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Sail Date: November 2016
Getting on the ship was the best ever, no lines, got right on. There was suppose to be special lunch for Concierge class people in the main dining at 11:30, when we when there, we were turned away and said to come back in a hour. Not a ... Read More
Getting on the ship was the best ever, no lines, got right on. There was suppose to be special lunch for Concierge class people in the main dining at 11:30, when we when there, we were turned away and said to come back in a hour. Not a good start. The small number of children was refreshing, maybe 10 to 20 of the 2800 people on the ship. Five stars. Our room was okay, smaller then I would have thought for the price.Had a larger room on RCCL (Freedom) at half the cost. Our room stewards were very good and dealt with any request we had. At dinner our waiters were great, the food on the other hand was okay, sometime very strange. The entertainment was excellent, one of the high lights of the cruise. The casino was suppose to be smoke free, but on a number of days you could smell a strong smell of smoke. The ship ask me when I'd like to disembark, which I ask to be early since I had a 10 hour drive to get home. They misplaced our luggage so instead of being in the first 10%, we ended up being in the last 20% Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Another fantastic cruise on Celebrity Equinox: Nov 7-18, 2016 This was our 4th sailing on the Equinox, and we have enjoyed them all. Since our last cruise on her in March 2016, we noticed several changes, which I will discuss later. ... Read More
Another fantastic cruise on Celebrity Equinox: Nov 7-18, 2016 This was our 4th sailing on the Equinox, and we have enjoyed them all. Since our last cruise on her in March 2016, we noticed several changes, which I will discuss later. We had the same Captain (Costas) and Hotel Director (Jamie) as we had in March. Both were very friendly and assessable, as were other officers and crew. We went to the same ports as we did in March 2016, but in a slightly different order. We were spoiled because we had suites on two of our cruises on Celebrity this year, but we had Aqua class this time, and it was fine, but we missed being able to go to Michael's Club and dining at Lumanie. Twice we ran into Robert, who was our butler before, and he remembered us, and he was as gracious as ever. We hope we get him as our butler on our next cruise when we have a suite in 2017. Since we live in Tampa, we drove down the day before and stayed at the Rodeway Inn on Hwy. 84, as we have done many times before. You can leave your car there, and they take you to the port, and get you when you return. There are several hotels that do this. We had receive an email from Celebrity that since this was a repositioning cruise from Europe, we should not arrive until noon. The clerk at the hotel said that we should disregard this, and we did, and got to the port about 11 am. We checked our luggage and immediately went to the terminal check-in. Since we were Aqua class, we had priority check in and we went to level 2 where we waited with other Aqua passengers. We boarded at 11:45 am, and had a glass of champagne in our hands a couple of minutes later. Celebrity does a first class job on this, and it is one of the things that sets them apart from other cruise lines. We went to deck 14 for the buffet lunch, which was good. About 3 pm, they had the lifeboat drill, which, in our opinion, is a joke because they do not even take you to the life boats. Instead, you go to a designated area, which in our case was the main theater, and you listed to a video about what you should do. We still cannot believe that the coast guard allows this. If the ship is going down, I am going to the life boat, not the theater. Dinner at Blu was just OK--somewhat overcooked salmon, but still a good dining experience. The main show was Pete Matthews, a juggler, and he was great; do not miss him if he is on your cruise. Tue, Nov 8, 2016: an at sea day. We had breakfast at Blu, which was excellent. We went to the destination talk, and I won a bottle of wine because I had one of the winning tickets; never had had that luck before!! We bought the 3 dinner specialty restaurant package with some of our onboard credit, and had dinner at Murano this evening. We have done this on our last 3 or 4 cruises, and the Dover Sole was outstanding. You get one dinner at Murano, one at Tuscan Grill, and one at Silk Harvest for this package; you can also get a 5 dinner package if you choose. Wed, Nov 9; another sea day Since we have Elite status, we had the breakfast at Tuscan Grill, and it was excellent. A fairly limited menu, but it is delivered very fast. You get 5 or 6 choices, plus a free glass of champagne, or mimosa. We ate here several mornings, but also ate at Blu and the main dining room (once) for breakfast. We went to the "destination" talk, which was good, but they never tell you about local shopping places. Celebrity, as well as other ships we have been on, only tell you about their "approved list" shops. We had lunch at the main dining room and dinner at Blu. The show at the theater featured a great singer, Jesse Hamilton, and he was excellent. We had seen him before, and if he is on your cruise, do not miss him. Thur, Nov 10: Costa Rica We have been here several times before, so decided not to take a tour. There is a local craft market about 1/2 mile from the ship, but Celebrity did not tell you about it; you can buy some local goods, or some stuff that it is made in China, but we did not get anything on this trip. We had breakfast at the main dining room, and we have had better service; I had to ask 2x for cream cheese for my smoked salmon, and asked for champagne, but never received it. Had lunch at the buffet and it was good, as well as dinner at Blu. The main show was "Broadway Cabaret", and it was very good. Fri, Nov 11: Panama We have been here 2x before and decided not to take a tour. We walked a short distance to a nice shopping mall (that the ship does not tell you about); there are several junk shops, plus a nice electronic store, a grocery store, and a casino. Some of the shops would let you haggle for the price, and some would not. We were rather lucky because we went about 10 am, and shortly after we returned to the ship, it started raining, and rained off and on all afternoon. Sat, Nov 12, and Sunday, Nov 13: Cartagena, Columbia We arrived about 9 am at the entrance to the port. We had been here in March, and one of the waiters told us to be sure you are on deck to observe the old fort on the port side as