow to huh? 3 of the 7 dinners we took in the Cosmopolitan were huh? But for the most part we enjoyed our dinners, and one night we requested a cheese course, and received a wonderfully ripe double creme brie with fruits and crackers. Yum! =Drinks were, as usual, excellent. I did not have a drink package, as I prefer to avoid that much temptation. It did seem harder than normal to get bar service, I think perhaps because so many guests took advantage of the 123 deals. But, it was still ok, as I only drink occasionally anyway. ++Service in customer relations and the lounges everywhere was perfect. Staff and crew always smiling with warm hellos everywhere. This is the most important factor to me, and it makes me feel happy and at home on board these wonderful Celebrity cruise vacations. This is what Modern Luxury means to me. -As is usual with this cruise line, I personally can skip the shows, yawn. One was so irritating I left midway through the vocalist's act. -Party band sucked eggs! A real disappointment, as I love the live party bands and banging R&R music. The keyboard was uneven and at times glaring and the guitar riffs were often just wrong!!! Singer was not a particularly fun front man, plus he was off key much of the time. +But there was one special surprise I am glad we did not skip out on. Our last night onboard in Cosmos lounge there was a Broadway Review preformed by the vocal leads. Wow, I even got a bit nostalgic for NYC! Great! I would have loved to have heard some contemporary songs sung by these powerfully talented individuals. -I only did one ship sponsored port excursion in Tortola as our sail away was at 2pm and it's a long way to Bermuda. A total waste of a trip. Open airbus ride, speaker didn't work well and I had a difficult time with the driver's accent anyway. Driver missed all the photo op stops that other drivers were already at and then we only got only one measly hour at the beach from 10:15 to 11:15 am. Then we were back on the bus for 35 minute ride back at breakneck speed to the pier. I could kick myself for not taking a cab on my own!!! This was, all in all, a very memorable cruise for us. Great staff and crew made us smile. We met some lovely couples who shared their time with my sister and myself. We had fantastic weather. We lived the luxury life at the spa. We basked in the sun on the pool deck, went to Sapphire Beach on St Thomas, a nice alternate to Meagan's Bay if you've done that beach already. We rode the fantastic public transportation services on Bermuda (25 bucks each for a 2 day unlimited bus/ferry combo ticket can't be beat)! The first afternoon we ferried straight to St George, where we shopped & walked to Tobacco Bay for great photo ops. That night we went to the Snorkel Bay Beach Bar to party late night....Interesting and I'll leave it there. Second day we were off to Hamilton to shop and then Horseshoe Bay beach and saw the beauty of this island on the buses in comfort. We also walked to Snorkel Beach that afternoon to check out this sandy beach, and it seems to have the right name. Snorkeling should be good along the wall there. For our last bit of time we shopped on the pier which, IMO was a bit more overpriced and a bit less friendly than Hamilton and a lot more overpriced and also far less friendly that wonderful St George. -Last sea day. The passage north can be rough, and it was. From the evening we sailed out of Bermuda till 6 or 7 the following night ugh! We drank ginger ale and stayed out of the cabin as much as we could. We stayed occupied and just suffered a little upset and dizziness. Others were not so lucky I'm sad to say. This is the price sometimes paid on this repo, and I probably will not repeat the journey. Disembarkation took 3 minutes from when our number was called to the bus and another couple of minutes to the terminal. A baggage porter immediately took us to our section loaded our luggage, and whisked us to immigration which all took less than 5 minutes! Remarkable. Now I just need to decide what to book as our next trip with Celebrity, my favorite line to cruise! Thank you X ! 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Sail Date April 2013
Embarkation; 3 stars Even though the cruise didn't leave until 8:30pm, we were able to get on around noon. Baggage drop off and porters aren't really a Celebrity issue but the porters were very aggressive seeking tips. Check in ... Read More
Embarkation; 3 stars Even though the cruise didn't leave until 8:30pm, we were able to get on around noon. Baggage drop off and porters aren't really a Celebrity issue but the porters were very aggressive seeking tips. Check in was a little slow. There was a family in front of us that was obviously having some issues but we weren't offered the chance to move to another line. Once on board we were greeted with the very welcoming sparkling wine or mimosa. Ship; 3 stars The ship looked good. We've never been on the Summit so I can't really weigh in on a post-refurbishment comparison. The public areas looked new and fresh. The layout of some areas, though, looked like the Solsticization was shoe-horned in. For instance, the Revelations Lounge no longer has a full sweeping view ahead and the Cellar Masters isn't in a cellar or separate room but a pass through area near the MDR. The music was sometimes too loud and often not appropriate for the setting. For instance Cellar Masters often had a techno beat which just seems "off" for a wine bar area. Our Deck 11 Aqua Class cabin was new. The room and balcony seemed smaller than the same class cabins on Solstice class ships but it was big enough. There were two chairs and a table but no footstools on the balcony. The balcony also had doors on the dividers that would be nice if you were traveling with another couple next door. The cabin had a safe and Wi-Fi reception was fine. It also has the new shower head typical of Aqua Class and glass doors. The shower had a clothes line and bottled shampoo and conditioner. The wall at the foot of the bed was one big mirror which was a little odd. The layout of the closet doors at the entrance didn't mesh well with the door to the bathroom just opposite the closets; it became a little bit of a maze if one of us had a closet door open and one was opening the bathroom door. The toilet didn't always flush the first time. Our room steward just told us to wait ten minutes and try again. Sometimes it took 20 minutes but eventually it worked. I know others had problems too, so proactive concern and attention from the staff and management was in order but not forthcoming. Staff; 3 stars Service was mixed. The assistant waiter in Blu, Mustafa, was excellent. The sommelier in Cellar Masters (Laurentio--sp?) was good. As noted, our cabin steward was not apologetic about the toilet problem, but she and her assistant kept the room in great shape. The sommelier in Blu was efficient and the waiters there were as well. For some reason we had two different waiters even though we had the same section each night. Breakfast in Blu was quite slow on a couple mornings. The Martini Bar seemed unnaturally quiet every time I went by. Other bars seemed good. The service in QSine, Bistro on 5 and Cafe al Bacio was good, although the Cafe staff often seemed quite busy and could use another hand. Casino staff was fine. We had to work with Guest Relations on an issue and they did a good job as did the Captains Club staffer. Overall though, the staff seemed less friendly than on other Celebrity ships. Food and beverage; 4 stars We ate in Blu every night except once in QSine. The food in Blu was really very good, from appetizer to dessert. I realize food is subjective but we both really liked it. Dinner is QSine was also very good. Room service breakfast one morning was a real low light. It