72 San Juan Holiday Cruise Reviews

The staff on Adventures of the Seas was outstanding! This ship was nice and clean at all times. My husband and I have a few (small) gripes, things that we liked better on other cruise lines: 1. not enough (free) counter service food/meal ... Read More
The staff on Adventures of the Seas was outstanding! This ship was nice and clean at all times. My husband and I have a few (small) gripes, things that we liked better on other cruise lines: 1. not enough (free) counter service food/meal options, which leads to long lines and congestion at the Windjammer buffet. A counter service at the pool area would be idea, a grill with pizza/burgers/salads. Another food issue, was the lack of a room service menu and the quality of that food. However, our meals in the main dining room were absolutely delicious! 2. Mid ship elevators were very slow, more than expected during peak times and non peak times. 3. The jogging track wraps around the 12th deck and intertwines sunbathers on lounge chairs, and there are frequently people strolling around and looking at the scenery, and they don't move for the joggers. The track is not very well labeled and as a jogger you feel as if you are "in the way". A better location would be around the sport deck. 4. The big daily "sale" that happens on the promenade cause major congestion for those guest just walking through not wanting to shop. Suggestion would be to maybe spread their "station" out longer instead of wider to provide room on either side for guests needing to get through. 5. The ice skating show was wonderful, so much talent and fun to watch! The times for open ice skate were limited so we were unable to try out this activity. 6. The "don't stop the rock" show left us disappointed. 7. On a typical evening after dinner, around 8-8:30pm, it seemed as if there was a lack of (free) activities. If you wanted to sit in the pub and pay for beer, or go to the skybar and pay for drinks, those were options. Only 2 nights were there some sort of activity (love & marriage show and a less than desirable comedy routine put on the same time as another game show activity so you couldn't attend both). 8. The food at Johnny Rockets was terrible! The burgers lacked toppings and were overcooked. The French fries served to us were cold and tasted as if they were sitting for a long time, the waiter never replaced them. Very disappointing. 9. Returning from a day at port, other ships on the dock had a "welcome back" party for their guests, playing music and giving them small cups of water. Very nice! Wish RCI would do this. Hopefully you have read through all my comments. This ship is beautiful and clean and you will have a nice time. All staff we had contact with were absolutely outstanding! Even though it looks like I'm full of complaints here, I'm not. It was a nice ship and a fantastic vacation, we just prefer other ships. Thank you! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Let me start by saying that we have about 15 previous Celebrity cruises under our belt - and 30+ in all. We started with X back in the early days of Chandris, sailing on the Meridian, Horizon, Zenith, up to the largest ships. We prefer ... Read More
Let me start by saying that we have about 15 previous Celebrity cruises under our belt - and 30+ in all. We started with X back in the early days of Chandris, sailing on the Meridian, Horizon, Zenith, up to the largest ships. We prefer smaller ships but have enjoyed the Aqua Class/Blu experience so much that it offsets the size issues. We have done holiday cruises many times on Celebrity and other lines, including RSSC, Oceania, and Seabourn. This year we liked the prospect of leaving from San Juan so we booked Summit 12 months out. Our cabin on Deck 11 was absolutely fine with terrific stateroom service. Only negative here was that our balcony overlooked the Sunset Bar and we had to contend with music every evening until 10.30 or 11.00 pm. We loved the aft location. Two concerns pretty much tainted our interest in any future trips with Celebrity. There has been a significant decline in the quality of food and food service, even within the past 12 months. Even in Blu, which we think is an inspired concept, I had ahi tuna one evening that was inedible because of the fishy taste. The Ocean View Cafe has been reduced to a glorified strip mall cafeteria. Nowhere do they post the menu being offered - the only way to find out is to wind your way through every serving line in the restaurant. Signage is incorrect or missing for many items. One of the best was "Barbarian" Sausage (Bavarian maybe?). Red Jello/Vanilla was actually Yellow Jello/Vanilla. Servers don't know what they are serving. One dish looked to me like orzo or rice, I couldn't tell which. I asked the server and she pointed to the sign which said "Mixed Vegetables." Veal Piccata had no lemons or capers but a thick gooey brown gravy and mushrooms. Previously, servers would remove plates etc from the tables almost before you could put your fork down. We saw tables with empty dishes on them for 15+ minutes. The ship's interiors look really well in most every aspect. But the exterior spaces are run down, rusty, and embarrassing. The teak floor in the Solarium is flaking apart and looks like there is sand on the floor. The ceiling a/c vents are dripping with rust. The chair cushions are stained with white paint. Ice dispensers "out of order" for the entire cruise at the Pool Grill and servers told me they had not been working "for some time." The piece de resistance was the afternoon canapes we received in Aqua Class. Every day the same uninspired, unidentifiable things appeared and twice we were served chocolate chip cookies. Could not believe it. We overheard several European guests on the ship who were complaining about having been duped into believing they were getting a 5-star experience. I am sorry that a once great cruise line has dropped to this level. There are plenty of hard-working staff everywhere. And I expect there are very bright minds at work in the RCCL and X offices in Miami. But something strange is missing in between. We have enjoyed many wonderful cruises with Celebrity but we will most likely not be back. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My daughter, her friend, and I took the RCI Southern Caribbean cruise for Christmas. (Dec. 20-27). Our ports of call were St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Martinique, Barbados. We loved each island, particularly the fact that they all ... Read More
My daughter, her friend, and I took the RCI Southern Caribbean cruise for Christmas. (Dec. 20-27). Our ports of call were St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Martinique, Barbados. We loved each island, particularly the fact that they all had a distinctly different personality, flavor, and terrain. DD and friend did ziplines and turtle excursions; I stuck to tours and beach excursions. Was not disappointed on any island. Everything was beautiful and we didn't run into any problems with either the RCI excursions or the trips we arranged on our own. (We stuck to grabbing taxis to beaches.) Service on this cruise was much better than on our only other cruise, particularly in the main dining room. The food was kind of average, but if we scoured the menus and tried different things, we could always find something that was very tasty. The Windjammer buffet is pretty dull fare overall, we thought, but it's not bad per se', and we had no problems eating (and eating and eating). Again, some of the food was very ho-hum, but if we "shopped" the buffet carefully before choosing what we wanted, we were able to find tasty food. We especially loved the sandwiches, breads, and salad bar. We went to Chops Grille one night, and it was divine. Our waiters and stateroom attendant were all exceptional. Ryan, our statement attendant, was ever-present. We began to doubt that he ever slept or ate. He was extremely responsive and very friendly. He was very gracious about working around our schedule and communicating to me about when my DD and her friend had last been in the cabin and what they seemed to be up to. (College girls!) The weather was perfect. Sunny and warm every day. The ship was very nice. It's a bit smaller than other ships--about 2,300 people, I think)--and we could make it from front to back very quickly, which was nice. Despite that fact, amenities were all over the place. A bar or restaurant was never far away. The solarium on Jewel is outstanding. The only other RCI ship I've been on is Enchantment of the Seas, and the Jewel's solarium was much, much nicer, with a much more exotic and relaxing vibe. My only complaint, and it's minor, is that the Solarium Cafe did not serve much food--pizza and crescent-roll sized sandwiches were about it. The Solarium Cafe on Enchantment had salad bar and wide variety of sandwiches, desserts, and sides, so I guess I was spoiled. I'm not really on the cruise ships for the shows, so have never been to a show on any ship. I did enjoy the Centrum music and parties, though. Also, my college kids enjoyed the different clubs, bars, and parties; I'm probably just too old to appreciate that kind of thing. I was perfectly content to grab a glass of champagne, and sit and look at the beautiful Christmas decorations, listen to the music, and people watch. I did especially enjoy the disco party in the Centrum because I had flashbacks to high school and college. *sigh* Anyway, a fabulous trip for us overall. Btw, only complaint was the numerous elevators are mysteriously programming so that only two at a time seem to be servicing any one floor, which led to occasional long waits.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This is my 7th cruise and 4th with RCI. This is my first time on the Adventure of the Seas, but my second on a Voyager class. The other RCI I've been on was the Allure. We arrived in San Juan the Friday before embarkation because ... Read More
This is my 7th cruise and 4th with RCI. This is my first time on the Adventure of the Seas, but my second on a Voyager class. The other RCI I've been on was the Allure. We arrived in San Juan the Friday before embarkation because this was our first time in Puerto Rico. We stayed in a condo in Condado, just outside of Old San Juan. On Saturday, we toured Old San Juan's two fort, San Cristobal and El Morro and had dinner close by. In San Juan, RCI's ship dock by the city's smaller airport, SIG, and no in Ols San Juan port. There is really nothing around the port. The best way to get to the port is by taxi and most driver will know where RCI docks. Since we booked a JS, we were allowed to embark any time between 11AM - 7PM. We arrived at the terminal around 1PM and were a lot of people already in line. As we had only three pieces of luggage, we decided to carry on our own bags. The whole embarkation process took about 20-25 minutes, and our JS was ready when we got onboard. Our cabin, 9628 JS, was on the port side close to the rear elevator bank. We were very happy with our cabin and everything worked fine. Please see our separate cabin review. Our cabin steward, Keithly, took care of us very well and we never had a problem with his service or the cleanliness of our cabin. We selected early seating in the MDR for this cruise and we found ourselves seated on table 318, in the Vivaldi dining room on deck 3. This table, a table for 10, was located in the middle of the dining room under the main chandelier by the Captain's table. I thought we would see the Captain once or twice during the cruise, but he did not dine in the dining room during the whole cruise. Our main waiter in the dining room, Syvester, was really good and he got to know us by the third night; no wonder, he has been with RCI for seven years. We dined at the MDR all week for dinner and we were very happy with the quality and quantity of the food. We had one or two dishes we didn't cared for the whole week, but everything else was cooked perfectly to our order and taste. The ship was decked out for the holidays with a huge Christmas tree forward on the Promenade. There was definitely a Christmas feel throughout the ship and even the crew was into the spirit. Since my last two cruises were on the Allure, the level of entertainment was just not the same, and I didn't expect it either. But our cruise director, Mercedes, and her staff did their best. The song and dance shows were more than acceptable, the comedians were funny, Alan Chamo, the Mental Magician, was entertaining. The ice shows were up to par. But most of all, we really had fun with Matt Yee at the Schooner Bar every night from 9:45PM till late with his adult sing along show. There was even a Christmas carol sing along on the Promenade deck on Christmas Eve. Even though the ship was full, we never felt crowded and we found good seats at every show. This cruise was so enjoyable, we decided to rebook for Christmas 2015! Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our 13th cruise during Xmas/New Years. This year we did Xmas week. We arrived in San Juan on Saturday a day before our departure. I received an email prior saying we needed to arrive no earlier than 1pm. We left the hotel about ... Read More
