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Wonderful cruise on Summit, but.......


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We have just returned today from our cruise on Summit, calling at Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten and St Thomas; we had a wonderful time. We were in Aqua class cabin 1109 (port) , although the balcony overhang is less than deck 9 it is perfectly adequate for shade and there is NO noise from above. We loved our cabin and had great views of the sky and sea. Also no problem with temperature control in the room. The bed was super comfortable.

 

This was what we really loved about the cruise: BLU, amazing food and great ambiance; quiet atmosphere on the ship with very few announcements and no hard sell of drinks, photographs; talks by crew .. star gazing with navigation officer was great. He turned the bow lights out and the dark sky was filled with stars ---- galley tour ----- engineering officer talk, could have visited the engine room if we had asked at guest relations; early morning breakfast outside in Oceanview cafe; Crewners a Capella group wonderful; excursions on all the islands were well done and worth the money.

 

BUT....this is why I will probably opt for Royal Caribbean Radiance Class in the future: ships are about the same size and RCI ships are more visually pleasing inside and out. I missed the glass and great views from lounges. Summit lacked the evening atmosphere of being able to listen to a good pianist or singer, the Summit was pretty quiet at night, I am not a party person, but there was no one around. Summit's pool deck area is OK but as someone mentioned, the chairs on Decks 11 and12 are in need of replacing. the thalassotherapy pool on Summit is nice, but old looking.

 

So anyone going on Summit, don't worry, you will have a marvelous time, but if you have been mostly on Royal Caribbean before, you might find that the Summit ship itself does not compare favorably, although the cruise experience is still wonderful. I might try Solstice class in the future, although I liked the smaller ship.

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We have just returned today from our cruise on Summit, calling at Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, St Maarten and St Thomas; we had a wonderful time. We were in Aqua class cabin 1109 (port) , although the balcony overhang is less than deck 9 it is perfectly adequate for shade and there is NO noise from above. We loved our cabin and had great views of the sky and sea. Also no problem with temperature control in the room. The bed was super comfortable.

 

This was what we really loved about the cruise: BLU, amazing food and great ambiance; quiet atmosphere on the ship with very few announcements and no hard sell of drinks, photographs; talks by crew .. star gazing with navigation officer was great. He turned the bow lights out and the dark sky was filled with stars ---- galley tour ----- engineering officer talk, could have visited the engine room if we had asked at guest relations; early morning breakfast outside in Oceanview cafe; Crewners a Capella group wonderful; excursions on all the islands were well done and worth the money.

 

BUT....this is why I will probably opt for Royal Caribbean Radiance Class in the future: ships are about the same size and RCI ships are more visually pleasing inside and out. I missed the glass and great views from lounges. Summit lacked the evening atmosphere of being able to listen to a good pianist or singer, the Summit was pretty quiet at night, I am not a party person, but there was no one around. Summit's pool deck area is OK but as someone mentioned, the chairs on Decks 11 and12 are in need of replacing. the thalassotherapy pool on Summit is nice, but old looking.

 

So anyone going on Summit, don't worry, you will have a marvelous time, but if you have been mostly on Royal Caribbean before, you might find that the Summit ship itself does not compare favorably, although the cruise experience is still wonderful. I might try Solstice class in the future, although I liked the smaller ship.

 

Just got off the Summitt this morning as well and my only other cruise was on the Radiance of the Seas and I agree completely with the OP. However just because of our experiences in Blu and the exceptional service we recieved in adjusting menu items for for my wife's dietary allergies, we am inclined to go Celebrity and Blu again. and not just for the food and presentation but the whole ambiance, really fabulous. I always wondered how people could rave about the waiters they had, but I get it now. It really depends on what you value the most. We were so busy with the five islands that we never sat by the pool. Ww were disappointed in how dead Karaoke was and the shows were ehhh. Will probably try an S class for Alaska or Med in the future.

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star gazing with navigation officer was great. He turned the bow lights out and the dark sky was filled with stars.

 

How did this work? Did you have to sign up? Did they go out on the bow ? That area is usually closed off on X. I do amateur astronomy and would love to partake of this. This is my favorite perk of RC ships; you can go out onto the darkened bow.

