An Inside Tour of Celebrity Summit Cruise Ship

Before I went on my first cruise last year to the Caribbean, I rather naively assumed not much planning was required. Pick a destination. Pick a cruise liner. Pack your passport and you’re good to go, right?

Wrong.

Caribbean islands cruise Barbados
Hello Barbados

That there is the approach of a novice first time cruiser. The savvy cruise-traveller will already have considered the large ship vs small ship experience and have sifted through the array of reviews on Cruise Critic (the cruise world’s answer to Trip Advisor;) they would have bagged a bargain on drinks and internet packages and be able to counsel you on the pros and cons of independent excursions vs cruise liner excursions.

Winter Cruise Destination Guide

I’ve already shared my first impressions of cruise travel in general but if the terminology above sounds like a foreign language to you, you’re in the same mindset that I was in around about a year ago and I hope this post will give you more of a flavour of what to expect on a cruise ship and certainly on Celebrity Summit itself. I had no media affiliations whatsoever during this cruise and was just another regular, fully paying customer (who happens to enjoy blogging and blabbing on about travel!)

Celebrity Cruise Caribbean Cruise Liners

I hadn’t given much consideration to the actual style of the ship cabin room. I am not usually fussy about hotel room views but my in-laws (the seasoned cruise travellers in our clan) suggested investing in an outward-facing, ocean view room to allow in some natural light and to avoid the cabin fever experience (mind the pun).

Ocean VIew Cabin Celebrity Cruise

Sounded like solid advice and I took It dutifully, still harbouring the slight apprehension that we would feel boxed in to a tiny room for a week.

Caribbean Cruise December

Celebrity Summit Ocean View Rooms

As it emerged, as with many aspects of the cruise, I ended up being pleasantly surprised with the rooms on Celebrity Summit. Whilst our cabin was a far way off from being as roomy as this luxurious villa in Bali or this garden-view room in the Seychelles, it was more than spacious enough for all our clothes, belongings, cases and a darn sight bigger than some of the European city hotels I have stayed in the past.

Celebrity Summit Ocean View Room

I wrongly assumed that only the suites would lend simple luxuries such as coffee tables and sofas but on the contrary, the cosy living area in our ocean view room provided a quiet spot for us to nibble on (ok, wolf down) our takeaway desserts from the ship patisserie and for me to catch up on some writing whilst Pumpkin took an afternoon nap.

Celebrity Summit Photos

And if there is one creature comfort above all others that I hope to see from any accommodation on my travels, it is a functioning, clean bathroom so I am pleased to report that our ensuite shower room and toilet, although compact, was designed very well to make maximum use of its space and contained all the bits and pieces you would expect to find in a hotel bathroom – shower caps, hair dryers etc.

Celebrity Summit Cruise Bathroom

The only issue we had in the room at all was a misunderstanding regarding bottled water. I’ll spare you the dull details but essentially, some bottles were complimentary, others weren’t. A card detailing prices was missing and the net result was that we were charged (an extortionate price) for a bottle of water we innocently thought was free of charge. Pumpkin raised it with customer services, whose approach teetered on the clinical and dismissive side but we have our wonderful room attendant to thank for resolving the issue and his warmth and hospitality throughout our stay was faultless.

Celebrity Summit Cruise Review

Truth be told though, there is so much going on a cruise ship that time in our cabins was fairly limited.

Celebrity Summit Cruise Bars

After spending each day in a different Caribbean island paradise, we joined the masses at the Sunset Bar, conveniently adjacent to the buffet restaurant where late afternoon saw the emergence of freshly made sushi, pizza and bespoke pastas. It was also the place where new friendships were born.

Caribbean Sunsetcruise ship deck sunset view

Poolside Chilling

Celebrity Cruises swimming pool

On the most blissful of days, we went straight from a dip in the emerald Caribbean sea back onto the ship before plunging straight back in the pool.

Travel Blog Review Celebrity CruiseCruise Travel Guide Review

You either love poolside entertainment or you don’t and there’s plenty going around for those who do but we were more captivated by the exploring the views from the deck, revealing clusters of bold and bright houses.

Caribbean Cruise Blog Review

And even the arc of a rainbow piercing the ocean.

rainbow ocean view

Dining on Celebrity Summit & Qsine Restaurant

Afternoon Cake and Coffee with Live Piano Music

The most dangerous discovery for the arteries occurred on day 2 or 3 when we came to the realisation that the cake and coffee shop was all included in the price (up till then, we thought it came with an additional charge.)

Celebrity Summit Cruise Ship Cafe Patisserie Gelatoreview cruise ship restaurant

And so, to round off a week of indulgence, a 4pm cake ritual to the sound of familiar harmonies from a gifted live pianist became something of a surreal but sublime daily norm.

Cruise Ship Live Piano Entertainment

As the day progressed, a 3 course dinner in the formal restaurant signalled only the start of evening proceedings with entertainment pencilled in most nights (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it – it was a serious cut above the usual Michael Jackson impersonators that have a way of rocking up at all-inclusive resorts across the world!)

