The production shows take place in the Reflection Theater, a lovely two-level venue befitting the big-time entertainment on stage. The seats are well spaced and comfortable, and they have great sight lines -- we didn't find a bad seat in the house.
The entertainment varies and includes big production shows, comedians, magicians, music and dance. "Reflection: The Show" is the highlight of the production shows. It features a combination of rock music and acrobatics and is entertaining -- and occasionally cringe-inducing with its feats of contortion -- from start to finish. Passengers usually have two opportunities to catch shows in the Reflection Theater each night.
During the day entertainment includes games, dance lessons, enrichment lectures and music. Trivia abounds and Celebrity has teamed with Billboard, so, rather than the typical keychain, prizes might include gift cards to purchase music. A video arcade appeals as much to adults as it does children, and the sports courts regularly host basketball shootouts. Enrichment options include wine and spirits tastings, sushi-making and other culinary demonstrations, as well as digital camera and computer seminars. An entertaining "Top Chef at Sea" show gives passengers the chance to compete for prizes with the help of the ship's onboard chefs.
Most nights you'll find live music in several spots throughout the ship -- guitars and vocals or jazz in the Ensemble Lounge midship, while a DJ can often be found spinning dance music poolside or at the Sky Lounge, for example.
Because the ship has no official dance club (a la Quasar on its sister ships) those looking to bust a move have to look to the day's schedule to find the best spot. The Grand Foyer hosts a live band each evening which can be good or bad depending on your musical taste -- the sound travels throughout the ship's central area making it hard to escape if you're not a fan.
While venues around the atrium host music and entertainment of their own, don't be surprised at night if an impromptu show, with music and wild costumes, breaks out. Just don't expect it to appear on your Celebrity Today daily.
Movie buffs can catch feature films most nights in Celebrity Central, a secondary theater venue located on Deck 4. Films tend to be of the new-to-DVD variety. Celebrity Central also hosts events like game shows and bingo.
Reflection uses its Lawn Club to host Concerts on the Lawn, where passengers are provided with cheese, wine and blankets for sitting. Wine is available at standard prices, the cheese is free.
Of course there's always Fortune's Casino, which occupies the middle of Deck 4. Games include the typical cruise offerings: slots, blackjack and video poker. Players looking for Texas Hold'em action will find 2/5 no-limit options at scheduled times most days.
Celebrity Reflection Bars and Lounges
There is no shortage of places to raise a glass on Celebrity Reflection with a choice of almost a dozen bars ranging from cozy, clubby spaces to light-filled lounges with ocean views.
Passport Bar (Deck 3): This bar located on the same level as the guest relations and shore excursions desks is the perfect spot for people watching and catching the nightly entertainment in the Grand Foyer. Passport Bar has the longest operating hours with service available from 9 a.m. until late.
Cellar Masters (Deck 4): Rather than having to wait for a bartender, wine lovers can access an impressive array of wines from around the globe via automatic dispensers using a "wine card" which can be inserted to obtain a measured portion of one, two or four ounces. While there are hosted wine tastings during the day we missed having a bartender during the evening and, like most passengers on our sailing, tended to avoid this venue when it wasn't staffed.
Martini Bar (Deck 4): Order a couple of "flights" in the Martini Bar and you might see a spectacular show involving bottle-flipping, glass-stacking and the pouring of a dozen drinks at once. There's no guarantee you'll get the performance, but if you're interested your best bet is to place your order when the bar isn't too busy, perhaps after ordering a couple of rounds and dropping a generous tip. With its ice-covered surface and charismatic bartenders, the Martini Bar is one of the most popular onboard drinking venues.
Ensemble (Deck 5): With sultry lighting and comfortable seats, this bar located near the specialty restaurants on Deck 5 is a popular choice for pre-dinner drinks. It can be lively or quiet and romantic, depending on the time of day and the crowd.
Michael's Club (Deck 5): This clubby bar decked out in dark woods and plush seats is only open to Zenith members of the Captain's Club -- Celebrity's loyalty club -- and those staying in mid- and top-tier suites (Sky Suite and AquaClass Suite guests do not have access). A continental buffet breakfast is available each morning and pre-dinner drinks and tapas are served from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. There is also a dedicated concierge to help arrange specialty dining, shore excursions, and the like. The vibe depends largely on the type of suite passengers onboard with an atmosphere that could be anything from (almost too) quiet to loud and lively with a real party vibe. Michael's Club is available 24 hours a day but desk hours vary depending on the itinerary.
