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Honeymooners REVIEW of the SUMMIT in the S Caribbean on 22Feb in AQ AFT w DIETARY Req

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It was time to enjoy the spread that Gina had prepared. True to her word almost a year ago she had my requirements down packed. I missed out on the banana bread at the beginning of the day but this lunch certainly made up for it. It was wholesome & tasty! There was chicken, salads & rice. She had even prepared a separate salad of me which I could eat. There was also dessert & was sweet enough to organise a happy birthday tune with a candle to a fellow cruise critic member (happy birthday again!!).

After lunch we jumped & ‘bombed’ into the Barbados water to enjoy it for one last time. Pretty sure i made the bigger splash. It was cold!! But we had a lot of fun. The way back was my favourite part of this excursion, we sat on the net at the front & literally watched the world go by. It was truly spectacular. That moment is one we remember fondly. We were so lucky to have been able to experience it.

 

DH enjoying life

 

 

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The Summit awaiting us

 

 

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Somehow i haven’t made a point of it yet but it deserves a mention– the drink service – impeccable! I was drinking a ‘special’ rum punch (unbelievable!) & my empty glass was being replaced by a full one before i had even realised it was empty! It was also what was helping me warm up before lunch ;)

 

 

The afternoon has passed by way too quickly. It was time to thank Gina & her crew man for all of their help & making this day one to truly remember. (By the time I arrived home Gina had sent her recipes through on email as well as all the pictures that the crew had taken on board that day – great touch!)

 

 

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On the shuttle back we asked to be dropped in town rather than the port. We decided we would take the opportunity to have a look around. DH though it had plenty of character. I’m not sure what i was expecting, but maybe a little cleaner? We didn’t hang around for too long & easily caught a taxi back to the port.

 

 

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So a quick recap of what I initially thought Barbados would be all about & how it measured up!

 

Pristine beaches - stunning but colder than expected!

Rihanna - didn’t see her.

Turquoise water - gorgeous

Rum – Yum!

Reggae – relaxing. Set the mood perfectly.

 

 

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Next installment will be dinner at The Normandie!

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Good to have you back. I hope your mum is getting better now :) What a lovely idea to recommend a Med cruise!! You should have stipulated that you had to go with them to make sure they will be ok.. ;)

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Thanks for a great review and really enjoying the photos! We recently booked a B2B on the Summit for next March so looking to gather all the tips we can. And yes I always travel with a binder of detailed info and a spreadsheet detailing daily activities.... :rolleyes:

 

It's my pleasure to be able to share. A B2B - super lucky! - That would be amazing - I'm sure that you will have a blast! People may roll their eyes at us organised types, but we have the last laugh when we know our options :D

 

 

Don't you dare apologize, the work you're putting into this report is fantastic and picture reviews are the best!!!!!

 

Thank you very much for your kind words. I hope you enjoy the rest of it as much as you enjoyed it up until now! :)

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I'm sorry that you had a headache and didn't get to finish - we leave tonight, so I guess I'll have to read the rest when I return!

 

Thanks so much for posting what you did so far, as it was a great view of the sea day and some of the menus, and I love your style!

 

I hope that you had a great trip - I think you may have taken all of this thread's readers with you! :p

 

I'm looking forward to hearing all about your cruise when you get back! :)

 

Patiently waiting for your next update :) :)

 

Hope you are feeling better.

 

Also - maybe I missed it - but what is the brand of champagne beer? I've never heard of it, but I"ll have to try to find it on Summit in January I guess. Maybe sooner if I can find it in the grocery store here.....I bet either World of Beer or Total Wine would have it in my neck of the words.

 

brand and pic or link would be much appreciated ;)

 

Thank you for your patience -I'm feeling much better & back in full swing!

 

The beer is called 'Deus Brut des Flanders Cuvee - Biere de Champagne'

I don't have an image of the beer itself, but it is listed on the top of this menu.

 

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Let me know how you go!

