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Celebrity Summit July 10, 2021 - Outstanding cruise


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Posted (edited)

Hi, 

 

I returned home last night from the July 10, 2021 cruise on the Celebrity Summit. This was my 95th cruise and one of the very best cruises that I have ever done. This truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The enthusiastic atmosphere among the crew and passengers was amazing. There were approximately 410 passengers and 760 crew members on this sailing. The ship looks great after its 2019 major refurbishment and the service, food and entertainment were exceptional.

 

The itinerary was changed due to COVID restrictions (we sailed to Barbados but St. Kitts was replaced with St. Lucia and Tortola was replaced with Curacao). The ship handled the itinerary change very well. I received refunds for the canceled shore excursions that I booked prior to the cruise and was able to easily purchase new excursions during the cruise from the Celebrity app.

 

The health protocols seemed to work very well and all passengers tested negative for the virus during the final sea day.  

 

Surprise gifts were delivered to my stateroom throughout the cruise and their were many surprise snacks when I returned to my stateroom.

 

I dined in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant on five evenings and tried both the Tuscan Grille and Le Petit Chef for dinner. During the day, I usually dined in the Oceanview Cafe. My dining experiences were excellent.

 

One main show was held each evening at 9:00, but other smaller shows were scheduled around the main show on some evenings (such as a Motown show and deck party). 

 

I was booked in one of the new veranda staterooms (1016) that was added to Deck 10 in 2019. This stateroom had a convenient location, but I could hear the dance beat from the Sky Lounge (which is located directly above these staterooms) late at night. However, these staterooms generally are quiet and there is very little traffic down this hall.

 

I flew to St. Maarten the morning of the cruise and used Celebrity transfers between the pier and airport before and after the cruise. These operated very smoothly. 

 

Every crew member who I encountered throughout the cruise was very friendly and had an excellent attitude. In particular, I was impressed with the captain (Captain Matt) and the cruise director (Sue). I regularly saw both of them during the cruise.  

 

A few weeks ago, I posted a question whether these St. Maarten cruises were worth the hassle (testing requirements, St. Maarten EHAS form, St. Maarten airport, etc.). I now answer my own question with a resounding YES. This was an exceptional cruise experience that I will always remember. In short, this was a very special cruise and the perfect way to return to cruising.

 

Chuck

Edited by seacruise9
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Hi Chuck, I really appreciate your post, and am happy to hear about your positive experience. We board the Summit on August 21st and are SO looking forward to it (after having 4 cruises cancelled this past year+). I also saw your post about arrival at the airport for your return flight (unfortunately, ours isn't until 1:45, so expect to be in the chaos). But, I was wondering if you could provide any information on the transfer from the airport to the ship upon arrival. Mostly, wondering how long you had to wait for the bus/shuttle to leave for the ship, and if you had any thoughts on how taxi availability looked at the airport (understanding you didn't use a taxi).  Just curious on perspectives from someone who's done it.  Thanks again, and welcome home. 

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Hi, 

 

I arrived in St. Maarten at approximately 11:30 the morning of the cruise. There was a long line to go through the formalities of entering St. Maarten, but the line moved fairly quickly. I was able to immediately board the Celebrity transfer after I finished at the airport. We did not wait too long to leave. The drive to the port is approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The driver provided some commentary during the drive. I had selected a ship check-in time of 2:00, but I arrived at the ship about an hour early. This was not a problem. The process was smooth. 

 

I believe there were some taxis at the airport.

 

Have a great cruise!

 

Chuck

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Thanks for this positive post and very glad to hear it went so well. How was the boarding process?

We’re on for this upcoming week and the next and very excited. 😊  

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3 hours ago, seacruise9 said:

Hi, 

 

I returned home last night from the July 10, 2021 cruise on the Celebrity Summit. This was my 95th cruise and one of the very best cruises that I have ever done. This truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The enthusiastic atmosphere among the crew and passengers was amazing. There were approximately 410 passengers and 760 crew members on this sailing. The ship looks great after its 2019 major refurbishment and the service, food and entertainment were exceptional. ...

 

I dined in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant on five evenings and tried both the Tuscan Grille and Le Petit Chef for dinner. During the day, I usually dined in the Oceanview Cafe. My dining experiences were excellent. ...