arrived on time and the coffee was hot, but the eggs, pancakes and toast were all cold; there was no butter or jam; and they delivered the wrong juice. Breakfast and lunch in the Waterfall Cafe was average. We had two lunches in Bistro on 5 and both were good. (It's a good place to go on embarkation day.) We had the premium beverage package and thought it worked very well. We might not have saved money but we probably came close. Our wine glasses never were empty for long at dinner. We also bought the discount card for the Enomatic Wine Dispenser and that was handy although we didn't save all that much ($5 on a $50 card) and I'm not sure I'd do it again. Mixed drinks on the ship were well made. Itinerary; 4 stars The ship left from San Juan, then visited St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Tortola and Bermuda before ending in Bayonne. These are good islands and having an overnight in Bermuda is a nice change of pace (we were there from about 2pm one day to 5pm the next). Tortola was a brief stop though only about 8am to 2pm. We took Celebrity excursions on St. Thomas (cat trip and snorkeling), Tortola (Jost van Dyke) and Bermuda (night trip in a glass bottom boat) that were good. Entertainment; 4 stars We only went to one of the shows that was a review of movie music. We both enjoyed it. The a capella group was good and the Spanish guitarist, Nestor Santurio, was especially good. There was another guitarist who was not as good. Disembarkation; 3 stars We had to be out of our cabins by 7am. Aqua class guests were invited to Michaels Club on disembarkation morning for coffee and pastries. However, Michaels Club didn't open until 8 and there was no coffee or pastries offered. We asked for 9:00am disembarkation and we were off the ship around 9 and through Customs and at the pick-up area around 9:45. Overall; 3 stars Great dining in Blu, the itinerary and entertainment couldn't sustain an overall 4 star rating. There were another other misses such as the toilets, room service, the stateroom layout and size, and the music in the lounges. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
27 April 2012, San Juan Friends Glenn and Carol invited us to join them on a repositioning cruise from San Juan to Bayonne NJ, which started from San Juan. The ports included St. Maartin, St. Thomas, Tortola, a day at sea, two days in ... Read More
27 April 2012, San Juan Friends Glenn and Carol invited us to join them on a repositioning cruise from San Juan to Bayonne NJ, which started from San Juan. The ports included St. Maartin, St. Thomas, Tortola, a day at sea, two days in Bermuda, and a day at sea. After booking our one-way flight to San Juan, we decided to book a couple of rooms at a hotel near the Baltimore airport. Our flight was at 6am. Not wanting a late night before our flight, we had an early dinner with our friend Mark at the Victoria Gastro Pub in Columbia Maryland (http://www.victoriagastropub.com/). This is a popular place with lots of beers to choose from. The food was very good too. We all shared the duck fat fries, which was served in a bucket with roasted garlic aioli and truffle sea salt. This is not a place for a diet; but we were starting our vacation. I had the warm breeze and baby spinach salad, smoked duck confit, bacon, blue cheese, poached egg, and Dijon vinaigrette. The portion of the duck was small but that was fine, as I started with the grand marnier chicken liver pate, served with Challah toast, apricot & ginger chutney -- it was very good, but as Mark said, it didn't have a heavy liver taste. It was smooth, creamy, and mild. We woke up about 3:50am. It was a quick ride to the airport and a quick flight to Philadelphia. From there it was a 3.5 hour flight to San Juan. I had checked prices to fly directly from Philadelphia but the tickets were more expensive for the non-stop flight! How crazy is that? In San Juan, it didn't take long at all to get our luggage. We took a taxi to the hotel. Tony discovered while we were waiting at the check-in desk that his cell phone somehow slipped out of his holder that was on his belt...in the taxi. I called his cell phone hoping the taxi driver would answer the phone and drive back to the hotel. No such luck. Tony later called Verizon and canceled the service while we were on vacation. Later after the cruise and back to work I had received a voice message from the taxi driver, so we made arrangements for him to mail it back to us. Glenn's room was ready. He shared his Sheraton points with us while I paid for his room in Baltimore. My friend Lee told us that the hotel was overbooked and that customers were being moved to a different Sheraton hotel. Fortunately with Glenn's points, we were not bumped. Tony and I stored our luggage in Glenn's room for the afternoon. It wasn't overly hot but without the tropical breeze it would have been uncomfortable. Time for lunch, so we made reservations at Racines, a place I read about that serves authentic Puerto Rican food made by "Caguas boys." My father (and his family) was born in Caguas. We had a 20 minute wait so we just walked around the area. The waiters/waitresses were dressed in local costume. It's a touristy looking place but the food was good. I had a chicken dish with rice and red beans, really tasty. Tony ordered a fish and thought it was supposed to be battered and fried. It was served baked or sauteed. After lunch, we took the free trolley to fort San Cristobal. I had not read the sign on the trolley where it stated "No standing." I did stand up for a few seconds to take a photo. Instead of the driver making an announcement to me via a speaker, he slammed on the breaks. My lower back was sore for two days. What an ass hole. He did that to one other person, an older gentleman. The driver was only going about 10-12 miles/hour. He could have simply stopped and told us to sit down. I wonder how many other people had back injuries. On the main grounds of the fort was the 7th annual reenactment of the battle of 1797, where we saw many people dressed in military uniforms and clothing of the period. It seemed more of a dress rehearsal, as the men with the guns took their time to set things up. There were several tents, canons, etc. Around the grounds there were people flying kites. It was a pleasant day to be outdoors. We headed back to the center of town, taking lots of streets, zigzagging all around so I could take photos of the colorful buildings. I didn't want to go back to the hotel to only have to turn around again, so we decided to go to Nono's (100 Calle San San Sebastin) early. I made plans for a pre-cruise get together with fellow passengers. We arrived at 5pm and sat at the bar. The bar had two-for-one Peroni beer specials. I asked the bartender if he had any other specials since I rarely drink beer. He offered Sky vodka 2/1 specials. I had him make me drinks mixed with orange and cranberry juice, a nice tropical flavor, and a perfect choice to sip on while in San Juan. I had 6 drinks (they were in small plastic cups), Tony had 4 and our total bar bill was $20!!! We tipped well. At 6:30pm Tina and Paul showed up. Linda walked up too -- she had been sitting at the bar too around the corner. Barbara was the last to arrive. We had a great time together. There are three open doors to the restaurant/bar and at one point we saw a parade walk by. They were the re-enactors from earlier in the day. Several men were on horses. There was a small restaurant next door (El Patio de Sam), but after looking at the menu and seeing only typical bar food I asked the group if they wanted to go to El Jibarito (280 Calle Sol, 787-725-8375, http://www.eljibaritopr.com/), a place that serves local food. Just down one block and over about four blocks, we went inside a large room with tall ceilings, lots