We have cruised several times before with different cruise lines. Celebrity is until now our favourite cruise line.
We took two consecutive cruises: one from Venice to Barcelona and the other one from Barcelona to Miami. Below is a review of our positive and not so good experiences during both cruises.
Hotel in Venice:
We have stayed at the NH Manin which is located few steps from the Saint Angelo water stop. Location was very good. The hotel itself was OK but nothing special despite good reviews. We have stayed 3 nights in Venice previous to our cruise. We had the chance to see Venice-center flooded. This was an interesting experience for us, but we felt sorry for the Venetians who, although used to it, were not amused.
We found embarkation in Venice absolute chaotic. Nobody seemed to know exactly how to cope with the large amount of people. There was a joung girl from Celebrity requesting for passengers to wait until the ques get smaller. Although many passengers did wait for a while, they soon realised that they were going to wait for hours because there was not an organised system to deal with the waiting passengers. It took us about 2 hours to be able to board.
There was a similar lack of organisation in Barcelona (our first port for the second cruise).
The ship, cabins and public areas
The Reflection is beautiful. The cabins and closets are small, better suited for short trips but not for long journeys. Our main problem was that next to the bed there are no drawers. Many times we ended up looking under the bed, because our glasses, watches or other small things put on top of the tiny furniture next the bed felt during the night.
Many passengers have commented already on the reduced size of the sky lounge. We agree that this is a pity. Our main concern is however, that we did not found the dancing spot located next to the guest relations a nice place to dance. There were always people walking through, specially the ones using the stairs. Also on formal nights, the photographers occupied one part of the "dancing floor" making it more difficult to dance.
Other venues on the ship, we found very nice. We have absolutely loved the art works displayed all over. We have enjoyed the spa, the solarium and the swimming pools. We have also appreciated how clean all the areas were. We both felt very comfortable and did not have the feeling of places being too crowded.
The crew, staff and fellow passengers:
We have enjoyed talking with officers and crew members several times. The captain Nicholas Pagonis made a professional impression. The ship had some technical problems during the first leg of our cruise and we did not receive enough communication about the problem and solutions. This should have been better. We are not sure if the insufficient communication was the captains mistakes or that from headquarters. In any case we felt safe with captain Pagonis, his officers and crew members.
We wish to praise the work of people working in several positions. These are Chandru ( captain club host), Anna ( next cruise sales office) , Edwin and his assistant ( please forgive us for not knowing your name) who were our cabin attendants during the first leg of our cruise, Roman and Reynaldo (our cabin attendants for the second leg) and Martens and Edelbert our waiters during the select dining option who took. To all of you a big thanks!
We have enjoyed meeting other cruise critic members, who we met in other cruises. We have also made new friends with passengers from different countries but specially German speakers. Unfortunately there were also some impolite people on board, but we will forget those soon.
We appreciate the efforts of cruise critic members Linda, Kasie and host Joe, who in one way or other have contributed to our get togethers.
Ports of call:
We had wonderful experiences fast in all ports of call. Only in Kusadasi and Malaga we met people who were not so friendly and eager to sell ( the latest specially in Kusadasi were some unfriendly people made so a frustrated impression because they said this was the Iast ship of this season and cruisers were not buying). We do hope next time we come we will have better experiences in those ports
We had a wonderful time on board the Celebrity Reflection. We have enjoyed the ship, the ports of call, the service, the food, meeting old and new friends and just doing as much or as little as we wished. We will not hesitate to sail again on board the Reflection if the itinerary suits our needs. In the mean time we will continue to cruise.