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1,873 Celebrity Reflection Cruise Reviews

We had the opportunity to enjoy the brand new Celebrity Reflection. The ship is beautiful and you can see that is new. Embarcation was very quick and easy. We were on the ship by 11:30am but obviously since we were on so early our ... Read More
We had the opportunity to enjoy the brand new Celebrity Reflection. The ship is beautiful and you can see that is new. Embarcation was very quick and easy. We were on the ship by 11:30am but obviously since we were on so early our room was to be ready at 1pm. So with the free time we enjoyed some Martini's at the Martini bar. It was a great afternoon. Our room was great. Great views of the sunset on our way and sunrise on our way back. We had the pleasure of eating at MDR twice which was good. But we enjoyed more the specialty restaurant. We enjoyed Lawn Club grill, Tuscan, The porch, Bistro on 5 and Murano. We very impress with the Marko(Maitre D) at the Murano. We were in the process of ordering our dinner and my wife got ill due to too much time in the fun during the day. So we had to leave without eating. THe next morning we got a call from Marko making sure my wife was better and that he was also offering us another reservation for dinner. He had not charged us for the night before. To me that is service above and beyond. All the food was great. There are only two issues we had. Elevators seemed extremely slow at all times. And the photo gallery needs some more fine tuning in there service. We will certainly do another Celebrity cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
The Celebrity Reflection is an engineering marvel, made for the safety and great comfort of its passengers. Based on my experience on two of their Solstice Class ships, I must note how well managed and trained the crew is, resulting in a ... Read More
The Celebrity Reflection is an engineering marvel, made for the safety and great comfort of its passengers. Based on my experience on two of their Solstice Class ships, I must note how well managed and trained the crew is, resulting in a fabulous cruise experience for the passengers. Kudos to Celebrity management. Reflection is a brand new ship, but everyone knew what they were doing and did it well. Almost everything was perfect. Yes, there were a few technical difficulties, but we didn't let it spoil our experience and I have confidence it will be addressed and fixed in the near future. The food was second to none. Two of the guests in my party have unique dietary preferences and we had no problem at all finding a large variety of items to suit them us every location on the ship. The only place that became a little bit of an issue was the specialty restaurant, Qsine, as menu selections are shared and come in combinations. If one doesn't eat meat we were told "just don't eat it", as there were other delicious selections which included vegetarian. Nevertheless, Qsine is a dining experience like no other. The presentation and flavors are beautiful and delicious. Just don't tell me "then don't eat it." I suggest they have an other option or change out a dish. Overall, the food service was excellent. The entire ship is spotless, including our state room. There is storage space everywhere: above the bed, under the bed, in the bathroom, the dresser, the closet. It would be difficult to improve on storage space. Bravo! The bed couldn't possibly be more comfortable. It is perfect. I am not a person who loves cheesy shows, but I went to a few and the talented singers, dancers, and acrobats are of Broadway calibre. I was impressed. I also like the acapella singers and particularly liked the lecturer with a media background, Doug Spero. I loved the gym. The equipment is brand new and perfectly calibrated. There is a panoramic view from the front of the ship from the facility, and one can go out on deck and do their thing if they choose. There is a track at the top of the ship, but it is difficult to use as it is surrounded by lounge chairs. Families don't realize that it is a track and they stand in the middle. Oh, well. As a small business owner and a parent I told my staff and children that they could text me freely as needed. That regrettably turned out to be impossible. I was told that Celebrity has a new company to connect the ship's cellular communication system to a satellite. I was told that it worked well in Europe, but when they brought the ship over, not so much. We all have state-of-the-art iPhones, two from AT & T and two from Sprint, but they were...dead in the water. We subscribed to the WiFi on the ship, and that went down and couldn't be fixed for two days. The excellent staff of the I-Lounge were as helpful as can be, and graciously refunded the dollar balance on our account. I don't want to leave you on a sour note. I have already booked my next Celebrity cruise, as our overall experience was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We're cruise veterans having done almost 30 cruises with various lines. Most were with Celebrity in earlier days - 17 previous on Meridian, Zenith, Horizon, Constellation, Millenium, Century. We've sailed also on Cunard, ... Read More
We're cruise veterans having done almost 30 cruises with various lines. Most were with Celebrity in earlier days - 17 previous on Meridian, Zenith, Horizon, Constellation, Millenium, Century. We've sailed also on Cunard, Oceania, and Regent. This was our first time with Celebrity after the bigger Solstice class ships were introduced. Typically, we're not too fond of big ships. But we needed a shorter 7-day itinerary, were intrigued with the idea of sailing on a brand new ship, and so we opted to try Reflection. One of the most noticeable impressions we had was the fact that, at almost no time, did the ship seem crowded - despite the fact that it was sold out. The number and distribution of public rooms has been well thought out. Yes the outdoor pool deck was hopping full on sea days but that seems to be the case regardless of ship. There were plenty of lounge chairs located in many places outdoors so that finding space was not a problem. The Solstice deck way up on top is a well-kept secret that offers a quieter option for lounging and there are shaded canopies if full sun isn't your thing. We decided to try an Aqua Class veranda cabin and were very pleased. There has been a reduction in closet/cabinet storage space but it was still sufficient. The bathroom is very nicely laid out - best we have found save for suite accommodations on other ships at greatly increased prices. The shower spa is worth the trip alone. Our stateroom attendants were super accommodating, unobtrusive, and very efficient. On some ships our cabin has not been serviced until after lunch - which can be annoying. Most mornings our guys were in and out before ten a.m. The most enjoyable aspect of the cruise was for us being able to dine in Blu. The menu choices, preparation, and service are easily equal to the most expensive Grill classes on Cunard - if not superior. We love Murano and did dine there one evening. I think these original specialty restaurants which date from Celebrity's early days with Michel Roux cannot be equaled on any other cruise line. Yes there is an upcharge but it is well worth it. Our experience with Blu was so very satisfying that we cancelled reservations in other restaurants and dined there every other evening. Oceanside Cafe is pretty busy during lunch hour but offers a spectacular variety of selections. I wish I could comment about the entertainment on board but we rarely stay up long enough for that. I will say that the theatre was lovely. The musical groups on board were first-rate and that is not always the case. Wi-Fi access was generally pretty decent all over the ship and, as Elite members of Captain's Club, we had 90 free minutes which was plenty. We were so pleased with our experience that we'll be back on Reflection next December again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
From what I hear Christmas cruises are typically packed full and children and this journey was no exception. The reason we (wife and I) cruise Celebrity is because it's more adult oriented with few children. Though the crowd was not ... Read More
From what I hear Christmas cruises are typically packed full and children and this journey was no exception. The reason we (wife and I) cruise Celebrity is because it's more adult oriented with few children. Though the crowd was not the "usual" Celebrity crowd I found myself having more fun than ever aboard this beautiful ship. Compared to the older class of ships (Summit, Constellation, etc) Reflection is simply superior. There is more of everything.... Food, bars, entertainment, and activities. In addition the amenities are simply better. Despite the ship being packed it seems like there was always a space at the bar or wherever it is you want to be with the exception the specialty restaurants which were difficult to get a table to once on board. Speaking of food, I found the two specialty restaurants I attended to be simply awesome. The three trips to Tuscan Grill and one trip to The Lawn Club Grill were worth the extra cash they charge for the experience. At Tuscan Grill it's obvious that the staff's priority is to make sure you have a good time. We had such a blast with the staff joking around and it helps that the food was excellent too! I hear people complaining on the message boards about the "sales pitch" to purchase the beverage package but you know what... It's worth it. While I may not drink $50+ worth of booze every single day I find it saves us from splurging on that $200+ bottle of wine while out to dinner and the sommeliers can find great by the glass selections included in the beverage package. Back to the restaurants... Next time around I'm sure we'll try the other specialty restaurants but as far as the experience at the two we attended, thumbs up... Buck up and give them a shot. We did go Aqua Class this time around so we also had access to Blu which I guess is an exclusive restaurant for Aqua Class. Overall I was not that impresse. In fairness we only went one night and I'm not sure if it was the environment we didn't care for or just had higher expectations but we were way more impressed with the pay specialty restaurants. Christmas night we spent in the main dining room and you know what... Pretty good! On the older class ships the main dining room was one of the only options but was always enjoyable and this stands true with Reflection. The servers were friendly, competent, and wanted to make sure their guests were having a good time. The main dining room was quite a bit louder which is no surprise as it's much larger than the other restaurants but I think that can be attributed to the Christmas carols that broke out randomly in the middle of dinner. If the bar scene is your cup of tea Reflection has quite a few options. The Sunset Bar on the top deck was one of my favorite places because of the environment. Who doesn't like being outside sipping on delicious cocktails?! My only knock is that the service is kind of shoddy. It's always hard to find a waiter/waitress and found myself going up to the bar myself more often than not. The only other bar service was subpar was at the casino but coincidently those are the two busiest bars on the ship. At all the others there was always a server and drink just seconds