I am off for another cruising adventure but this time I am traveling with our daughter, Veronica. Last summer, she thought it would be fun to try Celebrity when we saw the Summit docked next to us in Bermuda. I am always game for a new ship or cruise line, plus it is always great to not have to fly to the port.
We left our house around 8:20am and arrived in Cape Liberty around 10:30 after one quick rest area stop. After saying our goodbyes to Chris, we headed inside for check-in. It was the fastest I have ever experienced. After breezing through security, we walked right up to an agent who scanned our boarding pass and passport. Done! After that we went to a seating area where we waited about thirty minutes or so and then they started boarding. They did it row by row and it was very organized. I found it much preferable to NCL.
Another nice difference is that even though your cabin is not ready until two, you can drop your bags off. We dumped our carry-on bags and headed to lunch. I had read that the Summit was fighting a GI virus and was serving guests at the buffet to help minimize contagion spread. First day at the buffet is typically hectic and not the most relaxing start to a vacation. However, Sushi on Five is open on embarkation day for lunch so we opted to try out a specialty. We were the only diners for most of our meal. I picked the Kanpai bourbon cocktail to toast my trip while we studied the menu. Our starters were lobster and shrimp wontons and spicy ahi tuna. We really enjoyed both dishes as each tasted very fresh and flavorful. Next, we split the lobster ramen which had amazing dashi bisque. We ended our meal with Omakase sashimi which is a chef’s selection. Our plate had salmon, tuna, yellowtail, shrimp, and octopus. It was very nice quality sashimi. We skipped dessert and headed out to explore our home for the week.
Since we were up early this morning, we hit Cafe Al Bacio for some afternoon caffeine. I had a fantastic soy cappuccino and Veronica tried a iced soy latte. We were tempted to try a pastry but still felt full from our lunch. I anticipate this coffee spot to be a favorite location this week as all the specialty coffees our included with our drink packages.
We methodically explored the ship deck by deck to see all the venues. I was ready to try another cocktail so we found a comfy couch in the solarium to sip on our drinks and wait for our cabin to be ready. I had a gin and tonic which was a tad on the weak side and Veronica tried the Watermelon Tropic which she liked but was a little to sweet to drink often.
Our cabin was ready around two and we went to really check it out for real. We had an invitation to go to the helipad for sail-away. I was not expecting this as I read it is usually only Retreat guests. Our suitcases arrived shortly after relaxing in the cabin so I unpacked in a record 15 minutes including our cabin steward introducing himself and explaining our aqua class cabin. I love being unpacked before we leave port!
Sail-away was a unique experience on the helipad. We met outside the theater and were led to the entrance. The stairs were pretty steep to climb and one needed to wear close toed shoes. They had cocktails and I tried a “blue one” and did not enjoy it. I honestly would prefer a sparkling wine but you couldn’t beat the views. It was windy but still fun to see the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline from this perspective. They did offer blankets though for those who felt a chill which is a nice touch.
I decided to get a real cocktail and hit the popular Martini Bar. It had a good crowd at the bar. My first martini would be my standby of Bombay Sapphire extra dry. The martini was huge but not quite extra dry. I think it was shaken and not stirred as I prefer but due to the large size, it might be a good thing it was not as dry as I prefer! Martinis can be dangerous!
I took my drink back to the room to enjoy on the balcony with Veronica. She had some wine from the bottle we brought with us and we toasted our trip. We were still close to shore so we had a quick FaceTime with our good friend, Ammie. It was fun watching us go under the bridge from our balcony on deck 11 as it looks so close.
We changed into our evening clothes and headed to Blu for dinner. Blu is the restaurant exclusive to Aqua class passengers. We got in line and the restaurant looked busy so I wasn’t surprised when we were given a pager. The hostess said we could go to the Cellar Masters lounge but no further. I decided to get a glass of wine while we waited. A string duo was just starting so we had some nice relaxing music for our wait. It was about 30 minutes and the pager went off so we headed back to Blu for dinner.
It did not take us long to decide on our order since we studied the menu on the app while we waited. I started with the vichyssoise and Veronica had the asparagus soup. We enjoyed both soups very much. For our main, we both chose the filet mignon. I felt this would be a good indicator of how the food will be those week as sometimes a filet can be prepared poorly or of low quality. Our filets were delicious and cooked a nice medium rare. The sauce was flavorful and the purée was great. I think this a great sign of things to come this week. Dessert was chocolate cherry trifle for Veronica and Dulce de Leche Crema Catalana for me. Both desserts were a hit and we left dinner very happy!
We hit the martini bar for an espresso martini while waiting for the silent disco. The espresso martini was oddly bland but strong. I mainly got an alcohol taste not a coffee one. I’ll give MSC or NCL the upper hand for this cocktail. The silent disco however was lit. We had a blast dancing away while wearing headphones. It was a very popular event but there seemed to be plenty of headphones. I loved watching people dance and switching between the three stations of music. It was fun exercise and I think we will attend this later in the week.
We ended our night with a trip to the buffet to see the late night offerings. We sampled the pizza and gave it a thumbs up. It was then back to our cabin to rest up for our first sea day tomorrow.
Would you love to try the Celebrity Summit? Head over to www.AlpacaMyBagsCruises.com or give us a call today at (302) 985-6403 to set sail!
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