of ceiling fans and colorful walls. The food was fabulous!! A few of us ordered the mofongo-filled steak with peppers and tomatoes in a tasty creole sauce, which was excellent! There was plenty of chunks of the steak and was filling. A small salad came with the dinner too. Back at the hotel Carol and I went to the casino - I watched while she lost her money. In the meantime the Tony moved our luggage to our room. Fun day!! 28 April 2012, Boarding the ship in San Juan I wanted to have breakfast at Bombonera, a place that's been open for 110 years and unfortunately, closing permanently at the end of April. The place was packed, so we found a small coffee place that serves sandwiches and other goodies. It's located next to the Plaza de Armes. Just next door is a nice gift shop that we had gone into the day before. I wanted to go back and purchase something. We had egg sandwiches for breakfast and I was able to use their wifi with my itouch. A little more photos ops and then back to the hotel to check out. It was a quick taxi ride (the driver drove really, really fast!) to the Pan Am pier. We arrived to the port at 12:20pm. It took only 15 minutes from getting out of the taxi to walking onboard the ship to receiving a glass of sparkling wine. We had gone through Captain's Club member elite line and only stood there for a couple of minutes. Our room wasn't ready and this was the first cruise that we couldn't drop off our carry-ons in our cabin, so we headed to the cafe for lunch. I was not impressed with most of the food in the buffet. The Indian food was very good, along with the pizza, although I wished for a crustier bottom. I didn't like the fact that the areas were so spread out. On this first day, I missed one area, but from that point on I would scan everything before deciding what to choose. I know for health reasons you can't get your own salad fixings but I would have preferred to serve myself. Glenn and I headed to the future cruises booking office and jotted our names down in the binder. We had an appointment for later in the afternoon. We had a particular cruise in mind for 2013. Around 1:30pm or so, there was an announcement on the speaker that all rooms were ready. Our room, 9127, was very nice, and in fact it seemed to have a better layout and felt more spacious than the other cabins we've been in. They could add cabinets above the bed, but we were fine with the amount of drawers. The desk area was wide and the lighting was much better. I liked that the sleeper sofa was covered in a cloth than a vinyl material. We loved the shower head and hydro panel that had 3-4 extra 'sprays'. I need one installed in my bathroom! There was a safe in the closet. We missed having foot rests on the balcony, but we were told there were none due to the size of the balcony. I wish the partitions could open, as we enjoyed having them open on our last cruise on the Eclipse. We were five cabins in a row and had all partitions open throughout the cruise. It was great being able to walk back and forth while having our afternoon snacks and drinks. The location of our cabin was excellent, only four cabins away from the mid stair case and elevators, and one deck down from the cafe and aft sunset bar. It made for a longer walk to the spa area, but we didn't mind at all. Four decks down and we were in Blu. Our room was very quiet -- no noise from above or our neighbors. We walked around the ship to check out the various areas, including Blu. I've been on the Millennium and Constellation but it's been several years so I really don't remember how it looked and therefore, cannot comment on any differences. She's in great shape and I enjoyed the size of this ship compared to the S-class ships (although they're my favorite). The various areas of the ship did not feel crowded at all. The afternoon sail away get together with fellow cruise critics at the sunset bar was fun. It was great to put names with faces. All passengers were required to be on the ship by 4:30pm, even though the ship sailed at 8:30pm. At 5pm was the lifeboat drill. Our station was in the rendezvous lounge. Back at the booking office I booked two cruises for 2013. Celebrity had a great offer through 18 May 2012 for captain's club members: $200 Onboard Credit (OBC) when booking an 11-13 night cruise along with $100pp deposit (rather than $450pp deposit). The OBC varied with the number of cruise nights. When I booked the two cruises I was not given $200 OBC but $400 OBC for each cruise!! I also received a three-room category upgrade, paying the 2A cabin price for a 1A cabin. I also purchased a $100 Open Passages for a future cruise. Sweet deals!! Dinner in Blu was great! Blu is a specialty restaurant for aqua class guests (and for suite guests if there's availability along with a $5 surcharge). It was interesting to see how Blu was incorporated by using a portion of the MDR, which was part of the "solsticizing" of the Summit. The room is quite elegant with white table clothes, cobalt blue stem-less water glasses, white plates with a streak of blue; blue/clear crystal chandeliers, and the wall opposite the windows was curved with cushioned seats. Tables were usually set for two but if you were more than two, the tables would be pushed together. The music was sometimes quirky. Since this was open seating, we would just show up whenever we were ready to eat. We never had to wait more than a few minutes. Sometimes someone was standing waiting to seat guests. The food: Oh my!! We loved dining in Blu!! Celebrity calls the food "clean cuisine". We enjoyed a very nice variety of foods that were well prepared, nicely presented, and not heavy in fats or heavy sauces. The portions were smaller but we always walked away comfortable without feeling stuffed. Everything was made to order, which makes Blu extra special and worth the additional expense of paying for an aqua class cabin, rather than massed produced foods for the main dining room (although I have to say I've always enjoyed the food in the main dining room -- Celebrity does a great job). For my first dinner in Blu I had the lobster salad with caviar; romaine soup (different but good), short ribs (fall off the bone tender and flavorful); crème brulee; bottle of white wine. I'll say now that the service in Blu was exceptional the entire cruise. Nicolus, the Matre D', waiters Mustafa, Eugene, and Catalin, and Olga the bartender, were wonderful. They were attentive, professional, and friendly. Nicolus was constantly running around and checking to make sure customers were happy and that quality service was being provided. The sommelier was pretty attentive until one night we brought a bottle of sparkling wine to the table (received as a gift from concierge). 