away. The martini bar seemed a favorite gathering spot for several people before dinner and the ambiance is pretty cool. The bartenders have their little bit doing cocktail making tricks and always got attention from the patrons. The Sky Bar was good times for the late night crowd. As a guy that usually is in bed by 11:00 it's rare for me to be out late but couldn't help expressing myself through the art of dance well in to 3AM. DJ Constantine whipped the whole bar up into a dancing frenzy and drinks are easy to get and flow easily! To the stateroom... I have nothing to do with booking trips but the wife selected an Aqua Class room with balcony. Personally I couldn't tell much of a difference from the civilian class room but it was very cozy. I was especially fascinated with the mirror that does not fog up after a hot shower. A great invention! The stateroom attendant was top notch and ever better than a butler we had in a suite in a past Celebrity cruise. My only knock was staying on the 14th deck was a little loud. In the morning you can hear people dragging lounge chairs around but it's not like it was unbearable or anything. Plus there were a few creeks and rattles I'm just assuming is a characteristic of a new ship. Once again the noise was not was not unbearable, just a minor nuisance. Overall I really loved Reflection and it's staff. My only knock is that it was hard to get an elevator sometimes and children were abundant. However, that's what you get for cruising during Christmas. It seems like there is always something to do whether it be playing Bocce in the grass on the top deck or attending scotch tastings. There's never a dull moment if seeking activities. Of course if you want to relax there's always something to! Based on this experience our next cruise will be aboard this class ship with Celebrity and am looking forward to it. If on the line debating whether or not to cruise aboard Reflection I say go for it... You won't be disappointed! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
SHIP: Absolutely stunning! We did not feel it was overcrowded despite the extra cabins compared to the other S Class ships. Always easily found seats at the pool and other venues. In fact, we preferred the layout with the extra deck, as ... Read More
SHIP: Absolutely stunning! We did not feel it was overcrowded despite the extra cabins compared to the other S Class ships. Always easily found seats at the pool and other venues. In fact, we preferred the layout with the extra deck, as one could walk from stem to stern on one level without climbing stairs. Also preferred having the Ocean Cafe on the same level as the pool. Most improved space is the new Sunset bar..it is a really beautiful, chic venue. Also, as part of the redesign, the outside terrace of the Ocean Cafe has been vastly expanded. There were always tables available. Maybe in the future the aft decks of other S class vessels can be Reflectionized :). Best kept secret is the Porch. On embarkation day, it was not included in the list of venues open for lunch. We went up to deck 15, and sure enough it was open. While crowds were in the Ocean Cafe, we had this magical venue to ourselves. Tip: try the Reuben and chocolate cup cake!! We went there twice. Another successful new venue was Game On..this was always popular. The Hideaway was pleasant, but we did not see it used much. Art collection and central lobby tree particularly stunning. Theme of the art is "the seductiveness of reflection", which provided a unifying theme for the interesting collection. While Sky Lounge is compromised by the extra suites, it is still a fine venue, but definately a step down. Hopefully this change will not be made to the rest of the class. Biggest negative was the Cabanas. They really hog the Lawn Club lawn, and were rarely used. As a result, lawn games like bocce are restricted to the smaller lawns on the sides of the funnel. Only one bocce set on this ship, vs several on Solstice. I felt it defeated the concept of the Lawn Club. FOOD: Excellent We had Anytime dining, and food and service in MDR were excellent. We also had a fun evening at Qsine, and while in San juan, had dinner at the Lawn Club Grill. While service and ambience at LCG were excellent, we thought the salad bar was very poor, and the choice of sides abysmal! It really is just a lot of meat, without great sides and sauces. Would not do it again. Frankly, thought the lamb chops in the MDR were better!!! ENTERTAINMENT: Typical Celebrity mix of production shows and individual performers. Been there, done that. Music at pool still loud at times, (Mr Bayley, I thought you said you were addressing this issue) and some pool activities really not compatible with Celebrities "Modern Luxury" brand positioning. If I wanted the fun ship with loud, screeching announcements at the pool, I would sail on Carnival. SERVICE: First rate. In particular, the Captain and senior staff were very visible, and participated in a range of activities from giving lectures about the ship to the pool olympics to the Liars show. Net: Once again, a great cruise on Celebrity. Looking forward to comparing the Reflection with the Silhouette which we sail in February. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
This was our fourth cruise on Solstice class ships, starting with The Solstice in Dec. 2008. We left this cruise feeling less pampered that we had come to expect from Celebrity. We even wondered if the new management had something to do ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise on Solstice class ships, starting with The Solstice in Dec. 2008. We left this cruise feeling less pampered that we had come to expect from Celebrity. We even wondered if the new management had something to do with the happiness of the employees, as it seemed there was less smiling and less effort to make the cruisers feel special. For instance, we don't NEED to be addressed by our last name, but it does impart more of a feeling of respect. Our room steward asked our first names as soon as we met him. The ship was absolutely beautiful and our room was kept sparkling at all times. We never saw the assistant room steward after the first day. We had asked for cheese and crackers for our afternoon snack, which is what we were brought for the first half of the cruise. But then they had run out of crackers so we received cheese with grapes and walnuts for the last few days. Embark was not good. We arrived around 11 and were checked in promptly, only to be asked to wait to board. This is the first time we have had this experience. After waiting more than one hour we noticed people bunching up at the escalator to go up to the boarding level. People even bypassed the boarding photo stand, anxious to get onto the ship. We did not see champagne being handed out, and went directly to our cabin as it was already after 1 PM. We met our room steward at that time.We enjoyed our dinner at Qsine the first night, as we had taken advantage of the e-mail offering of a discount for dining in a specialty restaurant the first night. However, we had to go to customer service to receive this discount as a credit the next day; it did not automatically happen as promised. The second night we were escorted to our table in the main dining room for the late seating. We were led to a table for two, although we had requested a table for 6. We remained seated at this table and made friends with our neighboring table for two, who had also asked for a larger table. Our server was not friendly the first night but did loosen up as the cruise continued, but our assistant server Nina was fantastic and a joy to be around. We had pre-purchased the premium drink packages. We made sure to get our money's worth, but there were some issues. We especially were interested in the craft beers, and were able to get Dogfish 90 IPA for the first half of the cruise at the Sunset Bar. After they ran out in their storage area, one of the servers went to Michael's club, but since he did not have a key the beer remained locked up, even though this was a sea day. The ship did not seem to have as extensive a drink menu at the bars as on previous cruises. Sometimes the servers seemed to be very light on the alcohol, especially on frozen drinks. We did enjoy the Martini and Molecular bars, the service there was always good and entertaining. Michael's club was often closed for private events.Entertainment was mostly quite good. We did not go to every show, but enjoyed the magician Adam Trent, as well as Reflection, the Show. Those performers are such athletes and amazing to watch. The performer Edge was so bad and even annoying that many people walked out of the show that evening. The varying bands located in The Atrium each evening were excellent and many people enjoyed dancing to them. Jefferson Ang was great, as well as the party band D'Revelations. We enjoy dressing to the 9's for Formal Night. On this cruise we saw fewer tuxedos and gowns, and more suits and cocktail dresses. We also noticed more jeans for dinner in the main dining room than on previous cruises. to our disappointment, we would most likely NOT bring gowns nor tuxedo on a future cruise. Disembarkation went smoothly enough although it did not seem like our waiting area was the one promised for Concierge Class with included beverages. Also, we did not automatically receive a printed accounting of our charges; we had to go to customer service to ask for one. We had scheduled this cruise at the earliest opportunity, over a year in advance. Although we did enjoy our cruise, we did not feel the value was up to par with our previous cruises. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We had high hopes as we boarded the Reflection. The ship is beautiful. Our balcony cabin spacious, and the interior cabin for our children also a good size. The physical presence a nice place to call "home" for the week. ... Read More
