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161 Celebrity Reflection Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

This itinerary suited us. We had been wanting to do a crossing and we used to live in the Azores, so it was perfect for us. We were not sure how we would feel about six days at sea, but they were awesome. The ship was clean, crew ... Read More
This itinerary suited us. We had been wanting to do a crossing and we used to live in the Azores, so it was perfect for us. We were not sure how we would feel about six days at sea, but they were awesome. The ship was clean, crew everywhere taking care of things. Never had to wait for a drink or any other service. The crew at the coffee bar were especially nice, and hard working. We tried specialty dining for the first time ever, we bought a pre-cruise specialty restaurant package. We only ate in Tuscan, it was wonderful. Blu was great as usual. My only complaint about any of the restaurants is that the tables are too close. At our table for two, it usually ended up as a table of six with two couples nearby on both sides. The staff did note that we liked to to be off from the crowd, and since we were willing to give up window views, they did seat us off in a corner and only put folks around us when necessary, We appreciated that very much. The ports were great, Ponta Delgada was beautiful. Cobh was quaint and Liverpool was surprisingly nice. Ponta Delgada and Cobh were overnight stops and we really liked that. The officer crew was very visible and friendly the entire cruise. For us, this cruise was perfect, we had a blast...in fact we have already booked the Reflection’s return crossing this November. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We enjoy transatlantic cruises and this one had a nice itinerary with British and Irish ports. The ship is in very good condition, and our balcony cabin was very nice and spacious. The food in the main dining room was good, but not great; ... Read More
We enjoy transatlantic cruises and this one had a nice itinerary with British and Irish ports. The ship is in very good condition, and our balcony cabin was very nice and spacious. The food in the main dining room was good, but not great; the buffet lunch was good, but many of the selections were repetitious. Our biggest complaints were the uninspired musical performances in the various lounges (with the exception of the jazz combo) and the poor “enrichment” speakers—not too exciting to hear an hour lecture about whales! Also, the lounges were overcrowded—probably because of the lack of interesting activity on the ship. And can we please stop with the loud exercise sessions in the centrum section—they belong in the gym or out on deck. Don’t know if Celebrity is cutting back, but this was as dull a transatlantic cruise as we have ever taken. The Captain was similarly dull, and he and his officers were invisible throughout the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We loved being on the ship longer and having more sea days. We were in a sky suite which was most comfortable. We enjoyed eating in Lumina each night and spending time in Michael's Club. I need to be gluten free and I was so well ... Read More
We loved being on the ship longer and having more sea days. We were in a sky suite which was most comfortable. We enjoyed eating in Lumina each night and spending time in Michael's Club. I need to be gluten free and I was so well taken care of, even having gluten free scones in Michaels' Club for the afternoon tea. The ship is beautiful..this was our fifth cruise on it. The staff is amazing and so willing to help in any way. We celebrated my husband's birthday and our anniversary on the cruise. Murano is our favorite specialty restaurant. Their service, as well as all the service on the ship, is exceptional. We enjoyed meeting and being with the Cruise Critic members, being in the meet and greet, slot pull, book club, and other activities. The shore excursions I took were mostly arranged through Cruise Critic members before the cruise. I do not recommend the ship's excursions. It is a huge bus filled with people, some of which find it difficult to get on and off the bus, and some who are late arriving back to the bus while everyone waits, etc. We took one excursion to Kinsale with the ship's excursions,, which was four hours long and we spent three hours on the bus. I was disappointed to only have 45 minutes in Kinsale, which is why I arranged the excursion. I complained when I got back to the ship and they would not refund any of our money. What a waste of our afternoon! The entertainment was good. The speakers were disappointing, as we have had very interesting ones before on our transatlantic cruises. I loved the ports. The Azores are beautiful, the Beatles tour in Liverpool was my favorite, and visiting Cobb, Cork and Dublin where my family originated from was so interesting. All in all, a super cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We wanted to end up in Dublin as one of us has a relative there and wanted to visited . We had not seen them in about 9 years. The cruise itself was excellent. Progressive Trivia was a big draw. We finished in the middle of the pack ... Read More
We wanted to end up in Dublin as one of us has a relative there and wanted to visited . We had not seen them in about 9 years. The cruise itself was excellent. Progressive Trivia was a big draw. We finished in the middle of the pack but made some good, new friends. George Latrou was the captain and Simon Akinwolere was the cruise director. Both were excellent as was the entertainment and the amount of acivities. The staff service was particularly excellent. We started with early dining but found it too early plus we didn't like the location of our table. We switched to Anytime dining and found it to be a great decision. Our waiters were fighting over us to wait on us. The orgnization of the crew staffing Anytime Dining was impressive. They communicated with the Matre'd as to when used tables were reset and available for new diners. Very impressive and a great plus for us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My wife Coby and I chose this transatlantic cruise to celebrate our retirement and take a journey we've never taken before. Some highlights. Booked directly through Celebrity including Celebrity Air flight from Ft. Lauderdale ... Read More
My wife Coby and I chose this transatlantic cruise to celebrate our retirement and take a journey we've never taken before. Some highlights. Booked directly through Celebrity including Celebrity Air flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Charlotte to Rome. Couldn't have been looked after better. Greater by two Celebrity reps before we cleared customs who immediately took over looked after our baggage and got us on the bus to Civvitavchia. The food service staff and the condition of the vessel met all our expectations. We particularly enjoyed the ports itinerary. The entertainment was first rate. Taking advantage of the Persian Garden is an absolute must on these Solstice ships. Our servers in the main dining room and the Porch were were all absolutely the best. Our Captain was incredibly impressive with his mixture of humor and dedication to his duty as Master. We were delighted by the way we were received and acknowledged as Elite Captains Club Members. We have taken all our crises with Celebrity and this voyage confirmed our decision to make the line our first and only choice. Our stateroom on deck 6 forward had a delightful veranda where we took our breakfast every day. Overall we found all the staff delightful who were all a paradigm of politeness and dedicated to making our experience memorable. We always recommend Celebrity As always a topnotch well managed operation Coby & Jonathan Booth Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We cruised on Celebrity Millenium 10+ years ago and still remember the outstanding experience. We anticipated the same high quality service level and entertainment existed today, alas not. The nightly shows in the theater were fair -- ... Read More
We cruised on Celebrity Millenium 10+ years ago and still remember the outstanding experience. We anticipated the same high quality service level and entertainment existed today, alas not. The nightly shows in the theater were fair -- the ship's cast of singers (Broken Strings show) and show guests (We3Vocal, Divalution (Lauren Tidbit was the only good singer), Gid Pool). The ship's cast was energetic and the aerial acrobatics were amazing. Unfortunately, the singing was fair. Dominick Allen's singing was horrible - out of tune, pitchy, flat. The best show/guest was comedian Ed Regine. Phil Lewis as Phil Collins was stellar as was Ben Mills. The podium talks in the mornings were a treat, especially Melinda Bates. The matinee shows during the day is a good offering but were really no better than the show from the previous night. The house band was superb! Late night shows (Frisk Feud, Liar's Club) were excellent! Other singers and acts throughout the ship (Take 5) were good. A dietary restriction (dairy allergy) existed in our party which was communicated to staff at Lawn Club, Blu and Ocean Cafe (buffet) the first time dining in each. Since we ate at Lawn Club for dinner the first night, the individual made a note in our account (no dairy or garlic). However, that notation was not viewed by staff at Blu as we had to re-tell them again. Due to Celebrity staff's miscommunication of pre-ordering lunch, some lunchtime meals were not served or took an extended amount of time (20-45 minutes, the latter being on 11/01/2018 when the lunch order was simply cooked fish on a bed of salad greens). I even inquired a second time on the status of lunch and staff replied "it's coming." Lunch this day was delivered 45 minutes after initial check-in at Ocean Cafe. Celebrity Staff apologized for the mishap while patiently waiting in Ocean Cafe. It took 4 days for things to be worked out whereupon lunch service improved - took 4 days for a process to be defined which we strictly followed going forward. Fortunately, no further mishaps occurred requiring the need to speak with a ship's officer. Both Chef Raynold and Pastry Chef Sherin are excellent, especially preparing dairy-free meals and deserts. When ordering a specialty dinner package at Murano, upon going to Lawn Club to book a dinner for later in the sailing, it could not be found. Fortunately we were not charged extra. It was frustrating internal systems are not talking to each other or updating timely. Food on the boat was tasty for every meal eaten on board. While Blu offered light entrees at dinner, Aqua Spa Cafe offered light dishes at lunch. The salad and soba noodles were excellent! Sushi was great! It was a treat to experience Taj X one night at Sushi on 5. Since this was an Indian cuisine experience, Indian Beer should have been offered. Activities were posted in the daily itinerary and on a board at Guest Relations. Because each method draws its own audience, all daily items posted on the board at Guest Relations should have also been included in the daily agenda. As a participant, the LGBTQ social was moved two times without notice. This was confirmed because I took a photo as a reminder of the location (Martini Bar) and time the first day, only to see a different location (World Class Bar) when checking the board again. This was only discovered checking the board at Guest Relations at different times - not until Day 12 was the social published in the agenda. Posting all activities (for that day or daily occurrence) in the agenda all staterooms receive is best. On a related note, a small World Class Bar sign exists on the wall at the bar, but there is no World Class Bar listing on any board in hallways or outside an elevator bank(s). I had to ask Guest Relations two times for the location because I bypassed it for two days. We enjoyed activities offered on board (Nacho's dance classes in the morning, pool volleyball (guests vs. guests, guests vs. crew), Thriller dance class, Apple device classes/tutorials, cooking demonstrations). The Thriller dance class was fun to prepare for Halloween night. The foyer staircase and Ocean Cafe were decorated nicely and guests were encouraged to dress up. A costume parade would have been even better - start at Opus, walk to Reflection Theater, go down one floor, then end at Grand Foyer. DJ Gio played good tunes and mixes at the martini bar in the evenings and the bartenders at martini bar were animated making drinks, especially the evening of pouring several martinis from several shakers at one time. Some assistant/waiters in Blu were very attentive to us. The ship was elegant, clean, and well maintained. The glass elevators were very cool in the center portion of the ship. We spent a lot of time on the pool deck and in the solarium. I remember the Millenium's Solarium pool had metal bars in the pool