October 2013 - Celebrity Summit to Caribbean - Southern
This was our first cruise with Celebrity and I was expecting to have a great cruise and most of it was above average but not all of it. If I were reviewing the crew alone, who were the most exceptional crew I have ever sailed with, I would have given the cruise experience five stars, but since I was asked to review the cruise experience overall, I could only gave it two stars. The food seemed to be average unless you dined in the specialty restaurants and then the food was great. This was an a repositioning cruise so we had three sea days before we docked in our first port and all of those days were good.
The three ports we visited were St Maarten, St Croix, and St Thomas and we did an excursion on St Maarten, and St Croix. On St Maarten we did the 4x4 excursion which was a great tour unless you don’t want to be out in a jeep for 6 ½ hours and on St Croix we did the Hotel on the Cay beach which was also 6 ½ hours. I would not recommend this excursion to anybody. The vans they had for us were horrible. The van going to the Hotel had a problem with the transmission and could not go over thirty miles an hour and the bus like doors would not stay closed all the way to the Hotel which took us over an hour to get there. To me this was a safety concern but we couldn’t do anything about it and the cruise line didn’t seem too worried about it after we told them. The lounge chairs they had setup on the beach for us were under trees which did provide some shade at first but as the sun moved higher in the sky we were out in the hot sun with no protection from the sun. If you wanted an umbrella there was a charge for it and if you needed to go to the restroom you had to use the outside restaurants restroom even though we were told by the cruise line we would be able to use the Hotels restrooms. The Hotel actually had a guard so we couldn’t go into the hotel. On the way back to the ship we did have a different van but the air conditioner did not work and we only had small windows that we could open which did not give us very much air for the forty-five minute ride back to the ship. After complaining to the Excursion desk they contacted the tour provider and the tour provider said we could only get a thirty percent refund when we wanted at least a fifty percent refund. The excursion desk said it was up to the tour provider to decide how much of a refund we could get which sounds totally backwards of how it should work since the Cruise line hires these people to take their passengers on these excursions.
I have a choice of what cruise line to spend my money with and since most of them go to the same places and I can tell you Celebrity will not be the one I choose from now on and if anyone asks me about them I will tell them of my experience and then it will be up to them to spend their money where they want to. If you have any questions about an excursion please be sure to get the answer in writing if at all possible. We booked the excursion from the cruise line because we thought we would be better taken care of but from our experience it doesn’t look like that was the case. As they say “Buyer beware”.