 

Chuck

.

Hello, "seacruise9" -- and congratulations on such a positive experience!

 

We'd like to ask you a question related to the three parts of your message that we've highlighted, above.  Since you are such a "seasoned veteran" of cruising, we are going to gamble by assuming that you have been aboard one or more Millennium-class ships in the past.  (We have been aboard the Summit and the Millennium, but neither of them since 2017.)

 

We are going to assume that you can recall how the Oceanview Cafe used to look, prior to 2019 -- a straight cafeteria-style line (all the way around, in a very long oval).  What we wish to know is this:

As part of the "2019 major refurbishment" that you mentioned, was the Summit's Oceanview Cafe converted to be like the O-Cafes in the Solstice-class ships -- in other words, with several separate "islands" at which foods could be obtained?  Or has the old arrangement been retained?

 

Thanks, in advance, for your reply.

 

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Hi Chuck, 
 Thank you for the extremely positive review of the Summit. So glad to hear this for your first cruise back & even more so , after 95 cruises! We are sailing on the 5 night on September 6th , only our 31st cruise! 
 

Other than the slight noise from the sky lounge, how was the cabin interior & balcony? Given they are the newest, how do they compare to the other balcony cabins? We actually booked a Concierge cabin so we could have the Sunset / Wake views. 
 

Any info would be greatly appreciated. We are considering changing to one of the deck 10 cabins.

 

 

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Chiming in to say an enthusiastic "DITTO!"  We were on this cruise as well, and after about a dozen Celebrity cruises, this one was the best.  The ship looks beautiful (I've cruised on Millenium class pre-Revolutionizing, along with Soltice and Edge class), the staff were warm, efficient and enthusiastic.  Service, food, facilities were all top-notch.  We were in The Retreat, and honestly, they spoiled us rotten.  Yes, you have to jump through some hoops (all of which went smoothly for us) to get tested and go to St. Maarten, and yes, the airport is a bit crowded on the return, but don't let that stop you.  If you're wondering whether it's worth it, consider when you will ever have the opportunity to cruise with so few passengers and so many crew members (all of them vaxxed). Want to have the pool to yourself, whenever you choose?  Want to be treated like an actual celebrity?  I say take this Summit cruise while you still can.  It was unforgettable.  We brought along a friend who has never cruised before, and by the end of the week, everyone was teasing him about how no other cruise could possibly live up to this one.  Even so, he's a convert.

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3 hours ago, seacruise9 said:

Hi, 

 

I arrived in St. Maarten at approximately 11:30 the morning of the cruise. There was a long line to go through the formalities of entering St. Maarten, but the line moved fairly quickly. I was able to immediately board the Celebrity transfer after I finished at the airport. We did not wait too long to leave. The drive to the port is approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The driver provided some commentary during the drive. I had selected a ship check-in time of 2:00, but I arrived at the ship about an hour early. This was not a problem. The process was smooth. 

 

I believe there were some taxis at the airport.

 

Have a great cruise!

 

Chuck

Thank you again for this very helpful information. 

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2 hours ago, lhsail said:

We’re the replaced ports on the same days or was the schedule completely changed around?

Hi, 

 

The schedule was changed. 

 

Original itinerary: sea day, Barbados, sea day, St. Kitts, Tortola, sea day.

 

Revised itinerary: sea day, Barbados, St. Lucia, sea day, Curacao, sea day.

 

Chuck 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, sunpsyche said:

Thanks for this positive post and very glad to hear it went so well. How was the boarding process?

We’re on for this upcoming week and the next and very excited. 😊  

Hi, 

 

The boarding process was very smooth. I arrived at the cruise terminal at approximately 1:00 and was aboard the ship in a few minutes. They give you the tracelet when you check in. The stateroom key card is in an envelop outside your stateroom. 

 

Have a great time!

 

Chuck

Edited by seacruise9
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2 hours ago, jg51 said:

.

Hello, "seacruise9" -- and congratulations on such a positive experience!