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BUT....this is why I will probably opt for Royal Caribbean Radiance Class in the future: ships are about the same size and RCI ships are more visually pleasing inside and out. I missed the glass and great views from lounges. Summit lacked the evening atmosphere of being able to listen to a good pianist or singer, the Summit was pretty quiet at night, I am not a party person, but there was no one around. Summit's pool deck area is OK but as someone mentioned, the chairs on Decks 11 and12 are in need of replacing. the thalassotherapy pool on Summit is nice, but old looking.

.

Thanks of the review!

This is one of the reasons that I no longer want to sail on the older M class ships. They are all over 10 years old.

You will like the Solstice ships a lot better, they are more modern and visually appealing.

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We too found the Summit to be like a ghost ship after 10pm but thought it was because of the itinerary - New England and Canada. Recently went on Constellation out of Miami on three short cruises and what a difference:D all bars were lively and there was lots going on everywhere - great atmosphere. First time we have done a short cruise - well they totalled 14 days - but we really had a great time.

Booked on eclipse and Solstice this year - Transatlantic and Transpacific - so hoping we are with lively groups. Certainly looking at our Forums we will meet some great characters.:p

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Thank you for your clear review on the Summit. I am sailing on the Summit with my wife and daughter this coming summer. I've been a little concerned about some of the negative reviews, as well as the fact that the Summit is not a "WOW" ship like so many that have been introduced over the last 10 years-especially with RCI. But when I go on a cruise, my primary goals are to spend quality family time and to relax (and hopefully have some good meals). It sounds like the Summit will do just that. Thanks again.

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Thanks of the review!

This is one of the reasons that I no longer want to sail on the older M class ships. They are all over 10 years old.

You will like the Solstice ships a lot better, they are more modern and visually appealing.

 

Just as two RCI cruisers who have both experienced Radiance class and M-Class have decided to go different ways, we have sailed many times on the new Solstice Class and still prefer to sail on the older ships.

 

The Rendezvous Lounge on M-class provide seating for those who wish to listen to music and even dance. Solstice class provides standing room only, but overlooking a stunning vista if you wish to listen to the dance/party band.

 

We prefer the comfort of a practical design more than the visual impact of S-Class.

 

I'm just glad that we can all enjoy what we prefer.

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How did this work? Did you have to sign up? Did they go out on the bow ? That area is usually closed off on X. I do amateur astronomy and would love to partake of this. This is my favorite perk of RC ships; you can go out onto the darkened bow.

 

The star gazing is listed in the daily cruise paper and is held on deck 12 at the front. The first time it was cancelled, too cloudy, they rescheduled for the last night. We were there at 8:15 and he called the bridge to turn off the lights and the sky lit up. He showed us a few stars, using a powerful flashlight to point us in the right direction. Then he explained star charts and the use of the sextant. We were there for 30 minutes and in that time the sky clouded over. The moon was only 2 days into its cycle so just a slither .... If you are cruising when it is a full moon not sure how many stars will be obscured by the light.

 

They only opened the Helipad on one occasion ... Sail away from St Lucia I think. We always go to the helipad on RCI ships so I missed that, I also missed a full walk-around promenade deck.

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Thanks for your review & glad that you enjoyed your cruise. It's great to have so many choices when it comes to ships when deciding on a cruise.

 

I am curious how you found disembarkation, & the wait times for custom in San Juan. There have been reports of mojor delays in FLL, & I am wondering how it is in San Juan, since we have an early flight (10:45) when returning on March 30th.

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Thanks for your review & glad that you enjoyed your cruise. It's great to have so many choices when it comes to ships when deciding on a cruise.

 

I am curious how you found disembarkation, & the wait times for custom in San Juan. There have been reports of mojor delays in FLL, & I am wondering how it is in San Juan, since we have an early flight (10:45) when returning on March 30th.

 

This was the easiest disembarkation we had ever had. We were told to be in a lounge for 7:40 we got there at that time and they had already called our number GREEN 3 we had a 12:20 flight. We were off the ship in seconds, the luggage hall was well organized, I always use a porter because they seem to be acknowledged quicker by officials and taxi drivers, we were In a taxi at 8:00 and at the airport at 8: 20 it was amazing. We went from San Juan about 9 years ago and it was chaos, not now. The taxis are in a long line waiting for you. We could have made a 10:45 flight easily.... But of course you have to hope that the ship is cleared early as ours was. We also flew Jet Blue which has its own terminal which is large and well staffed, no lines to speak of for us.