you enter the bay. Celebrity did not tell us that. It takes about an hour to go from the entrance of the port to the dock. Two ships, Celebrity Infinity and Coral Princess were already docked. We went to the Sky lounge (forward) to watch the ship come in. Cartagena is a very large city with a lot of high rise buildings (on the port side). The skyline looked much larger than either Miami or Tampa. At the end of the pier there is a high-priced shop and adjacent to that is an aviary with a lot of birds. You can take a free shuttle from the ship to there, but it is only about 350 yards. We took the shuttle there, and walked back. If you want a taxi, this is where you can get at taxi to town. Otherwise, there is nothing to do at the pier. We had taken a tour when we were here in March, and had signed up for one this time, but it got cancelled. We had dinner in Tuscan Grill and it was the best filet we have ever had; our waiter, Jose, was from Columbia and he was very informative. The show in the theater featured a great singer, Savannah Smith, so do not miss her. Monday, Nov 14 Another sea day, and it rained a lot, with a lot of thunderstorms. We did get to see some spectacular lightning in the early am. We went to the Select/Elite wine tasting, and it was informative and very good. Tuesday, Nov 15: Grand Cayman We were the only ship in port, which was good since this can be a very busy place if several ships are in port. We took the water taxi to downtown, and just did a little shopping for a couple of hours and then went back to the ship. This was "lobster" night and we were very disappointed with the lobster in Blu. The lobster was so tough that it was difficult to cut, so we sent them back. The second one was a little better, but certainly not what were used to on Celebrity. We have had much better lobsters in the main dining room, and on our next cruise, that is where we are going for lobster. The main show featured David Guidice, and he was excellent; he did a tribute to Billy Joel. Wednesday, Nov 16: Cozumel We arrived about 10 am, and took the "Mayan living history and Island Tour". It was supposed to take 3 hours (per the tour brochure), but took about 4.5 hours. We would not have taken it if we had known that it took that long. When I asked the tour guide about this, he said that Celebrity had the time wrong, and I complained about this when I returned to the ship. Who knows if Celebrity will correct this. We have found in our previous cruises on Celebrity, and other ships, that the tours almost always take longer than the stated time. We can understand this because of traffic congestion, but not if it is just wrong. On this tour, we went to a little shopping center that was not even on the places we were supposed to visit. The tour guide steered you to a couple of shops that featured coral, and I bet you that he got a kickback from that, although there is no way you could prove it. Thursday, Nov 17 A sea day on our way back home. They had a great show in the main theater that featured some of the previous entertainers, and they were great. Friday, Nov 18. We arrived at Fort Lauderdale early, and we always take our own luggage off because we can get off earlier and head home. This time Celebrity did not tell you what deck you disembarked from, but because we had been on here in March, we knew it was Deck 5, so we lined up early, and were about 7th in line. We could not tell what the delay was, but we got to disembark later than what time we were told. We would like to add some additional comments that we think future cruisers would be interested in: 1. The hi speed internet connection was much improved since March. Since we are Elite, we get 90 minutes pp internet for free, but you can buy unlimited wifi for $250, and we met a few people who did this, but it was not worth it to us. 2. We were Aqua class and also had Elite status. Aqua got called to board before Elite, but Concierge seemed to go through check in faster than Aqua. I had called Celebrity before we left, and the lady I talked with said that there was no set standard for boarding except that Suite guests got to board first. In our opinion, the higher class should board first. 3. Celebrity has eliminated the sheets of coupons that they give you for Select, Elite, etc.(like laundry, casino match play, bingo, gelato). I am sure that saves Celebrity a lot of money for printing costs. Now it is done with your cabin key. Instead of getting 2 gelatos , now you only get one. 4. I Lounge: Celebrity is geared to Apple technology, whereas Holland America is geared to Microsoft. For most of the Apple classes, there is a charge to attend, whereas on HAL, the Microsoft classes are free. Many of us had a hard time connecting to their wifi, and the lines were long to talk to an expert. Jose was terrific and very efficient, but there should have been at least 2 experts, considering how many older people (like us) were onboard and are not nearly as efficient as our kids or grandkids when it comes to computer related things. 5. Baggage check-in at the pier seemed more efficient than on other Celebrity cruises we have been on. The porter put the Deck 11 baggage on one dolly, Deck 10 on another, etc. This may have been the reason we got our luggage earlier than before. 6. We always enjoy going to the Cruise Critic gathering on these cruises, and normally they are the morning after the day you board. However on this cruise, the party was at 5 pm on the day of departure, and many people, including us, did not attend because we were busy unpacking. Surely Celebrity can do a better job on scheduling this. 7. On several days, there was an article in the Celebrity daily news that you could go through immigration faster if you had an app called "Mobile Passport" for your smart phone. We downloaded it to our phones, and tried to use it but it would not allow you to input the ship, ports visited, or items you bought. I went to the I Lounge and neither of the reps knew anything about it, which is surprising since Celebrity made such a big deal about it in the daily paper. So we filled out the old immigration form by hand. When we got to the terminal in Ft. Lauderdale, there was a special line for people who had the app on their phone. The sign said that it was available for I Phones, and that it would soon work for Android phones (like ours). Hopefully it will be available before our next cruise in 2017. 8. Celebrity really needs to change the way they award Elite and higher members. If you are concierge or above, you get the same little gifts in your stateroom regardless of your status, so basically you get no little gift for being Elite. You get a zippered canvas bag, and a little credit card holder; we now have about 10 of these! If you reach VIP status on Carnival (like Elite on Celebrity) you get a really nice gift, like a Tervis Tumbler, or fancy beach bag. It has been several years since we traveled on Carnival, so I really do not know what they do now. Overall it was a great cruise, friendly staff, good food and lots to do. We used to cruise on Carnival and Holland America, but once we discovered Celebrity, it is our line of choice. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was our 25th anniversary cruise and our second on Equinox. We are both in 50's and have also cruised most other lines over the past 20 years. We arrived two days early and stayed at the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Marina. This ... Read More
