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238 Celebrity Reflection Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

My husband and I arrived in Italy 11 days prior to our cruise and spent four nights in Venice and a week in Rome. The night before departure we stayed in Civitavecchia at the Hotel San Giorgio for the convenience of being in close ... Read More
My husband and I arrived in Italy 11 days prior to our cruise and spent four nights in Venice and a week in Rome. The night before departure we stayed in Civitavecchia at the Hotel San Giorgio for the convenience of being in close proximity to the port. The Celebrity Reflection is the latest ship in the Solstice class and she is beautiful! Tastefully decorated, an abundance of facilities and we never felt that we were sharing her with another 3000 passengers! From the moment we checked-in at the dock and were ushered aboard by Carlos, the Michaels Club Concierge (another stand-out member of the Celebrity Reflection crew who epitomises customer service) we were treated like royalty. We were served sandwiches, fresh bowls of fruit, canapés, cakes and unlimited beverages until our suite was ready. It was then we were introduced to our Butler Elizer. What a joy he proved to be! A native of the Philippines and highly educated he was extremely helpful, friendly, polite and on several occasions went out of his way to make our cruise experience even more special. A wonderful young man, he is truly a credit to Celebrity Cruises. At this point I would also like to mention Elena in Michael's Club who was always a wonderful hostess. A lovely young woman who made everyone welcome when they entered. No matter who came into Michael's Club within a day she remembered their name and what they preferred to drink. A consummate professional. We had booked Celebrity Suite # 1122 (on the hump) and it was fantastic with a very generous balcony including an outdoor table and chairs and a chaise lounge. We had booked all our shore excursions through Celebrity and overall were very happy with the content and the manner in which they were conducted. However, my only real complaint was the size of the groups allocated for each tour. A group of 30-40 people is quite difficult to manage, particularly in very crowded ports like Istanbul. Our poor guide on that excursion ( Complete Istanbul 1 1/2 days),Bilga was having a nervous breakdown by the end of the day due to the enormous crowds we experienced being a Saturday and trying to keep track of all the passengers was a monumental achievement on her part. There were a couple of passengers who took exception to not being able to see a certain exhibit at the Topkapi Palace (this was not guaranteed in the tour outline) and behaved quite poorly towards our guide. The actual decision on what to see and not see at the Topkapi Palace was a group decision, not the guides. I felt quite embarrassed at their attitude towards her. The Eastern Mediterranean cruise is quite port intensive and it would have been nice to have had an extra day at sea after Naples but that is not a complaint. The Ports of Call are listed below and the shore excursions taken are noted: Day 3 - Santorini, Greece - Island of Santorini & Village of Oia A wonderful shore excursion. Scenery was breathtaking from the winery and we were left with free time to explore and then catch the cable car back to the ship (included) Day 4 - Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey - Ephesus and Sirince Absolutely amazing ruins! Very knowledgeable guide but unfortunately we were rushing the whole time and it would have been nice to explore the ruins at a more relaxed pace. Taken to Sirince, a village in the hills which was lovely. However on arrival we were ushered into a wine tasting, a complete waste of what little time we had to explore the village. A nice lunch was provided and it seemed that some of the time we spent here wandering around aimlessly could have been spent at Ephesus or Sirince. Day 6 - Istanbul, Turkey - Complete Istanbul. I have discussed earlier in my review some details of this tour but I would just like to add what a standout guide Bilga was. The depth of her knowledge of Istanbul both from an historical and cultural point of view and her sharing of her what her life is a Muslim is like was quite special. I felt privileged to hear her views. There were just so many higlights! The Grand Bazaar was unreal and well worth the time to visit, unfortunately the Spice Market was frighteningly crowded and we just felt we wanted to get out of there. The underground Cistern was a once in a lifetime experience and to hear Bilga explain its history just added to the atmosphere. The cruise on the Bosphorous was something we will always remember. If you have never been to Istanbul this excursion is a definite MUST DO! Day 8 - Mykonos, Greece - Ano Mera Monastery with Scenice Island Drive What a beautiful picture postcard island! The monastery was beautiful and the drive allowed us to visit some spectacular beaches. At the end of the tour the bus dropped us back at the ship shuttle bus and we had ample time to have lunch and explore the port (including the windmills and Little Venice). A perfect day! Day 9 - Athens (Piraeus) Greece - Athens Sightseeing & Acropolis We were taken straight to the Acropolis to beat the crowds so we were able to have a reasonably leisurely walk to the top. Ample time spent there with free time to look around. We then were taken on a sightseeing tour around the city. Back to the ship with ample time to go and explore more if you wished. Day 10 - Capri, Sorrento & Pompeii Another magic day! Great guide, fast ferry from Naples to Capri including the Gardens of Augustus, then ferry to Sorrento where we had a delicious lunch. Free time to explore then coach to Pompeii. Unfortunately though something has to give with a full day like this and it was Pompeii. My husband would have loved to have had more time to explore but we were on the move all the time so there was not really any time for additional exploration. Dining OPUS was a standout. Beautiful consistent high quality meals on every occasion. We could not fault the food nor the service. QSINE, wow! What a great experience. Quirky, innovative, delicious. What more can I say? TUSCAN GRILL, our favourite, always! Fantastic service from very friendly and personable waiters. And the food? Beautiful!!!!! LAWN GRILL - I really do not understand what the fuss is about. Perhaps cooking a BBQ is a novelty for some but for Aussies, no! The food was nice but nothing extraordinary, particularly for the cost. MURANO - Stressful. Sadly whilst the food and the décor is elegant the experience was quite stressful. It is very hard to relax and enjoy your meal when many, many waiters are 'rushing' backwards and forward across the restaurant like there is a fire. I would not dine there again. LUMINAE - A recent addition to Celebrity for Suite guests I was very underwhelmed. They just tried way too hard. We all want to be a little spoilt but the gratuitous and constant grovelling by the wait staff was just over the top and made us feel very uncomfortable. If I had to choose between Luminae and Tuscan Grille it would be the Tuscan Grille in a heartbeat DISEMBARKATION was smooth and easy much like embarkation. Will we travel Celebrity again? Oh yes, we are booked to do it all again. Thank you Celebrity for a lifetime of memories. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Love Celebrity they never let us down (unlike Costa & MSC) and Reflection is the best yet. Cabin was balcony with restricted view on deck 6, we had 6246 a great room in a good position very near the lifts & just 1 floor above ... Read More
Love Celebrity they never let us down (unlike Costa & MSC) and Reflection is the best yet. Cabin was balcony with restricted view on deck 6, we had 6246 a great room in a good position very near the lifts & just 1 floor above the "Muster Station" in fact We could almost jump onto lifeboat 15 (our allotted lifeboat) as our balcony was just above the lifeboat roof. The view was only restricted looking down so was no problem at all. Cabin was fine & had the advantage of sliding glass doors in the shower ( I hate those nasty curtains) plus the lighting in there was very flattering & gave the appearance of a healthy glow. The food was great in all areas, we had Select Dining & although the reservations were confusing to start with we managed to get the same sea view table for two each night & built up a cheery relationship with the waiters & wine waiter. Buffet was a surprise as its the first one in 11 cruises that was NOT a "Bunfight", even on a Sea day we had no trouble finding a table ? (that's a 1st ever) and the food was utterly superb. Carvery choices at Breakfast (love the Canadian Bacon) Lunch & Dinner, food always hot & well presented. Entertainment was the usual Dance Girls but the Comedians were really good but we like to wander about in the evening & play the Casino. Never do excursions too expensive, but all the ports of call were ALL day which is great, not keen on Istanbul due to current troubles but it was nice to spend a night in port. Crew were ALL superb - best crew on the high seas as the Captain kept saying, the Captain himself was very informative with information about stats & so on & kept arriving in Ports early or on time. If you like a drink or two buy the package it may appear expensive but the drinks on board are ridiculously expensive, bottle of Beer $7, glass of wine $10. Highly recommend this particular cruise - JUST DO IT ! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Having just returned from a week on the Reflection, I have only good things to say about my experience, so if you're looking for major criticism, you'll want to move on! Embarkation - Seamless. I arrived at the port at 11:40AM ... Read More
Having just returned from a week on the Reflection, I have only good things to say about my experience, so if you're looking for major criticism, you'll want to move on! Embarkation - Seamless. I arrived at the port at 11:40AM and was on the ship within 30 minutes. Staterooms are not ready until 1PM, so I enjoyed my welcoming glass of champagne while browsing in the library. Stateroom - I was in 7179, a midship balcony that was intelligently and beautifully laid out. It was the most immaculate stateroom I have ever been in, and it was kept that way throughout the cruise. Clemente and Branko, my cabin stewards, looked after my every need, and sometimes in the evening when I entered my stateroom I'd be welcomed by a whimsical "towel" walrus or bird constructed by Clemente. Ship - Absolutely lovely. I really appreciated the quiet adult area adjacent to the main pool, which had ample and exceptionally comfortable chaise lounges. The entire ship was sparkling clean, and was equipped with all the amenities traveled cruisers have come to expect. Cuisine - Unbelievably fabulous. I prefer lighter dishes with a wonderful depth of flavor and was not disappointed. Both the Main Dining Room and the Ocean View buffet came through with flying colors. The buffet also provided specialty dishes from various regions such as India and China. The salads and fruits (alas, no papaya, mango, or berries) were exceptionally fresh. One might enjoy everything from sushi to roasted duck at the buffet, and its hours were accommodating for those who wish to graze between meals. Entertainment - The house band, Xtasea, was excellent, and there was generally live music to be found somewhere on the ship. Admittedly I only attended one evening show, but heard many good things about the other evenings' presentations. Crew - 95% were exceptionally and consistently warm and welcoming! Issues - My only complaint is that I simply never wanted to leave. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My son and son-in-law took me on the eleven night Eastern Mediterranean Cruise as a belated retirement gift. It was heaven. The ship was superb, the room exquisitely clean, the balcony, in 28 degree sun, with a cool breeze off the ... Read More
