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LIVE from Summit - 1/5/19 - 12nt Lesser Antilles Caribbean - Penthouse

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Hello everyone! Seems like I just finished chronicling a Celebrity adventure and we are off on another one! We just got off on Dec 16th from the Edge's inaugural Western Caribbean sailing and now will be embarking on Jan 5th for Summit's 12 night Lesser Antilles Caribbean cruise. For those who haven't followed my "LIVE from" threads here before I'll give a quick introduction. My name is Adam and I am traveling with my husband Mike. We live in Provincetown, MA which is at the tip of Cape Cod. This will be our 10th cruise with Celebrity since our first with them in 2013 and they have become our preferred cruise line. For this Summit cruise we will be traveling with my sister Cindy and her husband John, who live a little further up Cape in East Harwich, and Mike's cousin Tina who lives south of Boston in East Bridgewater. We have been doing a January Caribbean cruise on Celebrity since our first on Equinox in 2013. Cindy and John have been our regular travel companions for each of those while Tina last joined us on our Eclipse cruise in 2017. We actually reserved this Summit cruise onboard that Eclipse cruise in 2017. During that cruise we were in the Penthouse and were traveling with Mike's mother Carol. We reserved the Penthouse for this Summit cruise with Carol as the third person in the cabin. Sadly only a few days after returning from our Eclipse cruise Carol passed away suddenly. We let the reservation sit for some time and had considered moving to a smaller cabin. We then asked Tina if she wanted to take the third person spot in our cabin and she agreed so we decided to stick with the Penthouse. So this cruise will be a little bittersweet for us knowing that Carol won't be with us, but since all 5 of us were on that final cruise with her we all have those wonderful memories to share. John and Cindy will be in a Concierge cabin for the first time this cruise.

 

The choice for this particular sailing was itinerary driven. We typically booked the 14 night cruises that they used to offer on Eclipse. Since they have moved away from those we tried to find the next longest itinerary that still offered a lot of ports. This one really attracted me since it visited 10 islands including three we had never been to before (Martinique, St. Vincent and Dominica). We prefer to sail on S-class ships so we weren't necessarily thrilled initially to be going on Summit but our worries were somewhat soothed after sailing on Constellation last spring and enjoying the ship. We are very excited about being in the Penthouse though as it's bigger than the one we were in on S-class when you factor in the massive balcony. Luckily we were also able to save around $7600 through some casino discounts and Tina got in on a 50% deal for 3rd guests, so it made this cabin much more affordable. This will be my first time sailing out of San Juan (Mike did it once before on another cruise without me). It's not our favorite port but its proximity to the islands without having two days sailing out and back is very nice. We will be flying out tomorrow afternoon from Boston and staying for one night at the Sheraton near the convention center. Booking a hotel in San Juan was a bit shocking as far as pricing was concerned. We could not find a hotel room under $300 a night. We wound up booking the Sheraton as Mike and I were able to burn off some credit card points for a suite which Tina will share with us. John and Cindy still wound up having to pay $330 for their room. We could've gotten cheaper being further out in San Juan or paying in full in advance but I don't like to pre-pay for hotel rooms and I liked this hotel's proximity to the port and the fact that it has a casino and one of our favorite restaurants, Texas de Brazil.

 

As far as pre-planning for this cruise goes we have booked two excursions through Celebrity for St. Vincent and Dominica since they sounded interesting and they were two of the islands we had not visited before and knew nothing about. For 4 of the islands (Grenada, Antigua, St. Lucia, St. Kitts) we have reserved through Resort For A Day. On Martinique I have hired a private guide to take us around the island for the day. On St. Maarten and Barbados we're on our own for beach visits since we have been to those islands many times. And for St. Croix we're just going to stay onboard as we stopped there on a cruise last year and weren't impressed with the island. We were contacted by the shoreside concierge about 2 weeks ago to arrange our mini-bar and liquor requests for the cabin. I made a few other requests including asking for a mattress topper for the sofa bed since it helps make it much more comfortable, a couple of spa massage appointments for Mike and I, to request a heads up to the concierge to get Luminae menus for the entire cruise once we board so we can plan out our specialty dining, to give them a heads up that John and Cindy will likely be dining with us in Luminae on some nights (for a fee) so they were prepared and to request luggage tags to be sent since we never receive them anymore. He confirmed the massage appointments, the luggage tags arrived within a week and he said all our other requests would be taken care of. Anything else we think of I know we can just work with the butler once onboard.

