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vplsh

Fantastic Summit Cruise- March 23-30

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My husband and I cruised on the Summit and had an exceptional time! Some info about us- we are in our early fifties and have cruised 20 times in the past 7 years. We are elite cruisers with Celebrity, having achieved Diamond status on RC and jumped over to Celebrity as soon as we could! We love cruising and enjoy great service, which we definitely received on this trip.

We arrived in San Juan the night before the cruise and stayed at the Marriott Resort using rewards points. The hotel is nice, but the room was tiny and musty smelling. And everything there is super-expensive. We live in the NYC area and are used to paying high prices, but $63 for 2 drinks and 2 appetizers seemed a bit high to us! But we were in warm Puerto Rico and not cold, dreary NJ, so we were fine!

Saturday morning we walked around the area for a while, stopping to take pictures and have Starbucks before getting to the ship. We arrived at the pier ($20 cab ride) at around 11:30 and were having lunch at the Oceanview Café before noon! This was truly the easiest embarkation we have ever had! The longest part was getting our pictures taken for our seapass cards! But being greeted with champagne certainly made us happy!

We headed up to the buffet and were the first at the Panini station at the back. The sandwiches were very good and fresh (I had chicken salad, which was delicious) and the service quick. We headed out to the Sunset Bar to eat and then walked around the ship for a while before the cabins were available. This occurred at around 1PM, and we headed to our Aqua Class cabin 1138 to check out our balcony!

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We then went back down to the Sunset Bar and waited around for our CC meet and greet, which we had set on our role call for 4:30. Several of our friends from other cruises were already there and we enjoyed the next couple of hours together. We met lots of great people on this cruise, all thanks to cruise critic!

Just a note- we did not get the beverage package on this cruise. While others had been able to have it added to their cruise, our cabin price had skyrocketed since we booked and it wasn’t worth changing to add the ‘free’ beverage package. This stopped me from drinking too much (a good thing!). Since this was such a port intensive itinerary, we didn’t feel it was worth paying extra for the package, and this turned out to be a good decision, as we didn’t spend nearly as much as the package would have cost us. We did go to the Elite happy hour each night (5-7PM in Michael’s Pub) and Steve enjoyed a few gin martinis before dinner. I think this made it really easy not to have the package, as on our previous cruises we’ve spent pre-dinner time at the Martini Bar.

Since there was no Elite Happy Hour the first night, we did head to the Martini bar prior to muster. We were rather unimpressed with the bartenders there, having experienced great mixologists on Eclipse last year. We didn’t spend much more time there throughout the week, so I don’t know if they really improved or not. We stayed at the Martini Bar until the Muster drill was called at 7:45. While I understand the reason for a 7:45PM muster drill, it really is inconvenient. But safety is important, and we headed to our muster station in the Rendez Vous lounge when the drill was called. This was the first time we would meet our Captain’s Club Hostess, TiAnn. She knew our names when we gave our cabin number! Very impressive! And she continued to impress us throughout the week!

After muster we headed to Blu for dinner. We loved Blu on Eclipse and recent reviews of it on Summit had me warning Steve that it may not be the same experience. And, unfortunately, it was not. On Eclipse Blu is another specialty restaurant. On Summit, it is a nicer version of the main dining room. Service and food were certainly good, but it wasn’t the special dining experience we had come to love on Eclipse. If we hadn’t had that experience (and several of our CC friends had not) we would surely have loved it.

 

We went to the welcome aboard show after dinner, which we really enjoyed. The dancers on board are really great, and it was fun watching them. Singers are subjective, and these were ok. The band, on the other hand, was fabulous! They sounded great at this first show and continued throughout the week!

 

Sunday was our one and only sea day. We went to breakfast in Blu, then to our CC meet and greet in the Revelations lounge. A lot more people signed up that showed up, but it was a nice opportunity to meet some new people. Perhaps having it at the same time as the brunch in the MDR isn't the best idea, but with only one sea day there aren't a lot of other opportunities to hold it. Later that day we went to the Celebrity Life activity Beyond the Podium. The speaker was great- talked about fish found in the Caribbean. Since Steve planned to dive in 2 ports, this was a very informative talk and he actually saw some of the fish talked about!