My son and son-in-law took me on the eleven night Eastern Mediterranean Cruise as a belated retirement gift. It was heaven. The ship was superb, the room exquisitely clean, the balcony, in 28 degree sun, with a cool breeze off the Mediterranean, a delight. Breakfast was delivered to the room promptly at the time indicated, because I took the responsibility to fill out the card properly the night before. Those who missed that step can blame only themselves. The meals in the Aqua Class dining room were superb AND healthy. I treated the boys to the Tasting Menu in Murano's and it was beyond words wonderful. The crew and staff, almost without exception, were universally polite, accommodating, respectful yet without obsequious deference. Floren in the Martini Bar should be singled out for his professional service and his very kind warmth in relating to us. Neily in The Spa gave the best manicure and pedicure I have ever had. All the staff, whether your room attendant or not, were universally polite, greeting you in the hallway and wishing you the best. The only exception, sadly, that was my sons' experience, was one Jamaican bar waiter who was, sadly due to his heritage, blatantly anti-gay. Other than that, everyone was superb and highly professional. As I read other reviews, I am astounded at some of the comments I read, especially regarding the on-shore tours. Do these people actually expect that these ports cities and towns which have existed for thousands of years, will actually be re-organised to meet their silly individual little needs? Beyond comprehension! I am an old man with cardio-pulmonary difficulties. Do I expect them to bulldoze Santorini to meet my needs. No, I adapt and get over it. As an experienced cruiser, one is accustomed to loud, rude, overbearing and 'entitled' Americans. One avoids them as much as possible. However, on October 14 I stood in line at Passenger Services and witnessed an American woman who was the worst piece of trailer trash I have ever encountered. She yelled, she bullied, she threatened, she told the Customer Service rep that she would report her to Trip Advisor, she would yell at the Captain that night at his table (it was an open dining room - big deal!) over some imagined slight. The Passenger Services rep dealt with these insults in a calm and entirely professional manner which I admired so very much. So, I can say truthfully, as a proud Canadian, that the ship and crew more than met our expectations, and that the majority of Americans on board descended to their expected level of behaviour. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
While it has been a while since I have cruised, I can still say this is the best cruise I have ever taken! Some observations: Ship - Tasteful decor and unparalleled cleanliness! Staterooms were very quiet and well appointed. We had a ... Read More
While it has been a while since I have cruised, I can still say this is the best cruise I have ever taken! Some observations: Ship - Tasteful decor and unparalleled cleanliness! Staterooms were very quiet and well appointed. We had a veranda room and I will never cruise again unless I can reserve a balcony room. We like our time outdoors and the veranda provided us with a private outdoor experience. Previous reviewers have commented about the odd location of the dance floor in the main foyer...what we found even more odd was the giant metal rose sculpture parked on the edge of the dance floor that nearly proved a health hazard for several exuberant dancers! Food - very good in both the Opus dining room and the Ocean View cafe. We did not try any specialty restaurants as we could not justify the cost having already paid for very good food! We used the 'Celebrity Select' dining option as we didn't want to be tied to a specific meal time. The longest we waited was about 15-20 minutes and that was because we wanted a table for two. They will take your room number and issue you a beeper, freeing you to enjoy a drink at the bar while you await your table. We had the classic drink package as a booking perk and were able to procure all the drinks we desired with this package. Service - Our stateroom attendants were outstanding. The room was so well kept it looked like no one was staying in it. Extra towels were requested the first day and then consistently supplied without having to make additional requests. Waitstaff in the main dining room was attentive and efficient. We sometimes had to wait for wine or wine refills so perhaps not enough sommeliers on duty? At times it was hard to get a drink in the Ocean View cafe unless you walked up to the bar and got it yourself. We had this same problem in the pool areas where the servers spent more time chatting with the bartender than they did circulating to take drink orders....but the exercise of getting up to walk to the bar certainly didn't hurt us one bit! Entertainment - Frankly we found watching the passengers dancing in the foyer nightly far more entertaining than any of the shows. The Broadway singer was quite good...but the ensemble cast singing/dancing was less than entertaining so we usually opted to spend our evenings observing the amateur dancers in the foyer! Excursions - We chose to book all of our tours privately. Using the Cruise Critic message board I was able to get information from other passengers who had booked private tours and then booked my own tours with these tour groups after reviewing them on Trip Advisor. We had exceptional luck with all of our privately guided tours and are so glad we opted for this route rather than the over-priced, over-crowded ship offerings. A word of caution on Santorini....the system for getting a tender ticket seemed a bit 'rigged'. We showed up at exactly the appointed time to get our tender tickets for Santorini and were given tickets for group 32! How is this possible if we showed up exactly at ticket release start time and there was only a small line? Two hours after docking we were finally able to persuade a crew member that we needed to get ashore as we were already one hour late for our private tour, and we were then given an immediate tender ticket but still missed an hour of our scheduled tour. Getting to, on & off ship - Could not have been easier! We used the transportation offered through the ship and were pleased with the convenience. We will definitely cruise with Celebrity again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Being our first cruise, we did not know what to expect. Our first impression was that the ship was emaculately clean and very tastefully decorated. The cabins (we were in concierge class) Were very spacious and accommodated our luggage ... Read More
Being our first cruise, we did not know what to expect. Our first impression was that the ship was emaculately clean and very tastefully decorated. The cabins (we were in concierge class) Were very spacious and accommodated our luggage adequately. Having a balcony was a bonus. Activitities on the ship were great, with always something to do if you wanted it. The food, wow! what can I say....we dined in the main dining room every day and were never disappointed always something new on the menu, with great presentation and adequate sized portions. Wait staff were very understanding to our needs and always there with a smile. Our favourite Semillie Jennifer was very knowledgeable and catered well to our needs. Entertainment on the ship was fantastic with a great mix of talent for every taste. We catered our own excursions (thru Cruise Critic) and these were excellently guided and reasonably priced. All ports of call were exactly as expected with great sight-seeing and shopping experiencing The local foods with the help of our guides was a bonus. Disembarkation was easy and we met our pre-arranged shuttle Van and arrived at the airport in good time to make our flight connection. All in all we had a great time. Made great new friends, experienced great service from the great staff on a great ship...well done Celelebrity Reflection. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
I did the back-to-back cruise departing Rome October 6, returning October 17, then October 17 through to Miami on the Transpacific relocation - a total of 26 days at sea. This was exactly what I was after - 11 days with lots of sightseeing ... Read More
I did the back-to-back cruise departing Rome October 6, returning October 17, then October 17 through to Miami on the Transpacific relocation - a total of 26 days at sea. This was exactly what I was after - 11 days with lots of sightseeing and then good stretches of relaxation on the transatlantic portion. I've been on five other cruise lines and found Celebrity's Reflection to be extremely comfortable with lots of places to just hang out. It was contemporary with lots of artwork and bespoke pieces. You certainly did not feel like you had 3000 other travel companions. I found all the staff to be extremely welcoming and helpful who had a ready smile. I stayed in two different staterooms (Ocecanview and Balcony) and have to admit the bed valances could have been in better condition - they looked like they hadn't been laundered in a while. Otherwise I found everything in very good condition and especially liked having sliding shower doors instead of curtains. There were plenty of dining options and yes fair to say you had to pay a premium to do so but that is the case on most cruises. The Oceanview Cafe's selection was generous with plenty of options. The Passport bars' Sherika was a delight who remembered names and your favourite beverage! The bar was very popular, particularly on the Transpasific crossing as loyalty members redeemed coupons, therefore seating was at a premium. I'm surprised by some of the other reviewers negative comments regarding attitude, spaces and menu. I can only say that my expectation were certainly met and I'd cruise with Celebrity and on the Reflection in a heartbeat.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My husband and I just retired and decided to take this cruise before the ship left Europe for the season. This is the stuff that dreams are made of. We left the port of Civitavecchia on October 6,2014. We had the time of our life. We met ... Read More
My husband and I just retired and decided to take this cruise before the ship left Europe for the season. This is the stuff that dreams are made of. We left the port of Civitavecchia on October 6,2014. We had the time of our life. We met so many fantastic people. Unaware of their plans to take this trip, I ran into a coworker and my attorney. I live in Florida. While sitting at the show one evening I discovered that half of my neighborhood was onboard. The ship is overwhelmingly large. It's very beautiful. I don't feel as if I had enough time on the ship. I thought 11 days would be long but it went by way too fast. We then discovered that the ship would be doing a transatlantic positioning after our cruise. I wish we could have stayed onboard. Our stateroom was superb. We had a veranda which allowed you to sit on the patio and watch some travel and ports from the room. The crew was extremely accommodating for such a large ship. We purchased the specialty dining package when making our reservations. I'm so glad we did. Fellow passenger spent one night in just one restaurant more than we paid for five nights in the specialty restaurant package. Please make sure that you know what type of beverage package you require. Drinks can be quite expensive without a package. Internet service is a joke. $59 for 60 minutes. It takes 30 minutes to log on. Check with your phone provider to find a less expensive way to communicate with the outside world before leaving home. Don't allow the shore excursion representative to intimidate you from taking tours or excursions outside of the ships excursions. They put the fear of God in you. If you don't make it back in time, you'll be responsible for getting to the next port on your own. You will run into everyone from the cruise ship on the same tours. It was the best vacation to date. I'm hoping for many, many more. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Another almost great cruise on Celebrity. Before I share specific points, it was all too obvious what service personnel had been there for a few month as opposed to a few years. More training suggested. Drink quality varied a lot for same ... Read More
