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Celebrity Summit Review November 2nd-9th Southern Caribbean


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It’s much harder than I expected to write a cruise review. I read so many before I left, and I planned on writing a thorough review with pictures of everything on the ship. The kind of review I loved and vicariously lived through in the months leading up to mine. I kept a detailed log of the first part of my trip, but something happened when I stepped on the ship. My OCD slipped away and I just couldn’t care less about documenting every second. I brought highlighters, but I barely used them to highlight the interesting activities on the dailies. Instead I enjoyed myself and relaxed. I do however, feel a sense of civic duty towards Cruise Critic, so I will do my best to report my experiences.

 

Day 1 We boarded in Puerto Rico on November 2nd, 2013. We’d spent 4 days in Texas, followed by 3 lovely days in Puerto Rico (bioluminescent bay in Vieques, rainforest, Salsa dancing in Old San Juan) but I was most looking forward to our time on the Celebrity Summit. We boarded around 2-3pm, and there was no wait whatsoever. We literally walked to the area to check our luggage, went through security, and then up to check in with no one in front of us the entire time. Once on the ship we were handed champagne or a mimosa. I should note at this time that I was in a group of 15 people. We were almost never at the same place at the same time, but we definitely created our own entertainment wherever we went.

 

Immediately after boarding I had a taste of why Celebrity is so wonderful. My boyfriend and myself headed directly to our room because I wanted to drop off my carry on bag and see if there was a way to fix my shoe. It had been coming apart throughout the day and it was putting me in a bad mood. They were brand new (Ralph Lauren) and I was planning on wearing them the majority of the cruise. I called guest services about tracking down some super glue, and they told me my room attendant would look into it. Our attendant (Francisco) came by and I asked him about glue, about clearing out our fridge of mini bar items, and I asked him to open the connecting door between our room (6094) and one of the couples we were traveling with (6096). He took the shoe with him and brought it back completely fixed in less than an hour and took care of everything else while we were at dinner. He was wonderfully helpful without being obtrusive the entire time.

 

At dinner we met our waiter for the week, Nelson. He and his assistant were friendly, prompt and knowledgeable. We had the premium beverage package, and based on previous reviews I was worried that wine service would be slow. We found the sommelier to be very attentive, and we never waited long for wine. After dinner we watched part of the sail away party, played a quick round of trivia and at Michael’s followed by drinks, and then I went to bed fairly early.

 

I will refrain from editorializing too much until the end. The following is a quick summary of what we did each day:

 

Day 2- Sunday: I was up incredibly early as always, so I used the chance to lay by the pool and read. We all met up for the buffet brunch in the main dining room. It was beautiful, but the food wasn’t anything spectacular. We then parted ways with plans to meet up at the galley tour in the afternoon. We enjoyed some cocktails by the pool, and I went back to the room for a nap. I ended up skipping the galley tour. This was our first formal night, so I spent much longer getting ready than normal, and then had a drink at the martini bar before dinner. After dinner some of our group went to the show, and some of us hung out and then met for cigars and brandy at the Sunset bar.

 

Monday: Barbados was the only ship sponsored excursion we went on. We did the “Snorkel with turtles, shipwreck, and beach break.” I absolutely hate snorkeling with a large group of people (there were at least 30) and the first spot with turtles left us all crowded together kicking each other in the faces while looking at turtles. The second stop for the shipwrecks we were able to spread out a little more and actually enjoy the beautiful clear blue water with schools of fish and cool shipwrecks. The final stop was a lovely beach, with us being the only group there. Throughout the trip the guides were accommodating and very liberal with the rum punch and other beverages. Overall it was a pretty good trip, and worth the $73.00 per person. After the tour a few of us walked into the town of Bridgetown to explore a little and have a local lunch.

 

Tuesday: Some of us went on the Cosol Tour in St. Lucia. Even with our reduced numbers, we had 11 people so we had a van to ourselves. If you want to see and do a lot in one day, this is definitely the tour for you. They take you around the Island with lots of stops for pictures, food and beverages. We went to a banana plantation, had a mini buffet of local food, went to the volcano (a few in our group did a mud bath) then a water taxi to a beautiful remote beach with the Pitons in the background, then a waterfall, followed by a last stop for hot local bread with cheese to eat before passing out on the trip back. St. Lucia was beautiful, but it had very aggressive people hawking souvenirs at many of the places we stopped.