for guests to sit/lean on - that was missing from this pool. The stateroom was always made up nicely by Wardan. He kept our quarters clean and tidy. He was attentive to our needs and personable when passing him in the hallway. Instead of Do Not Disturb signs, which easily fall off door handles, the rotating dial outside the stateroom telling the stateroom attendant service needed would have been better: Do Not Disturb, Make Up Cabin, Turn Down. A pleasant surprise was the light in the stateroom's bathroom did not fully turn off, but became a night-light. That was great - for those of us who get up in the middle of the night. The Captain was the best. He participated in the late night show Liar's Club. His daily morning announcements were hilarious and he met with guests while in public. Definitely a star! Went to Sky Lounge for Bandioke -- this was very clever and fortunately had a good turnout and guest singers. It was this night I attempted to order a Virgo drink from the lounge menu. The bartender told me the bar was out of some ingredients and could not make it. At World Class Bar another night, I ordered Strawberry Fields from this bar's menu. Bartender advised the drink is no longer made with egg white because of guest's intolerance, yet the menu clearly listed his ingredient, a reason I wanted to try this drink. For guests like us who did not purchase the drink package, Celebrity lost revenue. These mishaps deteriorate our experience on the Reflection and with Celebrity Cruises. We booked Aqua Class to experience light dining and hoped service level in the dining room would be more attentive. Consistently, this was not the case. It took 2 days for restaurant Maitre'D and Assistant Maitre'D to open up to us (they were so focused on the job and not guest experience) which left a bad first impression. Fortunately, as cruise went on, they became more personable and conversational. Staff were busy serving and clearing tables, but consistently we observed inefficiencies. At Blu and restaurants throughout the ship (Lawn Club, Tuscan), food would be delivered to our table correctly, but placed in front of the wrong person. This boat was understaffed (on 10/31/2018 at Ocean Cafe, took 20 minutes for tables at 2-3pm to be cleared by staff on the back deck, on 11/01/2018 while eating dinner at Tuscan service was very slow - had to request water glasses be filled twice and the wine order took 10 minutes to arrive at the table) and under-trained. We heard from guests and staff throughout the cruise, many staff were pulled off Reflection to prepare for Celebrity Edge - this showed and certainly contributed to our less than highly satisfied experience. Quality was not the same as prior Celebrity Cruise. As experienced mariners with NCL Cruises, we truly had high hopes for Celebrity to deliver in all areas. We have even stayed in NCL's Haven class (on mega-ships - MS Escape) and felt Celebrity's Aqua Class would offer equivalent food and service levels. Unfortunately that was not the case. Consistently, service performance on this Celebrity cruise under-performed. With Celebrity striving to provide the best vacation possible, it fell short. While the cruise was enjoyable, no positive changes were made in our lives as guests. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our second cruise on the Celebrity Reflection but our first Transatlantic crossing. We were in a balcony cabin on Deck 8. The ship itself is already several years old but it could have been brand new; it is very well kept and ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Celebrity Reflection but our first Transatlantic crossing. We were in a balcony cabin on Deck 8. The ship itself is already several years old but it could have been brand new; it is very well kept and spotlessly clean. Because it was a 14 night cruise in October, the passengers seemed to be mostly retired, in their 60s and older. There were virtually no children aboard. (That’s not a complaint.) As you might expect on a Celebrity cruise, the crew could not have been friendlier, more helpful or more gracious, whether at the popular Martini Bar or select dining in the Opus restaurant on Deck 4, or the Oceanview Cafe on Deck 14, or the Fitness Center on Deck 12, the places I frequented the most. The service was superb. Our cabin steward was beyond superb. The food was not simply good, it was very good. At many meals it was nothing short of spectacular. Say what you will about Celebrity, you will not leave their ships hungry. Also, in a very generous gesture, and as a reflection (so to speak) of Celebrity’s appreciation for returning customers like us, as Captain’s Club members with Elite status Celebrity bought us drinks every night until 7:30 PM (except for the evening of embarkation), so my bar bill was very low. In the very subjective category of theatrical entertainment, I do not give Celebrity high marks. My wife and her girlfriend went to all the performances and were not terribly impressed. I went to three shows featuring comedians; only two were funny. We had dined in most of the specialty for-fee restaurants before, but they are now outrageously expensive and in my opinion not worth the price, certainly not when compared to the plentiful and multiple very high quality “for-free” dining venues. At the beginning of the cruise the ship stopped in the Spanish ports of Barcelona, Cartagena and Malaga. We were blessed with beautiful weather and had booked half-day tours through Celebrity which we found informative and fairly priced with guides who were interesting and easy to understand. It rained during our final stop in Tenerife and Celebrity was kind enough to refund a portion of the supposedly scenic excursion cost. The weather during the crossing was generally good with only two instances of rough seas. The temperatures were cool and comfortable until we neared the Florida heat the last two days of the cruise. Because there are plenty of sea days on a crossing, my wife, the Queen of Mah Jongg, was able to find a group of girls and played with them every afternoon. I occupied myself with a good book and time in the gym, but the cruise director did a fine job of organizing all kinds of activities for passengers with other interests. The bottom line is that we loved this cruise so much that while on board we booked another crossing for next year, leaving from Barcelona exactly a year to the day after this cruise ended in Ft. Lauderdale. We even reserved the same cabin, and asked Celebrity to simply let us keep our clothes in our closet and drawers so packing for next year will be easier. That’s a joke, by the way, but the rest of my review is serious and sincere. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because we have done several transatlantics and really enjoyed them. We flew to Rome 2 days early and stayed at the Hotel Diocleziano. We chose this hotel as it is located near Teremini Train Station as we took the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have done several transatlantics and really enjoyed them. We flew to Rome 2 days early and stayed at the Hotel Diocleziano. We chose this hotel as it is located near Teremini Train Station as we took the train to the port. We had been to Rome several times so we just did our own thing. Really enjoyed outdoor cafes and restaurants. The train to Civitavecchia is about an hour ride and costs about 6 euros. The trains are very frequent almost every hour. You can buy your ticket at a kiosk and then to the track. There is staff to advise the track but then there is no one to help you. Our train was on Track 29 and we had to walk all the way down to Track 24 and then cross over to another track. The signage was lacking and no conductor available at the track. I asked a passenger who told me this was the train to Civiavecchia. Never saw a conductor to collect our ticket. Don't buy first class ticket as there is no one to direct you to those cars. The trains are double deckers so if you have issues with luggage and stairs this isn't a good option. Also, at Civitavecchia the elevator was working so we needed to carry luggage down stairs and then up stairs. Took cab to the ship for 5 euros per person. Embarkation - No issues and you when come on board you are handed sparking wine. Nice touch. Ship is lovely. We had a balcony room on the 6th floor. Plenty of space, the bathroom seemed larger than others we have had. Room attendent was wonderful. Very helpful and accomdating. Dining - I thought the buffet had good variety each day. I saw complaints about this with other reviewers but I didn't find that. We did lunch in the restauant on several days but the menu was quite limited and the food was sometimes cool. Evening dinners were very good. We did one speciality restaurant, the Lawn Grill, and it was excellent. Veal chop was outstanding. Overall, we thought the food was one of the best that we experienced on a cruise. On the 7th floor there is an area called the Hidaway which had a coffee and tea station. It was easy access for us as we were on the 6th floor. Entertainment - The shows that I attended were excellent. They were mostly singers with live orchestra. There were enrichment programs that were informative and enjoyable.There were plenty of activities if you chose to participate. I just relaxed and read on our balcony. Ports Barcelona - we took 4 hour tour of the city thru the cruise line as we had never been to the city before. I wouldn't recomend this as there were too many people on the tour. If you want to go it alone, for 5 euros you can take the shuttle into town or you can take a taxi. The famous church sagrada familia is something to see. You can buy your tickets on line and take a taxi to the venue. Cartegena - lovely small city - we took 4 hour tour but again I think the best sites to see is the Roman Theater and the shopping districts which you can do on your own. Malaga - Took atour of the city with tapas which was a waste of time. The tapas were terrible and I think we could have done this on our own. Tenerife- We took tour to the volcano and really enjoyed it. We went up 7500 feet and it was cloudy, cold and raining so on our way up we couldn't see much but then we to the crater which was magnificent. Fellow passengers - The passengers are older and some are very fral.. They are very well traveled and interesting for the most part. Some we rude and entittled. Loved the martini bar show. Lots of fun watching the bartenders pour 18 martinis at once. Disembarkation- We walked off with our luggage. Easy, no crowds and took cab to airport. All in all it was a great cruise. Only negative, 7 sea days were too much for me. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My husband and I traveled on Celebrity Reflection from Fort Lauderdale (April 13) to Civitavecchia. The vessel is reasonably elegant, our stateroom was comfortable with a large balcony, the room attendant was attentive, and the food was ... Read More
My husband and I traveled on Celebrity Reflection from Fort Lauderdale (April 13) to Civitavecchia. The vessel is reasonably elegant, our stateroom was comfortable with a large balcony, the room attendant was attentive, and the food was on a par with that of other ships that we have been on. However, our cruise was irredeemably marred by a number of unfortunate experiences and poor arrangements. The pre-departure safety drill was a farce. Instead of any kind of lifeboat drill, we were herded into the theater, while our traveling companions and too many others were packed into an overcrowded restaurant. There we were shown a long and gimmicky video; any safety points it was attempting to convey were lost in a attempt to make it “entertaining”. In a true emergency there would have been mass chaos. The so-called Ports of Call talk was a blatant sales pitch for the shore excursions. On other cruise lines there has usually been a representative to give port information (such as location of ATMs, internet access, public toilets, TI office, local transport, sights of interest, etc) to passengers visiting the destination on their own. Not so this time. The salesman knew none of this and was obviously uninterested in finding out. Maps were only provided as an opportunity to advertise favored shops. The tendering arrangement in Ajaccio was a complete shambles. I was at the dock 3 hours before we were due back on board as I thought the boats would not be crowded then, but I had to wait TWO HOURS in the hot sunshine before I could get on a tender. Inexcusable! When I finally got back to my cabin, I heard part of the captain's announcement about a free drink by way of an apology. However, when we asked at dinner for our free drink it was immediately apparent that the tight restrictions made this yet another hollow offer. Some of the problems were trivial but annoying – for example, receiving recorded phone messages urging us to make reservations for the paid restaurants. We come on cruises precisely to escape such irritants as robocalls. Others appeared trivial but indicated a breakdown in communications and customer service. None by itself would be enough to generate a negative review, but like the Chinese water torture, the accumulation became significant.After the cruise I submitted a detailed report to Celebrity Customer Service, which apparently fell into a black hole; it took substantial prodding on my part to elicit a late and grudging apology. The disappointments continued to the bitter end. The muddled scrum at Civitavecchia and the lack of information about the shuttle buses was a depressing finale to what could have been a wonderful cruise. There were just too many mistakes and black marks. It would take a great deal for us to travel with Celebrity again. Jill and Allen Rose Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
