DH and I landed at AMS around 8 a.m., local time. We gathered our 3 bags of luggage and caught a taxi to the port. When we told the taxi driver we need to go to the port - that we were sailing on the Celebrity Reflection, he looked at us dumbfounded and said he needed an address to put into his GPS. First time that has ever happened to us! Anyway, after a few wrong turns and us craning our necks to see the ship so we could direct him, we arrived. (58 euros) (Should have taken the train from AMS to the port - station was just across the street.
Since it was a rainy day, we decided to just wait at the port to board. We got through the check-in line quickly, but then had to wait about 30-40 min to go through security, etc. Boarding went smoothly. We boarded around 11:30 a.m.. We looked around a bit and then went to Oceanview Cafe for lunch. It was very crowded, but no more than usual on the day of embarkation. Since it was cool and rainy no one was taking advantage of the seating outside. The food in the Oceanview was very good - about the same as the other Solstice class cruises we have been on. We then walked around the ship a bit to see the changes.
The number of tiled chairs in the Persian Garden have doubled. The also have added a hamam (sp?) room and a "cold" room. Of course, they still have the showers and traditional sauna rooms. The Relaxation Room is the same. They have moved some of the atrium rooms around and added others. There is now a "Hideaway" room for reading. Looked like a nice space and usually had coffee available. They have also added a dedicated "Future Cruise" section on the 12th deck (Captains Club is still on deck 5). No more Quasar as it is now a space that is used for purposes similar to Celebrity Central - games/talks, etc. The Mast Bar at the aft of the ship has changed quite a bit. The spiral stairway on the aft has been moved and the space has been taken over by the bar (which was moved away from the wall).
We took advantage of a price drop and moved from an Aqua Class cabin to an Aqua Class Suite (2152 starboard-hump. The AC Suite was very nice. Since we have not sailed in a suite before, I am not sure how to describe the size, but I think it is about the same size as an Sky Suite S2. The bathroom has a tub/shower combination, with the tub having jacuzzi jets - very nice! The bathroom has a set of drawers as well as storage behind two side mirrors. There was a hair dryer in the bathroom and one in the desk drawer. There was also a magnified make-up mirror in the desk drawer.
There are two large closets. One side of one of the closets contains the safe and has shelves. There are also two large credenzas (one with a desk setup in the middle, and the other with the frig in the middle). We only used about 2/3 of the storage for our 9-day cruise. The sofa covering is now cloth instead of the white leather (?) -- great change in my opinion - much more comfortable. No over the bed storage - at least in our cabin. The light switch has been redone, making it a lot easier to use also. The decorating scheme is soft browns - very tasteful.
We do not go to many of the shows (only a few minutes here and there), so I will not review the entertainment. We did enjoy the live music groups, especially the guitarist (Ang), the female blues singer (Mazzy?), and the group Revelations. I've seen a lot of posts about the music being loud on the Solstice ships. The music did seem too loud at times -especially at the Mast Bar, Martini Bar and Blu. Not a deal-breaker - just annoying.
We did not participate in many of the planned activities (DH did take 2 watercolor classes that he enjoyed). The card room looked busy most of the time, and there was a room for playing ping-pong on deck 15, I believe.
We experienced excellent service from our cabin steward and butler. Every request was promptly handled. The service in Blu and Murano seemed very rushed. Was really surprised by Murano. The food was good, but in our opinion, not any better than in Blu. Tuscan Grille was wonderful (the mac and cheese is to die for) and we tried Qsine for the first time, which was a lot of fun as we were with a large group. As most others have said, you are served a huge amount of food.
The officers and other ship employees seen around the ship were very friendly, almost always greeting us with a smile and a nice comment. The captain actually came to our Connections party and posed for pictures.
Debarkation was a breeze in Barcelona. We had an early flight so we kept our luggage with us and walked off the ship with no one in line. No customs at the port so we were in a cab and at the airport in less than 30 minutes.
In summary, we thought the Reflection was a beautiful ship and liked most of the changes. We think the Aqua Class suites are a great addition.