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Celebrity Summit Cruise Review

One of Celebrity's four Millennium Class ships, the Summit is now ten years old, but still looks impressive.

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Introduction

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.

Gene Sloan's Opinion on the Celebrity Summit

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Significantly smaller than Celebrity Cruises’ new Solstice Class ships, the Celebrity Summit (like its three Millennium Class sisters) is a relatively quiet vessel that will appeal most to couples and retirees looking for a less bustling experience than one will find on some other major lines. The decor is tastefully stylish (or at least it was when the vessel first debuted in 2001), and the entertainment skews to the classy side (a performance by a harpist or a string trio, for instance). There also are a wide range of enrichment programs on board such as wine tastings, history and art lectures, and cooking classes — all the sorts of things that someone who likes a little learning in addition to pool time on vacation will like.

While Celebrity Summit draws a fair number of families during holiday periods, it wouldn’t be my 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 (not to mention the Disney Cruise Line). My own children came away disappointed from a relatively recent cruise on the Celebrity Millennium (a Summit sister), declaring the children’s program somewhat of a dud compared to those on some rival lines.

One often-overlooked but critically important feature of the Celebrity Summit, given the northerly itineraries it has been running in recent years (including voyages from New York to Bermuda, Canada and New England), is its glass-enclosed pool area called the Aquaspa. It’s something that can come in handy for any ship sailing outside of the Caribbean and other destinations where reliably warm, sunny skies shining down on open-air pool decks are the norm.

Gene Sloan writes about cruising for USA TODAY, the nation’s top-selling newspaper, and oversees USA TODAY’s online cruise site, The Cruise Log. Sloan’s stories also are distributed by the Gannett News Service to more than 80 other U.S. newspapers with a combined circulation of more than five million, including the Cincinnati Enquirer, The Detroit Free Press, and The Arizona Republic.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Cabins
  3. Inside Stateroom
  4. Concierge Class
  5. Ocean View Stateroom
  6. Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom Veranda
  7. Sky Suite
  8. Celebrity Suite
  9. Royal Suite
  10. Penthouse Suite
  11. Family Ocean View Stateroom Veranda
  12. Cabin Amenities
  13. Dining
  14. Cosmopolitan
  15. Waterfall Café
  16. Poolside Grill
  17. Renew Aquaspa Café
  18. The Normandie
  19. In-Room Dining
  20. Drinks
  21. Pools & Decks
  22. Pool Areas
  23. Sun Decks & Open Areas
  24. Deck Plans
  25. Recreation
  26. Lounges & Public Spaces
  27. Spa
  28. Fitness
  29. Retail
  30. Other Activities
  31. Nightlife & Shows
  32. Rendezvous Lounge
  33. Michael's Club
  34. Champagne & Martini Bar
  35. Pool Bar
  36. Revelations
  37. Mast Bar
  38. Waterfall Bar
  39. Casino
  40. Shows & Other Entertainment
  41. Service & Staff
  42. Staff & Ship Policies
  43. Health & Safety
  44. vs Royal Caribbean International Freedom of the Seas
  45. vs Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Dawn
  46. vs Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Epic
  47. Conclusion
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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