My husband, under duress, agreed to a cruise 8 years ago starting with Costa and to his surprise, thoroughly enjoyed cruising. Since then we've traveled once on Princess, 2 times on Celebrity and many cruises on RCL. After traveling for 2 weeks in Italy we boarded the Celebrity Reflection @ the port of Civatavecchia, northwest of Rome. We took a Trenitalia train from Rome's Termini station to Civatavecchia which takes an hour, then walked about 10 minutes from the train station, when we boarded a Celebrity bus to the port. Embarcation was efficient, our cabin on deck 8 was ready and we were greeted by stateroom attendent Peryton who is one of the best we've ever seen. The bathroom was nice and the shower was bigger than any we've had in a standard veranda cabin. The ship has an elegant, contemporary look as it is new, everything shined and staff were evident throughout the cruise keeping it that way. Really liked the pool areas both covered and exterior.
The meals and service in the MDR were great, @ table 350 our wait staff, Basilio and Irfan were attentive and kind. They took the time to learn everyone's name at our table of 11 and always made sure diners were satisfied with their meals, giving alternatives as requested. The Oceanview Cafe on deck 14 had pretty good food for a buffet with many choices of ethnic and standard American fare. We liked eating outside especially for breakfast. Aqua Spa cafe suerved healthy breakfast, lunch at no charge but smoothies and juices actually were reasonably priced. Thought there was an overabundance of specialty restaurants (7)but they seemed to have plenty of guests choosing this option except for the smaller casual venues which looked underutilized.
The production shows, singers etc were enjoyed by our group and they also had some good comedians. They had water color and other art classes on all the sea days which I did not take advantage of. They were quite popular and my friend was unable to sign up one day because they were full. The Celebrity Life speakers "Beyond the Podium," were all very interesting and included a young woman, who sailed across the Atlantic alone, then on another crossing, rowed with a partner. There was a marine biologist and a former NASA scientist. All the speakers gave multiple lectures with visuals. Beyond that there was the usual art auctions and spa presentations. There was a galley tour and several cooking demonstrations and a competition between 2 chefs.
Ports visited included the Canary Islands, St Kitts and St Martin. Would like to visit the Canaries again, cab driver Michael gave us a great tour of the island, charging 25 euros/pp for 3 passengers. My husband a a friend walked from the port to the downtown area which they liked. Our friends took the train excursion on St Kitts and said it was worth the cost. The Guide was knowledgeable, the scenery interesting and they had had refreshments.
Disembarkation was good until luggage pick up. Miami added a luggage carousel system like the airports but it took longer than usual to get our luggage. Some people had to wait 1-3 hours while it was all sorted out.
This was our second transatlantic and met a lot of nice people on this trip. If you have the time and like plenty of sea days than this is the cruise for you. While they don't have quite the range of physical activities that you see on RCL, we found plenty to do and hope to book another.