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queenL

Back to Back Summit Review 3/27 & 4/3

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Here is my better-late- than-never review of the Celebrity Summit. As soon as we returned I was plunged into bridal shower preparations for one of my friends. So, I’m just now able to get settled in and reflect upon my vacation. We were on back to back cruises weeks 3/27 and 4/3. Both of them were great cruises. A little background info- They were my 14th and 15th cruises. I have sailed on all the major lines, Princess, RCL, NCL, HAL, Celebrity and Carnival. Feel free to ask questions about the differences between the various lines. I have never had a bad cruise, but some were better than others.

 

Embarkation - Very smooth! We flew in from Atlanta the day of sailing. San Juan airport has improved a lot since we were last there. I remember thinking that SJU was the worst airport in the US. This time we had no problems and the airport has really modernized itself. We grabbed a cab for about $21 (I think we were charged extra because we had a lot of luggage). We arrived to the dock about 3pm. There was really no line at all. We were onboard in about 20-30 minutes.

 

Service- We had great service from nearly every staff member we encountered. The few exceptions occurred at the guest relations desk. We had many hassles there, particularly regarding our onboard credit. At points it seemed we like we visited guest relations daily. I did learn a few interesting tidbits to pass on though. If you book excursions (through the cruise line) prior to sailing, and the excursion is cancelled while onboard, the money is returned directly to your credit card. If you book the excursion while onboard and your excursion is cancelled the money is applied to your account as onboard credit. Some OBC is refundable, some isn’t. So you will want to make certain you clarify which you have and how much when you embark. I had some OBC that was refundable and some that wasn’t. That was the start of my problems. At first, they were using the refundable OBC before the non-refundable OBC. At that rate, I could never get any money back because I would have had to use all of it in order to qualify. Once my shore excursion was cancelled, they were using that money before they used my other onboard credit. As a result, week 1 I lost some of my OBC. I protested that. They knew me by name at guest relations. By Week 2 I had no problems. I don’t know if my situation was an isolated error or not. I haven’t received my credit card statement yet, but I will check to confirm that they made all of the corrections we agreed to while onboard. In all my time spent at guest relations, I did run across another family who was having similar issues with the OBC. So, all I can say is check carefully and clarify things as soon as you board. Also, I don’t want to generate another dreaded tipping thread but, the auto tipping applies to infants and toddlers too. So, unless you are comfortable with that, you will need to make adjustments at guest relations.

 

Cabin- Week 1 we were in a Cat 7 OV (# 2164). Week 2 we were in a Balcony Cat 2A (#7168). Originally, we were scheduled to be in the same cabin for both weeks. However, generous price drops occurred the second week that made the balcony cheaper than the OV. We couldn’t resist the opportunity so we upgraded. We found both cabins had ample storage space. I loved the mirrored wall. Not only did you not have to fight for the tiny vanity mirror, but it made the room seem much larger. I have a 3yr old who sailed with us. I loved the OV cabin because the pull out bed was to the right, underneath the window instead of close to the door. I felt much more comfortable with that arrangement. My daughter would have to crawl over us if she woke up and wandered during the night. (Most ships have the sofa beds on the side closest to the door). I also never thought I would book a balcony while my kid was small. It wasn’t nearly as frightening as I thought it would be. For the most part the door was too heavy for her to slide. When the bed was pulled out it blocked the sliding glass door altogether.

I did miss having a plastic shower door as opposed to the stick-to you plastic liners found onboard the Summit. If we had to do it all over again, I would have preferred the odd number cabins so that we had views of the ports when we arrived and departed.

 

Food - Disappointing! The last time I sailed Celebrity was on the Century with the infamous chef Michael Roux. The food quality and presentation has declined since then. I had a few memorable soups and appetizers but the rest was average cruise fare. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying the food was bad at all. However, Celebrity used to be better than the rest when it came to food. I just didn’t find that the case anymore. The one exception would be at the Normandie. The food was great! The dining experience was worth the $35 IMO. It reminded me of the food quality that everyone used to experience when they were onboard a Celebrity ship. There were also typically long waits for breakfast and lunch at the Waterfall Café. I couldn’t grasp that. I guess because my last cruise was on the Oasis of the Seas. It carried far more people, yet the wait times for things was far shorter.

