We have just returned from an Eastern Mediterranean cruise on Celebrity Reflection. This was our 12th cruise, and the third one with Celebrity. We stayed one night pre-cruise at Civitavecchia, and 3 nights post cruise in Rome. The following is a review of our cruise.
I am sixty years old, and my wife is a few years younger than me. My sister was travelling with us occupying a different cabin. Another person was supposed to occupy the same cabin, but was sick in the last minute and had to cancel the trip.The average age of people in the cruise was about the same age as us. There were also a good percentage of younger people, and some children. I would say it was a good mix of all ages.
We had a balcony cabin on the 8th floor deck at the rear of the ship. The size was more than enough for 2 people, with plenty of storage space. The bed and pillows were very comfortable. I wore ear plugs every night, so I had no idea whether it was noisy or not. My sister said that she heard noise from the next door cabin, and of course the banging noise of doors from nearby cabins. Our cabin steward was excellent, and always greeted us with a smile. Whenever she saw us walking back to our cabin, she would open the door for us with her key card. My sister tipped her extra which made her very happy.
We selected first sitting at the third floor MDR, and had a table for 4 at the window. The food in general were quite good, with only average a couple of nights. I am not a fussy eater, so I had no complain here. I especially liked the "cream of ..." hot soup. They were all very delicious. Both the waiter and assistant from India were excellent. The waiter went out of his way to make sure we enjoyed every dish. One night he asked my wife whether she enjoyed her fish entree. My wife was hesitant as it was not very good. He indicated he would bring her another entree, and surely he brought her a different salmon dish which was on the menu every day. For some reason he had to serve quite a number of tables, and he was sweating every day running back and forth.
We had breakfast and lunch every day at the buffet. Unfortunately the menu remained the same every day, so it got a bit boring after a few days. There was still a lot to select, and you definitely won't be hungry.
We had lunch at Murano one day as it had a special for $20. You could only pick one item for appetizer, entree, and desert. The presentation was very good, but not as good as some people had raved about.
The production shows were quite entertaining in general. The other shows were hit and miss. There were always seats available in the theatre, as opposed to other cruise ships where you have to arrive half an hour early to get a decent seat. A classical pianist played for two nights, and the theatre was only half full. I guess this kind of show was not popular among cruisers. On the last day the whole theatre was quite empty as people were busy packing. Felt sorry for the performers.We did not go to any other night clubs or late night entertainment venues as we were used to go to bed early. There was a Filipino(?) band playing at pool side and atrium. It was quite good and the songs were more of our taste. The only problem was they had so many shows every day that it got repetitive after a while. I suppose it was a result of cost cutting.
The gym has very new and first class equipment. It was busy on morning of sea days, but the wait was never more than a few minutes. I tried to spend an hour everyday there to burn off the calories. I did not gain any weight after the cruise!
Easy and efficient. We arrived at the pier about 10:30 a.m., and was on board in less than an hour. Our debarkation time was 8:30 a.m., but at about 8:15 the PA indicated that everybody could go directly to the gangway due to smoother than expected debarkation. When my sister attempted to collect her suitcase, she could only find a similar one that was not hers! We searched the whole area, and finally realized the worse had happened - somebody else mistook her luggage. We filled out the missing form with a Celebrity representative, and left the pier disappointed. Somehow the person that took her luggage must have found out later, and Celebrity delivered my sister's luggage to our post cruise Rome apartment the following day. Kudos to Celebrity for following through with this.
There was no coin laundry facility. Celebrity charged an arm and leg for laundry service.
I bought a 90 minute wireless internet package for about $50. You can use your laptop/ipad anywhere in the ship with the exception of inside your cabin bathroom (which I never tried). The speed was as expected: slow. Good only for reading/writing emails.
Portraits were quite expensive at $30 for a 8x10. We bought two as we wanted to use up our on board credit.
Many areas on deck 15 were blocked off for cleaning after 8 p.m. This prevented us from taking a walk after dinner and enjoyed the sunset and breeze. Celebrity should change this policy to allow everybody to enjoy this moment.
The weather was good during the entire cruise, with the exception it was a bit hazy at Santorini. Even though the open decks were full of people most of the time, I could still see a few lawn chairs available here and there.
Port of Calls
We were part of a tour group that arranged transportation and excursion for us, so I cannot comment on public transportation. Listed below are the attractions we went at each port:
Santorini: Village of Oia (not to be missed) and Thira.
Istanbul: Hagia Sophia Museum, Basilica Cistern, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Dolmabahce Palace
Kusadasi (Ephesus): The Basilica of St. John, The House of Virgin Mary, Ephesus
Mykonos: Ano Mera village, Kalafatis beach, Mykonos
Athens: Temple of Poseidon, Old Olympic Stadium, The Acropolis
Naples: Pompeii, Sorrento
In conclusion it was an enjoyable trip, and I would not hesitate to recommend Celebrity Reflection.
I have posted a few pictures at the following link:
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any question.