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Thanks so much for your reply. We usually book a flight for noon or 1pm, but the airfare for those time was ridiculous for those flights due to spring break, so we opted for the earlier, cheaper flight!

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I was on the same cruise. It was my first Celebrity cruise, and overall I thought it was a pretty good one. I was laughing when I got to the part in your comments about the loungers on the upper decks. Those things look like they haven't been replaced in 50 years. It's kind of funny - much of the ship is beautiful, but then you go upstairs and see those ugly things! I know they're just loungers, and as long as no straps are missing, they serve their purpose - but ICK...

 

I really didn't care about the nightlife, as I'm an older person and often just go back to the cabin after dinner to be by myself. I really didn't need to hear that guy in the cowboy hat sing the same songs over and over and over again...

 

To the person who asked about disembarkation: We had a 12:11 flight from San Juan. Celebrity assigned us a 7:30 departure time, and it came as promised. It was really quick getting off the ship, finding our bag, going through U.S. Immigration/Customs, and getting a cab. Traffic was light at that time of the morning (yesterday - early Sat. morning from Pan American pier) and ride took maybe 15 minutes. We were charged $23 for the ride plus 4 bags, which included carryons but NOT my purse. We immediately went to the Agriculture Inspection x-ray machines located right inside the airport doors (and there are signs, too) and that took 5 minutes. Then we went to Air Tran, checked our bag, and asked for a wheelchair. That process took about 10 or 15 minutes and off we went to security. There were about 15 people in line for security at the Air Tran terminal, and it went fairly quickly. We got priority since my husband was in a wheelchair. We probably waited 5 minutes as opposed to the other 15 people - but lines were NOT long. We were put through the x-ray type scanner and that was quick as well. Wheelchair guy was walking pretty fast, so I had to walk fast to keep up, and I'm guessing it took 10 minutes to get to gate 29. The whole process from leaving the ship to getting to our gate took about an hour, but as I said, we were there early on a Saturday.

 

I don't know how sequestration has affected security or immigration/customs at the San Juan or Washington National airports, but things did not seem bad at all, and we were really happy about how quickly we were ready to board our plane - almost 4 hours early (ugh!!) The whole thing was painless and quick. As others have said, make sure you stop for the Ag x-ray BEFORE going to your airline counter. I DID print boarding passes the night before. Celebrity advertised a $19.95 special for 45 minutes of internet usage including boarding pass print-out, but when I asked for it, I was told it was a mistake. The guy running the internet cafe took pity on me and let me print the passes without charge, however. If you're flying on a nickel and dime carrier like Air Tran, take your credit card to print your passes, as they won't let you pick a seat and print your pass until you pay the $25 bag fee! In reality, however, having those boarding passes printed only saved us maybe a whole 5 minutes, as you still have to wait for the lone attendant to take your bag from you to check. It was NOT crowded at Air Tran at 8 in the morning!!

 

Enjoy the cruise; we certainly did!

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Roothy123 you made me smile too, the guitarist in the cowboy hat was full of himself wasn't he? I think you would have enjoyed the 4 young men A Capella group, terrific harmonies and very pleasant. Their performance on the last night when they sang with the band instead of a Capella was great. Highly recommend catching their performances.

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We as well were on same cruise.

 

The Crewners were a lot of fun - their between song banter as good as or better than the singing ... my wife and I went to see them most times they were in the Dailies ... But some of their shows were just crazy short - 4 songs ?!?! There was also a piano player / vocalist (Johnny Hollywood ? Maybe ?) who I ran into in a couple of lounges now and then - he was quite good. Xtasea (the ships party band) were very versatile. We thought the irony of the Crewners singing a Jackson-5 song followed by Xtasea singing an ABBA song was worth a chuckle. The guitarist with the cowboy hat and the Latin beat ... Meh. Entertainment highlight of the cruise was the Dancing with the Stripes - there was a youth center "officer" who danced with a Canuck - they were comedy gold and stole the show - and she could dance too !

 

This was our 2nd time on X (1st time 16 yrs ago on Century) - recent cruises have been Crown Princess and RCI Brilliance and Navigator. We liked the ship - the scale was nice and it never felt crowded (except perhaps Oceanview Cafe on the first port morning). We started doing MDR breakfasts and that was much better.

 

As others have alluded, the ship always felt "half empty" - we never had a hard time finding a seat in a lounge or even by the pool. I REALLY liked this - on Crown you felt like you had to rush to things to get a seat.

