Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review by sweetpea143: DISSATIAFIED WITH CELEBRITY REFLECTION 7/04/14 SAILING
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DISSATIAFIED WITH CELEBRITY REFLECTION 7/04/14 SAILING
For background information, we're a family of 3 with a 17 y/o son and have cruised Disney, Holland America and NCL over 14 years. Our last cruise, prior to the07/2014 Reflection, was the 2012 inaugural season of the Disney Fantasy. We accompanied friends on this cruise, consisting of a family of 5 with 3 children, who had two cabins amongst them, and who are frequent RCL and NCL cruisers.
We understood that Celebrity was upscale, would surpass RCL, NCL, HAL and DCL, but were disappointed with Celebrity. Cabin stewards and dining room attendants were great and any critical comments do not reflect on them.
SPA: A disorganized and dirty mess. Dirty towels piled up in the sauna, steam room and heated lounge chair area. Dirty pedicure slippers were parked by the water pitcher area all day and the water pitcher was never refilled in my 5-6 hour stay. Spa staff didn't enforce rules. I observed 4 guests leave personal items on the heated chairs and enter an adjacent sauna, More where they could be seen through the glass doors. Two other guests were waiting for lounges and I finally informed them the guests were in the sauna, visible to us all, being chair hogs and were in violation of the rules. The couple reported it to spa staff at the front desk and were told to tell the chair hogs they were removing their items and then to do so. Spa staff actually told a guest to confront another guest instead and remove personal items instead of enforcing the rules themselves. I observed the guest confronting the chair hogs and it was so uncomfortable and certainly not what we expected when purchasing the spa pass. The sauna and steam rooms weren't hot and the therapeutic reason for using a steam room or sauna was lost. I purchased a 2 day spa pass but my 1 day on the 2nd day of the cruise, was so uncomfortable that I cancelled the other day. I look forward to the spa pass on cruises and it is a very important part of my cruise vacation and this is the first time in over a decade of cruising that I've been disappointed, cancelled my pass and did not return to the spa. Yes, I'm judging on 1 day of visiting the spa and it may have improved. But, I've never encountered this on any other cruise and there is no way I would return to the Reflection spa and pay to enter the spa, just to see if it improved on my second paid visit.
GUEST RELATIONS/MUSIC/DANCING: This was bizarre. The Reflection schedules its musical bands, DJs and dancing for most of the late afternoon and evening in the main area of the ship on the 3rd deck, in front of Guest Relations. This is a multi-level atrium and you have a band playing, some people dancing (mostly staff trying to convince guests to dance) and no where for most people to sit. The Reflection has moved traditional music and dancing to the atrium and guests passing decks 3-5 observe the band and dancers creating a spectacle...or a show if you want to be polite, and if they wanted to sit, relax, have a drink and dance...they can't. They do not have a dedicated dance area on the Reflection. We love to sit in a comfortable club on a cruise, listen to a band or DJ and dance. One night late in the cruise, the Daily itinerary listed the DL at the lounge with a dance floor on the 14th deck (Skybar). We hurried there after dinner and there was no DJ and no music. We inquired and the staff said that the DJ didn't show up. Really? The DJ's unexplained absence is acceptable and of no concern to the lounge manager? It was a disappointment to us guests and completely ignored by the entire Celebrity staff.
FOOD: Food in the buffet was hit and miss. Some good, some not so good. Food in the main dining room was also hit and miss. One night at dinner I was interrogated at the table in front of everyone, by a ship officer (still not sure who he was) because I didn't eat and returned the escargot (I had eaten it for several days prior but this day it smelled unappetizing to me), and the tomato soup (which tasted like ketchup, warm water and lots of salt to me). This is a cruise and you can have as many dishes as you like, so why this officer would question me in the presence of my table mates and my surrounding table mates in a manner which suggested that I had offended the chef in a restaurant where I hadn't yet paid for the food, was ridiculous.
POOL/SOLARIUM: Whether it was a post departure port day, sea day or forced port day and a half in Civitavecchia, the pool staff was visible but ineffective and unproductive. Again, all 10 days, dirty towels piled up and chair hogs flourished. Every where you looked you saw a "Pool Butler;" you just didn't see anything being accomplished. If you wanted a drink while at the pool or the solarium, whether on quiet or busy sea days, you had to chase them for service, It was more efficient and quicker to go to one of the pool bars ourselves to order a drink than it was to wait or flag down a waiter.
TENDER: A few days later we approached tender ports. We had not been given any information about the tenders. During dinner the night before the first tender port, our wait staff advised us to be at Guest Relations early the following morning to get a tender number. We were upset by the lack of information and went to Guest Relations right after dinner. When we arrived, we got in line and realized why Guest Relations hadn't answered our phone call a few days earlier....they couldn't hear the phone! Music from the band right in front of Guest Relations was blasting and people were sort of dancing, and passengers from 3 decks were talking, laughing and who knows what else. Back to this asinine band/DJ/dance location. But, our complaint about the tender tickets was addressed. The next day (from what we've heard) more people were in line at Guest Relations to get tender tickets (like at the deli), then there were those who had tickets to get on the tender.
Lastly...we lost the port of Messina because of a mechanical breakdown. We understood Reflection to have had an inaugural season last year so how a new ship could suffer a malfunction which required over 24 hours to repair is beyond us. We missed Sicily and had another day sitting at the embarkation port of Civitavecchia. Celebrity did give us $250 cabin credit fir missing the port and that was very nice. But, we've never been to Sicily, fly from the U.S., and the port meant more to us than the $250. Plus, Celebrity would give you a free shuttle to Civitavecchia, yet they wouldn't give you a free shuttle to Rome, which is the advertised embarkation point. BUT....they would sell you a hastily arranged SHORE EXCURSION TO ROME FOR THE DAY THEY COULDN'T SAIL, AT THOSE SHORE EXCUSRION PRICES. That didn't feel right.
We loved our other ports and the 1 shore excursion we purchased in Turkey. I had the drink package, was pleased and have no complaints. We're very unhappy with Celebrity for the reasons described above. We thought we were paying for a cruise experience better than any other mid line, but we didn't get that and we do not expect to return to Celebrity. Less
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