It's funny how different an experience can be for different people. Prior to taking this cruise (and since I returned) I read many Celebrity Reflection Western Mediterranean cruise reviews on this column, and you would have thought that some people were on an entirely different cruise ship (or maybe a different planet). From the minute we approached the check-in line to the minute we were delivered back to the Fumicino airport, we were as well taken care of as could ever have been expected.
Check-in was a breeze and we were advised that it might be a while before our luggage arrived at our stateroom, but by the time we found our stateroom and met our stateroom attendant, our bags had arrived. I had read some reviews that complained about inadequate stateroom storage space, but even though we had enough stuff with us for the cruise and an extra week in Italy, we had plenty of storage space. That said though, we certainly did not bring enough clothes to provide something different everyday for 20 days, and did have to do laundry a couple of times. We balked at the prices Celebrity charges for laundry (washing a pair of socks costs twice what I had paid for the socks, etc), but it was simple enough to rinse out a few things a couple times a week, and we found that we could hang them from the back of our deck chairs at night while we were between ports and they would be dry by morning.
We ordered coffee each evening to be delivered in the morning and really liked the wake-up call that came about 5 minutes before the coffee showed up. We got up early each morning that we were to arrive early in a port and drank coffee on the veranda and enjoyed the show as we pulled in. Deck 7 is only a couple decks above the lifeboats, but we had great views of everything. We were on the starboard side and a couple times I regretted not getting a port-side stateroom, but in the end it all equaled out.We had a veranda stateroom (7342) and we were very happy with everything about it; nice bathroom with plenty of hot water, very comfortable beds and pillows, a roomy stateroom and veranda, and a nice sized television. It was a bit of a trek to get down to the elevators at midship, but with all the great food we were eating a little exercise was not a bad thing and I guess with a ship more than a 1000 feet long some things will always be far away.
And speaking of food, we found the food to be amazing! I was originally a bit put out at having to pack a suit and tie to be able to eat in Opus on formal nights, but as it turned out, it was a really nice affair each of the two formal nights and everyone who participated seemed to have a great time. I was though once sent back to my cabin to change out of shorts (they are allowed for women at dinner in Opus but not for men - go figure). I had originally expected to eat at the buffet more and the formal Opus dining room less, but between the service, the extensive menu, and the quality of the food, we ended up at Opus for most of our meals. The mornings that we were a bit rushed, we ate up at the Oceanview cafe and loved the choices, but the rest of the time, breakfast in Opus was something special to look forward to each morning.
We stuck with the Celebrity excursions at 4 of the 6 ports and we very happy with the quality of each of them and found it all very well organized. Each of our guides was very good and the coaches were always comfortable. Although when I had originally looked at the excursion prices I had thought they were pretty expensive, after they were over I found each of them to be well worth the money.
We went to several of the evening shows in the Reflection theater and thoroughly enjoyed them all. The emcee was great and the music and other entertainers were very good (contrary to what I had read in some of the other reviews). In fact, I cannot think of a single crew member during the entire cruise who was not extremely good at what they were doing. Our cabin attendants (Benny and Peter) were absolutely the best, bending over backward to make our experience as good as it could be. The waiters in Opus were amazing (we moved around to different sections each time we went there, so each time had new waiters and they were all great). The manager up at the Oceanview Cafe greeted me by name every time we saw him (how can he remember so many names?) The entertainers, the people at every desk, and every other person who waited on us, made us feel special and were friendly, polite, and good at their jobs.
And so the day of our departure we were very sorry to have to leave, but the attendant on the Celebrity-arranged airport shuttle treated it more like an excursion and gave us the history of everything we passed by on our way back to Fumicino. I guess that if I were to try very hard I could find something about the cruise that was not perfect, but overall everything was so wonderful that it would just be nitpicking and what would be the point of that?