This was our 25th anniversary cruise and our second on Equinox. We are both in 50's and have also cruised most other lines over the past 20 years. We arrived two days early and stayed at the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Marina. This hotel is so close to the port that you can see the boats while in your room. Also walking distance to Grocery, Liquor and plenty of Restaurants. The hotel itself is small and manageable, with great tiki bar and views of the intercoastal. We grabbed a cab around 11 and went to the port. Check in was very easy and we waited a bit in the lounge area before being called to board. Think airport gate area for the lounge area, with less crowds. We were in a Celebrity Suite, room 1110. Upon boarding we went to Michaels Lounge for a bit and had a drink and met the staff that would be there all week. They were all incredible, especially Jole (Yo-La) who was the Concierge. While we had already booked our excursions and dining, etc.. we did not use her much, but she was always happy to see you and greet you as you came and went and very conversational. I asked for Vanilla Vodka and Cranberry which they did not have so, without thinking twice, simply took regular Vodka. That evening when I returned ordered the Vodka and Cran, but she said they had gone and gotten me Vanilla Vodka and it was there the rest of the week. We left our things and headed to Lunch in Luminae. Michaels club is a great perk for suites, with free liquor and light snacks, cookies etc... and great place to meet others. We used in almost everyday. Luminae - This is another incredible perk for suite guests. The service was incredible and food was best we have had on cruise. Gaga, was one of our wait staff and we got to know her well and she is unbelievable. One of the things about Luminae, is that the menu is limited, but do not worry, you can choose from the main dining if there is nothing that wows you on the menu. They will pretty much do anything for you here. One night I had a Martini from the Martini Bar and they asked if I wanted another. I said, is that possible, since it comes from bar all the way up and over. He laughs and says, what, is there a camera on right now and my Martini was there in 5 minutes. Any other night if I had one, it would be refreshed when empty. Same thing for unique beers I would get from Gastro Pub. Our experience here was so good that we cancelled our night in Murano, even though that meant not using one of 3 Free Specialty dinings we had been given. Other Food: We at at Tucan twice and I really like the selection and the quality is very good. The service, while good, was a bit slower than we would have liked. Gastro Pub we often got beers here, but also ate dinner one night. The cheese soup is very good, the burger just okay and the fish and chips good. If you want a casual night or to catch a game, this is a good option. Buffett - We ate most lunches on-board here. I have to say the layout is crazy as you spin your way around and there is not start line and end line in the stations, people coming from all angles. The food itself I found very bland. It seemed like everything taste the same, whether salad, burger, taco, etc... Not a fan. I missed the pizza on Carnival and Princess that were open all the time. Gelato - we had this one night and it was very good. Cafe El Bacio - We had a couple deserts from here and they were better than the dining room options, but not as good as they looked. Spa Cafe - Loved the smoothies and muffins and fruit here in the morning as well as it is a great place to get coffee without the crowds of the Buffett. Room I like the room as it has a huge balcony and separate bedroom. That said the bathroom is tiny and little to no storage or counter space. We visited a Sky Suite and the bathroom was much larger. Also, this enormous "hump" balcony only has a small table with two chairs and one lounger. Now they know there will be two in the room, why not two loungers. there was plenty of room. The room comes with a butler and we did utilize him for breakfast almost every morning. Simply put the sign out by 2 am and tell him what time. It was very good with exception of one day, when the order was quite messed up, but no big deal. Ports Panama, we took private tour to the canal locks and got lucky and saw a boat come through and then went to the old city for lunch, but unfortunately it rained quite heavy so we were not able to see much of the city. We did do the "hill" and it had incredible views and was worth the drive over. Costa Rica - We took a tour to a rainforest and then to a beach. While our guide Ricky Ricardo Tours was excellent we did not care for the port. Columbia - We had an overnight in Cartegena and it was incredible. We just went into city on our own, about 10 minutes in cab and walked around, got lost, had drinks and snacks and shopped. Watched a great sunset from bar on top of the Wall and then took a buggy tour. We liked it so much we stayed and had dinner and did not get back to boat until about midnight. Great 1st day. The second day we did Celebrity Private Beach day and this was not as good. Long boat ride of over an hour and the beach place left a lot to be desired. It was a small Cay and private, but they only had a couple options for bar and the beach was maybe 50 yards long. Not worth the price. Cozumel - We did a private beach and it was nice and then shopped for a few hours before going back on board.