We have sailed on other Celebrity Cruise ships. This was our first time on the Reflection and the experiences keep getting better. We arrived the day before in Miami and spent the night at the Hampton Inn Brickell. The Miami airport was hectic- actually worse we we departed back to JFK! The Hampton Inn was a nice high rise hotel, centrally located. Unfortunately for us, a music festival was taking place the weekend we arrived, so the level of noise all night was horrible. But this was spring break weekend. We had dinner at Morton's steak house, close by the hotel and since we dine at Morton's in NY, the food was excellent as we expect from Morton's.
The next morning, we took a private cab to the port. We do not like the shuttles as they typically are packed and it takes a long time to drop people and their luggage off at different piers. We arrived about 10:45 AM and quickly registered and took our boarding picture. In about one hour, we boarded the ship. We like to have lunch in Bistro on Five, but they were not open as they had some issues. We then decided to go to the spa and make our appointments as well as going to the specialty restaurants to book our dinner. The first night, they offer the Aqua Class guest a 50% discount to dine that evening in a speciality restaurant, so we took advantage of the offer. About 1:00, we entered our cabin. We were greeted by Sherwin our cabin attendant. He and his associate did a great job keeping our cabin clean and well stocked throughout the cruise.
We had booked this cruise on a previous celebrity cruise and we received a free drink package. We upgraded it as we like drinks that cost more than $8.00 to the premium package. We loved the Martini Bar, thanks to Metin, Gandi and the rest of the staff. We also loved the Molecular bar thanks to Suzan and the other lady at the bar. What wonderful drinks!! We only dined twice in Blu. We LOVED the Lawn Grill and Carla our waitress- it was so good we had dinner their twice. It is a fun and delicious restaurant, you can grill your own steak if you want to- great photo opportunity. We also dined in Murano and the Tuscan Grill- both very good. We dined in Qusine last cruise so we didn't this cruise. However, going forward, since the quality of the food in the speciality restaurants is excellent, we will not book Aqua Class, but rather a regular balcony cabin and take the package to dine nightly in speciality restaurants- this also includes speciality lunches when offered during the cruise.
The entertainment isn't one of celebrities strengths. We saw a couple of the shows which were good. The best was the production show that was on the second night of the cruise. We saw the evening adult comedy show, which was also good- but the comedian did the same albeit modified the final night in the theatre so we didn't stay to hear the same jokes again.
One day, we rented an alcove. It was great- a private cabana like structure with a clam shell awning. We were lucky as we rented it on a port day- while port days are not as popular to some, it worked out to be the best decision for us. We noticed on Sea Days because the wind was so strong, the awnings weren't up as I assume they could blow and create a dangerous situation. So those people who paid a premium for the Alcove had to bake in the sun all day. Many did not even spend time in the Alcove due to the wind heat and sun on those days- they also paid a premium for the sea days! In the Alcove, you have a butler who can bring you drinks and fruit and cheese. You can also bring food in from other ship venues should you desire.
The staff on this ship, including the photographers were wonderful! We took the picture package and had all of our pictures on disk for a flat fee- Well worth it- We took one shore excursion a beach day and tour in St. Marteen. It was disappointing. We have taken similar tours previously and had wonderful experiences, this time it was poor. I believe that the tour operator was changed and we didn't have a tour guide- just a bus driver. I suggest that Celebrity change back to the original tour operator and beach venue.
We enjoyed our time in the adult pool solarium. It was peaceful. They have a small aqua spa restaurant which also had nice light healthy options. Since we were aqua class, had access to persian garden which had a sauna and steam room. Just used once for a short time but others really enjoyed it. Used the hair salon and the hairdresser Lindsey was very good.
We opted for the valet luggage service to the airport. However the American Airlines terminal at Miami airport was a zoo. We waited over 1 1/2 hours to go through the security lines. Glad we had a late flight!
While the flights were on time, American no longer gives even a bag of chips to those who aren't in first class. Everything is extra, luggage, legroom and priority boarding. They did give you a soft drink or coffee- but who knows they may soon charge for that also!
We truly had a wonderful vacation and look forward to our next scheduled cruise on the Silhouette.