We had high hopes as we boarded the Reflection. The ship is beautiful. Our balcony cabin spacious, and the interior cabin for our children also a good size. The physical presence a nice place to call "home" for the week. Overall, it was a nice vacation. Was it worth the expense? Not really. It has been awhile since our last cruise, and whether it was this cruise line or cruises in general, it was no longer the relaxed, all inclusive vacation I remembered. To me, it has become a week long sales pitch. As we boarded, the pitch for drink packages. While we waited for our cabins to be ready, we were encouraged to walk around. At the spa, there were plenty of packages and services available for a fee. At the gym, more services available for a fee. Hungry? You have the buffet and main dining room, but why not try one of the specialty restaurants - all for an added fee, of course. And don't forget the shops, casino or one of the many bars. The general activities were a mixed bag. Zumba was popular poolside. We enjoyed the "friendly" feud and chef's cookoff. The musical entertainment was generic shipboard type - nice, but not outstanding. The evening entertainment shows were oddly timed. Early seating for dinner was 6 and late at 7:30. The evening shows began at 7 and again at 9:30. For those eating at 6, you either missed dessert or a good bit of the entertainment, or you waited until the later show. We did appreciate Santa's appearance Christmas Day. He had a gift for all of the kids under 18. It was a nice touch! While the ship had almost 800 children on board, I don't think the cruise line is geared toward truly accommodating older children (ages 11 and up). My youngest was offer the kids club upon boarding. It was basically a yes/no question. No real pitch to make her want to participate, and she said no (an itinerary of the club's activities was left in her stateroom each night - they never could get her age group right, and I don't think it would have mattered). Service: While the staff were accommodating, it felt more like job function rather than attentive. Robotic. At the end of the trip, my youngest celebrated a birthday, and our waiter had to ask her name before they sang "happy birthday." That said, there were a few who created a signature. The assistant maitre d -Gozde - offered to show my daughter how she created a signature hair style and was ready with bobby pins the next night. Our assistant waiter, Annamarie, knew names, preferences, and was genuine in her service. Food: It was good and several items excellent. The buffet quality was above expected. Pizza and french fries two items the entire family voted as tops. Both my kids loved the fruit infused soups. We dined one night at the Tuscan Grill. The food quality was very good - worth the extra $30 per person? Probably not. The Masthead grill was a popular spot, serving hot dogs and hamburgers. A wait line was more common than not as was a line at the ice cream area. On ship shopping - Nothing spectacular in terms of merchandise, with sales clerks who were very pushy. Library - a nice area with plenty of reading material for cruisers to borrow. the Hideaway - a nook, but not really a place to hide. From other reviews, we thought it was a quiet area, but it's out in the open and a good gathering spot - not a quiet spot. the Lawn - an interesting space for a game of bocce or rings. In hindsight, we likely picked the wrong ship for a family vacation. I think the Celebrity caters more to the older and "couples" crowd, not really family centric. I also question if the value of a cruise is still there. All these add on fees and constant badgering to purchase this meal, that drink and the like does cause a reason to pause. While the cruise was not exactly as expected, we did have a good time, eat well and were able to relax - the intent of the vacation.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Arrived at the pier around 11:AM by car and unloaded luggage after driving around twice due to heavy traffic caused by debarkation. Parked in garage and proceeded to check-in which was swift and efficient and then stood in a line( since we ... Read More
Arrived at the pier around 11:AM by car and unloaded luggage after driving around twice due to heavy traffic caused by debarkation. Parked in garage and proceeded to check-in which was swift and efficient and then stood in a line( since we were not Concierge, Suite, or Elite) till about 11:35 and we were in the Oceanview Cafe having lunch by noon. Just after 1:00 we were able to enter our room, a standard cabin on the port side forward slant on the hump, with an extra large balcony. We were just forward of the "Game On" room which has tables with electronic games embedded in them as well as some card tables for board games which are located there for your use. This turned out to be a popular space as the week progressed. The ship is beautiful, as all the S-class ships are, however I did not like the smaller space of the Sky Lounge, due to the added Suites, or the Lawn Club, due to the added cabanas. Even with the added deck of cabins it never felt crowded and a chair or lounger was always available somewhere on deck. This was our first experience with Select dining and I had previously made reservations on-line for every night at the same time. We were always seated promptly but always at a different table with a different waiter except for one night. I had asked for a large table but was seated at a 2 top every night except one. When asked if we minded sharing I said, no, because that's what I had asked for from the beginning! The food and service was good, but not as great as the service and food we had on the Eclipse and the Equinox(my personal favorite).Maybe it was because we had fixed dining on those two and not select. When I asked for tea with my meal, one night I never received it at all and the next time I received it just before dessert. When I asked for just a small portion of two main course selections, I was told no, they couldn't do that and one other time I asked for something specific and was told no, again. On the other two ships the servers always went out of their way to bring whatever I wanted which was never something unreasonable. I hope to stay with fixed dining from now on, if available, although we did like dining when we wanted to. We never dined at any of the speciality restaurants. There were many good points about the cruise including the public rooms, entertainment, a friendly crew, and great cabin steward and many varied activities throughout the day. We stayed onboard in all ports except San Juan where we took a ride on the free trolley around Old San Juan. Would we cruise Celebrity again? YES! Would we cruise on the Reflection again? Maybe! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Celebrity Reflection - December 15, 2012 (Puerto Rico, St. Martin, St. Thomas) In comparison to the elaborate Celebrity Eclipse, the Reflection is a straightforward cruise ship designed to accommodate more guests. The extra deck built ... Read More
Celebrity Reflection - December 15, 2012 (Puerto Rico, St. Martin, St. Thomas) In comparison to the elaborate Celebrity Eclipse, the Reflection is a straightforward cruise ship designed to accommodate more guests. The extra deck built into the Reflection for more guest staterooms was mostly apparent in the elevators which were always filled at maximum capacity and never worked well for those waiting up to five minutes for availability. This created a huge inconvenience for guests using mobility devices. The one improvement I really like on the Reflection is the Hideaway which replaced the Earth Room. This area was inviting and cozy. Unfortunately, there are many areas of the ship that disappointed me. The conversion of the Quasar dance club to a conference room is baffling considering that the conference room was closed most of the time, and the reason Quasar was removed was due to lack of use. I liked Quasar. One of the best features of the Eclipse is the Sky Lounge which is beautiful in the daylight sun and gorgeous in the nighttime stars. This exclusivity is gone on the Reflection; the Sky Lounge was reduced to one corner of the forward ship in order to add one large guest suite, the one with the fancy shower. The Sky Lounge on Reflection was rarely visited on my sailing and used mostly for art auctions. The Art Studio on the Reflection is not as unique and stimulating as the Hot Glass Show on the Eclipse. Deck 15 is restrictive and confusing. Guests do not know where they are welcome to go. The Alcoves are unattractive and deprive the beautiful lawn of the attention it deserves. The unusual cabanas of the Alcoves overpower the other features on this deck, including the Sunset Bar which seems lost in the back somewhere. The restaurants, bars and lounges of the Reflection are very similar to the other Celebrity Solstice ships. The Tuscan Grill changed menus and decor, which was not as appealing to me as the original. I love the new decor of the Martini bar, including the interesting chairs and shiny foil drapes. I also love the Reflection Theatre which is beautiful. The ceiling reminds me of a painted, Asian cocktail umbrella. Service: There were problems with the quality of food in Opus. One night, I received raw chicken. Another night, the steak was presented medium rare instead of medium well, even though the waiter wrote the order correctly. We also received a few dishes that were cold. I was never upset about the problems. The service staff was very quick to respond and resolve our problems. They worked hard and maintained professionalism at all times, even though they appeared exhausted most of the time. The hotel staff was extraordinary. Ma Annie and Rogai called me by name on the first day and spoke to me throughout the cruise. They treated me like family. In the Aqua Spa, I wasn't comfortable with the attempts of staff to sell me cosmetic products and additional treatments. I had a facial and a manicure, both of which were excellent. Stateroom: Concierge Class #1634 was spectacular and awesome. The veranda was in the perfect location, blocking all of the wind. The only item which should be noted if you're interested in this room is that there is a camera mounted on the top edge of the veranda which looks down the starboard side of the ship. Most of what one does on the veranda can be seen on this camera. The stateroom is quiet and located close to the elevators, but out of public view. No walk down the stateroom corridors is required to access this room. Entertainment: I loved Adam Trent, the Comedian and Illusionist. He's also very cute. I was honored to be a small part of his 'Up Close and Personal' show. He made my wedding band disappear and reappear. I wasn't sure I'd like the Celebrity Life Activities, but they were actually a lot of fun. I really liked the game shows and the 1980's dance party. One game in particular was called Liar Liar, and I laughed so hard I cried. The Theatre shows were a mix of typical cruise ship acts with remarkably talented contortionists and dancers that would wow even Cirque Du Soleil. Haley Rose Viloria left me speechless. Unfortunately, I missed the comedian Troy and the singer Rory Bolton. The cruise director, Paul, was okay. I'm somewhat biased on cruise directors. I loved cruise director Mike on the Eclipse. Itinerary: We arrived late in Puerto Rico, around 5:00 pm. There was nothing to do and nothing to see at night other than police responders and street beggars with very serious health ailments. St. Martin was wonderful, and the Rhino Safari excursion was thrilling and awesome. In St. Thomas, the ship was docked at Crown Bay which I did not like because there is nothing to see or do there. The port at Long Bay is located next to the best shopping in St. Thomas and we had to take an expensive taxi to go there. The morning snorkel excursion with sea turtles and stingrays was amazing. In the afternoon, I took a horrible open-air safari taxi to Megan's Beach. The beach was crowded, but I thoroughly enjoyed delicious pizza and rum punch at the local bar. I took a different taxi back to the ship. The taxi fare to Megan's Beach was $19.00 per person, a complete rip off considering that they squeeze up to 25 people in one taxi. That's a total of $475 for a 15 minute ride through downtown, and they also expected a tip. Embarkment and Disembarkment: Getting on and off the ship was easy and fast. There were problems with luggage at the Port of Miami, both arriving and departing. When I arrived my luggage was left on the curbside for over an hour, even though I tipped the porter. I stood by and watched until my luggage was secured and taken away. When I departed the ship I waited an hour to receive my luggage, and I heard a lot of unhappy people complaining about their missing luggage. Miscellaneous: The music played on the ship in general was great. It was modern and relevant. I even liked the music selections on the Celebrity TV channels and listened to it while in my stateroom. I purchased a piece of framed art, a serigraph/sericel animation. I was told I bought it at a substantially lower price than anyone could get it. I later found out that I did not save any money buying it on the cruise ship, but I'm still happy to have it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We were on the 12/5/12 and the 12/8/12 cruises back-to-back. I'm combining them into this one review for ease. The Reflection was beautiful. We were on the Eclipse previously and the Reflection felt familiar to us which was great. ... Read More