\ Cayman - Just grabbed a cab to beach and hung out. Great day, but they make you board at 2:00 pm which is a big pet peeve on this trip, as we could have stayed all day. Tip, do not get in a cab within the Port Area. They will sit you there for as long as it takes to fill it up and it is a waste. Simply exit the port and either grab a cab or take the small public bus (minivans) for a couple of bucks. Port Days - We are sun people and it is tough to get a spot due to all the chair saving hogs. All cruise lines need to get an answer for this, as you see chairs with things on them for hours and no one there as people who want to sit walk around looking. Shows - We did three and they were okay. Nothing to write home about and kinda cheesy. They had one really good singer, but he spent way too much time goofing around with crowd instead of just singing. Disembarkation - Celebrity does this right for Suite guests as there is separate area and you walk over, get bags and go to front of any line. We were off and out in less than 10 minutes. Misc. We did a Anniversary package with Champagne, flowers and cake which was quite nice and we had them bring the cake to our room in morning, but then we did not eat so Butler brought it down to dining room that night. Ship is clean and we had good service. We had Premium Drink and Free wifi and not sure how I will cruise without it. Never had issue getting drinks at any of the bars, even Martini, but there are definitely less servers around the pool, now, but a minute walk was no issue. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
We selected this cruise because we enjoy Celebrity cruises and we were able to get a great deal on an Aqua class stateroom. We were on the Solstice last winter on a two week cruise through New Zealand and Australia in Concierage class. ... Read More
We selected this cruise because we enjoy Celebrity cruises and we were able to get a great deal on an Aqua class stateroom. We were on the Solstice last winter on a two week cruise through New Zealand and Australia in Concierage class. Our cabin on the Summit was very clean and in good repair however it appeared to be much smaller than our cabin on the Solstice. The balcony on the Summit was tiny - just enough room for two chairs and a table. We really enjoyed the daily tea provided in our room and we're pleased to find out that the extra amenities in Concierage class ( welcome wine, daily snacks) were included. We enjoyed Blu Restaurant as well as Quine and Tuscan Grille. We tried the main dining room once and it was OK. The ship''s officers were very friendly. The service on the Summit was not as good as on the Solstice. It appeared to be understaffed. We usually had to go to a bar to get drinks ourselves in the lounges, at the pool and at the buffet. Waiters were quite scarce. This was a bit disappointing as we had expected the same level of service on the Summit. We speculated that perhaps this is a training ship as the bartenders and wait staff were not as polished and professional as on other cruises. They were very friendly and helpful though. The entertainment on the ship was pretty good. We especially enjoyed the magic show and the Bandmates band. Nice cabin. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
I recently took the Summit on a trip to the Caribbean. It was not my first time on Celebrity but I must say it will be my last. This ship is old and new carpet and a few new gadgets wont make this ship worthy of the fleet. Another problem ... Read More
I recently took the Summit on a trip to the Caribbean. It was not my first time on Celebrity but I must say it will be my last. This ship is old and new carpet and a few new gadgets wont make this ship worthy of the fleet. Another problem was the captain, very unprofessional. Her comments and gestures where more of a taxi drive then a ships captain and mentioning Hillary was most annoying.. Food was far the worst of all my 64 cruises and the predictable and roaming plumbing problems sent this cruise into the list of " got to miss this one" cruise. Celebrity got to get there game together before they loose biz.. I cant say enough about the staff how efficient and accommodating they where. The gaily ways where always filled with odors of clogged plumbing and we devised a way to bypass some floors on the way to the dining room. Please put this ship out of it's mystery. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
First, a little about us. This was my twelfth cruise with Celebrity, and my fourth on Summit. I was travelling with my partner, my seven year old son, my mother, and her husband- all of us have Elite status with Celebrity except my partner ... Read More
First, a little about us. This was my twelfth cruise with Celebrity, and my fourth on Summit. I was travelling with my partner, my seven year old son, my mother, and her husband- all of us have Elite status with Celebrity except my partner who is on his second sailing. We chose the repo sailing because the airfare is much cheaper for us, and we like the Summit. We booked through a major agency that gave us the Classic drink package, $350 OBC, and prepaid gratuities for 2, on both cabins, and my son was given a classic non alcoholic package and 40 minutes of internet. My partner and I upgraded to the premium package. Precruise: We flew down a day in advance on Air Canada and stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Newark airport on points. They upgraded our family to an executive suite which was a fabulous way to start the trip. My son had his own little room with a pullout sofa to sleep on, and we had a private bedroom. They also include a hot breakfast in the morning. Embarkation: We had some hiccups here. My son was booked into my mother's cabin since she goes to bed very early and that way my partner and I could go out in the evenings. I had checked my son in on my cabin's Express Pass since we were flying a day early and my mother and her husband were flying day of, and I didn't want there to be any issues. It was frustrating to find out that they got to the port about an hour ahead of us and they told her she had to wait for us to arrive to give us my son's Seapass. I spoke with a supervisor and she told me that my mother had been given incorrect information and they should have just left his Seapass at the desk for us to pick up when we arrived. It was a minor inconvenience but she was annoyed at having to wait for no reason. Other than that, embarkation went quickly and we were on the ship by noon having lunch at the Oceanview. Stateroom: We had booked two oceanview GTY cabins and my mother, her husband, and my son received cabin 3000, all the way forward. My partner and I were given cabin 3112, which is the first cabin in the area next to the conference room, midships. It was SO quiet there, which we really enjoyed. We never heard doors slamming or even a peep from our neighbours the entire trip. The room was kept clean and was well maintained