Molecular Bar (Deck 5): Known for its creative drinks at sea (think avocado margaritas and dry ice cocktails) this bar was very quiet on our cruise. It will soon be rebranded to World Class Bar, offering craft cocktails, as can be found on sister ships such as Equinox.
Pool Bar (Deck 14): This bar serves wine, beer and cocktails, as well as soft drinks in a poolside setting (weather permitting).
Mast Bar (Deck 14): Overlooking the Pool Deck, this bar serves the same drinks as the Pool Bar below. Smoking is allowed.
Sky Lounge (Deck 14): Whether the bar is open or closed, this lounge area with floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic ocean views is the place to be. During the day it is a blissfully quiet spot to curl up in a comfy seat and read; after the bar opens it takes on a livelier vibe, especially after 10 p.m. when the dance floor attracts a decent crowd.
Sunset Bar (Deck 15): With its fun lighted stools and killer aft location, this bar is a favorite at night when you can settle in for some cocktails and an unparalleled view of the sun setting over the sea. You'll also fight for a seat there during sailaways.
Celebrity Reflection Outside Recreation
The adults-only Solarium on Deck 14 houses two hot tubs and a pool beneath an expansive glass cover, which allows in the sun without the sunburn. The area offers a tranquil escape with a dancing fountain, soothing music and grand-scale art. Clamshell seating for two and cushy loungers make the spot perfect for Kindle time or an afternoon nap.
The main pool area, located midship, has two pools and four hot tubs, with cushioned loungers, including the class's signature two-person poolside beds. The Pool Bar is nearby for libations and passengers craving burgers can head up the stairs to Deck 15's Mast Grill.
Most of the outdoor recreation can be found around The Lawn Club located on Deck 15. While still a public space, it also has eight for-fee alcoves available ($69 on port days, $149 on sea days), which cut into the lawn space available for everyone else. They also break up the space, making the area feel less park-like and, frankly, less special than the original wide-open design on the early ships in the Solstice class. Near the Sunset Bar on Deck 15 you will find a bocce court and forward on the same deck, a basketball court.
Around the pool you will find the two-person poolside beds that are a signature of all Solstice-class ships as well as loungers spaced around the same area. For additional sunbathing space, the sun deck at the front of Deck 16 rarely gets crowded, even on sea days. You can also grab a towel and relax on the Lawn Club's lawn although it can feel like you have an audience as the alcoves face inwards rather than towards the sea.
Celebrity Reflection Services
Passport Bar and the guest relations and shore excursions desks are located on Deck 3. Future Cruise Sales is on Deck 5, midships, where the Captain's Club was previously located.
Most of the action on Reflection takes place on Decks 4 and 5, where you'll find the main dining room, a number of bars and alternative restaurants, the theater, conference room, casino, shops, art gallery, photo gallery, coffee shop and gelateria. Some of the most interesting design choices are on display on Deck 5, where you'll walk through the intriguing Celestial Garden, a floor-to-ceiling experience from Miami artist Carlos Betancourt. It's visually stunning, though we're still perplexed by the bell that dings as you walk through.
Reflection's iLounge, where passengers can access the Internet, take classes and purchase shiny new Apple products for fair prices, is located on Deck 6. It acts as an Internet cafe but you can also log-in to personal devices via Wi-Fi. Internet access is steep at 75 cents a minute but packages are available: 49 minutes for $24.95, 90 minutes for $49.95, 208 minutes for $99.95, 555 minutes for $199.95 or 1,666 minutes for $399.95. While some computer classes are free of charge, others have fees, so ask before you attend.
The Hideaway, which spans Decks 7 and 8, is a whimsical and busy space that has comfy chairs and pods that offer a quiet retreat. The two-deck design is reminiscent of trees, with nests "hanging" from the higher deck. You can grab a cup of self-serve coffee there. Game On, the ship's card and game room, is on Deck 9, where traditional games like Scrabble can be played electronically. The library is on Decks 10 and 11. Reflection doesn't offer a self-service laundry facility. Captain's Club has recently moved to Deck 12.