March 2015 - 7 Night Southern Caribbean (San Juan Roundtrip) Cruise on Celebrity Summit
In general, Celebrity creates a very positive cruise experience and the ship is clean, well-maintained, and for the most part the staff is friendly and attentive. They do try to create a superior cruise experience for their guests. Check-in and check-out were very smooth.
However, there were some isues with my March 28-April 4 cruise to the Southern Caribbean. The dinner service at the Cosmoploitan was not well organized and on two occasions, I had to wait for over 35 minutes to get seated for the evening meal. The second time it resulted in my missing more than half of the "Indulgence" event, for which I had bought tickets.
They made you wait to get seated, and gave you a beeper, but once you entered the dining room (on the 5th floor) there were numerous tables that were empty or in various states of being cleaned/changed. Had they cleaned and covered these tables speedily, they could have seated the guests more quickly.
Also, Celebrity has a wide variety of nationalities working on board, which is a good thing. However certain nationals are not service-oriented, never smile, and don't even respond when you say hello first. This happened to me on several occasions.
Also, the evening shows star at 7 and 9 pm. Holland America schedules their shows at 8 and 10, which is much more convenient for late diners.
The speciality restaurants including Normandie, QSine, and Bistro were generally good, although Normandie is not worth the $100 extra charge for a couple. The service, however, was impeccable and they made you feel very special. Bistro had very nice savory and sweet crepes and is definitely worth the nominal extra charge. QSine is an unusual and very trendy dining experience. Dishes were inconsistent, however, with some very good and others just ordinary despite the hype.
Room stewards were only fair. Some days they replaced towels and wash cloths, other days they did not. We got chocolate on our pillows two nights out of seven.
In general the food was excellent and plentiful onboard and a nice addition was the high tea options in the afternoon near the pool areas.
Guest relations staff were always attentive and helpful in sorting out problems. However, they could never seem to sort out the dining fiasco at the Cosmopolitan Restaurant.
The guests on the cruise were a nice mix of Americans, Puerto Ricans (also American citizens) and Europeans. I enjoyed this diversity in both ages and nationalities, which made for more interesting conversations. People were also generally more smartly dressed for dinner, particularly on the formal nights. Much nicer than my last experience with Holland America.
However, despite clearly stated rules, some folks came to dinner in shorts and some came to lunch in the buffet area in bathing suits. Celebrity should enforce the rules, even if it rubs some guests the wrong way. Slobs shuld not be rewarded.