 

We'd like to ask you a question related to the three parts of your message that we've highlighted, above.  Since you are such a "seasoned veteran" of cruising, we are going to gamble by assuming that you have been aboard one or more Millennium-class ships in the past.  (We have been aboard the Summit and the Millennium, but neither of them since 2017.)

 

We are going to assume that you can recall how the Oceanview Cafe used to look, prior to 2019 -- a straight cafeteria-style line (all the way around, in a very long oval).  What we wish to know is this:

As part of the "2019 major refurbishment" that you mentioned, was the Summit's Oceanview Cafe converted to be like the O-Cafes in the Solstice-class ships -- in other words, with several separate "islands" at which foods could be obtained?  Or has the old arrangement been retained?

 

Thanks, in advance, for your reply.

 

Hi, 

 

The Oceanview Cafe is vastly improved. I have cruised on this class of ship in the past: Millennium in 2001, Summit in 2010 and Constellation in 2013. This space was completely resigned and looks great. There are many different food "islands" rather than one large counter. Note that there are different offerings on each side of the buffet. Be sure to check both sides. There was a large diagram on the wall when you enter the room that provides an overview of the layout. 

 

Also, the seating area was expanded. Some of the bays extending over the side of the ship were joined during the refurbishment to enlarge the seating area. The windows in the floor of the bay areas have been removed.

 

The food was excellent and I never experienced a crowd. The staff members are very friendly. When I passed a food island, the servers frequently said "hi" and invited me to try some food from their station. 

 

Last night, I looked through the photos from my 2010 cruise on the Summit. I always take photos of all of the public areas. The ship looks MUCH better today.

 

Chuck

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2 hours ago, bandp407 said:

Hi Chuck, 
 Thank you for the extremely positive review of the Summit. So glad to hear this for your first cruise back & even more so , after 95 cruises! We are sailing on the 5 night on September 6th , only our 31st cruise! 
 

Other than the slight noise from the sky lounge, how was the cabin interior & balcony? Given they are the newest, how do they compare to the other balcony cabins? We actually booked a Concierge cabin so we could have the Sunset / Wake views. 
 

Any info would be greatly appreciated. We are considering changing to one of the deck 10 cabins.

 

 

Hi, 

 

It was great to be on a cruise again!

 

My cruises are over many years. I began cruising with my parents as a small child in 1967. From 1982 through 2019, I took at least one cruise every year. 2020 broke my streak.

 

I really liked my stateroom. The staterooms on Deck 10 were added in 2019 but all of the staterooms were refurbished. Because I did not see any other staterooms on this cruise, I can't my compare my stateroom to one of the refurbished existing staterooms. However, my stateroom was very attractive and had plenty of space.

 

The balcony was fine, but not particularly large. There are two chairs and one table on the balcony. Most of the balcony has a ceiling over it, but it is not completely covered. Thus it has a fairly open feeling. Because these staterooms extend out over the side of the ship, there is a view directly down to the ocean (rather than other balconies or decks).

 

I would definitely book one of the staterooms again.

 

Chuck

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34 minutes ago, seacruise9 said:

Hi, 

 

It was great to be on a cruise again!

 

My cruises are over many years. I began cruising with my parents as a small child in 1967. From 1982 through 2019, I took at least one cruise every year. 2020 broke my streak.

 

I really liked my stateroom. The staterooms on Deck 10 were added in 2019 but all of the staterooms were refurbished. Because I did not see any other staterooms on this cruise, I can't my compare my stateroom to one of the refurbished existing staterooms. However, my stateroom was very attractive and had plenty of space.

 

The balcony was fine, but not particularly large. There are two chairs and one table on the balcony. Most of the balcony has a ceiling over it, but it is not completely covered. Thus it has a fairly open feeling. Because these staterooms extend out over the side of the ship, there is a view directly down to the ocean (rather than other balconies or decks).

 

I would definitely book one of the staterooms again.

 

Chuck

Thanks very much Chuck!  I probably would try it, but my DH agreed to the Summit only if we got a sunset veranda. We are used to the Solstice ships & he has been reluctant to try the Summit because of her age. Believe me, I’ve had him read your wonderful comments about the ship! We miss cruising so much & can’t wait! Thanks again & hope you are planning your next cruise! 