This was our 13th cruise during Xmas/New Years. This year we did Xmas week. We arrived in San Juan on Saturday a day before our departure. I received an email prior saying we needed to arrive no earlier than 1pm. We left the hotel about 12:15 and arrived at the port. There is a line for Diamond Members to drop their bags. We stood in a long line due to only have 1 machine to put your carry on bags thru. That was a little crazy and they were letting people on. Why send the emails/texts then? We were able to get into line for the Diamond Members and quickly checked in. I liked the fact that they took your picture right when you were checking in than later. We made our way on board and went to the Windjammer for lunch. After lunch we were able to throw our bags into the room and went back to the kiddie pools on 12. The water in the kiddie pools was freezing cold. A few observations that I noted that need to change. If you have a kid not potty trained then they can't use the pools even with swim diapers. You tell me what 3 yr old is not peeing in the adult pools? I think a swim diaper catches everything vs a little kid. The only thing my 20 month old great niece could go in was the shower on deck 12. Seems odd. There is a lot of shade on deck 12 in the back by the kiddie pools. Why not get more in the sun? We got a balcony this time around and it was nice. My sisters complaint is they don't get the room set based on who is staying there. i.e. a double bed was made when twin beds were needed. She had to ask for her bathrobe also. Our bags came quickly. Mine first along with my nephews/wife/babies bags. I quickly unpacked about 3 in the afternoon. The other 6 in our party came a little later about 4. The food was fantastic on the first night. We always joke about the onion tart being on the menu and we were all surprised it was not. The food the first few nights were great. Then by Wednesday it was taking longer to get food out. We know it wasn't our server so it had to be the kitchen. We started to ask for her meal immediately so she didn't fuss. Domingos was our waiter and he gets a double thumbs up. We loved the ports and went to new beaches this trip in Aruba and Curacao. We wish that there were more ships leaving out of San Juan. The weather is better leaving further south than out of Florida. We wish in all public bathrooms there are toilet seat covers available. That would be nice. We booked again for next year but a little unhappy about some of the ports they are picking. i.e. Martinique, Grenada to name a few. We are booked on the Celebrity for next year. I hate the fact they changed the itinerary for 2 days back to back at sea. Hopefully this will change. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We did back to back weeks during Christmas/New Year's 2014-2015 in the Caribbean out of San Juan. We had been on the Summit before. Somehow, the ship's infrastructure has declined considerably. The plumbing was malfunctioning ... Read More
We did back to back weeks during Christmas/New Year's 2014-2015 in the Caribbean out of San Juan. We had been on the Summit before. Somehow, the ship's infrastructure has declined considerably. The plumbing was malfunctioning continually, creating a pervasive odor on many decks. While we had a good time and enjoyed ourselves, we have to remark that this ship needs extensive refurbishment. The staff was usually great. However, the wait staff in the main dining room needs polish and additional training. Rarely did we have a complete set of flatware and glassware. Although they were eager to please, it seemed that setting a table is beyond their training. Other than a dinner fork or salad fork, we rarely got the correct implement on the first try: example- no cocktail forks for the shrimp cocktail without delays until they could find one upon request. And while that may seem trifling, not getting a teaspoon for the coffee without asking is irritating. Getting a paper cup of espresso from the coffee bar at dinner because the coffee bar would not let its china cups into the dining room was hilarious. Nor could the waiter envision taking a dining room cup to be filled at the coffee bar. Having to ask for a steak knife for steak was a chore. Reaching across a table to refill a water glass rather than walking around to fill it was interesting table etiquette. Having to get up and ask for coffee refills or raising one's hand because the staff will not check if you want a refill ...every single meal ....was not understandable. Not the end of the world, but...Sorry, that is not fine dining. We did an African safari in tented camps where the Masai managed to set the table correctly and served beautifully. So why not a cruise ship?   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Was onboard the Adventure of the Seas on the Dec.21.2014 sailing and here is my review. Please note I have also been on the Allure and the Oasis of the Seas, other RCL ships and Emerald Princess in the past as well San Juan Airport to ... Read More
Was onboard the Adventure of the Seas on the Dec.21.2014 sailing and here is my review. Please note I have also been on the Allure and the Oasis of the Seas, other RCL ships and Emerald Princess in the past as well San Juan Airport to Seaport: Took a taxi which cost $25 and was there in 20 minutes. Check-in was fast with very friendly assistants. Cabin Location and Condition: Cabin# 6244 was a balcony cabin right across from the elevators but we did not hear any noise from the promenade. It was in very good condition and was larger than the ones on the Allure of the seas. Food & Entertainment: Food was mediocre and repetitive with very few choices. It was better on the other RCL ships. Entertainment was mediocre as well and the movies being shown were repetitive (Spiderman-2 all seven days?...phew!!) . Better entertainment on other RCL ships. Ports: Excellent ports and RCL did a good job on the port excursions. Enough time spent at the ports Departure: Took a tour of San Juan on the last day before being dropped off at the airport. The tour was short and not enough time was given to us to explore the various shops and streets. Perhaps this can be improved. Overall: I would definitely recommend this cruise and would do it again if RCL made some changes to the entertainment and food.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We sailed on the Celebrity Summit out of San Juan on Thanksgiving week. There were five port-days (St. Croix, St. Kitts, Dominca, Grenada and St. Thomas) and one day at sea. Since it was a holiday week there were more school-age ... Read More
We sailed on the Celebrity Summit out of San Juan on Thanksgiving week. There were five port-days (St. Croix, St. Kitts, Dominca, Grenada and St. Thomas) and one day at sea. Since it was a holiday week there were more school-age passengers than you normally see in November. Since we sailed from San Juan many passengers were Puerto Rican, so Celebrity provided strong Spanish services and the entertainment had a Latin flavor. I wouldn’t call this a “Party Cruise” (like a Carnival ship sailing out of Miami.) But there was festive, cordial vibe. There was also a lot of spirited dancing by people of all ages. The only other time I remember such a diversity of passengers was on a cruise out of NYC. The Summit is not massive or very new, but it’s tastefully appointed. You won’t find a waterslide, bowling alley or rock-climbing wall. But there are a variety of bars and restaurants. The library is on two decks. There’s no smoking in the casino! There’s large fitness center, a jogging track and pool deck. We had all of our suppers in the main dining room. The selection was interesting and the food was very good. The service was prompt and professional. The wine list was better than most cruise ships. Any other time we were hungry the buffet on Deck 10 was more than adequate, although at non-meal times you might find you are limited to pizza, pasta, grill and salad stations. The entertainment was well above average with a wide variety of outstanding musicians and a number of very funny comedy acts (including the cruise director and the ship’s captain.) Standouts were a very tight a cappella quintet and a Russian acrobatic duo with Cirque de Soleil skills. The variety troupe was consistently strong as dancers but only seemed to connect as singers on certain songs. I’d question their repertoire before calling down their talent. With five stops in the Lesser Antilles, two of them U.S.V.I.’s and all of them English-speaking islands, this is an itinerary that guarantees beaches, rain forests and rum. But each island has a distinct character and there’s far more to explore than your limited time ashore allows. Anyway, if you are concerned that a couple of the ports are light on cultural and historical attractions, don’t forget the cruise starts and ends in the amazing city of San Juan. It seems like people either rate the Summit as excellent or not so good at all. My theory is that if you have pre-conceived ideals, this ship may not check a lot of your boxes. But if you are the type of person who takes things as they come, you will have a wonderful experience. I certainly did.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was our 17th cruise and 12th with Carnival. First time on the Valor. Found the whole process exemplary from check in to disembarkation. The valor's public areas and cabins appeared in excellent shape for its age. It appeared well ... Read More
This was our 17th cruise and 12th with Carnival. First time on the Valor. Found the whole process exemplary from check in to disembarkation. The valor's public areas and cabins appeared in excellent shape for its age. It appeared well maintained and cleaned. Our cabin was maintained professionally despite the cut in housekeeping personnel. Stewards used to have 2 assistants and now only one so some amenities are on an as requested basis such as ice in the rooms. We rarely if ever used the ice that was there so it was a non issue. Our steward was more than ready to get us a bucket of ice anytime. This was our first cruise over a holiday period ever. I guess I expected something a little more than just having Turkey on menu for Thursday but not sure what it would have been. Overall excellent service, facilities, food, and entertainment. We prefer to eat early so show up at opening of evening meal so we never encountered a line. The only understaffed area we encountered was the WOK. It had too many guests trying to eat there for the capacity. Thus if you really wanted it it was usually a wait.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Embarkment was a breeze, took about 10 minutes from start to finish. Cabin was hump balcony mid-ship, superior room 9078 was nice and spacious. Location was ideal, right next to the elevator and convenient to everything. Our attendant ... Read More
