Having traveled with Celebrity Equinox and Solstice in the last three years, my husband and I were eager to be on board of "Reflection", the newest addition to the fleet. Our expectations and hopes from the vacation were met, however not by 100%. When overall the experience was pleasant, there were some details that showed that there is a room for improvement for Celebrity in general and Reflection in particular.
To the pluses +++:
1. We were delighted to see such a magnificent, beautiful ship. Lounges and bars were pleasant places to stay, all decks spotless and shiny - there was always somebody cleaning smth, always smiling to guests passing by.
2. Friendliness of the staff is also something that is enjoyable. One could never say it anyone had a bad day - from a cleaning person to the manager, you are greeted everywhere with a smile and it makes you feel welcome and appreciated.
3. Room service was always prompt in delivery and it was good to have a phone call, announcing the arrival of one's order. Stateroom attendants, responsible for our floor, were also always eager to help with any question or request we had.
4. Since we were in AquaClass, we were able to enjoy the ship's spa facilities. A wonderful idea is to add a hammam (Turkish sauna) and a cold room to already exisiting sauna and hot beds. No matter how busy the day, there was always space in AquaSpa to relax and enjoy ourselves!
However, there were also some imperfections which we've noticed.
To the minuses - - -:
1. We were very disappointed by the dessert menu in the Blu (the restautant we were assigned to, being AquaClass members). Although the pastry tasted wonderful, its presentation lacked creativity (nearly no garnish). Some desserts repeated on the menu twice throughout the cruise, which was also a bit strange. Ice-cream selection and classic desserts (New York Cheesecake etc) somewhat consoled us, however, the desserts were not anymore a highlight of the evening (with some exceptions). In comparison, pastry in main restaurant, OceanView, was much more appealing by all means (the look!)
2. At some ports like Piraeus (Athens) the offered excursion were the same like in 2010. Some variety would be desirable. Maybe, going to another (big) port of Greece would be an option? (for example, Thessaloniki in the north)
3. It is a pity that the lawn on Deck 15 was totally occupied by the cabanas and too many (in our opinion) restaurants (all for a fee). On Equinox and Solstice there was more space for lawn games and relaxation.
4. Galley tour (visiting the ship's kitchen) was rather boring and relatively brief. Due to a large number of participants and noise in the kitchen (understandable), one could not always hear the chef's explanations.
5. Disembarkation process did not go as smoothly as before. After the meeting time in the meeting point was due, noone picked our group up and we just left the ship, listening to the "final call to all passangers". Having found our luggage, we have discovered that our bus has already left, but were placed on another one going to the airport (we have booked a transfer). It all worked at the end, but then the idea with meeting point and time was somewhat useless.
All in all, it was a pleasant travelling experience. On "Reflection" there is some room for improvement and, with one's attention to detail, it is, hopefully, just a matter of time.