Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
MightyMike

March 30, 2019 review of Summit

Recommended Posts

Pre-cruise in Puerto Rico

 

We stayed two nights at the Best Western Plus Condado Palm hotel in San Juan. The room, service and location were excellent. The price was economical relative to the other hotels in San Juan. 5 stars

 

We took the 6:00 pm Bioluminescent Bay tour offered by Kayaking Puerto Rico the night before the cruise. Also excellent. I highly recommend it especially if you have kids. The water in the bay glows blue-green where you paddle. 5 stars

 

 

 

Embarkation/Disembarkation - 5 stars

 

I have never had an easier time boarding a ship. We have no special status and no suite. We weren’t sure when to arrive so we decided to leave the hotel at 10:30 am and see what happened. We waited in a small line outside the terminal until they started taking luggage. The outdoor waiting area is shaded. We were on the ship about 15 to 20 minutes later. I have never boarded so early. It felt like we had the entire ship to ourselves while we explored.

 

Disembarkation was equally painless. We were in no hurry to catch our 1:55 pm flight, so we took our time having breakfast in the buffet. We carried our own luggage off the ship. The lines for customs were short and fast. After a quick check of our passports we were waved through. A huge line of taxis was picking up passengers and taking them to the airport. There were more taxis than people looking for rides--a lot more!

 

 

 

Cabin 6030 (“Sweet Sixteen”) - 5 stars

 

The new stateroom design is amazing! Electrical outlets (AC and USB) are everywhere you need them. It had an open feel and plenty of storage space. There were drawers we didn’t even use. The pullman bed worked well for our son. Visually it is appealing. Carpet was soft. Towels were fluffy. Everything worked as designed. I honestly have no suggestions for improvement. Celebrity has perfected a small room design for seasoned cruise travelers like us.

 

The balcony was the only place with minor issues. It is still the same 80 square feet as before the revolution. There was a slight cigarette smoke smell coming from somewhere. I never identified the exact source. During previous cruises aboard the Infinity, we were able to get the stateroom attendant to bring down some longer deck chairs, but this time we were told he was not allowed to do so. My impression is that the rule is more of a “class” thing where they want to reserve such perks only for those with higher status. That’s a shame because this economically-priced balcony has ample room for the long chairs. You can lay the existing chairs all the way back and extend one of them using the table to get a similar effect.

 

Some people criticize these staterooms for being too far forward--making for long walks to all activities. Honestly, I found the opposite to be true. Many of the activities are at the front of the ship--the Sky Lounge, spa, kids’ clubs, theater, Cafe al Bacio are all close by. Yes, you have a hike to the dining room or buffet, but they generally aren’t places we go to several times per day. There isn’t really any penalty for booking a room this far forward.

 

 

 

Food and Dining - 4 stars

 

We ate in the main dining room each night. The staff seemed overworked--scurrying from place to place and having about one accident per night. The food was exceptional--with one exception--the beef. For some reason steaks and beef seemed too dry, tough and tasteless to us. I finished less than half of my Steak Diane--unintentionally catching the attention of the maitre d’ who asked what the problem was. I don’t know what it is exactly, but they have a beef problem. That’s a shame because everything else was pretty much spot on.

 

Our breakfasts and lunches were mainly in the buffet. There are plenty of choices and everything tastes good. We found the best food to be at the back of the buffet--lots of hot breakfast and lunch options. Steaks were better at the buffet than in the main dining room.

 

We had room service breakfast a couple of times when we needed to be ready early for an excursion. It is the same food and quality as you get at the buffet. No complaints. It is about what you expect when you have to get a family fed quickly before heading out on an excursion.

 

 

 

Ports and Excursions - 4 stars

 

We purchased two excursions from Celebrity--snorkeling at Buck Island and river tubing at Dominica. Both were well organized. Be sure to reserve months in advance and check prices from week to week. The prices increase close to sailing. Prices are competitive when they have 20%-off sales about six months before the cruise. They are the same excursions offered by other cruise ships.

 

 

 

Teen Club - 2 stars

 

Yes, I am well aware that active families with teens are not Celebrity’s primary demographic, but they should have been able to do better. This was a spring break cruise, after all. When we arrived the first day to check it out, they were playing Pink Floyd on the speakers. Really? Pink Floyd is an awesome band and would have been perfect for such a club when I was a kid, but times have changed. 

