There were six of us, three middle aged couples from Canada (one of which was in a wheelchair). We have all been on several cruises, and I guess that is where my heading stems from. Celebrity has been our cruiseline of choice over the past few years to the Med a few times, and the Caribbean, and we are now Elite members. Nice perks include some free internet, laundry, etc.
We chose this ship because it was stopping in St. Kitts where our son goes to school, and the Reflection was new.
We had rented a car for two weeks and parked it at a lot outside the Port. We dropped off our check-in luggage at the port and then parked. There is a shuttle that takes passengers back to the port. That went pretty smoothly, but when we came back from the trip, the shuttle took over an hour to pick us up to get our car.
Cheap, is not always the best choice, unless you have a lot of patience.
The weather in Florida was quite cold and windy, so we took our time and boarded around 1:00 P.M. All went smoothly and we just went to the cabin, dropped our carry ons and headed to the buffet. Very clean, lots of variety..for the first day.
It is new, and basically has the same layout as the other Solstice class ships.
Our room had a nice larger balcony because it was on an angle and we enjoyed sitting outside to watch the sunsets, which were beautiful.
The musical variety shows just did not work for us. Either we were tired, or they really weren't that terrific. There was one comedy show which was repeated several times. We enjoyed the music in the Atrium before dinner. Celebrity seems to have cut back on guest entertainers, and the entertainers who played around the ship were goog, but only perform for short segments.
The casino seemed quite busy at night.
There was Zumba on the pool deck and it was a lot of fun. Many of the other classes are done for a fee, but there were a few free ones. We really didn't participate in tons of stuff, but the days just flew.
Our room steward smiled a lot,when we saw him, but really did nothing much except throw our bed together. The towels were great for "exfoliation" and quite thin. We did ask, and only once he gave us some decent soft bath towels.
I don't think they vacuumed under the bed. We had daily bulletins from February, this was March, and our friend found dirty T-shirts when they put their bags under the bed.
Counters were not cleaned, glasses seemed to be rinsed out and turned over, and the floors were only done on the last night before we were leaving. Maybe we just got poor care.
Food and restaurants
The Hideaway on the 7th Floor has much better coffee than the buffet, etc.
It is a quiet area where you can read and was just down the hall from our room.
The main dining room food was just okay. Our maitre'd was outstanding. He walked around nightly to ask how we were doing. My husband cannot eat sugar, but loves sweets, so every night Juan arranged a surprise sugar free dessert. There is so much food available that no one is starving, but it was a shame to see veal chops so overcooked they were like shoe leather, and dried out lobster tails on formal night.
We enjoyed having breakfast in the dining room. Very nice. The solarium restaurant has healthy choice breakfasts and lunch.
We only went to one Speciality Restaurant, Murano. It was delicious. The first night they offered a 20% discount - $36.00 per person.
With so many people opting to go to these restaurants, sometimes, when two people book a large table to meet others, they end up sitting at a table with six empty chairs.
Alcohol, speciality coffees, juices and water packages.
Our friends had booked on the 123 drink package. The Classic package covers drinks up to $8.00. It is not possible to pay the difference, so if a drink is $10.00 you will be charged the full amount. Many drinks were $8.50 and up. In any event, everyone enjoyed this option.
Not great. We were able to get late disembarkation, so only waited a few minutes to find our stuff, but some people were stuck in the baggage room for an hour or more looking for their bags. It comes out on a conveyor belt, and not always on the one the room is assigned to. Then there was quite a line to get through customs. People were not happy.
We arrived at 3 p.m. It is such an awkward time to be sightseeing and we had not planned anything special for the time we were in port.
Unfortunately, San Juan had a major power outage as their main transformer blew and the city was closed up tight. We wandered around and the only store open
was the Coach Outlet, so the three of us managed to find a little something to purchase. The store was very busy, but said they had to close before it got dark so they could go home.
We went back to the ship around 4
I am biased writing about this port as our son goes to school in St. Kitts and he drove us around. Everyplace looked beautiful. Our main focus was spending time together. There are lovely beaches and lookouts. The Marriott Hotel has a great beach, casino, restaurants, etc, but we just went there for lunch. I don't know if they charge for spending the day.
The whole day in St. Maarten. Great island and beaches. Lush, cute.
In December we had taken a full tour with Bernard's Tours, of the island. We were in a mini bus of about 20 people, and I think we saw everything. Reasonably priced.
On this trip, we decided to check out the shopping and especially the jewellery store. After lots of bargaining, we all managed to buy ourselves a little gift.. Our husbands were very bored waiting for us, so we stopped shopping and looked for a place to have a light lunch. Difficult with a wheelchair, as there were stairs in most places, but we did find a cute place along the beach that had a flat entrance.
We were back on the boat by 4 and the day just flew by..for the women anyway.