A first transatlantic cruise for us, Fort Lauderdale to Rome on the superb Reflection. Our stateroom attendant Dickson was lovely - very attentive with a pleasant personality and kept our cabin immaculate. The canapés which are ... Read More
A first transatlantic cruise for us, Fort Lauderdale to Rome on the superb Reflection. Our stateroom attendant Dickson was lovely - very attentive with a pleasant personality and kept our cabin immaculate. The canapés which are delivered each afternoon/evening are not to our taste and I feel they're a waste of time. We hardly used Blu for breakfast which finishes at 9.30am, especially as there were 6 nights with one hour advancement. We ate in Blu most nights and found all the staff amazing. The food was delightful - not large portions but you could have as much as you wanted.. I find the shops hardly change from one cruise to another - so spend very little there. I do like Clarins and found it very reasonably priced on board. We thoroughly enjoyed the theatre each night the acrobats, singers, dancers and musicians were extremely good. However we found one comedian quite smutty and some very childish humour - not for us. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable cruise experience which we hope to repeat soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We normally love Celebrity and like being at sea so a great deal on a suite on a transatlantic cruise should have resulted in a great trip. Sadly Luminae the Suite Restaurant was a huge let down. We had read great reviews and were ... Read More
We normally love Celebrity and like being at sea so a great deal on a suite on a transatlantic cruise should have resulted in a great trip. Sadly Luminae the Suite Restaurant was a huge let down. We had read great reviews and were expecting great things. Out of the first 7 meals 6 went back. Despite having a tomato allergy that they knew about, and constant reminders each time we dined, five dishes had tomato and the 6th had an inedible piece of fish that was so overcooked it was curling up on the plate. The service was appalling - I don't think we ever got anything hot and the last time we ate in there we waited 70 minutes for a starter before being brought a tomato salad. After that debacle a letter of complaint was sent to the Head of Food and Beverage. They tried to brush us off by sending the Luminae Maitre D to see us and offer an apology but we were well beyond that being adequate. I was googling the e-mail for the CEO when we were contacted by the Head of Food and Beverage and we had a couple of meals in the speciality restaurants on Celebrity as a result. It wasn't worth the distress and the physical rashes and blisters caused by the allergy. From that point on we ate in Blu who were great. It is also worth saying that we met a lot of Suite Guests dining up in the Ocean Grill. We liked to have a big old plate of salad at lunch and so it was a great option for us. It is also a testament to the quality of the food up there. The other point of note is that the current Celebrity thinking is to aim for a younger market so they are not doing as much music trivia and less 50's and 60's if any at all. In fact the entertainment programme seems quite poor in comparison to other cruise lines.They also have a list of activities that they are trying to do away with and Bridge is one of those, so if you are a player it is difficult to get a game. We ended up running the unhosted Bridge Programme and had far more people attending than any of the trivia or quizzes so perhaps they need a re-think. The shore excursions were overpriced and over-hyped. I would strongly advise people to either do their own thing or book with other tour operators. We did in most ports with just 2 booked with Celebrity and they were both pretty blah - Nougat and Wine tasting in Corsica and the Pyramids in Tenerife. As Suite guests we were supposed to get priority embarkation at ports of call. That didn't happen anywhere and our worst experience was queuing for nearly 2 hours to tender back to the ship in Corsica. Well I say queuing it was more of a free-for-all. The experience was so terrible that the Captain ordered a free bar for an hour that evening. It was no compensation for us as we had complimentary drinks anyway as suite guests. Michaels Club was amazing. Our favourite thing about the Suite was the doorbell and the bath, that's not to say the suite wasn't lovely, it was, but sometimes the little things have the biggest impact. We do enjoy the cast shows, however some of the other acts in the theatre were very poor. We also found there was a distinct lack of activities compared to other cruise lines and we either had gaps in the day or 2 similar activities at the same time. We have booked our next cruise with Royal Caribbean, Yes we know it's the same group but we are hoping for a more grown up experience and stress free meal times. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Toss aside every excuse you ever had to not go on an extended duration cruise, and treat yourself to a delightful cruise itinerary, on a spectacular ship, with an amazing crew…and for less than you will pay for most other shorter sailing ... Read More
Toss aside every excuse you ever had to not go on an extended duration cruise, and treat yourself to a delightful cruise itinerary, on a spectacular ship, with an amazing crew…and for less than you will pay for most other shorter sailing cruises. This sailing has it all: Itinerary, Ship, Crew, and affordability. First, some brief background about us: We are a 55-year-old married couple from the Atlanta, Ga. area. We are not yet retired and have sailed about every two years or so. This was our 10th cruise, almost evenly split between several cruise lines: Disney, RCCL, and Celebrity. We have mostly done 7-night sailings in the Caribbean, bringing the children when they were younger, and sailing with a group of close friends. On our last cruise we broke out of the mold and sailed on the Celebrity Millennium to Alaska. This was an amazing trip, see my May 2016 Cruise Critic review if you are interested in detail at: https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=535553. This created an issue for all future cruises, as 7-days was no longer enough time for us to fully enjoy the full benefits of a cruise vacation – especially to locations far and away. We got spoiled! While in Alaska, we booked our next cruise to sail on the Celebrity Reflection with our normal group of close friends and relations: A 10-night Italy & Greek Island itinerary in June 2018 – and then disaster struck, but in a good way…the announcement of our first grandchild’s birth was expected by June 15th. Good news/bad news. So, we cut loose from the group and rescheduled to this April 2018 transatlantic sailing. For good measure we had my mother join along as she is in good health and had never been to Rome, though she had toured extensively in Italy back when my father was in the Army. We missed the opportunity to sail with our normal cast of characters, but in the end, we had a truly magnificent time. For about half the price of our original 10-night Med cruise we were able to secure cabin #9294, a category 1A deck 9 cabin on the slant of the hump. All cabins on the slant have larger balconies due to basic geometry (hint: the 1st and 3rd cabins off the hump have the largest balconies still). The mid-ship location made for smooth sailing throughout the cruise, and the views from the balcony of the eternal blue sea, sky and hillsides on entry to each port was glorious. We found ourselves on the balcony every day taking in the fresh air, sun and views with elation. The only slight issue with this cabin was you could sometimes hear the elevator chime from within the cabin when all else was quiet. Please allow me to tackle one question right up front that we often heard prior to our sailing: “What do you with so many sea days?” The answer is: As much, or as little as you like! There is not much difference between having 7 days at sea, or 2 days. The ship has more planned activities than any one person can physically participate in, so there are ample opportunities to keep you engaged. Please follow this link to see the daily “Celebrity Today” newsletters listing the activities on board: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2630059 My personal routine was: to sleep in, hit the fitness center and then the wet sauna/cool room/ Infrared dry sauna/cool room again/aroma therapy room/and heated tile lounge in the Persian Garden, eat a light healthy lunch at the Aqua Spa Cafe, read a book (always have good intentions to do this but never seem to have enough time to ever start a book, let alone finish one), and catch a "Behind the Podium" talk: We had three speakers on this cruise: One was talking about behind the scenes at the White House, another was a NASA Director and discussed the Space programs, another was a photographer who worked with the Royal Family and several 60’s and 70’s rock groups - these are one hour presentations over multiple days - think "TED Talk" on steroids. At night things really go full tilt. After dinner we go to the evening entertainment show (comedy, vocalists, stage shows, impersonators, etc.), and visit an after-show dancing and/or audience participation event. That about sums it up. Quite a full day, and yet barely scratched the surface of all we could have done. As for the weather, we REALLY lucked out, the entire trip was sunny, and temperatures ranged from the low 80’s while in the Caribbean, to the high 60’s in Tenerife, and back into the mid-70’s for ports in Spain, Corsica, and Italy. In all, we had splendid weather! Not a single day of rain (though in port on Tenerife, those that stayed on ship or in the city had rain while we drove up to Teide National Park and above the cloud cover, enjoying another sunny and warm day…more to come on that later). The ocean wave height was less than 5 feet (read: flat!) for most all of the Atlantic crossing portion of the trip and within the Mediterranean. However, we did have three days, two before Tenerife, and one after, where the waves were around ten feet. You could feel the ship move on these days, but it did not seem to affect this seasoned passenger crowd much, many of which took it in stride. Talking with the crew, they say you usually don’t really feel anything major until the waves exceed 20 feet (yikes!). A tribute to the S-Class Celebrity ships, and how nice the weather was overall on this crossing. About the ship: The Reflection is the current flagship and latest ship in Celebrity’s fleet, though later this year that will change as the new Edge-class ship premiers. Built in 2013, and recently refurbished during dry dock in January 2018, she is fresh and seemingly brand new. Compared to her four sister Solstice-Class ships, she is similar, though there is an additional cabin deck on top, making her the largest of the S-Class ships. Some would say that this makes her more crowded too, and technically they would be correct; however, the public spaces and activities are designed to disperse guests so that it does not feel that way. Embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze – though we did embark rather early at 11:30am and disembarked with our own luggage in tow at 7am. This makes things simpler for us. The crew is what we have come to expect from Celebrity: Totally accommodating. You ask, they provide. Disney is the only line that comes close in the service department from our experience and from what I hear from other passengers about the main-stream cruise lines we have not cruised on. We pre-purchased several packages during 25% off on-line flash sales offered before sailing, this included: Unlimited Internet ($215), 6-Night Specialty Dining ($159pp), and an unlimited print and digital photo package ($200). The photo package was a first for us, and it freed me from having to do the sole photography work during the sailing. Practically every time we saw a photographer, we took a photo. We knew them all by name after a few days! In