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Sail Date: December 2016
We chose the Reflection since we have been on other Celebrity Cruises and this ship did not disappoint! Celebrity Cruises is our niche. It was beautifully decorated for the holidays and the staff was ready for the first night of ... Read More
We chose the Reflection since we have been on other Celebrity Cruises and this ship did not disappoint! Celebrity Cruises is our niche. It was beautifully decorated for the holidays and the staff was ready for the first night of festivities for New Years. Embarkation was really nice. We had a Concierge level cabin and were greeted and placed in a separate lounge at the pier. Then we were escorted onboard before the regular class cabins New Years Eve was great. There were several parties going on before midnight and we were able to hop from one to another ending up at the pool for the midnight finale. They dropped the 2016 ice block into the pool and placed the 2017 up in its place. The rest of the cruise went without a hitch. Some of the highlights were the Lawn Club Grill, a must do participative dinner. Also the Silent disco was a huge hit. We had so much fun. We like Celebrity due to its classier style and dressy/casual evenings . Also seems to attract an experienced, diverse and well to do traveler. Wish they had 21 and older sailings. THIS IS FOR CELEBRITY TOUR STAFF Jamaica - We went on the Dunns River Falls and river tubing tour with the ship - this is the only time we felt uncomfortable on the trip. At the end of the tour they make you walk through the marketplace. There is no option. There were sellers trying to put items in our hands, when we refused they stated " Are you afraid of us " . Strange comment. There should be an exit option without the marketplace. We were also asked in a survey if the guides asked for a tip. We said they did not ask but then at the busses they had followed us and started asking and pointing to the people who did not tip after we had already taken the survey. So the guides figured out how to go around the survey and harass some of the people on our bus. Glad we had tipped ! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
First time we were away for Christmas and choose Celebrity because we love the line. Service was great as usual although there were a few hiccups in the MDR a few nights, but that is to be expected considering it was Christmas. The bar ... Read More
First time we were away for Christmas and choose Celebrity because we love the line. Service was great as usual although there were a few hiccups in the MDR a few nights, but that is to be expected considering it was Christmas. The bar service was terrific and the ship was clean the steward service was great. Pool stewards however need to enforce the rules, there were several loungers that had towels on them for practically the entire day with no one actually using them which was made worse on sea days. We didnt really go to any shows but form what we heard they were very good, the silent disco was a huge success and great fun. Embarkation was a breeze and the welcome on board was with a cheery smile and very friendly, the staff always said hello and were cheerful and welcoming, we never had a bad experience with any of them and nothing was too much trouble for them. The food was good as was the choice, however i would suggest that the try to offer a greater variety over the 7 days and not repeat meals over the week. The variety in the buffet was good and I for one am happy to see that the variety has been slightly reduced to stop waste. I would like to see more variety in the shops, as far as general merchandise is concerned. Read Less
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Sail Date: December 2014
What a disappointment! I booked with Celebrity due to its reputation as a high-quality, excellent line. My experience, however, was merely average and therefore disappointing. I have sailed twice in the past - the first with NCL Gem and ... Read More
What a disappointment! I booked with Celebrity due to its reputation as a high-quality, excellent line. My experience, however, was merely average and therefore disappointing. I have sailed twice in the past - the first with NCL Gem and the second with Carnival Splendor. Each of the prior cruises had highlights. NCL Gem had excellent food and an engaging cruise director, Sinan Ulucay, and the Carnival Splendor had some of the best stand-up comedian entertainment I've seen with "The Punchliner" series. Each of the above also had a variety of entertainment outside of the main theater. In contrast, there were no highlights on the Celebrity Reflection. Pros: 1. The ship is very clean, and the staterooms are the cleanest we've experienced. 2. The guest entertainers were good. Antonio Salci, Kyle Knight & Mistie, and Claire Vinkestejn (apologies if misspelled) were very talented, professional, and entertaining. As an aside, I often wonder why cruise lines continue to push the pseudo-Broadway experience instead of opting for more instrumental/orchestral music, other non-singing performers etc... 3. The dancers/aerialists were impressively excellent. 4. Everyone who works on the ship clearly works hard, and it shows. Slobodan, the guy who runs the buffet, is a workhorse. Cons: 1. There is very little entertainment on the ship. On other lines, including NCL and Carnival, the daily itinerary is chock full of activities like dancing, games, lectures, etc to the point that one needs to sacrifice certain activities to attend others. For instance, on the NCL Gem, there were something like two trivia games a day and a whole bunch of guest game shows, whereas on Celebrity Reflection there were approximately five trivia games and two game shows the entire cruise. Fun things to do, besides laze by the pool, were few and far between. Which leads me to my second point... 2. The majority of the itinerary consists of either shopping events or pay-to-play activities. Given the relatively high cost of the fare, I had incorrectly assumed that daily entertainment would be largely complementary as it is on other lines. How I was mistaken. Rather, the main focus was on being hocked "low-end high-end" items like Michael Kors bags and Invicta watches and paying $20 to do simple things like paint. For example, the majority public real estate of an entire deck, deck 5, consists of shops and specialty restaurants. Other decks aren't much better. 3. The food in the Main Dining Hall is average, slightly better than Carnival but certainly not worth the extra cost of the fare. It pales in comparison to the food on the NCL Gem. This is supposed to be a higher-end line, so I expected higher-end food as the default. Instead it seems that the food is made to be palatable but not special so that passengers are more likely to spend money on the specialty restaurants. The buffet food left a similar taste in my mouth, pardon the pun. 4. The entertainment is standard cruise fare, with shouting-with-tone Kelly Clarkson-style female singers, hopping agile dancers and poppy tunes. Not really a con, but not a pro. 5. Why is the library overlying the main foyer where the loud music comes from? It defeats the purpose... 6. The destinations, while good, were not timed optimally. Landing in San Juan at 1530 and leaving at 2200 doesn't leave one much time to enjoy non-Celebrity-arranged excursions. 7. The dining halls are closed when at port. I don't remember this happening on the other cruise lines. 8. In the games room on deck 9 there is an abundance of Mahjong sets but no Backgammon, and far too few decks of cards. Overall, my cruise felt like a shopping mall with an exorbitant cover charge rather than a truly entertaining vacation experience. I will not recommend the floating shopping mall, Celebrity Reflection. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
