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Review: Celebrity Summit

Cruise - Ocean Cruise

San Juan to Barcelona

  • By SilverTraveller Alan-Fairfax

    83 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • Apr 2009
  • Wife
  • Family holiday
  • Balcony

142 people found this review helpful

It was early evening when we landed at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan after travelling from London via Atlanta with Delta Airlines. As we stepped from the aircraft we noticed how pleasantly warm it was after leaving London in the cold chilly morning. Progress through the airport was quick as we had done the customs and immigration formalities at Atlanta which had been reasonably quick compared with previous experiences of mainland USA. We were soon aboard the coach and heading for our overnight stay at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown San Juan. We were not overly impressed with the hotel, with its dirty bedroom windows. However it was just for the night. After a quick shower we went to a local restaurant to eat before having an ‘early night’.

The next morning we were up bright and early and went to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. We sat outside on the terrace from where we looked across to the docks where Celebrity Summit and Serenade of the Seas were berthed. Both looked resplendent in the sunshine as we anticipated our forthcoming voyage on the Summit.

Later in the morning everyone who was travelling on Summit gathered in the hotel foyer and it was here that we were able to meet for the first time people we had corresponded with on Cruise Critic prior to the cruise. It was fascinating to see if people matched the picture we had formed of them in our own minds.

Eventually the coaches arrived that would take us to the ship. Excitement mounted as the cases were loaded and we boarded knowing we were but a short time away from boarding the ship that would during the next 14 days take us safely across the Atlantic ocean to Barcelona.

On arriving at the dockside we were checked in, photographed, credit card indent taken and given our ‘Sea Passes’ that would act as our credit cards and identification for our period on board. On arrival at the top of the gangway we were met and greeted by the Hotel Director and her staff. Just imagine having to stand there and smile and welcome on board 2,000 people. After this we were offered the choice of a glass of Champagne or Orange Juice (No tacky watery drink in a plastic cup with Celebrity) and a young man in uniform took our hand luggage from us and took us to our cabin.

On this occasion it was a Concierge Balcony cabin on deck 8. On entering the cabin we remembered why Celebrity was our favourite cruise line. On the table were a basket of fruit and a bottle of Champagne in an ice bucket with 2 spotlessly clean and shiny glasses. A vase of fresh flowers stood on the dressing table. The walls were beige in colour with darker wood furnishings and brown patterned carpet. The way it was done gave an air of luxury. The television was the interactive type so that you could select and order food and drink on it for consumption in the cabin as well as ordering films to watch. The balcony was equipped with a table and 2 comfortable chairs that were covered in thick dark blue covers. The lower half of the balcony was glass so that your view was not spoiled unlike some ships which are metal. The bathroom was well equipped with hairdryer and numerous good quality toiletries. A separate dispenser on the wall contained a lovely smelling moisturising cream. There was even a fresh rose in a small vase.

As we knew our cases would not arrive for some time we decided to go up on deck and find a seat at the Mast Bar on Sunrise Deck. We sat in the sun and the afternoon drifted away. It seemed in no time at all that we had slipped our moorings and with 3 long blasts of the ships whistle we said goodbye to San Juan and glided quietly towards the ocean and our first port of call, Santa Cruz, Tenerife 6 days away.

Summit is a beautiful ship with her dark blue and white hull and superstructure. She has glass lifts that give superb sea views. Summit is one of the Celebrity Millennium Class ships 12 decks high with a tonnage of 91,000 tonnes. She is 965 feet long and 105 feet wide. The outside decks are immaculate and the varnish on the rails is pristine. Everything about the ship exudes quality which after all is something Celebrity has become known for. Carpeting, furniture, decoration all excellent and would be very hard to improve on.