Another almost great cruise on Celebrity. Before I share specific points, it was all too obvious what service personnel had been there for a few month as opposed to a few years. More training suggested. Drink quality varied a lot for same drink. Same with staff at restaurants. We engage them in conversation to learn more about them, why they are with there on ship and about their country (every story is wonderful) and learn how long they have been there. A few short timers were excellent. All too many just need additional training and experience. Food quality, preparation and delivery in main dining room is not up to par (last cruise of ten on Celebrity two years ago). Nothing was prepared close enough to order. Rare was medium, well was medium. Many dishes were not as described. Cold salads almost warm. OUTSTANDING WINE SOMMELIER! Specialty restaurants. Murano: great service, food okay (it was the star for so long!). Tuscan Grill: service barely okay, food excellent. Qsine: stated great, finished poorly. Sushi Pops wow! Lawn Grill: the star! Excellent service! Excellent Food! Ship was very clean, customer relations responsive, great trip. Just so used to Celebrity being to excellent it was just noticeable this time. Nest up Caribbean or Alaska on Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our third cruise, first on Celebrity. September is a wonderful time of year to visit Europe and the Eastern Med. The weather was perfect and the crowds less imposing when compared to the hot summer months. In general, my wife and ... Read More
This was our third cruise, first on Celebrity. September is a wonderful time of year to visit Europe and the Eastern Med. The weather was perfect and the crowds less imposing when compared to the hot summer months. In general, my wife and I were very impressed with the Reflection crew and its enthusiasm to please the customer. The ship's officers and key staff were accessible and very responsive to our needs. Here is our comments on critical segments of our trip: EMBARKATION: Prior to boarding, we stayed in Rome for 3 days. During that time, we visited Florence. Great addition to the overall experience! On the day of boarding, we spent 6 euros each to take the train to the port from Rome. A little stressful, but more than worth it when compared to the 92 euro per person alternative offered by Celebrity. The actual boarding of the ship was quick and seamless. CABIN: We were in #6238. Great cabin in all respects. It was rated as an "obstructed view" cabin. Not sure why. Our view was fantastic!!!!!! Our valet was great. The room was always in tip top condition and very quiet at night! FOOD: We ate on the open seating plan in the Opus dining room. The food, service and selection was more than acceptable. Our waiter "Cuma" was fantastic! Additionally, we had the pleasure of meeting wonderful dining guests each night. The ship puts tremendous emphasis on selling you an upgrade to alternate dining experiences. To us, this is overkill. Unless you have an ego towards this sort of thing, we found it to be restrictive and, in the end, pure culinary fluff. The options for both breakfast and lunch were high quality, tasty, and plentiful. We urge everyone to partake in the "kitchen tour" conducted the second day of the cruise. It will open your eyes as to the effort, organization and commitment required to serve excellent, well prepared meals! ENTERTAINMENT: We found the entertainment to be excellent. It was varied, upbeat each night. The "guest" entertainment on two evenings was superb! Was it New York theater quality? No, but then again, that wasn't an expectation. The ship offered a full schedule of daily "things to do" if you wished to participate. Overall, the effort and organization by this department was excellent and much appreciated. SHORE EXCURSIONS: This is one area Celebrity can improve. We chose to secure private guides at most ports of call. What a difference this made to our trip! We were able to obtain references for each PhD guide and secure reservations before leaving for our trip. On board, we had no problem finding another couple to join us and split the cost. In each case, our way of navigating the ports of call using guides was less expensive than the Celebrity alternative, less crowded, more informative, less pressured from a time perspective, and overall so much more enjoyable. This was the key to really making our vacation so memorable. At night, after each day's excursion, we heard so many complaints about the Celebrity sponsored tours we knew we did the right thing! DISEMBRKATION: Getting off the ship was a snap! Highly organized and efficient. Once off the ship, though, identifying the best way back to Rome can be tricky. We chose a bus. it was comfortable and direct. Cost was 17 euro per person. The vessel is in tremendous condition and well maintained. We felt the value for the amount paid was exceptional. We intend fully to sail with Celebrity again in the near future!   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was our 6th cruise and what a difference finding the right cruise line makes. Our previous cruises were 1 Carnival (never again), 3 Royal Caribbean (previous favorite) and 1 NCL (never again). We were looking for an itinerary that ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise and what a difference finding the right cruise line makes. Our previous cruises were 1 Carnival (never again), 3 Royal Caribbean (previous favorite) and 1 NCL (never again). We were looking for an itinerary that marked some destinations off our bucket list, did not cater to children (love them, but wanted a break), an outstanding ship and service as well as fellow cruisers who are able to behave like adults (see Carnival cruise). This trip exceeded all of our expectations on those points. Destinations: All tours we booked were offline. In addition to all that implies (smaller groups, flexibility, personal attention), we wound up having a core group that we toured with. Thank you Cruise Critic and thanks to our companions! What a difference that made to feel like we were traveling with friends! The destinations were all good. Our thinking was we may never pass this way again, so we felt lucky to experience each one, even if we may not want to pass that way again. If we were going to pick favorites, we especially enjoyed Santorini and Naples, specifically Positano. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Ephesus and the Terrace Houses. We did not have enough time at Pompeii. If that is your interest, then that would take all day, at minimum, to see it all. Would recommend you get a guide at Pompeii as the little recorded gizmos require some divine intervention to operate. Note that this itinerary is very walk intensive. The Acropolis and Pompeii require quite an uphill hike for those of us no longer in peak condition (as if I ever was!). Even Positano was a huff and puff stroll. Lots of opportunity to stop and pretend you are fascinated by shops to catch your wind. Ship: Our last cruise was on the Norwegian Epic. That ship felt like a floating tomb to me. Very dark and closed in. Was so happy to find that the Reflection was light and bright. It was very clean and, to a person, the crew was always smiling and greeted you. Because our ports were quite strenuous, we didn't really explore the ship like we would ordinarily. Frankly, we were tired! Would have like to have had a few more sea days to really enjoy the ship. Service: We had an Aqua Suite which meant we had a butler. His name is Samuel Rodney. He did a fantastic job for us. I'm never really sure what all that is supposed to entail, but we never wanted for anything. He got my card key replaced so I didn't have to go to Guest Relations and helped my husband find his belt even after we had given up the search. Service on the rest of the ship was just fine, no complaints. Dining: While we had access to Blu, we weren't crazy about the menu. TIP: unless you want something to laugh about for the rest of the trip, avoid the lettuce water and yogurt soup. It is as nasty as it sounds. Service was outstanding. That was ok though because there were plenty of other places to eat. We tried Murano and Lawn Club Grill. Would do the Grill again, but would probably choose a different Specialty restaurant next time. Entertainment: we went to one show early on and didn't stay for the whole thing. It wasn't actually bad, but we were so tired that sleep became a bigger priority. We did appreciate that there were only two smoking areas. That made the casino, for example, a nice place to lose your money. Felt like Sky Lounge was under utilized except the one night the 'professional hockey player' (no idea if that was true, but his buddy kept announcing it loudly) and his friends showed up and took over the dance floor and band instruments since no one else was there. And that show wasn't even included in the price of the cruise! Haha. Kinda felt sorry for them because we heard the median age of traveler on the ship was 71. I guess there really wasn't a good place for them to go with all that youthful exuberance. Spa: we were Aqua Suite, but because we were so port intensive and basically exhausted, we really didn't get the bang for the buck on this. Lesson learned, but the cabin was awesome. We've been back almost a week now and we decided that if we could do it all over again, we would in a heartbeat. We are counting the days until our next cruise with Celebrity!   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was our first ever cruise and at the end of a very long and tiring European trip. I was a little apprehensive about the quality of customer service on board as dealing with Celebrity prior to embarkation had been a nightmare. We live ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and at the end of a very long and tiring European trip. I was a little apprehensive about the quality of customer service on board as dealing with Celebrity prior to embarkation had been a nightmare. We live in NZ and trying to contact anybody at Celebrity by telephone or email proved to be impossible. Embarkation was relitively easy except that the camera was not working and after waiting half and hour for it to be repaired, they gave up and let us on board. The Oceanview cafe was not too crowded when we arrived about 12.30pm and it only seemed a short time before our cabin was available. We were staying in cabin 9292 which is Deck 9 just on the hump. We thought the location was perfect as we were close to the elevators and stairs but far enough away that the music from the atrium did not disturb us. The balcony was huge which allowed us to move the chairs and table to either catch the sun or dodge the wind as we pleased. The bed was located near the balcony which I preferred. Our stateroom attendant introduced himself shortly after our luggage arrived and made sure that everything was satisfactory. One of the wardrobe doors was not moving freely so he arranged for someone to come later that day and fix it. I requested that the fridge be emptied which puzzled him a little but he obliged. We dined in Qsine the first night as it was my birthday. The food and service was outstanding. The method of ordering was explained clearly and we waited with baited breath for our first course. As a vegetarian, options can sometime be limited but I was not disappointed. If anything, there was so much food that we could not do it justice. We were unable to eat dessert but our waiter insisted on bringing some 'birthday cake' and the staff sang Happy Birthday. We dined in the MDR one night but didn't feel the desire to return. The options were limited and I thought the standard of the food was ho hum. Plus our table was located way, way back near the kitchen and we didn't see the appeal. We were more than satisfied with dining in the Oceanview Cafe and were happy with the variety of food available. Staff were very proactive with offering hand sanitiser and it was disappointing that lots of guests chose not the clean their hands before entering. We personally didn't strike any gastric issues but spoke with a couple who had been laid low for a couple of days. We didn't partake in many activities as our intention was to relax after travelling for so long. There was always somewhere for us to enjoy some peace and quiet outside of the cabin. The ports of call were all fantastic. Bad weather required a change in order but it turned out to be favourable in terms of docking rather than tender in one port. The one port we did tender at worked like clockwork. No lengthy queues or waiting time. This was the one ship excursion we did. I didn't really enjoy it as it was pretty much like herding cattle. Too little time spent in places and too many people to move around. Our private excursions were much more enjoyable. Overall, we were very impressed with Reflection and are nowi kicking ourselves that we did not book our next cruise while on board. It would have been a much better deal and without the problems experience with the website and customer service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We loved our cruise on the Reflection. The staff is all very helpful and quite nice. When our plane was late arriving in Rome, we were unable to go on a planned precruise tour of Rome. The ship refunded our tour price plus allowed us to ... Read More