29 April 2012, St. Maartin (8am to 5pm) For breakfast, the menu in Blu is the same every day, but there's a good variety to choose from. I ordered eggs benedict one day, which is not on the menu. You can order an omelet and choose from a dozen or so toppings. I enjoyed the smoothies and fresh squeezed orange juice. My friend Carol ordered the muesli a couple of times, which is prepared tableside. The men complained about the very small coffee cups but the waiters kept coming back filling them to the rim. Breakfast this morning: Asparagus frittata (topped with caviar), fresh squeezed orange juice, and a pastry. Out in town, we took a taxi to Marigot. The taxi driver was the first we've encountered in the Caribbean that was NOT friendly. Usually, a driver will try to negotiate a day trip around the island and would always be chatty and friendly. Not this one. She even dropped us off at a location other than the official taxi stand. We didn't realize this at first, and it was just a couple of block from the main area so it wasn't a big deal. However, we figured she did this to avoid having to wait in the taxi line for customers. Most of Marigot was closed down since it was a Sunday. We walked around the area and stopped at Sandy's Restaurant for drinks. There were a few restaurants/bars open. In the same area was a small outdoor market with vendors selling local handmade products. Both Carol and I bought pretty shell necklaces for $10. We took another taxi to Maho beach to have lunch and also watch the planes come in. The end of the runway sits behind a fence and is about 30 feet from the beach. There's a small 2-lane road in between, which traffic is stopped when a plane lands. We saw the KLM (a 747) take off. Too bad we missed the landing, which would have been more spectacular to see. Lunch was good. I had the 8-oz cheeseburger. I ended up skipping the bread on the second half of the sandwich since it was so big. Drinks were yummy. While eating we watched all sorts of planes land. I kept looking at the idiots near the fence line, as well as those on the beach who were being sprayed by the sand. I bet that didn't feel too good. Another taxi ride and we were back in Phillipsburg. Originally we told the taxi driver that brought us to Maho beach that we would need a ride back at a certain time. However, once we were done with lunch we didn't want to wait over an hour, so we found another taxi driver with a van that seats about 14 people. We got in and there were 4 already in the van. She stated we would leave in a minute but then disappeared for a while. We thought we were leaving immediately. She came back with two more passengers. Then she left again!! By that time, we got out of the van and went to find another taxi driver. In town, we walked along the main street checking out the jewelry on display in the windows. In the center of town was a parade of locals, mostly young children, in colorful costumes. Back on the ship, Tony and Glenn went to the spa to enjoy the saunas and I hung out with Carol on the balcony. At the Captain's Club social hour (5-7pm in the Revelations lounge) I was surprised it was so sparse with people. Even though there were only about 60-70 people, service was very slow in getting a drink. Tony and I snacked very lightly on the canapes since we were having dinner soon after. It really wasn't an exciting social hour. This evening was the first of two formal nights. We didn't bring suits and cocktail dresses but still brought nice evening wear. I noticed later in the cruise that photographers had taken pictures of people while dining in Blu. Somehow we missed them or they missed us. I don't know if they show up to Blu at certain times, but it would have been nice to have a photo or two at dinner. Dinner: Macadamia nut crusted scallops, crab bisque, rack of lamb (two small ribs -- will ask for double on the next cruise), and a pear tart. Evening entertainment: Captain's gala toast followed by the Celebrity Showtime: "Stars in their Eyes, a tribute to legendary stars and their unforgettable music." 30 April 2012, St. Thomas (8am to 5pm) After our breakfast, I stopped by the concierge desk asking about the tote bag that was supposed to be in our room. He called the cabin attendant and told him to deliver it. We headed out and grabbed one of the open air vans to Sapphire beach to do some snorkeling. We were disappointed with the number of fish we saw after researching which beach was the best to snorkel. The beach area was beautiful and we were able to find a spot in the shade. I haven't been a "sun worshiper" in years. I picked up a fun, cheap mint-colored necklace for $10. It's made with magnets and is one long string. You can wrap around your wrist to make into a bracelet or wrap around your neck and 'design' the ends, allowing the magnets to hook together randomly. In Charlotte Amalie, at the flea market, I picked up a necklace but should have picked up earrings too. We had lunch at Glady's Cafe. The food was very good: Curry goat with rice, beans, and sweet plantains; Tony had the jerk chicken; and we all shared the conch fritters. Carol and I each had a couple of rum drinks; the guys had beers. The place seemed to be quite popular -- lots of hungry diners filled the room. (About $28pp with drinks and tip). Our waitress, an older woman, provided good service with a smile. I had seen a beautiful yellow emerald and diamond ring on the ship and priced it but decided to do some comparison shopping. I didn't see a single yellow emerald (never heard of it before -- quality emeralds should be green!). I looked through several stores and ended up with a beautiful chocolate and white diamond ring set in 18k rose gold. The design is unique and stunning. Later on the ship at the social hour, we met a couple from Gaithersburg, which is just 20 minutes from where we live. Dinner: I decided to have a cocktail and ordered a pear-martini. It's one of my favorites (besides the chocolate and 'flirtini). Seafood carpaccio, spinach salad, filet mignon. 1 May 2012, Tortola (7am to 2pm) This was our fourth day on the ship and we've been having bad service from our cabin attendant (the same with our friends). I had already talked to the concierge. Today when I picked up the beach towels from the couch, I discovered they were wet!! Yesterday we placed our wet/used beach towels on the floor in the corner so our attendant could remove them and provide clean, DRY towels. We were furious! If he folded wet towels, did he re-hang the used towels we placed on the bathroom floor that we wanted replaced!? I saw him in the hallway and asked for new towels. I was not going to argue the issue with him but talk to the concierge again later in the day. For breakfast, we ate in the cafe. We booked a ship's snorkeling tour so we didn't want a long sit down breakfast. There were about 20 people on the boat and we spent our time snorkeling in two different locations. The water was very comfortable once you got in. The snorkeling was great! Lots of fish and colorful coral. I had an underwater camera with me and took many photos, as I wasn't really familiar with the functions of the camera. Happily, several dozen came out very well. I'm ready to go snorkeling again!! On the boat the guys served rum punch. And the drinks certainly had a punch to them! I was surprised they were serving the drinks in the middle of our trip and not waiting till after we were done swimming in the water. Back at the port, we shared a taxi to the center of town with another couple and walked around a bit. It's a very small town and not much going on. Close to the port were several market stands. I bought earrings to go with the necklace I bought the day before. At 2pm was the cruise critic connections party in the Revelations lounge. This was sort of disappointing because everyone sat in chairs rather than mingling together. Six of us had a great time in Qsine (our second time -- first time was on the Eclipse). This was the only specialty restaurant we went to on this cruise -- we enjoyed dining in Blu that there was no point in spending the extra bucks when we already spent more for our cabin. There's a lot to choose (via an ipad) from so I recommend "Go Hungry!" Also, make reservations for around 6:30pm, as it can be a 2-1/2 to 3 hour event. Some of my favorites that we ordered: M's Favorites, lava crab, lamb chops, treceviche, disco shrimp. Other items we ordered: Kobe burgers, lobster escargot (they used mushrooms), and filet mignon (overcooked so I ordered a new one). Service was good. The room could have used better lighting. I ended up borrowing the blue flashing cubes that were in the disco shrimp for added light (turn off the flash first). Time change this evening -- clocks one hour forward. 