Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review by Debsflowers: A Most Enjoyable Vacation!!
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A Most Enjoyable Vacation!!
We thoroughly enjoyed a seven day cruise on the Reflection during the first week of February. We were gun shy of cruising because of a poor trip on Disney's Red Boat about 20 years ago. The Reflection is nothing like that. We stayed in an Aqua Class stateroom (1633) which was lovely. It was much larger than I anticipated. Our room steward, Ozzie, was wonderful and made us feel so welcome. I am very picky about cleanliness, but this room was kept in top shape twice a day. We were welcomed with fresh fruit and flowers, fresh ice tea and bottled water, a bottle of champagne on ice, and canapes. There were quality bathrobes hanging in the closet for our use, plus slippers and a beach bag. The bed was very comfortable. Larger than a queen, but not quite as big as a king.
Most nights we enjoyed dinner at Blu. The food selection and service were very good. We were always able to be seated, no matter what time we arrived. Breakfast was also enjoyed at Blu. Freshly squeezed orange More juice and grapefruit juice were always offered as well as a variety of pastries including chocolate croissants. The breakfast menu offered lots of great options, but my favorite was smoked salmon with a bagel and cream cheese as well as a grilled tomato. My husband enjoyed the French toast or blueberry pancakes. Blu is a small enough venue that you are able to make acquaintances with lots of wonderful people during the week.
The first night on board we enjoyed dinner at the Tucson Grille for 50% off. The food and service were wonderful.
Our best meal and service were received at Murano's. The service and quality of food were the best we have ever received in our lives!! The maitre d noticed that I was struggling with the menu and asked if he could help. I explained that I was torn between 2 different seafood entrees. He provided more detailed info, but then suggested I try both. I anticipated half portions of each, but instead received full portions of each, which I proceeded to eat because it was all so good. I then mentioned to our server that we are chocoholics. She suggested wonderful dessert options on the menu, and also brought us another dessert that they are thinking about adding to the menu. In addition to the wonderful food, it needs to be highlighted how well the wait staff worked together. They were like a well oiled machine. If our primary server was busy with someone else, another server would always be there to ensure all was ok with us. That team work was extraordinary and very rarely seen, even in the best of restaurants.
We are not big drinkers, so did not purchase any beverage packages. My husband did buy a wine card from the wine cellar. This allowed him to go to the wine cellar and select a variety of different wines to try. You could try 1 oz, 2.5 oz, or 5 oz. I had never seen such a system, but it was wonderful. If you purchased a wine card the first day of the cruise they had a deal. We bought a $50 card and received $60. Every night we stopped by the wine cellar so my husband could select a glass of wine and take it to dinner. The staff at the wine cellar was very helpful and extremely knowledgeable.
There were lots of activities and seminars scheduled throughout the cruise. I really enjoyed the talks given by the ship's officers regarding how the ship was built and how it runs. There were also very informative talks regarding shopping tips at the various ports.
I enjoyed some pampering. For the first time in my life, I enjoyed a professional manicure, facial, hand & arm message, and a foot & leg message. I was in heaven. We also enjoyed the Persian Garden, though didn't use it as much as we hoped. It wasn't because it was too crowded, it was more because we were doing other things.
When on the ship during the day, we enjoyed lounging around the pool area. We could do people watching, reading, or napping. We would then grab a burger at the Mast Grill. Quick and convenient. We were always able to find a couple of lounge chairs.
I especially enjoyed our stop in San Juan. I thought that arriving there at 3pm would be awkward, but it worked for us. We set off on foot by ourselves and enjoyed the walk to Castillo San Felipe del Morro. It is a national historic site. We enjoyed touring around and learning about the history of Puerto Rico. The streets of old San Juan are so quaint and clean. The buildings are painted such vibrant colors. It was really a very enjoyable couple of hours of walking. The next two days we spent docked in St. Maarten and St. Kitts. We enjoyed shopping in both ports, but found the locals in St. Kitts too pushy. Too many going after you with taxi tours, wanting to take your picture with ratty looking monkeys, etc. It was a turn off.
Our evenings were typically spent enjoying a wonderful dinner, then heading to the Reflection Theater for some wonderful, Las Vegas like entertainment. After the show we would head to the casino to play the slots, and finally we would enjoy lots of live musical performers as we would make our way back to our room.
The only negative of our entire vacation was the service we received in Miami's Airport Sheraton Hotel. We had arranged and paid for the hotel, as well as transportation from the hotel to the port, through Celebrity. We were told that the hotel has a courtesy bus that will transport us from the airport to the hotel. We waited at least a half hour before it finally arrived. It was then so full that my husband had to stand as the driver drove rather quickly through curvy construction areas. Not very safe. When we arrived at the hotel, we noticed that there was already a long line of people waiting to check in, so I quickly got in line as my husband collected our luggage from the bus. It still took 20 minutes to work our way to the front of the line. When I asked for the information regarding our transportation the next morning to the port (Celebrity told us that upon check-in we would receive info regarding the transportation to the port), the clerk had no idea what I was talking about. It turns out that the hotel also offers transportation (for a fee) to the port. They were ignoring/playing dumb that Celebrity guests already had prepaid for this service. We met others as confused and annoyed as we were while we waited for at least an hour and a half in the lobby until our prepaid bus arrived. We felt that taking a taxi would be our back up in case our prepaid bus never showed. Celebrity really needs to remove Sheraton from their hotel list, or ensure that they treat their guests appropriately and don't begin their vacation with so much stress & uncertainty.
Overall, our Reflection cruise was top notch. I couldn't have asked for better service, better food, or more pampering and relaxation. Less
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