Embarkment was a breeze, took about 10 minutes from start to finish. Cabin was hump balcony mid-ship, superior room 9078 was nice and spacious. Location was ideal, right next to the elevator and convenient to everything. Our attendant Francisco was amazing and so friendly. Kept our room in tip top shape, always made a point to say hi and keep us informed of the going on of the ship and let us know what to expect and when to expect things. Highly recommended. The room was is good condition, balcony large, new flat screen TV. My only complaint here would be the loud music that we could hear from the solarium at night when there was a party going on. I go to bed early so I found that disruptive. For that reason alone, I probably would book an AFT cabin from here on out and I won't book 9078 again on this type of ship. I missed the panoramic views of the back of the ship as well as the quiet. The room would have been so wonderful had it not been for the loud music. We weren't the only ones who thought it was loud. Some cruiser we spoke with on a lower level on the same location said the same exact thing. I honestly feel there is probably a better location to have a party near the pool area. I think the party ended around 11pm to midnight but on that very last day when we had to get up early, I felt like filling a complaint I was so upset. I feel like the staff should no better. Who wants to hear YMCA when they are trying to sleep? Limited stations on the TV so nothing really to watch. Who watches TV on a cruise? I do. At night and right when I come back to port or in the morning when I'm waiting. I like to wind down with some nightly television. I wasn't the only one with this complaint. There is a reason there is a TV in the room, people watch it. The food on the ship was pretty average. Some was good, some not so good, all just decent. I would say it was a steady 3 star experience. I was disappointed there was not a crepe station or eggs benedict in Windjammers. Breakfast was the same 15 items and the bacon was particular greasy and thin. There were several stations but they just mirrored each other. I understand they are trying to cut close but how about you rotate your menu every other day? Dinners in the Main dining area mirrored what was in the Windjammers but was just spruced up a bit. I don't understand the point of that. The Main dining room staff was also top notch, 5 stars for sure. I did feel like there was way too many Indian food options on the ship, I dislike that kind of food and dreaded smelling it. I hate butter chicken or anything like it. I felt that the food was very repetitious. I'm not a food critic and I didn't go hungry but there really wasn't anything fabulous I could recommend. Even the lobster on lobster night was too salty. The presentation was always lovely. I understand they work hard, I'm just giving my own opinion based off my other experiences. It was pretty much just food. After a while I only ate the star item on my dish and not the fillers/sides. Sometimes I only ordered starters. Even the dessert options were limited, not a lot of fruit options. And what really got me was that Windjammers closed at 9pm. The party went late and kept me up but they closed the main restaurant?! I could see people asking staff what else was open...really? On a cruise your buffet closes nightly at 9pm and there is a party going on? The ship is in good condition, clean and the crew keeps it up. Everyone works hard on that ship and everyone was so friendly. You could tell the staff wanted to stay on this ship and continue their contracts. Everyone went out of their way to make you feel welcome. You couldn't even leave your water at the table in the buffet and expect it to still be there on your return, that's how quick the staff was. The shows, I only went to one and it was short and sweet. A singing group. Hardly anyone was in attendance so you could sit where ever you wanted. It was entertaining. The ports were all wonderful and I definitely want to do this again. I enjoyed each and every one of these stops. Disembarkment was not as quick. There was a rain storm in San Juan that held us up. But we carried our luggage out since we are American citizens and we had that option. It took about 45 minutes total (some standing around) but we were off the ship somewhere between 7am to 8am that morning. Not bad. Overall, our experience was as expected and worth it. The Thai solarium was not as beautiful in person as I thought it would be after seeing the pictures but was still relaxing. They shut it down one day for maintenance. the food wasn't as good as my last cruise but the staff and the ship we great. The ship is older and smaller, it did not blow me away but I liked how it never seem crowded. I enjoyed the stateroom but not the noise. I probably won't do this ship again but I will try out Royal Caribbean again if the price and the destination is right. Nothing against this ship, I just like to try a different one each time I sail. I will sail to see if other ships are run differently, but if I come across another cruise where the buffet closes at 9pm, I will have to reconsider sailing with Royal Caribbean again. I just didn't like that. What do you do if you want to sit and visit with people over a light snack on your vacation? Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
My DH and I took our first cruise on board the Celebrity Summit over the week of Christmas. We have cruised on several other lines before, this was our first time on Celebrity. We flew into San Juan on Friday and stayed overnight at ... Read More
My DH and I took our first cruise on board the Celebrity Summit over the week of Christmas. We have cruised on several other lines before, this was our first time on Celebrity. We flew into San Juan on Friday and stayed overnight at LaConcha resort in Condado. It was a lovely resort with plenty to do, infinity pools, beach front, and in a safe area of San Juan. We enjoyed our stay. We took a cab over to the port around noon on Saturday and boarding was the easiest I have ever experienced. We walked right through everything and were on board in less than 15 minutes sipping our champagne. We had a number of excellent upgrades this trip including pre-paid gratuities, premium beverage package, and concierge class balcony stateroom. We never had any trouble using the beverage package, everyone was very helpful and we never had to wait or try to flag down a waiter. I think we received better service from most of the bar staff because we had the package. They knew who we were by the 2nd day and they were always quick to wait on us. The stateroom was very nice with a decent size bathroom. DH appreciated the slightly larger shower that allowed him enough room to wash his hair without damaging his elbows. We enjoyed our balcony a number of times to just sit and read or observe an island before or after going onshore. The beds were clean and comfortable and stateroom stewards Makir and Jonathon were very helpful. They delivered fresh ice daily, our afternoon canapes, and were always smiling and happy when we saw them in the hall. Michaels pub was our favorite place on board, being rather picky about craft beer, it was nice to have a varied selection. Iwan and Julio were fabulous as bartenders in the pub. The elite reception was held in Michaels most afternoons so it didnt' open to other customers until 7pm. We enjoyed early access at 5pm each night. We would often stop in here for a drink or two before dinner. Dinner was always good, with some dishes being exceptionally good and other just good. We ate in the main dining room every night for dinner. We ate breakfast at the buffet most days, lunch was on shore since we had so many ports. The buffet breakfast was always good and they had sushi and snacks available every time we went by. The hamburger grill was good, the pizza station was excellent and always crowded, we enjoyed the build your own panini station a couple of times as well. The omelettes were very good at breakfast as was the benedict station. The overall appearance of the ship was very good with only a few places showing wear and tear. There was always someone cleaning and painting and repairing as you went around the ship. Everyone was always very friendly and smiling. The shows were very good, the aerialists really stole the show each night. We had all the regular shows and then a special Christmas Eve show after the last show that was very good. It was standing room only for the Christmas show but all the other shows had plenty of seating. The only time we waited in line for anything was the Christmas Day buffet brunch. It was good and there were tons of stations and lots of food but I don't think it was that much different from the regular buffet. They also had Christmas Carolling, Christmas Trivia, and Christmas music playing in most of the public areas. St Croix, We got off the ship and wandered around Frederickstead for a little while then got one of the cheap taxi shuttles over to Christianstead where we explored the fort, town, and boardwalk. We stopped at tle local brew-pub but they were out of their local beer so we drank Carib and had a bite to eat. The fort here was beautiful and very peaceful. It was Sunday so there were no rangers to give tours but it was great to just wander and read the signs. St Kitts, We had been here before so we arranged a private tour that included Brimstone Hill, Caribelle Batik, Romney Manor, and time on South Friar Beach. The tour was excellent, we had a lovely time. I highly recommend seeing Brimstone Fort, it was amazing. Dominica, Almost all of the tours and excursions were cancelled due to heavy rain the night before. We couldn't get to the gorge or any of the waterfalls. Roseau was a dirty town with tons of solicitors, the people were rude and dirty. I didn't feel comfortable walking around, we had two different men follow us trying to get money and then yell at us when we wouldn't give it to them. We got back on the ship and wrote that island off. Tortola, We arrived on Boxing Day which is a local holiday. This made it a wonderful day to wander the island with no one hassling you to buy things or give them money. We enjoyed a leisurely walk and visit to Pussers pub. St. Thomas, We'd been there many times so we just hopped a cab over to main street and walked around to do a little shopping. Had bushwackers at the bar on the 99 steps then lunch and local beer at Jen's cafe near downtown. We walked back to the ship along the water, it was a very relaxing day. Overall, we really enjoyed our trip on the Celebrity Summit. We had received a lot of upgrades and perks which made it very easy to enjoy our trip. The weather was good, the services was great, and the islands were beautiful. I would travel with Celebrity again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We recently sailed on the December 22, 2013 Valor Christmas cruise. This was a family cruise, our family, my sister's family and our parents. This was our 3rd Carnival cruise since 2010. The Valor has not undergone the 2.0 upgrades ... Read More
We recently sailed on the December 22, 2013 Valor Christmas cruise. This was a family cruise, our family, my sister's family and our parents. This was our 3rd Carnival cruise since 2010. The Valor has not undergone the 2.0 upgrades and was very similar to my previous experiences. We like staying on the Empress Deck because it is located inbetween two other "sleeping" decks. Overall, this was a great cruise. The itinerary is really good although it will wear you out a little wiith only one day on the ship and full day potential on every island. Our weather was ok. Lots of rain in the beginning but it was warm so we really didn't mind. We even sat in the Serenity deck hot tubs for an hour in the rain and it was still nice. I think the service is still really good. The dining staff, room steward and most bar tenders work really hard at anticipating your needs and remembering your name. Dining room food was good. I have seen John Heald talking about the new menu. I think it is a good idea because really the menu is still about the same as 2010 - especially the desserts and it is time for a change. My only food complaints were the breakfast - very limited selection and eggs are really not very good and the room service menu is extremely limited. We generally play Bingo - don't win, but still have fun and attended some of the comedy club shows and evening shows. The biggest hit of the cruise seemed to be the 70's and 80's trivia nights. Folks really came out to play and then danced by the casino area as we went through the correct answers and the songs were played. The cruise director was very pleased at the turn out. I did use the self-serve laundry facility for the first time - the wet clothes were getting to be a bit much. $7.00 for one load which included the washing maching, dryer and 1.00 for soap. Islands we went too included St. Thomas, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, Barbados and St. Kitts. We were in St. Thomas the last two years, so this time we took the ferry over to St. John's and went to Trunk Bay. We also spent several days in advance seeing San Juan. We were able to see San Cristobal and El Morro as well as take the ferry to the Barcardi factory. The Barcardi factory has a great rum tasting tent where each adult gets two free ticket drinks. St. Lucia had a tremendous amount of rain and the road from Castries to Soufriere had been washed out and was unpassable. Many shore excursions were cancelled. We had hired Andre Joseph - A-Touring Service whom we had used previously. Andre was great and helped us get to the Northern part of the island called Rodney Bay. We went to Pigeon Island which is a park with an old fort and a beach. It turned out to be really nice and we enjoyed hiking the park and seeing the ruins. Andre explained when they have those significant storms the beaches aren't always safe as the sewage temporarily pollutes them. We took an island tour on St. Kitts and really enjoyed Brimstone Fortress and the Carabelle Batik store located at Romney Manor (which was beautiful). We also went to the Carombola Beach Club and had a great time at the beach. For St. Maarten, we hired Jo Junie Tours. Jo Liburd was great. We have done the basic island tour in the past and found it too much for too little time. This time we devised our on plan and had a great day. We started out traveling to Pinel Island. This is part of a marine reserve and is a beautiful beach. You will need to take a ferry over to the island - $10.00/person. The beach is called Yellow Beach and it is great. Reminded us of Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas as the beach is wide and you can go out quite a ways without the water getting very deep. Food prices are high and the umbrellas and chairs are great quality but cost $25 per pair. Pinel is on the French side and we did experience some topless sunbathing! Next we had Jo take us into Marigot to eat lunch at Sarafinas. This is a wonderful french bakery with great sandwiches and pastries. We ended out day at Maho Beach with the jets flying over. We went to Barbados on Christmas Day and for those of you wandering if there is much operating on Christmas - well there really isn't. But this was still one of our favorite days. We went to the Boatyard which is located near the dock. This is a large beach with a wonderful restaurant/bar. There is a water tramp and iceberg and a really cool deck with a rope swing and life guard assisting. You can also rent a boat to take you snorkeling out to the turtles and to see a shipwreck. You will be able to negotiate the price you want to pay to go out to see the turtles - there is a lot of competition. Last thing I will say is the ship was decorated well for Christmas and looked lovely. I would recommend this cruise and ship. It was a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We were pleasantly impressed with our cruise on the Celebrity Summit, sailing Christmas week, 2013. This was our first cruise with Celebrity, having sailed many times with Princess, NCL and Royal Caribbean and it surely will not be our ... Read More