We loved our cruise on the Reflection. The staff is all very helpful and quite nice. When our plane was late arriving in Rome, we were unable to go on a planned precruise tour of Rome. The ship refunded our tour price plus allowed us to use the bus transfer to the ship free of charge. The free bus transfer was very nice of them to do. The food was very good. I like that the dining room wait staff is not required to dance and do silly stuff for the passengers. They are just required to please you with the food each evening. I also love that too much food is not foisted on you so that you gain weight! Each plate comes out individually and no food is served from a large platter. The ports were beautiful and we love taking the Celbrity tours also. They were informative and fun also. We had a balcony cabin which was qute comfortable. My only complaint is that the pillows on the bed were not fluffy and top notch. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Just returned from a 10 night greek isles cruiser on the reflection. It was a great cruise, the staff was fantastic! We had a concierge class cabin 1044 that had a slightly larger balcony which was nice. The room wasa decent size and very ... Read More
Just returned from a 10 night greek isles cruiser on the reflection. It was a great cruise, the staff was fantastic! We had a concierge class cabin 1044 that had a slightly larger balcony which was nice. The room wasa decent size and very clean. The entire ship was spotless and the constant reminder to wan you hands and available purell was good as well. We had a 5 dinner dining package that allowed us to eat at all the specialty restaurants (murano, tuscsn grill, qsine, and the lawn club). Qsine: very good, fabulous presentation. Tuscan grill: my least favorite, good food but others are better in my opinion. Murano: my favorite! Our server Emma was outstanding! Lawn club: so much fun! We didn't cook or own but the guys up there like valen and the rest are really fun. Got a picture with the whole group. Main dining room: better than I expected! Sitting with other people is very interesting, merry some great people from all over the world. Overall it was a blast I enjoyed the ship theports were great, least favorite was Rhodes and Sicily. I would definitely cruise again, maybe aqua class next time Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was our second cruise with Celebrity ,this time on the Reflection. We were concerned that having a fabulous time on the Equinox last year we might find that our expectations would not be met. How wrong we were as this cruise and ship ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Celebrity ,this time on the Reflection. We were concerned that having a fabulous time on the Equinox last year we might find that our expectations would not be met. How wrong we were as this cruise and ship ticked all the boxes. The Reflection was immaculately clean The food was of the highest standard. The staff were friendly The captain was very approachable and informative The entertainment whilst I understand not as full on as other brands still varied and watchable. The other passengers were courteous with a wide range of ages from honeymooners to retired The ports visited were interesting and with only 2 sea days The weather was glorious and very smooth seas. We decided to upgrade to have 5 dinners in the speciality restaurants. Particularly enjoyed The Tuscan Grille and The Lawn Club Grill. We also upgraded to premium beverage package which was good for cocktails but a little limited on premium wines by the glass. All who we spoke to ,who had done far more cruises than we had , said how Celebrity Reflection was right up there with the best. On my wish list would be tea making facility in the room ,reducing the cost of wifi and perhaps greater information for those deciding to do their own thing than the organised excursions. Though all things being considered hard to fault   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was only our second cruise and our first on Celebrity so here goes with our thoughts. Flew from Leeds/Bradford UK to Rome short flight only 2hrs 40 mins.Met by Celebrity reps in baggage reclaim all slick apart from we were not on the ... Read More
This was only our second cruise and our first on Celebrity so here goes with our thoughts. Flew from Leeds/Bradford UK to Rome short flight only 2hrs 40 mins.Met by Celebrity reps in baggage reclaim all slick apart from we were not on the list !! no problem we had our docs and so on to the coach for the 60 min drive to the port.Initial views are not up to much and the port itself is not the most attractive but the embarkation was very speedy and so on to the ship into our cabin within one hour forty five mins of touching down.... The cabin was a super deluxe balcony on deck eleven, plenty of hanging space , great shower usual toiletries ,sitting area suffice for our needs and the balcony whilst overhung was good, it did afford shade if you needed it. We went to the buffet for some late lunch and found it ok plenty of choice but like most buffets it always seems lukewarm well apart from the salad !!!!..Back to the cabin and Sherwin our steward arrived with the luggage , although we had prepaid tips i did tip him at the start and the end of the cruise so maybe that was the reason we got extra champagne ! he was very attentive and any request was swiftly dealt with .We found the staff overall to be excellent in their greeting , manner and level of service, nothing was too much trouble my request for wheat free items was always handled without any fuss, we were however surprised at some passengers attitude and rudeness towards the staff, no please or thank you and some with a demanding manner , i might add that these all seemed to be Hispanic , maybe they don't do please or thank you in their country...The ship itself is fantastic all bars , lounges , eating places spotlessly clean and tidy, one downside was that the Sky lounge with its great sunset views seemed to be closed for selected guests on five occasions out of ten , very disappointing . We loved all the speciality restaurants although Qsine was my least favourite however even that was very nice , the Lawn club portions were huge , well huge for us Brits, but food was very nice they even did me a gluten free pizza.Blue was all we had expected , breakfast very civilised , dinner plenty of choice and good quality apart from the pheasant breast i had one night which was overcooked.We only waited once to be seated and took ourselves off to the bar for ten minutes and then were ushered in by our new American friends who insisted we shared a table ..So ship , dining , staff 9/10.. Ports of call , Sicily lovely day out on a small private excursion organised on Cruise Critic from Sicily with Mario (which has proved invaluable for us newbies), visited Taomina and Castelmola with lunch at a traditional trattoria.Athens... long tiring day but again great guide and saw all we needed to on our private tour , we were first up to the Acropolis good job too on the way down we passed hundreds of big parties on their way up....Kusadasi, we only wandered round a few shops and returned to the ship so didn't see much .. Rhodes was very busy , four ships in and streets crowded so a wander round had a drink and back after lunch ...Santorini..took the tender then a speedboat trip to Oiai where we viewed the famous blue domes and took a million photos, bus to Fira was included and we returned via the long queue for the cable car...Mykonos we had booked a transfer to St Johns Resort and Spa and we were delighted , great facilities and food , prompt pick up and return....Naples another private tour of Pompeii then the Amalfi coast with an amazing lunch in a village above Positano, no menu just what Mama cooked that day but awesome food ....Disembarkation was swift and organised..In conclusion Celebrity Reflection was all we hoped it would be , we met some very nice people , chatted , drank , ate, travelled, with most of them and both agreed we would certainly cruise with Celebrity again,, minor complaints and niggles , don't approve of beach shorts and flip flops in bars on evening , even saw a couple of guys in Tuscan Grill wearing shorts, but that is my feeling and if these folks want to look a mess all day good luck to them.. We didn't go to any shows but enjoyed the various small music venues and we are both sorry if there is no wine left in Cellar Masters !!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Fly/cruise package starting from Manchester Airport. Flew with jet2. Most excellent! On time with pleasant and efficient ground and cabin crew. Very long wait for luggage at Rome airport - is this usual? Lots of Celebrity support inside ... Read More
Fly/cruise package starting from Manchester Airport. Flew with jet2. Most excellent! On time with pleasant and efficient ground and cabin crew. Very long wait for luggage at Rome airport - is this usual? Lots of Celebrity support inside terminal but finding the bus outside the terminal was chaotic. Check in at Civitavecchia was speedy and efficient - if anything better than when we check in at Southampton. All aspects of ship presentation, public areas, cabin, food and, particularly, staff was excellent - no complaints whatsoever, in fact nothing but the highest praise. We chose this cruise specifically for the itinerary. Took Celebrity half day shore excursions to Istanbul and Athens. Istanbul not for the faint hearted and those lacking in stamina. All the other ports, we tackled independently. Would particularly recommend the public ferry trip to Sorrento from Naples. A word of caution, they changed the departure pier at the last minute and if we had have missed that ferry, the next left 45 mins before Reflections departure - not for those who worry! Although we knew from previous experience with Celebrity, prices for everything still come as a bit of a shock. (Bet they would sell more drinks if they weren't so expensive). Can never get passed the belief that Celebrity have is that all people want to do on a cruise is shop, drink and have spa treatments. This cruise in particular we just got the impression of continual hard sell - particularly drinks packages. I can best describe the evenings entertainment as an over hyped curate's egg (apologies to non UK readers who may not understand this analogy!). Two of the song and dance shows were so predictable. What would crusie ship song and dance companies do with out Phantom and Les Mis? And why so loud? It was almost painful to listen to - especially one female singer. Their last show, however, was probably the best entertainment that I've ever seen on a cruise ship. The rest of the theatre entertainment was mixed - The Beatles and Freddie Mercury tribute acts would not have been out of place in North of England working men's club in the 80's. The magician/illusionist just about OK and the singer Phillip Brown was definitely the pick of the bunch. The "entertainment" around the ship in the evening was disappointing. An "electro pop(?)" duo - lots of mixing and wailing - very '90s. A female Danish singer whose every song sounded so depressing. Talk about Nordic Noir! The best by a very long chalk was a soul group with two excellent female singers and very competent musicians. They just seemed to know instinctively what the audience wanted and liked. Classical music, cultural events, lectures etc - hmm, what do you think! The two "formal" evenings for a lot of male passengers was a joke, even despite a reminder in the daily "what's on" guide. Jeans and checked shirts were well in evidence in the main dining room. Either scrap formal evenings or turn them away at the restaurant door - or get them to pay a supplement!! Phew, having ranted about all that, Celebrity are still our favourite cruise line and, we believe, the best. The good points far out weigh the little personal niggles. Disembarkation and transfer to Rome airport was speedy and efficient. Having "come late" to cruising and a "novice" with 12 cruises in 10 years, I'm picking up a trend towards 1st and 2nd class passengers. Have noticed this with varying degrees on each of the 6 cruise lines I have travelled with. Discuss! (PS have already planned our next Celebrity cruise)   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This holiday was chosen based on the itinerary as it worked with our plans in Italy pre and post cruise. This was our first cruise in the Mediterranean and our second with Celebrity. It was a wonderful vacation and we couldn't have ... Read More