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I hope that you had a great trip - I think you may have taken all of this thread's readers with you!

I'm still here and reading!:)

I agree with your impression of Bridgetown.

As we had previously taken excursions, we decided to go into Bridgetown on our own. We did however find a bar that gave away free postcards of the cricket ground, much to my husband's delight.

 

However, we were left with the local currency, after our drink, so a visit to the market by the ship was essential.

Edited by upwarduk

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After our day in Barbados we were grateful to be greeted on board with cold towels to cool down. Our first stop was Cafe Al Bacio. Visiting this place after each long day became a ritual. We would sit by the floor to ceiling windows & place our order. I’m surprised that it was never busy. DH ordered his espresso (/ short black) & i had learnt to order my soy latte in a cappuccino cup. I’ve recently read that the service at Cafe Al Bacio has been mediocre – we had the same waitress each day & found her to be outstanding. We always received with a smile & our coffees were never far away. We enjoyed heading there & recapping our day. I even started bringing my journal to note the day’s events. What I would do to be back!

Tonight we were dining at The Normandie. We booked on embarkation day & got 20% off. All i had heard of this establishment was that it was French. Based on that alone i thought i should dress up & i’m very glad i did. Every guest was dressed to impress even thought its dress code is ‘Smart Casual’.

The tables were scattered – a very different vibe compared to Blu. Each table had complete privacy setting up an intimate experience. The table was set up for formal dining completed with Riedel glassware. Staff had come to introduce themselves within minutes of being seated.

Now for the food!

To start I enjoyed the Pan Seared Pork Belly & DH the Diver Scallop Wellington Style. The portions were small but the quality & presentation was unrivalled. We contemplated splurging on the Caviar but for an extra $99 (more than the total cost of the meal) we decided to pass. Next were our mains; I thoroughly enjoyed Hazelnut Coated Lamb Rack & DH the Muscovy Duck Breast. We would have licked our plates should it have been acceptable! :p For the cheese course a trolley/cart came around where you could select whatever your heart desires in addition to dry fruits as an accompaniment. I stood down for this course (soya cheese anyone?) & DH tasted some of the recommended cheeses. After a little break we headed in for dessert. Although not on the menu they arranged the best sorbet with berries i have ever had & DH decided on the chocolate sorbet. By this time we were about to burst. I also felt silly for thinking that the portions were small! :o We were ready to go but I was surprised by a small chocolate mud cake with a candle & a number of staff singing happy birthday! Our waiter apologised profoundly that i wasn’t actually able to eat the cake (fine by me!) so DH had a little slice instead.

The service was the best we had on the entire cruise. There was so ‘over service’ but there was always someone there should you had needed something. The sommelier was amazing, recommending different wines for each course with its matching Riedel glass. The food – simply divine; keeping in mind that i have many dietary requirements, they were able to cater for me without a problem- nor did they make me feel like i was missing out on anything (like Qsine). By the end of our trip we decided that this dining experience was amongst the best we have ever had. If i have one recommendation for your Summit cruise it’s to visit The Normandie – simple superb! :D

We basically rolled to our cabin that room & fell into a nice deep sleep ready for the day next – St Lucia!

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So glad that you enjoyed Normandie! We make sure to dine there on every cruise. It's well worth the extra money.

 

Looking forward to reading the rest of your review :)

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Love the review but can't see any of the pictures. There is an error message that comes up from photobucket where the pics should be. We are going to be in 1141 (same cabin on the other side of 1140 in July so I am really enjoying this!

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Oh no! I'm not sure what happened! It was dive when I left it last night. Any ideas?? I'll log onto my photobucket account & hopefully can figure it out :(

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

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I think when you set the album to private it won't allow people to see the pics.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I think when you set the album to private it won't allow people to see the pics.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

 

It looks like its a bandwidth problem :confused:

I've posted another thread to see if anyone can help me so i can get this working again (dont want to hijack this thread!)

 

If anyone can help i would be very grateful!