We were pleasantly impressed with our cruise on the Celebrity Summit, sailing Christmas week, 2013. This was our first cruise with Celebrity, having sailed many times with Princess, NCL and Royal Caribbean and it surely will not be our last. There was something different about Celebrity. The entire staff was not only efficient and friendly, but they all had very positive attitudes. This is something we had not seen before on other ships. Also, the ship did not abuse their announcements. Twice per day we heard that we were in port and then later we heard from the captain that we were ready to sail and what the distance to the next port and the expected seas. There was no announcement for "Bingo Bingo Bingo" or "Art Auction begins in 5 Minutes", like we have had on other ships. Even the disembarkation ran without announcements. Passengers left their rooms on time, had a delicious full breakfast and met at their various destination points on their own. Leaving the ship was quite smooth. We were traveling with a family of ten: my parents (73, 75) and my sisters family (48,45,19,17) and my family (52, 49, 21, 19) in a total of five rooms. Four were outside cabins on Deck 2 and my parents stayed on Deck 6 with a balcony. Our rooms were practically the same size as my parents room minus the balcony. There was ample closet/drawer space and our luggage fit nicely under our beds. Nice flat screen tv with good channel selection. Bathroom was fine, shower was good. Window was a very large circle. We had no problem with staying on Deck 2. We had read about a slight smoke smell in the Deck 2 hallway and we noticed it ourselves. It did not effect our stay but we did write about it on the comment card before we left the ship. The food exceeded our expectations. We had breakfast in the Oceanview Restaurant on Deck 10 every morning. There were so many stations that there were no lines. There were at least a dozen omelet stations. Many, many items to choose from. There also were waiters coming around with coffee/tea refills and fresh pastries. We were usually off the ship at lunch time, but visited the Oceanview in the late afternoon for a snack. Many flavors of ice cream both soft serve and hard were available with candy toppings if desired. We also loved the fresh tossed Caesar salad, the fresh grilled pizza and the pasta and salad bar. Also, water, iced tea, lemonade, coffee and tea are available all day long. We appreciated this! Dinner we had select dining and had reservations for 6:45pm on Deck 5 of the Cosmopolitan. Our waiters were fantastic and really made our dining experience so pleasant. My daughter has food allergies to soy, vegetable oil, shellfish and tree nuts. We had filled out a special needs form on Celebrity's website before the trip and once onboard we met personally with the assistant maître 'd. We cannot fully express how wonderful her allergies were addressed. She pre-ordered her dinner for the next night each night before with the asst maître 'd. He let her know which foods she could have and she did not have one allergic reaction the entire week. We were very impressed and thankful to Celebrity!! We did not pay extra for the specialty restaurants. $45 per person is not necessary to us. The food choices in the main dining room were original and creative and delicious. Don't miss the crème brulee. The shows on the ship were great! The stage in the theatre had a multiple hydraulic system. Parts of the stage went up and down. The cruise singers and dancers were very good and we enjoyed their productions. We especially liked the performance of the "cirque acrobats". We also saw Comedian, Buzz Sutherland and really loved our Finalists@Sea performers: Melinda Doolittle, American Idol finalist from Season 6 and Matt Giraud, American Idol finalist from Season 8. We also enjoyed the Motown band. During our Sea day, we watched the Chef competition which was like Iron Chef. So much fun. We also had a wonderful discussion about food on the ship and then toured the gigantic galley. Because this was Christmas Day we were lucky to have an elaborate Christmas Brunch in the main dining room. On Christmas Eve in the same room we were treated to an elaborate dessert reception. Yellow beach towels were left fresh in our room each night and blue pool towels were available at the pool. This was a nice touch. In addition to the main pool and hot tubs, we enjoyed the salt water Thalassotherapy Pool, but remember to take off your sterling silver jewelry before entering, as it can tarnish. The fitness center has newer equipment and a nice variety. There is a beautiful two story library located mid ship. We enjoyed relaxing in the late afternoon on Deck 4 in very comfortable lounge chairs. Here is where we watched the best sunsets. We had five ports of call: St Croix, St Kitts, Dominica, Tortola and St Thomas. Our favorite beach was Garden Cane Bay in Tortola and our best shopping was in St Thomas. Dominica is a volcanic island with beautiful flowers, plants and trees. We did not book excursions through the ship. We negotiated for island tours and beach afternoons with cab drivers in each location. Prices varied from $100 for all ten of us to $200 for all ten of us, depending upon the island. We rented chairs at the various beaches from $3 to $10 each chair depending upon island. Our cruise on the Celebrity Summit was just wonderful. We loved the level of service on this ship. The ship itself is not so huge so you do not get lost. Its rather classy. The staff was polite and friendly, especially the guest relations staff. There are just the right amount of games and activities! All ten of us had a fantastic vacation! We will definitely cruise with Celebrity again.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We sailed on Adventure of the Seas over Christmas week (Dec 22-29). This was our second cruise on the Adventure, as we had done the other itinerary (San Juan-St. Marteen-Antigua-St. Lucia-Barbados) in February. This itinerary was St. ... Read More
We sailed on Adventure of the Seas over Christmas week (Dec 22-29). This was our second cruise on the Adventure, as we had done the other itinerary (San Juan-St. Marteen-Antigua-St. Lucia-Barbados) in February. This itinerary was St. Thomas-St. Kitts-Aruba-Curacao. Embarkation was simple. From San Juan, we didn’t set sail until 8:30 pm, but were able to check in and board around 1 pm, which gave us a full afternoon to explore the ship, set up My Time dining, schedule spa treatments, etc. An important note on checking in: There was a duty free store at the terminal, and we were allowed to purchase 2 bottles of wine or champagne to take on board with us and keep in our cabin – a first on Royal Caribbean for us! They also sold airplane-sized liquors, and although we didn’t purchase any, we saw other passengers who did and were able to take them on board as well. (The store was inside the terminal, so your bags will have already gone through the security checkpoint.) We were in cabin 9510, a D2 Superior Oceanview Balcony cabin on the starboard (right) side, about mid-ship. Being mid-ship, we felt very little of the ship’s movement, even on the one night that we had bigger seas and lots of wind. You can feel some vibration from the engines, but not enough to be a bother. This would be more noticeable on lower decks, I’m sure. We have sailed with RCCL numerous times, and as always, the crew was outstanding. Our stateroom attendant took great care of us. We used My Time dining, but requested the same table every night, so we had the same waiter/assistant waiter and were able to establish a friendship with them even though we ate at different times. We chose to eat in the Windjammer 3 nights, just so we could go at our leisure and not have to change clothes for dinner. The food was average in both the dining room and Windjammer – not the top quality we have learned to expect on a cruise. But we don’t cruise for the food, so we were not too disappointed. We were a bit disappointed in the sushi in the Windjammer – on previous cruises there was a variety to choose from. On this cruise, there were the same 3 each time, and they were more like California rolls than real sushi with fresh fish….not sure why they made this change. As for the ports – We explored on our own (no excursions). In St. Thomas we shopped at Trident Jewelers – a family owned business we’ve known about for years. Ask for Mac – he’s the manager and will treat you well. Going through a small business rather than Diamonds International (which RCCL will recommend), we’ve found that you get better service and less pressure to buy. They are also very willing to help if you have a challenge with jewelry you buy. St. Kitts – I’m not sure why RCCL stops on this island. The town itself was depressing. We walked through town and went past the small tourist area into the local shopping area…love to do this to get a better idea of what it’s like living on the island. We stayed on the island for only a couple of hours and then headed back to the ship. Maybe an excursion would have been better. Aruba – Aruba was as beautiful as we expected. At the recommendation of a local business owner, we caught the public bus and headed to Arashi beach, near the lighthouse. It was a beautiful beach to sunbathe and swim, but there are no restroom facilities or restaurants (although there was a snack truck). You can rent beach chairs for $10. The bus runs every 30 minutes or so. Palm and Eagle Beach were beautiful but much more crowded…and closer to shops & restaurants and more options such as sailing/windsurfing lessons. However, we were in Aruba the day after Christmas, so a lot of the shops were closed. There is a nice shopping area at the pier, so we were able to pick some things up there. Try Iguana Joe’s for some local beer. Note: If you want to see the lighthouse, take the bus or a taxi. The excursions are expensive, and the buses we saw drive to the lighthouse only stayed for a few minutes. Curacao is a much larger island than Aruba and beautiful. The colorful houses make it an idyllic setting and the Dutch influence is very prominent. We didn’t book any excursions, but found a local tour company called Casper Tours (we met Casper himself). This was a two-hour tour of the island for $15 each and included stops at the Curacao distillery, a beautiful overlook of Table mountain, and a very small & crowded beach (where you could choose to stay and return later in the afternoon). It doesn’t sound like much, but the information about the island’s history and sights to see were worth the time & money. You can find Casper tours just on the far side of the swinging bridge going into town to shop. Also, check out the floating markets to see how the locals get their produce and fruits – it’s all brought in daily on boats because Curacao doesn’t grow any of its own! On our last night onboard, a young man jumped overboard. It was impressive to see how the Captain and crew responded. The reaction time was immediate…buoys were immediately deployed to mark the spot and track the current’s drift line. We had turned the ship around and got back to the buoys in less than an hour. Two skiffs were sent out to search as well as search lights from the ship. They continued to search for hours even after the Coast Guard had sent a cutter and helicopter. Although the ship had to continue to San Juan after searching most of the night, the Coast Guard continued throughout the next day. The man was never found, but our thanks go to the crew and the Coast Guard for their diligence in searching. And our prayers continue to go out for the young man’s family.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I used to be a fan of Carnival Cruises, but I'm not anymore. And, no, I wasn't a passenger on the ill-fated Carnival Triumph. In fact, I was so much of a fan of Carnival (based on past cruises) that I agreed when my husband ... Read More