 

Ship- I feared I would be stepping aboard a rundown ship based on many of the reviews I read prior to sailing. That wasn’t the case at all. Yes, there were a few areas where the ship showed its age, but it was still in good condition.

 

Entertainment- Good, but sleepy. Most nights the ship was asleep after 11. It has very little night life. There were also points during the day when I felt a lack of activity, particularly activities that had some appeal to me. Between both weeks, I would say we covered most of the shows and things at least once. There was nothing that I would describe as, “Don’t miss” but we did really enjoy the main shows, the comedian and the Newlywed game.

 

Kid’s Club- I loved the staff members. They were all friendly and seemed genuinely interested in the children. This was my daughters first time being old enough for the kid’s club. I thought she would love it, but she didn’t. The first part of Week 1 she was sick. Out of consideration for the other parents, I kept my daughter out of the Kid’s Club so that she wouldn’t make anyone else’s children sick. Towards the latter half of the first week, she was over her cold. I soon begin to see why she wasn’t thrilled. Many times when I went, they were sitting around watching TV. I seldom let the TV babysit my child at home, so I really didn’t appreciate it on the cruise. Some of the structured activities were good, but others seemed to bore my daughter. I’ve been on other ships where they had more activities for the “under 2” group then they did for this active age. Many of the activities were in set up in 2-3 hour blocks. At age 3, their attention span is less than 20 minutes. They should’ve changed activities at least every hour. To me it just seemed they lacked understanding of what kids do at that age.

Another thing that annoyed me was that they frequently merged the older kids with the younger ones. Developmentally, my child has little in common with a nine year old. Plus, there were times during free play when I was concerned for her safety as she was being trampled by the older children. There were also certain activities i.e. pillow fighting, monsters/aliens, pirate games etc that I thought were totally not appropriate for toddlers.

Finally, my daughter is newly potty trained. Celebrity has a pull-up free environment. (Which I knew about beforehand) For anyone has kids at this stage, you will be able to relate. Often they get busy playing and forget to go to the bathroom until it is too late. I feared this happening so much, that on the days I used the kids club, I stopped by every hour and a half or so to make sure she used the restroom. That really became burdensome. I found myself wishing I could leave her with a pull-up on (just in case). My advice for any parent with a child at this stage is to choose another line. Most other cruise lines allow pull ups at this age and will just page you if they need to be changed.

I don’t think the teenagers fared much better either. Our dining mates had teenage children who also complained of the lack of “fun” things to do in the Teen Club. They started off the cruise attending, then leaving very early. By the end of the week they didn’t go at all.

 

Cruise Critic Parties- I wish I could say I attended them, but I didn’t. The first week I tried but they were at 9:30 in the morning on a port day. What was Celebrity thinking? Many people were already off the ship by then or asleep. From what I heard, very few people showed up either time. My suggestion would be to schedule your own meet and greet on the day of embarking. Week 2 we did that. That was the only reason I was able to meet some of my cruise critic friends.

 

Disembarkation- This was an absolute mess. In Celebrity’s defense. I think they planned it well but the guests didn’t follow directions. We will include ourselves in that category. We didn’t go straight to the theatre because we arrived after our colors meeting time. (We were upstairs still eating) We didn’t hear any colors being called over the loud speaker. As a result we didn’t know whether we should still be onboard or not. When I went to ask they said our color had been called and we could leave. I guess everyone had that same idea. There was no real line, guests were coming from every direction, the stairs, the elevators. It was a mob scene. I haven't seen chaos like this since Wal Mart's flat screen TV sale on Black Friday. :) I’d say it took about 45 minutes just to exit the ship. To make matters worse, no one, I repeat no one checked our passports when we passed through customs. We just gave them our form and walked on through. We could have posed as anyone. In a post 9-11 world, I found that astonishing.

