This was our 36th wedding anniversary and my birthday cruise combined, so we wanted to do something special. I am more than thrilled with our choice to again sail with Celebrity. We were thinking of choosing the Oceania Riviera, but found the ship to be over priced considering that gratuities and alcoholic beverages were not included in the fare. We took advantage of the 123 go promotion that was currently running with Celebrity at the time of our booking and chose the beverage package as our perk. With just a small upgrade to the premium package at $161 per couple we were able to enjoy all the fine wines, martini's and gourmet coffee's any time in any area of the ship with the exception of our stateroom.
This was our first time sailing on a solstice class ship. My Husband, who much rather sail on smaller ships was truly won over by the intimate feel of the Reflection. There is no shortage of intimate and cozy areas to have a drink, read a book or just relax and listed to music. If your looking for flashy and loud this ship is not for you! I can't say enough about the genuine warmth of the crew our captain and senior officers who went to great lengths to be seen and interact with the passengers. In fact, when I mentioned to a ships officer that I was disappointed to have missed a bridge tour, he took note of our cabin number and a personal invitation was in our cabin by dinner to visit the bridge the next morning at 11am.
With the money we saved on Oceania, my husband I took advantage of all the speciality restaurants with the exception of the Lawn Club Grill @ $45 per person, the Bistro on 5, and the Porch restaurant. These 3 venues are over priced for food that can be had in the ocean view cafe. I don't feel there should be an up charge for crepes and panini's. And this was most evident with my fellow passengers as there were no people at any of these restaurants through out our cruise, especially on sea days.
Our experience in the Blu restaurant was wonderful. Everything was prepared to perfection, and although the menu was quite small it was inventive and well thought ou. * Note, these really are spa portions, so if you are a big eater make sure to oder more or ask for a larger plate of what you enjoy.
We found by the second night at sea that everything centers around the main atrium. Great music and a fantastic Martini Bar. The mood is festive, the band played older to classic dance favorite and the bartenders at the Martin Bar were showmen in themselves. They even remembered what My husband and I like to drink.
The only design flaw with the Reflection is the size of the pool area. It is way too small to accomodate 3000 passengers. There was never a lounge chair available anywhere near the pool and the enforcement of reserving deck chairs for the day was not enforced. This was a big problem especially on sea days. Our voyage was not completely booked. wonder what they do on full sailings and Holidays.
In all this was a wonderful anniversary cruise and we look forward to our next cruise on Reflection with our entire family next January.