I used to be a fan of Carnival Cruises, but I'm not anymore. And, no, I wasn't a passenger on the ill-fated Carnival Triumph. In fact, I was so much of a fan of Carnival (based on past cruises) that I agreed when my husband went ahead and booked our vacation on the Carnival Valor IN SPITE OF the troubles that their ships seemed to be having lately. I wanted desperately to give them the benefit of the doubt. But now, I cannot recommend a Carnival Cruise to anyone. Unless Carnival clears up the problems aboard, I wouldn't want to be responsible for causing the ruin of another person's vacation. Troubles usually come in threes, but Carnival Cruises seems to have at least FOUR major problems. I hope that someone at the corporate level at Carnival is listening. Unless these problems are corrected, the Carnival "Fun Ships” will be reduced to remaining at the "Buffet” level of cruise vacations. The four big problems are Crowd Control, Kids, Cuisine and Maintenance. Let's talk about Crowd Control first. On ships as large as the Valor, the ability to peacefully and tactfully control the crowd of passengers is absolutely essential to the enjoyment of everyone aboard and to prevent the outbreak of disorder. Gentle tactics can be used, such as having staggered seating times for meals and shows, and using stanchions and barriers to direct people and prevent mobbing of areas. Crowd Control is essential to prevent the outbreak of any type of disorder that could lead to unpleasantness. There were differing seating times for meals and shows on the Valor and I did see a stanchion or two; however, I am sorry to say that on this Carnival Cruise, the staff frequently allowed the breaking of rules. At dinnertime in the Washington Room, a large crowd frequently formed in front of the entrance and this crowd was allowed to completely block the elevator lobby, creating an uncomfortable situation as people continued to pour out of elevators to join the crowd. When the restaurant doors opened, there was an uncontrolled rush. Staff were unable to check seating assignments to determine if some of the people even belonged in the Washington Room or to see if people were at the correct seating. Needless to say, this created confusion and some folks were forced to wait for seats. All of the problems could have been eliminated by having stanchions up to force diners to be in a line away from the elevators so that their "Sign and Sail” cards could have been properly checked as to dining time and place. Crowd Control was also missing at Rosie's Restaurant on the Lido Deck. Because of the lack of proper stanchions, people were line-breaking and bunching up in areas, and some people were allowed to place "orders” from large parties of people who were not in line (very often, different members of the parties in question would appear to interrupt the person placing their order with yet more orders). The result was long waits in the buffet lines, and other mayhem which I will discuss later. Once again, the strategic placement of simple stanchions and the establishment of rules for service would have prevented problems (such as informing people that all members of their party had to be present in the buffet line in order to be served unless such members were disabled). Crowd Control as far as the enforcement of dress code rules was also not applied. The only thing I have to say about this is that Elegance Night really does not mean that one can enter the dining room in denim shorts and high heels, and that if one has open diabetic sores on ones arms and legs, dining room staff should at least insist that you present yourself in proper trousers and a proper long-sleeved shirt or jacket. Trust me, seeing weeping sores on a fellow diner will make you lose your dinner quickly. The problem of Kids aboard is next for consideration, and walks hand-in-hand with the Crowd Control issue. The greatest contributing factor to the Crowd Control problems was the matter of uncontrolled children running about the ship. Sad to say, parents simply let their children have unsupervised free run of the ship, and staff did little or nothing to stop or prevent this. Children were frequently in the adult only areas, and at one point the adult only hottubs were brimful of kids. I even heard a little girl chide her mother for bringing her into the adult area by saying "mom, I'm not allowed in here.” The mad rush into the Washington Restaurant (late seating, mind you) was caused by tired and hungry children rushing to get their meals, and their parents rushing after them. This dash for food also included a great many infants who were being pushed into the restaurant in baby carriages, believe it or not, and crying babies did not add to the ambiance of the late evening seating. Running children were the cause of many "near misses” where adults, especially the elderly, were nearly knocked off their feet. Children were even sitting on the stools at the machines in the Casino and trying to get into the adults-only comedy club. We were even on an excursion where the father allowed his teenage son to drink beer to the point of becoming falling-down drunk and picking a fight with another passenger. The most egregious and, frankly, worrisome Crowd Control incidents involved children who were ducking their entire bodies UNDERNEATH the sneeze shields at the buffets in Rosie's and using their bare hands to grab food from the serving platters. Carnival Cruises has done their best to prevent the spread of the Novo virus aboard ship, but failing to enforce any rules about children at the buffets defeats all of their efforts. It must be made clear to parents that they are to serve their children at the buffets and children must never be allowed to serve themselves. Rules about where children are allowed and not allowed MUST be enforced, and parents MUST be forced to be with their children at all times. Even though the ship is a closed environment, predators could be aboard and children need to be controlled to keep them safe. I'm not going to say much about Cuisine, except that it was generally mediocre, except for the fare in Scarlett's Steakhouse. The meals served in the Washington and Lincoln Rooms were the exact same menu served at Rosie's buffet, and the only difference was that the portion sizes in the Washington and Lincoln rooms were substantially smaller. In general, the food was fresh and plentiful, but the type of fare that one would find at any buffet restaurant or dinerâ€"there was absolutely nothing special or remarkable about the food at all. However, the so-called Chinese food served at Mongolian Wok was horrific; tasteless, unseasoned and dry. I can remember the days when eating in the shipboard dining rooms meant dazzling ice sculptures surrounding displays of beautiful Hors d'oeuvres and appetizers like Beluga Caviar served with Melba Toast Points and Vodka, or wonderful Shrimp Cocktails, and entrees were Rock Lobster, Filet Mignon, Giant Roasted Turkeys, Leg of Lamb or the Steamship Round of Beef, and deserts were flaming Crepes Suzette or Baked Alaska, but it is abundantly clear to me that those days are gone forever. Shipboard food is now simply designed to provide fillers of empty calories to keep the mass number of passengers from complaining. This means poor quality food. If you want to enjoy the same fare that was served in the glory days of cruising, be prepared to pay extra for it. If Carnival wanted to Kick it Up A Notch they would have a Level of Old School Cruising, where passengers could pay a little extra to experience cruise food like it was in the old days, maybe having a certain dining room set aside for these passengers. As it is, eating the same food as you can find in the local all-you-can-eat is really not worth your trouble of booking the cruise especially if the cruise is being booked for a wedding, honeymoon, anniversary or other celebration. Unfortunately, we could see signs of the lack of Maintenance everywhere on the Valor. The ship's appointments were tired and "shopworn” in many areas. For example, the carpeting in our cabin was stained in some areas and bleached out by sun exposure in others, as were the curtains and drapes. The makeup mirror in the bathroom was broken and the lampshades on the bedside tables were cracked. The wooden deck areas were badly in need of re-staining and refinishing. Many of the elevator interiors were marred by scratches, even graffiti. Marble floor tiles were cracked. Some of the banquettes in the Ivanhoe Lounge had seats that were compressed and even broken down by years of use. Chairs in the Washington Room were stained and scratched, and tiles on the walls in Rosie's were sun-bleached. The machines in the self-service laundry on our deck were very old and two of the washers weren't even functional . The elevators were often out of service in many areas, their disrepair aided by uncontrolled children who were pressing all of the buttons. If the ship shows this many outright signs of disrepair and neglect, one can only imagine what is going on below decks. The Valor desperately needs to be drydocked for maintenance and repair. Carnival needs to have REGULAR maintenance schedules for all of its ships. The good stuff was that our cabin was nice enough, its location at the aft of the ship excellent. We had a nice wrap around balcony that afforded us privacy and we were in a fairly quiet location. The service of the Steward and the Room Service Staff was outstanding. We also enjoyed a wonderful dinner experience in Scarlett's Steakhouse, and would highly recommend it. Also, the food service staff at Rosie's and the Fish and Chips Restaurant on Lido did an outstanding job of trying to maintain cleanliness despite the challenges presented by non-cooperative passengers and children. Despite these good things, we absolutely cannot recommend Carnival Cruises until the corporation running this cruise line does more to correct and eliminate the Four Major Problems outlined in this critique. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
This is our fifth cruise and we have sailed previously on Royal Caribbean, NCL and Disney Cruise Lines. I travel with my husband and teenage daughter. I had high expectations for this cruise and some were definitely satisfied, but other ... Read More
This is our fifth cruise and we have sailed previously on Royal Caribbean, NCL and Disney Cruise Lines. I travel with my husband and teenage daughter. I had high expectations for this cruise and some were definitely satisfied, but other expectations were not met. Embarkation and Disembarkation were simple and well organized. This was the best among all the cruises I have taken and we were checked in and on the ship within 15 minutes. We took a cab from the airport which cost us $21 including the luggage. The ship is beautiful. It is comparable in size to the other ships we have been on (Norwegian Stat and Serenade of the Seas), but it is laid out to have more intimate spaces. I really like Promenade Decks and Deck 4 on the Summit does not go all the way around the front or back of the ship. The port side of Deck 4 has the smoking area and we were in a cabin below on Deck 3. There was definitely a smoky smell in our corridor. The best part if this cruise was the service and the food. The wait staff was amazing. We had Celebrity Select dining. They recommend you make reservations for the restaurant, but the only ones available were very late. So, we showed up around 6 pm every evening and were seated right away. The majority of the time, we had this amazing waiter named Hamilton and his recommendations on food were fantastic. Between Hamilton, Denisa (the Assistant waitress), Ronny (the sommelier) and Norris who brought us drinks, we felt pampered, happy and well fed. Ronny was especially amazing at selecting wonderful wines with dinner. We bought a 3 bottle wine package and the premium non-alcoholic package for my daughter. I believe these were quite a good value as we used both packages and the non-alcoholic premium package included bottled water, soda, mixed drinks and premium coffees. The entertainment ranged from okay to wonderful. The featured guest entertainers included a comedian/impersonator, a Latin guitarist, a piano/vocalist and an a Capella group who were awesome. The shows featuring the singers and dancers were unique and a bit bizarre. The performers were okay, but the shows were confusing and strange. The first show was about the movies and at the beginning appeared to be a chronological review of music in the movies. Unfortunately, it ended up jumping around the decades and ended with a review of Abba music. Sirens was an even stranger show. Who thought Sweet Caroline, My Heart Will Go On and Dreamgirls music should be in the same show??? Who singe song from the movie Titanic on a cruise ship? Very strange. Our cabin was small, but well organized. The beds were hard and terrible. Everyone ended up with a back ache! This was very disappointing because Celebrity is related to Royal Caribbean and Royal Caribbean have the most wonderful beds we have ever experienced and I am considering buying one from home. Another disappointment were the ship activities. There were only 2 Bingo sessions for a week long cruise. The arts and crafts were great, but the timing for many interesting activities coincided with shore times or dinner hours. I am not a party animal, but this was much too sedate. There isn't even karaoke. Our cruise went to St. Croix. We had booked a snorkeling tour of Bucks Island which was cancelled because of poor conditions. There isn't much to do on this island near port, so it was a waste of a day for us. We hired on onshore tour on St. kitts which was very good and ended up staying on Friar's beac for several hours. It was a very nice day and the Green Vervet monkeys are so adorable! We took a shore excursion to Trafalgar Falls on Dominica and had a great time on this beautiful island. Our guide, Leon, was exceptionally knowledgeable about the island flora, fauna and history. I can't wait to go back here! Our next stop was Grenada, which was more developed. We took the West Coast and Spice excursion and our guide was not very good. When we went to the plantation to see the spices and cocoa beans, he stayed on the bus and other guides showed us how all the spices were processed. Our final stop was St. Thomas, where we went to St. John's on our own. Overall, my family enjoyed the cruise, but would prefer Royal Caribbean or NCL in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We had a few kinks the first day on the boat which was annoying however the staff handled it so well that we really couldn't be upset. I didn't notice any issues with the ship or any updates needed. I was not aware any issues ... Read More