all, the Celebrity staff took a total of 297 photos of us, and we walked off the ship nearly needing another suitcase to carry them all home. If you do the math, that comes out to less than $1 per 8x10 photo – and we also received a link to download every one of them in digital format after the cruise. Best deal ever, especially considering that a single 8x10 runs $25 on board. Upon boarding we also hurried to the Spa and purchased a 14-day pass to the aforementioned Persian Garden for $175pp including gratuity. Aqua class passengers receive entry to the garden as part of their fare, but 40 additional passes go on sale each cruise. We tried this on the Millennium and found the Reflection’s garden to be far larger and superior. In all, there is nothing not to like about this ship in my book. The entertainment was good for the demographic on board, and Celebrity did mix it up a bit to appeal to the younger set. Now let me comment on each of the ports, for those interested: Santa Cruz, Tenerife (Canary Islands): After 7.5 days at sea, this island looked like heaven, setting the foundation for what was to be a delightful visit. We had a previously arranged car rental with Enterprise, and after walking to the wrong building, we discovered that Enterprise was aligned with Cicar which is conveniently located on the pier. The kind folks at Cicar upgraded us to an automatic 2018 Fiat with all the bells and whistles for no extra charge, so we happily drove off into island traffic. Having heard that traffic in Europe can be chaotic, I expected the worst but that never materialized. All of the ground work using Google Maps and Google Earth to get a preview of the roads prior to our arrival paid off, and navigating the streets and highways was a breeze. We drove toward our objective destination: Mt. Teide National Park. We had purchased tickets on-line (https://www.volcanoteide.com/en/teide_cable_car) for the cable car that takes you nearly to the top of Mt. Teide, and also requested a free summit pass (from http://bit.ly/dQ3Tah) to be admitted to the volcano’s peak at over 12,000 ft. Hint: Be sure to book your summit pass 60 days prior to your trip, they tend to go fast. Unfortunately, the cable car does not run when the weather is bad, and it had been windy there all week and on the day of our visit, so instead of ascending up to the pinnacle of the highest mountain in all of Spain, we had a very enjoyable stay in the park. As we were above the cloud line, it was sunny and beautiful, and it was also much warmer than we had anticipated. After sheading our multiple layers of clothing, we enjoyed the other worldly scene of lava flows, lava towers (where cones had been), and the clouds wafting over other nearby mountains and hills. It was like we were on Mars, but less red and we could breathe. After a couple hours of touring, we returned via the coastline for a different view of the interior island than we had on the way up along the spine of the mountain ridges. You descend through several thermal and ecological zones: Lava rock yields to high altitude flora & fauna, which yields to a rain forest of majestic trees, which finally yields to the lower coastal zone at sea level. Very beautiful, and a nice change of pace from simply touring the port city of Santa Cruz. Especially since we would be doing just that in every port to come. Malaga, Spain: Here our ship docked near the town, but since it was still a 20-minute one-way walk, we decided to take a taxi and begin our next DIY adventure into this historic city. We began at the Alcazaba palace and Roman Theatre. We paid a small fee of $6 euro for all three of us and entered thinking that we could breeze through the site. That proved not to be a valid assumption, and during the 2.5 hours we spent there we were impressed with how the Muslim inhabitants had lived. They had gardens, ponds, fountains, trellised patios, and the best views you could ever imagine. It was a photographer’s paradise. There are many steps here, and the palace is built along a hill, so the elevation rises a couple hundred feet as you tour from one end to the other. There is a nice café at the top and end of the palace tour that serves beer, wine, and sandwiches. We enjoyed our first real Spanish Sangria there and loved it! Which was good, because prior to then we did not know that there was no exit on top and had to traverse back to the entrance in order to exit. In our Sangria-ized state, it did not matter, and we enjoyed many of the views in reverse on our way out. We had planned to take a cab to the fort (Castillo de Gabralfaro) on the hill next to the palace, but after all of the walking we did at the Palace, my mother was in no mood for more. We instead strode by Cathedral Square and took in the view of the outside of the huge church there. We would have went in too but felt it better to get back on board for Mom’s sake, so we taxied back to the ship. For those with more energy, you can instead head to the Plaza de la Constitution and explore it and the Thyssen Art Museum near there, and then head back toward the marina/port via Calle de Larios for the finest shopping in Malaga. The Atarazanas Market is also popular with tourists and is a little further West of Calle de Larios. Cartagena, Spain: The port here typically only handles a single cruise ship, read: The town is pleasantly uncrowded. The dock is right in the middle of town, making Cartagena one of the best ports too walk around on your own. We used a Tomsportguide.com for a free downloadable 28-page guide that we carried on an iPad mini during our day in port. The guide provides step-by-step directions of key points of interest, all of which are in a 1.4-mile rectangular radius from the ship. We toured the marbled (yes, really, marble!) streets of the downtown city hall area. Gorgeous stone edifices pay tribute to the post 19th century architecture. A truly European town: Beautiful, clean, picturesque, with friendly citizens. Across from the city hall building is the entrance at $5pp euro to the museum that provides access to the Roman Forum. We did not go in as we were there before the museum opened at 10am, and (Here’s a tip…) later we discovered that a walkway leading from the Fort at the top of the hill provides a top-level view of the forum, so we felt we vindicated and happily took many “free” photos of the ruins. The Church of Santo Domingo lay about fifty yards further down the Calle (street) and was free to enter and see the ornate tributes to the Holy Family. We toured the $2.50pp euro House of Fortune to see the recently reclaimed ruins of a wealthy Merchants home that is actually under the current street level. I was surprised how interesting it was to walk through a 2,000+ year old home and upon the original streets outside the domicile. Amazing. A video shows how the home likely looked back in pre-first century Cartagena. The guide also shows where to catch the lift to the Castillo de la Concepcion – or conception castle (the fort on the high hill near the port). The lift and castle entry is $4.25pp euro. The grounds are beautiful, the view overlooks the entire city and port (take your ship photo from here!), and videos provide a description of the most interesting thing in Cartagena, and for that matter the whole of Europe: The history of conquest and change over millennia is fairly well preserved in this wonderous land. You see Roman ruins beside Islamic castles that are built next to Christian and now modern-day buildings – all preserved or in a state of restoration. If you are able to walk down about 150 steps, be sure to take the path down toward the aforementioned roman ruins rather than back down the lift. The pathway ends at City Hall, and the port facility is across the street. Barcelona, Spain: This is a large city, with all of the hustle and bustle that goes along with it. We took a taxi from the port directly to the Sagrada Familia (Sacred Family) Temple. The taxi from port to the Temple has a flat rate of $19 euro total for 3 passengers, or $25 euro for up to seven. You WILL need to order your entry tickets in advance at www.sagradafamilia.org/eng/tickets/index.html. We paid $29pp euro for entry, a lift into the Nativity Tower, and an audio guide. The Antoni Gaudi architected temple is hard to describe and has to be seen to be believed. Gaudi’s vision is pure genius, it is simply a jaw-dropping sight to behold and experience. We spent three hours there, and it felt like three minutes. The site is still under construction and will be completed in 2026, which is not too much longer, considering that the building was originally designed by Gaudi in 1909. As Rome was not built in a day, it will be over 100 years before this glorious tribute to the Holy Family is completed. Fortunately, most of the temple is in a ready state for your visit. The audio guide was superb; including discussion of the structures, details on what and where to look to see the finer details, building techniques, and Gaudi inspired insights into why the building is built the way it is and what it represents. Anyone, whether religious or not, will walk away inspired from this site. We then took the L1 train for $2.20pp euro to the Plaza Catalunya and walked down the Las Ramblas thoroughfare toward the port. This is a mostly pedestrian street with shops and eateries. Though it was a bit too “touristy” for me, we did stroll into the “La Boqueria Market” and sampled some candy and fruit drinks there. Note: Just about anything you may want to buy is here too! If you want tapas, it may be a better and less costly fair if you walk a block or too away from Las Ramblas to find a more local (non-tourist) restaurant. We had racked up about 3.9 miles walking up to this point, so even though we had intended to use Rick Steve’s free downloadable “Barcelona City Walk” audio-guide to tour the Barri Gothic Quarter beginning halfway down Las Ramblas, we opted instead to take an $8 euro total taxi from the market back to terminal B in port and re-board the ship. It was a full and splendid day, but we had to hit the pool to cool off our tootsies! Ajaccio, Corsica (France): I write this sitting on our balcony overlooking this wonderful city. I was surprised by this island, a providence of France. It was quaint, uncrowded, and g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s! Of all the islands visited on our Western European itinerary, this is the one I can see myself retiring on…and not just for the fine French wine or pastries here. We began our visit exiting the port building and turning left, after which you can catch the “Ajaccio Vision” double decker open air tour bus. I read about this on TripAdvisor, and it was 100% accurate: We took the 55-minute $8pp euro (was actually 1 hour and 5 minutes…there is also a 1:30 minute tour that includes a 20-minute stop at the end-of-the line…no real reason to stop) tour that hits upon the major in- city sights, but spends over half the tour beyond the city and along the picturesque coastline where the history and major sites along the way are explained. This is where you become sold on the prospect of never leaving this place. The water is clear, the landscape is green with trees and foliage, the beaches are plentiful…and, sorry ladies, the women enjoying the beaches may be topless. Oh my! Let’s just say, France is OK in my book. Moving on…the terrain is hilly and interesting in that it has a Malibu, California feel to it – sophisticated, gorgeous, and pristine with many private homes along the shoreline. What is there not to love here??! Oh, and a side note: Everywhere you look in town is a monument to the “Emperor” Napoleon Bonaparte, as he was born and christened here (you can visit the church) and see the many monuments to his name located at nearly every turn. The tour will show you most all of these sites – albeit in a drive by fashion. After the bus tour we traced back to a couple of Napoleon sites to get a better view (and pictures): The “Monument a la memoire de Napoleon” (in place de Gaulle square, the monument pictures Napoleon and his four brothers), and the “Place de Austerlitz” which is a monument up a hill (don’t worry, my 82-year-old mother walked it) is yet another tribute to Napoleon. It is beautiful and worth the visit. We then turned off the beaten/tourist path, always looking for the true local flavor of where we are visiting – and we exited to the south of the base of the monument and headed down the street to the sea shore. Here we (finally!) dipped our feet in the Mediterranean Sea and strolled along the beach. It was S-P-E-C-T-A-C-U-L-A-R! We then walked along the sea edge board walk (though it was a concrete path lined by palm trees) and back through the narrow city streets to the port building. We spent 4 hours ashore, and in the future, should we ever have the opportunity to visit again, I would probably also rent a car and drive into the interior of this lovely island. I am