A little about us: This was cruise #21. #7 on Celebrity. This was our first cruise where our 24 yo son came with us, and first time with three in a cabin. We normally book inside or outside cabins. This time, we booked a verandah and ... Read More
A little about us: This was cruise #21. #7 on Celebrity. This was our first cruise where our 24 yo son came with us, and first time with three in a cabin. We normally book inside or outside cabins. This time, we booked a verandah and snagged cabin 6155, with the oversized verandah on the front reverse “Bump.” This was our first “Christmas” cruise. If you just want the summary just scroll down to the end as this is rather long. We flew to Fort Lauderdale the day before the cruise. Southwest was on time with an early arrival. We stayed one night at the Ft Lauderdale/Plantation Hampton Inn. They picked us up at the airport. We traveled with local friends to the cruise port on Sunday morning as in total we were a group of eleven. Despite countless e-mails and text messages from Celebrity with their “Board by decks” and “Delayed boarding” warnings, we arrived at the port around 10:00. Our luggage was taken immediately. Our big “Wait” was waiting for the security screeners to open, which they finally did around 10:45(?). We were promptly processed, given our boarding cards, and directed to a seating area for “Select and Elite” members. At about 11:30 we noticed those in the “Suite” boarding area were being let on the Reflection. Five minutes later we were allowed to board. Immediately upon boarding, we confirmed our dining reservations for a table of eleven in the Opus dining room. Table 325 was confirmed. We also arranged to have dinner the first night in the Tuscan Grille as advance reservations could not help us due to our group being eleven. We enjoyed lunch in the not yet crowded Oceanview café (after the Muster drill it was a zoo!). We explored the ship and before the muster drill our luggage was delivered and we were unpacked. We met our room team and they suggested that they would put the mattress from the overhead bunk onto the couch, to give our son a nice bed. This worked out great and he slept soundly the entire trip. In fact, we were surprised how well the three in the room worked out. We were still able to access the verandah even while he was in his “Bed.” Dinner at 6:00 in the Tuscan Grille was fantastic (as expected). We attended the first night’s show which was a guest entertainer who was quite good as a vocalist and as a pianist, but we enjoyed the vocals more. Sunday morning we used the pools (which were way too cold the entire cruise – what is with the solarium pool being cool?) and hot-tubs early before breakfast. After drying off breakfast in the Oceanview was enjoyed. The ship is very impressive and further, I was surprised to find that at 10:00 not all the pool chairs had been claimed by “Chair hogs.” While we saw some signs of chair-hogging on this trip, it was nowhere near what we experienced on the Summit to Bermuda a few years back. At 10:15 we had our roll call meet and greet. The Captain and many other officers paid a visit. This was a nice gathering and many of us stayed until after 11:00. I attended the first of the “Behind the podium” talks on football and found it interesting. When that was over, I looked around the ship for our group and finally ran into one outside the Opus. I was able to belatedly join half our group in the Opus for lunch. The other half were in the Oceanview. Lunch in the Opus was okay. At this point we were very positively surprised and started to think we were on a five star cruise! We tried to call the dining room to arrange for no added salt meals for two of our party and were rebuffed “Just tell your waiter tonight.” Dinner in the Opus, however, dashed the hopes for a five star cruise. This was the first formal night. First off, our table had ten settings rather than eleven. The maître de insisted on double checking each of our five room’s table assignments, before admitting they had erred. They reset the table. Our waiter appeared and it was obvious he did not want to be there. At the end of the meal we learned he was a “Head waiter” who was filling in for someone who wasn’t feeling well. A “Head waiter” should mean outstanding service, right? NOT. Most everyone’s entrée was edible at best, and the menu sure didn’t reflect a “Formal night” type of menu. The Apple Pie dessert was made from tasteless apples and crust that tasted like cardboard. It was not edible. By now it was 8:15 and the second seating is at 8:30 so we were rushed out. While sitting at Café El Bacio for some good dessert, we realized the two ladies had not ordered (nor seen the menu) for the next night. Back to the dining room where we found one of the assistant managers who we informed about tonight’s meal situation and also took care of the special orders for the next evening. We hoped that would correct our dining disappointment… We attended the show, the first with the production company. After 10 minutes we all walked out. If they are trying to reach a younger audience, they failed. My 24 yo son said “What the h*** was that?” Monday was another bright sunny December day. We had a nice breakfast and enjoyed being around the ship. I attended the second of the “Football” talks. We didn’t arrive in San Juan until 3:30 PM so this was really a sea day. After the ship was cleared, we enjoyed a walk around Old San Juan including along the waterfront which we had not previously done. We were back on board in time for dinner. I admit I was surprised that Reflection did not offer “Open dining” as we were in port during the entire dining hours. In any case, our real waiter was serving us and he is on the ball. Dinner tonight was a winner and enjoyed by all. The special orders for tomorrow evening were taken efficiently. The maître de visited to make sure all was well. Have our dining issues all been resolved? While sitting at Café El Bacio, we saw one of the chefs checking the supply of pastries. A few of us engaged