with the only minor issue being that the ballast was old in our bathroom light, and it would occasionally flicker or turn itself off then back on. We did have some issues with our stateroom attendant, which while relatively minor, were still a bit disappointing. I asked him to put a copy of the Fun Factory daily program in our cabin when he left the Celebrity Today, and it took three days and letting the Fun Factory know we still hadn't received it before we started to get it. We wanted to make plans about which segment of camp that my son would attend and to see when the family events were planned and this was made more difficult. We also requested an egg crate mattress pad and the steward ignored the request. I don't know if they ran out or not, but he said yes of course and then it never materialized. The night before the first port day, we are used to receiving beach towels in our stateroom. At 10pm when we hadn't gotten any I called Guest Relations to ask if there had been a change in policy about the beach towels and I was told that no, I should have received them. I said not to disturb the attendant now, that I'd get them myself in the morning, but I had just wanted to clarify the current policy. We did receive towels for the next port. Dining Room: We had table 502 for five on deck 5 along the upstairs railing, which gave us a great view of the dining room. We did encounter a serious issue in the dining room, unfortunately. Three of the people in our group have severe food allergies, and we had this noted on our original booking and contacted Special Needs before the cruise. In addition, we told the waiter on the first night about the allergies. My partner ate a breadstick from the bread basket and had an allergic reaction to it which while fortunately was not too serious, still necessitated a visit to the medical facility and ruined the rest of his evening. After this issue, the maitre d' came to our table every evening to help the people with allergies choose their meals for the following evening but not only did he continue to still mix up allergies (attributing one of my son's allergies to my partner), but no customization of meals to remove allergens was allowed. In the past, with 24 hours notice it has been no problem to have items modified to make them safe for our group to eat, but when we asked this time we were told it was not possible. And I'm not talking about very unusual allergies- my son is allergic to peanuts and peas, my partner is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, and my mother is allergic to almonds and pitted fruit. I don't think it would have been that difficult to have a salad made with no pistachio, for example, but we were told no by the maitre d'. We also noticed a staffing cutback partway through the cruise- the bar servers were removed from our section. I saw our bar server at Cafe al Bacio later in the cruise and she said they were removing bar servers from the dining room at dinner, and to order drinks from the sommelier or the assistant waiter. I find that disappointing because it's already difficult to get a sommelier's attention given the number of tables they must serve, and the waiter and assistant waiter are so busy already. Again, a minor issue, but it doesn't give one a positive impression to keep seeing these cutbacks. Our waiter did work very hard to try and keep my son happy, though, and aside from those issues we did enjoy our meals in the dining room. Food quality didn't seem any different from previous sailings and was still reasonably good, and it seemed much quicker to get an extra item than it had in the past. At one point my son asked for more shrimp cocktail in the middle of the meal and the waiter had it for him within 5 minutes. My partner liked the design of the dining room on this class versus the S class because of the windows. We also had breakfast here once so that my partner could get his eggs Benedict freshly made, and lunch a few times on sea days. We received good service and hot food, although no special requests could be made (I asked for cheddar cheese instead of blue on a Cobb salad and was told they could remove the blue cheese but not add anything else). For those who care about the dress code, nothing was enforced even on chic night; we saw passengers wearing T shirts and other very casual attire. My son got lots of compliments on his tuxedo, though! Specialty Dining: My partner and my son went to Sushi on Five twice for lunch and they both enjoyed it. My son was given a set of child's chopsticks to use which he got to keep, and he liked that. They tell me that the sushi was excellent and portion sizes were relatively good (I don't like sushi). For the two of them for lunch, it was in the $30-$40 range. The service was attentive and they enjoyed their meals. The restaurant wasn't very busy at either time- perhaps people found the pricing a bit steep? We also ate at Tuscan Grill one night. Discounts weren't plentiful on this sailing- sea days were full price and 20% reduction on port days. When I went to make a reservation I had my son with me, and I said it would be for just our four adults and my son would go to the kids' club that night but the manager said we would be welcome to bring him and there would be no charge. I was very surprised by this and I asked if he would be eating off the Tuscan menu and they said yes. My son has eaten in nice restaurants before and I thought he'd be able to handle the dining experience, so we took them up on it and booked a table for five at 6pm. I must admit that I don't care for the new menu as much as the old one, but that's a personal taste issue. I miss my lobster pappardelle! At least the crab cake (my son devoured it) and the calamari are still on the menu, and you can get the antipasti included again instead of paying extra. It's a rather smaller selection of items and didn't include all the previous things though. I am not sure if this is a benefit or not and I suppose it depends on the way you see it. We did get excellent service and enjoyed our meals. The limoncello cheesecake was out of this world! They also served a complimentary glass of limoncello before dessert and brought my son some lemon soda. We didn't visit Qsine on this sailing. Pools: The T pools on the M class ships are awesome. It was actually a lot of fun when the ship was in rocky seas because the T pool was rocking, too! They closed the pools early on some days likely as a result of this. I was surprised and pleased that children are allowed in the regular pool deck hot tubs when supervised. The temperature is more warm than hot, so it's not a safety