We had a few kinks the first day on the boat which was annoying however the staff handled it so well that we really couldn't be upset. I didn't notice any issues with the ship or any updates needed. I was not aware any issues on the ship. As a person who enjoys a few cocktails - I highly suggest purchasing the drink package $55 a day for premium pkg. The only con is that it requires everyone in the cabin to purchase it. So my dad was out of luck because my mom doesn't drink. I am a high maintenance travel. I have to have a gluten free diet and need a lot of clean whole foods. When we got on the ship - there seemed to be not a lot of healthy foods. However, at dinner our head waiter asked what I needed and every night provided me with the foods I needed. They also had a big selection of gluten free foods. They went out of their way to accommodate my needs. Also, I knew I needed to keep up my fitness program somewhat while on the cruise but after visiting the gym and meeting the staff - I can say they motivated me to work out everyday and it felt amazing. Also suggest the castaway sail and snorkel in St. Thomas. The price was right and the crew was amazing. If I knew how much fun it would be - I would have booked two for same day. If you really want to laugh - what super trooper (meow) before you go. Highly suggest this cruise and we will be spending Christmas on this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Embarking and Disembarking: We arrived at 1:45pm for a embark time of 2pm, and the line was huge. We got to our cabin at 4:30pm. The first two hours was without water, restrooms, or a place to sit. Over an hour of the time was spent in a ... Read More
Embarking and Disembarking: We arrived at 1:45pm for a embark time of 2pm, and the line was huge. We got to our cabin at 4:30pm. The first two hours was without water, restrooms, or a place to sit. Over an hour of the time was spent in a line pushing our luggage forward. If we could have just dropped off our luggage, then it would have made standing in line easier. They did not match luggage and ID, so drop-off would work. I think they were controlling how many people went into the building where health check and sea passes and security were being done, so I couldn't tell where the primary bottleneck was. Disembarking was more comfortable but more worrying. We all filled out forms about our departure schedule but the disembark organizers didn't seem to pay attention to the forms. My parents, with a 1pm flight, were in a later meeting group than us, when we were staying over a night. My parents had to stand in line to request the 9:50am group. They figured the 9:50 meeting with a written estimate of 40-50 minutes before getting off, would leave them with 2 ½ hours to get to the airport--sufficient. However we waited and waited--comfortably, unlike for embarking, but worrisomely--and got out at noon. My parents missed their flight. The primary bottleneck was US Customs. My sister and family chose the 7am carry-your-own option. There were delays at Customs, but not severe delays. Bright notes: it was easy to find our luggage in the warehouse--the luggage for the 9:50 meeting group was in a nice line so it was easier than on a luggage carousel. It was easy to reclaim a held knife, taken during embarking. Getting on and off the ship at a port sometimes had a short wait and often had no wait. Controlled Items: The new policy is that you may bring in 2 bottles of wine per cabin at embarking. You may bring on liquor and it is sold in the embarking area, but it will be stored until the end of the trip. You are forbidden to bring on alcohol or any beverages or perishables at any point. I saw some people having their sandwiches confiscated. I routinely went through the checking machine with water in my water bottle and no one cared. The Stateroom: We had a set of ocean-side staterooms with balconies and they were very nice. Bathroom: Some people had trouble figuring out the shower hot water. To get hot water, as opposed to tepid (in the tropics, I am fine with tepid) you have to press the magic red button on the nozzle. You can set the shower temperature and volume independently, which is a good thing. There was enough room under the counter, once I moved a couple things, to fit our wet scuba bag. Refrigerator: The refrigerator comes filled with their stuff, but I can took it out and stored it, leaving a note in the refrigerator saying where it was, and put it back at the end. Someone else in our group had them take the stuff away and another person was told it could not be taken away. Room: The bed was two singles fitted together and the crack was mildly annoying. I really liked that the room did not smell of cleaning products. There was enough space for our stuff once empty luggage and warm clothes went under the bed. It was small but quite sufficient. Three in the room would have been inconvenient. Balcony: It was great having a balcony. Our room steward said not to leave anything flammable on the balcony when we weren't there. Someone else said they were told not to put towels or laundry out at any time. We picked the first rule, of course. Food: The Main Dining Room presents you with a 3 course menu, but you do not have to pick one from each column. I had the appetizer fruit plate for dessert one night. One night I shared 3 appetizers with my sister. Another night my dessert was seconds on the wonderful if light grilled shrimp. All seafood ranged from excellent (the grilled shrimp, a seafood salad, a bouillabaisse-ish soup in the Windjammer lunch) to good (salmon benedict, lobster tail, clam chowder). The pastas ranged from so-so to poor. The beef was good, although the "rare" prime rib varied among our large group. Every night they offered a cold fruit soup, which seemed odd--but it turned out to be a good fruit smoothie served in a bowl. The breads were quite good and there was, on request, gluten-free bread that people really liked. They did not have plain fruit for dessert. In general the food was Euro-American with other influences. Even if a dish said it was non-Euro-American, it was only lightly so--the harissa soup was quite good, but not very harissa-y. Within the Euro-American area, they did well: wonderful rotkohl and duck, wild mushrooms en croute, kippered herring (breakfast in MDR). The Windjammer: Unlimited bacon for breakfast. Excellent pineapple but not exotic fruit--no mangos, guavas, or such. The Windjammer lunches were mixed. The hamburgers were sad looking. The stews were usually quite good, and there was a biryani that was spicy and good. If I worked within the steam table limits I ended up happy. And of course, after scuba or snorkel, all food is good. You can also take food and drink away--a snack in your room or lemonade by the pool. Sometimes the Windjammer was jammed, although even at its worst we only had to wait a couple of minutes for a table to clear. Shipboard Entertainment: We mostly hung out with the group on various balconies and drank red wine. We went to the ice dancing show and it was great fun--heavy on lifts and light on jumps to accommodate the ship's movement. You need to get your tickets at 7-8am the first morning, and you can return them if you change your mind--but they disapprove of just wasting the tickets. The 13th deck bar has a great kinetic sculpture but it only runs occasionally. The hot tubs were usually occupied but rarely full. There were always deck chairs available when I looked. The little children's pool area was popular and was well equipped. Staff: All of the staff were cheerful and helpful. Our primary waiter, Merilyn, was great. Our assistant waiter, WenWen, had limited English and limited experience--but was smart, hardworking, and perceptive. Our room steward, Rafael, was very attentive and worked hard to keep people happy. Miscellaneous: Internet was 65 cents a minute and available only on parts of the ship--and the business room was not a hot spot. Lots of Spanish speakers, who were all very kind about my efforts to practice Spanish. Some passengers were annoying (do you need to spend so long selecting a roll? Why do you let your kid press extra elevator buttons when it is so crowded?) and some were delightful (so what does your Basque identity mean to you?). Would I do it again? It was wonderful for the group. Subsets did various things during the day and then we all dined together and hung out. The cruise gave a framework that would be hard to beat. But for just the two of us--no, cruises are not my thing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
-Travel To Port of Embarkation - We traveled same day as embarkation which got us in San Juan around 3:15pm. Taxi cab driver was very friendly and accomodating. We requested a stop at a local store on the way to the San Juan Port. This ... Read More
-Travel To Port of Embarkation - We traveled same day as embarkation which got us in San Juan around 3:15pm. Taxi cab driver was very friendly and accomodating. We requested a stop at a local store on the way to the San Juan Port. This is a must if you need to purchase water and alcoholic beverages before getting on the ship. The port has one store that sells water and alcohol but at a premium price. The Embarkation was the best ever! No lines, no harrasement from porters for a tip. Walked right up and were registered and on our way to the ship within 10 minutes. We were onboard by 5p. -Stateroom - The Sky Suite was spacious. Closet space was great for clothes needed for 7 days. Drawers were plentiful. Bathroom was awesome, very spacious and large enough to feel as though you were at home. Balcony is plenty big enough for two people. We had coffee and juice most morning delivered for enjoyment on the balcony. -Dining - This was a castrophe the first night for dining. The staff did not have seating assignments arranged for diners after the late muster drill. Why have the muster drill at 7:45? Needs to be changed to accomodate both seating times. We dined with a nice couple Pam and Jeff from Texas in the Main Dining Room. They were friendly and said this was their third yearly trip in December on the Summit! Day 2 we ate in the Main Dining Room at our assigned table. The Wait Staff were friendly and very accomodating. However, we never went back due hostile dining companions. Day 3 - 7 We dined in the Blu Dining Room. The staff were friendly, informative and very good at their jobs. The staff was a very welcome addition to the excellent cruisine served in the restaurant. Fabulous astmosphere and gorgeous surrounding made each night a treat. We were in the suite and received a complimentary reservation at the restaurant of our choice. We chose the Normandie Restaurant. The staff was fantastic and the chef was amazing. Food was top shelf all the way. The only drawback was we never received our unfinished wine which was to be delivered to the cabin. Sea Day(s) breakfast dining was a spectacular Grand Buffet held in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant. It was a highlight of our cruisine experience on the Summit. Everything it seemed was on the buffet. The presentation was top-shelf with exemplary cruisine. -Entertainment - Manual