 

The first teen activity was called the “Great Teen Hunt” and consisted of grouping kids into teams and having them search the ship for other teens to join the group. Nothing says “lame” quite like having to recruit kids to join your club. The only saving grace is that kids of that age pretty easily make their own entertainment. Before too long they were organizing their own pool parties, ping pong tournaments and basketball games.

 

 

 

Entertainment - 2 stars

 

The shows were all pretty much average cruise fare. The production shows (“Chandelier” and “Life”) were pretty good for a ship this size. One comedian was struggling. Other cruise lines have more variety and multiple, more intimate venues that allow for things like improv. The theater on Summit is used for pretty much everything--comedy, hypnotism, singers, dancers, port shopping talks--everything. They need more versatile space.

 

I think the beverage packages have changed how service is handled in the theater. Before beverage packages were popular, it seemed like there were a dozen servers in the theater giving each person multiple opportunities to purchase drinks. Now there are only one or two servers. Get there early and catch their attention quickly or you are not getting anything. Only a few orders get filled before the show. Better yet, stop by a bar on the way to the theater and bring your own.

 

The Silent Disco was fun. 

 

The Rooftop Terrace was underutilized. One evening a large block of the middle of the screen was black and not working. During the day they would show recorded music concerts, but the sun back there was too intense to comfortably watch. At night they showed Discovery channel-like shows. They did show some recent movies, but always during dinner time. I have been on other cruises where nighttime movies were always a hit, but they never did that here. My hunch is that they can’t play movies at night for fear of disturbing the deck 11 cabins with balconies directly below. If true, that’s a pretty serious flaw in my book.

 

 

 

Bars and Drinks - 3 stars

 

This was our first time cruising on a beverage package. We don’t drink much but might have wine at dinner, a cocktail at a show or a soda at lunch. It was included as a free perk. We would not have gotten our money’s worth out of it if we had to purchase it ourselves. You have to work a little to catch the attention of a server or bartender. They always seem to be busy.

 

I read some comments about how the Sunset Bar is now too open and hot since taking away the coverings. I agree with the criticism. I predict Celebrity will come to their senses and restore more significant covering above the Sunset Bar eventually. It is a less inviting place now than it used to be.

 

We liked the coffees and desserts at Cafe al Bacio. Sometimes they were a little slow and disorganized with multiple servers generating orders but only one barista.

 

One additional note that didn’t fit anywhere else: I like to pick up an extra copy of the dailies and save them as souvenirs. I didn’t see any near the Guest Relations desk. You can find extra copies outside the Gelateria across from Cafe al Bacio.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your well rounded review.   Enjoyed your comments and constructive criticism.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Enjoyed your review very much. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences and observations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting that a best western scores higher than the summit. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, MightyMike said:

Pre-cruise in Puerto Rico

 

We stayed two nights at the Best Western Plus Condado Palm hotel in San Juan. The room, service and location were excellent. The price was economical relative to the other hotels in San Juan. 5 stars

 

We took the 6:00 pm Bioluminescent Bay tour offered by Kayaking Puerto Rico the night before the cruise. Also excellent. I highly recommend it especially if you have kids. The water in the bay glows blue-green where you paddle. 5 stars

 

 

 

Embarkation/Disembarkation - 5 stars

 

I have never had an easier time boarding a ship. We have no special status and no suite. We weren’t sure when to arrive so we decided to leave the hotel at 10:30 am and see what happened. We waited in a small line outside the terminal until they started taking luggage. The outdoor waiting area is shaded. We were on the ship about 15 to 20 minutes later. I have never boarded so early. It felt like we had the entire ship to ourselves while we explored.

 

Disembarkation was equally painless. We were in no hurry to catch our 1:55 pm flight, so we took our time having breakfast in the buffet. We carried our own luggage off the ship. The lines for customs were short and fast. After a quick check of our passports we were waved through. A huge line of taxis was picking up passengers and taking them to the airport. There were more taxis than people looking for rides--a lot more!

 

 

 

Cabin 6030 (“Sweet Sixteen”) - 5 stars

 

The new stateroom design is amazing! Electrical outlets (AC and USB) are everywhere you need them. It had an open feel and plenty of storage space. There were drawers we didn’t even use. The pullman bed worked well for our son. Visually it is appealing. Carpet was soft. Towels were fluffy. Everything worked as designed. I honestly have no suggestions for improvement. Celebrity has perfected a small room design for seasoned cruise travelers like us.