 

If anyone has questions about our cruise I'll do my best to answer as I go along. Since this is an older established ship I don't expect too many questions but I'm happy to share any information I can about the ship or the islands we visit. I apologize in advance if the "LIVE from" falls a bit behind as has been the trend for my last couple cruises, but I am at the mercy of onboard internet and sometimes I'm just having too much fun. Hope you can follow along with me! 🙂

 

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All packed and just waiting for our airport transfer to Boston! Have a brand new luggage set for this trip as our garment bag was broken during our Edge cruise trip last month and the wheels on another bag were getting ready to fall off. Got 5 years out of those previous bags so hopefully this set lasts just as long or longer.

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Enjoy your cruise.  We absolutely love the penthouse on the M class ships and have to be practically carried off when the cruise is over !!!!

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Thanks for another Live Review Adam.  I love following along. I'm especially excited to hear about your day in St. Vincent as we will be stopping there in December on the Silhouette.  We will be on the Summit in March after the drydock in 6146 which is attached to one of the Penthouses.

 

Could you post if you hear anything about what changes will be made to the Summit especially the Suite areas.  Thank you and have a wonderful cruise.

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Looking forward to your "live review", Adam.  The Summit is my all time favorite ship (sailed her 28 times so far) and I absolutely love that penthouse and that enormous balcony.  I'll be back on her in May after her refurbishment.  I was on her in October and I will say that some of the furnishings looked very tired and old....so it will be interesting to hear your take after being on the brand spanking new Edge!

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Awesome! I loved your Edge review and we are on the Summit in April! This is awesome!

 

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After following your Edge "Live" I'm very excited to once again be following along. My husband and I, along with our grandson will be boarding Summit in March in a Royal Suite with our daughter and granddaughter in the connecting Concierge stateroom.  Looking forward to your comments and photos!  Enjoy your cruise!

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looking forward to your review, now going to read your Edge review.

Norma

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My husband and I will be on the Summit tomorrow also!

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My husband and I were on this ship December 8th in a Royal Suite.  We had a fantastic time.  This was my 7th time on the Summit and I love the ship.  If you have Chip as a butler please tell him Eva's grandmother said hello.  He is a great butler. Pavel is a great  in Michaels club. I loved Luminae.  We had Fozzy as our waiter.  If we didn't like Luminae's menu he had plan B the dining room menu. I will be on this ship again in April after the refurbishment.  I leave in 2 weeks to do a back  to back on the Edge.  Enjoy the Summit.

 

Phyllis

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5 minutes ago, FBrew said:

My husband and I were on this ship December 8th in a Royal Suite.  We had a fantastic time.  This was my 7th time on the Summit and I love the ship.  If you have Chip as a butler please tell him Eva's grandmother said hello.  He is a great butler. Pavel is a great  in Michaels club. I loved Luminae.  We had Fozzy as our waiter.  If we didn't like Luminae's menu he had plan B the dining room menu. I will be on this ship again in April after the refurbishment.  I leave in 2 weeks to do a back  to back on the Edge.  Enjoy the Summit.

 

Phyllis

I agree that Chip is a fantastic butler.  I've known him for quite a few years now.  Pavel, the Michael's Club Concierge, is also a great guy.  He formerly was a butler on Summit and got a promotion to MCC and he does a super job.  The staff in Luminae will go out of their way to make sure you are happy.  In October Charles was the Maitre'd, but I'm not sure when he was going home for vacation.  You'll be most fortunate if he is still onboard - he goes above and beyond for all his guests.

