The Avid Traveler
Celebrity Summit – Dining & Entertainment
One of the things that is always easiest for me to write about is food. After all, everyone has to eat. When I was invited aboard Celebrity Summit, I was excited to see not only the new dining options that came along with the Celebrity Revolution, but also some of the dining options that I grew fond of during my time aboard Celebrity Edge.
When I stepped aboard Summit around 1 p.m. I figured that I ought to take my bags to my room and then grab lunch. I decided to meet a few friends of mine at the Oceanview Café, the updated buffet-style restaurant on the pool deck of the ship. This is a great place to go and grab a quick bite in a casual setting. The buffet is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and features globally inspired dishes. My favorite? Indian food.
For breakfast, Oceanview Café features a wide array of options. From omelets to bacon, scrambled eggs to cereal. Not only does this venue serve American style breakfasts, but also European and English style breakfasts with an assortment of meats, cheeses, and vegetables.
There are multiple specialty restaurants aboard Summit, but before we get into those, we will talk about the main dining room. Straddling the Entertainment Deck and Promenade Deck, the Cosmopolitan Restaurant is a beautiful room with a dramatic double staircase, and huge windows facing out over the stern. During the Celebrity Revolution, Cosmopolitan was completely resigned and features all new furniture, lighting fixtures, artwork, and more.
I dined at Cosmopolitan twice during my time aboard, once for lunch and once for dinner. For lunch I had pasta, which I thought was a bit of a boring and safe choice, but for some reason I ordered it anyway. I was not disappointed by my choice, as I thought I would be. The pasta was delicious, the vegetables adorning it were fresh, and I would order it again if I had the chance. I usually decide to only eat one course for lunch because dinners can be filling with multiple courses.
For dinner, I decided to go all out. I ordered escargot, lamb, and a warm apple tart. I will start with dessert, because although it seems the most basic, it was absolutely the most delicious. The apple tart was perfectly warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. It felt like comfort food, but completely elevated. If I had started with dessert, I may have chosen to eat it for all three courses.
The escargot, my appetizer, was good, however, it was not anything to write home (or to you all) about. My lamb entree was pretty good, not as wonderful as the apple tart, but good. What I do appreciate about every dining experience aboard Summit is that they tended to cook all of my meat perfectly. As someone who likes a rare steak, I often find my meat being overcooked. The lamb had a good flavor, and the sides that accompanied it were nice, but the piece of meat was a bit tough. However, that is my only criticism, but it does make the dish a bit harder to enjoy.
All in all, though, my dining experience at Cosmopolitan was fairly good. During dinner, service could be a bit slow at times, but it wasn't so slow that I minded. Generally, dinners aboard ships are long, and if you are in a rush to get somewhere, you may want to go to the buffet.
For suite-class guests, Luminae is an alternative to the main dining room, with a dark, sexy atmosphere and a carefully crafted menu. Luminae provides a slightly more elegant dining experience than the main restaurant, but somehow in a more casual setting. I didn't feel like I needed to get as dressed up to go to Luminae as I did the main dining room – but perhaps that was just me. Luminae is great. I wrote about it when I dined there on Celebrity Edge, and I will write about it again now because I am impressed by the venue.
Before going into Luminae to dine, I asked a few of my fellow travelers about their experiences in the restaurant. I was given a few pointers. 1) Make sure to order the burrata for an appetizer. 2) The chicken is dry. 3) Everyone's steak was overcooked, so much so that a few people had to send their steaks back.
So when I get to Luminae, I order the burrata, order a rare filet mignon, and, since there were no pointers for dessert, opted for a raspberry pistachio vacherin, which ended up being kind of a fancy ice cream sandwich. My hopes for the burrata are already high, because I heard about it from so many of my fellow guests. To no one's surprise, my appetizer was amazing.
Now came the interesting part. Three of us ordered the steak. I sat, waiting patiently to see just how badly overdone my steak was going to be. As the waitress walked up, I grabbed my knife in anticipation. I cut into the steak eagerly, but not hopefully. But, alas, it was exactly what I had asked for. I inspected the steaks of the others at my table; everyone's was cooked to perfection.
A friend of mine at another table ordered the chicken, I questioned her about it, and she said that it was great. The hard part is to distinguish whether I simply had a difference in taste or opinion than the prior group, or if Luminae simply had a turn-around between the first and second dinner groups. I will say, however, that between my dining experience at Luminae on Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Summit, it would be worth booking an entry level suite simply for access to that restaurant alone.
Because I was only on Summit for such a short amount of time, I only had the chance to try three restaurants, however, Summit boasts multiple specialty restaurants that serve everything from Italian to sushi.
The Tuscan Grille offers Italian inspired cuisine menu heavy on steaks and pastas. Qsine features a globally inspired menu, with a twist. Sushi on Five serves sushi, obviously – but it also has hot pots and noodle dishes, and sake and Japanese beers. Blu serves light and healthy menu items, and is an option for guests booking spa-oriented AquaClass staterooms.
The easiest part of being on a cruise ship is finding things to do during sea days or between meals. As I wrote in my last article, Celebrity provides an opportunity to be entertained around every corner. I wrote about the Martini Bar, which ended up being one of my favorite places to hang out both before and after dinner. However, there were many more entertainment options that Celebrity provided.
I was able to see The American Ballet Theatre aboard Summit. This partnership is something that has never before been done, and is such an exciting opportunity for Celebrity Cruises. Offering ballet on a cruise ship is not only something that is new and exciting for guests, but also unique to Celebrity, and is certainly an accomplishment for the entertainment team.
I heard a few criticisms of the performance. It featured a violinist in the middle. So what I heard was that the performance was "A violin performance bookended by ballet." I won't say that I disagree, but I also don't think that is a negative thing.
The violist aboard was so fantastic; and as someone who played the violin for more than a decade, I was truly stunned by the performance. She played everything from classical music to the James Bond theme song to Queen. The performance that she gave was amazing, and I would go see it again in a heartbeat, even without the ballet.
That being said, the ballet complements this violin performance so nicely. And I will say, although some people expected more ballet, I was perfectly content with the length of the performance the ballerinas gave. It would be nearly impossible for them to do a full-length ballet show due to the fact that they are on a moving ship. The first night they even had to change their performance because there was so much movement from the ocean. I cannot imagine how hard it is to be on a rocking ship on pointe. I could feel the movement myself, and I was hunkered down in a chair.
Apart from shows on the big stage, there are many other entertainment options, from silent discos to live bands in lounges to movies and beyond. Whether your idea of a fun night is a coffee after dinner at Cafe al Bacio, a performance on the main stage, a cocktail on the pool deck, live performances at the Rendezvous Lounge, or simply retreating to your stateroom for a quiet night, you will absolutely find something to do aboard Celebrity Summit. My advice? Don't miss the Martini Bar.
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