Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review by joschus: Celebrity Reflection Christmas Cruise Dec. 22-29, 2012
Overall Member Rating
Celebrity Reflection Christmas Cruise Dec. 22-29, 2012
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Even though Reflection is a new ship, it is already well-reviewed here on Cruise Critic. It is gorgeous and extremely well laid out. I realized after being on board a day that this was one of the first ships I've been on when it didn't take days to learn where things were. The layout is very intuitive.
The interior of the ship is modern, bright and colorful without being gaudy or making one feel they are in a mall. It's just beautiful in every way. Our Sky Suite cabin, 1214, was immense in size compared to other Sky Suites we've had on Celebrity. What seemed to make the difference was that we were located at the furthest rear, furthest to the starboard side of the ship. I believe there are 2 such cabins on each deck. One advantage of this cabin is that the veranda wraps around the corner of the ship so we had the equivalent of a veranda and a third. We could see where we've been and where we were going!
We had concerns that being over the props and engines would make More the cabin be rumbly and noisy. Instead the cabin was utterly quiet. In fact, I often had to look outside to make sure we were moving it was so quiet and calm. Of course, the ocean had barely a ripple the entire week. The entire crew was great and purchasing the highest level beverage package was the way to go. We bought the higher priced package which was nice in the specialty bars because the standard beverage package did not cover the more expensive specialty drinks and wine.
The food was very good, especially the Oceanview buffet. What Celebrity does which is so smart and new to us is that they have at least 4-6 duplicate stations serving the most popular items for each meal. Thus, there is almost no line regardless of the number of people present. I don't think we ever waited in a line to pick up food items.
We ate all our dinners in Opus with one exception, one dinner in Murano. The Opus food and service was excellent, especially because we were a group of 12 traveling together. Nobody sent any of the dishes back to the kitchen, the waiters never brought a wrong dish - it was all so professional and well done. Lunches and breakfasts were split between the buffet and dining room.
Murano was a disappointment the night we went. Because it seemed short staffed, dinner dragged on for three hours. I don't expect to rush through a fancy dinner, some of which is prepared table-side, but everyone felt three hours was way too long for a 3 course meal. The food was all right, certainly not better than the Opus dining room though. Since we had a suite, the Murano dinner was complimentary which was just fine in light of the experience.
There were a couple blips but were taken care of on board. Months before the trip, our travel agent contacted Celebrity to request that our group be given a large table for dinners together. We were a family traveling together and that would be the only time all day we would all meet up. As our travel agent suggested, I visited the dining room right after we sailed to check on the group seating.
There, a "select dining" staff young lady stated with no concern at all that yes, she did have the dining request from us. But, no, we could not be together. Turns out the Select Dining section of the dining room was in disarray due to the large number of big groups sailing at Christmas. Rather than try to work it out, she was disinterested and basically said she could maybe put 3-4 of us at a table together, maybe. It didn't seem to matter to her that Celebrity accepted our request. She clearly was not about to do any more to help work it out so I left.
Coincidentally, I returned to our cabin and my wife was chatting with our Butler. He was great and I told him what just happened. He smiled and left and said he'd call back later. Within 30 minutes he called and had worked it all out with his "contacts". From then on we were all at a table together each night. A different Select Dining woman, Natalie, was on duty each evening and she was delightful in working out every one's issues. Not a job I'd like though. Before the cruise when I was speaking to one of the Celebrity people regarding specialty dining, he told me that if we had ANY problems at all, don't waste time with the front desk people, just talk to the butler - and it worked!
The other issue involved the shore excursion office and two members of our group. On two different stops, San Juan and St. Marteen, the shore excursion people got them to the venue by bus, but in both cases, after sitting there an hour or two, the excursion was mysteriously canceled and the bus load of people were taken back to the ship. No explanation, no apology, just weird. Needless to say, our two people got their money back and decided against any more excursions. The rest of us had no problems with our shore excursions.
The embarkation and disembarkation was simple and efficient.
There's so much more to say but I better sign out for now. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to reply. Less
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Cabin review: SS1214
We had Sky Suite 1214, a very large cabin as compared to other cruise-ship cabins we've had. It had large windows and a veranda that curved around the edge of the ship so we could see behind and forward as we cruised. The amenities were wonderful as was the over-sized bathtub. Even a mirror in the bathroom that didn't fog up! A concern was that being over the engines and props would make the cabin noisy or vibrate. Not so. It was utterly quiet the entire trip. Can't wait to go again.
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