 

Wednesday: Some of the group went on a Segway tour in Antigua, but my plan was to relax on the beach. The boyfriend and I took a cab to Valley Church ($5.00 each) and had a very lazy day. There are public restrooms, and a decent bar/restaurant with Wifi so I could brag on Facebook. The sand was soft, the water was clear, and the whole place felt like what your fantasy of the Caribbean would be. I was worried it would be crowded, and it was a bit by the restaurant, but further down the beach people were spaced out better. If you are looking for a beach to spend the day at, I think you could hardly do better.

 

Thursday: Again, the larger group planned an excursion (bike tours) but we wanted the day to explore the island and relax. We took a taxi to Grande Case, being foodies, and having heard it was one of the great places for food in the Caribbean. We walked along the beach (as it was still early) and then had some drinks and an appetizer (grilled camembert) at Love on the beach. We continued along the water to Calmos café for more drinks and lunch. The food was good, reasonably priced, and right on beach. The sand is literally at your feet, and one of the tables is even on a platform over the water.

 

Friday: Our final day (St Thomas) we had arranged to go on a sailing trip with Simplicity Charters. They met us at Red Hook in St Thomas, and took us around St John (the less inhabited Island with lots of great snorkeling.) Simplicity was flat out amazing. They were incredibly knowledgeable and accommodating. There were a total of 6 passengers so we got lots of personal attention. They served drinks all day, and a really good lunch. We went to several snorkel sites and saw a huge variety of sea life. The snorkeling around St. John was by far the best of the trip, and Simplicity was by far the best run tour we went on.

 

Review portion:

 

Food:

 

Main dining room: The food on Celebrity was good, which is incredible considering how many people they are feeding at once. Very little was outstanding, but you honestly can’t expect that for what you pay for. There were plenty of good options every night, and they were very good about getting our requests correct and cooked to order. We had all but one dinner in the main dining room.

 

Qsine: We ate at Qsine one night, and it was definitely fun (especially with 15 people.) We were able to a good percentage of the menu, but very little stood out to me. My favorite item was probably the chocolate tombstone for dessert. In particular, I remember the painter’s filet mignon was way overcooked, and while I didn’t get a sushi lollypop, my friends were not impressed (to be fair we come from a city with great sushi.) I’m glad I did it once, but I don’t know that I’d feel the need to do it again. Maybe with a smaller group I’d be able to choose more of what I actually wanted.

 

Room service: We ordered room service breakfast one day, and a few other items throughout the trip. The breakfast was decent, and the fries were pretty good, but I didn’t really enjoy the sandwich or cheesecake I tried.

 

Buffet: We only went to the buffet the first day upon boarding, and one day for breakfast. I thought the choices were pretty good, you just had to keep exploring. The first day I was the only person to find the Panini station at the end of the buffet which I enjoyed. I’m not a fan of buffets but it seemed more than adequate to me.

 

Other: To my dismay I didn’t get to try the grill at the pool, Bistro on 5, or the gelato place. We had a pretty busy itinerary and I didn’t “accomplish” nearly as many things as I was expecting. I would have loved another day or two at sea.

 

Drinks:

 

Having the drink package was awesome. I loved trying new wines by the glass at dinner, and drinks throughout the ship. We got the classic package free when we booked, and upgraded to premium. Our friend who stuck with classic had a harder time getting wines with dinner, or the cocktails he wanted. The martini bar in particular was always busy and had great servers. I loved their version of a French 75. We had good, fast service in general. The one exception was the Rendez Vous lounge. We would often stop by for a drink before dinner, and the servers there were very slow and they always seemed annoyed to have customers. Whether we were alone or with our big group of people, the service there was consistently bad. I kept trying to make them like me by being extra polite and leaving additional tips (throughout the cruise I would throw in an extra dollar or two to our bartenders) but they just tolerated all their customers. Even during karaoke on the last night when we all sang, there was not a smile to be had from the bartenders.