We were on the 12/5/12 and the 12/8/12 cruises back-to-back. I'm combining them into this one review for ease. The Reflection was beautiful. We were on the Eclipse previously and the Reflection felt familiar to us which was great. We rated each of the areas that we experienced or utilized while on the ship. We loved the cruise, but reviews like this are about explaining both sides of the equations. We graded each item like back in school on a scale of A-F. A -- Excellent B -- Very Good C -- Average D -- Below Average F -- Poor A: Alcoves Cafe al Bacio Casino Decor Embarkation Guest Relations Desk Martini Bar Passport Bar Qsine B: Bistro on Five (somewhat slow service with very few customers) Blu (hit or miss service) Cabin (seemed lacking of storage compared to Eclipse) Debarkation (long wait) Gym (Byron always seemed stand offish, not very personable) Main Dining Room (staff seemed either overworked or grumpy) Molecular Bar (aloof staff) Ocean View Cafe (some of the items presented were "meh") Pool Area (wasted space at both ends) Sky Bar (a bit small for what was presented there) Spa (some confused staff) C: Customer Service (when it was good, it was good but when it was bad it was terrible) Ensemble Lounge (an odd space with no real cohesion) Excursion Debarkation Process (always seemed to be a cluster/mess) Lawn Club Grill (needs some tweaking, seemed disorganized) Michael's (never open & when it was, it always was reserved for private group) Shops (staff always seemed very bored, over it) We go back again in March 2013 so I'll post another review then to see how things have worked themselves out. Customer service seemed a bit off on this cruise compared to others we have been on. Many staff seemed either over it or bored. There was often a sense of "whatever" and not in a good way. Overall, we had a fantastic time and can't wait to go back again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Even though Reflection is a new ship, it is already well-reviewed here on Cruise Critic. It is gorgeous and extremely well laid out. I realized after being on board a day that this was one of the first ships I've been on when it ... Read More
Even though Reflection is a new ship, it is already well-reviewed here on Cruise Critic. It is gorgeous and extremely well laid out. I realized after being on board a day that this was one of the first ships I've been on when it didn't take days to learn where things were. The layout is very intuitive. The interior of the ship is modern, bright and colorful without being gaudy or making one feel they are in a mall. It's just beautiful in every way. Our Sky Suite cabin, 1214, was immense in size compared to other Sky Suites we've had on Celebrity. What seemed to make the difference was that we were located at the furthest rear, furthest to the starboard side of the ship. I believe there are 2 such cabins on each deck. One advantage of this cabin is that the veranda wraps around the corner of the ship so we had the equivalent of a veranda and a third. We could see where we've been and where we were going! We had concerns that being over the props and engines would make the cabin be rumbly and noisy. Instead the cabin was utterly quiet. In fact, I often had to look outside to make sure we were moving it was so quiet and calm. Of course, the ocean had barely a ripple the entire week. The entire crew was great and purchasing the highest level beverage package was the way to go. We bought the higher priced package which was nice in the specialty bars because the standard beverage package did not cover the more expensive specialty drinks and wine. The food was very good, especially the Oceanview buffet. What Celebrity does which is so smart and new to us is that they have at least 4-6 duplicate stations serving the most popular items for each meal. Thus, there is almost no line regardless of the number of people present. I don't think we ever waited in a line to pick up food items. We ate all our dinners in Opus with one exception, one dinner in Murano. The Opus food and service was excellent, especially because we were a group of 12 traveling together. Nobody sent any of the dishes back to the kitchen, the waiters never brought a wrong dish - it was all so professional and well done. Lunches and breakfasts were split between the buffet and dining room. Murano was a disappointment the night we went. Because it seemed short staffed, dinner dragged on for three hours. I don't expect to rush through a fancy dinner, some of which is prepared table-side, but everyone felt three hours was way too long for a 3 course meal. The food was all right, certainly not better than the Opus dining room though. Since we had a suite, the Murano dinner was complimentary which was just fine in light of the experience. There were a couple blips but were taken care of on board. Months before the trip, our travel agent contacted Celebrity to request that our group be given a large table for dinners together. We were a family traveling together and that would be the only time all day we would all meet up. As our travel agent suggested, I visited the dining room right after we sailed to check on the group seating. There, a "select dining" staff young lady stated with no concern at all that yes, she did have the dining request from us. But, no, we could not be together. Turns out the Select Dining section of the dining room was in disarray due to the large number of big groups sailing at Christmas. Rather than try to work it out, she was disinterested and basically said she could maybe put 3-4 of us at a table together, maybe. It didn't seem to matter to her that Celebrity accepted our request. She clearly was not about to do any more to help work it out so I left. Coincidentally, I returned to our cabin and my wife was chatting with our Butler. He was great and I told him what just happened. He smiled and left and said he'd call back later. Within 30 minutes he called and had worked it all out with his "contacts". From then on we were all at a table together each night. A different Select Dining woman, Natalie, was on duty each evening and she was delightful in working out every one's issues. Not a job I'd like though. Before the cruise when I was speaking to one of the Celebrity people regarding specialty dining, he told me that if we had ANY problems at all, don't waste time with the front desk people, just talk to the butler - and it worked! The other issue involved the shore excursion office and two members of our group. On two different stops, San Juan and St. Marteen, the shore excursion people got them to the venue by bus, but in both cases, after sitting there an hour or two, the excursion was mysteriously canceled and the bus load of people were taken back to the ship. No explanation, no apology, just weird. Needless to say, our two people got their money back and decided against any more excursions. The rest of us had no problems with our shore excursions. The embarkation and disembarkation was simple and efficient. There's so much more to say but I better sign out for now. If you have any questions, I'd be happy to reply. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
The evening horn just sounded as a neighboring cruise ship leaves port, the Caribbean breeze cools gently from the south and my skin is still warm from a day spent skipping waves on jet skis, drinking banana rum, sunning in Orient bay ... Read More
The evening horn just sounded as a neighboring cruise ship leaves port, the Caribbean breeze cools gently from the south and my skin is still warm from a day spent skipping waves on jet skis, drinking banana rum, sunning in Orient bay beach and taking in a quick lunch from the Marigold marina before heading back to this stunning ship...thus sets the environment to begin this review. As a disclaimer let me say I embarked as a skeptic; scarred from a previously cheap and uncheerful experience on NCL, my wife and I are in our 30s and were excited to spend this week aboard the new Reflection with tears of joy instead of tears from frustration. In short, if you're not interested in reading the full, detailed and unbiased review: the Reflection is a beautiful ship, two thumbs up, top notch service, excellent food, a great range of ages and activities, 6 plus stars, I'd recommend it to my mother and when we cruise again this is the company we'll be motoring with to sea! What follows is a blow-by-blow account of each of the ship's "experiences": Embarkation What a breeze! We booked this cruise as Aquaclass, which I highly recommend over a regular booking, and we sailed through the embarkation process. We arrived at the Miami port by taxi around 130, dropped the bags off at the sidewalk and made our way to the registration area after a quick flip of the passport and ticket. Aquaclass and Suites have dedicated lines so instead of standing behind at least 75 to 100 other people, our line had one couple in it and we finished with all of the formalities within about 15 minutes of arrival and had champagne in hand and smiles on our faces. Room The Aquaclass rooms are perfectly quaint; we stayed on the port side in 1511 which made for an easy trip up to the "relaxation room" in the spa area or a short jump up to 12 for the fitness center and locker room and beautiful sunrises going south and sunsets coming back north. We did not have any banging from above, as we read in previous reviews that the starboard side of the ship is just under the fitness center and can make for some early mornings when the brutes start dropping the weights at 0700. We appreciated the shower and essentials upgrade of Aquaclass as well as the better pillows, and room service menu that includes berry plates and smoothies that we had delivered every morning. Also, I need to give a shout out to Cyril, our room magician...I have to say magician because it seemed like every time we left, within minutes the room was turned...he uses the force, no doubt. Drinking and Dining Since we were Aquaclass we had the option of dining in Blu so I cannot comment on Opus, the main dining room. Blu was awesome, so great in fact that for the last two nights we cancelled our specialty restaurants at "The Lawn Club" and "Murano" because we couldn't justify spending the extra 40 quid per person when Blu, as our main dining experience, was so good. The menu changes daily and I had everything from scallops to grilled rack of lamb, grilled rib eye, veal chop, crab, seafood risotto, lobster, etc...all cooked perfectly with really amazing service as well. To put in one more plug for Blu and our server for most nights (Andy you are awesome!), the portion sizes are perfect and every night we left perfectly satiated and not as stuffed as I expected from previous cruise experiences. The specialty restaurant we did choose, Qsine was fun and