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jean87510

Sailing on the Summit - 1/14/2020 to 1/25/2020 cruise!

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We started planning for this cruise November 2018 during Cyber Monday.  It was our 30th anniversary and we wanted to do something really special.  So we booked a 14 day MSC cruise on the Seaside for 1/25/2020.  After a couple of months of dealing with the IT department of MSC, we decided to research other cruises and decided to go back to our friend, the Summit.  Fast forward to January 10, 2020 which is when we started our cruise.  We had booked a pre vacation in Culebra which is a small island outside of Puerto Rico.  You can take a ferry there or fly a jumper plane which takes about 25 minutes.  We chose the plane.  Prior to our trip, Puerto Rico had suffered a few earthquakes so we were a little concerned but all was good to go on the day we left Philadelphia.

We spent the days in Culebra snorkeling and just enjoying the beauty of the island.  The beaches are beautiful and the snorkeling is unbelievable.  I highly recommend a pre or post cruise stay here.  On the 14th, we flew to Ceiba airport from Culebra then drove to San Juan, dropped off our Avis Rental at the Sheraton and walked to the cruise port!!  I would not recommend this on a Saturday or if you have mobility issues.  Otherwise, its a piece of cake and really not hard.  We were pretty excited about seeing the Summit.  This was our 5th time on and we were new Elite members thanks to a few Transatlantics on RCCL.  We had not been on since the changes so we were eager to get on.

Embarking was so easy.  We had originally did everything through the app so we just needed the boarding pass from the app and our passports.  We got right on at 1pm and were able to go to our cabin where our sea pass cards were in an envelope on our door.  We dropped our stuff off, put our valuables away in the safe and headed to Oceanview cafe.  So a bit about the Celebrity app.  Please download it.  It was so useful on the ship.  You can see and do everything on it - even open your cabin!!  We reserved dinner reservations and chatted with each other on it!  You can see your folio expenses on it.  

Now in regards to the Oceanview, I honestly loved it.  I only ate here.  I never once made it to the main dining.  Probably because we had 8 ports in 11 days and I was just too tired at night to find an acceptable outfit.  I had one dress, one pair of capris and one skirt.  And the rest was bathing suits, rash guard, shorts and tshirts.  I was in no mood to dress up after a long day on an island.  Plus, I like the concept of grab and go.  But to be honest, I did make it to the specialty restaurants and sampled each one.  

Ok, back to my review.  The muster drill was at 4pm even though our ship was leaving at 830pm.  There was a 2nd muster drill at 7pm for the later arrivals.  Unfortunately after the muster drill, I had to go to the medical office for an infection. They were really nice and quick and gave me antibiotics which were very helpful.  I met my husband back at the room and then we headed to Sushi on 5.  It was absolutely delicious there.  We did not make it to the show that night as I really wasnt feeling well and needed to get some sleep.  So we headed back to our cabin 1126 on the 11th floor.  I have a brief review of my cabin.  The cabin was a normal sized inside cabin.  What I really liked about the cabin was 1. the door on the shower (no shower curtain!!!), 2. the amount of USB ports to charge our phones, the amount of outlets to charge other things and the fact that they were right next to our bed!!  3.  The amount of storage space for our clothes (2 closets to hang items), 4. Shampoo, conditioner and body soap in the shower!!! 5. A light in the bathroom so that you can see when you get up in the middle of the night.  And 6.  Very comfortable pillows and bedding.

I will post some pictures and reviews of all of our stops.  We went to St. Kitt, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada, Barbados, Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire.  But right now it is about 645pm and I have to get my last drink of the night on the Elite "package" so I have to pause for a bit.  Quick note about the Elite status "stuff".  I used the Tuscan Grille for the cafe mocha every morning.  Selection of pastries and frult was very nice.  Did not use the persian spot on the spa.  No interest.  Never made it to the Sky Lounge.  Got all of my drinks from the Sunset Bar (coke zero) and the pool bar (endless cosmos!!).  I also used my name once for 1 bag of 30 pieces of laundry and my husbands for a 2nd bag of laundry for 30 pieces.  We enjoyed the 1 scoop of gelato last night!

 

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Day one we were in st. Kitt. Pre cruise I had booked through viator a power snorkeling trip with purple turtle charters. It had been a bit windy and raining off and on when we arrived at 9am. We hurried off, grabbed a cab and headed to Friars beach.

Unfortunately, our excursion was canceled and we weren't notified. So we had our cab driver take us to Cockleshell beach where we had never been to in umpteenth times to the island. I must say honestly this was not my favorite place and I was not impressed at all. I will stick with what I like from now on which is either a car rental or the Marriott. We took some pictures of the beach. 