 

The ship overall:

 

Again, having read many reviews I was concerned that the ship would not be in good condition. I thought it was lovely, and very well preserved. Our room was very clean and our attendant was perfect. The common areas were also clean and luxurious looking. I wasn’t on the lookout for warn areas of carpeting or rust but I didn’t notice it either. I would have happily spent another week or two on the ship. In particular I loved that it really never felt crowded. It was hard to believe there were several thousand people on it. I wish their hot tubs and pools stayed open later though! They were all shut down at 8-9pm, and by the time we got back from our excursions, and went to dinner, there was no time to enjoy them.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions. I can’t promise I noticed everything!

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Hey, thank you so much for the review - I enjoyed reading.

My cousin and me will do this cruise in April 2014, so your review is a big help to me!

As far as I understand, the excrursion at Barbados was organized by Celebrity Cruises - do you know whether there are also local operators doing a snorkel trip?

The Cosol Tour in St. Lucia: Which operator offers it?

 

When reading your review I got the impression that you liked CELEBRITY SUMMIT, you think she was in a good shape?

We have been on that ship in April 2013 and we loved it - so hopefully in 2014 the ship will be that beautiful and lovely again! or even better! :)

 

Do you also have some pictures?

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Celebrity_fan:

 

I originally looked into Calabeza (a sailing company that does snorkel tours) because they were highly rated. They only had a few spots left though, and several friends wanted to do the Celebrity tour

 

Cosol Tours is the name of the company on St. Lucia

You will find it easily by googling, or looking on TripAdvisor.

 

Yes, I thought the ship was in great condition. I'm sure if you were looking for it you could find little things wrong, but overall I thought it was clean and elegant.

 

I will post a few pictures that may be of interest. If there is anything in particular you want to see let me know. (I didn't take any pictures of the main dining room menu, our waiter always took our order before I could even think to do it.)

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I'm afraid the pictures won't look great because I had to resize them to be small enough for Cruisecritic to let me upload

 

1. The room service menu.

2. A view of our balcony stateroom

3. A view of the dining room from our table

4. An appetizer from the first night with beets and goat cheese (I believe)

5. Valley Church Beach in Antigua

651137421_Roomservicemenutiny.jpg.376f1c24c13adaed1ba1f5cc7df9d169.jpg

2113526506_Stateroomtiny.jpg.71574a4c8681199be710e4ecf2694d07.jpg

828334928_Diningroomtiny.jpg.e8f3e557ec6e065995ee0d175b6cb809.jpg

724849027_beetappetizermaindiningroomtiny.jpg.4c50ce513ac78a34b8b2fd48c1ce9119.jpg

1059301260_Valleychurchenhancedtiny.jpg.82230994767715533007b4e8527f175d.jpg

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1. Beach we went to on the Turtle, Snorkel beach break Celebrity tour in Barbados (they didn't tell us the name)

2. View from the Love bar in Grand Case (St. Martin)

3. Sugar beach in St. Lucia (on our Cosol tour)

4. Us relaxing on the sailboat out of St Thomas. (Simplicity Charters)

727799493_Barbados(Beach)tiny.jpg.17d05dd145cf03368ad753de2a4faee3.jpg

480562690_LoveBar-St.Martintiny.jpg.4427c7e4ace2f7a3ee18d1113b7f2d04.jpg

1045481544_St.Lucia(Sugarbeach)tiny.jpg.427e313c326f37c6b1d19fa5cf529abc.jpg

1877323365_St.Thomas(Sailboat)tiny.jpg.742fb4812ad1dfb8e8d30984d695fffc.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for the review. Just started considering Summit for a Jan-Feb 2015 cruise. (as in just planted the seed in husbands head)

 

I am also disappointed that the pools close so early on Celebrity. When sailing on RCCL we would always go for a swim after dinner to get a little exercise-not sure but think the one stayed open until 11. On our first Celebrity cruise my sister and I got all ready to swim and went to pool and they were closing it at 8:30.

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Thank you so much for your review!

We are doing the same itinerary on Feb. 8th. It will be our first Celebrity cruise. And I really appreciate your excursion ideas!

 

I, too, am looking for all the tips/tricks I can learn about Summit. Any things to be sure to do/see/try on the ship? Any favorite places to hang out?

 

Thanks again!

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  • 3 weeks later...

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