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45 minutes ago, jcpc said:

I agree that Chip is a fantastic butler.  I've known him for quite a few years now.  Pavel, the Michael's Club Concierge, is also a great guy.  He formerly was a butler on Summit and got a promotion to MCC and he does a super job.  The staff in Luminae will go out of their way to make sure you are happy.  In October Charles was the Maitre'd, but I'm not sure when he was going home for vacation.  You'll be most fortunate if he is still onboard - he goes above and beyond for all his guests.

Charles was the Maitre'd on December 8th.

 

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We will be on the same itinerary on the 29th in a CS so will be following along closely specifically about the suite stuff.  Is it the same Chip that was on Eclipse in 2014?

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Following along..

Btw we loved Martinique...took a city walking tour  booked through X..we do not speak much French and this was very helpful.

 

The tour hit many main spots and some off the grid.. Afterward we

had a nice  lunch at a cafe along the park...Very charming and cultural city...wish we had time for the beach.. maybe next time! I am sure your pvt guide will give you a great day 

 

Dominica is a  unique natural wonder..hope you enjoy it..

 

We  just booked Summit post rev,  so any tidbits  that come your way about the ship will be appreciated.

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We are in San Juan! Transportation gods were kind to us today. Our van to the airport arrived right on time, then on to pick up Cindy and John with no delays and right at the airport two hours before our flight. Tina was already waiting for us there. Check-in was quick with only a short wait at security. We decided to grab some lunch before the flight at a Johnny Rockets since there was no meal service on our flight. Food tasted good but service was slow so we only had 10 minutes to spare before boarding the flight. Flight left on time and arrived a little early and was very smooth. Our driver was waiting for us at baggage claim in San Juan and it was a quick 15 minute drive to our hotel where we are now decompressing!

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9 hours ago, Want2Cruise 701 said:

Thanks for another Live Review Adam.  I love following along. I'm especially excited to hear about your day in St. Vincent as we will be stopping there in December on the Silhouette.  We will be on the Summit in March after the drydock in 6146 which is attached to one of the Penthouses.

 

Could you post if you hear anything about what changes will be made to the Summit especially the Suite areas.  Thank you and have a wonderful cruise.

 

I will ask some questions. The changes should be the same as Millennium though. There is a thread from the past week in this forum where someone posted some new deck plans of the ship post-refurb.

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7 hours ago, jcpc said:

Looking forward to your "live review", Adam.  The Summit is my all time favorite ship (sailed her 28 times so far) and I absolutely love that penthouse and that enormous balcony.  I'll be back on her in May after her refurbishment.  I was on her in October and I will say that some of the furnishings looked very tired and old....so it will be interesting to hear your take after being on the brand spanking new Edge!

 

Yeah. I have realistic expectations. I went into my Constellation sailing last year with low expectations  though and was pleasantly surprised.

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The hotel we are staying at is the Sheraton San Juan which is located near the convention center and is one of the closest hotels to

the pier we will boarding Summit at tomorrow. The hotel is quite nice. All the staff, from bellmen to guest services to our restaurant server have been very friendly. Mike, Tina and I are staying in an Executive Suite which has a bedroom with full bath and a living room with half bath and sofa bed. We booked this set up as it was cheaper that way for Tina instead of paying for a whole room (they were running at over $300 a night or more). The room is very spacious and comfortable. Being in the suite gives free access to the Club Lounge on the 12th floor. We popped in to see what it was like and it looked very nice. They offer a breakfast there in the morning but since John and Cindy are only in a standard room and don’t have access we’ll probably just eat at the breakfast buffet in the main hotel restaurant. 

 

We had planned to have dinner at one of our favorite restaurants Texas de Brazil which is located in the hotel but it’s a lot of food and no one had a huge appetite tonight so we just ate at the main hotel restaurant called Choices. We ordered a variety of Mexican and Puerto Rican dishes which were all very tasty. After dinner, Cindy and Tina went to bed while Mike, John and I did a little play in the hotel’s casino. Machines were pretty tight and Mike wound up down, but I had a nice win at the end of the evening so together we broke even.