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Edited by jean87510

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Following along Jean87510,  thanks for taking the time to review your cruise. We’re sailing on the Summit next month so I’m all ears.  Safe travels!

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Onto day 3 which was the day of our 30th anniversary and St. Lucia. We were originally supposed to go on a hike up one of the Pitons but it fell through when we were quoted a ridiculous new price. So we wandered out to the port and arranged a $65/person snorkeling 5 hour trip with Papa boat tours via catamaran which left at 1030am. We headed back to Tuscan grill and got a cafe mocha.

The trip was nice. We went to Anse Chastenet to snorkel, saw the Pitons and sailed back. We bought a lunch for $15 a piece. Anse chastenet has slowly deteriorated with the coral which is sad. But still good.

We had reservations at 6pm at the Tuscan grille. It wasn't my favorite night for a few reasons. 1. 2 hours and 15 minutes is just too long for me for dinner. Im really tired and for 4 courses, this is way too long. 2. I had asked for some privacy for my 30th anniversary. We were sandwiched between 2 other couples. I did ask to be moved but was told they couldn't. 3. Italian food was not good and cold. We did get a nice cake but by then we were just tired and over it. Celebrity put some flowers and chocolate covered strawberries in our room which was nice.

Quick note: I went to the gym every am except day 2 and 3 to do elliptical and treadmill at 6am. Very clean. Good condition. Water outside with cups. Never crowded.

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Edited by jean87510

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Day 4 in St. Vincent. Now i know a lot of people rely on cruise ship excursions. I only use them if its the only way I can get somewhere. St. Martin to St. Barts, Cozumel to Playa del Carmen...etc... and make it back to the ship. I see no need if on island. But I digress. Anyway, I really wanted to see Bequia. So when I noted the ship excursion to it I instantly purchased the excursion pre cruise. I'm sorry I did and wished I just stayed in St. Vincent. It was a waste of $244. We left later. We missed a snorkeling spot. 130 people on catamaran. 2 people fell. A shopping stop was added for an hour. Rung missing from ladder. Lunch had items that ran out because everyone on Princess Margaret beach had got in line for lunch. Plus it was pretty bad. One chicken leg or a piece of fish. A tablespoon of mac and cheese. And 2 tbsp of rice. Warm water and warm rum punch. The snorkeling was really nice. Beach was beautiful. We enjoyed about 2 hours there out of supposed 6 hour and 45 minute excursion which was really 6 hours. We did report our excursion experience to the shore excursion desk a few days later and they did refund us $76 total dollars which was fair since the beach and snorkeling were good. You can see a moray eel below and the beach.

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On Day 5 we visited Grenada. A little hint when getting off ship and back on. Use the elevator in buffet area and near Tuscan Grille and go down to 2. You have to walk the hallway BUT you have an empty elevator. Happened every time we used it. We chose to hike honeymoon and 7 sisters falls with a guide. It was tough but not as bad as mt. Liamiuga. Then my husband had some moonshine and I had a beer. Guess who navigated back to the room! 

We relaxed in the solarium catching up with the kids who are watching our 3 dogs including our puppy. We enjoyed some delicious ice cresm from buffet and once again went to buffet for dinner. We grabbed our coke zeros before 7pm and my cosmo from the sunset bar. 

Fyi to former summit travelers. I did not see the coffee man at all this trip. Im not sure if he is still on. Below is one of the waterfalls and the moonshine. Also my 3 dogs who I miss but will see today. Now I must pack up so Ill finish up in a bit.

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Edited by jean87510

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Waiting for my husband to enjoy his plate of pastries. In the buffet, they have delicious bread and pastries at the right when you walk it. A worker will walk around buffet with them. Delicious and a must for me every day.

On day 6 we visited Barbados. We prearranged with Barbados taxi service to snorkel at folkestone (not good at all), visit Animal Cave (fee to get in and will tske credit card) (do not stand near the water entrance in 2nd cave) and then to wildlife reserve. We loved this island and really enjoyed visiting the north. Wildlife reserve only takes cash. If you have a chance to go here and if you love animals, visit. The monkeys were cute. We got to see them fed at 2pm. They all come out. Deer, turtles, monkeys...etc. it was really neat. Below is the animal cave and wildlife reserve.