The main dining room is 2 tiers high on decks 4 and 5 situated at the stern of the ship. The 2 levels are connected by a wide flowing staircase. The tables are in various sizes and accommodate from 2 to 10 persons. Light is gained from large picture windows that are on 3 sides of both dining levels. Electronic blinds descend if the sun is too strong. The food is first class and the menus long and varied. The waiters are very efficient and nothing is too much trouble for them. There are separate sommeliers to take your wine order and serve the wine. However a word of warning, wine like other alcoholic drinks on Celebrity are not cheap and all have an extra 15% gratuity added to them.

The theatre is vast and is situated over 3 decks. The seating is very comfortable and the sight lines are good. What you think of the various acts depends very much on your own personal taste in entertainment. When cruising in the Caribbean or travelling from West to East across the Atlantic it is very much geared to the American idea of entertainment and humour. Having said that we had some great acts including Brooks Aehron. What a fantastic pianist and entertainer.

On deck 10 is the Waterfall Grill. During afternoons part of this becomes a dedicated Sushi Bar where you can watch the fresh Sushi being made. There is no additional charge for the Sushi as it is included in the cruise fare. Behind this is an open deck bar with comfortable wooden chairs and tables where if travelling west to east you can sit and watch the sun go down whilst enjoying an evening cocktail.

Also on deck 10 is the Waterfall Café which is another self service eatery. In the centre of this deck is the Waterfall Pool complete with 4 jacuzzis, sunbathing area and pool bar. Further forward is the Solarium, Aqua spa, Persian Garden and the Gym which looks out over the ocean in the direction of travel.

On deck 5 you will find The Martini Bar, The Champagne Bar, Cova Coffee, and further forward shops and speciality boutiques.

On deck 11 is the Conservatory. This is an area that is full of flowers. The fragrance is wonderful. Recorded bird noises add to the charm and tranquillity. All the fittings are in white including a Baby Grand piano.

Decks 2, 3, 6, 7, 8 and 9 consist mainly of cabins. These cabins range from inside through outside, balcony, concierge up to lavishly equipped suites. All cabins are however well equipped as one would expect of Celebrity who are renowned for being that bit better than the other major cruise lines. All have hairdryers, up market toiletries and interactive televisions. Of the 975 cabins, 590 have balconies whilst a further 190 have picture windows. Only 195 are inside with no view.

The ports of call on this cruise were Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Agadir, Morocco, Malaga, Spain, Valencia, Spain and finally Barcelona. We had been to these ports many times before and therefore did no more than go ashore to get are ‘Land Legs’ back. It really is the most peculiar feeling when you stand still on shore after being at sea for 5 or 6 days. Some say that is why sailors sway when they walk. Anyway, I digress. The port we had not visited before was Agadir in Morocco. We had booked a tour of the area along with others we had met on a forum prior to the cruise. On leaving the ship we found the company that were to take us on the tour. We were directed to a new Mercedes, air conditioned mini bus. We started with a tour of Agadir and the surrounding area before making our way to the town of Taroudant for lunch. The old part of Taroudant is situated within a walled fortress. We visited the markets. Souks and saw perfume being made from various spices before making our way to our hotel for lunch. After walking in the heat and dust of the town it was a complete contrast to walk into a hotel foyer and out the other side into what can only be described as an area of huge gardens with trees and pools filled with fish. What a contrast. After lunch we again boarded the coach to see the famous tree climbing goats. Being somewhat of a sceptic I was not sure what to expect. I did not really expect to see goats up trees but I did. The goats climb the Argan trees to get to the berries. How they do it and balance on the branches I don’t know but they do. After this we made our way back to the ship.

The question is, did we enjoy the cruise? Answer, a resounding yes. We like the days at sea where you can sit around one of the swimming pools during the morning and then after lunch retreat to the privacy of your own balcony. Here to read a book or just relax. Then order coffee or tea along with a fruit platter of Strawberry, Melon, Pineapple, Kiwi, and Grapes whilst the ocean drifts by, only interrupted by the Flying fish or occasional Dolphins. The only problem is the days drift by too quickly and before you know it the staff is saying goodbye to you as the ships berths at your final destination.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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