 

The balcony was the only place with minor issues. It is still the same 80 square feet as before the revolution. There was a slight cigarette smoke smell coming from somewhere. I never identified the exact source. During previous cruises aboard the Infinity, we were able to get the stateroom attendant to bring down some longer deck chairs, but this time we were told he was not allowed to do 

Do you have photos?????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review and pics.  

Some areas look very  nicely updated...which was sorely needed.  Other areas seem to be the same as before with minor touches . That happpens  often in refurb projects .

 

Cabins do seem no frills "Best Westernish"..but hopefully they are new, refreshed, clean  and functional.

 

We will be on her in 2020...RT Bayonne.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great review and pictures.  Please remind me again of the "Sweet Sixteen" cabin numbers and what is unique about them?

 

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for taking us along on your cruise. I'm disappointed in the looks of the stateroom and those high back chairs in the MDR. 👎 Looking forward to our Summit Cruises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Ereggae said:

Thanks for the great review and pictures.  Please remind me again of the "Sweet Sixteen" cabin numbers and what is unique about them?

 

Thank you.

 

6016 - 6030 even numbers

6021 - 6035 odd numbers

 

They are forward-most eight cabins on each side of deck 6.

 

Even though they are the lowest-priced balcony category (2C), the balcony is twice the size of other standard balconies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, davekathy said:

Thanks for taking us along on your cruise. I'm disappointed in the looks of the stateroom and those high back chairs in the MDR. 👎 Looking forward to our Summit Cruises.

 

Only a few tables have the high-backed chairs. You will be able to easily avoid them if you want. Actually they seemed to be somewhat in demand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for your great review.  I like what I see of the decor.  We will be on later this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks for your review and pics. We are in 6030 on the Summit for a January sailing. It is always nice to see "your" room before you get there. Can you talk about how hard the bed was please? 🙂

Edited by clskinsfan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, MightyMike said:

 

Only a few tables have the high-backed chairs. You will be able to easily avoid them if you want. Actually they seemed to be somewhat in demand.

They look out of place. What level was Select Dining on? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, MightyMike said:

 

Only a few tables have the high-backed chairs. You will be able to easily avoid them if you want. Actually they seemed to be somewhat in demand.

I believe they are officially called Dalek Chairs.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, alfredo22 said:

I believe they are officially called Dalek Chairs.  

Yes. On one of the many threads, someone said they thought the chairs looked like Daleks. I had been thinking of hooded monks, but they are very evocative of the Daleks. I can’t wait to try the Dalek chairs, though I hear they’re heavy & difficult to move. 

Edited by Silkroad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, davekathy said:

They look out of place. What level was Select Dining on? 

 

We had traditional dining and entered on deck 5, so I'm assuming select is on deck 4.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, clskinsfan said:

Thanks for your review and pics. We are in 6030 on the Summit for a January sailing. It is always nice to see "your" room before you get there. Can you talk about how hard the bed was please? 🙂

 

I'm probably not the best one to judge the beds. I can sleep on just about anything. All I know is that they were very comfortable with 4 oversized pillows. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are considering Celebrity for the first time, they are going to Canada both from Boston to Maine and then Canada and back.   The itinerary looks great, there is an overnight in Quebec.   We have done this cruise just 7 days on the Serenade of the Seas and really enjoyed it.  The idea of 12 days and more ports is appealing to us, and leaving from Boston we can drive.  

 

I have seen that the Summit has been to dry dock, and added more cabins and taken away public space.  I saw photo's of the new decor all the grey seemed cold a dreary. When Royal Caribbean did this on the Serenade of the Seas it became more crowded especially in the MDR, and pool area.  They took out the library which was missed, and took away space in the dining room for cabins adding to the crowding.    I understand they were trying to appeal to a younger crowd.   We thought we might try Celebrity,  the cost is higher, we don't want to pay more for the same thing.  

 

We have been on Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, and enjoy both for different reason, but we always travel on the smaller ships.   We are retired and enjoy relaxing on a cruise.  Would we be disappointed on the Summit, does  it feel crowded ?  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...