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Day 7 or the first sea day. We could finally sleep in after 10 straight days of moving non stop. Poor us! Anyway, we visited the gym, husband did work, I watched hulu shows and Netflix. The internet was excellent. We got a perk that I paid $30 for back around veterans day or some holiday to get one free perk. We obviously chose the 2 devices unlimited internet package. As you can see, I watched hulu. Netflix, showtime app and HBO app. And youtube. No issues at all. We did the Qsine seaday lunch. It was a platter of different types of seafood and lobster bisque. Pretty good. We stayed up on 12 on the rooftop from 2pm to 530pm then grabbed a cocktail from the sunset bar and went back to our room to get ready for dinner.

At this point we still had not made it to the MDR and we didn't wsnt to due to our lack of acceptable chic clothing. Plus we like our privacy and dislike the closeness of the tables. We also had not made a show yet.  

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Day 7 or the first sea day. We could finally sleep in after 10 straight days of moving non stop. Poor us! Anyway, we visited the gym, husband did work, I watched hulu shows and Netflix. The internet was excellent. We got a perk that I paid $30 for back around veterans day or some holiday to get one free perk. We obviously chose the 2 devices unlimited internet package. As you can see, I watched hulu. Netflix, showtime app and HBO app. And youtube. No issues at all. We did the Qsine seaday lunch. It was a platter of different types of seafood and lobster bisque. Pretty good. We stayed up on 12 on the rooftop from 2pm to 530pm then grabbed a cocktail from the sunset bar and went back to our room to get ready for dinner.

At this point we still had not made it to the MDR and we didn't wsnt to due to our lack of acceptable chic clothing. Plus we like our privacy and dislike the closeness of the tables. We also had not made a show yet.  

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Well we packed up room 1126 on the 11th floor and are now waiting on the sky lounge until we get thrown off ship. Theres no pastries left but some coffee and water. Note about rooms on 11 under the terrace rooftop. Very quiet and really convenient to the sunset bar and rooftop terrace. We plan to stay up there again. Just a nice location especially if you dont mind an inside cabin.

We visited Aruba on Day 8 which was our 1st ABC island. We prearranged a rental of a dune buggy with HS rentals. They were really good. They showed us use, gave us their number and we were off. Dune buggy only went up to 35 but it was a lot of fun. We drove to the natural pool visitor center, bought our tickets, and were off. Now I will say I will NEVER do that bumpy terrible hell hole road again. I am sure my kidneys and liver moved to a different area of my body. The husband loved it but I hated that road. We did our selfies at the pool and drove back. 

We then visited the caves and the beaches in the park. Its just so magnificent that you can't help being awestruck. 

We next went to snorkel at Mangel Halto. Now I will tell you that THIS is the best place to snorkel in Aruba. Its near de palm island. The reef is a little tricky to explain but its entered from the right of the rocks then swim to the left. 

We came back, dropped off rental and walked back to port, stopping for some ice cream on the way. It was about 1.5 miles but we enjoyed it. We just showered, drank our drinks at pool bar until 7pm, ate in buffet, and collapsed in bed.

Heres pictures of natural pool, Mangel Halto beach and the dune buggy plus an interesting name of a bar!

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Edited by jean87510

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Alright Ill admit. I forget what day Im on now. Its port day #7. We arrive in Curacao. Our car rental through Avis was at the seaquarium which didnt open until 10am. But we needed to buy a snorkel mask for my husband who left his in aruba. So we headed over after gym, breakfast, and cafe mocha. 

A side note for anyone new to elite and ty to all who shared this prior. We were able to get 2 free laundries done. I put my name on 1st bag and my husband's on 2nd bag. 

We picked up our rental and a snorkeling mask and pipe at a shop next door and headed to tugboat beach which is south of willemstad. Great snorkeling there. Probably the best of the 3 spots we went to. Then we headed all the way up to knip beach. This took 1 1/2 hours due to horrific traffic. I think we got there around 1pm. We saw some interesting coral and the beach was beautiful. We then headed over to Playa Lagun which was ok but not as good as the prior 2. Then we started heading back to port.

Because we wanted to enjoy our exploration, we only got lunches on st. Lucia and Bequia. We would just stop and get plantain chips at a convenience store and we had a collapsible cooler for drinks. We got ice from buffet for cooler. A lot of trips with a lot of cups of ice for these days!!

This night we went to le petit chef which was pretty good and cute. Food was good. We had the 830 seating. It lasted until 10pm. You could make a different selection if you didnt like the one.

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Nice review...port intensive to say the least . When you get home, can you mention a bit more about the ship...your cabin, updates etc?

