We are just back from an absolutely fantastic vacation aboard the Celebrity Reflection. She is a lovely ship!
I am 'borrowing' the format a previous reviewer recently submitted.
Embarkation...Couldn't have been easier. We arrived around 11:00am after taking a train from Termini and walking about a 1/4 mile to the shuttle location (super easy and affordable option). The total process took less than 15 minutes. We had completed our quick pass documentation and were handed one quick additional piece of information to fill in (a contract to ensure we were not ill). After getting our seapass cards, we were greeted by the speciality restaurants, where we quickly requested our reservation times for the five dinner speciality restaurant package (sidenote - we absolutely LOVED the restaurants and thought it was an amazing value). After that we grabbed a cold towel and drink and walked onto the ship. Easy peasy! From there we headed to deck 15 to have a burger and beer at the More
Mast Grill and bar. The burgers were fantastic! The room announcement arrived around 1:30 (I think).
Stateroom...We were in 6272 (obstructed view balcony). Great location with no complaints. From our balcony you could see out almost totally; however, if you looked down you saw a lifeboat. We were offered the cabin at the same price as an oceanview (no brainer for us). We loved having a balcony! Ignacio, the room attendant, was fabulous. He was genuine, hard-working, and amazing! Absolutely no problems with the room.
Bar service - we had a classic drink package included when we booked the cruise. Having a drink package was a serious enticement for us and we didn't realize how much more we enjoyed the cruise by having it (not having to worry about all of the little charges sneaking up on us). We initially thought we would be fine with the classic package. There are many options available with the classic package and this package would likely be suitable for most. I LOVE draught beer. On the ship they have Heineken and Amstel Light on tap in three places (Mast Bar, Pool Bar, and Skyview Lounge). I was hoping to drink draught beer throughout the cruise but it was $6.50, just out of the reach of the classic package. So, we agreed to upgrade one of our classic packages to premium (10/day + 15% gratuities ~100 for the entire cruise for one of us). However, after visiting the molecular bar on day two, we quickly upgraded our second seapass card so they both would have premium. I am SO glad we did. Having the premium cards was the BEST - we didn't have to worry at all about what we ordered, as nearly everything was included and if it wasn't we simply had to pay the difference. It gave us permission to relax and indulge. We loved drinking the premium water (Evian) and having coffees at Cafe Al Baccio (BTW - Staywell could likely be the nicest Barrista we've ever met!) not to mention the nightly cocktails at the Molecular Bar (which were absolutely unbelievable!). More about the drink package - we were initially worried we would have a 'surprise bill' to pay at the end of the cruise for 15% on top of each and every drink - NOT TRUE we simply paid 15% on the additional upgrade cost, which was $15 total. Something else to give you some comfort, you will not end up with a surprise bill, as any time something costs extra or is not included your waiter/waitress will let you know and if not, they will bring you a check to sign.
Canyon Ranch spa....On one port day we paid a daily rate to access the Persian Gardens. As it was a popular port, which we had previously visited, we were the only people in the Persian Gardens. We had an amazing experience all to ourselves. Definitely check out the Persian Garden area at the spa. The steam rooms, saunas, and heated stone beds are heavenly! My husband also had a hot shave, which he enjoyed. I think it cost around $50 + manditory 18% gratuity. I had tried to get a hair blowout on our last formal night and all of the good time slots were not available. I should have thought to book the appointment when we first arrived on the ship.
Oceanview Cafe - aka The Buffet - We ate there a few times and thought it was just fine. We were pleasantly surprised with the selection of food and table service for drinks. We found the staff to be very pleasant and hardworking. The food was good and plentiful.
Opus Dining Room - we had 'on your own time' seating. We were pleasantly surprised to walk in immediately both times we ate there. The tables for two were slightly more private than with other lines we've sailed. The food was okay and the service was also okay. To be fair, we felt the speciality restaurants spoiled our opinion on the main dining room experience.
Mast Grill...We had burgers or bacon wrapped hot dogs for lunch nearly everyday. So good! Great selection of beers too.
Room service...We did room service breakfast once. It was prompt and the food was just okay.
Speciality restaurants...We had previously purchased a five dinner speciality package and were grateful we did. They food was definitely superior to the Main Dining Room, the service was incredible, and the venues were great! The variety was also nice. I was also glad to do the Tuscan Grille twice with the package. We did not try Bistro on Five but did try the Porch for lunch. I am a sucker for a Panini. The Panini was excellent; however, it was sooo hot in there. There was no air conditioning and the glass walls didn't allow for any breeze. Had we known, we likely would've ordered our food to go. They had a couple of fans but it was a serious cooker in there. My husband LOVED the Lawn Club Grille. The biggest and best Filet Mignon I have ever had. The pizza was super fun to make and the atmosphere light. There was absolutely nothing one could complain about in any of the evening restaurants, as they were simply outstanding! Lobster table-side at Murano was a highlight.
Entertainment...Didn't attend one single show but we LOVED the intimate music venues and performers throughout especially at the lounge at the centre of the speciality restaurants. Our favourite was Danny. He played guitar and sang to easy listening music (e.g., John Mayer, Elton John, James Taylor) and took requests (it was like having an incredible musician in our living room) - AMAZING! There was a good variety of all kinds of music and activities everyday on-board. Truly, something for everyone. Didn't attend Liquid or Indulgence. We loved the poolside music and no, we didn't find the music too loud. I've been thinking about how to describe the entertainment or vibe onboard and I can't quite put my finger on it. It was youthful but not in a 'hairy chest competition' kind of way. It was classy but not in a 'string quartet' kind of way. The little touches made a big difference (e.g., Mermaids by the pool). We simply loved it!
Disembarkation...we requested self disembarkation and walked right off when we were ready. We carried our own bags and it was super easy. We had planned to take a train to the airport but I hadn't pre-purchased tickets, as I wasn't sure just when we would be ready to leave the Reflection. (Sidenote- there is a couple of departures each hour and it takes 45min-one hour from town to the airport by train). We intended to take the shuttle to the the main part of town and walk to the train station but the shuttle took us to a different 'main' spot where many transfer buses were waiting to take people to the airport and/or Termini. We inquired and found a rate of 20Euros per person to the airport. Done! This was super easy and affordable.
We did have one hiccup. We missed one port, Messina, Italy, as the Refection had a mechanical issue. Naturally we were disappointed; however, Celebrity handled the communication and compensation well. Another excuse to head back to Italy...
We LOVED this cruise and our vacation - Thanks Celebrity! Less