Travel Plan – Southern Caribbean

Cruise Line:     Celebrity Cruises
Ship:                   Summit (M-Class)
Sail Dates:        November 3 – 10, 2018
Destination:     Southern Caribbean
Stateroom:       Sky Suite (SS2)6122 (Starboard, Aft Deck 6)

logoBooking Details:
Ad hoc decision to book a Caribbean birthday cruise (for Anthony) on board the Summit.  We contacted our Travel Agent, April Martinez to work out the details.  We initially booked an Oceanview cabin (as we already had a large cruise plan for December); but eventually upgraded ourselves to a Sky Suite when prices came down to an offer we couldn’t refuse.   We received $200 USD OBC from Celebrity as a “Post Thank You” booking bonus, an additional $300 USD OBC from Celebrity as part of the “Go Best” offer, and then a generous OBC offer from our Travel Agent, April.

Cabin Selection:

Nov Tags
Sky Suite 6122

Sky Suite 6122 is located on Deck 6 near the aft.
The category is “Suite” and the stateroom type is Sky Suite “2” which is classed this way as typically the SS2 type is in a less desirable location than the SS”1″.  Most M-Class SS1 and SS2 cabins are equal other than location.   A very notable exceptions are 6145/6146 which are adjacent to the Penthouse (featuring upgraded bathrooms) and 6131/6132 (featuring angled oversized/larger balconies).
Our initial cabin assignment was 6116, but as people cancelled or switched cabins, 6122 (closer to aft) opened up and we moved down the corridor 🙂

Celebrity Shore and Private Excursions – what’s the deal?

St Thomas on our Own

For the most part, Anthony & I always book private excursions or do the port on our own, rather than through the cruise line.   Partly due to the fact that we are birders and we enjoy hiring a local guide to show us the local flora and fauna for the different regions/countries we visit.  Partly due to the fact they are a smaller group size and usually significantly less expensive than the cruise line = more privatized experience at a reduced cost.  Finally, sometimes you can find a very unique experience with a local guide not offered by the cruise line [e.g., Gastronomical Tour by “Lovely Amalfi Tours” (Naples, Italy)].  However!  we have arranged tours via Celebrity (e.g., Hong Kong DIY HOHO tour) and will always remain open-minded to do so.

Hong Kong HOHO Tour arranged via Celebrity Shore Excursions

Saying that, for this relaxation get-away in the Caribbean, we have a mix of both independent small group tours (shared with others) and cruise line excursions.  As we had $500 USD non-refundable on board credit [OBC] that we knew we would never use within 7 days, it was put to good use by using it for ship sponsored tours.  We purchased three Celebrity shore excursions during their “Flash Sales” (up to 20% off) and utilized the OBC efficiently 🙂

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November 3, 2018:   First of all, we have to thank our most amazing house/pet sitter, “Ceci”, who allows us much peach of mind as we travel.  With two large dogs and three felines, and not to forget the clown fish! – they are practically impossible to board out while we travel.  Having Ceci as a “live-in nanny” for our “fur-babies” while we are away is so much appreciated and we have much gratitude for how she cares for them as her family, while we travel.  Without her kindness and love for the “kids”, we would worry non-stop about them.   Thank you “Nanny Ceci”, xo.

Travel from YYZ to SJU

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 7.55.00 AMAs we were flying in the day of embarkation, we chose to book our flights from Toronto to San Juan (SJU) via Celebrity Cruises’ Choice Air which guarantees us to get us on the ship in the event of a flight delay or interruption in service.  The rate was competitive with all the on line booking sites.
westjetlogoLast time we flew to SJU it was with Air Canada (via our Aeroplan points).  As we were paying cash for the trip (sans points); we chose “WestJet” and this will be our first experience with them.
Both Air Canada and WestJet have a direct flight service to SJU and they depart within minutes of each other.  After our confirmation of flights from Choice Air, I then called WestJet and selected our seats for both flights, picking the exit row (for extra leg room) on both legs of the trip.

Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 7.56.35 AMWe arranged our home to airport (and return) transfers via trusted vendor, Red Car Service (Guelph, Ontario).  We have been using this service for several years now as they are reliable, trustworthy, and competitively priced.  

Please click on the “next” button below for our arrival , transfer from SJU to the cruise terminal, and exploring a bit of old town on our own, prior to sail away.

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Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 4.22.55 PMTravel Resources:

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