 

Back to Back Experience- It was my first back to back and I loved it! After all, the only thing better than one cruise is two. :D Usually at the end of a cruise, I’m sad to pack up and go home, however, this time I knew we still had another week to go. It was a great feeling. By the time the end of the second week came, I didn’t dread leaving at all. I felt ready for the cruise to end. The room steward moved all of the luggage between sailings. My mom even left many of her clothes hanging and they moved those for us too. Between sailings we waited in Michael’s Club with all the other back to back cruisers. We got our cruise cards for the next week and all went ashore together (this way we avoided customs etc). Within a half an hour or so, we were able to re-board. We didn’t though. We used that time to go to the Doubletree to do our laundry. When we returned we are able to go straight to the security line without having to check-in again.

 

Post Cruise Stay in San Juan- I have been to San Juan several times before. We bid about $70 on Priceline (I love Priceline) and got the Double tree Hilton. I loved it. The staff there were wonderful. They had laundry facilities, which they allowed us to use between cruises. The room was really nice (I’m biased because I love contemporary- modern décor). It was also only about $20 by cab to Old San Juan and about $16 to the airport. There was a grocery store right across the street. We had everything we needed. We stayed here for 2 nights then it was finally time to end our vacation.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the cruises. I would definitely sail Celebrity again. Did it make a die- hard Celebrity fan out of me…….no. For the most part though, I got exactly what I expected a good cruise with a great itinerary.

 

I’ll summarize what we did in each port a little later………

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queenL,

 

 

Maam thank you for your honest and great review.:D

 

On the problems which beset youall... so it is known not merely given lip services and passed over..

 

The cruise line wants your view as you saw and see it. Otherwise it gets jaded from the staff and crew aboard the ships.

 

The best person to write, eMail FAX and communicate this is the Chairman of RCL : NYSE the Parent firm of Celebrity.

 

It can be done through the Corporate Secretary directly.

 

http://www.rclinvestor.com

ATT: Corporate Secretary

Royal Carribean Cruises, Ltd.

1050 Caribbean Way

Miami, Florida 33132

eMail iscorporatesecretary@rccl.com

 

 

They may think we Paying Cruisers are happy with the MDR NOT Being Open when in Port and the now laggard food :mad:quality too..eh...

 

 

 

Here is my better-late- than-never review of the Celebrity Summit. As soon as we returned I was plunged into bridal shower preparations for one of my friends. So, I’m just now able to get settled in and reflect upon my vacation. We were on back to back cruises weeks 3/27 and 4/3. Both of them were great cruises. A little background info- They were my 14th and 15th cruises. I have sailed on all the major lines, Princess, RCL, NCL, HAL, Celebrity and Carnival. Feel free to ask questions about the differences between the various lines. I have never had a bad cruise, but some were better than others.

 

Embarkation - Very smooth! We flew in from Atlanta the day of sailing. San Juan airport has improved a lot since we were last there. I remember thinking that SJU was the worst airport in the US. This time we had no problems and the airport has really modernized itself. We grabbed a cab for about $21 (I think we were charged extra because we had a lot of luggage). We arrived to the dock about 3pm. There was really no line at all. We were onboard in about 20-30 minutes.

 

