Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review by BigTex3: Christmas aboard Celebrity Reflection
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Christmas aboard Celebrity Reflection
From what I hear Christmas cruises are typically packed full and children and this journey was no exception. The reason we (wife and I) cruise Celebrity is because it's more adult oriented with few children. Though the crowd was not the "usual" Celebrity crowd I found myself having more fun than ever aboard this beautiful ship. Compared to the older class of ships (Summit, Constellation, etc) Reflection is simply superior. There is more of everything.... Food, bars, entertainment, and activities. In addition the amenities are simply better. Despite the ship being packed it seems like there was always a space at the bar or wherever it is you want to be with the exception the specialty restaurants which were difficult to get a table to once on board.
Speaking of food, I found the two specialty restaurants I attended to be simply awesome. The three trips to Tuscan Grill and one trip to The Lawn Club Grill were worth the extra cash they charge for the experience. At Tuscan Grill More it's obvious that the staff's priority is to make sure you have a good time. We had such a blast with the staff joking around and it helps that the food was excellent too! I hear people complaining on the message boards about the "sales pitch" to purchase the beverage package but you know what... It's worth it. While I may not drink $50+ worth of booze every single day I find it saves us from splurging on that $200+ bottle of wine while out to dinner and the sommeliers can find great by the glass selections included in the beverage package. Back to the restaurants... Next time around I'm sure we'll try the other specialty restaurants but as far as the experience at the two we attended, thumbs up... Buck up and give them a shot. We did go Aqua Class this time around so we also had access to Blu which I guess is an exclusive restaurant for Aqua Class. Overall I was not that impresse. In fairness we only went one night and I'm not sure if it was the environment we didn't care for or just had higher expectations but we were way more impressed with the pay specialty restaurants. Christmas night we spent in the main dining room and you know what... Pretty good! On the older class ships the main dining room was one of the only options but was always enjoyable and this stands true with Reflection. The servers were friendly, competent, and wanted to make sure their guests were having a good time. The main dining room was quite a bit louder which is no surprise as it's much larger than the other restaurants but I think that can be attributed to the Christmas carols that broke out randomly in the middle of dinner.
If the bar scene is your cup of tea Reflection has quite a few options. The Sunset Bar on the top deck was one of my favorite places because of the environment. Who doesn't like being outside sipping on delicious cocktails?! My only knock is that the service is kind of shoddy. It's always hard to find a waiter/waitress and found myself going up to the bar myself more often than not. The only other bar service was subpar was at the casino but coincidently those are the two busiest bars on the ship. At all the others there was always a server and drink just seconds away. The martini bar seemed a favorite gathering spot for several people before dinner and the ambiance is pretty cool. The bartenders have their little bit doing cocktail making tricks and always got attention from the patrons. The Sky Bar was good times for the late night crowd. As a guy that usually is in bed by 11:00 it's rare for me to be out late but couldn't help expressing myself through the art of dance well in to 3AM. DJ Constantine whipped the whole bar up into a dancing frenzy and drinks are easy to get and flow easily!
To the stateroom... I have nothing to do with booking trips but the wife selected an Aqua Class room with balcony. Personally I couldn't tell much of a difference from the civilian class room but it was very cozy. I was especially fascinated with the mirror that does not fog up after a hot shower. A great invention! The stateroom attendant was top notch and ever better than a butler we had in a suite in a past Celebrity cruise. My only knock was staying on the 14th deck was a little loud. In the morning you can hear people dragging lounge chairs around but it's not like it was unbearable or anything. Plus there were a few creeks and rattles I'm just assuming is a characteristic of a new ship. Once again the noise was not was not unbearable, just a minor nuisance.
Overall I really loved Reflection and it's staff. My only knock is that it was hard to get an elevator sometimes and children were abundant. However, that's what you get for cruising during Christmas. It seems like there is always something to do whether it be playing Bocce in the grass on the top deck or attending scotch tastings. There's never a dull moment if seeking activities. Of course if you want to relax there's always something to! Based on this experience our next cruise will be aboard this class ship with Celebrity and am looking forward to it. If on the line debating whether or not to cruise aboard Reflection I say go for it... You won't be disappointed! Less
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