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Followed you on your Edge Review! Now looking forward to this one, have done the Summit to Bermuda a few times!

 

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Good morning from San Juan! Had a nice sleep last night; the bed was amazingly comfortable! I must have had too much internal excitement for the cruise though as I found myself awake around 5am; at least I got to see the sunrise. Tina and Mike started to wake around 7. We showered and dressed and grabbed a light breakfast at the club lounge. Cindy had already eaten earlier and John passed on breakfast so it was just the three of us. Food was mediocre but it was free so can’t really complain. Got a nice view of Summit from the lounge’s outdoor deck. Only a few hours from now and we’ll be onboard!

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We have been in that PH many times now...must say it is our favorite PH of any Celebrity ship because of that AMAZING wrap around, deep veranda.  Enjoy!  We are all looking forward to your photos and review.

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On 1/4/2019 at 1:29 PM, jcpc said:

I agree that Chip is a fantastic butler.  I've known him for quite a few years now.  Pavel, the Michael's Club Concierge, is also a great guy.  He formerly was a butler on Summit and got a promotion to MCC and he does a super job.  The staff in Luminae will go out of their way to make sure you are happy.  In October Charles was the Maitre'd, but I'm not sure when he was going home for vacation.  You'll be most fortunate if he is still onboard - he goes above and beyond for all his guests.

Chip is outstanding!  As is Pavel!  Enjoy your cruise.

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We are onboard Summit! Our driver picked us up from the hotel right on time at 11am. We’ve been using a local company called The Limo People for each of our transports. They charge $55 for each pick up. They use an oversized SUV that was able to accommodate all 5 of us plus all of our luggage. The driver Gabriel has been very friendly. Although the hotel was not far from the pier and we saw some people walking over we didn’t want to try to manage it with all of our bags. The shoreside concierge had advised in correspondence prior to the cruise that Mike, Tina and I could use a priority baggage drop off for suites at the pier. When we got there we saw no signage indicating this drop off area. The whole area outside of the terminal entrance was very congested due to stantions they had in place that you had to line up into to drop off your bags which was something we had never encountered at other ports. We entered the line marked suites but then were told to go back the other way to some other undefined area. We wandered a bit with our bags totally unsure of where to go. Finally two staff members appeared and started setting up the sign that we had been looking for initially for the suites baggage drop off. I posted a photo below so others know what to look out for. I guess they just weren’t ready yet when we showed up. They apologized and said it was something new they were trying out. They took our bags and we headed back to the line marked suites we had originally gotten into. John and Cindy had been in a longer line to check their bags but we all entered into the security checkpoint at the same time since we had a delay looking for the suite bags drop. Security was quick and then it was on to check-in which had no wait. Cindy and John headed to a separate check-in line for Concierge Class and we said we’d catch up with them later. A nice woman named Karen came to escort us onto the ship. She apparently had laryngitis though as she kept speaking in a strained whisper so we could barely hear her. We did the requisite boarding photo and then Karen escorted us to Michael’s Club.

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I am so excited to follow along with you.  We have had many wonderful times on the Summit in PH 6147.  We are booked again in 6147 for a total of 19 nights between the end of April and mid June of this year.  They are two separate cruises that are not back-to-back.  We love virtually everything about the ship and the suite other than the poor air conditioning in the dressing/vanity area outside the master bath.  I worry that the “edgification” might take away the butlers pantry and especially the full-size refrigerator.  As well, the full second bathroom that currently exists in the PH is not mentioned in the description after the “ Edgification.”  We are very excited about the new retreat area and wondering if it will also have a pool.

Please let the powers that be know that we fully expect multiple COMFORTABLE lounge chairs to be on that fabulous verandah.  Can hardly wait to read your posts.  Thank you!

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