was the best Cruise Director along with Nestor Santurio, a Latin Guitarist whom you could listen to for hours on end. He played at different venues around the ship and always gave a thrilling performance. You must hear this man play the guitar. Patrick Hall, a finalist on American Idol was refreshing to hear during late nights in Cafe al Bacio and other bars. Aqua-Fellas Acapella Quarter, Robbie Printz (comedian), and Dan Bennett were great entertainment acts along with the Celebrity Singers and Dancers. Casino - Slots were loose and with the added lottery each night, very entertaining. The staff were very friendly. My DH does not gamble but enjoyed the 50% off on drinks special that were ran in the casino. -Activities - There were classes on various types of dancing, which were held daily and were fun to learn. The Officers dancing with various guest was very nice which allowed women to have extra dance companions. There were many seminars, classes, tours and opportunities to enrich your mind throughout the journey. -Service - Esmerlo was our butler. Him and his staff kept the room clean and provided prompt service throughout the cruise. We especially loved it when Emeraldo would come by in the afternoon with the Tea Cart. We were able to get hot tea & coffee, sandwiches and pastaries. The dinner on the balcony served by Emeraldo was excellent. Him and the staff were always doing little things to make the voyage enjoyable. -Ship Info - The ship is gorgeous. It was a great experience sitting in the Oceanview Cafe by the window and being able to look down directly into the sea! What a unique experience to have these glass portholes underneath your seat and looking down into the ocean! Easy access throughout the ship from one area to another. The decor was amazing and the trip was easy. Many sitting areas and quiet nooks throughout the ship. Decor was very tasteful and inviting. Public areas were always clean and inviting. Staff kept the ship clean from top to bottom. Even in the pool area, when guests left the tables were immediately cleared and restored for others to use. One night in the theater a guest spilled their drink on the stairs. Next night at the show, that particular stair well was fresh and clean. Attention to details were seen throughout the ship from Oceanview Cafe, Cosmopolitan Restaurant, AquaSpa Restaurant, Whirlpools and cabins. -Disembarkation - Easy and quick. Very little standing in line until you get in the line for Customs. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We returned from our Christmas Holiday cruise on the Summit. This was our family's first time on a Celebrity ship so I can't speak for other Celebrity Ships but the Summit was not impressive. We had two cabins and one of them ... Read More
We returned from our Christmas Holiday cruise on the Summit. This was our family's first time on a Celebrity ship so I can't speak for other Celebrity Ships but the Summit was not impressive. We had two cabins and one of them smelled of mildew the entire week despite a complaint to our cabin stewart who loved to hang out in the hallway outside our room to chat with guests and other staff, but not actually get much done in the way of cleaning or providing towels. Usually, one of our rooms were missing some bath or face towels on any given day. But I wouldn't let the towels or the smell get me down if it weren't for the food. The quality and variety of food choices for breakfast and lunch were poor. If you didn't love powdered eggs and greasy sausage or bacon, you had better get up early because the full breakfast ended way before most passengers arrived in the buffet line! The staff running the buffet line always looked confused when you asked them a question, I think they were all new to their jobs. Lunch was slightly better than breakfast but not by much. While the food looked fresh, it was rarely varied-there was the pizza station, poor quality cold cuts, the salad station and stir fry spot as the main anchors to a few hot items and cold salads. There was little to get excited about or look forward to. Dinner was only a small step up from breakfast and lunch since our waiter was excellent and tried to his best to make dinner an enjoyable meal despite the kitchen's many shortcomings. Lobster night featured overcooked lobster tails that were burnt to a crisp. If you did find something to enjoy at the dining room, don't try to find it the next night because they would not ever find you something off the menu from the previous evening. It was to the point that our family looked forward to getting off the ship so we could get an interesting meal. We attended a cook off event on the ship where the head chef was asked about bringing some local flavors into the menu. He answered in his french accent that he would never try to bring the flavors of the ports we visited into his menu, that he never varied his menu to reflect the areas that the ship visited. He seemed proud of this accomplishment, although I'm not sure why since other lines we experienced had done exactly that and it made the meals that much more exciting. The ports on this ship is what made this cruise fun for our family-Dominica was beyond our expectations in both beauty and the friendliness of its guides. We hiked in the rain forest and found the trip exciting! Grenada has beautiful beaches and wonderful spices, although there are many aggressive vendors on the beaches trying to braid our hair or sell us something. On St. Kitts we took the ship's catamaran and snorkel trip and it was one of the highlights of our week. The crew were exceptionally personable and helpful, and the sailboat was stunning. All in all, we had a relaxing vacation but it could have been so much better if the Summit were as good as promised. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
This was a family trip. Myself and my husband and my sister and her husband and their (adult) son. Except for the son, the rest of us are over 50. This was the first cruise that we all did that had a pretty aggressive list of port ... Read More
This was a family trip. Myself and my husband and my sister and her husband and their (adult) son. Except for the son, the rest of us are over 50. This was the first cruise that we all did that had a pretty aggressive list of port visits. I will describe our trip in three categories: The good, the bad and the ugly. THE GOOD: Ship was in ship-shape. All the public spaces were in great condition including the staterooms. Nothing threadbare. The food was fantastic. The wait-staff were well seasoned. We booked the 'Mystery dinner theater at Portofino's'. The mystery was hokey (but fun). The company (others at our table) was delightful and overall it was worth the $60/person charge as the champagne and wine flowed freely as part of the package. The Tiramisu dessert packaged in a dark/white chocolate swirl cup was awesome! We booked one shore excursion (we're cheap). It was a beach trip to Orient beach on St. Marteens. It was very well coordinated. Our hostess was delightful, very informative about the island, the beach and various bits of information and made sure that we all got back on the bus to return to the ship. We sincerely regret not booking beach trips on the other islands. Though we did enjoy exploring Barbados, one of the stops, on our own. Some of the other islands were pretty depressed areas once you get beyond the main tourist shopping areas. Better to go to the beach. The New Years celebration was totally the best!!! We celebrated on the Promenade which included unlimited champagne, balloon drop and the cruise director AND ships captain doing the countdown. This so beats going to any other (northern) New Year's celebration where you have to stand in the cold. The ship shows were really good. The best was Beetlemania! I would have spent a friggin' fortune to see this show on land! It truly was a wow! I've been on other RC cruises with the ice rink and AOC ice show was ho-hum. Nice and worth seeing but ho-hum. THE BAD: Our stateroom attendant was overbearing and self-serving (her only goal was to beg us to give her an excellent review so she could get her bonus). We were surprised to find a pair of men's briefs in one of the drawers. She obviously didn't check all the drawers in the stateroom in prep of our arrival. I have a feeling she won't be around very long. RC is generally very good about stateroom service. THE UGLY: For us nothing. It was a totally awesome trip and we will continue to cruise RC. We did have breakfast with another couple who had booked their cruise while they were on a prior cruise and booked the special romantic package. RC dropped the ball and did not provide the perks of the romantic package and couldn't find their original booking info when the couple complained. The help desk was not very helpful to them and apparently were not very pleasant to these poor folks. Sadly, their customer-no-service lost them two repeat customers. My experience with the help desk was very positive and this included that hectic last day where everyone had questions about their bill, myself included. They had a floater who went up and down the line working to solve problems. And magically (the guy was good!) the line went from 30 people to 6 who actually had questions requiring help desk help. I was therefore in line for only less than 10 min and my question concerning my bill was quickly and satisfactorily answered. Rosietomato Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
It seems to us that the lower your cruise ship class is the lower the service. We have decided that in the future we will not cruise anything lower than freedom class as the service we received was not what we have been used to with RCCL. ... Read More
It seems to us that the lower your cruise ship class is the lower the service. We have decided that in the future we will not cruise anything lower than freedom class as the service we received was not what we have been used to with RCCL. Our cabin attendant did not want to be there and pretty much told us that. It was great that RCCL allowed us to bring our own wine on board but it was very frustrating trying to get an ice bucket and some wine glasses. There was some type of coming of age party/gathering by a great number of families for their daughters and although the young girls were all beautiful in their gowns and such it was a bit overwhelming for the rest of the passengers. Loved our balcony but on a couple of nights had to stay in our cabin due to the strong odor of what seemed like marijuana. We were disappointed with Johnny Rockets as we went there for lunch, the sign in the window said they would open at 12 noon and we could see staff inside who could also see us, we waited until 12:20 only to be told by a passing crew member that it didn't open until 2:00. No worries we would just head down to the windjammer but it leaves the question why didn't the staff inside come out and inform us that the posted hours were incorrect? The ship itself is in fine shape considering it is almost due for refit. The remaining staff were all excellent and the new menu in the dining room was fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We are empty nesters (in our early 60's) and this was our 9th cruise and our 3rd on Celebrity, with Celebrity being our favorite of the "mass" cruise lines. We think of Celebrity as being on the high end of the mass cruise ... Read More
