2011 Rum Cruise Day 1: Day at Sea, Celebrity Summit Review and Seminar Recap
The first full day of the cruise the Celebrity Summit travelled 495 nautical miles to Bridgetown, Barbados. I thought I would take this opportunity to review the ship and events of the day. Having cruised on other lines before I was looking forward to seeing the differences and figuring out which line I enjoyed most.
The Summit is a beauty weighing in at 91,000 tons and 1,950 passenger capacity. One of the first things I noticed was that everything had a very contemporary feel. There was no neon streaking down hallways, instead lots of hardwoods, shining reflective surfaces and windows providing excellent views.
One of the special treats was all of the lovely artwork spread around the ship. Gorgeous paintings, sculptures, and photos are spread all over the ship. It was a special joy to turn a corner and discover a lovely painting hanging on the wall. The only art I did not care for was in the midship stair well. It was a collection of busts that had been decorated, painted, or transformed using different media. The other stairwells featured interesting sculptures but because my room was by these I had to ignore them the entire trip. One of my favorite pieces is pictured below it can be found on level 11 of the ship.
Breakfast: We usually had room services deliver us a basic continental breakfast with coffee and a couple of days we went to the buffet before our shore excursion. Each time the food and coffee were good and exactly what we expected. We were told the sea day Brunch was excellent but never made it to it.
Lunches on the ship were held at the buffet with a large selection to make anyone happy. Unlike other cruise lines no sections are open 24 hours a day and to prevent the spread of viruses the crew handled the distribution of food.
Dinners: We had dinner in the Cosmopolitan restaurant as a group each evening and had a great time recapping the day. There was a basic menu that stayed the same the entire trip and another menu that provided new culinary opportunities every evening. Personally I loved the grilled chicken on the basic menu and had it three nights of the trip. The head waiter was outstanding and by the third night of the cruise was quick to steer someone away from something that he thought was not up to par or knew would not be something a specific passenger would like.
Shopping and Entertainment
One of the things I appreciated more than anything else compared to a Carnival was the lack of announcements by the Cruise director. (On previous cruises it seemed like you could not go an hour without someone rambling inanely into the intercom about some entertainment opportunity like a camp counselor on speed.) So when our Cruise director or Captain got on the intercom we were much more inclined to give them our attention. Each evening we were provided with a ship’s schedule for the upcoming day along with a shopping map of the island. The variety of entertainment ranged from classes on various subjects to arts and crafts, Bingo, movies, etc. We saw one show and it was exactly the theme park-esque entertainment we have come to expect. The feature orchestra guitarist was the most memorable thing about it as his skills added to the quality of the performance. Some of the live music around the ship was very good with a wonderful variety spread around so if you did not like what one lounge was playing you could try the next one for your listening pleasure.
There is nothing like soaking in a pool or whirlpool after a busy day on an island. The Summit has a wonderful Thalasoptherapy waterfall pool that pounded your muscles and soothed your aches away. The spa itself was pretty special with saunas and services to pamper you to your heart’s content. The on deck pools were spacious and never looked overcrowded except on the day at sea around lunch time.
Day at sea, the Rum Cruise Portion
We had three seminars that day.
The first was a Private Rum tasting of the Bacardi brands let by David Cid. He walked us through the founding of Bacardi by Don Facundo Bacardi Masso to today. We tasted Bacardi Select, Superior and Oakheart.
The second seminar was led by Esteban Ordonez where he discussed the history of the Serralles family and its rums. He introduced us to several cocktails featuring Don Q products and shared his knowledge of the brand.
*A quick food break was needed to carb up for the final seminar. We had such a good time at it that everyone was in serious need of food and revitalization before moving on.
The third seminar was led by David Cid who guided us through a tasting session related to Bacardi’s signature cocktails: The Daiquiri, Mojito, and Bacardi cocktail. He then surprised us by splitting us up into four groups and had us craft each cocktail in a fun competition.
Both David and Esteban graciously answered all of our questions and educated us on the technical aspects of the rums we were learning about. I think the contribution that both of these gentlemen made to the overall experience of the cruise are without measure and it personally was an absolute pleasure spending time with both of them.