2 May 2012, Day at Sea We slept in and enjoyed breakfast at 10am in the cafe: Eggs benedict! At 1:30pm we went to the Captains Club Celebration. Drinks were served and there were a few food stations: Sushi, roast beef carving station (always overcooked for my taste), crepes, fresh fruit, etc. From 3pm to 4:45pm, Lee hosted a wine tasting party in Michael's. Not too many showed up, as other cruise critic members were participating in the slot pull. We were nine of us enjoying a nice variety of red, white, and dessert wines. The staff brought two large platters of cheese, crackers, bread sticks, dried fruits, etc. I really liked this smaller size group. Dinner: Frog legs, blackened tuna salad, halibut. Evening entertainment was Karen Grainger, a singing impressionist. She was great! She started out singing as Cher. She also did Tina Turner, Lady Gaga, and others. 3 May 2012, Bermuda (1pm) Blu serves some scrumptious smoothies. I had the mango flavor, along with eggs benedict on top of toasted rye bread. I actually enjoyed it more than on plain English muffins. Nicolus provided a round of complimentary mimosas to our table. Carol and I headed to the 10am "Global Flavors" cooking demonstration. We watched a few chefs make various dishes and small samples were passed out to everyone in the audience. Everyone was also given the recipes. It was a lot of fun to watch and sample the foods. Late arrival in Bermuda! We were supposed to dock at 1pm but we docked at 2pm, as a ship that was in our berth had not left, so the captain moved the Summit slowly to our destination at the Dockyards. We didn't get off the ship until around 2:30pm. Everyone was trying to get off the ship at the same time. It was an overcast and humid day. We were able to buy our ferry tickets and grab the 3pm ferry to Hamilton (good timing) and spent the afternoon walking around town with a self-guided map and information. Walked up to the fortress and got there at 5pm. Sign read, "Closes at 5pm" but we were not ushered out. Great views of the town and port, although somewhat hazy. My plans were to have dinner on the ship and then go to Frog and Onion for drinks but the rest wanted to stay in town for dinner. I always carry a list of recommended restaurants when traveling so we headed to Hog Penney. It's a nice British pub. I had the lamb stew, which was excellent. Tony had the fish and chips. More good timing and we caught the 7pm ferry back to the ship. Evening entertainment: Fred Keltt, a stand-up comedian (very good) and Sue Denning: One Woman Show (also very good). We finally hit the martini bar and had a couple of drinks. We made new friends too. 4 May 2012, Bermuda (departed 5pm) I hired Colin Jennings, who was highly recommended on the Cruise Critic boards, for a private tour of the island. We made many stops around Bermuda including Somerset Bridge (the smallest in the world -- the opening is just big enough for a sails mast to go through), the fortress nearby, Gibbs light house, scenic stops to see the gorgeous blue water and beaches. Flatts is a very pretty town and has an aquarium. Outside of the building is a large pool with about six green sea turtles! In St. George we visited St. Peters Church and Fort St. Catherine. There were a few VIP cars in the parking lot. The minister of public works was on a tour of the fort, as it had been recently renovated. Our last stop was to the sea glass beach near the dockyards. Wow, there's a lot of glass but certainly not old glass. The man that sells his sea glass art work told Tony he's always tossing glass into the water. Carol and I brought large zip lock bags and took a bunch of glass. It was overwhelming. Do I collect one color? What size? What can I do with them? We spent about 20 minutes and finally left. We had a late lunch on the ship and then spent time in the saunas and T-pool. At 7:45pm the Senior Officer's cocktail party was held in the revelations lounge. What a friendly group of officers, who spent time mingled with the guests. A couple of officers talked to us for about 15 minutes. On some nights Captain Mantzavinos would walk through Blu and stop by our table (and others) to ask how our day went. He was a very friendly man. Dinner: A delicious chicken and foie gras appetizer, lobster tails, fruit zabaglione. We ended the evening on our balcony enjoying the fresh air and our wine. Time change this evening, clocks set back one hour. 5 May 2012, Day at Sea At breakfast, I asked for eggs benedict. The waiter told us that it was not available since there was a brunch later in the morning. I decided to eat lightly (blue berry parfait with yogurt and granola) so I could enjoy the food at brunch. Glenn, Carol and I went to the morning "Beyond the Podium" with Gene Ehmann, who lectured on the Mob, specifically about Joseph Bonanno. Gene's lecture was quite interesting. Tony went to a different lecture, ship's navigation or something like that. Brunch: Ah, we finally learned to get around the chaotic atmosphere like we encountered on our last two cruises. Go late! It seems that most passengers hit the brunch when it first opens. We arrived around 12:30pm. The food selections were good: Pastries and breads, fruits, cheese and meats, salmon, carved beef, omelets made to order, stir fry made to order, soups, baked fish, chicken cutlets, pasta, chocolate fountain, and lots of desserts. I had some of the beef stroganoff, lobster bisque, sushi, caesar salad, and a crepe for dessert. Carol and I went to watch the 'Star Chefs' cooking challenge in the theatre. It's always a lot of fun, as the chefs typically goof off, steal ingredients from their competitor, pour themselves some wine, or try to get a head start of the clock. I did some packing and later enjoyed our time in the saunas and T-pool. This was a very nice aqua class perk. Tony and I went to the elite social hour and sat with fellow cruise critics Larry and Nancy. Dinner: Wild salmon, salad with mushroom, pheasant, side of fettuccini, chocolate praline cake for dessert. 6 May, Sunday The ship arrived early in Bayonne NJ. We didn't have a flight to take (Glenn rented a large vehicle for us to get back to Baltimore), so our scheduled departure time was set for 8:50am. It was nice not having to get up before the crack of dawn. We enjoyed the last breakfast in Blu, although this was the only time we actually had to wait for a table. I had the smoked salmon and asparagus frittata, a side of sauteed mushrooms; mango smoothie, and orange juice. We went to the Normandie restaurant along with the other Captain's Club elite members. In the Normandie was a table with pastries, coffee, and tea. We arrived about 8:35am and within 15 minutes the entire elite group was called. We took the stairs since we knew some of the crowd would take the elevators. We were off the ship in another minute and found our luggage once inside the main area. This was one of the fastest disembarkations on any ship I've been on. Summary: We enjoyed our cruise, although we felt it wasn't on par with the other Celebrity cruises we've been on. Also, the situation with our attendant was terrible (not all issues were stated in in this journal). In the end and after a long letter to Celebrity, they still have us as loyal customers. It was nice meeting people from cruise critic, as well as others on the ship. We enjoyed our time on the ship and while on the islands. I'm looking forward to my next cruise in the fall and future cruises as well. Monica Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Having been on many cruises with various companies we decided to try Azamara Journey as the itinerary (which is usually how we choose a cruise)was a bit unusual.We had looked at some reviews and seen they were very good and we would ... Read More