We are empty nesters (in our early 60's) and this was our 9th cruise and our 3rd on Celebrity, with Celebrity being our favorite of the "mass" cruise lines. We think of Celebrity as being on the high end of the mass cruise lines, to give you an idea of our thought process. We have cruised on 2 other lines, with Carnival being one where we have taken our daughter's family which includes our 2 grand kids, and have enjoyed all lines. I want to say, so as not to offend anyone, that this review is my opinion and only that. In general, we were very pleased with Celebrity and the Summit, with the exception of one main area that I will discuss in this review, along with a couple of other negatives I will mention. But, we will cruise on Celebrity again. So, to the review..... We flew in to San Juan on Saturday and arrived around 2:30pm, and had booked transfers through the cruise line, with both being a first for us. The only reason I see for using Celebrity for the transfer is that they took our luggage directly to the ship and they put us in a much shorter line to board the ship. After getting on the ship, embarkation was a breeze and very organized.......no problems at all. The dreaded life boat drill and hoping your luggage gets to your room was next. We found one of our bags as we were walking back from the lifeboat drill on the other end of the ship from our room. We assume it would have eventually made it to us. We had an inside cabin for the first time as we booked this cruise at the last minute and got a deal. We decided we wanted to try and inside cabin since we are nearing retirement and have discussed cheaper inside cabin rates = more cruises. We had no problem as one wall was a mirror and cabin looked huge. Good move by Celebrity. The cabin had plenty of storage cabinets, drawers, etc. The suitcases fit under the bed. The cabin was really clean. I know the ship had just been through a refurbish so here is one of my issues.........the shower curtain had mould on it. No excuse for this. I told the cabin attendant that I wanted it cleaned and while we were at dinner, it was cleaned. Then the next morning, during breakfast, it was replaced with a new one. I will say that they satisfied me immediately. Cabin attendant was great. The rest of the ship was clean. No issues. I will say that I wish I had some of what the decorator was smoking when he/she picked out the "art". To describe it as "bizarre" is the kindest words I can use. And I really can't call it "art". The breakfast buffet was average, but no better than average. Usual lines at the omelet stations, but not as long as I have seen on other ships. Extremely long line at waffle station every day. A wait for toast everyday was expected. Wouldn't you think they would figure out these 3 bottle necks? We did not eat in MDR at breakfast. The coffee/juice equipment were in need of repair. The lunch buffet is where I really had an issue with the Summit. In my opinion, the offerings/menu/recipes/kitchen execution/serving line staff execution were just "BAD". I don't know any other way to describe it. The staff was poorly trained and did not seem to enjoy their jobs. The coffee/juice/tea equipment mentioned above needed repair, along with the ice machine. About 3 days in to the cruise, a repair crew boarded the ship and spent 2 or 3 days working on the equipment and by the time the cruise was over, the equipment was working properly. The hamburgers, pizza, sandwich stations were well staffed and food was good. We did not eat in the MDR at lunch as were were in ports for 5 days. The main dining room meals at night were good, not great, but good. They met my expectations for MDR food on a cruise ship, although the menu is not as varied as it has been in the past. I guess everybody is cutting back! Service was excellent in the MDR. I can't comment on the "pay to eat venues" as we did not participate. We are of the opinion that we have already paid for our meals. Service on the ship, excluding the buffet dining, was excellent. We booked this cruise because we wanted to visit the different islands and really enjoyed each one, although we had been to St. Thomas. Debarkation went really well. We had a late afternoon flight out and had noted that. Therefore they had given us the last departures from the ship. I went to the serice desk and explained that I really wanted off early as were going to check luggage and then explore San Juan. They were accomdating. I did not use my prepaid transfer back to the airport to save time. We caught a taxi and were at the airport in minutes after clearing the customs shed. Although, I was disappointed in few areas, mainly the food, service,and equipment functioning properly at the buffet, I will book on Celebrity again and would probably book on the Summit again. I would hope they would have corrected these issues. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
There were a number of issues which could have put a damper on our recent southern Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Summit, but we still had a really good time. The ship is due in for refurbishing and did show its wear and tear and ... Read More
There were a number of issues which could have put a damper on our recent southern Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Summit, but we still had a really good time. The ship is due in for refurbishing and did show its wear and tear and datedness. We had sailed on the Solstice in January, so there was a contrast. However, we did enjoy the size of this ship. We had a concierge balcony on the 8th floor which was identical to our cabin on the Solstice in size. The buffet area suffered the most in comparison as the Summit does not have the different, separate and easily accessible stations at which you can serve yourself and not be served from an attendant behind the counter. That said, the dinners were very good in the main dining room and exceptional in The Normandie specialty restaurant. We enjoyed the entertainment very much, especially the Sirens show. The itinerary was what attracted us to this cruise, and we did enjoy going to the five ports included. We had rain every day except the one day at sea, but it really didn't hamper anything as the temperatures were warm and we did get at least some sunshine each day. We snorkeled, swam, climbed and toured all over in light to heavy rain. The staff, with the exception of our cabin steward and head waiter who were really nice and attentive, was very different than in past cruises. I heard remarks regarding this throughout the trip. I understand that waiting on a constant parade of weekly tourists cannot be enjoyable, but this was the first time in nine cruises I saw evidence of boredom and almost disdain from the staff. It didn't really bother me but it was evident. I wondered if working on an older, less modern ship was less interesting or exciting than a beautiful new and state of the art vehicle. Everyone got their job done, but it was with much less enthusiasm than I had experienced in the past. However, my husband and I really had a great time with good tablemates, good excursions, good food, and good entertainment And I would definitely sail Celebrity again as we have the past three times. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
We arrived in SJU on Saturday and we were booked into 2 hotels due to issues. Caribe Hilton and the El San Juan. We are dinner at a Tapanyaki restaurant at the El San Juan. Better restaurants in the El San Juan vs Caribe. Arrived ... Read More
We arrived in SJU on Saturday and we were booked into 2 hotels due to issues. Caribe Hilton and the El San Juan. We are dinner at a Tapanyaki restaurant at the El San Juan. Better restaurants in the El San Juan vs Caribe. Arrived around 12:30 and dropped off luggage. Was told it would be there in 2 hours. It arrived in 3 and we were able to unpack prior to the life boat drill. Other family didn't get their suitcases until 8pm. I am not sure if it was because we were on deck 2 vs. deck 7. Embarkation was long. I stood in the line for priority "Diamond/Emerald" status. The person put you in other lines. I stood in a line with 2 people in front of me. The person checking in must not have had correct paperwork or something since it took forever. Nor do I think she had priority status. I felt you were just put in a line. The other family had 2 separate check ins and finished before the person in front of me got to the desk. I made a comment and was told the ship didn't sail till 8. I said yes I know that but our group had checked in and we wanted to do a group picture which didn't happen. It took me about 25-30 min to check in. Lifeboat drill went on without a hitch. We had early seating dinner. When we got on board we saw our party was on 2 different levels for seating at 2 tables. We went immediately to the main dining room to get it changed. We were put at a table that was crowded. Our head waiter saw the issue and I walked up to him and explained. The next night he moved us to another table where we had more room. Rooms: they were set up as a couple. My sister had 3 in a room and needed the beds separated and the other pulled down. Our connecting door wasn't open. My cabin had the beds together also but my niece and I kept them together. My sister said they should know know how to set the rooms by the reservation. Isn't someone checking this out? Photography - Photography was bad. Pictures were not centered and they charged the same amount for a 5x7 as a 8x10. Photographer came around the table each night and after 10 cruises we didn't want singles. He made a remark which I didn't find amusing. My BIL asked how his day was and then was told this long dissertation about how he bartended the crews party and got in a fight with someone and only had 3 hours of sleep and on and on. Totally uncalled for. When we got off the ship they pounce on you to take a picture. I wasn't feeling well and told them but they just don't listen. Also they had a sailors cap they were putting on people. My niece who is a germaphobe said that grossed her out. Pictures of the last dressy night were not put up until 2nd seating the night before we were leaving. My niece asked about 5x7 instead of 8x10 picture of her and her sister. She was told no and bought it and then her Mom told her yes they can do it. My other sister bought a table photo and had extra copies made. She was told it would be ready at 11. My niece went down at 10:45 and the workers had no clue. She came to the room about 11:30 with no pictures. Nothing was ready. She said people were yelling where are my pictures and wanting refunds. People were cutting in line and the workers did nothing to say please go to the end of the line. Announcements - We were usually at breakfast by 7:45. Towards the end of the trip did we hear the Captain say "good morning" etc like they have in the past on other ships or the same ship. Was disappointed. No announcements of BINGO BINGO BINGO taking place. They had mixing drinks and some other thing going on the deck when we were at sea. They said there is cha cha lessons inside but felt they would have had a bigger crowd if they did it by the pool. People will always come up. The last 2 years I bought the "Make A Wish" tee shirts. This year they had it up and no one knew it was going on. I didn't even think they did the walk around the deck. No announcements were made saying come and get your tee shirts. Entertainment - Trivia was either at 5 or 8. We could never do the 5 since we had dinner at 6. Felt there wasn't stuff to do after 8. Everything happened after 10 which we didn't stay up for. They had Suduko at 10:30 most days but we were already at the beach. Unexpected Boys were great. We did the welcome show to see the comedian which started at 10:15. By 10:50 he still wasn't on so we got up and left. Cruise Director was annoying and not funny at all. Same jokes just different lines by him. Saw "El Gaucho" before so had no desire to see that act again. I heard the female comedian was good but didn't go to the show. Onboard Shopping: As a retail person this needs help. So much potential could be had. My niece said they should have a "candy" store where you can buy candy etc. Book selection on the ship was terrible if you wanted to buy a book. Suites seating on deck: Someone pointed out whey don't they have cushions on their chairs? Why isn't there seating for Diamond/Diamond Plus and above on the ship. We had seats early that morning but the ship didn't seem very crowded. Johnny Rockets - totally disappointed. We got there about 12:15 and by 1:20 still didn't have food. It took half and hour to get our shakes. We had 3 people who were getting massages at 2 and had to leave without food due to how late it was. I guess a cook and the milkshake maker didn't show up. The manager came by and apologized that no one told us what was going on. We were credited the amount. The ranch dressing that is served with the fries was so watered down. It looked like which water and totally unappetizing. Windjammer - people were friendly. Our asst waiter took our egg order daily. We said it would be nice to have a ice cream machine in the windjammer closer to the cookies. No one wants to walk completely outside to get it especially when you are sitting all the way in the back of the WJ. Was nice when waiters asked what beverage could they get you. Dining Room - Our waiter - Joseph and our Asst Waiter Paola were great. We kept asking to get more bread from Paola. Bar Staff - the girls in the Champagne bar are awesome. We were up there every night before dinner. They knew us by name and were extremely friendly. The young man in the Casino bar was also very friendly and had a good time there after dinner. Debarkation - we went to deck 4 for the priority departure for Diamond/Emerald. We were told at 8:15 we would be leaving in 5 min. That was more like 15. No issues getting off but we had trouble finding our luggage for neon green #39 and #69. Caught a private bus to the Caribe where we had a day rate room till we left for our late afternoon flight. Instead of going to Dominica it would have been nice to be overnight in St. Maarten. Also we were told they were not getting a refund when the price dropped on cabins. We did get a ship credit last year. We decided not to book our Annual cruise on the ship for next year and will wait to get the lower prices. We don't like the itinerary for the Adventure. We heard the ship is going in for overhaul in 2014. It can't come soon enough. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011

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