Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review by tigger1968: Somewhat disappointing cruise on the Reflection
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Somewhat disappointing cruise on the Reflection
Overall the Reflection is a beautiful ship as are her sisters. Celebrity had taken feedback from the previous editions and tried to improve the design. There are some major and minor changes from the earlier versions of the S-Class ships and most for the better. While they added more rooms and therefore increased the capacity of the ship it did not feel any more crowded than previous S-Class ships. I suspect that on Caribbean runs when everyone is by the pool there may be some more issues, but on a Med cruise there was plenty of room in the buffet for lunch, the specialty dining rooms for dinner and the bars never felt over crowded.
The bar staff are super friendly across the ship and we had hours of fun at the Martini Bar watching them perform and at the Sunset bar wrapped in blankets as it was a November.
The team at the Cafe on deck 5 was on the ball and worked hard.
If you have never been to Lawn Club Grill...GO...it is a fun, relaxed More backyard atmosphere. You make your own flat bread, grill your own meat and interact with the chefs while getting a cooking lesson. If you are looking for pretentious, white glove, kiss your butt service then stick with Murano and Tuscan. If you want a fun dinner with a great group, Lawn Club Grill is the place to be. Most of the team on the Reflection was also on the Silhouette when I sailed her and they remembered me so it felt like coming home when I walked in. Chef Webb gave me a big ol' Jamaican hug and my favorite waiter Allan was there to get me all set up. Jordan is the Maitre D' at LCG and in my opinion one of the best Maitre D's in the cruise industry. The LCG is his vision and passion and it shows.
Qsine is also a really fun place to eat...but eat with friends as it is impossible to really savor the options if you are just 2. They also have a more laid back, but still fine dining atmosphere coupled with unique tapas style food from around the globe.
Murano and Tuscan are also great places for a romantic dinner with great food and generally good service (although they try too hard to get that "excellent" score on the feedback form and it shows...it is all they really care about which is a shame). They are definitely worth a visit. Just a note, I did not eat in the MDR as I was in specialty dining all cruise so I cannot comment on it.
Solarium pool area is warm and the pool is heated so it was pleasant to swim even if it was November. Very relaxing place to just lie down and watch the "water dance and light show" that goes on all day. You can meditate there and just waste away hours relaxing. In my opinion, the best indoor pool on a cruise ship for relaxing and floating.
From a service point of view they admittedly really disappointed me. The majority of the staff were super friendly as we have come to expect from Celebrity but there were a few cranks on board (Tuscan Grill assistant Maitre D' was horrible and her boss, the Maitre D', was so fake in his attempts to be pleasant to cover for her that and avoid a poor rating on the evaluation sheet that it just pissed me off even more).
The Spa personnel spend most of their time pushing products even after you ask them not to. So after burning $200 on a massage or facial, you end up leaving more wound up than when you came in. When we complained, the spa manager actually defended their aggressive sales practices and said it was for "our own good" that they push these products!!??!! So avoid the spa unless you like a 1hr sales pitch that you "pay for".
We were in a sky suite which comes with butler service and regrettably our butler was having a bad cruise. I must preamble that we have stayed in the sky suites many times before so we know what to expect. He constantly made mistakes with our breakfast order, forgot to bring utensils and napkins and often needed to be asked twice to get things done. He was friendly enough, just not on the ball. It was the little details that were missing. We had wine delivered to our room as a bon voyage gift, but there were no wine glasses stocked in our bar (or any glasses for that matter). We were never asked if we wanted canapes in the evening and none were ever delivered (I could have asked but honestly forgot...although it should have been an automatic thing to deliver). Our balcony was never cleaned so salt built up on everything until I had enough and cleaned it myself and then complained (this too should be an automatic thing). On our final day they started cleaning our room the night before. We came in from dinner to discover that our closet was cleaned out and reset (this was a problem as we had personal items in there that were taken away...and eventually pulled out of the ship's trash after we called the butler to complain...again).
Embarkation was a nightmare and the worst I have ever had. There was one person to direct 3000 guests who all seemed to arrive at the same time and she was overwhelmed. Her reaction was to make people go and sit in a separate room until the lines cleared out instead of actually directing us to the right line. Some people actually sat there for 2 hours until they got fed up and left the room only to discover than the lines had since cleared out and the ship nearly fully boarded. I ignored the directives to sit down and found my line. It took about 45 minutes to check in as there were only 2 people checking in our line...yet 6 to 8 in all the others. Not sure how they figured that one out.
The next day when we returned to the ship we were met with a very long line on the pier to re-board. We waited 50 minutes in line to go through the port security check (x-ray and metal detector) and then were asked to line up once more on the ship to again go through an x-ray and metal detector. What was the point of that? You leave one check point; walk in a secured zone and on the ship into another check point.
Then there was the "explosion" on day 4. We all heard a loud boom while having diner and the ship shook for about 5 seconds. We were puzzled but figured it was thunder as we were sailing through a storm. We missed a port of call due to the explosion that was explained away as a "false alarm" and that the engineers felt it was a faulty alarm...but in case, they were operating at half speed as a precaution until they can check it out. As a result our itinerary had to be modified due to the reduced speed. Turns out it took 8 days, a technical team from Celebrity to fly to the ship, spare parts and much explaining that everything is ok by the Captain to fix this "false alarm" that shook the ship with a loud boom. Just admit it, your engine or your propeller assembly blew up (not literally but you know what I mean). We have 4 of them so no big deal. Next time be honest and tell us.
Finally, as Elite members were invited to various cocktails as an appreciation for our loyalty. I stopped going after 3 nights as the wait staff was useless and ignored us, never smiled and just hid in the corners and talked to each other. I had to run after them to get a drink and they never bothered to ask if I wanted another when they came to clean the table off with their nice frowns.
When you combine the mis-adventures in our stateroom, the spa, the mystery explosion, and bad appreciation cocktails our overall experience fell well short of what we know Celebrity can do. I believe that they will fix these hiccups with time, but until then, I will probably stick with the other S-Class ships that in my opinion offered better overall service and quality. Less
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