Having been on many cruises with various companies we decided to try Azamara Journey as the itinerary (which is usually how we choose a cruise)was a bit unusual.We had looked at some reviews and seen they were very good and we would definitely agree. We booked the cruise through a very good cruise agent and booked our flights and pre-cruise hotel separately(which we have done quite a few times)and there was no problems,apart from the tiring journey to pick up the cruise in San Juan,which was no different than anybody else travelling from the uk.After a night in a hotel in the old town we took a cab to the ship. We had no wait at all at the cruise check in and were quickly on the lovely ship. The ship and our cabin was lovely and yes the bathroom is very small but it did not cause a problem at all.The balcony was small but again it was nice to have the extra space.As mentioned in other reviews the staff are very friendly and seem to be genuinely happy in their work.We had a great captain (Jason) and a great cruise director Tony who seemed to be loving every minute of his working day and he was not at all overbearing and false as others we have met.He was backed up by a great team(alex especially),who provided hours of trivia and games,and along with some good professional entertainment we were kept amused. The food was generally very good and both the windows cafe and the restaurant had good decor and ambiance(all under the control of the lovely Heike),and the free wine when eating went down well(my husband had a beer package but said he would not do it again as the wine was good).The mosaic cafe was a good place to relax and meet people,with great waiters.We loved our time aboard and also enjoyed the ports of call(we had booked a couple of ship excursions at half price before we left)and found them to be good.We did our own thing in St Thomas,Bermuda and New York and also enjoyed that. Disembarkation was easy and relatively quick and we caught a taxi to a bag drop place in New York and went shopping before catching the train to Newark for our flight home. We will definitely travel with Azamara again as they offer friendly ships with what seems to be happy staff,and as an extra we feel that we have met some new friend in some of our fellow passengers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We booked the Azamara package so our flights were organised for us. It was a long journey to San Juan from the UK, made worse by a 6 hour stop over in Atlanta. If we cruise from San Juan again, we would consider stopping over after the ... Read More
We booked the Azamara package so our flights were organised for us. It was a long journey to San Juan from the UK, made worse by a 6 hour stop over in Atlanta. If we cruise from San Juan again, we would consider stopping over after the first flight and taking the second flight the next day. The Conrad Hilton in San Juan was lovely - Azamara chose well and everything about it was excellent. Transfer to the ship and embarkation was also very well organised. Our room was ready quickly and was immaculate. It was kept this way throughout by Mannish and Ever. From the moment we joined the ship we felt relaxed. Senior Officers and all staff were very friendly and welcoming. We were very impressed with staff at every level - nothing was too much trouble. Louise on Guest Relations is also a credit to Azamara and was always very helpful. Food was excellent everywhere on the ship. Room service was the best we have ever experienced and so too was the buffet in Windows. All credit to Heike and her team. Captain Jason must feel proud to lead such a wonderful team. Entertainment was fun - lots to do for those who wanted to join in. Tony worked hard and it showed. We liked the banter between him and Activities Manager Chris on the daily TV reports. The itinerary was special and didn't disappoint. Virgin Gorda, Bermuda and New York were the highlights for us. We didn't do any organised excursions but still managed to see everything that we wanted. The other thing that struck us was how friendly other guests were. We enjoyed making new friends and meeting many lovely people. This was our 10th cruise and so far has been our favourite. We will definitely cruise with Azamara again - you really do feel like part of an extended family. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Overall I rate my trip 4 out of 5 stars. Arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico the day before sailing and stayed at the Airport Best Western. No fooling-it was the smallest hotel room I have ever had. My cabin on the ship was bigger! ... Read More
Overall I rate my trip 4 out of 5 stars. Arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico the day before sailing and stayed at the Airport Best Western. No fooling-it was the smallest hotel room I have ever had. My cabin on the ship was bigger! Day 1: I had a free transfer to the ship and let me tell you-it was not worth the price I paid. I did not get my luggage until after midnight! You see in San Juan, the ship had 1 truck of which they loaded all luggage for the entire ship. My bags went on the truck when there were about 6 other bags loaded. Embarkation: I had brought an Eagle Creek packable duffel that I put in my carry on. Once past the checkpoint I was able to purchase at the duty free shop a 750 ml bottle of rum, a case of water, and 2-8 packs of soda that I brought aboard the ship inside the duffel bag-no problem. I put my carry on, and beverages in my cabin, and ocean-view obstructed on the Emerald Deck-8. I then went to the Lido Deck and purchased the ultimate drink card, and had lunch. I had early seating traditional dining for dinner and after dinner went to the Juan Carlos Show. After dinner and the show I spent the remainder of the evening looking for my luggage which arrived a few minutes after midnight. Note: this was the worst thing that happened to me on this cruise. Food & Dining I was able to dine at the Lido, and Dining room, as well as have room service for dinner, and breakfast. Room Service offerings are quite limited and below average because of that fact. What they do offer is good however. The lido dining area is broken up into several areas and one big plus although there are no trays, the plates are quite large. Servers also help you in finding seats, and are quick in offering you beverages. The dining room service, and food was very good, but there were 2 nights that I did not dine there as there was nothing on the menu that interested me. Public Areas The ship is very easy to get around, and the cabin key card holder had a built in ship map. One issue I had however was the activities I chose to take part always seemed to be very far away from each other which made getting from one to the other on time a challenge. On sea days I spent a great deal of time at the aft pool area. It is for adults only. I spent the time reading, and listening to music on my mp3 player-very relaxing. Ship Entertainment I went to 2 shows the Juan Carlos show, and "Pianoman" a production show. Both were very good. The ship had other shows but they did not interest me much. Cabin My ocean-view obstructed E8624 Port was a free upgrade from a Riviera Deck inside and was very nice. The obstruction of window view was about 60% and not "fully" obstructed. My cabin steward Alan did a great job keeping my cabin looking good, and ice bucket always stocked. I did have an unfortunate incident in the cabin however with the toilet-overflowing of which I cleaned up myself. Debarkation We pulled into NYC very early on Sunday morning. I was going to self-disembark and I had a relative picking me up so I ate breakfast at around 6:30 AM. They called me down to one of the ship lounges where I sat until the announcement was made that my group could leave the ship. I got off the ship and was through customs in about 10 minutes. My relative had arrived to the port at about 8 AM and I was one of the first people to leave the port area. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
