First, we've cruised Carnival, Royal Caribbean, HAL, and Princess. The Reflection was certainly the prettiest and classiest ship we've enjoyed in our 13 different cruises. I call it understated elegance, and loved the ambiance it provided. It is full of intimate places to sit and relax, all beautiful and well designed. The ship is immaculately clean, as are the cabins. The cruisers ranged from 30-80, I'd guess, with most in the 40-50 range. It was not a really old crowd at all like HAL, but also there were few children in March, which was nice. It was a different experience than other cruises, and it's hard to explain. It wasn't a riotous good time like Carnival, it didn't have lots of physical options like Royal Caribbean (zip lines, flow riders, etc.), but it did have excellent evening entertainment in the form of production shows and headliners, a beautiful adult only pool solarium, outstanding food, interesting seminars and classes (the only Apple seminars at sea), and exemplary employees and service. There is an art studio, five or more specialty restaurants, a lovely coffee/pastry bar, 14 bars and nightclubs, a place for movies, a huge internet iLounge, amazing art as decor, great spa services (including a fantastic acupuncturist), and plenty of chaise lounges around the pools. The buffet dining room, the Oceanview Cafe, was quite good with excellent variety. It seemed that the children's and teen's areas were well designed and appreciated. The bathrooms in the cabins were larger than usual and better designed--love the solid shower doors. We had the classic drink package, which was a real plus for us, as we got cappuccinos and lattes, as well as soft drinks, beer, wine, and cocktails. Many cruisers told me that they have sailed this ship several times, even though the itineraries were the same, just because they enjoyed so much. I normally don't want to sail the same ship twice, but this one I would. It's a huge ship, but didn't seem that way at all. Great design. Embarkation and debarkation were excellent.
~the entertainment/bands/vocalists in the various lounges weren't all that good
~the variety of food in the main dining room seemed limited to me
~the art studio should be expanded
~not enough opportunities for dancing to the "oldies"--60s, 70s, and even 80s. One nightclub dedicated to that several nights a week would be quite popular, I would think, judging from the passengers. Most of us have our old standbys that we look forward to on a cruise….silly things like The Village People and YMCA, line dancing to The Electric Slide, and so on. Silly things, I know, but the crowd always enjoys them and participates.
~most of the dances, parties, etc., were on the pool deck late at night. I think many people enjoy those, but would also enjoy some of them being indoors in nicer surroundings.
So, those are our impressions It was for us the most relaxing cruise we've ever taken. It wasn't "fun", as much as lovely and relaxing. It was what we needed. However, for families with children, I think Carnival or Royal Caribbean would be a much better choice.