This holiday was chosen based on the itinerary as it worked with our plans in Italy pre and post cruise. This was our first cruise in the Mediterranean and our second with Celebrity. It was a wonderful vacation and we couldn't have asked for anything better. Embarkation and Disembarkation went smoothly. The ship is simply stunning. It was so pleasing to sail the Mediterranean in this beauty. Our holiday hit top marks in all areas from great weather, stateroom, staff, food and beverage, cleanliness, ports, etc. We didn't take in much of the ship's entertainment, so we can't comment. A shout out goes to Ermelindo, Jerry, Gurhan, Ivis, Oksana, Levant, the teams at Qsine & Murano and the gentleman who greeted us every morning with a smile & kind word as we entered the Oceanview Cafe for breakfast (I'm sorry I never got his name). Each of them went above and beyond their duties; we can't thank them enough for helping make this a great holiday. Rome Shuttle Service handled our transfers in Rome and Civitavecchia, excellent service will use them again. Ephesus Shuttle provided great private tours in Istanbul & Ephesus, our thanks to Vulcan and Nafia Toured Sorrento and Positano with Vito & Stefano of See Amalfi, wonderful private tour We would do this again in a heartbeat Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We went as 3 generations, Grandma, Mum, Dad & Daughter/Granddaughter. GD LOVED fun factory, Staff there were lovely and we felt she was safe and secure there. GM tended to have breakfast with GD and take her to club in morning, ... Read More
We went as 3 generations, Grandma, Mum, Dad & Daughter/Granddaughter. GD LOVED fun factory, Staff there were lovely and we felt she was safe and secure there. GM tended to have breakfast with GD and take her to club in morning, collecting her again at noon. This gave M&D a chance to go off on the shore excursions in the mornings and see all the places D would not have wanted at 4 years old to visit. Afternoons were spent as a family and GD went to fun factory again for the 7pm to 10pm slot. We had 2 adjacent inside cabins on deck 9. These had been specially selected as GM (me) not too good on legs so these were quite close to forward lifts and straight up to fun factory on top deck. Did mean we had to walk length of ship for meals etc. but I could take my time and found with the help of my trusty stick I was able to get about. Cannot fault cabins or our stewardess who was brilliant. GD was 4 on voyage so I pre booked the Birthday packages to get some decorations. I, and much more especially, my GD was thrilled with them. Our cabin was like an Aladdin's cave and my GD loved it!. No ice for first two days but asked for it and it was then renewed twice a day from then on. My DD and SIL found the trips great all through Celebrity. We had 1st sitting dinner and again could not fault service or food. Enough choice to find something you like and the quality was good. DD, SIL and I were able to go to Murano restaurant one night. GD went for dinner at club and then stayed on to play. We 3 had a brilliant evening and thought both service and food of an excellent standard. Other nights GD joined us in main dinning room but was taken up to fun factory by SIL part way through our meal. My GD was served quickly each night so she could get up to the fun factory for 7pm and we went at a slower pace which suited all. We went to a number of the shows and enjoyed them. The acrobatic part of 2 shows was of an extremely high standard. Reminded me of Cirque de Soleil Brilliant British magician one night. So good DD and SIL determined to go to his show when it goes to Cardiff later in the year. The ship is beautiful and I didn't feel I missed out as I stayed on board for the whole cruise. We booked one of the alcoves for my GD birthday and we all enjoyed ourselves there. Throughout the ship the service and friendliness of the staff was fantastic. It really made the holiday special. My SIL was convinced to come on this cruise by my DD but by half-way through the cruise he was talking of booking another holiday next year on Celebrity as it had gone so well for all of us. I am off again on Eclipse in 4 weeks, this time with my husband. All in all a great holiday. Wonderful ship, staff, food and entertainment for all ages. Thank you Celebrity Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We traveled as a family of 4 on the August 15 sailing from Civitavecchia. Our stateroom was immaculate and well-tended by our reliable and friendly attendant. While we were disappointed by the food and service in the main dining room ... Read More
We traveled as a family of 4 on the August 15 sailing from Civitavecchia. Our stateroom was immaculate and well-tended by our reliable and friendly attendant. While we were disappointed by the food and service in the main dining room (waiting >45 minutes for any morsel of food to arrive after we were seated; having the "sommelier" frown at us when we declined to order wine), we did enjoy the cafe on Deck 14 and all the specialty restaurants, especially Qsine and Tuscan Grill. The entertainment was good and we went to all but one shows. I do wish they'd turn down the volume of the recorded music, especially at the pools. While the pools are small and crowded, our children still enjoyed playing in them. Of course the Celebrity shore excursions are expensive, but we appreciated that they were well-organized and we felt well looked after. Given that we were towing 2 kids with us, we wanted that layer of security. Unlike other cruises, we did not feel that we were dumped into shopping areas for extended periods with no escape. Both embarkation and disembarkation were extremely smooth with much shorter lines (in fact no lines) unlike previous experiences with HAL and Princess. I'd certainly cruise on Celebrity again if they were going where I want for the duration I want. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We have just come back from an excellent 11 night cruise on the Celebrity Reflection visiting Eastern Mediterranean ports. We were travelling with 3 friends who have been on 2 Celebrity cruises before so convinced us to try them and we are ... Read More
We have just come back from an excellent 11 night cruise on the Celebrity Reflection visiting Eastern Mediterranean ports. We were travelling with 3 friends who have been on 2 Celebrity cruises before so convinced us to try them and we are pleased that we did! For the last few years we have been on Princess cruises and it was great to try another cruise line. Embarkation was a little stressful at Civitavecchia as when we were hoping to get on board at 12.30 p.m., Italian immigration were nowhere to be seen and unfortunately I had an asthma attack, due to the strong smell of bleach in the Cruise Terminal. Jamie, the Hotel Director and Renata, Events Coordinator saw my distress and made sure that I got some fresh air as the doors had been closed! Once we got on board, we were handed a glass of sparkling wine and went straight to the buffet which I have to say was the best buffet selection I had ever seen. We had booked 3 Concierge Class cabins (no balcony cabins left when we booked in May) on various decks which were very comfortable and well located, especially the one assigned to our daughter and our friends' daughter which had an enormous balcony on deck 12. We all were not entirely convinced that the additional £200 each for this class of cabin was fully worth it as our friends said the cabins were the same size and set up as balcony cabins. The only extras were a bottle of sparking wine, canapies delivered to the room in the afternoon, if you wanted it, fruit bowl, tote bag and pillow menu (which we never used) and supposed priority for select dining. Priority for select dining did not work particularly well for our party of six as we had trouble getting a table on the first night but we met Jamie, the Hotel Director, at the Cruise Critic meeting on the 2nd morning who very kindly sorted out our problem so that we were able to have a regular table for 6 at 8.30 a.m. every evening if needed. The ship was beautiful and smart with lovely modern public spaces. it was also immaculate, with lovely carpets and seating. It would have been great to have had an extra pool as the pool deck was very crowded due to the peak season and the amount of children on board. Food was excellent in the buffet and the Main Dining Room, although it did feel a little squashed in the MDR. My daughter, who is lactose intolerant, was so well catered for in the MDR with the Maitre'D, Vargo, showing the menu the day before so that she could pick the appropriate courses and he and his staff were extremely helpful. We tried the Lawn Grill for dinner which was very tasty and wellcooked. We also took part in the progressive dinner at a cost of US$92 each where we had appetisers and prosecco in one of the cabanas at the Lawn Grill, starters and wine at Muranos, main course and wine at the Tuscan Grille and desserts and sangria at Qsine. This was a great way of trying out all the speciality restaurants and meeting 15 other guests from around the world as well as chatting with Staff Officers. We all purchased some form of drinks/non alcoholic drink packages which worked out very well! The entertainment was good around the ship with pop-up events happening around the atrium and various events in the bars, including an Indulgence Evening in the Ensemble Lounge, and an event at the Indoor Swimming Pool. These events appealed to our daughters who are twenty somethings and to a lot of the younger European guests on board and the ship was very lively well after midnight especially around the Martini Bar! Celebrity seem to be turning away from the traditional evening entertainment such as shows in the theatre, quizzes etc. We only saw the Mentalist at the Theatre who was entertaining and a production show in the theatre which I did not particularly enjoy. Our daughters also enjoyed visiting the gym, taking part in the Zumba classes on the pool deck and thought the activity staff were very good. We mostly made our own arrangements on shore. We had a great tour with Ephesus Shuttle to Ephesus at a very, very reasonable cost as compared to the ship's charge. We visited Herculaneum near Naples by cab which was very good and excellent value. Our respective daughters were very disappointed with the hike up Mt Versuvius and visit to Pompeii organised by the ship at a cost of US$109 each. Our daughter had been on a school trip to Pompeii and other ancient sites when she did her Latin GCSE a fair few years ago and knew an awful lot more than the local guide did, who also happened to have a poor command of English. Our daughter's impression was the female guide could not be bothered to give any useful information and would not let passengers visit the important parts of Pompeii or have any time at the shop at the at end of the visit. My daughter and I did complain to the Shore Excursion staff when she returned to ship but we never received any feedback from the staff. I felt embarrassed having recommended this excursion to my daughter and our friends' daughter having been on the same excursion on the Ruby Princess back in 2011! Disembarkation at the end of cruise was straight forward but it was extremely crowded outside the terminal with hundreds of people waiting for coaches and taxis etc. In conclusion, we had a lovely cruise with just a few niggles which were mostly addressed and would recommend the itinerary to anyone wishing to visit the Eastern Mediterranean. We are more than happy to book another Celebrity cruise and also very happy to have another cruise on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was my 10th cruise and my husband's 7th, but our first on Celebrity as well as our first Mediterranean sailing. Though we sometimes travel with family during our annual August vacation, this time it was just the two of us. ... Read More
