Riding High on the High Seas

Dec 13, 2017 Avatar Hilton Smith Hilton Smith

Having an aggressive schedule with complete freedom to explore is one aspect of travel. Sometimes, however, enjoying some down time with more pampering is a better fit for the moment.

Cruising can be a good fit for the latter, as long as you choose your ship wisely. There are so many different cruise lines and cruise ships of all sizes, shapes and styles. They always look great. How can you make an informed decision which leads to a happy ending?

Research and a good cruise expert can make the difference.

My Thanksgiving week was spent aboard Celebrity CruisesSummit, on a 7-day Caribbean cruiss roundtrip from San Juan. Yes, San Juan still shows damage from the recent hurricanes, but a semblance of order has returned to the city, at least from a tourist’s point of view. We had no inconveniences there.

Our itinerary changed several times before departure, but I actually enjoyed the new day stops in St. Kitts, Martinique, Antigua, Barbados and Grenada. These islands were not materially affected by the storms.

Having a full day in each to explore was welcoming, and I particularly liked lush Martinique and the spice island of Grenada. On St. Kitts we hopped in a taxi for a 30-minute ride to the new, impressive Park Hyatt.

A lunch and inspection there left us happy.

I loved the very private pool top floor villas. Just about anything could happen on the private, protected pool deck without anyone ever knowing!

On board we had selected a spacious 544 sq ft Celebrity Suite, with a separate living/dining area and a nice veranda. This was only the beginning of the perks with Celebrity “Suite Class”. On Celebrity, a suite means an elevated level of luxury, attentiveness and service.

There is Michael’s Club, which is an exclusive bar/lounge just for suite guests.

Luminare is the exclusive suite only restaurant, where upgraded menus and no set dining times gives you complete flexibility.

Escorts are there at key times when the rest of the passengers are waiting. A generous list of included but ever changing perks means an elevated and pampered week of relaxation. Drink, internet and on board credits are just part of it. We had a wonderful hostess downstairs and an efficient butler who was always on call.

The Summit arrived in 2001 but it has been updated somewhat. At about 2,100 passengers, it is considered a medium size ship.

Keep in mind there are only about 150 Suite passengers.

The ship is in very good shape, but it will undergo a more extensive transformation in about a year to reflect the new Edge Class ships as they start coming out the end of 2018.

The match for clients for Premium Celebrity Cruises is for those who want more choices and public areas, more extensive shows, dining/bar areas, a bigger spa, pools and a greater mix of passengers.

The “Suite Class” gives you many of the advantages of a smaller ship, but access to the facilities of a bigger ship.

Let a cruise expert be your guide with professional advise and personal knowledge to make sure your choice ends up being the right choice for your next cruise holiday.