Cruising is something I always told myself I would never do. I didn’t ever see the appeal of getting on a giant floating city with 2000+ other people, arrive into a port city, fight your way off the crowded ship, only get 6-10 hours in the port, fight your way back to the crowded ship – and repeat for 6 days. It didn’t make sense to me. Back in 2015, while working as a travel agent, I had the opportunity to continue travelling at a pace that I had grown accustomed to in the past number of years. In a span of just over a year, I managed to go to Turks & Caicos, Jamaica, New York City and I even took my first ever cruise! After my 7-day cruise FAM on the Celebrity Summit, I can honestly say I didn’t hate cruising (but likely won’t go again anytime soon).
What I liked about Cruising:
The Ports of Call
The reason I picked the Celebrity Summit FAM trip to apply to was because they were doing a Southern Caribbean itinerary. This meant I had the opportunity to check out San Jose, Puerto Rico; St. Croix, St. Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, Grenada and St. Thomas. To be honest – Dominica and Grenada were the real sellers for me. Dominica since it is such an untouched island, known for its lush rainforests, gorgeous waterfalls and champagne reefs! Grenada, because I desperately wanted to go scuba diving for my daily excursion – specifically at the underwater sculpture garden. I did manage to get out on two dives- however, we didn’t get to do the sculpture garden, so I suppose I will just have to return one day to do another dive or two or ten.
Oh, my goodness. This was the best thing about the cruise, hands down! Best food ever! I’m pretty sure I put on about 5 pounds in the 7 days on board, despite the fact that I was infinitely more active than I would have been if I were stuck in the office. The buffet breakfast and lunch was amazing, the dinner in the dining room was incredible. The speciality restaurants were over the top in every way imaginable. Gluttony redefined should be a slogan. It’s no wonder that Celebrity cruises win culinary awards year after year.
What I disliked about Cruising:
Limited time in port
This was the thing that has irked me about cruising for years. I don’t feel you can truly say you’ve been somewhere and gotten to know a place when you’ve only spent 6-10 hours in port. How much can you truly see or do? Is it a good taste test? Sure… But I personally prefer a much more intensive immersion into a place I am visiting. This is the same thing I have against organized tours, like the ones I’ve done in New Zealand, Africa, Australia, etc.
Whether it was the alcohol package (which I purchased my first night on board), the cruise organized excursions (which I purchased a couple of, since other members of my group had), or the fancy specialty restaurants on board – I ended up spending way more than I had intended – especially considered my fare had been highly subsidized since it was a FAM trip.
It reminded me of the typical entertainment you’d find at an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean. Been there, done that – seen it a thousand times. Now – it wasn’t quite as bad as the typical all inclusive entertainment, they do mix things up by having comedians or magicians or other entertainment acts meet up with the ship along the route – this mixed things up. Maybe I’m a bit difficult to please… but I wasn’t overly impressed by the entertainment.
The motion of the ocean
I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t seem to get my sea legs. Prior to my experience, people who’ve cruised before told me it took a day or so to get used to the motion of the ocean. Not for me. I spent a week stumbling around like a drunk. In reality, I was only drunk for about half that time – Haha!
My final thoughts on Cruising:
I can say overall I enjoyed my time on the Celebrity Summit. The Summit is a smaller and older ship, catering to a much older clientele. I would safely assume that of 2000 aboard, more than 60 percent were 60years +. This isn’t a bad thing. It just means that the entertainment, shopping, and even the excursions available cater to a vastly different age group. There are other newer, larger ships and cruise lines that cater to a younger demographic. However, those ships typically carry 4000+ people – more than double the amount onboard the Summit. I can’t even imagine getting on or off the ship when you’re battling against that many people. For someone who suffers from mild claustrophobia, I don’t think I would do well with that many people around – the Summit already tested my comfort zone on that front.
I can honestly say that I did enjoy the overpriced day trips I took while in port – but the operative word here is overpriced. If I could do it again, I may have attempted to source a local guide while on shore, rather than purchasing through the ship. That way I know the money goes to the local community and not a multi-billion dollar company, and it would likely be much cheaper.
Would I cruise again? Sure, but not anytime soon. I much prefer spending more time in a destination, rather than the short amount of time dictated to you by your itinerary. The only exception to this rule is if I had the opportunity to go on a river cruise (hint, hint!).