the chef in conversation and it turned out he was the executive pastry chef. Our question was “Why are these treats so good when the desserts in the dining room are subpar?” We gave him examples of that evening’s “Chocolate lava cake” that was the size of a US Quarter (I am NOT kidding) and the prior evening’s “Cardboard Apple pie.” He seemed shocked and told us the Apple Pie is made fresh each day. He picked up his phone and spoke to someone and told them to bring two pieces of pie to the Café. He also told us that if you see “SPE” next to an item, that means it is very small as it meets certain dietary standards – so avoid SPE if you want more than one chew! Well, those two slices of Apple Pie were the opposite of the previous night. The apples were tasty, the crust thin and flaky. At least 4 out of 5 for this pie! We thanked him profusely. These were the only good apple pie slices we had, though. I ordered the pie two other evenings and while not as bad as the first night they were nowhere near what we received from the chef. Monday’s show was a Pianist. He was actually quite good and we stayed for about 30 minutes of his show before fatigue (its tough being on a cruise!) set in. Tuesday morning we docked in St. Thomas. It’s a rare day when you are on board the only ship docking that day in St. Thomas! We had prearranged a private charter for our group to explore the out-islands. Alas, that was not to be. A taxi-van took us all there only to find a captain with a smaller, shade less boat than what we had booked. Alleged “Electrical problems” were keeping our boat from sailing. Okay, so no boat trip today. The taxi took us to Sapphire beach where we had a wonderful morning. The taxi was there at noon when we were ready to head back and we reboarded the Reflection. We tried the grille for lunch and the burgers are passable but nothing special. After the burger we explored the Oceanview for something better. We thought about going out to peruse the shops near the dock but never did make it ashore. We enjoyed the pools while many were still ashore. It’s a great day in the Caribbean sun! The day remained great but the evening not so much. The highly recommended fish dinner in the Opus was served (including the two special orders without salt) and the fish was smelly and tasted like it was spoiled. These were all sent back. I had also ordered the everyday steak which was okay. The two ladies replaced the fish with Salmon but they were both served with raw insides, like they were placed on a grille for 30 seconds on each side and served. By the time they received an edible plate, it was 8:00 and the clock was ticking… After some post-dinner discussion at Café El Bacio (can you tell we like that venue?) the three men went to guest services. We spoke with a very polite representative and made it very clear that we wanted to speak with someone from management about the two dining room disasters we had experienced. We were assured that if we came back after the show we could speak with a guest service manager. We went to the show, a much hyped production “Momentum.” After about 20 minutes we knew it wasn’t getting any better so we left. We went back to guest services and had a very nice meeting with three people. Long story short, they promised our meals would be personally reviewed by the executive chef and that all would be well the remaining three nights. Will they??? Wednesday is Christmas Eve and we are in St. Maarten! We left the ship about 9:00 and were treated to “Snow” on the gangway and pier. Many team members were there in Santa hats wishing everyone a great day. We were docked opposite the Silhouette and it seemed the two ships were competing to see which group was more “Christmassy.” It was fun. We took a taxi into town and walked the main shopping street several times. We also visited the bay-front promenade, but in the bright sun it was quite warm. Our immediate family visited the “Yoda guy” museum. We are Sci-Fi and “Star Wars” fans and this was a fun stop. We purchased a few pieces of his art and toured the excellent museum. We didn’t get out of town this trip and looking back that is one thing we will do on any future visit. After a late lido lunch, we went out to peruse the shops at the port. We returned to Reflection and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon at the pool and for sail-away before getting ready for dinner. Dinner in the dining room was outstanding and the best Opus meal of the cruise. The show was Pianist Antonio Salci. Pianists are not my thing, but he was very good and talented. Thursday was Christmas day. We enjoyed the elite breakfast and then headed poolside to get chairs where we could watch “Santa” come by on his “Sleigh.” His arrival was promised for 10:00 and he was punctual. It was actually a lot of fun watching Santa and his many elves (dancers from the ship’s company?) and a few musicians make their way around the lido with a parade of followers including many families with children, Captain Peppas among them. They eventually headed down to the showroom and we did not follow. Our group had “Christmas lunch” in Murano. This was spectacular with both food and service beyond compare. We were in a private room well-stocked with wine along the walls. Everything was superb and lunch was greatly appreciated. Christmas dinner was the second formal night. We took photos around the ship and enjoyed another excellent Opus dining room meal. The holiday special Turkey was very good. The Scallop appetizer was very tasty. Desserts were the best dining room desserts of the cruise. After dinner the “Guest choir” performed a number of holiday tunes in the grand foyer. They were joined by many of the ship’s officers “Caroling” in the foyer. The snow-maker was in use and it was a bit of a magical moment. The evening show was a “Holiday show spectacular” and it was very enjoyable – especially as you consider this show, put on by the various ship’s performers from every venue on board, do this just once per year. Somewhere along the line I’m sure we were at El Bacio but I don’t recall the details. At the close of the show it was hinted/announced that there would be a special performance in the grand foyer at 10:45. We stayed for this – and still don’t understand what it was all about. The dancers were dressed in “Sci-fi” type of costumes and the male dancers looked like robots. But there was no storyline and it just seemed weird – and we like Sci-fi! Friday was the last day of the cruise heading back to Miami. We again did the elite breakfast, enjoyed relaxing at the outdoor pool where friends joined us to listen to the Xtasea party band at noon. Some of us even did some dancing on the pool deck. We had some lunch in the Oceanview (their large lunch croissants are delicious) and tended to the end-of-cruise packing chores. We also enjoyed live music anywhere we could find it including one last time at the Sunset bar for “Five O’clock Somewhere.” Our