Imagine cruising along on an ocean liner towards the pink sands of Bermuda, hundreds of people at your beck and call, constant offerings of food and entertainment, spas, pools and sunshine. It sounds like something from a dream, but it is very much a reality. The Celebrity Summit offers all of that and more on its seven-day itinerary to King’s Wharf, Bermuda.
I had the pleasure of sailing on the Celebrity Summit out of Cape Liberty in Bayonne, New Jersey. The port is located just outside of New York City and offers excellent views of the Statue of Liberty.
During boarding two pictures are taken, so arrive camera-ready! One will be a fun ‘welcome aboard’ photo, a great keepsake. The second will be for the all-important ‘Sea Pass’ card that will be kept with you for the entire trip. It is used to make purchases, track when you are on or off the ship, and is also your room key.
Chances are that the bags won’t have been delivered to the room when you first arrive (remember that there are over 2,000 guests that need to be boarded in a short amount of time), but that is all the more reason to stop into the Waterfall Café and have a snack while taking in the breathtaking view of the New York City skyline.
The Waterfall Café is the main buffet where you will be able to find food during the majority of the day. They offer a full, English breakfast, as well as American favourites, fruits, pastries and cereals. During lunch and dinner, they serve Indian and Asian options, pizza, sushi, and a sandwich, salad and pasta bar. All the way at the back of the Waterfall Café is a little known deck with a bar and beautiful views of the ocean. Normally this area is a bit quieter than the restaurant and pool area.
If you’re not in the mood to eat, although you will find it becomes increasingly difficult to resist the plethora of food, explore the ship starting with the resort deck.
There are two pools: the Waterfall Pool at the centre of the ship and the Solarium, an enclosed adults-only pool, towards the front of the ship. The Aquaspa Café is also located in the Solarium, albeit a little hidden, and offers some great, healthy options, such as salmon, sugar-free desserts and vegetable sushi.
Do be sure to check out the spa and visit the ‘Persian Garden’. A package or daily pass is required to access it during the trip but it is, without a doubt, the most relaxing place onboard. The aromatherapy alone is enough to send you into a meditative state.
For the avid exerciser there is a nicely equipped gym behind the Aquaspa, which may be preferable to using the jogging track on the upper deck, as many sunbathers take over the area during the day.
The two-story library, aptly called ‘Words’, offers a few places to sit indoors, a decent selection of books, a globe and some Sudoku pages to take with you.
If you require the Internet, there is a very sleek looking ‘iLounge’ filled with Apple products. Classes are offered there during the day and some products are available for sale.
The Cosmopolitan Restaurant is the main dining room. It comprises two floors with a grand staircase in the middle. The meals were great and, as they post the menu outside the restaurant in the morning, it was fun seeing what imaginative creation they would serve next. Towards the end of the cruise, there is also a brunch served in this restaurant, with an outstanding selection of food.
Return to the stateroom after a fantastic dinner in the Cosmopolitan Restaurant and you’ll find the room is newly cleaned and the following day’s programme is laid neatly on the bed, with a chocolate on the pillow. The programme outlines daily events, the dress code for dinner (the Waterfall Café is always casual), the evening entertainment and any announcements about locations or time zones.
There were many activities to choose from, such as lectures, movies, trivia, bingo and then some more unique options. A demonstration by the executive chef gave instructions on how to properly cook chicken, a recipe for mango salsa and an example of how sugar art is made. The best part was the small sample plate they handed out at the end!
The ‘Dancing with the Stripes’ competition, in the beautifully redone ‘Bar at the Edge of the Earth’, is not to be missed. Passengers danced with the officers onboard in a competition similar to ‘Dancing with the Stars’. It’s very well done and will keep you laughing for days afterwards.
Coffee in the Waterfall Café and main dining room was outshone by that served in the Cova Café and, subsequently, we frequented it in the mornings and afternoons. The coffees are at an additional charge but, if you purchase one of the drinks packages for the trip, the cost is included.
It was a wonderful place to spend time, as it also had an adjoining game room and a selection of food, which varied from small breakfast quiches, tea sandwiches and tapas, depending on the hour of the day. On formal nights, a string trio played beautifully and was among the highlights of our onboard experiences.
The service throughout the ship was excellent. We were always greeted in the hallways by crew members and our waiters were friendly and personable. Our room attendant took impeccable care of our stateroom and we puzzled over how they could have sneaked in and out so quickly, as it always seemed to be clean. A metal water pitcher and ice bucket was always freshly filled and it was nice to have cold drinking water so accessible. There was a comedian performing in the Celebrity Theatre who jokingly called the room attendants “cleaning ninjas”; we could certainly understand why!
We were delighted to find out that Celebrity Cruises had recently changed their alcohol policy and we were permitted to bring two bottles of wine with us. If we chose to uncork it in the dining room, there was an additional fee, but to request bottle service in the room was free.
After a long day of walking around in the Bermuda sun, we were greeted with a refreshments stand outside the ship. They provided us with cold fruit drinks and chilled hand towels to pat ourselves down. We always re-entered the ship feeling refreshed.
The ship’s décor has held up well over the years. It didn’t appear outdated and we witnessed them taking strong measures to ensure upkeep. Even so, our cruise director informed us that the Celebrity Summit will be outfitted with ‘Solstice Class’ features in the upcoming year. It would appear that they had already begun some of the changes, as a few of the maps posted on the ship were wrong. For instance, the ‘Bar at the Edge of the Earth’ was still listed by its old name, ‘Revelations’.
It was an enjoyable and relaxing experience, and I can’t wait to see the improvements after it has been ‘Solsticised’. Be sure to bring some sunscreen and a pair of larger pants, as you embark on a luxurious holiday aboard Celebrity Summit.Write a Review
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