Where do I start ? First cruise, plenty of research beforehand and high expectations mixed with apprehension. Well, the research paid dividends, the apprehensions proved unfounded and the expectations were exceeded ! Welcome to the Celebrity Reflection.
Usual story. 25th Wedding Anniversary, something special needed to celebrate the occasion. . To all you cruise veterans out there this might seem like " old hat " but to us cruise virgins, the Reflection and the whole experience proved to be something special indeed. Not only were we ensconsed in a floating, luxury hotel for ten days, we were blessed with glorious sunshine, hot temperatures and great ports of call.
Our Aqua Class cabin was well appointed with a great shower and washroom, a comfortable, large bed and adequate storage space. Nice balcony for feet up, supping a cool beer and delving into a plateful of gastronomic delights from the Ocean View Cafe as the sun set on the Western horizon. The cabin was kept clean and tidy by our ever smiling attendant...in fact, all the crew were forever smiling and genuinely wishing us well at all times of day. That was one of the many things that stood out on this ship. Nothing was ever too much trouble.
Our assigned restaurant was Blu. Excellent food and attentative waiters with a nice relaxed atmosphere. The tables were close together which proved to be a great idea as you were able to meet new people from all walks of life and different countries every night if you so wished. If not, just ask for a quiet table for two ! We also dined in Quisine...a completely different experience altogether. Entirely new concept which everybody should try if given the chance. The Ocean View Cafe provided a huge buffet catering for all tastes, and with such a variety on offer, sometimes it was difficult to know where to start and when to finish !
There were plenty of drinking spots offering every sort of wine, martini or beer. The atmosphere was one of cool, sophistication but friendly at the same time. There was music every night in the main Atrium and also in Michael's Bar to accompany the alcohol intake. Jazz to soul, disco to rhythm and blues...music for every taste. If you don't like music there were plenty of quiet places to enjoy the evening and relax. The large theatre provided entertainment every night with a very enthusiastic entertainment Director proving a great Master of Ceremonies. We went to three shows and thoroughly enjoyed them but as we all know, it's all subjective and I suppose there were some people who thought otherwise. There were plenty of other things happening to keep you amused if the theatre wasn't for you. In fact, there was so much happening in the day and the night that you would be hard pressed to tick all boxes during the 10 days onboard. As stated before, if all you want is a peaceful time there are plenty of quiet areas and no obligation to partake in anything. This is your cruise !
The outdoor wet area with its two swimming pools and several whirlpools was the scene for many activities during the day, especially on sea days. However, there was plenty of space around the decks if that wasn't your thing. Sunloungers and comfy sunbeds for peaceful reading / sunbathing, were in abundance. The indoor pool provided an area for relaxing, warm swimming and the Persian Gardens was a haven of tranquillity where you could lie on the heated, tiled beds after a lovely, refreshing visit to the steam room, sauna and tropical showers.
Ten days shot by in a whirlwind of onboard activities, shore visits to fantastic ports, eating and drinking to fulfilment, making new friends, gradually emptying the suncream bottles and actually finding time to finish reading a book for a change. When we joined the ship, embarkation was very fast and then leaving, disembarkation was equally as fast and efficient. Time to say goodbye to our very comfortable, classy, Celebrity, Cruise ship.
Would we cruise again ?....yes. Would we cruise with Celebrity ?....yes. Would we rejoin the Celebrity Reflection?...Definitely Yes !