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Summit to Bermuda, 9-2-12 ** LONG **with photos


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Here goes...bear with me everyone as this will be a multi-installment review. Hope you enjoy....


Background - this was our 5th Celebrity cruise and our first visit to Bermuda. We are Select on X, will be Elite after this cruise! We got hooked on cruising with Celebrity and don’t plan to try another cruise line...yet. We are both Library Directors in the SW suburbs of Chicago. DH, Scott, celebrated his birthday on the cruise.

I booked this cruise right after sailing on the Summit back in December 2010 through an online TA and used a Celebrity Passages certificate.

Friday, August 30

The day is finally here! Since we left home after rush-hour, traffic to Midway airport in Chicago was moving well. We dropped off our car and took shuttle to airport arriving in under an hour, in plenty of time to have a nice relaxing sit-down breakfast. Our flight was delayed 20 minutes but we were in no rush, so no stressing there!! Nice to fly in a couple of days early.


We arrived at Newark airport on schedule and took a taxi to the Westin in Jersey City (cost $48 + tolls and tip - yikes!!). We booked the Westin through Hotwire for $100/night and were very pleased with the room we had on the 15th floor.









View from hotel window


We settled in and made contact with Deirdre (dln429) who was driving in from Indianapolis with DH Rob and staying at the Westin also. We shared some beers (both Scott’s homebrew and some they had brought from Indy).


They decided to join us for dinner at The Lambs Club in NYC. (We are big fans of Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakaharian). Well, after taking the wrong train (not realizing there are both above ground and underground trains to the city) we finally got there about half an hour after our scheduled reservation time. Not a problem as they weren't too busy with most locals out of town for the weekend).

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Dinner was excellent; we all opted for the 3 course tasting menu; highlights included the grilled octopus salad, foie gras, and the lemon cake for dessert.



Since the restaurant was only a block away, we decided to walk off some of our dinner by visiting Times Square. What a sight....lit up brighter than the Vegas Strip...and full of interesting character too!






Saturday, September 1

We pre-purchased tickets online from Statue Cruises for the ferry to Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty for the 10:00 a.m. It was too far to walk to Liberty State Park from the Westin, so we took a cab ($20). The park features a moving tribute to those from New Jersey who lost their lives in the 911 attack.




Liberation Monument

The terminal building where you get on the ferry is very interesting; it was the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal up until the 1960’s and was restored by the Park in the 1970’s.




We were directed right to our waiting ferry, Miss New Jersey.



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We had time to take some pictures with the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline before the ferry left.




The ferry was a great way to see the Statue of Liberty up close and enjoy views of Manhattan too.




We opted to stay on the ferry and forego visiting Ellis Island and Liberty Island (the Statue is undergoing renovation) as we had limited time.


Our first view of Ellis Island and Lady Liberty:




Ellis Island:


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We took the subway and then had a pleasant 20 minute walk through Brooklyn Heights to our destination, Grimaldis. We saw the library with an interesting art deco facade but were dismayed it was closed on a Saturday.




We arrived at Grimaldis a few minutes before noon and already a lined had formed outside. Luckily it was mostly in the shade (it was 85 degrees at that point) and we only had to wait a half hour. Now, being from Chicago, we are quite particular about our pizza (btw most Chicagoans do not eat deep dish pizza) and found this tasty, but not as good as thin crust pizza at home in my opinion.







We opted not to walk across the bridge given the heat and the fact that Scott wanted to visit Brooklyn Brewery so I had to settle for the view from afar.



We met Deirdre and Rob at a nearby pub for a beer before taking a cab to Brooklyn Brewery. I must be getting old as the place was far too crowded and noisy for my taste. You had to wait in line to get in, another line to buy tokens and a third line to get your beer.



We had planned to visit a few attractions in Manhattan, but after an exhausting subway ride (it is so hot down there!!) and a walk through the World Trade Center area, we decided to head back to the Westin for a swim and much-needed nap. Although it was enticing to go back into the City that evening, the thought of another hour and a half on trains/subways was too much to face. Instead, we walked to the Iron Monkey in Jersey City for a very nice dinner.

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Sunday, September 2

Scott's birthday - what a way to celebrate!!


We left the Westin in Jersey City at 10:00 a.m. with Deirdre and Rob who were kind enough to give us a ride and arrived at Cape Liberty in 45 minutes. Nothing like that first glimpse of the ship ( even one you have been on before).




Embarkation was very well organized. Porters directed us to temporary parking where we dropped off our luggage. Rob and Deirdre went to park their car and we headed into the terminal and through security (the ladies there were a bit rude in my opinion). As Aqua Class guests we were directed "behind a curtain" to a special VIP check in area. No waiting there and we were soon ushered into the lounge area. We were offered a 50% discount at Qsine for that night but unfortunately I had booked in advance as I wanted to be sure to get a reservation for Scott’s birthday dinner. There were drinks and pastries available - a nice touch.









