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Photo Review: Celebrity Summit 2/1/14 Southern Caribbean

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Just off the Summit this weekend! I’ll start off by saying we had a fantastic cruise & Celebrity really did exceed any/all of my expectations! Returning back to the frigid temperatures in Pittsburgh and returning to work today was no fun whatsoever. During the course of my review, I’ll do my best to divulge as many details & photos as possible. I’m sure there are plenty of CC members like myself who enjoy fixating on every detail (as I did) pre-cruise. For some reason, I had a real hard time finding many photo reviews by Celebrity cruisers in general prior to my sailing – specifically regarding Summit sailings out of San Juan.

 

Below is the itinerary of our cruise:

Saturday, February 1st – San Juan

Sunday, February 2nd – St. Croix

Monday, February 3rd – St. Kitts

Tuesday, February 4th – Dominica

Wednesday, February 5th – Grenada

Thursday, February 6th – At Sea

Friday, February 7th – St. Thomas

Saturday, February 8th – San Juan

 

Background:

This was our FIRST Celebrity cruise – and my 12th cruise overall. I’m Platinum on Carnival (10 cruises) and have sailed on one NCL cruise in the past. We weren’t wild about our NCL experience, but we’ve enjoyed all of our Carnival cruises. Now, I’m sure most of those who frequent Celebrity are thinking my expectations “must” be low if I’ve enjoyed my Carnival cruises, but we’ve always utilized Carnival as an affordable means of a cruise vacation that’s allowed us to visit many of the best Caribbean islands (and Alaska). You typically won’t find us enduring any of the cheesy events that seem to give Carnival a bad name on the CC message boards (like hairy chest contest and things of similar ilk). And while we’re not always fond of many of our fellow cruisers on Carnival, we take it for what’s it worth and enjoy our vacation focusing on what we like to do at sea and try not letting anyone else spoil it for us.

 

I’m 32, traveling with my DH (40). What made me venture out of my Carnival comfort zone and decide to give Celebrity a try? Well, it was getting to the point where we’ve been to almost all the Caribbean ports that Carnival goes to, so when I saw that Celebrity offered an itinerary with two new ports for us (St. Croix and Grenada) was when I began to consider the idea. Then, the 123go promo was offered which included the classic beverage package and it was something this Carnival cruiser couldn’t pass up. The fact that it was an affordable itinerary out of San Juan that was port intensive made it a no-brainer for us.

 

Here I am (your story teller) with San Juan in the backdrop. Feel free to interject as I go if you have questions or would like further clarification on anything. Enjoy.

 

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Our flight to San Juan left Pittsburgh at 8:20am the morning of embarkation. I would have preferred to fly into San Juan a day or two earlier, but DH didn’t want to take the extra vacation days (he’s greedy with them). We had a connecting flight in Tampa. We arrived in San Juan around 3:45pm. The second leg of our flight was delayed a bit due to flights being grounded in Tampa for some reason. Luckily it only caused us to be about 30 minutes later than we were initially scheduled to land. It was relatively uneventful gathering our luggage from baggage claim.

We had planned on taking a taxi after gathering our bags as we’ve done many times in the past. We’ve found that booking the cruise line shuttle can often be more hassle than its worth in terms of having to wait for the bus to fill before leaving, then the bus needs to be fully unloaded with baggage before they let you off. Well, for a slight minute I had wished I booked the Celebrity shuttle when I saw this ridiculous line for taxis! Typically (in other ports anyways) it’s normally a free for all where you fend for yourself and hail a taxi – which quite frankly works well for us. This line was at LEAST 50 people deep – if not more! So we asked the people at the front of the line, if the lengthy line was indeed for taxis. They confirmed our suspicions and we went to the back of the line.

Luckily we were only in line for about 5 minutes before we were approached by a local if we were in need of a taxi. We told him yes, and were told to follow him. Clearly, a sketchy operation, but we followed him across a few rows of traffic – past where the official taxis were all lined up. He told us to wait there. He called someone on his cell phone. A few minute later, a woman pulled up in a clear, non-taxi vehicle. He threw our suitcases in the trunk, we hopped in the back and he sat in the passage seat. Honestly, it was very sketchy, they barely spoke any English. But, we were happy to not be standing in that line for a taxi and be making it to the port in a timely fashion. They charged us $45 for our ride to the port.

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Just off the Summit this weekend! I’ll start off by saying we had a fantastic cruise & Celebrity really did exceed any/all of my expectations! Returning back to the frigid temperatures in Pittsburgh and returning to work today was no fun whatsoever. During the course of my review, I’ll do my best to divulge as many details & photos as possible. I’m sure there are plenty of CC members like myself who enjoy fixating on every detail (as I did) pre-cruise. For some reason, I had a real hard time finding many photo reviews by Celebrity cruisers in general prior to my sailing – specifically regarding Summit sailings out of San Juan.