final dinner in the Opus dining room was a disappointment however. Perhaps not quite the horrendous meals from early in the cruise but nowhere near the quality of the prior two days. One thing we appreciated is there is no last night “Parade” or rah-rah for the culinary team. On our first few cruises we really enjoyed that but at this point for us that is old and we often avoid the dining room on the last night for this reason. We just don’t understand how “Modern luxury” means that only three out of six dinners in the dining room were enjoyable. After dinner the show was “Reflection – the show.” This was much hyped as the “Highest rated show on any cruise ship.” That is quite a boast when you know the types of shows that are now on the mega-ships, so we certainly went to check it out. It was certainly the best show put on by the production cast this week, we will give them that. Music from the 70’s and 80’s along with a bit of a story line made it interesting, and some of the aerialists are very talented. But the “Best show on any cruise ship?” A number of shows on our last cruise on the HAL Westerdam were better in terms of enjoyment, at least for us. Saturday morning we did the express disembarkation and were impressed that there were many customs inspectors and thus no lines at all. We were off the ship at 7:00 and curbside by 7:10. Conclusion: Well, this is a very hard cruise to rate. The ship? Five stars. Clean and meant to impress. The one thing though that I really disliked about the ship is the “Crow’s nest” area. There is no view whatsoever to the port side due to the high-priced cabins they put into the space. Our cabin? Five stars. We were surprised by two things: One, we did not use the oversized verandah very much at all. Two, we did not feel “Crowded” by having three in the room. Entertainment in the main showroom – Three at best. Entertainment other than the main showroom – 4 ½ stars. Specialty dining? Five stars – but it HAS to be five stars if you are paying $45 per meal over and above your cruise fare! The Oceanview café? For a buffet, it was overall very good – Four stars. The Opus dining room? Two and a half stars. This one really hurts as “Dinner” is a major component on a cruise, especially when traveling with friends. Three great meals were offset by two horrible experiences and one that was mediocre at best. Café El Bacio – Five stars. One of the best features that Celebrity has. On board Customer Service – 4 ½ stars. Everyone we met really tried their best to help with any voiced concerns. Pre-cruise Customer Service and website – 0 stars. “Modern Luxury?” I think not. The pools - COLD! We could use the pools but our friends who live in Florida found the pools were just too cold - even the Solarium pool. What is with that? 2 stars. Overall – Three and a half stars for this Christmas week cruise on Reflection. The concern we have is that the lower rated aspects of the cruise should not have been affected by the fact that this was a holiday cruise. After three “Excellent” cruises this year on HAL, it will be a while before we seriously consider returning to “X,” especially with their current pricing. Paying more while getting less is not how we prefer to spend our vacation dollars. Would we recommend the Reflection? With reservations, yes we would. But we feel there are better choices for a one week Caribbean sailing.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
We were on the 7 day Holiday cruise on celebrity Reflection.. As expected the ship went out full so there were lots of family groups, all ages and nationalities. The children were well behaved, there seemed to be lots of activities ... Read More
We were on the 7 day Holiday cruise on celebrity Reflection.. As expected the ship went out full so there were lots of family groups, all ages and nationalities. The children were well behaved, there seemed to be lots of activities organised for them. in general the ship was well prepared for sailing at full capacity. We did not have to queue long at any bar. Since Celebrity no longer have trays in Oceanview cafe buffet, there were not lines either at any food station as you can only fit so much food on one plate! Crew were pleasant and helpful, there was a lovely spirited atmosphere on deck 14 around the pools and the sun beds were quite close to each other. However the pool butlers were doing a good job in removing towels from vacated sun beds and there were plenty of quiet spots on deck 15 away from the loud music and party atmosphere around the 2 pools. Food in Blu was really good and we had an exceptional meal in sine though we were a party of 2. Our choices were scaled down in proportion so we did not overeat and chose 6/7 dishes. We also ate in Murano on a formal night and loved it though we preferred Qsine overall. We did not try Tuscan grille as we'd both indulged enough with the New york Strip in Blu restaurant on a night we didn't fancy any of the Entree options. The gym was overcrowded at peak times, and so were the fitness classes/zumba, but all in all we had a lovely time. 7 days on a crowded boat was enough though, however good it was! We only did the island tour in St Maarten which was very interesting and gave us time to explore the beach and shopping streets on the dutch side when we returned to the ship. Entertainment onboard was varied and quite good. the aerial acrobatics are excellent Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
This was our second sailing with Celebrity. We had never cruised over Christmas and thought it might be a new fun way to celebrate the holidays- stress free. We did enjoy our week but if you are thinking of sailing the high seas over a ... Read More
This was our second sailing with Celebrity. We had never cruised over Christmas and thought it might be a new fun way to celebrate the holidays- stress free. We did enjoy our week but if you are thinking of sailing the high seas over a major holiday remember the KIDS will be everywhere. Our last time on Celebrity there were maybe 8 kids on the entire ship. This time we heard there were 700! It felt slightly like children had overtaken the ship and were running amuck. It did not ruin our cruise but it did seem to spread the crew thin and frazzled most guests. The lobby was very festive for Christmas but I would have loved to see one crèche as they did have a menorah. The beautiful lobby common areas were draped in garland with lights and they had a huge gingerbread collection. The Christmas show was just perfect and my favorite of any Celebrity show I have ever seen. The talented and beautiful Claire Vinkesteijn made all of it possible. We had the best massage of our entire lives from Karen. This was our first time experiencing Aqua Class. WOW. BLU is worth Aqua all on its own. yes there is a cool shower head and yes since only two per cabin for aqua class we had peace and quiet near our cabin but BLU was just amazing. The service impeccable. We also loved the foot stool on the balcony and spent many hours enjoying the sea. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Hello, This was our 1st cruise with Celebrity. Overall we thought it was very nice. We opted to only eat in the main dining room. The specialty restaurants were expensive, considering we already paid for all meals. Food and presentation ... Read More