This was my 10th cruise and my husband's 7th, but our first on Celebrity as well as our first Mediterranean sailing. Though we sometimes travel with family during our annual August vacation, this time it was just the two of us. PRE-CRUISE: We flew to Rome three days in advance from Boston on Aer Lingus, staying at Hotel Albergo Del Senato. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous and sits directly on Piazza Della Rotonda, right beside the Pantheon. The location is ideal for getting to the major sites, either a short cab ride or a short walk away. We were given a room on the third floor facing the Pantheon and piazza, as I had requested in advance. The room was fashioned in understated elegance and the bed very comfortable. But the real beauty is what awaits the eyes outside the window. The windows open in and the shutters slide out, providing the most amazing view of the Pantheon and all the lively action happening on the plaza below. No need to worry about noise, either, because the windows are fairly soundproof and block out any noise below. With a prime location, comfortable accommodations, a killer view, complimentary breakfast, and helpful and friendly staff, we couldn't have picked a better hotel for our first visit to Rome! EMBARKATION: We booked all our transfers with RomeCabs. Our driver from the hotel to the cruise port in Civitavecchia was Monica, who arrived 15 minutes early to assure a timely departure. She was a friendly people person with a great sense of humor, and got us to the port safely and quickly. We arrived at the cruise port at about 11:00 am and were driven directly to the ship. Because we booked Aqua Class, we had priority embarkation and were through registration and onboard in no time at all. STATEROOM: Just before final payment, we took advantage of a great deal and upgraded ourselves to Aqua Class and chose one of those raved-about balconies on the slant of the bump-out section - #2150, deck 12, starboard side, facing forward. The balcony was huge, although the railing was showing some wear right down to bare wood and was in need of serious refinishing. Still, this was by far the nicest cabin we've ever had. The room was decorated in warm tones with a sofa positioned next to the balcony door. The most pleasant surprise was the cabin bathroom. It was very large for a standard cabin bath, with modern fixtures and lots of storage space. No knees up against the sink while you're sitting on the john and plenty of room to move around. The shower was a roomy half-moon shape with sliding glass doors - no clingy shower curtain, and a heavenly shower head that sprayed the water perfectly. As a perk of Aqua Class, our cabin steward did a wonderful job of keeping us supplied with fresh fruit, late afternoon appetizers, tea, ice and all the complimentary bottled water we could use. DINING: We were assigned to the Aqua Class dining room, Blu, and it wasn't love at first sight for us. On our initial visit, we were seated in the middle of a row of three tables for two, situated close together, and just like my aversion to the middle seat on a jet, it was awkward and uncomfortable, robbing me of my much valued personal space. However, with each meal, the concept grew on us, and we realized that all it takes is a simple hello to your fellow table mates to figure out whether to strike up a conversation or leave them to their dinner. Breakfast on the first morning, for instance, was a better experience, as we were seated at a table by the window. With my husband's obvious disappointment at not getting a window seat that first night, he became well acquainted with the wait-staff as the guy who "likes light". Obviously, it wasn't always possible to have a seat by a window, but it didn't hurt to ask, and one evening we were given a pager to wait. Service was good, the staff was attentive, and we found the food to be excellent for the most part. While French Onion Soup was not on the Blu menu, our waiter was happy to bring my husband a bowl of his favorite whenever requested, and he loved it. As much as we enjoyed Blu, however, we wouldn’t book Aqua Class just to dine in Blu. We would still have been perfectly happy without the added perks, and the main dining room (Opus) would have suited us just fine. Here are comments on the other dining venues we tried: Tuscan Grille: This was our only specialty restaurant, as we found Blu provided us all the wonderful food we could want. Since it was my husband's birthday, we decided to splurge. The decor is very nice, and the food was great! For all the folks who have been warned about the ribeye steak in Tuscan, the cut my husband had was fine and cooked to his liking. I had the shrimp & scallops dish, which was delicious. The Tuscan onion soup was superb, too. Oceanview Cafe: In general, breakfast lunch were good, with many stations and lots of choices, and we never had a problem finding a seat. Great dessert, pizza, pasta and ice cream stations, too. We chose to forego formal nights this time around and chose to grab a plate here on the first of two formal nights, while we awaited the setting of the Mediterranean sun. The sunset was lovely, but the dinner buffet here wasn't anything special. Neither the food nor the ghost town atmosphere did a thing for us, and we decided that would be are one and only night in the buffet. Mast Grill: Great burgers and hot dogs ... but where the heck was the relish??? Aqua Spa Cafe: It didn't do much for my meat and potatoes husband, but for me it was a great place to grab a light, healthy lunch and was very convenient to the Solarium pool, our favorite hangout. Bars/Clubs: The only one we spent any time at was the Sunset Bar, which was a great place to enjoy a cool beverage while watching sail-away in all the ports. Special Occasions: Celebrity remains low key when it comes to special occasion celebrations. No balloons on the door or singing waiters. In fact, we were celebrating our anniversary while dining in Blu one evening. I was just remarking to my husband how senseless it is to note a special occasion in the Cruise Planner when Celebrity doesn't acknowledge the special day, when, lo and behold, here comes our waiter with a little chocolate anniversary cake with a candle. He lit the candle, sliced up the tiny culinary delight for us, and graciously wished us a happy anniversary. Nothing corny or crass - just class and style! However, it must be hit or miss with the cakes, because on the following night in The Tuscan Grille, there was no mention of happy birthday or a cake to be seen. Café al Bacio: I wish Celebrity had a coffee card - one price for 10 coffees - or something similar, as Princess does. I got by with the mediocre regular coffee in the morning, but I like to treat myself to a specialty coffee in the afternoon, and Café al Bacio was the place to find it. A coffee card would have made it more economical without having to buy a beverage package. DRESS CODE: We didn’t participate in formal night this time around and left our dress-up clothing at home. We dined in Blu on the second formal night, and despite being a business casual option on formal night, I have to say that 90% of the guests were in formalwear. We also found that people were more apt to dress it up a bit every night on this cruise – more than any other cruise or itinerary I’ve sailed. ENTERTAINMENT We found the entertainment severely lacking compared to other cruise lines, and due to the port-intensive itinerary, I found myself napping a lot or spending time on the balcony, thus missing most of the acts, but here is a small recap of what we saw and heard: Reflection (song and dance production show): Talented singers and dancers – delightfully entertaining. Walker Black Duo: Guitar & Vocal. A little too mellow for my husband's tastes, but I enjoyed this coffee-house style duo. Daniel (Guitar and vocal): Excellent guitarist and vocalist, and we both enjoyed him. Unfortunately, we only caught one performance at the Sunset Bar during our sail-away from Athens. Soulful Electronica: We caught snippets of this high-energy dance band often while passing through the atrium, and what we heard was very good. Actually, since the sounds from the atrium soar up the full vertical length of the atrium, we often heard them from all over the ship. Casino: I won about 80 bucks on the first sea day, and did even better on a subsequent night. From then on, the machines ate all my winnings, and then some. My husband had no luck either. Art History 101. We enjoyed one of these brief 30-minute seminars presented by the art auction people. We found it informative and entertaining, and it didn't take a huge chunk out of the day like an auction, yet still allowed ample time to down a couple of glasses of free champagne. Art auction. Despite our vow not to purchase any more cruise art, I saw two matching relatively inexpensive pieces by Charles Lee I just had to have. I didn't need much convincing, either, after a rum-heavy concoction just prior. Solarium pool: Our favorite place on the ship. We loved this relaxing retreat! Quiet, pretty, uncrowded (with the exception of sea days when an unoccupied chair was difficult to find), enclosed and protected from the hot sun, it was our favorite adults-only spot to relax. The pool was large enough for laps, and the water was a comfortable temperature and re-energizing. I extend my compliments to the crew for swiftly re-directing any wandering little kids under the age of 16 to the main pools. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? The following comments are by no means a criticism, but just a few things about the ship that didn't make much sense to us: Noisy atrium: Loud blaring music, activity and noise in the grand atrium, mid-ship ... not all the time, but enough to wonder why Celebrity designed it this way. Woe to the folks who thought they would find peace and tranquility in the Library, Hideaway Lounge, or Card Rooms, all of which happen to rest on the edge of the atrium's upper open decks above, who must have been scratching their heads in confusion while inserting their earplugs. Ship decor: While most areas of the ship were elegant and classy, we found others to be - well, a little strange. The psychedelic cosmic flower garden motif leading to the specialty restaurants on deck 5 - or what my husband fondly called the "drug room" - was odd and out of place. The much talked about upside down silver-toned tree thingy in the center atrium - which we figured out was actually the "roots" extending from the green tree above it - was just plain ugly to me. The martini bar, all in monotone gray, could really use some color. Putting it simply, it seems that Celebrity couldn't decide which paint brush to use when designing Reflection. The "fake" promenade deck. The lack of a real promenade deck was the biggest design flaw in the Solstice class ships, if you ask me. Sure, you can stroll a distance from about the front elevators to the rear ones on either side, but except for a few feet on either end, most of your view will be blocked by the ship tenders. I like to begin every day on board with a few laps around the promenade deck, and I sure missed one here. Speaking of laps – the jogging track is sorely misplaced. Just try jogging or even speed walking in the middle of the day around the main pool and see where it gets you - especially on a sea day. You’ll be competing with deck loungers, meanderers and groups of swimsuit clad folks just chilling in the middle of the track. If there can’t be a dedicated jogging track, then don’t have one at all. The Lawn: The jury is still out on this one. It's pretty, but a better use of this space would be to expand the Sunset Bar, which is a perfect gathering spot with incredible views - especially during sail away. The bar and surrounding area could use a bit more seating for a ship this size. The language of the sign at the Solarium Pool indicating "Solarium Adults Only 16 Years and Above." I've always thought of adults as being 21 or maybe 18 and older? Hmmm.... PORTS: Every port was an adventure and we saw so many incredible things. Here’s a recap: ROME: The first morning, we woke early and took a taxi at 7:00 am to the Vatican for our pre-reserved 5-hour VIP tour of the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica with Through Eternity Tours. I highly recommend this small-group tour, limited to just 7 people, the primary reason being early-entry to the Sistine Chapel before opening to the public. Instead of standing shoulder to shoulder with a massive crowd, we were able to enjoy the magnificent art of Michelangelo with just a couple of other small groups. Later, as we passed through the chapel again on our way to the Basilica, we completely understood the importance of this early tour. By that point, the crowds were so heavy that every inch of the chapel was filled with people gazing up at the ceilings, shoulder-to-shoulder, and I couldn't help but feel sorry for these people who could not have had the same serene experience as we did. Our guide was very knowledgeable, thoroughly explained the history of what we were about to see, and expertly guided us through the Vatican museum exhibits, the Basilica and finishing up outside at St. Peter’s Square. We sat a few minutes taking in the surroundings, amazed that we were actually there in this holy place. We rested our weary feet and were grateful for the drinking fountains throughout the city, allowing us to refill our empty water bottles. We would have liked to linger for another hour at the Square, but by this time we were exhausted and made our way back to the hotel by taxi for a mid-afternoon rest. The next morning, we awoke refreshed and met our guide at 8:30 am for our pre-reserved 3-hour small-group tour with Walks of Italy of the Coliseum, Palatine Hill and the Forum. Just as with the Vatican tour the previous day, this tour gave us early entrance to the Coliseum before opening to the masses, thereby avoiding huge crowds that arrive later. Tickets are reserved in advance by the tour company, so there was no waiting in line. Our tour guide, Rosa, was friendly, knowledgeable and explained in detail everything we saw. Experiencing these ancient ruins was just amazing, and it really made my day, knowing I walked along the same ancient road that great emperors walked. We leisurely walked back to the hotel, stopping for pizza at an outside cafe and picking up a few souvenirs along the way. Being within eye's view of the Pantheon, our visit to Rome would not be complete without a look inside. Since we were scheduled for a 10:00 am ride with RomeCabs to the ship on embarkation day, we used the time after breakfast for a walk through this magnificent ancient wonder. We stood in awe as we gazed upon the Greek-style portico and huge bronze doors, but the inside Roman-style rotunda, the infamous dome, the tombs of famous people including artist Raphael and modern Rome's first two kings, and the vastness of it all simply took our breath away. SANTORINI: We took the Oia and Winery tour with Celebrity, mainly to take advantage of the early tender departure. The ride to Oia was very pleasant, with the guide giving some history and pointing out the sights along the way. Our first stop was the winery. There were multiple busses parked, so the wine-tasting portion of the visit was a little crazy, but the views were incredible. After tasting a sampling of three types of wine - all of which were nothing note-worthy, we contined on to Oia. We aren't in the best of shape, it was hot and humid, and the walk from the bus up the hill left us gasping for breath. With only an hour in Oia, we decided to plant ourselves in the first restaurant we saw, which turned out to be a great decision. We were shown to a shaded table with an awesome view, ordered a Greek Salad, Souvlaki, wine and beer, and we couldn't have enjoyed our visit any more than we did. Back aboard the bus, we continued to the town of Fira, where we browsed a few shops on our way to the cable cars. There was no line at all, and it was a quick cable car ride down the cliff. Later, from our cabin balcony, I managed to zoom in on the donkey trail and photographed some riders going up and down the ziggity-zaggety trail. It looked like a long way up and not a journey we would have wanted to take. ISTANBUL: Originally, we were going to take a taxi into the city to explore on our own, but at the last minute decided to book seats with Celebrity's "Istanbul On Your Own". What a huge mistake! Celebrity describes this excursion as a stop at the Spice Market “for the ones who would like to discover the market…with access to the old city”, then the last and final stop at the Grand Bazaar…with “plenty of time to discover the Old City and Bazaar on your own.” This was a huge misrepresentation on Celebrity’s part. We were hardly “on our own”. It was all about shopping. The group was herded to the Spice Market – which we didn’t mind, as we wanted to do a little shopping. But after an hour there, we were told to board the bus and proceed to the second stop – the Grand Bazaar. But wait! There would be no Grand Bazaar until you were forced to undergo a “carpet demonstration”. To make matters worse, it wasn’t a demonstration of how carpets are made, but a presentation. In other words, a sales pitch. Unless you're interested in buying a carpet, it's a waste of time that could be spent at places more worthy. Following the carpet pitch, the guide (and by the way, why does an on-your-own tour need a guide, anyway?) began to lead the group to the Grand Bazaar for more shopping. However, this was where we said see ya later, bud. We left the group to continue on our own to Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. Unfortunately, the Blue Mosque was closed on this Friday morning, until 2:30, which was the time we had to return to the bus. After some photographs of the exterior of the Blue Mosque, we walked over to Hagia Sophia Museum to visit this incredible former church/mosque. It took about 20 minutes to get through the line, and once inside, we were amazed by the architecture. First a mosque for 916 years, then a church for 435 years, it became a museum in 1935. The enormity of size, the spectacular dome and the artwork and mosaics are a feast for the senses. It began raining when we left, and we started to make our way back toward the bus, stopping at a restaurant along the way for lunch. By the time we got to the bus, we were soaked. Also, be aware that EVERY tour with The cruise lines In the Turkish ports include an obligatory stop at a rug or carpet demonstration, i.e. sales pitch. Sadly, the "on your own tour" was no exception. Here's a Tip: If you do happen to take this tour or any Istanbul large group tour and are out on your own, remove your tour ID sticker. The carpet hawkers are relentless when they find out you came in by cruise ship, and they will try to engage you in friendly banter to reel you in. Just smile, say no, and continue on your way. Later on in the evening of our first day in Istanbul, we did Celebrity's Nighttime Bosphorus River Cruise. After the on-your-own tour fiasco, I was a little apprehensive about this ship-sponsored tour, thinking it was going to be a crowded boat with hundreds if people packed into bench seats. It actually turned out to be quite the opposite and a lot of fun. Guests were spread out over two decks seated at large round tables with white linen, appetizers, and wait-staff pouring all you can drink free wine, beer and soft drinks. We were one of the first to board and chose a prime table overlooking the back of the boat on the upper open deck on this warm beautiful night. We met some nice fellow American table mates from Arizona and Texas, and had a really great time. A belly dancer provided lively entertainment, choosing some lucky victims to join in her dancing. Great fun! KUSADASI: We pre-booked a private tour to Ephesus with Ephesus Shuttle. As expected, it was very hot, humid and crowded, but our very knowledgeable tour guide allowed us to go along at our own pace through the Library of Celcus, ancient Brothel and Baths, the Theatre where St. Paul preached, and more, allowing us ample time at each point of reference along the way for pictures, water breaks and some shade where available. I highly recommend this tour for a reasonably priced way to see the ruins at a relaxed pace and one-on-one with a guide. We opted out of the terrace houses due to my recurring knee issues, but Ephesus was absolutely incredible and well worth the experience. Tip: If you're heading out to Ephesus, you'll most definitely need to bring water, a hat, sunscreen - and an umbrella as a shield from the sun wouldn't hurt either, as there is little to no shade. Be sure to wear sturdy, flat non-skid shoes or sport sandals, because the walk is entirely on slippery marble or uneven cobblestones. After the tour, we stopped at The Temple of Artemis, even though it was not included in our tour. Unfortunately, all that remains are a single column and a few piles of rocks. Still, it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is worthy of a visit. We finished up our tour with a delicious lunch at a small local restaurant, and returned to the port. She asked, but we declined a visit to a carpet store for a demonstration, as we had neither the interest nor the money to invest, and we never felt pressured into attending one. MYKONOS: We had no excursion or tour booked here and originally thought about staying on the ship, since we're not really beach people. I am so glad we didn't. We walked along the gorgeous waterfront, strolling by the shops and restaurants and were rewarded with beautiful views of a clear, turquoise sea and a refreshing ocean breeze. We continued along the ocean road to the right and came upon a little blue-domed chapel, and went even further for even more beautiful views and a quaint alley with shops and cafés. We enjoyed lunch at an outdoor cafe overlooking the harbor with a front row seat to all the action around us. Mykonos was a pleasant surprise and a few relaxing hours to spend on shore. ATHENS: We took a taxi from the cruise port for the 20-minute drive to the Acropolis Museum. If you want to see the Acropolis but are unable to make the climb (like me), go to the museum. It may not be the same as being there, but it's an excellent alternative. What you will see are many of the original ancient artifacts and statues, as well as the ancient streets and ruins of buildings below as seen through the glass floors throughout the first floor of the museum. No photography is allowed inside the museum, but while some areas had the camera police standing around, other areas of the building, particularly the third floor, seemed to be more lax. In fact, be sure to go to the third floor viewing area where you will be able to see the ancient monuments of the Acropolis on the "holy rock" and take photos. One of the museum's exhibits which really impressed me was the Caryatids, the original gigantic figures of 5 of the 6 maidens which supported the roof of the Erechtheion, one of the ancient temples on the rock. Also, near the third floor viewing area, you'll see many of the original statues and sculptures removed by the Greeks from the Parthenon to protect them from the elements. We spent a couple of hours at the museum and continued on our way down the road and around the corner to Hadrian's Arch and the Temple of Zeus, the latter of which we photographed through the fence without actually paying to walk through the