I had high expectations for this cruise because I had never booked a Concierge Class cabin before. When I booked this cruise Celebrity was running a $150 OBC for ocean view. When we arrived and got into our room I checked the front desk to ... Read More
I had high expectations for this cruise because I had never booked a Concierge Class cabin before. When I booked this cruise Celebrity was running a $150 OBC for ocean view. When we arrived and got into our room I checked the front desk to make sure the credit was applied, it was not. I spent the whole cruise with my TA who was trying to square things away with Celebrity. The OBC was never applied to my account. Celebrity told my TA that the OBC did not cover this particular cruise. I saved the email so I know that is not true. Our cabin Stuart serviced us like he had just started his job that day. He never unlocked the mini-bar and he put rotten bananas in the room every day. I had to ask him daily for an extra towel and the room wasn't vacuumed daily. He didn't vacuum the balcony rug the whole time we were there. Room Service: The first couple of days that we ordered room service for breakfast it was nice. The last three times the food was cold and looked like it had been sitting under a warmer for hours. Everything was overcooked and dried out. After that we started having breakfast upstairs.The mattress in our cabin was awful, it was like sleeping on plywood. When I called the front desk to see if they could replace it they said they had no replacement mattresses. The hairdryer in the room was a hazard, it's about 20 years old and kept sucking my hair into the motor. Dining Room: We had wonderful Waite staff. Every night they went above and beyond to accommodate. I ordered the sirloin steaks the last three nights and it was overcooked. Everyone at the table said the same thing. We couldn't even cut it with the knife they gave us.My husband and I both really liked the Itinerary on this cruise. We met a lot of wonderful people. We got a bridge tour that interested my husband, he has been wanting to go on one for a long time.Docking in Bayonne, NJ was wonderful. I wouldn't hesitate to cruise out of that port in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Over the last few years I have cruised all the mainstream lines and have never had a bad cruise, some have been better than others. I sailed on Century a couple of months ago and so enjoyed it that before debarking I booked this repo on ... Read More
Over the last few years I have cruised all the mainstream lines and have never had a bad cruise, some have been better than others. I sailed on Century a couple of months ago and so enjoyed it that before debarking I booked this repo on Summit. It did not disappoint.I planned to fly to San Juan early in the day to allow for some sightseeing in Old San Juan. This was the only glitch and entirely my own fault. I had cruised to San Juan many times before and always docked across from the Sheraton with the other cruise ships. My plane landed at 9AM and the taxi whisked me to a previously unknown to me port on the other side of San Juan. I was not alone as quite a few earlybirds were camped out on the curb waiting for the terminal to open.Once the embarkation staff opened the doors it was just a few minutes till onboard with champagne in hand. Cabins would not be ready till 1:30PM, but the buffet was open. This was the most busy the buffet was at any time during the cruise, but it was not crowded. The weather was overcast, so I waited in the buffet till the cabins opened. At 1:30 I dropped off my carry-on, met the awesome room steward Sandy, freshened up and went to explore the ship. It took just a minute to get my bearings and start exploring. The ship is beautiful. All the lounges, bars and public areas were immaculate and inviting. I found the atmosphere to be peaceful and every one of the crew members friendly, helpful and unobtrusive.The service was by far the best I have experienced. The cabin was fine. The water pressure in the shower was weak, but adequate. I did not participate in any of the activities being content to enjoy the perfect weather throughout the cruise. The food was excellent both in the buffet and the dining room. There was never a line in the buffet - not sure how that was managed, but it was lovely. There were so many choices for food that in 8 days I never managed to try a gourmet sandwich or the pizza. The offerings at the Aquaspa Cafe were perfect, especially the cold soups and muffins. Dinners were a high point of the day. Our table at the Main sitting with our servers Edwin and Pauline was filled with conversation, laughter and food experimentation.The entertainment was diverse and really good. The band on deck most afternoons was low key, but always got people up to dance. The lead female singer had a very rich, pleasing voice. Their music added to experience, it did not dominate it - that's a good thing. Pre-dinner at the Cova Cafe we were treated to either an acapella group or a classical string trio. They were both professional and thoroughly entertaining. In Rendezvous a jazz group played favorites and consistently filled the dance floor. The female singer was a joy to listen to, her enthusiasm was infectious. Michael's Club featured a female singer/piano player who was very enjoyable also. The production shows in the theatre were very good. Most ships are lucky to have one strong lead singer, this ship had FIVE and if you count the ACD, SIX. With all those strong, true voices the shows were fantastic! Mark Preston, of Lettermen fame, put on wonderful shows. He is a real showman who comes across as very sincere and seems to really enjoy interacting with the audience.I took advantage of ship tours in Tortola BVI and Bermuda and was very pleased with the experiences and value of the tours.During this cruise I was fortunate to participate in both a galley tour and a bridge tour. Both were extremely educational and enjoyable.This cruise seemed to showcase the food and chefs more than most - how lucky!!! One night a buffet was held on deck - I ran up to see it being set up, lots of carved fruit, couldn't stay awake to see the completed buffet. We were treated to two days of a special brunches. They were set up in the main dining room with ice sculptures, full breakfasts, waffle and omelet stations, lots of seafood, carving stations, food, food and more delicious food. Both setups were waaaay over the top! One evening most of the entertainment was gathered in Reflections, the lounge at the top of the ship, taking turns on stage while the Chocolate Buffet was presented, another delectable feast.Celebrity seems to do just about everything a bit better than what I have experienced on other lines. One area that can't be blamed on or credited tothe cruise line is the behavior of the passengers. My fellow passengers on two Celebrity cruises have been more polite, considerate, empathetic to the crew and generally better behaved than on the other cruise lines. People held elevators, did not push or shove, didn't mind clearing a coffee cup and were usually pleasant. Of course there were one or two exceptions, but mostly the people contributed to a wonderful cruise rather than detracting from the experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
This was our time on Celebrity and it was awesome! Embarkation was literally about 5 minutes. We had been to St Maarten, St Thomas and Tortola in the past and they are all lovely ports. St Maarten - definitely go to the airport beach ... Read More