the real genius is in the presentation. The servers really have a good time playing clever tricks on the patrons. I wont give away any spoilers but it all starts with an ipad and twenty choices, my wife and I chose six of the twenty and over-ate by about two courses;I'd recommend sticking with three like they tell you...but it's difficult when there is so much to choose from. I'd recommend going here as an early booking because our experience was a bit marred watching the table next to us get all of the surprises about 3 minutes before we did ? If you do want to dine in a specialty restaurant remember you get 50% off if you dine the first night of the cruise! Drinking packages We chose the premium non-alcoholic package and it was well worth it! I think this is the best value package for those people who don't want to drink booze all day but still want an unlimited supply of San Pellegrino or Perrier, Evian to take ashore, espresso drinks, smoothies, freshly squeezed juices, Red Bull, etc. Also, if you like wine they have the "Enomatic" wine system at Cellar Masters which isn't included in the alcohol packages and gives you access to some really great wines to try (we enjoyed quite of few helpings of Far Niente, Erath, Caymus, Opus One, Cakebread and Girgrich Hills to name a few)...AND if you buy the $100 card on day 1 you get an extra $30 credit which was awesome. We did one wine tasting but was fairly unimpressed as it seemed to be the cheaper wines with people running around like mad trying to get their money's worth and a good buzz with no real instruction on the varietal, nose, palate, etc. We had the occasional cocktail at the Martini bar (awesome awesome place to start the evening, go Rollin!) or the Molecular bar but didn't feel like we had to booze it up all day for the package. But others who sit at the bar ordering successive whiskeys and wake up to bloodies first thing greatly appreciated the full package...one note, if you decide to not get the premium package, if you want a more expensive beer (for example a Dogfishhead 90 instead of a Heineken) you pay the whole price of the more expensive item, not the difference...a lesson many people learned the hard way with disappointment to follow. Other foodie things We loved eating at "The Porch" and did almost every day for a five dollar surcharge...small price to pay to be away from the crowds, on the top deck by the lawn in such an idyllic setting with great food and stellar service! Late night munchies were easily handled with the Ocean View Cafe and Room Service; not spectacular but spectacular isn't needed after a night at the Martini bar. The Mast Grill is a great spot to grab a burger, or two...and an excellent burger at that! We went to the Oceanview cafe once for lunch and there were a lot of different offerings; however, it is a madhouse and people get pretty aggressive when the fresh platters are coming out. One thing I did miss that I've seen on other ships is the midnight buffet with the ice sculptures and desserts, fancy displays, etc. That seemed to be missing or we just missed it! Fitness First recommendation...if you want to "Fly at Sea" with the Flywheel course, I recommend reserving your time slot as soon as you get on the boat. There are only ten cycles per class and it fills up quick...we waiting until day 2 and couldn't get a spot until day 6. Byron is the man and even with an injury he worked us to the max...I would have "flown" every day if I could. We also did the TRX class with Ellie and had a great time...I got screamed at for failing on my ins and outs, it's nice to be pushed a bit, even on a cruise. The gym itself is excellent though busy between 730 and 0900, which is expected...seems to calm down after day 2. Activities We didn't take advantage of the Celebrity Life activities too much though we enjoyed happening upon the magic shows, the 80s dance party, the "Celebrity Iron Chef" (which was a bit of a bust, but great attempt), and a few other random events. I'm sure there are a lot of things we missed on this cruise as there is a ton going on; but we enjoyed exploring the ship, finding a quiet spot on the lawn to thrown Bocce or play ring toss and entertaining ourselves...which was easy on a ship like this! Debarkation As easy as embarkation. We had a later time slot at 0930 which meant we could have breakfast at Blu and enjoy a coffee at Bacio while we waited. We had no problems with the baggage and everything was on the proper carrousel. The taxi line is pretty long so I recommend some patience and a pair of pants (depending on the weather.) All in all it was an excellent cruise and I would definitely cruise with Celebrity again. I may try the Eclipse next time as it seems to be less "suite" focused; but I'd sail on Reflection without hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
I have just returned after doing 2 weeks on Celebrity Reflection. Ship is beautiful and bright. Staff are very helpful and can't do enough for you. Plenty of sun beds if you wanted a prime spot you needed to be up early but always ... Read More
I have just returned after doing 2 weeks on Celebrity Reflection. Ship is beautiful and bright. Staff are very helpful and can't do enough for you. Plenty of sun beds if you wanted a prime spot you needed to be up early but always able to find a spot somewhere. Food was lovely, the Porch and Bistro are great for lunch and well worth the $5 cover charge. Only did Tuscan Grill speciality restaurant but the food here was amazing the fillet mignon just melted in the mouth. My only problems were, The muster drill was a shambles we were sat in the MDR and it was not very well done at all. People were on their phones throughout the whole thing or talking to each other. The directions were given over the tan boy and then the captain came onto a screen but not everyone could view them. It lasted about 10 minutes. My other problem was the hand sanitisation it was not compulsory. There was never anyone outside the MDR insisting you use them. And in the buffet ( ocean view cafe ) it was very hit and miss if there was anyone outside. There are restrooms at the entrance and the amount of times I saw passengers come out of the ladies without washing their hands and then going straight into the buffet was unbelievable. And there was no one insisting on using it on the return to the ship on port days. I was sick on my flight home and I have been sick now for 2 days, not great on a 9 hour flight.i did put in a complaint about this lack of hygiene during my first week in the form of a letter to guest relations manager but he never responded to me. I will be putting in a complaint to Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We cruised on the 12/15 sailing of the Reflection. This is our fourth cruise with Celebrity, and probably the weakest. While the ship is new and nicely appointed, the "wow" features, like the hot glass studio on Solstice, are ... Read More
We cruised on the 12/15 sailing of the Reflection. This is our fourth cruise with Celebrity, and probably the weakest. While the ship is new and nicely appointed, the "wow" features, like the hot glass studio on Solstice, are missing. An extra deck has been added, along with more passengers using the same number of elevators as the other Solstice class ships. This was a minor inconvenience to ambulatory passengers like us, but there were many scooter/wheelchair passengers who endured long waits. The lawn was mostly roped off on our sailing - I suppose for the use of those renting the "Alcoves". We had the feeling that this ship is Celebrity's attempt to return to "Class" cruising, with special suites and more pay-to-dine restaurants. We felt somewhat uncomfortable with the amount of selling of "extras" on this cruise. Overall, our cabin was very comfortable, the food in the Opus dining room and other venues was superb, the service level we experienced excellent. We had a wonderful waiter and bus boy for our late seating, and the cabin attendants were perfect. This did not seem to be the case around the ship, as I over-heard many passengers complaining about both. It's possible that, as a relatively newly launched ship, more training is in order for some staff. The stop in San Juan was pointless. We arrived late, but had we even docked at the 3 PM scheduled arrival, it was too late to do much before dark. We shared the stops in St. Maarten and St. Thomas with several other large ships - these are probably the ports that can accommodate this size vessel. Unfortunately, St. Thomas was overrun with cruise passengers to the point of annoyance. A taxi ride from Coki Beach back to the ship took an hour and a half because of all the extra traffic. We'll look for cruises with fewer ships in port with us next time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
I just completed a back-to-back cruise on the new Celebrity Reflection, from Venice to Barcelona to Miami -- 27 days total. I was traveling as a single in a veranda stateroom on deck 7 about 2/3 of the way back. My overall experience was ... Read More
I just completed a back-to-back cruise on the new Celebrity Reflection, from Venice to Barcelona to Miami -- 27 days total. I was traveling as a single in a veranda stateroom on deck 7 about 2/3 of the way back. My overall experience was good, maybe 7 or 8 out of 10. There were some things very nice, and some things not so nice. I have been on a number of cruises with several other cruise lines. This was my first Celebrity cruise. Would I travel with Celebrity again? Ummm -- I don't know. THE STATEROOM: The stateroom was spacious by cruise ship standards, beautiful, and the balcony large enough for two people to sit comfortably with a small table. The storage space was oddly lacking -- only three small drawers in the main cabin and two VERY tiny drawers and a few small open shelves in the head. There was a built in couch (quite hard) that would have had space for 2 or 3 large drawers underneath, but the space was enclosed and no access provided for some reason. There was a large shelf with a door over the bed, but it was a little awkward to access. There were two hooks on the wall near the door for coats. The closet was spacious, although there were no shelves above. The bed had a curved foot, and I (I'm 5' 10") had to sleep at an angle with my feet in the middle. Not a problem for me, but perhaps awkward for some couples. They provided two bathrobes and an umbrella. There was a moderate to severe shaking from time-to-time. Often rattled the walls and objects in the room and woke me up at night. It appeared to be connected with the diesel engines. Overall I liked the stateroom. THE HOTEL STAFF: The hotel staff, with a few exceptions which I'll discuss below, were friendly, competent, and would generally go out of their way to do what was asked. I heard some negative comments about the butlers in the suites, but I have no first-hand knowledge. THE FOOD: The food was great with rare exceptions. There were always lots of choices on the menu. I stay frequently at the Bellagio and the Venetian resorts in Las Vegas, and the food on the ship, while not quite as good, would compare favorably with the best restaurants there. The service would not. The service was good, but I think the wait staff was stretched a little thin as they were not always available when you needed them. The wine available by the glass was, without exception, poor, but that's not high