 

Below is the itinerary of our cruise:

Saturday, February 1st – San Juan

Sunday, February 2nd – St. Croix

Monday, February 3rd – St. Kitts

Tuesday, February 4th – Dominica

Wednesday, February 5th – Grenada

Thursday, February 6th – At Sea

Friday, February 7th – St. Thomas

Saturday, February 8th – San Juan

 

Background:

This was our FIRST Celebrity cruise – and my 12th cruise overall. I’m Platinum on Carnival (10 cruises) and have sailed on one NCL cruise in the past. We weren’t wild about our NCL experience, but we’ve enjoyed all of our Carnival cruises. Now, I’m sure most of those who frequent Celebrity are thinking my expectations “must” be low if I’ve enjoyed my Carnival cruises, but we’ve always utilized Carnival as an affordable means of a cruise vacation that’s allowed us to visit many of the best Caribbean islands (and Alaska). You typically won’t find us enduring any of the cheesy events that seem to give Carnival a bad name on the CC message boards (like hairy chest contest and things of similar ilk). And while we’re not always fond of many of our fellow cruisers on Carnival, we take it for what’s it worth and enjoy our vacation focusing on what we like to do at sea and try not letting anyone else spoil it for us.

 

I’m 32, traveling with my DH (40). What made me venture out of my Carnival comfort zone and decide to give Celebrity a try? Well, it was getting to the point where we’ve been to almost all the Caribbean ports that Carnival goes to, so when I saw that Celebrity offered an itinerary with two new ports for us (St. Croix and Grenada) was when I began to consider the idea. Then, the 123go promo was offered which included the classic beverage package and it was something this Carnival cruiser couldn’t pass up. The fact that it was an affordable itinerary out of San Juan that was port intensive made it a no-brainer for us.

 

Here I am (your story teller) with San Juan in the backdrop. Feel free to interject as I go if you have questions or would like further clarification on anything. Enjoy.

 

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Looking forward to your review. We got off the Summit on the day that you embarked. It was our first Celebrity cruise also and our 11th overall. Been on RCCL, Carnival and NCL. DH and I are in the same age range as you and could not pass up the 123Go deal.

-Kristi

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I can't wait for more! We are on this ship/itinerary next winter.

(PS--you paid way too much for your taxi in San Juan! That happened to us in 2007...but maybe worth it if you didn't have to stand in that line!) :D

 

Editing to add, we were on the same Breeze cruise last year! Small world!

Edited by jimbug

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Embarkation

Our not-so-official taxi pulled right up to the port. We dropped our suitcases with the porters. We immediately went through the security – at that time there was literally no line at all. It took only minutes. Then you could see the various lines with categories that were all empty (Aqua, Concierge, whatever else…followed by the all other decks). We were the first in line at the “other decks” line and were literally boarding the ship in minutes. No more than 5 minutes between dropping off our luggage and boarding the ship. After we were through the check in, and walking onto the ship, my DH said it best “if you can’t come early – come late!”

 

The whole process went so quickly that I was so rushed through I forgot to ask if the drink package (for the 123go promo) was showing up on our cards. As soon as we boarded by the Martini Bar, we inquired with one of the servers if our cards were showing the promo. He looked at it and said yes, showing us that our cards had “CALL” in the promo section for classic beverage package. I had remembered seeing reviews that people had stickers on their cards indicating they had the package - perhaps that was if you booked or upgraded onboard? I’m not sure.

 

This was literally our easiest/quickest embarkation yet. No doubt it’s because of the time that we arrived in port – 4:30-5pm timeframe

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Looking forward to your review. We got off the Summit on the day that you embarked. It was our first Celebrity cruise also and our 11th overall. Been on RCCL' date=' Carnival and NCL. DH and I are in the same age range as you and could not pass up the 123Go deal.

-Kristi[/quote']

 

I have a feeling the 123go promo has attracted a much younger demographic and many new Celebrity cruisers! I have another booked with my mom in April using the promo - and I also booked another next year while onboard using the promo as well (more on that later).

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I can't wait for more! We are on this ship/itinerary next winter.

(PS--you paid way too much for your taxi in San Juan! That happened to us in 2007...but maybe worth it if you didn't have to stand in that line!) :D

 

Editing to add, we were on the same Breeze cruise last year! Small world!

 

I know. I told my DH that taxi ride was supposed to be $19 plus an extra $1/per bag. Once en route to the port, we both agreed it was worth paying double to not waste time in that line - sketchy or not! lol :)

 

Wow - that is a small world! We loved the Breeze! The best IMO of all Carnival's fleet.

