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mgf316

Escape vs Summit

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Hello Everyone, I am definitly going on on either the Escape or summit to Bermuda same date same itinerary. What I want to know is what is the better ship. So basically this question is for those that have sailed on both. I know the Escape is a lot bigger and has more bars and resraurants but I am also taking my inlaws into consideration who are traveling with us. My wife and I are in our late 20s early 30s and sailed NCL many times and love it. We never sailed on celebrity. My in-laws never cruises before and are in their 60’s. My wife and I as well as my in-laws love to have a great time and love places where we can relax and have great drinks and company and have good entertainment. What do you think they will like better? What do you guys recommend. The Escape is a few hundred dollars more. Both include the beverage package ( on celebrity it’s the classic beverage package) thanks in advance for all your help!

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I've never been on either ship but I wanted to chime in and say I LOVE the VS posts and find them really helpful when I'm cruise hunting. Good luck! 

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I haven't been on the escape, but NCL is mine and my husband's go to cruise line. We have sailed the Summit twice with my parents, who only sail Celebrity.  Summit is a nice ship and is due for a major overhaul in March so you'd have new everything in the summer, which is nice. We find the food on Celebrity to be waaaay better than on NCL. Our last NCL cruise, the buffet was inedible for lunch.  Specialty restaurants were good, but Celebrity has great food in the free venues.  NCL has O'Sheehan's for some late night food after many cocktails, where Celebrity does not.  The crowd is a lot older on Celebrity though. There is much more of a nightlife on NCL and more of a fun atmosphere. So we love Celebrity for our family trips but when we go solo, prefer NCL. 

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We have sailed both NCL and Celebrity.

Celebrtity we find more refined with a quieter more subdued vibe.

NCL we find louder with more energy. However are always able to find a quiet spot when wanted.

Food is subjective and we mainly eat in speciality restaurants on all our cruises.

I enjoy the food on both lines. NCL has more dining choices.

Shows I find better on NCL but Celebrity's are fine.

NCL we find guests to have a more relaxed dress style for Dinner meals than on Celebrity. 

 

 

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Have cruised on both.

Celebrity Summit was years ago but it was an old ship even then.   That would be my only hesitation.   I do wish Celebrity would bring a Solstice class ship for the Bermuda runs.   

Escape is relatively new and modern. 

RC Anthem of the Seas does Bermuda in-season as well but as a 5 nighter.   Fabulous ship. 

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I have not done Celebrity, but I did the Escape to Bermuda with my parents last month. It was my parents' first cruise and I think they overall had a great time. My mom was 67 and my dad was 76 when we sailed. What you said about drinking, relaxing, and good entertainment definitely would apply to several areas on the Escape. The District Brew House (despite its name) has a full bar, so even if some of your family aren't beer lovers, they can enjoy the live piano music there most nights. Tobacco Road also often has live music. And if you want something more lively, Howl at the Moon is in Headliners a few nights a week and there is Karaoke in Five O'clock Somewhere.

 

Some people don't like the "chopped up" nature of the NCL mega ships, but I think it makes everything feel more intimate and lets you find more of whatever "vibe" you are looking for at any given time.

 

I happen to love the Escape, I will be sailing on her for the third time in April. She was my first ship, NCL or otherwise, and I think she is a great introduction to Freestyle cruising.

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I've sailed on both.  I love the Summit.  If you don't have kids, I'd highly recommend that one.  I'm in my 40's and my mom is 80, and we've been on the Summit 3 times together.  It's the perfect size, we love the back bar to drink in and spend our time.  The food is better, and it all around just seems classier.  

 

We went on the Escape last year because we took my 2 teenage boys with us.  There was more for them to do on the Escape, but it was so big and crowded all the time.  Food not as good, at least the free food.  The kids didn't do many of the fun activities because they were always so crowded.  We are going back on the Escape this year because the Summit isn't going to Bermuda on the week that we need, but we'd prefer the Summit.

 

Edited to add:  We like leaving from Bayonne much better as well with the Summit.  I feel comfortable driving and leaving my car in the garage there, and I don't feel comfortable doing that with the Escape in NYC.