Paula

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2 hours ago, seacruise9 said:

Hi, 

 

The Oceanview Cafe is vastly improved. I have cruised on this class of ship in the past: Millennium in 2001, Summit in 2010 and Constellation in 2013. This space was completely resigned and looks great. There are many different food "islands" rather than one large counter. Note that there are different offerings on each side of the buffet. Be sure to check both sides. There was a large diagram on the wall when you enter the room that provides an overview of the layout. 

 

Also, the seating area was expanded. Some of the bays extending over the side of the ship were joined during the refurbishment to enlarge the seating area. The windows in the floor of the bay areas have been removed.

 

The food was excellent and I never experienced a crowd. The staff members are very friendly. When I passed a food island, the servers frequently said "hi" and invited me to try some food from their station. 

 

Last night, I looked through the photos from my 2010 cruise on the Summit. I always take photos of all of the public areas. The ship looks MUCH better today.

 

Chuck

.

Hello again, Chuck.

 

Thanks so much for your lengthy, informative reply to our question.

We are extremely pleased to read about the improvements that were made when Summit was refurbished two years ago!

 

If you would excuse a follow-up question that we forgot to ask last time ... Did you happen to notice if the Oceanview Cafe was serving "congee" (an Asian rice porridge) for breakfast?

 

The delicious congee has been available on the four "S-class" ships that we have booked (and possibly the Millennium), but it was not available on the Summit in 2017 -- and we very much missed it.  We think that we were told that it was missing from the Summit due to lack of space.  Therefore, we have been hoping that, if the ship now has islands (and thus more serving area), then congee may now be available.

 

Thanks.

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9 hours ago, 5:00_Somewhere said:

Hi Chuck, I really appreciate your post, and am happy to hear about your positive experience. We board the Summit on August 21st and are SO looking forward to it (after having 4 cruises cancelled this past year+). I also saw your post about arrival at the airport for your return flight (unfortunately, ours isn't until 1:45, so expect to be in the chaos). But, I was wondering if you could provide any information on the transfer from the airport to the ship upon arrival. Mostly, wondering how long you had to wait for the bus/shuttle to leave for the ship, and if you had any thoughts on how taxi availability looked at the airport (understanding you didn't use a taxi).  Just curious on perspectives from someone who's done it.  Thanks again, and welcome home. 

Hi - we were on the June 12 cruise and are returning on the August 21 cruise. We only used taxis to get about. There are plenty of taxis available at the airport but there was about a 30-45 minute wait because of so many people arriving all at once. There were a lot of taxis when we left the ship and the wait was only about 5-10 minutes to get assigned to a taxi. The fare was $20 for two of us each way.

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1 minute ago, fabric_fabric said:

Hi - we were on the June 12 cruise and are returning on the August 21 cruise. We only used taxis to get about. There are plenty of taxis available at the airport but there was about a 30-45 minute wait because of so many people arriving all at once. There were a lot of taxis when we left the ship and the wait was only about 5-10 minutes to get assigned to a taxi. The fare was $20 for two of us each way.

I’m so encouraged by the fact you are going back. We’ll be getting off as you get on, doing B2B. 

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3 hours ago, bandp407 said:

Thanks very much Chuck!  I probably would try it, but my DH agreed to the Summit only if we got a sunset veranda. We are used to the Solstice ships & he has been reluctant to try the Summit because of her age. Believe me, I’ve had him read your wonderful comments about the ship! We miss cruising so much & can’t wait! Thanks again & hope you are planning your next cruise! 


Paula

Hi,

 

I would not worry about the ship's age. Celebrity did an excellent job with the ship's refurbishment and the Summit looks great. I spoke to many passengers throughout the cruise. Everyone seemed to be very pleased with this ship.

 

During every cruise, I always take many photos of a ship's public areas. Last night, I looked at the photos from my cruise aboard the Summit in 2010. The ship honestly looks much better now than it did 11 years ago. I have sailed on many new ships (my last cruise before the pandemic was aboard the Sky Princess in December 2019 when the ship was only a few months old) and was pleased with Summit. 

 

Chuck

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2 hours ago, jg51 said:

.

Hello again, Chuck.

 

Thanks so much for your lengthy, informative reply to our question.