 

This was also the first formal night of the cruise and we had been invited to dine at the Captain's Table hosted by the chief engineer. We met the group, along with TiAnn, in Cellarmasters, where we were treated to champagne and appetizers before meeting our host and heading to the MDR. Each of us had an assigned seat and we sat down and started to talk. There were only 7 of us, so it was rather intimate. The meal was very good- we ordered off the menu- and included cherries jubilee for dessert. We spent so much time there that we were politely asked to leave so they could clean and set up for the late seating! Everyone got a picture of the table the next morning!

 

Next up- Barbados

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Edited by vplsh

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Did your balcony have footstools?

 

Yes, one with each chair. You can just barely make them out in the picture. LOL!

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First stop, Barbados!

 

Although we have done the Southern Caribbean several times, we've never been to Barbados, Antigua or St. Lucia. In Barbados we reserved an off-road Segway tour with Segway of Barbados. We were met outside the dock area by Jason, the owner of the company. We had chosen a private tour, so it was just the two of us and he drove us across the island to our tour area. Along the way he gave us a little history of the island. When we arrived at the tour area, we paid and got our helmets and a brief check that we knew what we were doing on the segways (we had ridden them several times before). We then went on a great tour of the area, complete with picture stops. When we were done, we got a drink of very strong rum punch and Jason drove us back to town, where we walked around Bridgetown for a while before heading back to the ship. I would highly recommend booking this tour if you are interested in seeing a different side of Barbados.

 

Here are a few pictures!

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We had booked a diving/day pass at Ti Kaye Resort in St. Lucia. The resort provides boat transportation from right outside the dock and we met up with Robert and another couple who were doing the same thing we were. A half hour later a group of 17 showed up and we were on our way.

The boat ride took about a half hour and when we arrived at the resort, we were shown to an area on the beach to relax. The resort is lovely- only room for about 60 people and a private beach and beautiful spa. Robert brought us to an area far away from the 17 (there were lots of kids and they were rather rowdy) and then came back to take us up to the spa. I hadn't booked a treatment, but went along to see it anyway. Up lots of steps into the mountain we went. What beautiful views!

 

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When the husbands came back from diving we all had a nice lunch, which was included, and enjoyed a couple of hours sitting on the beach relaxing. We returned to the ship in plenty of time to relax before sailaway. It was a lovely day!

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We arrived in Antigua and were told it may rain. Since we were going to be riding Segways again, we didn't bring our umbrellas! We met up with our group and headed to the beach where we learned to ride and then headed out for our tour of the area. Unfortunately it started to rain rather heavily when we were at the fort and we had to don ponchos (thank goodness our guide was prepared!) and head back to the beach area in the rain. We took a cab back to the port and had a nice lunch at Bistro on 5.

 

That night we had reserved the Wine Connoisseur dinner, which takes place in Murano's. We met the rest of the people who had reserved in Cellarmasters and were treated to Champagne and canapes before heading down to Murano's. They had 3 tables set up and we sat with some CC friends at a table for 8. Wow! What a great dining experience!!! Each course was paired with a different wine, which was served in Reidel glasses. And they were full glasses, which were refilled if you drank half of the glass! You had your choice of 2 items in each course and could taste both wines if you wanted to. We really enjoyed the food and wine. The evening was wonderful and lasted until someone looked at their watch and saw it was close to midnight! (We had met at 7:30!). It was well worth the $110 per person price tag for sure!!

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Okay, so this is wierd, we were on the Summit in November and don't remember there being a Murano's. Has something new been added?

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I like reading about your trip as much as I liked hearing about it. I'm glad you decided to sail her again for your birthday, although now that you'll be home, for the first time in years, on your ACTUAL birthday, we might have to go out right before you sail.

