Having been on the inaugural cruise of 'Silhouette' last year out of Hamburg, we were expecting great things from a 14 night Eastern Meditterranean cruise on 'Reflection', beginning in beautiful Venice, with a really good itinerary, and ending in Barcelona. We had a good Celebrity Reflection organised boat excursion around the Venice lagoon and islands with a very good commentary, on our first full day, before setting off towards Dubrovnik. We took the bus into the old town and had a lovely walk around this jewel of a city, before leaving that night heading towards Rhodes.
The weather was not too kind to us and we were buffeted by continual very strong winds and rain, and at around 7.00pm there was a very loud bang and 'graunching' noise, on the starboard side of the ship, followed by the ship shuddering. We immediately looked out over our balcony at the aft of the ship and saw that instead of leaving two white wakes behind the ship, we were down to one, and checking on the navigation channel on our TV screens, our speed had reduced hugely! Bearing in mind that we heard this from Deck 11 on the ship, then it was fairly clear that something major had happened to the starboard engine pod or propellor. We expected some kind of an explanation during the evening, but explanation came there none!! That evening, we were treating ourselves to dinner at the Tuscan Grill, and during our meal we became aware that the remaining engine pod went silent too, (not accompanied by a bang this time!), but it was only for about 20 mins., and then the engine noise and vibration began again. It was not until the next morning that the Captain deigned to tell us that there had been a technical problem with a switch and that because our speed was reduced, we would NOT be visiting Rhodes--a huge disappointment. And this was our disappointment---the fact that the Captain was not honest about what the problem had been and what was going to be needed to cure it----for our whole cruise! We finally arrived in Barcelona, still being pushed in the main by the port propulsion system, and although we had not felt that the ship was in any danger at any time, I would NOT have wanted to continue across the Atlantic without a properly working ship.
Fully operational ship. Why, oh why, we're our requests for information ignored. Why was the Captain 'economical with the truth' . His attitude merely encouraged the hundreds of different stories that we're circulating around the bars and dining rooms. I was amazed at how much dissatisfaction there was amongst so many people. Dissatisfaction with the motion and vibration of the ship,(certainly noticeable at the aft of the ship---we had practically the same stateroom on Silhouette, and experienced NONE of the vibration that we had to put up with for nearly all of this trip---despite crossing the Bay of Biscay!); dissatisfaction with the 'cruise director' Nick Weir, his attitude really annoyed many Americans , and we found his constant insistence that we 'showed our appreciation' more than a little irritating; dissatisfaction with on board shore excursions---they cancelled one of ours-----again!
Good things: Reflection is a lovely ship(or will be when she is sorted). The staff in the bars, cafe al Bacio, waiting staff and sommeliers were all superb. Stateroom care not quite as good as Silhouette, which was a shame, but the mattress was less comfortable than on Silhouette, so did not sleep well.
Food excellent,especially Murano.Shows often very good, as were some of the lectures. Used the gym 3times---very good. Had a wonderful manicure in the Beauty Salon, by a very proficient girl. Really bad things:Guest Relations!!!! They would listen, note down, and then ignore!!! Shore Excursions: too quick to cancel! Have not yet received any account of how our Premium Package was spent, despite being promised!
All in all, we will think hard about whether to take another Celebrity Cruise as we don't want to be further disappointed.