told that the Prunelli Gorges are a vision to see. Next time…it is always good to have a reason to come back. Rome Day 1: We disembarked the ship today and were pleasantly surprised especially because we were going to do the unthinkable: Take the train into Rome rather than a driving service. To make matters “worse,” we were also going directly to the Vatican in order to have more time there rather than to our Airbnb apartment near the airport (wanted to be close to the airport due to an early AM flight on departure). Guess what – we survived! It can be done. Although take note, I am able bodied and was able to heft three large 50lb suit cases up and down the two dozen or so steps in between the train platforms at each train station. I would venture to say this was not a good proposition for about 90+% of those in the demographic sailing with us. For those, I would recommend using Romecabs with an advance reservation to get to where you need to go. Once we exited the ship we used the free shuttle bus that deposited us at a staging area for taxis and other shuttles. We took the $2pp euro city bus from there to the train station and purchased our $5pp euro train pass (and validated the tickets prior to boarding) to Roma San Pietro. We had to walk downhill two blocks from the train station with the bags and deposited them at CityInLoop for storage ($7 euro per bag). Free of our suit case shackles, we were now 200 yards from the entrance to St. Peters Square. This is where our cameras exploded, relatively speaking. I think we took a hundred photos within 15 minutes – and none of them do justices to the sights your eyes take in. Truly fantastic! Whether you are Catholic or not, or even agnostic or atheist, try to view this place through a Catholics eyes just for the time you are here. You will get so much more from the experience. We made a beeline to the Vatican post office and sent several cards with Vatican postage stamps, then walked 15 minutes around the outside wall to the entrance of the Vatican Museums. Before entering we had lunch at a restaurant (Fomoi Feliziani) a couple blocks from the entrance. It was recommended in Rick Steve’s Europe guide book, and it was great! Getting back to the museums, we had purchased our tickets in advance (recommend that you do this too, unless you like waiting in two hours lines to purchase them upon arrival), and upon entering the museum an hour before our designated time (not sure why they let us in, but they did), we donned our earphones and started up the Rick Steve’s audio guide we had downloaded onto our cell phones months ago. Hint: Use his downloadable App, makes using his guides a breeze. They also include maps! Rick then guided every step and turn through the museum. If you run the app continuously you can get through it in 1 hour and see much more than just highlights. The guide is very detailed and satisfying. It took us about two hours though, as we hit pause often to venture off the beaten path or spend more time on interesting articles. The artwork is not to be believed, truly awe inspiring. We then headed into the Sistine Chapel and using another Rick Steve’s guide spent nearly 45 minutes standing in the chapel with our necks craned and in a locked position viewing the majesty of Michelangelo’s God inspired work. After seeing everything else in the Museums we did not think our jaws could be dropped any lower – we had to pick them up from the floor later in order to leave. One note about leaving, be sure to casually walk through the rear right door of the church. This is technically for tour groups only, and they are constantly pouring through this door, so it is not difficult to join them. Doing so, you will avoid having to be re-security screened to enter St. Peter’s Basilica; and since you were already screened to enter the museum there really is no need to wait in another several hours in line. Once through the door there is a short walk into the Basilica itself. We began yet another of Rick Steve’s guides, and here we spent another two hours that was gone in a flash. With every step you are in a constant state of amazement at the grandeur and devotion to the Risen Lord. We had planned to have dinner near the Vatican, but chose to go back to the apartment, relax a bit, and then eat dinner nearby before turning in for the night after a blessed day. Rome Day 2: Today we hit the other major highlights around Rome. We purchased a $7pp euro one day metro pass good for all busses and trains in the city center. Getting around was easier than I had expected, but only because I took the time to download the subway map and bookmark a link that showed the stops of each bus route. That combined with google maps just to figure out where you are was a godsend! We began our day with breakfast in the apartment provided by our host, and then set off by train to the Colosseum. The entrance is within 100 yards of the metro station exit and using pre-purchased on-line tickets we again skipped the ticket purchase line (saving an hour or more) and breezed into the entrance of the Colosseum. Once again Rick Steve was our handy electronic guide, also previously downloaded within his App. He hand held us through the entire venue, provided historical details and novelties. After another round of oh-so-many-photos, we then headed into the Roman Forum. With Rick Steve’s again as our guide we toured this larger than life cradle of the Roman Empire. Steeped with history, we relived the 1,000 year rise and fall of the Roman Empire. I would have never thought that we would spend a couple hours here, but we did. Simply could not get enough of it. Hail Caesar! Upon exiting near the Plaza Venizia we took in the amazing structure of the Victor Emmanuel Monument and Santa Maria in Araceli Church. Both larger than life and real eye poppers of of historic architecture. After finding the #64 bus stop and riding rather than walking for a few blocks, we exited and made our way toward the Pantheon. We had originally planned to go to Campo De Foiri and stroll through the Plaza Navona using (yet another) Rick Steve’s “Heart of Rome Walk.” But he had only enough juice left to do a protracted version, so we began at the Pantheon – but only after refueling at a nice off-street restaurant, Vini & Cucina Blasi, where the spaghetti was made the same day, and the ravioli was heaven sent. A glass of wine there did not hurt either! With the help of Rick’s good guidance, we found our way to the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain, and finally the Spanish Steps. All are worthy of your time and will be fascinating visits. One word before I close, when you are facing the Trevi Fountain, the best Gelato shop in all of Italy is there: The “Gelaterla Ice Cream” shop. We gave it a try on the recommendation of one of the cruise staff – and they were right! Gave us that final boost to make it up the Spanish Steps, back to the train, and “home” to the apartment in time to do last minute repacking and ready for our departure home the next day. In closing, we had a bucket full of bucket list moments. You will not go wrong with booking this itinerary on this ship and will be amazed with your experience. Cruising enables you to relax and be pampered like no other vacation experience, and cruising with Celebrity is a pure joy. Happy “sails” to you! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have cruised twice before on Reflection, both being in the Eastern Mediterranean. We agreed to try a transatlantic cruise as an adventure and for a more relaxing experience than the port-intensive mediterranean itineraries and we ... Read More
We have cruised twice before on Reflection, both being in the Eastern Mediterranean. We agreed to try a transatlantic cruise as an adventure and for a more relaxing experience than the port-intensive mediterranean itineraries and we weren't disappointed. As we are UK based, we started our journey with flights from our regional airport (Manchester) to Heathrow and then Heathrow to Miami. Although a delay to our departure from Manchester meant that we did not make the flight we were originally booked on, British Airways sorted this out whilst we were in flight and by the time we reached Heathrow, we had been booked onto the next flight out which was just 50 minutes later. The flight was excellent with frequent food and drink services, and thanks to booking through Celebrity, it was also extremely good value for money. We had arranged an overnight stay at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort and had a very efficient taxi transfer arranged by Celebrity. The room was large with ample storage and a very comfortable bed. Basic toiletries were provided at the hotel and we enjoyed an evening meal and breakfast at the H2O bar just along the front to the right of the hotel. The hotel arranged a shared minibus to Port Everglades for 8 guests, and this cost $9 per person. Embarkation was extremely smooth and efficient, and we were onboard by noon with our staterooms being ready at around 2.30. Reflection had a brief drydock in January, and our observation was that the carpets had been replaced and the seating replaced or refurbished in all of the public rooms. There is also now a cinema screen on the lawn which would probably be very popular on warm weather cruises. One minor criticism is that many of the organised fitness activities and enrichment activities tended to be scheduled between 7am and 12, but because we were losing an hour overnight on alternate nights, we found that we were sleeping in later than usual and so were not able to attend some of the events we may have chosen to. Afternoon activities were generally fun, with several crew vs guest or port vs starboard friendly competitions and dance classes. The ocean view café and opus restaurant offered a good choice of welll presented food although we thought the choice in the Ocean View Café was more limited than on previous cruises. The service in both were excellent as usual. Bar staff were also very friendly, engaging and efficient. In fact, the majority of the crew although undoubtedly very hard working, seem to love their jobs. We can't offer an opinion on the shore excursions because we generally prefer to do our own thing ashore rather than take an organised tour. Shuttle buses were provided where necessary, either free or for a nominal charge. We were surprised to be able to visit the Canarian Parliament building and military academy when in Tenerife and came across a delightful al fresco dance display at the portside market. Malaga and Cartagena provided modern city centre amenities and typical cathedrals, and we took the metro for 10 euros to Sagrada Familia whilst in Barcelona. There were some issues with a lack of tenders when the ship moved to anchor off Corsica, but Capt Demetrios reacted quickly to launch lifeboats to assist the tenders in getting passengers back efficiently to the ship. All too soon we were docked in Rome, and aside from a little early morning noise from the crew door opposite our stateroom (which we had not noticed at all previously) our final breakfast, disembarkation and airport transfer were conducted with great efficiency. All in all it was an excellent experience and one we wouldn't hesitate to repeat. The only change we would make would be to stay a few extra days in Fort Lauderdale before sailing if we did the same trip again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My husband and I had a trans-Atlantic cruise on our bucket list. As retirees, we want to spend time checking off our traveling to do list! Except for a few unforeseen rough waters with 14' feet waves, the sailing was smooth. We ... Read More
My husband and I had a trans-Atlantic cruise on our bucket list. As retirees, we want to spend time checking off our traveling to do list! Except for a few unforeseen rough waters with 14' feet waves, the sailing was smooth. We loved the ship itself - outstanding cabins, service throughout the shipping, excellent wait staff and superb food. Entertaining was good most nights but didn't love all the singers. One of best parts was the lecture series -- three different lecturers spoke throughout the 8 day journey across the Atlantic: someone who worked in the White House under Clinton; someone who was a director of the Kennedy Space Center; and someone who was a professional photographer from Liverpool and followed the beatles. All three had exciting, inside stories and slide shows. The ports were new to us, except for Barcelona where we've been before, but this time toured the Picasso Museum, which was very interesting. Tenerife was not what we expected -- not a lush, tropical island, but volcanic. Malaga and Catagena were historically interesting and beautiful in their own way -- hilly, pristine streets-- charming. The last port was Corsica, but my husband was ill, so we cancelled the tour and just walked around, but thoroughly enjoyed the European feel. We would go again on a transAtlantic if we could be assured there would be no waves!!! Another advantage is meeting very interesting people from around the world at our table for 14 nights!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We are avowed fans of Celebrity Aqua Class and look for cruises where these fares are favorable. We found that in this cruise, and jumped aboard. As far as we're concerned, the real PERK of traveling in Aqua Class is the opportunity ... Read More