Hello, This was our 1st cruise with Celebrity. Overall we thought it was very nice. We opted to only eat in the main dining room. The specialty restaurants were expensive, considering we already paid for all meals. Food and presentation was very good!! The staff was very attentive and could not be more friendly. This was the highlight of the day for me! We decided to not get the drink package…..too much pressure to drink our moneys worth!!! The alcohol by the glass was expensive, but still less per day than if we bought the drink package. We HAVE to recommend the Molecular Bar!!! The drinks are $13 per glass, and worth it!!! It's kinda cool to have your drink served with liquid nitrogen in it….makes a good show. This bar alone might make the premium drink package worth the money. If we go again, I will buy the package but not wife. (2 drinks and she's done!!) The on board daily planned activity's were pretty boring to us. We are 53/55 yrs old. We did not bother with much except for the nightly show in the Reflection theatre. The entertainment was nice for a cruise ship. We went every night and had a drink during the show. Nice casino but lost money!! :( We enjoyed the experience, but were a little bored at times. On sea days there is not much to do. Eat, fall asleep at the pool, eat, clean up for the nightly show, browse through the already inspected gift shops and repeat. Maybe we are just not cruise people….not sure yet. Need one more trip to Molecular Bar!!!!! We would recommend the Reflection. Nice ship and crew was great!!!!!   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
Celebrity Reflection is a beautiful ship with excellent staff, food, and services. I wanted to comment on the Christmas Cruise we took from Dec. 20 to Dec. 27, 2014. Our Port visits all went well with a short, but pleasant stop in San Juan ... Read More
Celebrity Reflection is a beautiful ship with excellent staff, food, and services. I wanted to comment on the Christmas Cruise we took from Dec. 20 to Dec. 27, 2014. Our Port visits all went well with a short, but pleasant stop in San Juan (where my camera broke) and great snorkel trips on both St. Thomas and St. Maarten. We took the Pirate Ship trip on St. Thomas and found the crew to be fantastic and the rum drinks on the way back to be overflowing. The crew told lots of corny jokes and kept us laughing. Soft drinks and water were provided the whole time. On this trip we saw small turtles and we had plenty of time in the water. On St. Maarten we took a large Catamaran which gave us a smooth ride and a nice ladder to get into the water which was warm and wonderful, but without a whole lot of fish. We swam into shore where the staff was on the beach and gave us some refreshment there. We had plenty of time in the water here too. The staff on this trip was also very accommodating. It was my husband's birthday and after the rum punch service with sandwiches they pulled out champagne and served anyone who wanted it. We were fortunate on both of our trips since neither boat was full and there was plenty of space for everyone. We booked both of these trips through Celebrity. Hint: take the early morning trip as it will probably be less crowded. We also had time for shopping in all of the ports. I used the approved list provided by Celebrity to go to a camera shop on St. Maarten where I was able to buy a new camera at a reasonable price. It was Christmas Eve, after all, and I could not be without a camera! We were booked in Aqua Class so our dinners in the restaurant Blu were all great. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinners were no exception. On Christmas Eve we had a Carol Sing in the main foyer and they created an optical illusion of snow coming down...beautiful!! On Christmas Day the lunchtime food in the Oceanview café included extraordinary desserts and specialties from around the world. The ice sculptures and fruit sculptures were amazing. Santa arrived in the pool area in the morning and rode his sleigh all around with a live band playing songs as he rolled along. It was such great fun! And, of course, there was a nice Christmas Show in the evening. If you are thinking of taking a Christmas Cruise, I would highly recommend this one. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
This was my first cruise; however, my two step kids and husband had been on Royal Carribean 12 plus times. So our rating will be based on these experiences. We did the all inclusive upgraded beverage package and based on the amount of ... Read More
This was my first cruise; however, my two step kids and husband had been on Royal Carribean 12 plus times. So our rating will be based on these experiences. We did the all inclusive upgraded beverage package and based on the amount of high quality bar experiences on the ship, I would suggest this option. There were many unique bars with amazing mixologist. The food was great in the cafe, many options for all three meals and snacking. There was the opus main dining room which was hit or miss. A definitive miss for breakfast. Two of the four nights were outstanding, one was horrible food and service. Our room was beautiful, spacious and the service was outstanding. There was a lot to do on this cruise. The shows were outstanding. The fitness and spa are top quality. While there were children of all ages on the ship, I think this was likely due to the US Thanksgiving. This ship definitely appears to be more geared to adults, ship slows down a bit after midnight.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
About us This was our first X cruise. We've sailed RCL, DCL, HAL, and Princess. Let me just say that the verdict is and we are converted to loyal X cruisers. DH and I are in our mid-40s. We have an 8 year old daughter and a 7 year ... Read More