The QSine Restaurant

cruise ship dining

On our first evening though, we made the most of the special embarkation day offers at the a la carte restaurants in order to try out the outrageously funky Qsine Restaurant where everything from ordering to serving to tasting came with unexpected sci-fi-esque twists. It felt a little like dining in the year 3000.

best cruises for foodies

We ordered on gadgets that displayed all the menu options and combinations.

Celebrity Summit QSine restaurant

Munched on sushi lollipops, which I like to think was practice for all the Japanese food we would eat in 2016 (when we didn’t even know we’d be visiting Japan).

Cruise Ship Sushi Lollipop

We pipetted potions into our plates.

A La Carte Restaurants Caribbean CruiseCruise Ship Blog Restaurant Review

And went back to primitive infancy diets with pureed versions of classics.

food options cruise ships

We had to exercise some brain power with the Rubix cube of dessert choices.

innovatie menusbest cruise ship restaurants

The only thing that looked like it was lacking in my dessert was Tim Peake ready for blast off.

quirky restaurants cruise

But Pumpkin brought us back to the 1980s with his surprise dessert lathered with whipped cream and colourful candy condiments. What is It about that fuzzy feeling of nostalgia conjured up re-acquainting with sweet treats from your childhood?

cruise ship food desserts

Bars & Evening Entertainment on Celebrity Summit

Adam Heppenstall I Magic Show

And when our stomachs were sufficiently lined, cocktails were beckoning, magicians assistants were awaiting their mysterious fate and a certain travel blogger was learning to Carpe Diem by shamelessly grabbing the mic with a great group of ladies to reach the Karaoke Idol finals (whilst our respective boys stared on in horror.) Let’s just say that this is one photo I am very glad is blurry!

Cruise Ship Karaoke Idol Competition

Since issues like arranging cabs or finding our way back to the hotel at the end of the night are utterly redundant on a cruise, even Pumpkin (who craves early nights the way I crave chocolate) reconnected with the former party-animal within him with a pit stop at the Martini Bar and a stroll through the casino to try our hand at the roulette wheel. Holidays don’t fund themselves after all! 🙂

Celebrity Summit Martini BarCelebrity Summit Cruise Ship Casino

As I said in my previous post about cruises, as a couple, travelling without others, I think we prefer a slightly different style of travel but for a convenient, easy family holiday that allows for differing interest and abilities, I would certainly consider it again and am particularly drawn to the cruise voyages around Alaska and the Norwegian Fjords. If you have been on either of these, I would love to hear your thoughts.

Christmas Holiday Ideas CaribbeanCruise Ship Christmas Vacation

Have you been on any cruises and what what are your tips for choosing a cruise liner or a specific ship?

 

If you want more info on our Caribbean Cruise itinerary, feel free to snoop around our snorkelling experience with sea turtles in Barbados, a tranquil, uncrowded paradise beach in Antigua or the quirkiest beach/runway in St Maarten where you’ll ever sunbathe (or plane spot!)

31 thoughts on “An Inside Tour of Celebrity Summit Cruise Ship

  1. Miriam @londonkitchendiaries September 8, 2016 — 8:38 am

    It is so interesting to read about your trip. I have never been on a cruise but I will definitely come back to your post to make sure I do the right things before I book one. Thanks for sharing!

    Miriam
    http://www.londonkitchendiaries.com

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 12, 2016 — 4:49 pm

      Thanks Miriam! I hope you find it helpful if you do ever decide to try one! 🙂

  2. Very interesting post – we travel often but have never considered a cruise so it’s useful to get an insight into life on board, thank you.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 12, 2016 — 4:50 pm

      To be honest, I hadn’t ever really considered it either until about a year ago when we were pondering where to go in December that would be warm, thought of the Caribbean and then somehow the idea stemmed from there! I’m not saying I’m going to turn into a cruise-only kind of person anytime soon but it turned out to be a lot more fun than I had imagined! 🙂

  3. I like the cruises where you get to leave the ship every day and explore (A very tiny bit) of your landing destination, even if just to stretch your legs and see something new!
    I suspect we’ll be doing a lot more of these with the fam in tow, it just is an easy way to see a few things. Problem is how shallow some of the stops are I think!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 12, 2016 — 4:53 pm

      Yes the lack of time at destinations was one of the downsides but it definitely gave us a flavour of which islands we liked most. We were lucky that we were at a new destination every day and the only sea day was the day we actually got on board, which meant that we never felt like we were wasting our time really, as on Day 1,it was nice to get familiar with what was going on on board, especially as it was like an alien concepet to us right up until that point! 😀

  4. Looks like you had a great vacation overall, Shikha! I’ve been on a cruise three times now and loved it every single time. Even though you need to plan like you mentioned, it is still more effortless way of traveling since you don’t worry about lodging, transportation, food or entertainment that much. Royal Caribbean is usually my first choice, although we had a Caribbean cruise on Carnival which was not bad either. I agree, it is ideal for family vacation 🙂 xoxo, nano