issue. My son had a great time hot tubbing with us. Oceanview Café/Poolside Grill: As usual, we enjoyed the offerings at the poolside grill. Maybe it's just my memory, but the burger patties seemed thicker and larger than before. I did notice that there was no longer a daily special but what was there was yummy. We had a few meals in the oceanview cafe, and it was a good place for a late night snack (open until 1am). I wasn't all that impressed with most of the hot entrees because I found by the time I brought them back to my table that they were cold. I did enjoy the fresh made to order meats at the back of the ship, and the fresh sandwich grill. I noticed that afternoon tea has been cut back quite a bit as well. Maybe there has been a lot of food wastage? I remember on my last sailing they still had those little sandwiches and lots of selection and this cruise there were only two options. I also noticed that the scones were more like hockey pucks which was a little disappointing. Again, this isn't a major issue, but it was definitely something I enjoyed on previous sailings and missed it this time. They had a daily offering in the evening over the dinner hour for a different type of cuisine made fresh in the buffet, and we did enjoy these when we had room for them! It was from 5:30-9:30pm and varied from Mexican to shawarma to kebabs to Japanese etc. Anything that was made fresh was delicious. Bars: One thing I really miss about the S class ships is the Molecular Bar (now World Class). It's probably one of my favourite evening hangouts since it's so centrally located and I like the drinks. On this sailing, we wound up spending most of our time up at the Sunset bar on deck 11. We aren't martini drinkers so didn't want to go to the Martini Bar, and the Rendez-vous was generally quite loud with karaoke in the evenings so we had to find a new watering hole to relax at. There was live music some evenings at the Sunset bar which was nice and not too loud. If you see Ketut there from Indonesia (or in the Rendez-vous), he is a fabulous bartender. I wish we'd met him before the last two days of the trip. He could even make a mocktail for my son into a work of art! He also gave us some great mixology information and showed us some neat tricks on keeping a drink balanced. We didn't even order specific drinks from him- he just started making us new and interesting things based on our preferences that he'd learned, and they were all different and fabulous. Entertainment: We were a little surprised that there was no deck party this sailing. It's always fun to dance up on deck or to sit in the hot tub and listen to the music. There was live music in the evenings but sporadically. There was a piano player in the evenings at Cafe al Bacio, and there was a guitar player sometimes in the Rendez-vous. He and a singer also played at the Sunset bar some evenings. We didn't go to any of the production shows. We did attend the late night comedy and it was funny and enjoyable- definitely worth going to. There were two speakers onboard who did various enrichment lectures. My only thought is that not many people wanted to get up at 9:15am on a sea day to listen! We enjoyed the lecture about rum, though, since it was held a little later. Also, the talk at the Tuscan Grill about how to cook the perfect steak was interesting, except that no steak was cooked! We didn't attend any trivia, but it was offered several days. My mother played Bingo but she didn't win. It's $59 to play now, which seems a little steep to me, but the lines were long so I assume this amount works for other people. Fun Factory: There were only 20 children on this sailing, but we weren't expecting many. It was lucky for my son that most of them were also in the 6-8 age range so there was a Cadets group. There were lots of activities that he enjoyed, including Family Bingo where he won a backpack and a water bottle. He also liked that he could have more time on the Xbox since there were fewer children. What he didn't enjoy was that the schedule was a bit less flexible this time- if he didn't like the scheduled programming, he wasn't allowed to do anything else. As a result, we checked the daily program in advance (when I finally received it!) to make sure the activities for each segment would be something he enjoyed. They held to the same schedule of 9-12, 2-5, and 7-10, with a 10-1 pajama party. My son only went to the morning segment and occasionally the afternoon; he preferred to eat with us in the dining room and not with the kids club. He went to bed too early to participate in the later night sessions. I suspect he would have had a better time on one of the Royal Caribbean megaships with more children and more activities and things to do, but he certainly did well enough with Fun Factory. Photography: The Studio had been added to Summit, which we hadn't noticed on our last sailing in 2013 (if it was there then). We didn't use it this time because of the cost, but we got great photos there on Eclipse last year. This time we used our Elite discount coupon to get six photos for $100. The signage was a little misleading, though. It read that with all packages you get a CD and photo editing software, and they told us that was only if you elected to take digital prints instead of paper ones. While it's not really a big deal, I think if a sign says ALL packages, that they should honour this. The other minor issue is that they sell packages for six photos, for ten photos, or unlimited. We wanted to purchase seven and they told us that the package is for six and the seventh would be at full cost ($29.95). Since their signage says to bring the photos you want and inquire about a package, that also felt a bit misleading because I assumed that meant they would work with you on pricing for the number of photos you wanted. We decided to purchase only six photos as a result. Security: We had a serious incident on this cruise and as a result got to know the security team better than we would have liked to. My son's Nintendo DS and bag of games was stolen from a tied shut and buckled canvas knapsack from the pool area partway through the cruise, and the theft was flagrant as the thief left behind the single game they didn't want! We reported the theft to Guest Relations and escalated by asking to see the Hotel Director. We were taken to meet Matti, the security chief. We filled out paperwork and described the incident in detail, and then went up to deck 10 to point out the exact location where the bag had been and at what time, so they could check security tapes. We were assured that they were taking the theft very seriously. We were