Edited by bambiying
Wanted to add about parking

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I prefer the summit (5 years in a row)  to mega ships (although we are taking the Escape in February). Both my parents and my BFs parents both enjoyed the more relaxed atmosphere of the summit.  It’s $10 a day to upgrade to premium on celebrity to get the better beverage package. 

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I have sailed on both the Summit and the Escape and fairly recently.  I have been on the Summit 4 times (twice in a Royal Suite, once in a Veranda and once in Concierge Class.)  My last Summit sailing was the summer of 2017 (9-Night Bermuda/New England) in Concierge class.  I have been on the Escape twice and my last Escape sailing was 10/28 this year in the Haven.

 

In my opinion, Escape is superior in every way EXCEPT that it is a large, crowded ship and the Summit casino is non-smoking.  I don't cruise NCL mega-ships anymore without being in the Haven because of the crowded feeling.  I don't think I will ever cruise on the Summit again.  These are the reasons why:

 

1)  The Summit is an OLD ship and it shows.  I was just on her in 2017, after her "Solticicizing" and she was still OLD.  My cabin was dated and not just in decor.  I use a CPAP machine and there is still only ONE electrical outlet in the cabin and it is on the OPPOSITE side of the room from the bed.  In order to accommodate me, my room steward TAPED a fat orange extension cord to my ceiling and draped it over the balcony door.  It kept falling during the cruise and looked terrible.  Furnishings and decor are dated.  The TV was tiny.  The bed was bumpy and uncomfortable.

 

There are no automatic doors anywhere, never mind in accessible cabins.  I use a mobility scooter and it is impossible to navigate in and out and around the ship without assistance.

 

The Escape is modern and has automatic doors everywhere.  Flat screen TVs are a nice size.  Everything about it is up-to-date and new in comparison to the Summit.

 

2)  Food is superior IMO on NCL - however I need to note that for dinner on NCL I only eat in their specialty restaurants or the Haven restaurant.  I ate in the Tuscan Grille on the Summit.   It was ok (not great), but more expensive and no comparison to NCL specialty restaurants.

 

3) Service is better on NCL.  Even with so many more people, I find the service consistently better on NCL.  While I don't eat in the main dining room on NCL, I did on Celebrity and dinner took FOREVER.  And not in a good, leisurely, relax-you're-on-vacation-take-it-slow kind of way.  In a I'm-skipping-dessert-because-I-can't-sit-here-for-another-hour kind of way.   

 

When I cruised the Summit I took one of my sisters who had never been on a cruise.  She swore she would NEVER cruise again!  That's how impressed she was with the Summit (she LOVED Bermuda!)  This year I literally had to BEG her to come with me on my 10/28 Escape cruise (I had a comp Haven cabin from Casinos At Sea - so it was not going to cost her anything but port taxes and a small admin fee.)  Getting her to agree to go was like pulling teeth.  Needless to say, after 7 days in the Escape Haven she is now looking to book a cruise with her hubby LOL

 

I LOVE smaller ships (my fave ship is the NCL Gem) and I WANT to love the Summit!  I live in NJ and I agree with the poster who said it is so easy to leave from Bayonne!  I get COMP cruises on the Summit from Celebrity's Blue Chip Club!  And I still won't go.

 

That should tell you something.

Edited by pcakes122

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I have sailed on Escape three times and Summit 5 times and vowed after my last Summit cruise 5 years ago that I would never return. She was in very poor condition and in dire need of a refit even then.

 

Well, never say "never".

 

As one poster above said, Summit is being refurbished this year.  In fact ALL of the cabins will be taken back to steel and reloaded as well as all of the public areas.  This will be a massive renovation with basically everything being replaced or reinvented.

 

https://webapps.celebritycruises.com/revolution/

 

I am giving her another try ....

 

Ultimately, Summit will offer a quieter experience on a much smaller and more spacious ship. Escape will offer more choices and excitement but in a much more crowded and busy atmosphere.

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To us in Bermuda, the Summit is a little old rusty bucket as compared to the other clean and freshly painted ships. 

 

Summit has streaks of rust coming down sides of ship hull in several places 😳

 

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4 hours ago, Dr. Cocktail said:

I am giving her another try ....

