Celebrity Summit Review
One of Celebrity's four Millennium Class ships, the Summit is now ten years old, but still looks impressive.
Unveiled in 2001, the 1,950-passenger Celebrity Summit is one of Celebrity’s four Millennium Class ships — once the pride of the line’s fleet but in recent years at least partially eclipsed by the newer, bigger Solstice Class. Like its three sisters — Celebrity Millennium (2000), Celebrity Infinity (2001) and Celebrity Constellation (2002) — it offers a relatively sleek and contemporary decor that, alas, is beginning to show its age in areas. That said, the ship is slated for a major overhaul in 2012 that will bring several new restaurants and other new features that first debuted on Solstice Class vessels as well as refurbished rooms and the addition of balconies on some suites.
The Summit offers one large, two-level main dining room, called the Cosmopolitan, that passengers can either visit during two traditional fixed seatings or on a more flexible basis using what the line calls its Celebrity Select plan. The ship also is home to La Normandie, an elegant restaurant that features historical, Art Deco decor that was salvaged out of the famed ocean liner, the SS Normandie. Other features of the ship include a number of lounges, bars, a theater, a casino, a large spa with a thalassotherapy pool, and deck-top areas with pools, hot tubs and other features.
Editor's Note: In December 2011 Celebrity Summit received a major overhaul that substantially changed some of the ship's features. Notably, cabins received a facelift and restaurants were added. For a review of another Millennium Class ship that was "solsticized" see our take on Celebrity Infinity, post-remodel.
Unveiled in 2001, the Celebrity Summit is no longer the newest, hottest ship in the Celebrity Cruises fleet, but it remains a good choice for couples and retirees — particularly those living in the New York area looking for a close-to-home cruise option. The Summit is one of just a handful of vessels that sail regularly out of New York harbor to Bermuda and is perhaps the the most stylish of the choices. The Summit also is the only Celebrity Cruises ship offering regular sailings to the Southern Caribbean (in the winter, out of San Juan, Puerto Rico).
Like its three Millennium Class sisters, the Summit is a smaller, quieter vessel than Celebrity Cruises’ much-heralded new Solstice Class ships. It offers fewer restaurants and bars than the newer Celebrity ships, and fewer deck-top areas. That said, the Summit went into dry dock in late 2011 for a significant makeover that brought several new restaurants and other new features that first debuted on Solstice Class vessels, including a Mediterranean specialty restaurant called Blu and an ice-topped martini bar. Celebrity also revamped the decor of the ship, added more rooms and increased the number of balconies.
As on other Celebrity ships, the entertainment on Summit has more of a classy vibe than what is found on many big, mass-market vessels. There also are a wide range of enrichment programs on board such as history and art lectures, and cooking classes. And the spa is a major focus. Celebrity clearly is aiming at vacationers looking for a more elegant and formal experience than what is found on, say, the “Fun Ships” of Carnival. Depending on your personality, you may find this wonderful or boring.
While the Summit draws quite a few families during holiday periods, it isn’t our first choice for a family cruise as the ship lacks many of the child-pleasing activities found on the bigger ships of such lines as Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival (all three of which offer cruises to Bermuda out of the New York area that we find a better bet for families).
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