My wife and I just returned from a 7 day cruise on the almost new Celebrity Reflection. There were many unexpected enjoyable turns and very few disappointments. Our trip started by our taking a red-eye fright to Miami and after having to kill a couple of hours at the airport, we were shuttled to the cruiseport and ship. The transfer was done on time and very professionally with friendly staff. We had signed up for concierge service level and the boarding process when relatively quickly. Onboard it was initially a little overwhelming with the approximately 3000 passengers in a relatively closed space since rooms were not available for several hours after early boarding but the open lunch buffet was well planned and spread out and the food was very good. Once in our room , we were pleasantly surprised by the size of our veranda, one of the largest we have ever had. The room itself was typically laid out in an efficient use of space. Luggage was a little slow in arriving, our last pieces not coming up until early evening but there was a lot to unload so understandable.
We chose this particular cruise since it coincided with my birthday and really wanted to relax so the 3 days at sea (out of 7 days) was a plus for us. We also wanted beach time and the stops had beach tours which appealed to us.
The really unexpected surprise was the outstanding quality of the specialty restaurants. We had paid extra for the 5 night package because we wanted to be sure we could have early seating. Every dining meal was as good as any restaurant we have eaten in. And every wait staff in these restaurants were courteous, knowledgeable, and just friendly. I would highly recommend that anyone taking this cruise ship would really consider paying a bit more to eat in the specialty restaurants. On the other hand, our 2 meals in the main dining room was less inspiring, the food being good but not outstanding or memorable in my opinion. Hopefully the quality of food will not suffer in the main room because of the outstanding quality in the specialty ones. The breakfast and lunch buffets were very good and complete.
As a bonus for concierge level, we did get champagne in our room and refreshed every couple of days. It was delightful to sip champagne on the veranda each night before dinner.
There were plenty of deck chairs for all passengers so no need to save places through the day. The noise level outside was not overwhelming.
Since this was a new ship, everything looked fresh and visually delightful. The shops onboard were typical of other ships we have been on. We really didn't take in the entertainment options, preferring to relax on our veranda and read.
Disembarking was organized and seemed efficient. We opted for valet service so our bags were checked through to our final destination, without our need to drag them through customs. I would recommend this option strongly.
The weather was great, the seas a bit rough going out, but we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise immensely.
Because of a delay arriving, we opted just to walk around the port shops off the ship. There was nothing special of note with the shopping, and I wouldn't recommend the time spent.
We opted for a 3 hour beach break which included lunch. The beach was lovely and long, considered one of the finest in the Caribbean. The sand was powder white and it was a most enjoyable afternoon.
This was a lovely tour of scenic points, a botanical garden, and a 2 hour beach break which was relaxing and delightful to walk,