Service- We had great service from nearly every staff member we encountered. The few exceptions occurred at the guest relations desk. We had many hassles there, particularly regarding our onboard credit. At points it seemed we like we visited guest relations daily. I did learn a few interesting tidbits to pass on though. If you book excursions (through the cruise line) prior to sailing, and the excursion is cancelled while onboard, the money is returned directly to your credit card. If you book the excursion while onboard and your excursion is cancelled the money is applied to your account as onboard credit. Some OBC is refundable, some isn’t. So you will want to make certain you clarify which you have and how much when you embark. I had some OBC that was refundable and some that wasn’t. That was the start of my problems. At first, they were using the refundable OBC before the non-refundable OBC. At that rate, I could never get any money back because I would have had to use all of it in order to qualify. Once my shore excursion was cancelled, they were using that money before they used my other onboard credit. As a result, week 1 I lost some of my OBC. I protested that. They knew me by name at guest relations. By Week 2 I had no problems. I don’t know if my situation was an isolated error or not. I haven’t received my credit card statement yet, but I will check to confirm that they made all of the corrections we agreed to while onboard. In all my time spent at guest relations, I did run across another family who was having similar issues with the OBC. So, all I can say is check carefully and clarify things as soon as you board. Also, I don’t want to generate another dreaded tipping thread but, the auto tipping applies to infants and toddlers too. So, unless you are comfortable with that, you will need to make adjustments at guest relations.

 

Cabin- Week 1 we were in a Cat 7 OV (# 2164). Week 2 we were in a Balcony Cat 2A (#7168). Originally, we were scheduled to be in the same cabin for both weeks. However, generous price drops occurred the second week that made the balcony cheaper than the OV. We couldn’t resist the opportunity so we upgraded. We found both cabins had ample storage space. I loved the mirrored wall. Not only did you not have to fight for the tiny vanity mirror, but it made the room seem much larger. I have a 3yr old who sailed with us. I loved the OV cabin because the pull out bed was to the right, underneath the window instead of close to the door. I felt much more comfortable with that arrangement. My daughter would have to crawl over us if she woke up and wandered during the night. (Most ships have the sofa beds on the side closest to the door). I also never thought I would book a balcony while my kid was small. It wasn’t nearly as frightening as I thought it would be. For the most part the door was too heavy for her to slide. When the bed was pulled out it blocked the sliding glass door altogether.

I did miss having a plastic shower door as opposed to the stick-to you plastic liners found onboard the Summit. If we had to do it all over again, I would have preferred the odd number cabins so that we had views of the ports when we arrived and departed.

 

Food - Disappointing! The last time I sailed Celebrity was on the Century with the infamous chef Michael Roux. The food quality and presentation has declined since then. I had a few memorable soups and appetizers but the rest was average cruise fare. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying the food was bad at all. However, Celebrity used to be better than the rest when it came to food. I just didn’t find that the case anymore. The one exception would be at the Normandie. The food was great! The dining experience was worth the $35 IMO. It reminded me of the food quality that everyone used to experience when they were onboard a Celebrity ship. There were also typically long waits for breakfast and lunch at the Waterfall Café. I couldn’t grasp that. I guess because my last cruise was on the Oasis of the Seas. It carried far more people, yet the wait times for things was far shorter.

 

Ship- I feared I would be stepping aboard a rundown ship based on many of the reviews I read prior to sailing. That wasn’t the case at all. Yes, there were a few areas where the ship showed its age, but it was still in good condition.

 

Entertainment- Good, but sleepy. Most nights the ship was asleep after 11. It has very little night life. There were also points during the day when I felt a lack of activity, particularly activities that had some appeal to me. Between both weeks, I would say we covered most of the shows and things at least once. There was nothing that I would describe as, “Don’t miss” but we did really enjoy the main shows, the comedian and the Newlywed game.

 

Kid’s Club- I loved the staff members. They were all friendly and seemed genuinely interested in the children. This was my daughters first time being old enough for the kid’s club. I thought she would love it, but she didn’t. The first part of Week 1 she was sick. Out of consideration for the other parents, I kept my daughter out of the Kid’s Club so that she wouldn’t make anyone else’s children sick. Towards the latter half of the first week, she was over her cold. I soon begin to see why she wasn’t thrilled. Many times when I went, they were sitting around watching TV. I seldom let the TV babysit my child at home, so I really didn’t appreciate it on the cruise. Some of the structured activities were good, but others seemed to bore my daughter. I’ve been on other ships where they had more activities for the “under 2” group then they did for this active age. Many of the activities were in set up in 2-3 hour blocks. At age 3, their attention span is less than 20 minutes. They should’ve changed activities at least every hour. To me it just seemed they lacked understanding of what kids do at that age.