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 12, 2016 — 4:57 pm

      Thanks for the tip about Royal Caribbean Nano! My folks have never been on a cruise and really want to go so we were thinking of maybe doing a family trip on one of the Alaska cruises next year and I have a feeling Royal Caribbean do those so I’m definitely going to look that up now! As you say, it’s just so effortless and easy, especially if planning a group trip and despite my own assumptions of what I would make of it before I went, I actually had a really fun time! 🙂 x

      1. I highly recommend Alaska. Also check out Holland America and Princess there. They have the most ships in Alaska, so often have good prices. Some pics from my Alaska cruises (on the photo gallery tab): https://cruisingalaskaonabudget.wordpress.com/

        1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) April 11, 2017 — 7:26 pm

          Thanks so much for sharing some tips Melinda! I will definitely keep those cruise lines in mind for if and when I plan an Alaskan cruise & really looking forward to looking at your pics & post now!

  5. I enjoyed reading your interesting and entertaining post on your cruise experience. A big cruise ship experience is not yet at the top of my travel list but I would definitely love to go on a small cruiseliner around the islands of Croatia 🙂

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 12, 2016 — 4:58 pm

      Thanks so much for reading! I think cruising is definitely a bit of an acquired taste and not everyone’s cup of tea so I can understand that. Funnily enough, I am heading to Croatia this month, though not on a cruise but will get a couple of days on Hvar island, which I’m really excited about 🙂

      1. Oooh that sounds brilliant! I look forward to reading about it 🙂

  6. I’ve read a few posts on the misconceptions of cruising, I’ve been on many of them but it was a long time ago. I’m keen to see how they’ve changed and also sample one of those more boutique ships that are popular now.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 12, 2016 — 5:19 pm

      Yes, I’ve been quite tempted by some of the boutique ones that I’ve read about too Angie! Having now tried the cruise thing for the first time, I can see which types of trips it is a particularly good option for, like for family trips or big group trips so it’s something I’m keeping in mind for a future trip with the parents 🙂

  7. I do think the whole cruise scene can be a bit cheesy but I have to say that a la carte meal looks so much fun! I want to go on this cruise line just to eat there now!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 12, 2016 — 5:24 pm

      I know what you mean Keri and that was one of my reservations before I went, though having now been, it’s a lot less cheesy than some all inclusive places I’ve been to in the past and there’s so much variety now in terms of different styles of ship with different niches like more party ones, more foodie ones, more boutique ones etc so I get the impression that it’s a genre that’s changing a lot to appeal to different groups.

  8. Looks good! I’ve always quite fancied a cruise but the other half hasn’t!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 12, 2016 — 5:32 pm

      With us, it was me who wasn’t keen and the other half was up for giving it a try! But actually, all reservations and scepticism aside, it turned out to be a great week! 🙂

  9. I enjoyed reading your article & would like to follow your blog.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 12, 2016 — 5:35 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it and would be delighted to have you follow along – love sharing travel stories and tips on here and glad to have you be part of that 🙂

  10. You’re really making me want to consider a cruise. I do like the sound of not having to plan all the activities and food yourself! And I’m surprised by how large your cabin is. I thought the rooms on cruises would literally be just a bed and small en-suite bathroom. And I would be taking advantage of the complimentary afternoon cake everyday too! And how gorgeous are the sunsets!?

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 12, 2016 — 5:37 pm

      Oh my goodness Anna, seriously that free cake every day was such a dangerous revelation!! Whilst Pumpkin was grabbing a slice of the afternoon pizza, I was grabbing the afternoon cake/ eclairs / tarts etc and we’d either enjoy our tea and cake in the patisserie or up in our cabins looking out into the ocean – it was really like a week of bliss! For places that you want to explore in depth, I’m not sure cruising is the best way because of the limited time at the ports but for a super easy, fun vacation that doesn’t need too much brain power to plan, it’s such a great option! 🙂

  11. Your room looks so spacious and what an amazing adventure! I tend to use Cruise Critic as well for advice

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) September 26, 2016 — 1:31 pm

      It wasn’t huge but was certainly a lot more spacious than I had expected a cruise cabin to be Suze! I’m tempted to try an Alaska cruise one day.

      1. Yes, yes! Alaska is wonderful. It’s very different from a tropical sort of cruise, but I love it. You can see some pics of my experiences here (on the “photo gallery” tab): https://cruisingalaskaonabudget.wordpress.com/

        1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) April 11, 2017 — 7:27 pm

          I can imagine the scenery in Alaska must be pretty hard to beat Melinda!

  12. Excellent review and thoughtful perspectives with honesty. Great pics too.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) December 31, 2016 — 2:23 pm

      Thanks very much!

  13. Love this post! Terrific write-up with fabulous photos.Wow, the rainbow pick was just extraordinary.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 22, 2017 — 6:37 pm

      Thank you so much! So pleased you enjoyed it and yes, the view of the rainbow above the ocean was just breathtaking!

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