Thanks 

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13 minutes ago, hcat said:

Nice review...port intensive to say the least . When you get home, can you mention a bit more about the ship...your cabin, updates etc?

Thanks 

I actually did in the first few posts re cabin. What else about the ship did you want to know?

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Onto our last port stop which was Bonaire. We rented a car with caribe auto which was a quick 10 minute walk from cruise port. We were scheduled to arrive at 8am but happily we arrived earlier and were cleared to leave at 750am. We drove to salt pier to snorkel with quite a few turtles. Then drove up to Karpata to snorkel which is north of 1000 steps. Just as good. Hint for snorkeling in Bonaire. Look for yellow rocks on the left when traveling north and parking signs on the right. We attempted to try the national park but its $40 a person and beach is 90 minutes from entrance by car. We visited the donkey sanctuary, snorkeled some more, went to the salt flats again with the flamingos... we were everywhere. We arrived back around 445pm. Our onboard was changed to 5pm from 430pm. 

A quick note: In the ABCs our port times were extended to an hour longer. It really helped as we were cutting it pretty close!

We hung out in the solarium and drank cosmos and gin martinis from 530pm to 7pm. Then showered, hit the buffet, and collapsed in bed.

Heres a quick photo display of our day. We really loved bonaire!

 

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On our last day we slept in and went to the gym then just stayed on deck 4 promenade all day until 5pm drinks. Here are some final observations:

 

The ship is really well cleaned and taken care of.

We never ate once in MDR so I can't help with that.

Gym was very clean with hand towels and water available after you left. Entrance is through the spa and on deck 10.

No long wait to get drinks.

Did notice some chair hogging in solarium but not a big issue to me

Cafe bachio cakes were good.

Never went in shops.

Never went to any shows. Just too tired.

Had no idea who cruise director was.

Every staff member on ship was pleasant and helpful. We resolved an issue at shore excursions quickly and efficiently. Also as mentioned, the medical team was really good and did follow up with me with a phone call.

Internet was fantastic. 

Celebrity app was great. Please download before your trip. Great way to stay in touch to find spouses! Plus all your info is on there right down to the folio. Your cabin will also have it on the tv.

Speaking of tv - Fox news channel was on plus a movie channel. We watched once upon a time in America, and a couple of other movies. There are pay ones but a few free ones. Its just a nice way to wind down at night.

Please let me know if you have any questions! We did use uber to get to airport which was $10.

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Great review!  Great pictures!  What kind of camera for the snorkel Picts?

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4 minutes ago, MAMAFIX said:

Great review!  Great pictures!  What kind of camera for the snorkel Picts?

We have a cheap knock off of a go pro. Campark ACT 74. You can get on Amazon for $40! I suggest getting a wrist strap that floats for it. I think they are around $6 on Amazon.

Edited by jean87510

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2 hours ago, jean87510 said:

I actually did in the first few posts re cabin. What else about the ship did you want to know?

Went back and re read..cabin well covered.  Did you use the Sunset Bar? Walking path on ship?. Music on ship?  I see you used huku and Netflux..what about fre movies on TV and up at the  outdoor movie area or elsewhere ,...thanks

 

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6 minutes ago, hcat said:

Went back and re read..cabin well covered.  Did you use the Sunset Bar? Walking path on ship?. Music on ship?  I see you used huku and Netflux..what about fre movies on TV and up at the  outdoor movie area or elsewhere ,...thanks

 

Every night we got coke zeros or elite allowed drinks at sunset. Quick bartenders and the chairs and ambiance were good. We did hear the occasional singers who were good.

Walking path on ship is on deck 11. I only used it to walk over to the gym!

This was a port intensive cruise so I didn't really pay attention to music throughout the ship. 

I already commented on the free movies on the TV.

Same movies on Tv were on rooftop. I think one or 2 days they played the main movie in the theater on 5.

We watched the kitchen on the rooftop on our first sea day. Other movies were the latest Terminator, peanutbutter falcon, the new lion king and a few other movies. I believe the Lion King was the movie that played in the main theater.

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No Donovan? He was always walking around pouring coffee on our cruise in May?

 

Laura

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8 minutes ago, Laurab23 said:

No Donovan? He was always walking around pouring coffee on our cruise in May?

 

Laura

I know, right? I remember him from my first cruise on summit in April 2016 and my last one on summit in April 2018. He just made my mornings as I watched the ship dock. He definitely was not in Oceanview.

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Donovan was on our Christmas 2018 cruise. He is fantastic! We are sailing on the Summit (4/11) and was hoping to see him. Great review!!

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