Another thing that annoyed me was that they frequently merged the older kids with the younger ones. Developmentally, my child has little in common with a nine year old. Plus, there were times during free play when I was concerned for her safety as she was being trampled by the older children. There were also certain activities i.e. pillow fighting, monsters/aliens, pirate games etc that I thought were totally not appropriate for toddlers.

Finally, my daughter is newly potty trained. Celebrity has a pull-up free environment. (Which I knew about beforehand) For anyone has kids at this stage, you will be able to relate. Often they get busy playing and forget to go to the bathroom until it is too late. I feared this happening so much, that on the days I used the kids club, I stopped by every hour and a half or so to make sure she used the restroom. That really became burdensome. I found myself wishing I could leave her with a pull-up on (just in case). My advice for any parent with a child at this stage is to choose another line. Most other cruise lines allow pull ups at this age and will just page you if they need to be changed.

I don’t think the teenagers fared much better either. Our dining mates had teenage children who also complained of the lack of “fun” things to do in the Teen Club. They started off the cruise attending, then leaving very early. By the end of the week they didn’t go at all.

 

Cruise Critic Parties- I wish I could say I attended them, but I didn’t. The first week I tried but they were at 9:30 in the morning on a port day. What was Celebrity thinking? Many people were already off the ship by then or asleep. From what I heard, very few people showed up either time. My suggestion would be to schedule your own meet and greet on the day of embarking. Week 2 we did that. That was the only reason I was able to meet some of my cruise critic friends.

 

Disembarkation- This was an absolute mess. In Celebrity’s defense. I think they planned it well but the guests didn’t follow directions. We will include ourselves in that category. We didn’t go straight to the theatre because we arrived after our colors meeting time. (We were upstairs still eating) We didn’t hear any colors being called over the loud speaker. As a result we didn’t know whether we should still be onboard or not. When I went to ask they said our color had been called and we could leave. I guess everyone had that same idea. There was no real line, guests were coming from every direction, the stairs, the elevators. It was a mob scene. I haven't seen chaos like this since Wal Mart's flat screen TV sale on Black Friday. :) I’d say it took about 45 minutes just to exit the ship. To make matters worse, no one, I repeat no one checked our passports when we passed through customs. We just gave them our form and walked on through. We could have posed as anyone. In a post 9-11 world, I found that astonishing.

 

Back to Back Experience- It was my first back to back and I loved it! After all, the only thing better than one cruise is two. :D Usually at the end of a cruise, I’m sad to pack up and go home, however, this time I knew we still had another week to go. It was a great feeling. By the time the end of the second week came, I didn’t dread leaving at all. I felt ready for the cruise to end. The room steward moved all of the luggage between sailings. My mom even left many of her clothes hanging and they moved those for us too. Between sailings we waited in Michael’s Club with all the other back to back cruisers. We got our cruise cards for the next week and all went ashore together (this way we avoided customs etc). Within a half an hour or so, we were able to re-board. We didn’t though. We used that time to go to the Doubletree to do our laundry. When we returned we are able to go straight to the security line without having to check-in again.

 

Post Cruise Stay in San Juan- I have been to San Juan several times before. We bid about $70 on Priceline (I love Priceline) and got the Double tree Hilton. I loved it. The staff there were wonderful. They had laundry facilities, which they allowed us to use between cruises. The room was really nice (I’m biased because I love contemporary- modern décor). It was also only about $20 by cab to Old San Juan and about $16 to the airport. There was a grocery store right across the street. We had everything we needed. We stayed here for 2 nights then it was finally time to end our vacation.

 

Overall, I enjoyed the cruises. I would definitely sail Celebrity again. Did it make a die- hard Celebrity fan out of me…….no. For the most part though, I got exactly what I expected a good cruise with a great itinerary.

