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Celebrity Summit Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern
Experience: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 8

Overall Rating:

5 out of 5
Celebrity Summit

7 Night Eastern Caribbean (San Juan To Ft. Lauderdale)

Sail Date: January 20, 2018

Ship: Celebrity Summit

Cabin Type: Suite

Cabin Number: 6122

Traveled As: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review Summary

This was easily the best cruise vacation ever, and the best vacation ever. Despite missing one port due to weather, and an itinerary change from when we first booked (St. Maarten swapped for Antigua), it was just perfect. The staff all provided excellent and friendly service. Summit is a wonderful ship. I think the smaller size and smaller crowds really adds to it. If you can afford a suite, I highly recommend it because between Luminae and Michael's Club, you have a lot of opportunities to meet and get to know fellow cruisers. This was our first Celebrity sailing and we're sold and our next sailing will be Celebrity, and more likely than not, we'll be on the Summit again.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Embarkation was pretty smooth, thanks in large part to being a suite guest, which meant a pretty short check in line. But beyond that, and despite the terminal still being not being in the best shape due to the hurricane, operations were very smooth and we were on the ship very quickly after arriving at the terminal. I would say it took 10-15 minutes max.

Ship Experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The food on Summit was excellent. As Suite guests, we had dinner at Luminae every night. The dining experience itself was perfect for us, with the smaller, more intimate dining space, and also smaller crowd. What's nice about Luminae is you tend to be dining with and near the same people every night, so it's a chance to strike up some dinner conversation with neighbors and a chance to get to know the other suite guests. The food served at Luminae was wonderful. My wife and I are not foodies, but we were wowed by not only the quality of the meals, but the skill and expertise that obviously went into the preparation. And of course service was A+. Big shoutout to Dominic and Juan Pablo, who were the waiters we had most nights. Food at other venues was also great. We only ate at the buffet a couple of times, but it was very good and a higher quality than sister-brand Royal.

AquaSpa Cafe

5 out of 5

The cafe in the Solarium was where I would often get breakfast. They had some great, light, healthy-alternative fare for breakfast, including home-made energy bars. It tends to be fairly busy and tables are hard to find on sea days, even in the morning, but on port days, it's a nice quiet space to enjoy a light breakfast to start the day.

The Retreat Lounge

5 out of 5

Michael's Club was easily one of my favorite spaces on Summit. A great, quiet spot for morning coffee, or a nice quiet space to enjoy the on board musicians who would play special sets for the suite guests. The staff were attentive and provided excellent service. If you sail as a Suite guest, definitely a spot to check out. (They make a very good mojito there!)

Cafe al Bacio and Gelateria

5 out of 5

Cafe al Bacio was a great spot for an afternoon snack and specialty coffee drinks. As suite guests, we got most of our coffee during the cruise at Michael's, but we splurged the last couple of nights on the Aspen coffees and cheesecake at al Bacio. Wonderful!

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
My wife and I love doing the trivia on cruise ships. We enjoyed the trivia on Summit, the emcees were all great and entertaining. Plus we actually ended up winning one of the trivias!

The Emporium

3 out of 5

The one category where I think Celebrity paled in comparison to sister-brand Royal Caribbean (where we've done all of our other previous cruises) was with the shops. Mostly regarding the selection of items in the gift shop. We like to get souvenirs for our kids from the ship, and the Summit gift shop just didn't seem to have as much variety as the gift shops on Royal ships. But it is a minor point and we did manage to find some cool souvenirs in ports.

Solarium

5 out of 5

After Michael's Club, the Solarium was probably our favorite space. Most days, it was fairly quiet and easy to get chairs and use of the thalassotherapy pool and hot tubs. It was a little more challenging on the sea days, but such is the nature of things. Staff were top notch in keeping the space clean and orderly.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
There were many musical acts on Summit, but we mainly listened to the acoustic guitarist Chris Hawkes and the pianist Peter (can't remember his last name). They were both very good and provided a great variety of styles and songs in their performances.