We are avowed fans of Celebrity Aqua Class and look for cruises where these fares are favorable. We found that in this cruise, and jumped aboard. As far as we're concerned, the real PERK of traveling in Aqua Class is the opportunity it affords to dine in Blu, chat with well-traveled couples over an excellent meal, and share the overall joy of cruising. This was our first TA crossing and we quite enjoyed the tranquility of being at sea for the first 8 days. We never saw another ship or any marine life, but 2 fighter jets flying wing-to-wing buzzed the pool deck one morning which was a bit unsettling! Seas were moderate, skies mainly clear and sunny, temps in the high 60s to 70sF. We completely misjudged how to pack for this trip and found we could have left most of our sweaters and sweatshirts at home in favor of another swimsuit. Our last trip in Aqua Class was on the Infinity, where Blu is a much more intimate dining experience. Aboard Reflection, Blu is larger with fewer windows and the room is essentially divided in half front-to-back by a decorative wall. Perhaps because of it's larger size, they did not offer tableside preparation of morning Muesli (a favorite from Infinity) but this is a small complaint and we found the food to be generally excellent. Our balcony cabin on Deck 11 was 'as expected' and the ship overall showed only a few signs of age since we last sailed on her in 2013. We enjoyed the Martini Bar each evening, but found we were happier with a reliable scotch-on-the-rocks than inconsistently-made martinis. Entertainment in the grand foyer was great, the live poolside music was fun (just way too loud!) but the evening theatre shows and single performers there were generally disappointing. We stopped at 5 ports from the Canary Islands to Rome. Barcelona and Corsica were lovely and by far our favorites. We did ship excursions in Tenerife, Malaga and Barcelona, all of which kept close to the port city and highlighted local food, drink and some historical buildings. They were ok, but we'd feel empowered now to strike out on our own if we call on these same ports on future cruises. Overall, we were very satisfied with our first crossing. Celebrity did it again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This cruise was selected since itinerary was good and previous Celebrity Cruise had been satisfactory. Do not book AIR with Celebrity. Celebrity staff are not trained and Celebrity only provide a bulk purchase AIR booking....don't ... Read More
This cruise was selected since itinerary was good and previous Celebrity Cruise had been satisfactory. Do not book AIR with Celebrity. Celebrity staff are not trained and Celebrity only provide a bulk purchase AIR booking....don't look for any meaningful help. Also don't expect customer oriented resolution with after cruise issues. The Reflection is a beautiful ship. It has many high end stores but not much of interest to us. The entertainment was excellent. Daily enrichment was pretty sparse. We booked Aqua Class which includes a separate restaurant which was excellent in terms of service but not many of the evening menu items were appealing. We had lobster once on a 14 day cruise. The ship is extremely clean. The shore excursion staff provided little in the way of assistance for individual travellers. Their main effort was to sell their excursions. The gym was always crowed The usual crowd got up early in the morning and placed towels etc on pool deck chairs so there appeared to be few pool side chairs available. The deck crew did little to correct this. Our room was always clean and well maintained by a very friendly room stewart. Overall OK but I don't think I'll use Celebrity again and we cruise often. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Solo cruiser with 25 previous cruises on Celebrity, and 4 on other brands. Happily cruising since 1984. This was my 2nd transatlantic on the Reflection, and 4th transatlantic overall Ship information- Celebrity Reflection is the ... Read More
Solo cruiser with 25 previous cruises on Celebrity, and 4 on other brands. Happily cruising since 1984. This was my 2nd transatlantic on the Reflection, and 4th transatlantic overall Ship information- Celebrity Reflection is the flagship of the Celebrity Fleet of 12 ships. It is also the fifth/last in the series of Solstice Class ships. It has a passenger capacity of 3040, and 1240 crewmembers. Fort Lauderdale I usually stay in the nice upscale resort hotels, but since a friend recently bought a townhouse in Wilton Manors, I stayed at a small boutique hotel nearby. It was a great choice as I was literally steps away from Wilton Blvd, and all the dining and entertainment venues you could want. WOOPS-Of course there was the inevitable “I forgot” moment. This time it was my IPOD (got to have my music), so got creative and instead of spending $200 on a new one from Target, I instead took an Uber to the mall. I then found a cell phone repair place, that had some unclaimed ipods, and after some negotiating a virtually brand new one for $60. Then back to the hotel to load it with music from “the cloud” Embarkation- Normally I try and arrive at the terminal mid time (a few hours after the opening bell, this time we didn’t. A friend convinced me that we should arrive early at the Fort Lauderdale port ~1030. I was really surprised as we dropped off luggage with the porter’s pier side, and then literally we were on the ship 25 minutes later, absolutely the smoothest embarkation I ever experienced. Activities-With 7 sea days at the start of the trip, you have many “Celebrity Life” activities going on every day (sometimes every hour). The Cruise Director Rich Spacey, Activities Manager Valentina, and their activities team did a great job engaging the guests. It’s not always an easy task as there were about 1200 Captain Club members onboard as well as bout a dozen of the more seasoned Zenith members. My hats off to Melissa Martinez the Captains Club host. She seemingly had people lined up around her desk every single time I walked by, and didn’t let up till about day 11. Always a smiling face, always willing to above and beyond to keep her guests happy. I’m guessing average demographic on this voyage were ~90% married couples over 65. Most of the guests I met onboard had previously traveled on Celebrity at least once Beyond the Podium Speakers-Thought that Melinda Bates, Jim Kennedy and Ian Wright were good but not great. I think I’m a little jaded, as we have Mickey Live on our last voyage in Antarctica, and he’s a hard act to follow. I don’t think it was the speakers fault as much as the topics. The topics were just not ones that grabbed me. Cabin-Sky Suite 2185 on deck 12, about 300 ft2 with a 80 ft2 balcony. This was the first time I had a deck 12 cabin. No real noise from above, as I figured there might be some noise from the pool deck above, but relatively quiet at any time of day. Not sure if I am a fan of the covered balcony though. Undecided whether it’s a plus or a minus. The Sky suite has a large amount of floor space that I never use, storage that I never use. I do love the idea of having the butler, although I generally have little to no butler needs. For me it’s more of a psychological thing than a needs things having a suite. The silver sea pass card, access to the MC concierge is nice, as the two we had were terrific. Never really been a fan of Michaels Club itself, to me it just seems a bit dark rather than inviting. It’s great though for those that drink as the alcohol flows freely as do hors d'oeuvres. Tea time seems popular with many, but just not my thing. Port & ShoreExcursions-Didn’t try any of the ship sponsored shore excursions this trip, three friends and I have visited these ports before, and luckily they are like walking Google Maps. I on the other hand, am not. I get lost after walking off the gangway from the ship. They ship did have some issues shore excursions issues though. One internal issue, and one external issue involving a third party vendor beyond the ships control. Internally while docked in the Canary Islands there was a total lack of organization internally getting people off the ship for excursions. It was a real mess in the Celebrity theatre, and seemingly no one in charge. Huge lines formed outside and inside the theatre. No one on excursions off the ship till about 2+ hours later, and it seemed like all the excursions returned to the ship at the same time, so real bottlenecking returning to the ship. Next port stop in Malaga was better in the Celebrity theatre but was still lacking a well thought out plan to get people in and out. They kind of overcompensated for the errors on the first day. But made things a bit more confusing in doing so. External issue was that we had to partially tender in one port (Ajaccio, France), and from what I was told, one or more of the planned local tenders failed to show up, so they got really backed up since the ships tenders had to compensate for the missing larger local tender(s). Long lines on the pier, with a funnel effect of passengers trying to board the smaller boats that were available. Celebrity tried to help and tried their best to provide cold water to the long lines on the pier, but many folks were just too grumpy at that point, so it wasn’t too pleasant. Dining-FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD –I alternated between venues using Main Dining Room(MDR), Luminae(Suite Dining), and Specialty Venues (Lawn Club, Murano, Qsine-Le Petit Chef, Sushi on 5, The Porch) Main Dining Room-Dinner here 4 nights-We had late dinner at 815 each night and had a superb waiter named Adrien and his equally superb assistant Chen serving us. Couldn’t have asked for a nicer more energetic team. Even on extremely busy nights, it was interesting to observe when a fellow guest would ask him to take a picture, or a special request, it was always performed without hesitation, and always without a smile. Never losing a beat on his primary responsibilities. Food in MDR was very good, a nice variety and glad to see they annotate on the menu dishes that are vegetarian, gluten free, no sugar added, lactose free, and fit fare for those that have preferences in their diet. I really admired the management style in the MDR as well, at least 4 or 5 times the Asst Maître d checked in to make sure all was well, as did the ships restaurant manager. Luminae- I thought was good, but not great this voyage. Some elements were just missing this trip. The little taste treats they bring out before the meal just weren’t the quality or originality they have had in the past. For example, one night it was a deviled egg, maybe it was the bar was set higher by other trips, but the overall flavor and execution of the meals just seemed off. I think out of the 4 dinners and 8 breakfasts I had on Luminae, none really stood out. I remember the first breakfast I stopped in for, I ordered the smoked salmon as part of the breakfast, and the presentation was pretty, the salmon itself was gray around the perimeter, and very chewy, maybe it had been sitting out for a while?, but didn’t have the freshness I was used to. Dinners too were nothing to write home about. I can’t think of any that were knockouts, most were a bit bland (or a bit overcooked) without the signature of Celebrity style to them. Did find I wasn’t alone in my feeling. My three table mates all agreed, something was off on it. Service was great though. Had I do it to over again, I would of said something to the restaurant manager earlier in the cruise, but I guess I just assumed it would get better, and what we were experiencing were isolated incidents. Two of my table mates are vegans so no meat dairy fish (taste ), and their dietary needs were much different than mine, but was kind of surprised that although they ate all their meals in Luminae, every meal was a challenge for the Luminae team to put together. I would have thought there would be some standard protocol for dealing with it like they had in the MDR. I partially my fault I think for not bringing up the issue of the quality of the food with the restaurant manager, F&B manager or Hotel Director earlier (I did mention these specifics to the HD director a few days before the cruise ended). In closing I just didn’t find that Luminae was a step up from the MDR in terms of the quality of the meal offered, where in previous cruises I always have. Tuscan Grill-Best dining views onboard, spectacular service and a