 

Was surprised how early they shutdown all the pools and hot-tubs - the upper deck was a ghost town by 9PM - but that did make for some nice peace and quiet for a walk in the open air.

 

We enjoyed Qsine so much we went back 2nd time on last night. Enjoyed Normandie as well but a completely different experience. All the food on board was, in our opinion, a notch above Princess which we thought was pretty good 1.5 yrs ago. Bistro on 5 crêpes were very nice - did that twice as well. MDR (& Normandie) meat was perfectly cooked to our request - we definitely did not get that on Crown.

 

Enjoyed a very nice limited edition beer in Michaels club - the waiter was very friendly as well. Martini bar was a great place for a pre-dinner drink - did that most nights.

 

We had the premium drink pkg (123 promo with the add on) and never had an issue with service. So for those of you worried about that, I don't think it's an issue. I asked one bartender if he could print a slip so I could offer a tip - but he said he was not allowed to do that with the pkgs - so I quietly left some cash under the empty glass - hope that was OK to do).

 

Weird thing for us was even after 6 days on the ship we were still having hard time getting our bearings on ship (kept heading off in the wrong direction down hallways, etc). We never had that problem on prev ships.

 

We choose our cruises primarily based on itinerary so our next cruise will probably be Pacific Princess in August but we would not hesitate to sail Summit again in the future. We really enjoyed our week in the sun.

 

Insider tip for Summit - the public smoking areas are all on Port side - so if smoke really annoys you and you want a balcony, choose one on the Starboard side. It was never too bad for us, but we did smell it now and then from our port side balcony.

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We also just got off the Summit. We had no complaints about the entertainment - I do agree that the loungers on the top decks need replacing. My first complaint from the cruise was the 7:45 muster drill time interferes with dinner - if you eat early it's rushed and if you eat after muster then you miss sail away.

 

My other complaint was the oceanview cafe. I hated the layout. Celebrity also needs to decide whether this is a self serve buffet or one where they serve you. For example, at the salad bar you could get your own lettuce but most of the toppings were set up in such a way that you needed the staff to serve them to you. Croutons were kept behind the counter so you needed to ask the staff them but toppings like dried fruit and seeds weren't. Most hot items were served by the staff (At each station they would give you a separate plate - I tried asking them to just put the item on the plate I had but it was pointless). They would often have one staff member working two stations which just created a really long, slow moving line. On more than one occasion there was nobody around to serve the pizza and the tongs were positioned so that it was hard to serve yourself.

 

The food in the main dining room was very good. We had no complaints about the service or the food quality. We chose select dining and on most nights could get a table for 2 within a few minutes. We tried Qsine once as well as Bistro on 5 - both were excellent.

 

This was our first time on an M class ship (our other cruise with X was on the Solstice) and we would book the Summit again. We've also cruised on the RCI Radiance class ships but Celebrity's no smoking policy, the food and fewer children are what attracts us to X.

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' The loungers on the top decks need replacing.' :eek: Numerous complaints involving these lounges.....I wonder if anybody complained to Celebrity, and if they did complain what was their reponse?

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So glad to hear about all these good reviews about the Summit!! Sailing on her in August!

 

Icky loungers don't bother me, I'm not a lay out in the sun type of person, but I'm surprised Celeb hasn't replaced them yet...I mean, how expensive can that be in the grand scheme of keeping your ship looking nice??

 

Thank you, acadian_dad, about the tip about all the public smoking areas being Port-side. If I ever do switch to a balcony, I will remember to keep it starboard!

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' The loungers on the top decks need replacing.' :eek: Numerous complaints involving these lounges.....I wonder if anybody complained to Celebrity, and if they did complain what was their reponse?

 

You know, I did not think about writing this on my comment card. I hope someone else did.

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Do they have any of those amazing padded loungers like they did on the Silhouette on board or are they all the chinzy strapped ones? What about the pool towels? Are they self serve? Really liked that availability. Thinking of booking the summit for December

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Do they have any of those amazing padded loungers like they did on the Silhouette on board or are they all the chinzy strapped ones? What about the pool towels? Are they self serve? Really liked that availability. Thinking of booking the summit for December

 

On deck 11 they are the strapped ones. On deck 10 around the pool they have a blue padding on top of the straps for a little more comfort.

The towels are self serve and available all over deck 10 by the pool, T-pool and in the Persian Gardens as well.

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