Cruisers know that ship officers and crew enjoy a certain measure of celebrity status. Passengers might get a few pics taken with their smiling hosts, who daily receive thousands of warm greetings from their guests.
It’s rare to see cruisers basking in such attention.
Joan and Ed Stein were onboard Celebrity Reflection for its inaugural U.S. sailing. To watch them, you’d think they ran the place. Sitting in the Oceanview Cafe, the ship’s buffet, the couple drew attention from all directions. No Celebrity staffer in sight could resist dropping by to say, “hi.”
For the Steins, it was like a reunion. The waitstaff, officers, pretty much everyone onboard who wore a Celebrity name tag, appeared as if they were checking in with longtime friends.
That happens when you rack up 166 cruise credits over a span of 13 years (the two actually don’t keep track, but they say they’ve been told the current sailing will count as 167).
Often, the most seasoned crewmembers are culled from other ships in a fleet to help launch a new-build. On other Celebrity vessels, the Steins have met — and count as friends — many of those staff members currently onboard Reflection, including Reflection’s hotel director, Damien O’Connor, who has headed all onboard hotel departments for Celebrity for the past 15 years.
The couple, who make their home in Boynton Beach, Florida, when they’re not onboard a Celebrity ship, said they have sailed on every ship in the fleet, including some that aren’t around anymore.
“Celebrity has been very good to us,” Ed Stein said.
Their first cruise with the line came on Celebrity Century in 1999. Since then, the retired couple cruises “as often as we can,” Joan Stein said.
This was the couple’s first time invited to an inaugural sailing.
Reflection the Show. Reflection the Show is pure entertainment, if you can manage to watch through your fingers.
The performance combines elements of rock and roll and Cirque Du Soleil-style shows with costume, vocals and contortionists to deliver a unique production that will have you jamming along and squirming in your seat — in a good way.
While the music is good old rock ‘n’ roll — think Pink Floyd, Kiss, Journey and Whitesnake — the entertainment truly comes from the acrobatics. And there is a lot of it. Performers dangled from fabric, flipped inside hoops, balanced atop ladders and hung from bars, flying through the air and bending themselves in ways that seemed downright unnatural.
The scene-stealer might have been a performer who needed no prop at all. From a lofted platform, she completed a series of contortions that brought squeals from the audience. Though impossible to properly describe, it was the topic of conversation long into the next day among passengers.
Credit programs such as “Glee” and “Dancing with the Stars” — TV shows that have helped make older songs popular again — for the new twist on entertainment on Reflection, Eric Bohus, Celebrity’s director of entertainment and cruise programs, said.
“We’re looking for the sweet spot that crosses over generations,” he said, describing Celebrity’s entertainment initiatives.
Electric Problem. That electric problem that caused Reflection to sail at a reduced speed — and subsequently miss a scheduled port stop in the Canary Islands on its transatlantic Thanksgiving journey from Barcelona to Miami — will be fixed by the end of December, according to Greg Purdy, Celebrity’s senior vice president of operations.
The culprit was a faulty coil on one of the ship’s transformers. Because it is a new ship operating with new parts, a replacement coil had to be made from scratch. It’s due in by the end of the month, and Purdy said Celebrity doesn’t anticipate any further itinerary disruptions because of the issue.
Ship propulsion manufacturer ABB is building the coil. Once the coil is complete, it can replace the faulty one without disruption to the ship’s schedule, Purdy said.
Subtlety of Art. If you’re an art lover, it might be obvious. If not, we won’t blame you for missing it. Much of the art commissioned for Reflection is thematic: It shows various interpretations of “reflection.”
Once you know the theme, it makes exploring much more fun. It’s easy to recognize in some pieces (a photo of the “twin girls” kind of hits you over the head). In others, it’s a bit trickier to figure out (what is with that seat cushion painted silver?)
Still, it gives you an excuse to slow down and take it in, then talk it over at the Martini Bar.
Read all of Cruise Critic’s “Live From Reflection” reports including a cabin tour and a “splurge day at sea.”
Read about what other Cruise Critic members have to say about Celebrity Reflection.
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