not given any information about action taken or the person who took our items, but we weren't interested in anything but getting our items returned, honestly. I posted about the incident here on Cruise Critic and I think the community helped because the Celebrity Cruises social media representative contacted Summit on our behalf (thanks so much!) and my son's items were recovered. We were so happy to receive a positive resolution because we were worried the Nintendo was gone forever. So a big thank you to Celebrity and to the Cruise Critic community for helping us end the cruise on a very positive note. Medical Staff: The medical staff were professional, courteous, and friendly. They took good care of my partner after his allergic reaction and responded quickly. He wasn't charged for this visit. Captain's Club: I am not sure if there was a large number of Elite members on this sailing, but we never really saw or spoke to the Captain's Club hostess. We did eat breakfast several mornings at the Tuscan Grill which was enjoyable, and the service was excellent. Although it's only a cold breakfast, there was a large selection of baked goods, fresh fruit, smoked salmon, cold cuts, and cheeses. If you do not have a drink package, there are complimentary beverages served as well. I had a Bellini with breakfast most days It's vacation, right? Ports of Call: We visited St Maarten and St Thomas en route from Cape Liberty to San Juan. Since we had my son with us, we went to the St Maarten zoo, which I would highly recommend if you have children. It's $10 for adults and $5 for children, and there were lots of interesting animals there that you can learn about and feed. The zoo recently got a new sponsor so it's been totally redone and looks great. (https://www.facebook.com/stmaartenzoo/) We took a cab to Magen's Bay in St Thomas, which lives up to the hype. No need to book an excursion, it was $10pp each direction plus a $5pp entry fee. Make sure you have cash if you want to rent floating mats or lawn chairs or snorkel equipment- they also charge a refundable deposit for each item you rent so you need a lot of money up front. Disembarkation: Quick and easy. We had a very early flight (American had changed times) so we needed to get off the ship ASAP. Americans could walk off at 7am but international guests needed to wait until 8am for immigration agents to arrive. But even with the agricultural bag check we were sitting at our gate nearly 45 minutes early for our 10:35am flight. Smooth and easy way to end the cruise. General Comments: Many people have posted comments about maintenance issues. We looked, and in our opinion Summit looks pretty good for a 16 year old ship. There was only one serious issue that should be taken care of immediately and that was in the men's change room. The floor is a wooden grate and it was missing one of the supporting pieces. If something went wrong, a person could put their foot right through the flooring and potentially get injured. I would say that is maintenance that needs to be done immediately. Other than that, Summit looked to be in great shape and I'd happily sail her again if finances and time permitted. Sailing with a child was much easier this time around since he could go to the kids' club and we had time to relax. Also, he didn't need to go to bed quite as early now that he was older, he could sit through a full meal in the dining room and behave and enjoy himself. It was much better than the sailings at 14 months or 4 years old. While the cutbacks continue to be a bit of a disappointment, I still think that every line has cut back similarly, and since I enjoy the Celebrity product I will continue to sail with them until I feel that I'm not getting value for my money. I do wish they would bring back some of the touches that made their cruises really feel like a premium product, though. I'd love to give this cruise 4 stars, but I have to deduct a point because the allergy issues could have been far worse, and I think Celebrity should handle that better. I am still thrilled at the recovery of my son's Nintendo system and games though- thank you so much, Celebrity! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
My husband and I booked this last minute trip for rest relaxation and delicious food. With three sea days we certainly got the rest! Our cabin was just fine, nothing special but the bed was comfortable and we had no external noises to ... Read More
My husband and I booked this last minute trip for rest relaxation and delicious food. With three sea days we certainly got the rest! Our cabin was just fine, nothing special but the bed was comfortable and we had no external noises to keep us up. What we did NOT do was eat well! We are first time Celebrity cruisers who chose this ship based on reviews of the dining experience. I don't know if the quality was different due to this being a re-positioning cruise, or if you need to do specialty dining to have a good meal ,but aside from some crispy bacon and one great chocolate cookie the rest of the food was so-so to downright inedible. We gave up on the MDR after day 2. Too long to wait for lukewarm, under seasoned food. The Buffet was full of gray gloppy entrees or ethnic specialties that tasted nothing like the originals. Everything was cold before we got to our table. Poached eggs in the morning? COLD. Butter Chicken over rice? COLD. The one exception was the grill to order station in the aft where I had an excellent tuna steak one night. The baked potato? COLD. My husbands favorite part of any meal is dessert, and their displays were gorgeous, but none of them had flavor. It was like there was gelatin in everything and it was all dry. We know cus we kept trying hoping to find that magic slice of cake or pie...NOPE. I wanted to love this ship. The size was great. My two previous cruises were on ships with over 5000 passengers and twenty minute walks to venues. I had hoped to have found my new favorite line but we can't, or shouldn't, be expected to pay over $150 to $200 dollars a day at specialty restaurants for a DECENT dining experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I did my first B2B cruise and loved that experience and highly recommend it. We sailed out of Bayonne on 10/16 and Puerto Rico on 10/22. Embarkation in Bayonne was excellent, embarkation for us as B2B at Puerto Rico was problematic but ... Read More