on my rating priority. There were several specialty restaurants (extra charge) which I did not try, but the reports I heard were generally favorable. The cafeteria had a huge selection of food which was good, although not quite as good as the main restaurant. THE PUBLIC AREAS: Large and beautiful. There are lots of bars, a well-stocked library that has a number of comfortable seats and is reasonably quiet, and a few cafes and snack bars (extra charge). Lots of open areas. The theater is large, but has a number of wide pillars that block visibility from quite a lot of seats. There was a casino with the usual assortment of slot machines and table games. There was only one seven-seat poker table, a converted blackjack table. The shops carried the usual theme shirts, jewelry, etc., and of course art sales and auctions if you are so inclined. There was a liquor shop on board, but if you bought anything they would not deliver it until disembarkation. The only odd thing was the Sky Observation Lounge on deck 14. In spite of the brochure, they apparently decided to take about 1/3 of it for some additional high-end suites. As a result there was no way to "observe" the out port side of the ship. It had no dance floor. The only dancing was in a small open area near the elevators on deck 3. THE SHORE EXCURSIONS: Generally disappointing. I had been to many of the stops before, some once and some several times. The shore excursions seemed very superficial compared to other excursions I had previously had at those same ports. Most of the times the local guides seemed to be there only to keep us together as a group, and were not otherwise very helpful. The most flagrant example was at Ephesus. This is a World Heritage site, full of historical and archeologically significant features. We hurried through in a little over an hour without straying from the main walkway into any of the side walkways or paths. We were then bused to a rug sales outlet where we spent almost an hour. A few months prior to this I had been on an excursion from another cruise and we had spent 2 ½ hours (and no rug-sales stop). Many people eschewed the excursions and either hired a cab or had previously booked their own tours on the internet. I think I would do that if I traveled on Celebrity again. INTERNET AND CELLPHONES: They offer internet service both as Wi-Fi and use of their Apple computers in the computer lounge. You must either pay $.75 per minute or buy a bulk data plan for the internet. The bulk data plans can cut that rate about in half if you buy a large block. Don't expect much. The Wi-Fi connection is very slow and is frequently unavailable. It took several minutes to send an email message with a single 700 kilobyte picture attached. It was frustrating to try to use a web browser. I didn't try the Apple computers, but I expect that the problem is with an overloaded satellite link which would affect them as well. They offer CDMA cellphone service on board, but no 3G or 4G data link. So no email that way, but it did support texting. You would need a global roaming plan in place with your cellphone carrier to use it. THE INFRASTRUCTURE, THE PROPULSION FAILURE, AND THE CREW: (as opposed to the hotel staff). Except for a bridge tour I had little interaction with the crew. As I'm sure most of you know by now there was a failure in the propulsion system on November 6th, the second day of the cruise. The crew (and hotel staff) were actively suppressing any information about the nature and the status of the problem. As you would expect the rumors were plentiful and sometime humorous, e.g. the propeller shaft broke and they cut it in pieces to remove it. Because the ship could only run at reduced speed we skipped the next port (Rhodes) and went directly to Kusadasi. The next few ports were relatively close together, but we were late arriving at each, arriving at 10 or 11 o'clock instead of the scheduled 7 or 8 o'clock. To make up for it we stayed late, until 10 or 11 o'clock PM. Most of us were uneasy being ashore in port areas at that hour, so it was of limited utility. After a few days the captain announced that the (unspecified) problem was partially fixed, but we continued to run at a maximum of 18 knots vice the published 24 knot cruising speed of the vessel. That was sufficient in the Mediterranean to keep on schedule after the first few days. However, on the second segment from Barcelona to Miami we skipped one of the only three scheduled stops (Tenerife). Apparently the shortened distance and the in-port time saved allowed us to reach Miami in time for the publicity and VIP cruises that were scheduled right after our cruise. Many of us who were scheduled back-to-back were uneasy about setting off across the Atlantic with a propulsion problem about which we knew nothing. After a week I twice asked the "Passenger Assistance" staff what the nature of the problem was and what the plan was. I was finally told that they "... had no information on any problem and they had been told that we would proceed with the planned cruise." About two days before arriving in Miami I finally found an officer that was in position to have first-hand knowledge of the problem. He said that it was an electrical failure in one of the pods, and that the part had to be built. He said that they were hoping to get it while in Miami, but were not certain of that. Apparently the part can be replaced without putting the ship in drydock. In all this time the captain continued in his daily 10 o'clock announcement to avoid the question. We did get a memo from him just after the new passengers had boarded in Barcelona stating that the problem was partially fixed and that we were skipping Tenerife. The boarding passengers had not been told of the problem or schedule change although it had been known for twelve days at that point. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Having been on the inaugural cruise of 'Silhouette' last year out of Hamburg, we were expecting great things from a 14 night Eastern Meditterranean cruise on 'Reflection', beginning in beautiful Venice, with a really ... Read More
Having been on the inaugural cruise of 'Silhouette' last year out of Hamburg, we were expecting great things from a 14 night Eastern Meditterranean cruise on 'Reflection', beginning in beautiful Venice, with a really good itinerary, and ending in Barcelona. We had a good Celebrity Reflection organised boat excursion around the Venice lagoon and islands with a very good commentary, on our first full day, before setting off towards Dubrovnik. We took the bus into the old town and had a lovely walk around this jewel of a city, before leaving that night heading towards Rhodes. The weather was not too kind to us and we were buffeted by continual very strong winds and rain, and at around 7.00pm there was a very loud bang and 'graunching' noise, on the starboard side of the ship, followed by the ship shuddering. We immediately looked out over our balcony at the aft of the ship and saw that instead of leaving two white wakes behind the ship, we were down to one, and checking on the navigation channel on our TV screens, our speed had reduced hugely! Bearing in mind that we heard this from Deck 11 on the ship, then it was fairly clear that something major had happened to the starboard engine pod or propellor. We expected some kind of an explanation during the evening, but explanation came there none!! That evening, we were treating ourselves to dinner at the Tuscan Grill, and during our meal we became aware that the remaining engine pod went silent too, (not accompanied by a bang this time!), but it was only for about 20 mins., and then the engine noise and vibration began again. It was not until the next morning that the Captain deigned to tell us that there had been a technical problem with a switch and that because our speed was reduced, we would NOT be visiting Rhodes--a huge disappointment. And this was our disappointment---the fact that the Captain was not honest about what the problem had been and what was going to be needed to cure it----for our whole cruise! We finally arrived in Barcelona, still being pushed in the main by the port propulsion system, and although we had not felt that the ship was in any danger at any time, I would NOT have wanted to continue across the Atlantic without a properly working ship.Fully operational ship. Why, oh why, we're our requests for information ignored. Why was the Captain 'economical with the truth' . His attitude merely encouraged the hundreds of different stories that we're circulating around the bars and dining rooms. I was amazed at how much dissatisfaction there was amongst so many people. Dissatisfaction with the motion and vibration of the ship,(certainly noticeable at the aft of the ship---we had practically the same stateroom on Silhouette, and experienced NONE of the vibration that we had to put up with for nearly all of this trip---despite crossing the Bay of Biscay!); dissatisfaction with the 'cruise director' Nick Weir, his attitude really annoyed many Americans , and we found his constant insistence that we 'showed our appreciation' more than a little irritating; dissatisfaction with on board shore excursions---they cancelled one of ours-----again! Good things: Reflection is a lovely ship(or will be when she is sorted). The staff in the bars, cafe al Bacio, waiting staff and sommeliers were all superb. Stateroom care not quite as good as Silhouette, which was a shame, but the mattress was less comfortable than on Silhouette, so did not sleep well. Food excellent,especially Murano.Shows often very good, as were some of the lectures. Used the gym 3times---very good. Had a wonderful manicure in the Beauty Salon, by a very proficient girl. Really bad things:Guest Relations!!!! They would listen, note down, and then ignore!!! Shore Excursions: too quick to cancel! Have not yet received any account of how our Premium Package was spent, despite being promised! All in all, we will think hard about whether to take another Celebrity Cruise as we don't want to be further disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
I have just read two reviews of the cruise we were on and feel that they are very unfair and do not represent what was a great cruise visiting many interesting ports with links to classical Europe. Maybe the person writing as ... Read More