hearty well prepared delicious meal. I ate at Tuscan twice, and enjoyed the experience both times immensely. The host Vitalii (A Ukranian native), was friendly and professional. The wait staff excellent, and food superb. Had a traditional meat and potatoes meal the first time (9 oz filet mignon with garlic mashed potatoes). For my second visit I had a succulent sea bass with a saute of spinach and a side of the lobster rigatoni. Also was lucky enough to be invited to a luncheon at Tuscan one day hosted by the Captain/Staff Captain Hotel Director and Senior Officers. About 20 guest total and a dozen officers. Some were suite guests, others were not, I liked that it wasn’t just a you spend the most you get the best access group. It was a nicely mixed group. Both meals were culinary delights, and really could think of nothing they could have done to make it better Murano-A group of 10 of us ate at Murano in the wine room. The wine room for those that haven’t noticed it is a room that seats 8 or 10 comfortably and is like a private dining room with the walls of Murano. We had a variety of dishes, some prepared tableside and a few like my rack of lamb, delightfully prepared in the kitchen. Everyone in our group enjoyed the meals, and especially the presentation with the large silver presentation covers. The maître d, checked in on us a few times, and after some wonderful deserts (the chocolate soufflé is to die for), our 3 hour visit ended with 10 fully satisfied diners Qsine-Preface this by saying I enjoyed visits to Qsine in the past , as I think I tried it 4 other times, but did feel it was running out of steam so was glad to see them trying something new. It was quirky it was fun, but always annoyed that you use an Ipad to make your selections, but then ultimately the waiter took your order using a pad of paper since the Ipads weren’t connected to anything. You really had to reach group conscience on what you ordered or if the waiter was good, he/she would kind of guide you to reach a decision Qsine is now Le Petit Chef (at least on Reflection), so what is Le Petit Chef? It’s a fun informative 3D visual mapping of your meal that is presented between the 5 courses of your meal. Initially I thought it would be too gimmicky for my taste, but instead I really enjoyed it (I ate there twice). I liked it for several reasons • I expected it to delay dining courses, and it didn’t. The show only lasts about ~2minutes or so (total of 5 shows) • It’s informative and funny-was nice learning what ingredients go into each dish • It’s funny, and volume and noises of the show are low enough that you can still talk and here others observe things you may not of • It’s scalable, using the technology, you can make the venue any type of dining you want, simply by changing the menu and performance, as the restaurant serves more as a blank slate So what’s the experience like? The restaurant darkens, then your dining table and your dinner plate become the stage for Celebrity Cruises “Le Petit Chef”. He’s a quirky chef about the size of a saltshaker that’s determined to hunt down and deliver your meal. Five succulent courses, each seemingly prepared before your eyes by the driven little guy and his wit and resources. In between each 2 or 3 minute show, the room brightens and his proud wait staff has your next course tableside to eat. Excellent concept and execution, and don’t let the fun and performance fool you, the food was terrific, original, and flavorful. It was five courses starting with a bouillabaisse, filet of beef, lobster tail, rice pudding brulee, and a vanilla ice cream sundae. So for example while your lobster is harvested from the sea. The entire dining room table is the ocean, or while your ice cream is being made, your entire table is a background of a massive winter wonderland. It’s really quite remarkable the visual and audio effects do to enhance the meal rather than distract from it. Lawn Club Grill-Lawn Club continues to be my favorite dining venue onboard. To me it’s the ultimate in at sea dining. I ate there twice for dinner and once for lunch. They have a nice variety of dining options with steaks and chops being big favorites of mine. All their dishes have a signature/style of their own. From simple things like the side dishes such creamed corn or lobster mac n cheese, to the main course offering such as the lamb chops, salmon, to the kabobs were all were excellent both in preparation and delivery. Two in particular desserts are must tries one being the hot chocolate chip cookie, and the other being the carrot cake are melt in your mouth delicious. Alcoves-Next to the Lawn Club are the alcoves. Eight private hideaways you can rent for a 9AM-9PM day. They advertise as being suitable for a party of 6, but I think 4 is more reasonable. Rental fees vary from $149 to $249 a day (dependent on whether a port or sea day. Included in that fee are a cheese and fruit plate, an on call butler, 6 beers, and bottled chilled water, and a bottle of wine or gray goose. Fees and amenities are somewhat negotiable. For example I don’t drink alcohol so they were nice enough to offer a seafood platter from The Porch (shrimp, scallops, lobster, mussels, and cerviche) instead of the alcohol. Luckily too the port day we selected they were renting them for $99. Like anything its supply and demand, and never hurts to ask if they have some wiggle room to customize it to your own needs/budget. Entertainment-To me anyway most of the musical acts onboard were like elevator music, I would pass by the different ones (Linda Capewell, Fiesta Duo, Pipoka Duo) without stopping. None really engaged me with a unique take of a song, or a different arrangement to have me stop and listen. A few things they did on the entertainment front that they did really well though, Celebrity Life Game Shows • Liars Club • Are You Smarter than a Ships Officer • True or False • The Challenge • Frisky Feud • Wheel of Fortune • The Wedding Games • 60 Seconds or Less A few of these are “Adult Themed” which I like even better. They seem to get the best laughs and larger audiences. They do a disclaimer before the act stating that they might use words that might be deemed uncomfortable to some, but fairly tame with only an occasional use of stronger words for a needed joke or line. I only wished these shows lasted longer than 30 minutes, maybe try a few for an hour might be nice. A second part of the entertainment onboard I found spectacular was when the Cruise Director Rich Spacey/Activities Manager Valentina cohosted events with other singer/dancers/performers such as • Disco Never Dies • Silent Liquid Party-This was spectacular, combining Silent Disco with Mermaids, Male and female dancers and acrobats all in the Solarium • Groove The things that made these come alive was the energy that Rich and Valentina brought to the game. Only a small handful of CD/Activities Manager have a great chemistry that really comes out in free flowing performances. This pair certainly does. I really prefer these off stage performances over the production numbers of years past as those all seem to blend together even when the dancers and singers are very talented Disembarkation-The simplest I’ve ever experienced, 630 met my travel mates at Café Al Baccio, and we walked off 3 minutes later with our luggage in the Civitavecchia port. The car we arranged for was 50 feet from the pier, never saw anyone from Italian customs or immigration till we arrived at the airport. Summary- All in all a great cruise with a very few minor bumps in the road. Someday would love to do a b2b onboard, but always happy to see Celebrity is a learning organization that never rests on its laurels, but instead charts new territory in the travel industry. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Friends who have cruised with celebrity x for many years, recommended it to us, detailing, it was the only way to cruise, we were not disappointed. We went each night to opus restaurant, what an experience, our service team were amazing, ... Read More
Friends who have cruised with celebrity x for many years, recommended it to us, detailing, it was the only way to cruise, we were not disappointed. We went each night to opus restaurant, what an experience, our service team were amazing, made us feel, so special, nothing was any trouble. We always went to buffet dining for breakfast, so much choice, my husband is a very fussy eater, but even he had more of a choice, than he could ever imagine. We really didn’t eat a lot throughout the day, used the running track for walks, i had a treatment in the spa, which was great, went to seminar, prior to that. Loved the theatre in the evening, most of the nights were excellent, two were not great, but that’s just our opinion. We were concierge class, and our stateroom attendant was glenford, what a hard working delightful young man, excellent. Staff throughout ship were outstanding, top marks got a winderful experience. We stayed 3 nights in fortlauderdale, wonderful start to our holiday. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary, as we wanted a transatlantic crossing. Having sailed Celebrity many times in the past, I knew I could rely on good service, good food (kudos to Blu for finally changing their menu!), ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary, as we wanted a transatlantic crossing. Having sailed Celebrity many times in the past, I knew I could rely on good service, good food (kudos to Blu for finally changing their menu!), entertainment, and spacious accommodations. All the facilities, public restaurants, Oceanview Café, and the Blu dining room were clean and well maintained. But for the first time, we had an emergency medical situation and used the onboard medical unit. We disembarked in Tenerife, Canary Islands. Their service, while pricy, compares to US standards. The nursing staff provided immediate assistance and was excellent and the doctor was helpful too. Some of the help provided by the port agent's employee was quite good. The ambulance was at the port when we arrived. The liaison officer provided to facilitate communication to the local staff (in Spanish) was helpful, although she was new at her job and not always sure what to do. To her credit, she found out from a colleague quickly when she didn't. I felt, though, that she was overworked, as there were two critical evacuations that day bound for two different hospitals. She really could have used the presence of a colleague to help with admissions and interpretation. Her supervisor the port agent (or perhaps contract employer, that was never really clear), required repeated attempts to locate him to get information and assistance. That was frustrating and unnecessary, especially under the most stressful of circumstances. I also would say that the service at Guest Relations onboard wasn't up to par. We had a non-ship excursion that day, and knowing we wouldn't make it, I provided contact information to the front desk and asked them to contact the vendor to advise we would not be able to make it. As I later learned from the vendor, he did not receive this message, resulting in several other passengers being upset in the delay of their tour, but not knowing why. Celebrity officials were unable to advise them at portside, although the tour operator did ask. Before our emergency, everything went smoothly and quickly. Overall, for the five days we were on board, we were happy with the transportation to the port, check-in process, food, service, entertainment, cleanliness, cabin and public areas. We did not participate in any port and shore excursions, but they looked about average for this type of cruise. We did not spend any time in Rome prior to our departure, as we both had visited many times before. The food in the Oceanview Cafe seemed to be improved, most noticeably a ton of freshly caught fish was served grilled in the Café one day only after a Spanish port call. I would love to see more of that in the future. One thing they could do, though, is put up a sign at the Cafe entrances noting the special. I had already eaten before I saw the fish. There wasn't enough to serve in Blu that night or in Oceanview the next day, so we missed out. There are two "areas for improvement" I would like to mention, with the caveat that neither was as important as the services provided by the medical evacuation team. First, it was our honeymoon. Although our travel agent noted it in our reservation, Celebrity didn't have any sort of special congratulations or onboard credit. I would have appreciated a 'welcome to your honeymoon' sign on our door. I wanted it to be special for my husband. Finally, and others have noted this as well, we experienced the usual amount of product pushing -- specialty restaurants, drink packages, spa services, excursions. This is rather off-putting, especially for my husband, a first-time cruiser, but certainly minor considering our other needs. We are trying Azamara next season, but will be back to Celebrity in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