This was our time on Celebrity and it was awesome! Embarkation was literally about 5 minutes. We had been to St Maarten, St Thomas and Tortola in the past and they are all lovely ports. St Maarten - definitely go to the airport beach and Orient Beach (incredible beach). Tortola - Brewers Bay doesn't have a lot of amenities, but great snorkeling.It was our first time in Bermuda. Bermuda is beautiful and clean. Horseshoe Bay although it gets very busy it is a beautiful beach with large boulders around. First week of May water was still a bit chilly. Took a bike tour, but would recommend just renting bikes and doing your own tour. Also, did glass bottom boat, and it was okay, but not all that.This Summit is an older ship, but in pretty good shape. Everything was super clean. I can't say enough about the staff on this ship, probably one of the best, most helpful, and friendly of any ship we've been on. If you go on this ship go see Erin and Metin in the Aft Bar. They are so much fun. Every staff member on this ship would go out of their way to help with anything. Amazing. Food on the Summit was okay, not bad, not great. To me pretty typical of what I've seen on most ships. They did have a lot of options. Love the made while you wait stir fry. They could have changed up the buffet a little more, it mostly offered the same things everyday, but there was a lot to choose from. Room service was very good, and fast.Balcony Conceirge - was nice, but not sure it's really worth paying extra for over a standard balcony. My only complaint on the ship was that they need a little more up beat entertainment. We are very active, like current music including classic rock and this ship did have a few nights where they had good dance music, but not a whole lot to keep you awake. They did have the DJ in the club starting at 12:15am til late, but not much up til then so most of the ship was asleep by then. They did cater the entertainment to a 60 - 70 age group. But I would still sail this ship again because the crew was so great. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
My wife and I did back to back cruises on the Summit, leaving from San Juan on its repositioning cruise and ending up in New Jersey after its first Bermuda cruise in April, 2010. We have been on the Summit twice before and enjoy the ship ... Read More
My wife and I did back to back cruises on the Summit, leaving from San Juan on its repositioning cruise and ending up in New Jersey after its first Bermuda cruise in April, 2010. We have been on the Summit twice before and enjoy the ship very much. While the ship is getting older (aren't we all) it is still very beautiful and the service remains superb. The public areas are very clean and well kept. It is only the staterooms that are in need of some upkeep as it appeared to us that the same draperies and rugs that were in our cabin five years ago remain in use today. Embarkation in San Juan could not have gone more smoothly. We left our hotel near the airport around 11:00AM and were enjoying a beer at the bar at the back of the boat by 12:30. Our luggage was delivered to our cabin before 3:00. During my working life I worked in San Juan quite often and my wife and I always loved it there. Our feelings remain the same after this visit. Our cabin was on the eighth deck in concierge class. Summit now breaks their concierge class down into three categories and we were in C2. We could not tell the difference from our last trip when there was only one category and my guess is that the categories are different only in the cabin position on the ship. We traveled with friends who had a C1 sunset veranda cabin on the 7th deck and while their room was identical to ours, their veranda was enormous. Our room was always very well kept and our room steward, Paz, continually asked if there was anything extra we needed. We found the food on the first part of the cruise to be very good to outstanding. On the second leg, while the menu remained the same, the food was noticeably different in that it was not quite as good. This is surprising since the same chef and staff were preparing the same food. It does give insight into how people traveling on the same ship, but on different cruises have differing opinions of the food. We ate at the specialty restaurant once on each leg and the food and service were outstanding both times. The entertainment was very good. Our children (in their 20's) joined us for the second leg of the voyage and they really liked the Celebrity Singers and Dancers and their Broadway type shows. My wife and I enjoyed those shows, but have seen them several times before so they are getting a little stale for us. The first leg had a piano player and a singer who were very good. On the second leg there was a magician, Adam Trent, and a comedian, Dave Heenen, that put on great shows. However, since we are "middle aged" we enjoyed the comedian somewhat more than our kids since they have no experience with many of the things he was talking about. The A Cappella group, the Neptunes, were outstanding. Their talents should be showcased more than 2-3, fifteen minute performances per night. As for ports of call, the first part of our cruise went from San Juan to St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Tortola, Bermuda and on to NJ. In St. Thomas we took an excursion to St. Johns for some snorkeling. We highly recommend visiting St. Johns if given a chance as almost the entire island is a national park and shows the Caribbean pretty much the way it must have been years ago. The snorkeling was good, but not great, but the pristine beach was magnificent. We misjudged Tortola when we got there as it looked like other islands where people continually hawk items for you to purchase while you sit on the beach or walk the streets. This was not the case and the longer we stayed there the more we liked it. As for St. Maarten, we have been there on several cruises and most people rave about the place, but we just don't get it. We keep telling ourselves we must be missing something. In Bermuda we didn't have the best of weather during either leg of the trip, but it didn't matter. Bermuda is beautiful and the people are great. If you are a first time visitor we recommend you take an island tour either as an excursion from the ship or by a local taxi. If you take a taxi it is $40.00 per hour and the taxis hold up to six people. A good tour will take about five hours so the tour should cost about $200.00 shared by six. You see more by taxi and have less people with whom to deal. The ships excursions run about $57.00 per person. Everything is imported in Bermuda so things are pricey. Debarkation at Cape Liberty was a nightmare. As Captains Club members we could have taken advantage of Celebrity's special debarkation procedures for club members, but we wanted to stay with our kids so we went with the general public. Hundreds of people were forced into a small stairway which was hot and very slow moving. It took us nearly an hour in that line with people pushing, shoving and trying to weave their way around others before we could get off. Finding our luggage, getting through customs and getting to our car was a breeze, but Celebrity needs to do something to avoid the unsafe, crowded stairways that caused some hot tempers. As for perks from Celebrity for doing back to back cruises? Not too much. After the first leg we were escorted through customs by one of the ships officers and then returned to the ship to do as we pleased. We had about an hour to walk around the ship with no other guests on board which was fun. During the second leg we each received $10.00 on board credits and told to have a drink on Celebrity for doing the back to back... so we did! Overall, Celebrity remains a head above the rest. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010

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