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Stateroom – Cabin 9001 – Ocean view

When I had called to book, the Celebrity representative told me that this room was slightly larger than the standard ocean view room. I could see from the deck plans that it appeared to be as large as the standard balcony room, but with the extra square footage of the balcony room included inside the room. The location of the room was at the very front of the ship. From what I had read on the boards before sailing, that the door to the bridge was right outside our room. We never saw anyone coming or going from that room, nor did we hear any door slamming, etc that others had reporting on this room. Also, 9000 is essentially the exact same cabin but on the other side of the ship. Others report that this room might not be good if you’re prone to seasickness (which we’re not) and didn’t experience any additional roughness to our sailing having a cabin in that location.

 

Both my DH & I agree that we LOVED this room. Having all the extra space was a huge bonus for us! We both agreed we’d take this room with the extra space over a balcony room any day. I suppose because we’re not the sort that spend any substantial amount of time sitting on the balcony when we do have one.

 

The bathroom compared to our experience with Carnival bathrooms: The shower area was larger than what we were used to, however the space where the toilet/mirror was much more condensed than what we’ve had in the past. Also, there were only shelves on one side of the mirror – compared to how carnival typically has shelves on both sides. There were cabinets underneath the sink area on the Summit though.

 

Here are a bunch of pictures of the room. We had a couch on one side of the bed, and two chairs, table & vanity on the other side of the bed. There was also a safe, mini-fridge, hairdryer in the room. There was also 2 robes that we did not use, as well as an umbrella.

 

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mini bar...

 

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Cabinets above the TV

 

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Cabinet/drawers/safe inside closet

 

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Plenty of hangers & space in closet

 

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It took about an hour before our luggage appeared outside our stateroom door. When it did, we took the time to unpack everything.

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We took some time to explore the ship before the muster drill. Here are some pics from the top deck while in San Juan.

 

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Our muster drill location was the theater. It seemed like it took forever for everyone to arrive to their destination. By the time the theater filled with people they let us go. The first night is alittle hazy as it always tends to be. These were the last two photos on my camera for the end of day 1.

 

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Up next....St. Croix

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Great review so far Heather. You did a wonderful job documenting the features of the room, I really get a sense of the extra space from your photos.

 

BTW you and your mom are on the Repo cruise with me in April, have you checked in on our roll call:)

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Lookingf orward to your review. I will be cruising Celebrity for the 1st time this fall and your review will be helpful.

Edited by Georgie562

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Great review so far Heather. You did a wonderful job documenting the features of the room, I really get a sense of the extra space from your photos.

 

BTW you and your mom are on the Repo cruise with me in April, have you checked in on our roll call:)

 

Thank you! That's awesome! I'm really looking forward to getting back on the Summit for the Repo cruise! I popped into the roll call once when I first booked. I try and focus on one cruise at a time! :)

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Thanks for posting this review. We are looking at the Summit for October, 2014. Looking forward to your review of the ports.

Also, can you share of any night life that is on the ship? This would be my first Celebrity cruise and am also looking for as much info as I can find before I book.

 

Thanks for a great summary so far!

Sheila

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Lookingf orward to your review. I will be cruising Celebrity for the 1st time this fall and your review will be helpful.

 

If you're like me, you'll LOVE it! I think I'll have a hard time booking Carnival again, unless the price difference is substantial!

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Thanks for posting this review. We are looking at the Summit for October, 2014. Looking forward to your review of the ports.

Also, can you share of any night life that is on the ship? This would be my first Celebrity cruise and am also looking for as much info as I can find before I book.

 

Thanks for a great summary so far!

Sheila

 

I was a little concerned myself about the "nightlife" onboard the ship on Celebrity compared to what we've experienced on Carnival. On Carnival, there's always something going on in the evenings and there's always alot of people all over the ship. I must admit, we didn't attend any of the "evening events" other than the Super Bowl viewing party. We didn't do any shows, comedians, music, etc in the evening hours. We found ourselves walking around the ship and having drinks, then retiring back to our cabin at a reasonable time in the evening. Several nights we were happy to just rent a movie on demand (12.95 each) in our room and go to bed early. With it being a port intensive itinerary and us having to be up early each day for excursions, we didn't find ourselves staying up late. There did seem to always be people in the martini bar or other social venues in the evening hour. It being more relaxed in the evening was less of an issue that what I initially though.

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WOW...as I look out over the snow in my yard the the thermometer reading ZERO I really look forward to seeing your pics!

 

I wonder whey they always park the ship soooo far out on the dock in St. Croix!

 

I guess the figure you need the exercise.

 

Have a great rest of the week!

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