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=42334153#post42334153

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This this will explain the issue.

 

http://support.photobucket.com/hc/en-us/articles/200724504-What-does-Bandwidth-Exceeded-mean-

 

Looks like it's a monthly dynamic measure and will reset the usage to 0 again each month, the alternative is to upgrade. I use Photobucket myself and didn't realize there was a limit like this, sucks. You could always post a link to all your photos for now for everyone to go directly there to view. Loses the affect of them being in the review though :( and it's such a good review. Too good it would seem :eek:

 

Posted this on your other thread too.

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A big thank you to Poffles for helping me out :)

Back to posting - with pictures!

St Lucia! In all honestly, prior to booking this cruise neither of us had heard of St Lucia. I did what any other cruiser would do & turned to the Port of Call boards. (a big shout out to ReedPrincess who was SO helpful!) Once I had a look into it, I imagined the following: Pitons, rum, celebrities & mountainous terrain. The latter was the most concerning as we both get car sick quite easily. DH also gets sea sick & was unsure how we would go two days straight on boats. After a little bit of though i decided that St Lucia was not the port where we would stay relaxed on board. Those Pitons were drawing me in.....

 

 

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I crossed off the option of doing a full day driving excursion. Although there were excellent reviews for various tour operators i knew that should one of us be ill, it would not be a good day. The only way left to get to the pitons was by sea. Chatted to DH & decided that a return speed boat trip was worth the ‘risk’.

I enquired with various water taxi’s & private boat owners for the cost to get to & from the Pitons as we weren’t interested in an excursion as such, but just the transportation was very pricey. During my research I came across Spencer’s Tours. The reviews were mixed, more so on cruise critic rather than Trip Advisor. I’m still unsure why it’s skewed. I enquired about his ‘Jealousie Beach Break’ for $85 (inc lunch & drinks) & was surprised by the quick reply. I decided to go ahead & book. It was one of the better decisions i have made.

 

Our day started a little disorganised, it probably felt more urgent than it was due to the discussion in their native language & the level at which they were communicating. At the end of the day Spencer mentioned that there was confusion as a couple who booked didn’t end up turning up so there was dialogue surrounding that. We were all divided up & sent different ways dependent on which of his tours we booked. Once we sat in the speedboat Spencer explained that there are many people who head to Jealousie Beach & they all want one thing – a beach chair. Although all beaches in St Lucia are public, the amenities are not. There are a few (maybe 20?) chairs that have been provided (on the far end of the beach) for all guests at Jealousie to use. The remainder of the chairs belong to Sugar Beach Resort & should you the privilege of sitting on them, you will be $50 poorer. So, Spencer’s aim was to get us to Jealousie before any other group arrived. That way we get 1st pick at the chairs & on the return journey he would give us the ‘tour’.

 

Those 20 minutes were so much fun – the speed boat went at full speed, it was bumpy, there was a few splashes – it was great! And luckily DH was ok. I did turn to look at him a couple of times & he had the biggest grin! True to Spencer’s word we were the first to arrive & had first choice of the beach chairs. We scored prime location.

Public Chairs.

 

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Sugar Beach Chairs.

 

 

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Our view from our chairs.

 

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First up – hiring snorkel gear – it was $11 per set. We wanted to get in before the crowds got there. I had read that the clarify of the water was hit & miss i luckily for us, it was a hit. It was beautiful & there was lot’s to see with different fish & coloured coral. What wowed be the most was the depth & the fact it was so clear you could see the different drops. Stunning. And we felt like we were the only ones there. (That changed throughout the day!)

 

 

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And one of my all time fav's :D

 

 

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Now, for the moment I had been most looking forward to – having a treatment at the Sugar Beach Resort’s Rainforest Spa! This resort has hosted celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow’s at Christmas to Matt Damon’s recent vow renewal. I had wanted to get a massage during the cruise & a little bit of research showed me for not that much more we could enjoy ourselves like the rich & famous.