About us This was our first X cruise. We've sailed RCL, DCL, HAL, and Princess. Let me just say that the verdict is and we are converted to loyal X cruisers. DH and I are in our mid-40s. We have an 8 year old daughter and a 7 year old son. Getting to the Port We had a morning flight out of Pearson Airport. I’m not sure I ever want to fly Air Canada again. The check-in process took FOREVER and was so disorganized. Even with nexus cards and priority screening, we barely made our flight. The cab ride from MIA to the port was a fixed rate $24.00 for four of us. Embarkation The “process” at the port was really silly. Rather the first in line being the next to be served they seem to queue people so that they have a second mini line forming behind each agent. As luck would have it, we ended up behind someone who had EVERY problem in the word. We were there for about 20 minutes while we saw lines on either side of us get quickly processed and people who were well behind us in the first line were processed and boarding the ship ahead of us. We went back to the front of the main line and said we wanted to wait for a new agent. We got processed and that family ahead of us was still getting all their issues sorted out. They really need to fix this and just send the front of the line over to the first available agent. All in all it moved pretty quickly. We arrived at MIA at 11:09 and we were seated at the Oceanview Cafe by 1pm. Our embarkation lunch was excellent, best of any sailing, even MDR lunch for HAL. Select Dining I made reservations online prior to sailing. We arrived for 7pm on the first night. Our wait team was Art and Alexyus. My husband was worried that with select dining, we would not get the best service since gratuities were prepaid. At the end of the first night. We had both agreed that service was even better than the gold standard service we had received on HAL. We lucked out and received this awesome service team every night of our cruise. I made my reservations on line before going. I tried to book 7PM every night, but some nights had to take 6:45 and other nights had to take 7:30. I tried switching on board but they would not/could not give me 7PM every night. We were able to secure our same waiter every night. The service was so awesome that we wanted to have him every night, and he suggested that I tell the hostess that because of my son’s allergies, we wanted to stay with him. We had not trouble being accommodated. Allergies My son has peanut allergies. I had emailed X prior to our sailing to advise them of this. After we had our embarkation lunch at Oceanview, I went up to the dessert section, and asked the attendant which items contained nuts. He said, “Madam, we cannot control cross-contamination, let me call a manager for you”. I nearly fainted – the word cross-contamination was used! Within minutes a manager had found me and brought me a plate of nut-free desserts direct from the kitchen. He asked our room number and said that every day at lunch a dessert plate would be waiting for us, I just had to ask. At dinner in the Opus dining room, our server Art, greeted us to assure us that he would take care of our son and he did not disappoint. Every night, he brought my son a special bread basket certain to be nut-free. Art was always familiar with the next night’s menu so we could pre-order all of my son’s meals for the next night. On other ships, the buffet has been a huge cause for concern with servers not having any sense of awareness of the severity of food allergies. On Carnival Dream, I asked an attendant which desserts contained nuts and was told “no nuts” while I could clearly see nuts in many of the desserts. On X, any mention of food allergies to a buffet attendant would result in "hold on madam, let me call a manager" who made sure to take care of us. One particular manager who was the Maitre D for Murano would seek me out in the morning to say he had a plate of chocolate croissant reserved for my son. How awesome is that??? I would recommend X to anyone who is nut allergic. MDR and Buffet (Breakfast) We preferred the buffet breakfast to the MDR and this is coming from someone who HATES buffet. The only exception was the scrambled eggs. I’m not an egg eater myself so I never tried them, but my who is a scrambled egg aficionado did not like the eggs at all. I’m not sure what the issue was but the eggs were almost too creamy or something. We tried a MDR breakfast to see if the eggs were better, but they were the same. My daughter’s favourite breakfast is a soft-boiled egg. We asked for one at the first breakfast but they were not familiar with this. They asked how long to cook it for. I suggested 3 minutes. I cook for 3 minutes in boiling water, but they cooked for 3 minutes in simmering water. The egg was still raw.  My daughter stuck to a sunny side up egg after that. Lunch The buffet lunch was also very good although on day 6 we opted for the MDR. It was good but not noticeably better than the buffet. On day 7 I had my top chef class so hubby took the kids to the buffet. We had lunch one day at the mast grill. I insisted on this after reading so many reviews here about the awesome hamburgers. Hubby and my son liked them – very good for a cruiseship burger. I thought they were just okay, on par with a Costco roadhouse burger. Dinner at OPUS Our wait team of Art and Alexyus – were SUPERB. My son called Alexyus "the Chocolate milk ninja" because every time he turned around there was a new glass of chocolate milk waiting for him. Note to families: the chocolate milk is white milk with Chocolate syrup decoratively squirted on the glass - not premade. I thought the food was on par with HAL and the service was just as good. My daughter enjoyed the everyday sirloin steak probably 5 out of 7 nights, the other nights having the prime rib and the beef tenderloin : ) She’s a meat-eater and had no complaints! My son ordered the chicken nuggets of the kids menu and they were horrible and dry. After that he alternated between the cheese burger or the steak. Hubby and I enjoyed the food – the only disaster(?) being the Top Chef night. More on that later : ) Entertainment On my cruises, I'm all about the shows, but on this cruise I opted for the casino. The description of the shows in the daily did not thrill me, however, we made it to Momentum. It was okay. Not the best show I've seen at sea but not the worst either. I definitely give Royal the edge on entertainment – but I don’t pick my cruises for the entertainment. Living near Toronto, we have access to awesome broadway shows, so our standards are high. It was better to skip the show than to take time out of our evening and sit through something we wouldn’t’ love. Casino We had access to $10 tables every night. On day 6 they had $5 tables but I could never stay at one because the world's worst gambler at sea would sit down. Note to self: if the day comes that I sit down at a table and everyone else gets up, it's time to stop gambling. Overall the dealers were awesome. We enjoyed playing with Mercedesz from Hungary and Iva from Croatia. Even Renzo was great. Carlos was a bit of a grump at first but he warmed up over the week. I enjoy a happy and personable dealer .... Don't quite mind losing my money so much if the dealer is friendly! Tips were always acknowledged and appreciated. Overall Lady Luck was good to me. Had some awesome gambling mates. Shout-out to my new Cuban Cousins from Miami – you ladies were awesome and I enjoyed gambling with you! Sin City Comedy show As far as cruise ship comedy shows go, this host was just okay, but as we know, comedy is very subjective. The headliner, Kathleen, was freakin hilarious. Neither my hubby nor I were a fan of the burlesque dancer. The show started with