We are extremely pleased to read about the improvements that were made when Summit was refurbished two years ago!

 

If you would excuse a follow-up question that we forgot to ask last time ... Did you happen to notice if the Oceanview Cafe was serving "congee" (an Asian rice porridge) for breakfast?

 

The delicious congee has been available on the four "S-class" ships that we have booked (and possibly the Millennium), but it was not available on the Summit in 2017 -- and we very much missed it.  We think that we were told that it was missing from the Summit due to lack of space.  Therefore, we have been hoping that, if the ship now has islands (and thus more serving area), then congee may now be available.

 

Thanks.

Hi, 

 

I'm sorry, but I honestly do not know. However, the Summit's Oceanview Cafe now has many different food islands and a wide variety of food certainly was offered.

 

Chuck

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24 minutes ago, fabric_fabric said:

Hi - we were on the June 12 cruise and are returning on the August 21 cruise. We only used taxis to get about. There are plenty of taxis available at the airport but there was about a 30-45 minute wait because of so many people arriving all at once. There were a lot of taxis when we left the ship and the wait was only about 5-10 minutes to get assigned to a taxi. The fare was $20 for two of us each way.

 

Thanks for the heads-up. Were you happy with your decision to use the taxi, or do you advise looking into a Celebrity transfer (or some other option)?

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Hello Chuck,

Thank you for the in depth information, it is very helpful. We are scheduled for the August 14th sailing and it will be our first Celebrity cruise, first time in St Maarten, and also our honeymoon so this information definitely helps ease the anxiety of sailing from St Maarten vs US ports. We are definitely looking forward to this cruise for a number of reasons (too many to mention here) but let's just say it's time!!

We are flying in a day early just in case and I have arranged transport with a local tour company to our hotel on Friday. Then on Saturday morning I arranged an island tour with him as a surprise for my "then to be wife" as we have a check in time of 2pm. I'm crossing my fingers all goes well. Thanks again for all the information you provided.

 

Perry

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7 hours ago, bandp407 said:

Thanks very much Chuck!  I probably would try it, but my DH agreed to the Summit only if we got a sunset veranda. We are used to the Solstice ships & he has been reluctant to try the Summit because of her age. Believe me, I’ve had him read your wonderful comments about the ship! We miss cruising so much & can’t wait! Thanks again & hope you are planning your next cruise! 


Paula

We were on the same cruise, and had the corner Family Veranda stateroom (with view of side and back of ship on large balcony).  And it was incredible.  We had previously only cruised on the Equinox,  but the Summit was very comparable.  It was a fantastic cruise. 

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15 hours ago, seacruise9 said:

Hi, 

 

The schedule was changed. 

 

Original itinerary: sea day, Barbados, sea day, St. Kitts, Tortola, sea day.

 

Revised itinerary: sea day, Barbados, St. Lucia, sea day, Curacao, sea day.

 

Chuck 

 

Still a really great itinerary.

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11 hours ago, DCPIV said:

 

Thanks for the heads-up. Were you happy with your decision to use the taxi, or do you advise looking into a Celebrity transfer (or some other option)?

We were extremely satisfied with all taxis. (Our experience with Celebrity transfers has been sub-par and we no longer use them.) From the airport to the hotel in Phillipsburg we were in an older full size van which was not the nicest vehicle, but by far not the worst I have experienced. I was certain they were going to add additional customers but my hubby and I were alone. The taxi from the hotel to the cruise terminal was brand new and our taxi driver was dressed to the nines. From the cruise terminal to the airport we were asked if we wanted to share a taxi and we agreed; however we ended up in a fairly new minivan by ourselves. We ended up paying $20 (plus tip) for each ride for two of us. We are doing the same in August but there will be four of us including a wheelchair. 

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Regarding taking a taxi, we have always taken a taxi from the airport to hotel or to/from hotel to cruiseport.  Always available and we have found it is sometimes less than a scheduled transportation service. Of course, this was prior to pandemic - hopefully it has not changed.

 

We are on the Summit in May to Bermuda, etc. for 10 days.  Sounds from all of you that she is still wonderful.  Cannot wait to see the old Martini Bar.  So much fun and great access(as opposed to the one on Eden).  Not a fan.

 

 

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