I have just read two reviews of the cruise we were on and feel that they are very unfair and do not represent what was a great cruise visiting many interesting ports with links to classical Europe. Maybe the person writing as "expertcruise" should be disappointed with his Western Mediterranean cruise as it went to the Eastern Mediterranean! Reflection did have an engine problem but at times it was still cruising at 18kts and meant one more sea day and missing Rhodes but it did mean we had extra time in some ports e.g. Piraeus which allowed for visiting Athens in the evening. The extra sea day was a little rougher than all the other days but it was only a short sea and did not cause me any nausea. (I'm not immune to sea sickness but and have survived a Force 10 across the Bay of Biscay on P&O Aurora) I spent time in the very pleasant sky lounge with great views of the coast. Entertainment was excellent particularly if you stayed for the whole show. The cruise entertainment was the weakest part so not seeing too much of him was not a problem. Comedian not my cup of tea but the "youngsters" who gave us three shows were first class. They were backed up by a variety of specialist performers of which the tenor with his West End musical experience was my favourite (although amplification was a little too high. As we visited a large number of ports boredom was not on the agenda and the few sea days were a time to recuperate from the very busy exploring (mostly on DIY excursion)of the fantastic sites eg Ephesus, Rome, Capri and others. It was really good not to have too many announcements in the cabin but if you wanted to hear these it was simply a question of switching on the TV and tuning into Channel 5(I think). We were kept informed of our engine troubles both by announcements and some typed information delivered by our steward and as I am not a marine engineer I was not interested in the intricacies of the issue just that of safety. This cruise was suitable for those people who were interested in exploring ancient parts of Europe with other interesting opportunities for the natural world as well as shopping. If you are wanting 24hour entertainment other cruise lines might be more suitable. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Having sailed the Celebrity Solstice; I had a good idea of the layout of the ship. My friends and I were not disappointed in this newer version. The Reflection is an example of fine luxury design without the glitter & glitz of some ... Read More
Having sailed the Celebrity Solstice; I had a good idea of the layout of the ship. My friends and I were not disappointed in this newer version. The Reflection is an example of fine luxury design without the glitter & glitz of some ships. ----- The food was outstanding in all venues especially the up charge restaurants which equal the finest restaurants in big cities. The veranda cabin was very smartly decorated and designed and we manage to stow away everything for mother and daughter efficiently. ------ The shower was really appreciated with it's plexi glass sliding door. We were were 5 people traveling in 3 veranda cabins and everyone was pleased with the cabin especially the long sofa which was great for reading or a nap. --- --We had a great time at the Martini Crush Bar with all the talents of the bartenders. Getting on and off was well organized. The only thing I can't understand is Celebrity's obsession with lots of grass on the top deck--what a waste of space! Also, the art class only held l5 and was full AND a lot of disappointed people couldn't get in--- The staff was excellent in all venues and very friendly and helpful. We did our own thing in ports; took the train to Rome, organized a cab for 8 to Florence. Walked all of Venice and took the ferry back and forth to ship. Wasted a lot of money in Harry's Bar in Venice which is a real nothing. It was a fantastic voyage! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We had an excellent, though not perfect experience on this wonderful new ship. Embarkation was messy. The many back to back cruisers complicated things by pushing their way through to get back on the ship - at noon. They had many ... Read More
We had an excellent, though not perfect experience on this wonderful new ship. Embarkation was messy. The many back to back cruisers complicated things by pushing their way through to get back on the ship - at noon. They had many complaints about not having a special line so they could re-board the ship without waiting. The computers appeared to be down, but once they were up we boarded without much trouble. We dined in Blu and never had a problem getting a table as long as we didn't try to enter Blu at 7 right after the elite Happy Hour ended. We liked the drink coupons and found the bar on the Ocean View Cafe to be the best. It was much quieter and we could talk easily to other passengers. The Aqua Suite room was just the right size and the proximity to the Aqua Spa and the Relaxation Room and Persian Garden was convenient. The lecturers were good, but there were several more on the crossing last year from Southampton. Perhaps the passengers from England expect more lectures. The Captain was great and should give more talks. I didn't understand the major problem with missing Tenerife. Been there, done that but we appreciated the cabin credit. Never remember receiving one before for missing a port which has happened often due to weather, engine problems, political problems, etc. the food has improved on Celebrity in the regular restaurants and in the Blu. They have found a better supplier. The price of Transatlantic voyages is very low which contributed to the huge number of elites. We didn't feel elite because of this and will try to avoid the cheap voyages in the future because of this. Nonetheless we had no complaints about the Reflection, it is a beautiful ship with a great crew! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Our 3rd time with Celebrity now on their newest flagship! Veranda Rooms are sufficiently spacious for 2. Storage in new cabin design seems a little less but after we discovered additional space above the bed -reminds a bit of caravans ... Read More
Our 3rd time with Celebrity now on their newest flagship! Veranda Rooms are sufficiently spacious for 2. Storage in new cabin design seems a little less but after we discovered additional space above the bed -reminds a bit of caravans storage room- it seems just sufficient. Of course if you'd take a lot of different wardrobe for every formal occasion then it might be too limited. So better be choosy when packing! - the bathroom design is now really great especially the shower , even if you have a couple of kilos too many, you can still turn around.- other nice facilities include the hideaway which however deserves that name only during daytime when there is no performance at the main lobby. Same observation is true for the library.- worth mentioning also the main buffet restaurant Ocean View Cafe: nicely scattered food isles instead of the walled fashion on older ships: gives less cues apparently. Another nice place to enjoy either reading or just watching the sea or at busy times dancing or just drinking is the sky observation lounge on deck 14! And if weather permits the sunset bar is a must!- about the lawn club with its real lawn I have my doubts that it may survive long due to the salty air at sea! We'll see.- service as usual on Celebrity mostly good, sometimes even excellent like at Muranos. Food at main dining room with one exception in 10 days was very good with a couple of highlights there too.- Fitness is not really my topic but definitely the outside pools are too small!- announcements on the ship: just the absolute necessary, what a bliss! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Before I begin, let me preface my commentary by saying that we have been on two other 14-day cruises on Celebrity cruises on Solstice-class ships (on the Equinox and Eclipse) prior to this one, so we are familiar with how Celebrity does ... Read More
Before I begin, let me preface my commentary by saying that we have been on two other 14-day cruises on Celebrity cruises on Solstice-class ships (on the Equinox and Eclipse) prior to this one, so we are familiar with how Celebrity does things. We had a reasonably good time, but there were disappointments/frustrations too, many stemming from the failure of one of the Reflection's engines that plagued the rest of the cruise. EMBARKATION - Pros: We arrived at the embarkation hall relatively early (at 12:30pm), before the lines got long. We knew what to expect: drop off our luggage, have our documentation/passports ready, and undergo port/ship security. For us, the whole process took about 50 mins. Since the ship was staying in Venice for a night before sailing, we ate lunch at the Oceanview Cafe (Deck 14) and then disembarked the ship for sightseeing. When we left at around 2:30pm, we saw that the lines had become VERY long. We were certainly glad we arrived early! - Note: We travelled to Venice by Trenitalia on our own to the Santa Lucia train station. As we expected, we had to cross a bridge to get to the bus/traffic plaza where the PeopleMover tram could take us to the cruise ship terminal area. What we did not expect was that the bridge is essentially a steep staircase, so it was somewhat difficult for rolling luggage. Not a Celebrity issue, but something to note for future travellers to Venice. (Also, something to note is that the new private rail carrier, Italo (www.italotreno.it), is nicer and more cost-effective than the government-run carrier Trenitalia.) - Cons: After getting off the PeopleMover tram, there was no signage directing us to the Reflection! How to get from the PeopleMover tram to the Reflection is not a straight or short path. We eventually walked over 1,000 meters to the ship, curving around another embarkation hall for other cruise ships. Celebrity should have posted a few directional signs to the Reflection (at least directing us away from the other embarkation halls). The fact that other cruise ships were also embarking passengers (and the rain) only added to the confusion. Taken together, it was a somewhat frustrating experience, despite the reasonably speedy embarkation. One problem that we quickly discovered after embarkation was that a drink package which I purchased prior to the cruise was NOT already added to my Seapass. But having been on other Celebrity cruises and encountered a similar problem, I immediately checked my account after using the Seapass for the first time. And, upon seeing the problem, I quickly went to Guest Services to fix it on the first day. Eventually, they gave me an old-school drink sticker to put onto my Seapass, which worked fine. SHIP DESIGN AND ENGINE FAILURE - Pros: As a new ship (3rd cruise), the Reflection still had that new ship smell and the corridor carpets were noticeably fluffy. In contrast to the older Solstice-class ships, the pool deck was elevated to Deck 14. In addition to adding more staterooms, the new design enclosed the walkway from forward to aft, which encouraged more people to use it as a passageway. That, in turn, led people to use the forward elevators to reach the Oceanview Cafe, rather than crowd into the only aft elevators. - Cons: Beyond its aesthetic beauty, we did not expect the newest ship in Celebrity's fleet to suffer such a major engine malfunction. On the 4th day of the cruise, as we sailed from Dubrovnik to Rhodes, a loud bang/boom rang out from the ship's aft. Then the ship noticeably shuddered. Those in the aft of the ship said it violently shook. Soon, the ship's speed was reduced to under 10 knots (from a cruising speed of 24 knots). The next day, the captain announced that an engine problem occurred, but that it could have been a malfunctioning "warning indicator." Many aboard thought that was unconvincing and rumors started to swirl, especially after people commented on seeing one propeller wake (rather than two) behind the ship for the next 10 days. To compensate for its slower speed, the ship missed Rhodes, a big disappointment (one of the reasons we chose this cruise)! While the ship's speed recovered to 16-18 knots for the rest of the cruise, we were chronically late into most of the remaining 9 ports. We felt bad for those cruisers who continued on the transatlantic cruise that immediately followed ours. Sailing a ship with one engine across the Atlantic Ocean in the beginning of winter didn't sound like fun, especially