the dancer, then the host, then the dancer again followed by the headliner. For comedy shows, I give the edge to Carnival. Fun Factory The Fun Factory was a HUGE hit – my kids loved it! I think my guys at 7 and 8 were the oldest there, but they did not seem to mind. They really enjoyed the Fun Factory. On sea days they would visit after breakfast, lunch and dinner. On port days, it was mostly just at night. However, in St. Thomas, they asked if they could stay on the ship so we let them. If any of you were debarking with us and saw a little boy in tears, that was my son. He wanted to go back to the Fun Factory just one more time : ) Cruise Critic Meet We received our invitations to the Meet & Mingle party. It was on the second sea day (I think). I really don’t get this, because they scheduled it at the EXACT same time as the first Top Chef event which also coincided with the galley tour (or so I thought). My son wanted to go to the kid’s club, so DH took him there. My daughter wanted to go to the Top Chef event so she came with me. Hubby and I were both signed up for the slot pull. When hubby took my son off to the kid’s club, I somehow ended up with both room keys. We went off to the Top Chef event. DH came to the meet&greet, but we were gone by then. So he went on to the TOP Chef event, but it was over by then, so he went to the galley tour to look for us (he wanted his room card so he could get a drink!), but I took my daughter to the kid’s club and then came back to the slot pull. Comedy of errors, but we ended up meeting up at the slot pull. Unfortunately, we all walked away empty handed Top Chef If you are a Top Chef Fan – you MUST do a Top Chef sailing. What an awesome experience. On embarkation day, I almost walked right into Tiffany Derry at the Oceanview. I recognized her almost immediately, and quite honestly, I was a bit star struck. She was her absolutely charming-self. I rushed back to the table and told my daughter who could not believe that I spoke to Tiffany. She says, “I wonder if we will see Shirley Chung”, and just as she says that, guess who walks right by our table? My daughter started shaking and tears were streaming down her face (she LOVES Shirley!) As I mentioned above, the first Top Chef event coincided with the Cruise Critic meet. Because we attended the meet&greet first, by the time we got to Opus for the Top Chef event, all the seats were taken. But this ended up not really being a “top chef event”, it was just to introduce the top chefs. They each said a few words, and that was it. My daughter and I were disappointed and we walked out. While we did want to do the galley tour, I had committed to the slot pull so thought I may as well return to the cruise critic meet. Leaving was the best thing we could have done!!!! We walked out of Opus and straight into Tiffany Derry, Casey Thompson and Shirley Chung. OMG, I cannot tell you how awesome these ladies were. They took the time to give my daughter autographs (and wrote very sweet messages). They took the time to talk to her about being a chef and took pictures as well. She even got hugs from all of the Chefs. She was in 7th Heaven!!! Next up was Tiffany Derry’s cooking demonstration, which I believe was on the Monday. She is so personable. Her demonstration was great and she fielded lots of questions from the audience. 2nd Demo was Hosea’s. The third top chef event was the Quick fire challenge, and I thought Celebrity handled it will by giving out raffle tickets to those who wanted to be on the stage. I seemed to always be one or two numbers off the winning ticket. It seemed so rushed at the end and on the Friday (last sea day) – Casey Thompson and Shirley Chung both had their demo’s. I also had my private cooking classes. I had to leave Casey’s demo early to go to the cooking class, and then we missed the start of Shirley’s demo because of the cooking class. There were photo ops after every Top Chef event. We “met” the chefs on the first day (running into them outside the Opus dining room). When we stood in line for Pictures with Tiffany the next day, she greeted my daughter by name, how cool was that? When we did our photo with all 4 chefs, Shirley greeted my daughter by name. One day, while at the kid’s club, they took the kids to the Oceanview for ice cream, but travelled through the adult pool to get there. Tiffany was lounging in that area, and called out to my daughter and waved at her. My daughter felt like a million bucks. By midweek, we felt like we were BFF’s with Tiffany. There were two Top Chef dinners in the main dining room. The first night was the “standard” Top Chef night that I believe they have on EVERY cruise. All the Top Chef’s circulated through the dining room, and as lucky would have it, Tiffany was in our area, so we got another photo. The second Top Chef dinner, featured courses from each chef; each chef put forward a recipe for an appetizer, main and dessert. I wasn’t’ a huge fan of Shirley’s congee dish with the shirred egg. It was okay, but nothing earth shattering. I loved everything that Tiffany made. Hosea’s shrimp dish was great, and I loved this stout cake. Tiffany’s sweet potato crème brulee was divine. One of the appetizers that was recommended by our server was Casey’s mushroom dish. The description in the menu did not sound that great, but since it was recommend I ordered it too. I took a huge bite of it and OMG it was the MOST disgusting thing I had ever tasted. We were in a crowded dining room and I had nowhere to spit it out. I sat there with it in my mouth for forever until I could sip enough water to wash it down. I later learned at the Quick Fire challenge that many of the recipes were taken from the top chef cook-book and not exactly as described on the menu. Casey Thompson was asked about the livers in her mushroom (lightbulb – I HATE liver!). Apparently, when she first conceived the recipe it had livers in it, but when she made it on the show it did not have livers in – but the liver version is what was printed in the top chef cookbook and that is what was made by X even though they did not add “liver” to the description on the menu. The cooking class with Tiffany was wonderful! WE had a great group and I think everyone had fun. As per my other experiences, Tiffany was wonderful and charming. I had heard that some of the other chefs had been quite disappointing in the amount of fan interaction. On an earlier sailing, Nina Compton for example taught her class and then left immediately. Tiffany taught her class, and then sat and dined with us and had lunch with us. Our lesson went over by about half an hour as we all chatted and drank wine and took more photos. The package also included lunch from Murano and we had the option of sea basset or tenderloin. Wireless at Sea Only bad service I found on reflection was the guy that runs the ilounge. I'm sure he's quite helpful if you get your email through AOL, but he is completely useless when it comes to helping