 

Love you Sissy!!!!!

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Okay, so this is wierd, we were on the Summit in November and don't remember there being a Murano's. Has something new been added?

 

Sorry! You're right! It was Normandy!! Don't know why I made that mistake!!!

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Next stop was St. Maarten, where a whole group of us from the role call were booked on a catamaran cruise. We all met at Cafe al Bacio and got off the ship together, walking to where we were told to meet the catamaran. What a great day!! Food, friends, sun, surf and lots of drinks!!!

 

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The last stop was St. Thomas. I had a hard time getting out of bed that morning- told hubby that next time we really need to plan later excursions! LOL! He was booked to scuba dive at Coki Beach and I planned to hang out on the beach. We had to take a cab there- we weren't sure where to go to get one and just kept walking until we found the taxi stand. They put us and another couple into the cab and we headed off. The other couple was going to a different location and they dropped them off first before taking us to Coki. We got Steve set up to dive first, then I headed down to the beach to get a chair. Lounges are $10 and umbrellas $15, and someone comes up to you to see what you want. I chose a chair under a tree and enjoyed sitting and looking at the water for a while. Here's the view from my chair:

 

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I really enjoyed it until it started to rain. For a while I was ok under the tree, but it really became heavy so I got an umbrella. It rained for a while- Steve came over after his first dive and said he had been surprised when he came out of the water and it was raining! It continued raining for quite a while but had stopped before he got out the second time. I was ready to go back to the ship, so we headed on one of the trolleys back to the dock area. Here's the view during the rain!

 

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I'm sure I'd have enjoyed it more if the weather had cooperated, but I decided next time he can dive and I'll stay on the ship for the morning!!

 

We headed back to the ship for lunch, then got off and walked around the dock area for a while before getting back on for sailaway.

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Steve and I both agreed that this was definitely one of the best cruises we have been on. The crew was excellent, the ports exciting, and the friends wonderful!

 

We liked it so much that we booked Summit for Bermuda in July and again out of San Juan in December!

 

Did we miss the beverage package? I think what we missed was hanging out at the Martini Bar every night before dinner. We ended up going to the Elite Happy Hour every night in Michael's rather than buy drinks at the bar. We enjoyed that experience a lot, but it was quieter and people tended to stay with their own groups rather than meet new people. Most people had the beverage package through the promotion, it seemed, so there was much more going on there. We do have it for our next 2 cruises, so I'll compare when we get back.

 

I cannot say enough about Ti Anne, the Captain's Club hostess. She truly enhanced the trip for us, inviting us to sit at the Captain's table one night and always stopping by and chatting with us at the happy hour. She is a gem, and I hope she is still on Summit in July when we sail again.

 

Please feel free to ask any questions about the ship and the itinerary.

 

Lisa

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We had booked a diving/day pass at Ti Kaye Resort in St. Lucia. The resort provides boat transportation from right outside the dock and we met up with Robert and another couple who were doing the same thing we were. A half hour later a group of 17 showed up and we were on our way.

The boat ride took about a half hour and when we arrived at the resort, we were shown to an area on the beach to relax. The resort is lovely- only room for about 60 people and a private beach and beautiful spa. Robert brought us to an area far away from the 17 (there were lots of kids and they were rather rowdy) and then came back to take us up to the spa. I hadn't booked a treatment, but went along to see it anyway. Up lots of steps into the mountain we went. What beautiful views!

 

Summit2013065_zps113caab6.jpg

 

Summit2013069_zps10aba722.jpg

 

When the husbands came back from diving we all had a nice lunch, which was included, and enjoyed a couple of hours sitting on the beach relaxing. We returned to the ship in plenty of time to relax before sailaway. It was a lovely day!

 

We stayed at this resort before it became well known for a whole week back in 2006. It was absolutely wonderful!

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Thanks for your review! Makes me look forward even more to the December sailing out of San Juan.

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