 

Off we went to make our 10.30am appointment for a couples massage in a private cabana.

First 'sign' that we were heading the right way. (get it??)

 

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Into the reception to 'check in'

 

 

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& then being led through the tunnel........

 

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To this! A series of cabana literally built amongst the rainforest! Hence their name 'Rainforest Spa'. It was amazing!!

 

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We kept walking on our little trail until we arrived at our 'change room' cabana. There were two, one for males, another for females. I entered with my own key to a locker. This room was gorgeous. In this locker there were hairnets, slippers, ‘disposables’ & the fluffiest robe I had ever had my hands on. At first I felt silly but decided to go ahead & play ‘let’s me a celebrity’. I could only imagine DH’s face when I walked out – but i was prepared for the never ending jokes - much to my surprise he was dressed as I was! We both had silly grins ear to ear.

We followed our masseuse in our private cabana where there was the other waiting.

This was it

 

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They introduced themselves, gave us the options of oils (went with coconut – yum!) & gave us some privacy whilst we undressed & lay in the most comfortable beds ever. What proceeded was amazing. One hour of pure bliss. This was, hands down, the BEST massage we have both received. Muscles we didn’t know we had were massaged. Words cannot describe how luxurious we felt. But the experience didn’t there. The ‘back doors’ were opened into our own private, natural, watsu pool. It was hot. Relaxing. Amazing.

The aftermath (apologies - should really have taken a pic of what it looked like BEFORE the massage) - you can see the 'back door' on right hand side - it was closed during our treatment darkening the room.

 

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This was 'our' pool

 

 

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They did ask that we rinse off in the double outdoor shower first, which was fine by us ;) Once we were done we made our way back to the ‘change room’ cabana (took our time) & headed back down to the beach.

 

Some more pics of the cabana maze.

 

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We took some pictures of the resort’s grounds on the way.

 

 

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Now we were back onto the beach & timed it perfectly. It was lunchtime! Spencer served a wholesome, tasty lunch couple with a delicious rum punch & piton beer. We enjoyed it immensely. It certainly hit the spot. We spent the next few hours snorkelling, lounging around & enjoying life.

A few more pictures..

 

 

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I love this image. The water was so enticing!! How could one say no??

 

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And I just had to!!

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It was time to head back & we all hopped in Spencer’s speed boat. The ride back was leisurely, with Spencer was pointing out points of interest. In addition to the below we saw Mick Jagger's private jetty (& home), the residences of George Foreman, Sophia Loren (they're neighbours), & the bat cave, where 85% of the island's bats live.

This is where Dr Dolittle was filmed

 

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Jade Mountain, the No. 1 rated resort in all of the Caribbean & 12th in the world (I think X does a shore excursion there)

 

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And a pretty picture ...of I’m not sure what..

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Last not but not least our fair lady.

 

 

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We made it back to the port loving the day, & loving our experiences. I hope that you enjoyed St Lucia as much as we did (even if it was living through the pictures). I highly recommend Spencer, he's certainly a character with a lot of knowledge of the island (& has a sense of humor) & i highly recommend treating yourself at the Rainforest Inn at Sugar Beach Resort.

 

 

Feel free to ask any questions!

I am off for dinner now but will be back to continue

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Your review keeps getting better and better!!! I am loving all the pictures. St Lucia looks so beautiful. My husband was wondering how the Piton beer was? As I was reading this I kept saying to him "Oh my goodness... you must look at this. Isn't this beautiful?!"

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Yay ... glad I could help and pictures are awesome. Your review is taking me back as we did the St. Lucia tour with Cosol and they did pretty well what your tour did with Spenser, went to the same beach near Pitons and everything. It was a wonderful day and can't wait to visit again and get a different experience of the island.

 

... and how could I not help, it's all self serving :D

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;) Went with Spencer , did exact tour as you, snorkelled , swam and had lunch which was yum, but alas, no celebrity massage :(. Such a lovely day, and would go again in a heartbeat. Keep it coming!!

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