someone who uses POP or IMAP mail being pulled to their phone. Fine, if you can’t help someone, but I found him to be quite rude and condescending. I get my email pulled to my phone through my own Microsoft exchange mail server. As long as I have connectivity through wifi, email should come through. I used about 20 minutes of my package waiting for emails to through, but nothing. His solution was that I needed to login through my AOL account. I had alerted my staff to email me through my personal email account because I get far less personal emails, and it would be easier to sort through. My personal domain is managed through godaddy. I also could not get my godaddy email to pull through to my phone. I tried logging on through godaddy webmail. I kept getting kicked out from godaddy due to "inactivity". I sat in the ilounge for over 20 minutes and could not open a single email that I could "see" on the godaddy site. The ilounge guy insisted that the speed issue was with godaddy and not Celebrity. At least if he had owned the fact that wifi at sea is slow, I could have lived with, but his insistence the speed issue was the fault of godaddy was maddening. I complained about him to guest services because I really was insulted by the way he spoke to me. She asked who he was and the way she acknowledged my complaint told me that I wasn’t the first person to complain about how he spoke to me. I normally buy a data package from my cell provider, but having just changed cell providers, my new provider classified the islands differently, forcing me to buy 2 separate data packages, totalling about $50.00 and with only 3 ports all mid-week, I didn’t’ see the point of the data packages and thought I would try the ship’s wifi package. Next time, I will stick with the data package from my cell provider. Photos I had meant to buy the digital photo package before leaving. If memory serves it was $220. The package only came available within a week of our sail date, but it closed if you were within 1 day of your sail date and by Friday morning I had missed out. There was a ship promotion that I was able to get onboard which was $250 for digital plus paper; so you got all the prints plus all digital images. We made sure to get our photos done at every port, in the MDR, and each night. And the photographers were falling over themselves taking pictures of my kids, so I definitely got my money’s worth. Note to anyone who buys a package, you should be checking the pictures on your stateroom tv to makes sure that all your pictures show up. Otherwise, you take the print to them and they will add it to your package. I should have been doing this all along. On the last day, I went by to collect my prints, and amidst the crowds I was told to take my prints back to the stateroom and check the TV. But when I got to the stateroom, the pictures were no longer available. So I had to rush back to the photo area and use a kiosk to match up a few hundred pictures to my disk. I ended up finding a few that were missing, one of which was my Top Chef picture, so they took the print number and added it to my package. Then by the magic of photo recognition, all the TOP chef pictures appeared on my account – and by all, I mean every picture that Tiffany, Casey, Shirley and Hosea had posed for including every person who had their pictures taken with the chefs. I pushed it back on the photo team to get those deleted. I still ended up with a few of Shirley Chung’s personal photos of her and her hubby on my disk. Hmmmmm ….anyone know the number for the Enquirer Overall, I thought the photo package was great value and I was very pleased with my pictures Drink Packages We had booked the classic alcohol drink package as a perk with our cruise. Overall we were quite happy with the classic package. DH had a nice select of domestic beers to drink. I found the wine selection kind of lacking. For example, there is no cabernet available on the classic package. I contemplated upgrading but then found a shiraz that wasn’t awesome but it was drinkable. I found the mixed drinks at the pool – hit or miss – based on who made them. I enjoyed a delicious banana daiquiri on the first day but could not seem to get a second one that ever matched the first. Bottled water as a plenty and was always being brought to us even without asking. Most often, we would end up with “large bottles” which were not technically part of our package. I was drinking the double-espresso like it was coffee (wasn’t a huge fan of the coffee). Unfortunately, it was the very last day before we discovered the Igloo. Those will definitely be a favourite at Bacio from now on. And the fresh squeezed orange juice was divine, although it seemed to vary quality/consistency throughout the week. Onboard Booking Bonus We loved our cruise so much, we booked another one. We are booked on Silhouette November 15, 2015. We received $250 OBC for our existing cruise, plus $300 OBC for our next cruise, free grats for PAX 1 and 2, Free classic alcohol for PAX 1 and 2, Free Classic for PAX 3 and 4 plus free internet packages for PAX 3 and 4. Our CVP seemed to have a lot of difficulty with our reservation. She for some reason had trouble booking our kids so the booking confirmation as delivered to our cabin a day later. I called on Black Friday to see if there were any special deals. I was told about the Cyber Monday deal, but then the CVP said, I have good news, I can apply a the 123 promo for you, listing off all the perks I already thought I had, and she said there was absolutely no promo associated with our account. I was not impressed. Oh, and the first CVP booked hubby and I on select dining and booked our kids on late seating! Oh well, it’s all sorted out now, but I don’t have a whole lot of faith in the onboard CVPs; they of all people should be good at this. Disembarkation Went smoothly! Smoother than any other we've walked off. We self-disembarked. We went to the Oceanview for a quick breakfast then back to the cabin to grab our bags. I think we were off the ship by 7:30. the wait for customs was processed exactly the same way that boarding was with agents queuing up lines behind each agent. Our luck, we ended up behind talkers. We had to wait about 10 minutes to see our agent, but we patiently waited as this was not the place to be huffing and puffing. We got a cab quickly and were at the airport in no time. We flew home with air Canada, and it was a ghost town. There are no self-help kiosks there, so you have to see a ticket agent for your boarding pass. We went to the security area, and there were no line ups. I commend to the agent that I expected the airport to be a zoo with all the cruiseline pax. He said other areas like AA are busier. We cleared security in minutes and all was good except we had about 4 hours to wait for our flight to leave   Read Less
Celebrity Reflection Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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