 

I’ll summarize what we did in each port a little later………

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Hello - thanks for your review - my dh and i will be sailing on the Summit in May so I am always eager for new info.

 

We previously sailed on Exp. of the Seas and they did have a plastic door. You mentioned a plastic shower curtain on Summit. How did you keep it from blowing around and sticking to you? I remember reading info about how to do that my last cruise but since we had doors, I don't remember. Do you have any ideas?

 

Thanks so much!

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Hello - thanks for your review - my dh and i will be sailing on the Summit in May so I am always eager for new info.

 

We previously sailed on Exp. of the Seas and they did have a plastic door. You mentioned a plastic shower curtain on Summit. How did you keep it from blowing around and sticking to you? I remember reading info about how to do that my last cruise but since we had doors, I don't remember. Do you have any ideas?

 

Thanks so much!

 

Hi:) I have never had a problem with the shower curtain sticking to me.

I am a not a little person and the shower was plenty roomy for me.

 

I know comedians always put how small everything is into their

schtick;) but seriously, I find the showers fine with and no sticking

of the shower curtain.:)

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Hello - thanks for your review - my dh and i will be sailing on the Summit in May so I am always eager for new info.

 

We previously sailed on Exp. of the Seas and they did have a plastic door. You mentioned a plastic shower curtain on Summit. How did you keep it from blowing around and sticking to you? I remember reading info about how to do that my last cruise but since we had doors, I don't remember. Do you have any ideas?

 

Thanks so much!

 

I am a thin person and at some point the shower curtain always sticks to me. Usually it was after someone opened the door the bathroom. The suction drew the curtain in I guess. At any rate, its nothing that will ruin your cruise. It just gives me the heebie jeebies when it blows against my body. I'm guessing that the curtains are seldom cleaned.

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FYI- Here is the link to the summit daily activities, I scanned them.

 

http://www1.snapfish.com/snapfish/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=2415175016/a=11887482_11887482/otsc=SHR/otsi=SALBlink/COBRAND_NAME=snapfish/

 

Here is the link to the kids club activities. I have the 3-5 age group every day. However, there is 1 day that I got all the age groups. It will at least give you an idea of what there is for the other kids.

 

http://www1.snapfish.com/snapfish/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=2415693016/a=11887482_11887482/otsc=SHR/otsi=SALBlink/COBRAND_NAME=snapfish/

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queenL, fairly thorough detailed review...thanks :):):):)

 

You do realize this was more than two years ago. :confused:

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You do realize this was more than two years ago. :confused:

 

Since we are in 2013 it is really 3 years old.......

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That's really disappointing to hear about your kid's club review. We're taking our son (who will be four) on a Summit B2B this fall and he is so excited about the kid's club. I doubt he will be anywhere near as happy (and neither will I) if they are watching TV all the time.

 

Edited- I didn't notice the date on the post until I read the following comments! Hopefully things have improved in the past three years!

Edited by SusieV

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Hello - thanks for your review - my dh and i will be sailing on the Summit in May so I am always eager for new info.

 

We previously sailed on Exp. of the Seas and they did have a plastic door. You mentioned a plastic shower curtain on Summit. How did you keep it from blowing around and sticking to you? I remember reading info about how to do that my last cruise but since we had doors, I don't remember. Do you have any ideas?

 

Thanks so much!

 

I didn't have a problem with the shower curtain on the Summit. However it's a problem on Princess ships. I have read that passengers clip cloths pins at the bottom of the curtain to weigh it down so it won't attack them.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I realize this is an old review but SuzieV my kids all loved the kids club on celebrity up until the teen years.

We were on the zenith one year and a Disney cruise the next year. And when we asked their input they chose Celebrity.

They liked the smaller size groups. They were always seen around the ship doing various activities and loved the counselors.

Unfortunately they really didn't enjoy once they hit that 13 age range which is where my son is for our cruise next month. But other than that they all loved the kids club.

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