I did my first B2B cruise and loved that experience and highly recommend it. We sailed out of Bayonne on 10/16 and Puerto Rico on 10/22. Embarkation in Bayonne was excellent, embarkation for us as B2B at Puerto Rico was problematic but was rectified quickly once the right person was aware. This was cruise number 2 and 3 for me with Celebrity. I selected Celebrity for many reasons including, reputation, demographics, economics and ports of call. My overall experience was excellent. i Positives- Passengers, muted music and food The passengers are consistently the best that I have encounter on any cruise line. If you have an opportunity to participate in muted music or silent disco DO IT, it sounds stupid --- it is a blast!!!!!! Food. I try new things on a cruise, if i didn't like what I selected, I would ask for something else and was always pleased. Desserts were disappointing. Negatives - Pool area, select dining, drinks and "May I see your sea pass card" at dinner Pool side Ongoing issue with all lines seems to be an understaffed pool area. At the bar, the waiter service and the pool butlers for clean up and patrolling of the saved deck chairs that are unused for prolonged periods of time. This is something the industry really needs to address. Bar service pushes the drink packages and upgrades very heavily on day one. However, they are not able to accommodate the demands of those who invested in the package upfront. I recall the days of servers coming by constantly to get me to "purchase" a drink, those days are long gone. I speculate the drink packages have impacted the way that the bar service earns money. Select dining I have to go with the select dining because I don't like the 2 set times of traditional dining. We typically eat at the same time each night. Our table size varied because of the great people we met and wanted to dine with . When we had the same servers it is EXCELLENT, when we were moved to a different area, the experience was down right AWFUL. Drinks They did not have the wines were listed on the menu - not even on the first night They ran out of wines and some of the high end drinks mid cruise yet did not get them replenished at ports of call "May I see your sea pass card" at dinner With technology the way it is, there has to be a better way to account for drinks at dinner. I understand the need to show my sea pass card however, I find it utterly ridiculous and annoying to have to show it to the wine guy, the bar guy and the coffee guy at dinner. One would think they could figure out how to account for the bills and inventory with one swipe of the card at dinner or even collect them when we sit and return them once done. Another area the industry needs address. My best advice for others reading reviews is to first know what it is the YOU want in your cruise experience and select carefully. The ship is not new. It is VERY well maintained and the staff is friendly. What I like best about Celebrity is the demographics (fellow passengers). It is the one thing I emphasized when speaking to fellow passengers who were disappointed in some minor aspects of the cruise who expressed concern about future cruises with Celebrity. If you are looking for perfection in every area, Celebrity is not the cruise line for you. It is great and I will cruise with them again with expectations of very minor issues that will be resolved quickly and easily once identified. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We tend to like the lines that have under 500 passengers but live in Florida, so cruising on a larger boat is the best way to go on a Caribbean cruise in the winter. Celebrity's SkySuites give us the small ship feeling with all the ... Read More
We tend to like the lines that have under 500 passengers but live in Florida, so cruising on a larger boat is the best way to go on a Caribbean cruise in the winter. Celebrity's SkySuites give us the small ship feeling with all the amenities of a much larger boat. Traveling to Miami took us longer than going to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, but there was no annoying security check to get into the port and parking was a breeze. We dropped our luggage off and parked right across from the ship. At $20 a day, it is not inexpensive but very convenient. Check in was a breeze and our room was ready for us as it was about 1:30 when we boarded. We had lunch at Luminae which we thoroughly enjoyed. The food is outstanding and the service was really good, although not as good as on the Summit. We don't even bother with specialty restaurants anymore. We had a Classic Drink Package which covered almost all liquors and some nice wines, as well as cappuccino and other specialty coffees. We had four port days and Luminae was not open for lunch on those days. We found the hand tossed pizza at the buffet to be much improved and now rivals that on Princess. Food at the buffet was okay, but we never went hungry, and I enjoyed the different ethnic dishes, especially the curries on the one day we ate there. The Reflection is a new ship and it is very well appointed without being too glitzy. Public rooms were all very nice. The ship is small enough that every part is easily accessible. I only wish that the evening entertainment would have been better. There was a popular comedian appearing at 10:30 PM, but it was in a small venue, and all of the seats were occupied well before 10:00. The comedian on the first night of the cruise was so bad that we didn't rush to get to see the next one. The singing and dancing shows were just okay. We have been to Grand Cayman and Cozumel many times before, so we only took a brief walk off of the ship. The port at Falmouth, Jamaica is a reconstructed little mini town owned by RCCL. It consists of souvenir stands and a few restaurants for those who didn't eat enough on the ship. We ventured outside the gates into the town of Falmouth. It was market day, and although we didn't feel terribly unsafe, there was little to buy, and it was a little bit crazy walking in the street with cars behind us. Later we found out that one lady's cell phone was snatched from her backpack, and were glad we decided to go back to the ship. I didn't expect to spend much time on RCCL's private island Labadee in Haiti, but have to say it was really nice, and I could have spent another day there. The water was beautiful and RCCL provided lounge chairs and floats, and there was a nice barbeque lunch with a full bar. Disembarkation was also very easy as I don't believe there were any other ships in port. We were told to leave our room at 8:00, but left closer to 8:30 and waited by the pool until 9:10, our assigned time to pick up our luggage. All in all, we spent a relaxing 7 days, eating, drinking and reading and after exactly one week, I am already ready for another Celebrity cruise. Read Less
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