gate. By the way, you can get some interesting photos of the Acropolis through the Arch. Of course, no first visit to a city is complete without sampling the local food, so we stopped for lunch between the museum and the Arch. NAPLES: We joined a small group tour with AP Tours (8 people) of the Amalfi Coast, Positano, Ravello and Pompeii. Our driver was professional, friendly and had a great sense of humor. Our first stop was Positano, where we walked a little ways along the quaint, but crowded streets and picked up a couple of ceramic gifts to take home. We continued on our way for another brief stop at The town of Amalfi, where he had a quick lunch and then back to the van to continue to our third stop of Ravello. This was our favorite town on the tour. It was not crowded, very pretty with some lovely homes and scenery. The town square was lined with shops and restaurants, and we wished we had more time to spend here. Our last stop was a guided tour of the ancient ruins of Pompeii. We hired a guide, who showed us around to the most important buildings and homes and gave us a good history of Pompeii and its destruction with the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. I was worried about what the uneven stone pavement and stairs would do to my knees, but Pompeii was not difficult to maneuver at all. We found our earlier visit before the cruise to The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill to be much more challenging. Of course, it helped that we had a bit of cloud cover to keep the heat down. This was a great tour, and I highly recommend AP Tours. The only thing I might suggest to others - and do differently next time - would be to choose no more than two towns to visit on the tour, allowing more time in each. DISEMBARKATION AND FLIGHT HOME: We had a flight home at 11:50 a.m., and were off the ship with the first group at 6:50 am. It took all of 5 minutes to collect our luggage and meet our driver from RomeCabs. We shared a ride with some new cruise friends and shared stories of our 11 days on board the Reflection. Our return flight to Boston was the low point of this trip – not just because it’s always sad to leave, but because of the security ordeal in Dublin and nearly missing our connection. We had a 2-hour layover in Dublin, with barely enough time for three different security checks, carry on bag inspection (me) and a full pat down (me again). I guess it was my lucky day. It was 2 hours of long lines and frustrated passengers. We made it on board the plane with minutes to spare and had a safe flight to Boston, where our driver was waiting for us to take us back to the real world. This cruise was fabulous – both the ship and the itinerary. Except for the afternoon rain in Istanbul, we had great weather and calm seas, and the heat and humidity could have been much worse than it was. I would love to revisit Rome, Istanbul and Naples some day to see the sights that a day in port can’t possibly cover. We were very impressed with Celebrity and would sail the line again in a heartbeat!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Just returned from 11 night med cruise with family. There were eight of us traveling including my 96 year-old father and three college age kids. Eleven nights seemed just the right amount of time. We were in the Aqua class suites - about ... Read More
Just returned from 11 night med cruise with family. There were eight of us traveling including my 96 year-old father and three college age kids. Eleven nights seemed just the right amount of time. We were in the Aqua class suites - about the same size as a standard hotel room and very well designed. Our Butler, Gene was great - especially helpful with my Dad. The ship was spotless and service for the most part excellent. (There were a few exceptions). Had the premium drink package, and specialty restaurant package - recommend both. We especially loved the lawn club. The staff is outstanding and my boys enjoyed participating in making the pizza's and grilling. We also enjoyed the Molecular Bar - the drinks and bartenders are excellent! The cruise did seem a little crowded - especially on sea days. We wish that the pool butlers were a little more conscious about removing the towels of people who leave them unoccupied for more than an hour or so. If everyone would relinquish their spot when they are doing something else, I think everyone would be able to find chairs when they wanted them. Perhaps they can issue cards that people can leave saying "I'll be back at ___", and if they are not people can take the seat. It may help to make people more aware and considerate of their fellow passengers - just an idea.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We have just returned from a wonderful 11 night cruise with Celebrity Reflection. The cruise started in Rome and then went through the Eastern Mediterranean (Santorini, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Mykonos, Athens) before returning to Rome with a ... Read More
We have just returned from a wonderful 11 night cruise with Celebrity Reflection. The cruise started in Rome and then went through the Eastern Mediterranean (Santorini, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Mykonos, Athens) before returning to Rome with a final stop in Naples. The ports covered were varied and offered a very good opportunity to get to know several destinations, including some major cities. There was an overnight stop in Istanbul. The ship itself is of a very high standard, very clean and well presented. It is obvious that this is a very recent addition to Celebrity's fleet. The decor was nice and the ship made it easy to feel at home within a short time. The cleanliness of the ship and the personal service provided by staff was outstanding. The ship was not too big. A particularly interesting feature is that much entertainment centres around the Grand Foyer. Bars at different levels were close to the Grand Foyer so that people could see what was going on. The night life seemed to focus on the Martini Bar on deck 4 with two excellent DJs. The main restaurant was well presented as was the self-service restaurant. However, too much space is given to speciality dining Restaurants (that incur a extra fee) that were heavily promoted, but did not seem to be too popular. This is a shame as more space could have been used for other bars or more shops. Also, the shopping seemed a little bit too much geared towards the high end customer. The pool and the sundeck is well presented, but the pool itself is too small. It was possible to get sunbeds even on sea days which was great given that the ship seemed fully booked. However, again, too much space is consumed by the lawn club and special sitting areas adjacent to it that people have to pay for. Here, it would have been nicer to have more open communal space for everyone. The dining experience both in the main and the self service restaurant was great with very good food. However, there were times when the self service restaurant had only little choice as they changed from breakfast to lunch or afternoon to dinner with about 30 or more minutes in between. It would be better to have more food permanently as many people arrived back from day excursions or the pool at different times and would have liked a little bit more choice then. Staff were extremely friendly and helpful. They provided an excellent service. Excursions were extremely well organised and of a high standard with excellent local guides. Overall, the cruise exceeded our expecations and we were very impressed. The wide spread of nationalities (US/Canadian, South American and European) of the tourists added positively to the overall experience. People were very sophisticated and made the whole holiday very enjoyable. We would certainly book again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our 2nd cruise with Celebrity, we were on the Equinox last spring cruising the Western Mediterranean. Our prior cruises were with Royal Caribbean and Thompson Cruises. Arrived in Rome 2 nights prior to embarkation. On arrival at ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise with Celebrity, we were on the Equinox last spring cruising the Western Mediterranean. Our prior cruises were with Royal Caribbean and Thompson Cruises. Arrived in Rome 2 nights prior to embarkation. On arrival at Fiumicino we were met by our Rome in Limo driver who was waiting for us to drive us into Rome, clean vehicle. Stayed at the Beehive Sweets, great location, clean, quiet and safe. Took a regional train to Civitavecchia, journey was uneventful. Embarkation: arrival at the port was chaotic, 15 minute walk to port entrance, loaded our luggage onto the “Port” bus which took us to the other side of the port, unloaded our luggage, waited for the “Celebrity” bus, loaded our luggage onto the bus, another short drive to the check in tent. Took about 20 minutes to complete boarding process. First impression is that the Reflection is a beautiful ship clean and well maintained. Our stateroom on deck 6 was comfortable, well kept and clean. Veranda provided access to fresh air and a quiet space in which to relax and enjoy a glass of wine. The stateroom attendant did a really good job at keeping everything in neat and clean. We did not take any Celebrity shore excursions as we prefer to explore on our own. Ocean View Café: plenty of food choices, at times was packed. Poached eggs at breakfast were a disaster. Caffe Al Bacio served excellent coffees; the service by the staff was outstanding. Opus Dining Room: food was good, waiters and wine steward were very professional and friendly, and service was excellent. Specialty Restaurants: Had dinner at Tuscan Grill twice, excellent meals top notch service. Bars: We upgraded to the Premium drink package, plenty of choice however the Molecular bar drinks was not worthy of the rave reviews or the cost per drink if one did not have a drink package. No issues with the drink package with regards to service or selection. Entertainment: The Celebrity Showtime presentations shows were ok. Enjoyed Big Mikes Jam Session held in Ensemble Bar/Lounge. Ports: Santorini, Greece tendered, waited 45 minutes for the cable car ride to Fira. Beautiful Island, had an excellent lunch of Greek salad and calamari. Istanbul, Turkey docked and overnight took the tram to Sultanahemet near Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque. Paid a visit to the Spice Market and the Grand Bazaar, plenty of counterfeit products on sale. Kusadasi, Turkey docked. We had pre arranged for a private tour with Ephesus Deluxe. Our tour guide was Gizem who spoke fluent english who met us right outside the security gate and escorted us to a private air-conditioned minibus. We visited The Odeon, Temple of Hadrian, Roman Baths, Celsius Library, The Theater, Temple of Artemis and Terrace Houses. Our guide Gizem was excellent. The weather in Ephesus was very hot (40C). Mykonos, Greece tendered, took the local bus to Ornos beach had another excellent lunch of calamari, grilled sardines and tzatziki. Athens, Greece docked in Piraeus, took the express bus to the Acropolis. Returned via the Metro. Naples, Italy docked, took the ferry to Capri. Plenty of luxury shopping, beautiful town. Returned to Naples and walked over to L’Antica Pizzeria for a taste of an authentic Margherita Pizza. Naples is gritty and rough around the edges. Disembarkation: Late departure, took the “Celebrity” bus to the port entrance, no port bus to the far gate, which is closer to the train station walked 20 minutes to the train station and got on a packed train to Roma Terimini. Post cruise we spent 5 nights in Rome. Accommodation was at the Independence Square Inn, quiet and clean, ok for a short stay, we preferred the Bee Hive Sweets. The on site Trattoria Al Camoscio D’ Abruzzo was excellent. Great sights, excellent food and wine. Parts of Rome need a good clean up, notably around Roma Terimini Station.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Celebrity Reflection Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.6
Dining 5.0 4.3
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.5
Value For Money 5.0 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.1

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