Editor’s note: Celebrity Reflection recently completed a transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to Miami. The 13-night cruise included nine consecutive days at sea. Teijo Niemela, publisher of Cruise Business Review and a Cruise Critic contributor, was onboard.
On the longer voyages, I find it’s nice sometimes to break out of the daily routine. A lot of my time onboard Celebrity Reflection had been spent working, so I was eager to find time for myself.
I decided to schedule my long-awaited day of relaxation and rejuvenation for Wednesday, three days before we debarked in Miami. Of course, you need to plan at least a few days ahead of time to do a splurge day right, especially because it can be tricky to get reservations for a spa treatment or specialty restaurant on sea days — even when there are nine of them. Flexibility and the willingness to spend a little extra cash pay off when it comes to planning. A look at how my day went:
My splurge day aligned perfectly with Reflection’s (fee-free) Sea Day Brunch, a can’t-miss staple on Celebrity cruises. I made sure I was at the main dining room, camera in hand, when the lavish brunch opened at 10 a.m. The spread was vast, and I indulged in shrimp and sushi for breakfast. Along with the for-fee mimosa, it was a great way to start off my special day. Cost: $6.
A barber in AquaSpa previously had recommended I try a hot stone massage with Balinese therapist Wira. I checked it out the day before; she had an opening for 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, so I booked an appointment. I rushed through brunch and headed to AquaSpa to fill out the consultation form well ahead of the scheduled appointment. Right on time, Wira picked me up from the empty (and thankfully quiet) relaxation room and ran through a series of questions about things such as my preferences and allergies. I spent 15 minutes wondering whether I could relax with work running through my mind, but Wira gave a great massage. And I was still in good mood when I signed the bill at the end of the treatment. Cost: $224.25
I decided to continue on a healthy course and grab a light lunch. Celebrity Reflection, like its sister ships, offers healthier alternatives in its (fee-free) AquaSpa Café, located in the Solarium pool area. Light appetizers are served buffet-style; the food is already plated, which can occasionally lead to hungry passengers grabbing several plates at a time. You can also order a main course separately, and these are delivered to you at your table. After my spa treatment, a glass of orange juice and salmon with some vegetables hit the spot. Cost: $0
I have my favorite bars on every ship, and the Reflection is no exception. Instead of heading my favorites here — Martini Bar or Sunset Bar — for predinner drinks, I decided to try Molecular Bar. This is not the place to order a gin and tonic or Bud Light. Here, mixologists create exciting and refreshing drinks blending juices, fresh produce and spirits. My choice was a Ginger Mojito, which was really tasty. Cost: $13.80
To top off my day, I grabbed dinner at Reflection’s upscale (and $35 per person) specialty restaurant, Murano. It can be hard to get a reservation at Murano at a reasonable time (for me, “reasonable” is early in the evening), so I had to accept a 9 p.m. slot. A “welcoming” Champagne — a glass of Colin, Grand Cru, Blanc de Blancs — was offered when I got to my table. I learned my lesson from a previous experience and asked the price before accepting a glass — $27! Still, I decided to try a glass. The service in Murano was refined and attentive, yet not too stuffy.
The menu of the Murano is intriguing. It includes caviar (added fee above the cover), lobster, muscole duck breast and chateaubriand (for two, so I couldn’t order it). I ended up with seafood again (for the third time that day), ordering a creamy Maine lobster bisque and Dover Sole Veronique for my main course, which was perfectly deboned tableside. Cost: $67
Some “free” entertainment at the Grand Foyer made for the perfect ending to my day. “Dancing with the Officers” is Celebrity’s version of the TV show, “Dancing with the Stars.” This attracted great competitors and a large crowd and left us all laughing. Cost: $0
Total cost for a day of splurging: $311.05
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