Persian Garden

5 out of 5

Our last day was supposed to be stopping in Nassau but inclement weather prevented us from getting into port. So with the bonus sea day, we decided to give Persian Garden a try. It was a very nice experience. On Summit, there are two steam rooms and a dry sauna. One of the steam rooms is infused with some kind of herbal oil or something, kinda like you are sitting in a giant vicks vaporizer. There is a common area with heated tile benches connecting the three rooms. My wife and I aren't spa people, so it was a new experience for us. Not sure we would spring for a pass for the entire cruise, but it was cool to give it a try.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Staff and service were excellent. Our stateroom steward Adhy was excellent in the upkeep of our stateroom. Our butler Chip was perfect for us. He was really good at reading that we were introverts and didn't push himself on us checking in, he seemed to always know the perfect time to find us in the hallway or other areas to check in. He was super helpful! I also have to give special recognition again to the staff at Luminae. Denis the maitre'D always provided us great service as well as our waiters Juan Pablo and Dominic. Dominic especially was excellent. He was super friendly, but also super knowledgeable when it came to explaining what was on the menu, which was good for my wife and I as we aren't foodies and don't do a whole lot of fine dining. But he was also quick to learn our preferences and his recommendations each night were always right in line with our tastes. I hope Celebrity treats him (read: pay) well. A great asset to the cruise line.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
I've read in other reviews about Summit looking old or seeing better days. Sure, Summit obviously looks different than the brand new giant ships in Royal and Celebrity fleets. And any vessel on the ocean is going to pick up some rust spots (we are talking about salt water after all). But honestly, I couldn't find any remotely significant issues with Summit's appearance or upkeep. All of the spaces were clean and well maintained. Carpeting and seating all looked to be in top notch shape. Summit is also very easy to navigate. It's a smaller ship, which we like very much, but it was never more than a few minutes to get to any part of the ship. I'm pretty sure our next cruise will be on the Summit.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
We originally booked an Aqua Class, but a price drop near the sail date provided an opportunity for a relatively inexpensive upgrade to a Sky Suite. I'm glad I did. It was a little smaller than the Grand Suite on our last cruise on RCI's Independence of the Seas, but the way it was laid out, we had more than enough space. The walk-in closet was very nice and provided us with ample storage for our 7 night cruise. Balcony is a little on the small side, so no room for loungers, but that wasn't really an issue for us. Definitely would recommend the cabin to others. Location, in the back-half of the mid-ship area, on Deck 6, put us a short walk and a couple sets of stairs to Luminae on deck 4, or a quick elevator ride up to 10 for the buffet. It does provide for a little bit of a longer trek to the solarium, so if someone was expecting to spend a lot of time there, a room to the front of the ship may be better.

Ship Tip

The solarium can get pretty busy on sea days, so it can be challenging to find a lounger or space in the whirlpools and main pool. But if you time your solarium time for around 5-7, it's generally quieter because people are getting ready to go to dinner.

Ports Of Call

Basseterre, St. Kitts

5 out of 5
For St Kitts, we did the Catamaran sailing to Nevis excursion. For me, this was the best excursion I've been on during a cruise. This excursion featured a leisurely catamaran sailing to Nevis. It included an open, unlimited bar with water, soft drinks, beers, and rum punches, and then right before we landed on the beach, there was a grilled lunch served. The Catamaran crew were excellent and provided great service. The beach itself was nice, though for me not the star of this excursion. The sail back was a whole lot of fun. They put up all the sails and we were clipping along pretty good. It was a very exciting ride back. Highly recommend this excursion to others!

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

5 out of 5
St. Thomas, of course, has seen better days due to the hurricane. Still extensive damage, but that's why it's important for us to go and spend money and to get their economy roaring again! We did an excursion to an exclusive eco-reserve beach. It was a very nice, relaxing beach day.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Again, as suite guests, the disembarkation process is pretty, well, sweet. Our Michael's Club concierge Anastasia escorted us off the ship and had special clearance to get us ahead of the line to go through customs. Probably 10-15 minutes max from when we left Michael's Club and were in a taxi to the airport.
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