My husband and I loved everything about this cruise, from the beautiful ship, the wonderful food, and the fantastic service! We traveled with another couple, and since they were familiar with Cruise Critic, they went ahead and booked our ... Read More
My husband and I loved everything about this cruise, from the beautiful ship, the wonderful food, and the fantastic service! We traveled with another couple, and since they were familiar with Cruise Critic, they went ahead and booked our 4 excursions with the other Cruise Critic passengers. I will definitely start using Cruise Critic myself. We had an assigned early seating and our table for 4 was right on a window! We felt very fortunate to have the perfect view every night. Our waiters were exceptional. On nights that we wanted to make the early show, they rushed our orders so that we still had time for dessert. Our cabin steward was exceptional, always available to help out with any request. The entertainment was good, especially the female violinist, Katerina Rosa! Our Cruise Director, Pete, was fantastic, always participating in the activities. And our Captain Demitri kept us laughing at every 10:00AM briefing. We will definitely take another Transatlantic Cruise with Celebrity! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We have traveled on 8 Solstice class ships over the years, with four being on the Reflection. This is a 5 star ship from each and every aspect. If you are disappointed with this ship you will be more disappointed with any ship on the ... Read More
We have traveled on 8 Solstice class ships over the years, with four being on the Reflection. This is a 5 star ship from each and every aspect. If you are disappointed with this ship you will be more disappointed with any ship on the seas. The Reflection has been in service for five years and has an overall appearance of being launched yesterday. The food service, the entertainment, the staff etc. cannot be beat by any means for the price. It was our second sailing with Captain Dimitris and as the first cruise he added so much with his humor. We would not hesitate any to sail this ship again and again. If you are looking for perfection in a reasonably priced cruise, look no further than the Celebrity Solstice class ships. We have always cruised in a balcony cabin and would recommend this to all. Book it and enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
After cruising on Oceania and Seabourn, we did a 7-day Alaska cruise on the Celebrity Millennium in 2016, and were very impressed with the ship, crew, and food onboard. So we decided to try a transatlantic trip in 2017; we selected the ... Read More
After cruising on Oceania and Seabourn, we did a 7-day Alaska cruise on the Celebrity Millennium in 2016, and were very impressed with the ship, crew, and food onboard. So we decided to try a transatlantic trip in 2017; we selected the October 20 departure from Civitavecchia to Ft. Lauderdale. The cruise capped off an 8-week trip; the first 6 weeks were on land in Europe, visiting multiple countries. Thus, by embarkation day we were ready for nothing but relaxation, and that is largely what we got. We arrived by plane from Sardinia the day before embarkation and spent the night at the Hilton at the Rome airport; we booked our own transfer to Civitavecchia for 11:00 the following morning, which got us to the ship in plenty of time. We had booked Aqua Class on this trip (up from Concierge on the Alaska cruise), and I'd say Aqua is going to be our choice from now on. Embarkation was pretty smooth, once we found the right line. Unfortunately, the main sit-down restaurant wasn't open for lunch (it had been on embarkation day on the Alaska cruise), so everyone was relegated to the buffet. Our bags were delivered to the cabin pretty promptly -- and they all showed up, which was even better. We did not go on any of the cruise line's shore excursions -- instead, we either just took a taxi into town or hired one to give us a tour. (We tend to do excursions on our own rather than go on cruise line excursions.) Aqua Class passengers have exclusive access to the Blu restaurant, and once we started going there, it became our go-to place for breakfast and dinner. We only wish it were open for lunch as well! (At the beginning of the cruise, we were tired from all the traveling and generally did not get up and moving in time for breakfast at Blu, so for the first few days we ate in the Oceanview Café.) I can't say enough superlative things about Blu. Not only was the food excellent, but the staff was simply astounding. Srdjan and Romulo were usually our waiters, and they made us feel like family coming to visit rather than passengers/restaurant customers. Likewise, Yulia and Geshe were rays of sunshine, offering fresh juice and pastries, respectively, at breakfast. And Allan, the sommelier, was always ready with a wine selection that proved to be spot-on. The general consensus is that everyone wanted to take Srdjan home with them. Actually, we heard from more than one source that Suites passengers were coming to Blu rather than their own dedicated restaurant, Luminae, because Blu had better food and a much more fun atmosphere. We had a specialty dining package, which we used for dinners at Tuscan Grille, Qsine (twice), Murano and the Lawn Club. All were excellent -- the trick with Qsine is not to over-order, and that's not easy. We also signed up for the Chef's Table dinner, which strangely appears not to be well publicized on the ship. It began with a champagne reception in Cellar Masters, followed by a tour of the galley and a multicourse dinner in a private dining room. Two of the ship's senior engineers were at the dinner, and we all enjoyed the conversation with them. The dinner wasn't quite as spectacular as the one we had on the Alaska cruise, but it was still worth the extra money. Service on the ship was generally excellent to outstanding. The weakest spot was the Oceanview Café, which was kind of an anthill, especially on sea days. There weren't enough staff on hand to take drink orders without a pretty long wait. (Oceanview's layout also made it difficult to navigate when there were lines at any of the stations. There were, of course, the usual idiot passengers who would stand blocking aisles, then abruptly turn and start walking without checking to see if anyone might be approaching from behind them; others would stand in front of a buffet station, endlessly dithering while picking exactly the right piece of whatever it was. But that's not the cruise line's fault.) But Tuncay, who generally circulated through Oceanview offering coffee and tea, was a bright spot -- what a character! We didn't see most of the entertainment -- neither of us could stay awake late enough! We did, however, see a really good guitar player who usually appeared in the Ensemble Lounge, and there was a house band that played by the pool on deck 15 that was pretty good. One thing that is in short supply on this ship is a quiet bar where one can simply have a drink and converse without shouting. The Ensemble Lounge gets crowded and loud; the Passport Bar is nice, but they close the drapes at 7 p.m. because it "ruins the atmosphere," so you can't watch the sunset or, depending on the time zone, look out at the water going by. The sea days were just heaven. We did what we wanted to, when we wanted to. My wife had a massage at the Canyon Ranch spa, and she liked it so well she booked two more. Both of us used the Persian Garden (an Aqua Class exclusive) for relaxation, and I went to the well-equipped fitness center once, but decided walking on deck 15 was much better than walking on a treadmill. Any complaints? A few, but relatively minor. The Wi-Fi packages are too expensive, though in all fairness I have to say that connectivity was generally much better than I had been led to expect. The beverage packages are also too expensive; however, we booked both beverage and Wi-Fi packages at promotional rates based on emails we received from Celebrity, so we didn't pay full price. Those minor kvetches, along with crowding and slow drink service in the Oceanview Café, are the extent of the complaints. The ship arrived in Ft. Lauderdale shortly before 5:00 a.m., but fortunately no one was expected to be ready to disembark at that uncivilized hour. We went for a last breakfast at Blu, and hung out there for a half-hour or so with our carry-off bags, then headed for the gangplank. The customs/immigration lines were long, but they moved fairly quickly. The Ft. Lauderdale cruise terminal, however, is a disgrace. There is no waiting area to speak of, there is one -- one! -- set of restrooms, way down at one end of the building, and accessible only after going through customs and immigration, and the whole building is dingy. Contrast that to the cruise terminals in Barcelona, Cartagena, Málaga, and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which are clean and well-lit, with easily accessible restrooms, as well as shops and cafés. Again, this isn't something over which Celebrity has direct control, but someone needs to put a word or two in the ears of the Ft. Lauderdale port authority. As a whole, this was a wonderful experience. We made a new friend, with whom we really hope to stay in contact, and we had a low-key port experience followed by 7 days of at-sea bliss. We're already looking forward to our next Celebrity transatlantic cruise, tentatively set for fall 2018. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was our first trans-atlantic cruise, and our first cruise on Celebrity. It was a fantastic experience. The crew were all attentive and helpful, the food was mostly excellent, and the ship was in beautiful condition. We didn't ... Read More
This was our first trans-atlantic cruise, and our first cruise on Celebrity. It was a fantastic experience. The crew were all attentive and helpful, the food was mostly excellent, and the ship was in beautiful condition. We didn't think the live music offerings were all that great. The entertainment in the theater was good with one exception. We enjoyed the specialty restaurants and think that Tuscan Grille may be one of the best dining space on a ship. The two-top tables that line the aft windows are a great place to enjoy the sunset. This cruise stopped at four ports in Spain, and we had great visits at each. On one we took a Celebrity excursion that was enjoyable. The seven days at sea were so relaxing. The ship offered plenty of activities each day. One of us participated in many activities, the other one of us loved just enjoying the sea breeze with a book most of the day. While October is not an easy time for us to get away, we will definitely plan to do another trans-atlantic cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
First of all....if your lucky enough to have Captain Dimitris Kafetzis as your captain, you're in for a treat. Most, if not all, captains are all business, some of them rarely interact with guests, and are 100% focused on their ... Read More
First of all....if your lucky enough to have Captain Dimitris Kafetzis as your captain, you're in for a treat. Most, if not all, captains are all business, some of them rarely interact with guests, and are 100% focused on their responsibilities (as it should be). Captain Dimitris goes beyond just being a ships master....he goes out of his way to interact, inform, and yes...even entertain. This man has a marvelous sense of humor, and wit. Right from the beginning, during the muster safety drill, he came on the intercom, with some humorous remarks and had everyone laughing in stitches. We knew then , that this is a different type of captain. Later, along with two other members of his senior staff, he made himself available in the Reflection theater for a one hour Q&A about the vessel. Most questions were directed at him, and he answered each question, with some sort of witty remark...many of them referencing his Greek heritage. He not only educated everyone on the inner workings of the Reflections, but once again had us all feeling at ease with his wit. A few days later, he once again conducted an informative mini-seminar on the ships navigation systems,along with another 15-20 min.Q&A. Captain Kafetzis is highly regarded within Celebrity, and has been selected to Captain the new Celebrity Edge, when it's finished. Otherwise....food everywhere was excellent. Entire staff was helpful, responsive and cheerful. Entertainment was very good, with a nice mixture of shows, from comics, to musicians, vocalists, and productions shows. My only complaint would be a lack of music, such as string musicians, around the third deck foyer area, around noontime. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
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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