After cruising for the last 8 years on Royal Caribbean, we thought we would try the new Reflection. First, the positives...our butler, we were in a suite, Cesar was attentive and professional. The cabin was beautiful, the bathroom very elegant for a ship. I agree with some of the other reviews that the cleaning left something to be desired. The sheets were never changed for the entire week. For a suite that was in excess of $8,000, a midweek linen change seemed reasonable. Our bathroom was always spotless with great towels. The separate living room was another matter. We often had room service and the glass top of table was frequently left I wiped. Grapes and other items found under the bed and furniture when placing suitcases.
We found the food to be quite good, especially if you like steak. Our lobster was perfect, but other flea food items were not good. Our service in the main dining room varied. Our waiter and assistant were attentive but very nervous. Most of the staff seemed very stressed, liked they had horribly demanding bosses. I felt very sorry for them.
Once the drink waiter and wine steward understood we had purchased the drink packages, they vanished. I have never had such a hard time getting a glass of wine or bottled water or cocktail. It was if they realized they already had your money and every drink they served you would lose money. Which I guess is technically true, but not the point of the package. I would not recommend buying the package unless you drink in excess of 5 cocktails per day every day or 11 beers per day every day. Otherwise it is far cheaper and a lot less aggravating to. Skip the drink packages.
On the first day, I received a card at the spa offering discounts if you booked multiple services which I did. The first two treatments, I was in a hurry to leave and did not notice that I had not been given a discount. Then guest relations called to check in and offered to help me with any concerns so I mentioned that I did not think I had received the promised discounts. She asked if she could put me on hold to check and came right back and said that I had in fact received them. I took my receipts with me for the final treatment and compared with the price list and in fact had not been given the discounts. I had a little back and forth with the woman at checkout and ultimately was given the discounts. While I waited before and after my facial. Several other guests were complaint about the same thing. Trust but verify would be my course here. This left a very bad impression. However I will say, all my services were excellent. Beware, they will push products heavily. This is true on all cruises...maybe because they are all staffed by Elemis.
I went to the pool bar one morning to get a bottle of water. I had not noticed it was 10 minutes before the bar opened as it seemed to be opened. I sat there for several minutes being ignored and glared at by the bar attendants. They walked back inside and a very nice towel attendant came up asked if I needed something and I said yes I would like to purchase a bottle of water. He disappeared in the back, came out, went back to his station and the bar attendant came out and more ignoring and glaring. I have never been more baffled by behavior. Finally, the towel attendant came back and said the bar would not open for 3 more minutes at that point and that I would not be served until then. I was floored. Why they didn't just say. Sorry, we are setting up, could you please come back in a few minutes, I would have completely understood. I just sat there there with my mouth open in astonishment. The cooler was sitting there in the open full of bottled water. Strangest behavior.
Leaving the ship was a disaster due to customs. I felt bad for the ship staff, the were struggling to make a bad situation as good as possible. One staff member said that they had sent half the number of custom agents and those agents were told to take frequent breaks. With his sweet accent, he said he was told it was due to our " sequestration. What is this sequestration?" I just said you do not want to know. But I give high marks to the ship staff.
I have always been a big fan of cruises, wanting to go back as soon as I left. This one was off for the above reasons and my next one will be back on RCCL. Yes, I realize it owns Celebrity but I have only had wonderful experiences on RCCL,, though the Reflection was a superior ship. Oh one last thing, on RCCL, if you are in a concierge suite, there are a lot of perks and they are spelled out in literature in your room so you will know what they are. If there were any for the Celebrity Suite, I was not aware of them. The website says the butler helps with unpacking and packing, though that did not happen. That was great for me because I prefer to do that myself, I was surprised it was not offered since it publicized. When I asked guest relations about literature about the amenities or special services, she told me my travel agent should have told me. The she gave me a giant notebook at the counter and told me I could look through it. Very strange. On RCCL , in the suites, you have a notebook with all if that covered and special menus and such. You would never know Celebrity was owned by RCCL. I sound like a huge snob but I really am not. It's just if you pay extra for your experience, that the experience should match up with what you paid for. I did get a bottle of champagne the first day and afternoon cheese and dessert plates daily, to be fair. But that was it he total of the extras unless I missed them, which is possible.