It was only a short while before we were boarding the shuttle for the VERY short bus ride to the ship (heck, I could have jogged to the ship more quickly!!). We were onboard by 11:00 am, enjoying our welcome aboard champagne and a birthday toast to Scott.



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We headed straight to Bistro on Five for lunch. Apparently it is no longer a secret that this is the best place for embarkation lunch as the place was packed!




This guy was kept very busy!




While Scott, Rob and Deirdre settled in, I popped over to Cellarmasters to purchase my premium beverage package. It took the bartender a while to process it (NOTE: no sales tax was charged).

Drink service was a bit slow and I was disappointed to see that the drinks menu had changed since our last cruise in December and the pouilly fuisse I had enjoyed on Eclipse was no longer available. Armed with my new beverage package, I soldiered on and chose the sparkling wine instead.






We all ordered savory and dessert crepes.



Sweet and Sour - my favorite!



Spanish - Dulce de Leche - my other favorite!

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While waiting for our crepes, I popped over to the ladies restroom and took some photos (I know, weird but I wanted to see what shape they were in after reading some horror stories here on CC).


As you can see in these photos, no worries here. In fact, throughout the cruise, the only time the public restrooms (women’s at least) were less than perfect was at the location near the Theatre after a show when the paper towels were overflowing.






While we were finishing up our lunch, the announcement was made that the cabins were ready! I wanted to look around the ship a little first and get a few photos before it was crowded. it was time to explore the ship! This is always such an exciting time for me. It was fun to see the changes made during the Solsticization of the ship. The public areas were uniformly clean and in great shape.

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I was particularly impressed by the addition of Blu. We stopped by for a lookaround as we wouldn’t be dining there the first night. The restaurant is actually much more spacious than it looks in photos. I do love Blu on Eclipse (which is actually done up in shades of green, not blue!!) but thought this was a well rendered homage to the original Blu as we experienced on Equinox.











More on our experiences in Blu later....

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We also visited the Main Dining Room as we were not planning on eating there too often in the coming week. It didn’t look like much had changed, other than the removal of part of the upper level seating to accommodate Blu. It is still a very elegant space.










Hi Deirdre!

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We then headed to Deck 9 to Cabin 9038, our home away from home for the next week. 9038 is an A1 Aqua Class cabin, located on the starboard side of the ship, conveniently located just around the corner from the elevators. I entered with slight trepidation and immediately my mind was put to ease as the cabin was spotless (and I looked!!).


My first stop was the bathroom to look for mold (I’ve got to stop reading so many reviews on CC!). None found!!

There is quite a bit of storage under the vanity, as well as some on the counter.



The bathroom has the same AQ shower panel as I enjoyed on the S Class ships and a glass shower door that is a bit tricky to keep completely closed, as others have reported.




The bed is located near the bathroom. My only complaint (and one that the comedian made quite a joke of at her show later that week) was the mirrors that faced the bed!! That took a little getting used to!!





The desk area is well laid out, with cupboards below:



The birthday decoration that I had ordered for Scott’s birthday was ok, but not worth the $40 I paid for it. I had expected something more.


The closet has lots of storage, with a bank of drawers on one side and a hanging closet on the other. This is one area where I will say that the M Class cabins are vastly superior to the S Class. We never felt cramped for space and there was always somewhere to put things away, even all my shoes!





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The cabin features a lovely, angled balcony with a full overhang. Somehow we neglected to get any photos of the balcony I’m sorry to say. I was very pleased with the size of the balcony; there was ample room for a good-sized round table but there were only 2 chairs!! The chairs were the newer type (like on the S class ships) that reclined somewhat but where were the footstools??


When we met our wonderful cabin steward Belinda I asked her if we could get some loungers or footstools. She was a bit hesitant and said she would check with her Supervisor. I wasn’t going to let the lack of seating ruin our cruise but I really wanted to put my feet up and lounge on that spacious balcony.


OK - got to call it a night but not to leave anyone in suspense. The lovely Belinda did find us 2 regular chairs for the balcony the next day; not footstools or loungers but better than nothing!!


Coming up...pool time, muster drill, Qsine and sailaway....and of course Michaels Club, and day one isn't even over yet!!

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Nice review, and you are posting exactly the kind of pics we all want to see of the cabin, ship etc.


I do hope the Puilly Fuisse makes an appearance on your cruise in the dining rooms? I enjoyed that every day on Equinox and would be disappointed not to find it next time :D

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I've said it before and I'll say it again. Rob and I wouldn't have had half as much fun on our Summit cruise if we hadn't met you and Scott. So when are we going to start planning the next cruise? There are new places to see, new dishes to try, new beer to drink...!!! :D:D:D




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