Excited to share our fabulous time on Reflection. We disembarked yesterday in Miami, from a 7 night cruise to Puerto Rico, St. Maartens and St. Thomas. We flew to Mimi 2 days early and stayed at the Hampton Inn on Brickell, because it was the number one hotel on trip advisor. It was a great choice and location with terrific service and free breakfast. I have been stopping myself from tearing up, as I miss the cruise already. This was our 5th cruise. We have enjoyed all of our cruises on various cruise lines. Celebrity will be our line of choice from here on in.
The Reflection is a new, modern and stylish ship. The art, decor and spaciousness was truly wonderful. Our room was in Concierge Class and was very nice and comfortable for my husband, our 14 year old son and myself. There were many quiet places to read, and nap all over the ship. The big draw was the pool, but we live in California and get enough sunshine:)
We purchased the premium drinks packages. This was a good choice for us as we got more than our monies worth, using around $88 each per day. We also pre-booked all of the specialty restaurants. Because we packed lighter than our usual overpacked bags (3 suitcases each weighing only 32 lbs each), we used the laundry service daily. It was an expense that we budgeted for. I still rinsed out a few things in the shower with Suave Ocean that I use for Shampoo/Shower Gel/Laundry Detergent. They dried quickly in the hot sun on the balcony, after being rung out and rolled in the beach/pool towels they provide in the room daily.
The service was outstanding and the staff was so helpful and pleasant in all departments and areas. Our favorite was the Martini Bar. To tell you the truth, this was the first time we had ever hung out in a bar. Dawa, Gandi and Roland are so much fun, and very skilled bartenders. We looked forward to going there after dinner and watch them do their "flair bartending". They were very good to us and I hope you get a chance to meet them. Stoli Elite is included in the premium package and my husband enjoyed his high end martinis. I like all of the adventuresome ones, especially the 20 year martini. The prices were $10-$12 each, so all fit into the drinks pkg. The only one that did not was a Russian one that was $25 and I think it is called Imperial (its the one with the painted bottle for those in the know), not to be confused with Imperia which they also had.
The clientele on the ship was everything from the stroller set, to those needing oxygen. Some nights we chatted and laughed with some in their 20s and others with a funny man from Brooklyn who was 70. The diversity was such fun. This was a well dressed, tasteful crowd. No one was intoxicated or too loud. Formal night was men in suits and ties and a variety of dresses. There were maybe a total of 5 in the tuxedo/ballgown type attire.
All of the food was fresh and had a nice presentation. The buffet provided an unexpected variety of all types of food. There is literally something for everybody. I did not notice the usual greedy buffet type of people that I have seen on other ships. Everyone was polite and restrained. We enjoyed the specialty restaurants very much. Our favourites were Murano and Tuscan Grill. The Bistro on 5 crepes were delicious and the paninis on The Porch were both worth the $5 charge. The Lawn Club was interesting and their flatbread pizzas are delicious.
Our only bad experience and the one that took us by surprise was Qsine. Food is presented in an arsty and funky way and you order off of an iPad from around 20 options. It sounded fun, but it was the most confusing thing ever. We were each given an iPad to click on our choices. Ok, easy enough. Then the waiter came and said he could only take the order off of one iPad per table, so we had to start again. I took my husbands "order" and added it to mine, which was a bit of work. It is not geared for 2 people, rather better suited to large groups. One person is supposed to go around the table and log in the order of each person. Everyone else just has an iPad to browse the menu. We were told to pick out 3 things to share. We eat different things because I am a vegetarian and my husband is not. So we were told to pick out 2 things each. We were given small pieces of food, rolled into balls with some placed on lollipop sticks that were placed in special holders. It was all cute, but nothing more than appetizers. I thought it was just what we ordered, but upon looking around, I noticed everyone just had different variations of small plates. Unfortunately the food was mostly deep fried and very rich. The fish and chips had bones in the fish. The crunchi munchies were different kinds of french fries and some dehydrated vegetable chips that we had already tried over at the Martini bar. I had sushi that was rolled in crushed Doritos, which tasted like the sushi in the buffet. My husband had sliders and said they were alright. From start to finish we were there probably 30 mins as I really wanted to leave. It was not worth the $60 up charge for the both of us, so lesson learned.
The other bars were really nice too. The Molecular Bar featured drinks created by Junior Merino, an award winning mixologist. I had a Coming Up Roses drink that literally had crushed rose petals in it. The DragonFLy had liquid nitrogen sprayed on top and looked like a lava flow. Very entertaining. Michaels Club was always closed due to private parties, but we dont drink beer so never tried it. The menu was impressive though, with beers from all over the world.
We enjoyed the entertainment and the lectures on the ship. The one from the Captain kept us mesmerized as to the immense ability of the ship and the very large responsibility of the 70 person crew in charge of keeping the ship afloat. We went on the tour of the 3 islands and found it very informative as we had never been to any of these places. My son enjoyed the teen program but he is the quiet sort and does not usually say much about anything.
Even though we wont be crusing for another year, this has given us memories for a lifetime. It was a joy to sail on the Reflection.