Please - definitely report back after you cruise the "revolutionized" Summit!  Would love to hear that she has truly been modernized!  (Especially in terms of automation and upgraded electric, etc.)

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2 hours ago, bluesea777 said:

To us in Bermuda, the Summit is a little old rusty bucket as compared to the other clean and freshly painted ships.

 

Frankly, I am just jealous that you live in Bermuda.  I would look at the rusty Summit for hours on end with pleasure if I could do it from your gorgeous island. :classic_wink:

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Have sailed on the Summit once and on the Escape 3 times.  With the Summit going in for major renovations before you sail on her, combined with the easier departure port of Bayonne versus NYC and the fact that your in laws are in their 60's make me recommend the Summit.  I would also upgrade your drink package for an extra 10.00 per day for those that like higher end stuff.  Not everyone in the cabin needs to do it.  You can get a comparison over on the X board.

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I'd wait until after the "EDGEification" of the much older Celebrity ship before even considering comparing it to Escape as far as stateroom vs stateroom. If going "ship-within-a-ship" (Retreat vs Haven), I'd also wait before comparing.

 

Summit staterooms will probably look better in the end (Designer Kelly Hoppen did a great job with EDGE) but I'd rather sail NCL than Celebrity. 

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I have sailed on both Breakaway (I think this is a "sister" ship to Escape) and Summit to Bermuda. I agree that sailing out of Bayonne is much easier than Manhattan.  Driving in NYC is a nightmare for us.  In fact, on our next Escape sailing we are staying in New Jersey and letting them shuttle us back and forth to the port so we don't have to drive.  The ships are very different. ( I would love to see the Summit after she is overhauled.)  NCL appeals to a younger more active crowd with ropes courses, slides etc.  There are so many activities at night it is hard to be bored if you are a night-owl.  I find Celebrity a bit more refined with great entertainment and food. We sailed at both times in June.  The Summit never seemed overcrowded.  Breakaway was packed with people. I felt it was too crowded.  We actually were thankful to have an aft balcony to "escape" at times. If crowds are a concern, be careful if your date is when schools are out for the summer, and many schools get out in late May or early June depending on the state.  

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I think it is also worth mentioning that while I clearly prefer the Escape, I am not young LOL.  To the OP, I am approaching your in-laws' age.

 

I think it really comes down to what is important to you. Food is clearly subjective because for all of us that have been on both ships, we have widely different opinions on which food is better.  It's also hard for me to compare because the two times I have been on the Escape have both been in the Haven which is a completely different experience it seems from the general Escape population.  The NCL Haven is much more elegant and refined than even Celebrity's "suite life".  As I mentioned, I have sailed in Summit's Royal Suites twice, and unfortunately the experience fell way short of the NCL Haven.

 

But the biggest and most important difference to me has been in the level of "modern" amenities, especially since I am disabled.  Also when I am on vacation I like to feel like I am on vacation, with luxury accommodations and pampering.  That's not important to everyone.

 

I would love to have a modern Celebrity ship sailing out of Bayonne!  I would definitely give the Summit another try if it TRULY gets overhauled.  However I'm going to wait for others to report back after the dry dock before I make any booking.  I had high hopes for the "Solsticesizing" that was talked about for months and even saw the cute commercials about how it was going to modernize the ship.  I believed the hype and I booked the nine day in 2017.  Then I had to spend 9 long days trying to convince my sister that this is not what every cruise ship experience is like. 

 

That said, I'd go to Bermuda in a row boat!  Can't go wrong with that destination!!

 

 

 

 

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I want to Thank everyone who replied you all helped us a lot. We wound up booking the Escape to Bermuda and we can’t wait! Thanks again everyone!!! Keep Cruising👍

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16 hours ago, mgf316 said:

I want to Thank everyone who replied you all helped us a lot. We wound up booking the Escape to Bermuda and we can’t wait! Thanks again everyone!!! Keep Cruising👍

 

👍👍👍👍

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Yes all this information was helpful for me.  Thank you for posting this question.  I am on the Escape in April.  I am happy to here the Brew House on the Escape is a full bar.

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