since we did that sailing last year on the Eclipse. Another con was the new cabanas on the Reflection's lawn. They significantly reduced the area on which guests could enjoy the grassy spaces. Given the chilly November weather, no one really rented the cabanas, but the grassy spaces remained roped off. On the Equinox and Eclipse that was not the case. On the Reflection, Celebrity's pictured advertisements did not reflect reality. And we on the Reflection should know, because Celebrity was busily filming advertisements throughout the first week of the cruise, including on the off-limits lawn! - Note: When the captain made his announcement, he only did so in the corridor public-address system. So, if you wanted to hear what was going on, you had to dash into the ship's corridors, as you could not hear the announcements in your staterooms (a success for stateroom soundproofing, I guess). Looking down our corridor, it was a funny sight: like prairie dogs, we all had our doors cocked half open with our heads stuck outside. CABIN On all our cruises, we had an inside stateroom on Deck 8 forward. The room was designed almost exactly like its counterparts on the Equinox and Eclipse. There was a different desk drawer arrangement, with 3 deep drawers instead of 5 shallower ones. While this definitely worked better for use as hampers, a shallower top drawer would have been useful to stow frequently used items, like glasses, small personal items, etc. As is standard on all Solstice-class ships, there were 2 American-standard power outlets, which meant that we did not have to bring European power converters across the Atlantic Ocean, thankfully. DINING - Pros: Keeping in mind that the Main Dining Room must serve hundreds of guests at the same time, the MDR's food was above average, with the exception of a couple of nights when the steak was very stringy and the pork loin was very dry. Of course, the wait staff was ready to replace whatever you disliked with something else. The wait staff was clearly stretched in the MDR, but they did their best to serve as quickly and accurately as possible. Apparently, many had come from other Celebrity ships and, given that this was the ship's 3rd cruise, they hadn't worked together for very long. The Lawn Club Grill was definitely fun! The whole staff was very enthusiastic and making the pizza was quite entertaining and delicious! We chose not to grill our own meats, but it was still a good experience, even at night. We thought it would have been even better in the summertime before sunset, when we could still see the sea! - Cons: The Oceanview Cafe on Deck 14 offered the standard Celebrity cafeteria fare as the other Solstice-class ships. Generally that fare was good, although the stir fry was particularly bland. What was different on the Reflection was the increasing monotony of the food offerings. Aboard the Equinox there were some variations with the occasional appearance of Chinese char siu bao or German schnitzel. On the Eclipse two years later, there was less variation, but still had a couple of nights with Asian-style roasted pork. The Reflection had exactly the same dishes for lunch and dinner every night, except from the single appearance of duck spring rolls (clearly made from leftover duck confit from the MDR menu the day before). Strangely, one of the easiest and most popular Oceanview items -- the garlic bread -- was discontinued halfway into the cruise. Many guests asked about it (seems easy enough given the leftover French bread from breakfast), but the crew said that it was dropped from the menu. Another item that suffered from cutbacks was ice cream. Over the last few years, the range of ice cream flavors has gradually declined at the Oceanview Cafe. Mango, coconut, caramel, pistachio... all have disappeared. Even the soft-serve frozen yogurt flavors were narrowed to one (chocolate). As for the MDR itself, we chose the Select Dining Option. Theoretically, that enabled you to choose your dining time and seating arrangement. However, every night, there was some confusion with the hostess and invariably a line formed. Once we were shown to the wrong table in completely the wrong section! Having done Select Dining before on the Equinox and Eclipse without incident, we were surprised about the disorder. Tip: regardless of your reservation, just go early if you want to be quickly seated. DRINK PACKAGE Doing the math behind getting a soda package, we calculated that unless you consume 3 or more sodas per day, the drink package is not worth it. Guests should take that into account, particularly on cruises with many port calls, since that often prevents lunchtime soda consumption on the ship. SHORE EXCURSIONS Many guests took this cruise because of the high number of port visits. But, due to the Reflection's engine problem, the ship failed to keep up with its original schedule, often arriving late at many ports. That essentially reduced the amount of time that guests had in each port for those who wanted to return to the ship before sunset. (With the language barrier, it was difficult to be certain whether port transportation back to the ship [such as the Piraeus port bus] would be available late at night.) Celebrity could have reduced the uncertainty with an announcement regarding times of shore transportation services. That way more people could have taken advantage of the ship's later departure as well. Moreover, given the frequent port delays -- the exact timing of which was not known until late in the evening before -- if you had set-up your own shore excursions, then you constantly had to find a way to reconnect with your guides to inform them of the delay. (And with a VERY slow Internet connection at $0.75/minute, that can be frustrating.) Fortunately for us, this cruise had several ports that could easily be toured on own own. In fact, that is one of the reasons we selected this cruise. At three ports (Venice, Dubrovnik, and Toulon), Celebrity chartered its own boat or bus shuttles for $20/person. At Venice, we were dropped off near St. Mark's Square; at Dubrovnik, we were dropped off at Pile Gate; and at Toulon, we were dropped off on the harbor promenade. At two other ports (Piraeus and Civitavecchia), the port provided transportation to the port exit. And at the remainder (Kusadasi, Catania, and Rhodes [had the ship not skipped it]), the port was directly adjacent to their city centers so only a brief walk was needed. Valetta was the only port that really needed a Celebrity-organized shuttle bus to reach the city center, but didn't have one. Instead, we trekked up a very steep slope to reach the city walls. Many of the guests have noted that many shore excursions seemed to end with the obligatory visit to a "local handicraft" facility. That was especially the case in Kusadasi, where one would feel pressured by rug merchants. We experienced this on our earlier cruises too, so we chose to minimize our Celebrity-organized shore excursions. In Kusadasi, rather than face another tour that ended with apple chai and a hard-sell rug merchant, we took a restaurant suggestion from our Turkish waiter aboard the Eclipse and strolled around town instead. In Catania, we chose to stay in the city rather than go to Taormina, which is known for high-end shopping, an ancient amphitheater, and stunning views of Mt. Etna. Since it was a very cloudy day, we guessed Mt. Etna would be obscured in the clouds. And so in Catania, we explored a new museum focused on the 1943 Allied landings on Sicily, called the Historical Museum of the Landing in Sicily 1943 (www.provincia.ct.it/il_territorio/musei/museo_dello_sbarco_in_sicilia/indexEng.aspx). Its audio-visual effects were immersing and a MUST for anyone interested in military history. While it tries to convey what the landings were like for Italians, it also shows military operations down to the divisional/regimental level (much like the American Civil War museums in the United States) of American, British, Canadian, German, and Italian forces. In Naples, we also toured on our own. There, we would highly recommend Napoli Sotterranea (www.napolisotterranea.org), which is an underground tour of Naples. It is offered in English every other hour. In Livorno, we took a good shore excursion to the Tuscan hill towns of Volterra and San Gimignano. For those who have already see Florence's art museums, taking a nicely-paced walking tour of Volterra, having a delicious lunch at an agrotourism winery, and having some independent touring in San Gimignano was worth the $155/person price tag. However, the roads on which the buses take are VERY narrow and not for car-sickness prone guests. Often you hear the saying about Italian roads that they are so narrow that two trucks can't possibly pass each other without one going into a ditch. Well, on our ride to Volterra, that is what happened. A dump truck in the oncoming lane tried to get by our bus, but by inches gradually rolled over into a ditch!!! (No one was injured, thankfully.) In Toulon, the harbor itself was a sight to see, given that it serves as France's main Mediterranean naval base. France's Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier and several destroyers, frigates, and amphibious assault ships were in port that day -- quite the naval display. We had wanted to go to Cassis to see the calanques, but the tour booked out, so we ended up touring the city's Sunday market and its Museum of the French Navy, which offers a discount to cruise ship guests with their Seapasses! ACTIVITIES AND ENTERTAINMENT - Pros: The Filipino cover band in the main foyer certainly had a very wide range and must be among the hardest working performers on the ship. They were always there! Sure, if you're sitting up in the Hideaway (Deck 7), Game On (Deck 9), or Library (Deck 10) trying to read or do something, it could be loud, but people really seemed to enjoy them. We also liked the fact that the musicians and performers rotated cruises. Halfway into our cruise, they would cycle out onto other cruises and new musicians and performers would arrive. That kept the performances relatively fresh. - Cons: That said, more generally, you could feel the budget cuts on the margins. The atmosphere for the sail away was not even close to the same as the Equinox, no live music or ribbons. We were surprised, since there was a wonderful opportunity for a sail away event given the slow transit by Venice's St. Mark's Square. We did notice more Celebrity Life activities aboard the ship, but for the most part there was an associated upcharge. Given that we liked the art activities aboard the Eclipse, we were looking forward to the Reflection's Art Studio, but except for a handful of events they all required $10-20 per person. At that price, we would have expected better events than watercolor painting for beginners. We were lured into the art auction trap with a lecture on art history But after attending it, we could never escape the Park West note cards to attend its never-ending series of art auctions. We eventually went to one auction, but it was so dismal that we opted not to return. We did think that Celebrity Central, which normally was idle during the morning, could have shown movies after breakfast. HOTEL SERVICES On a 14-day cruise, we were surprised to find that our steward failed to change our bed linens until we asked him to do so after the 6th or 7th day. I'm not sure if this is a new Celebrity policy to reduce wash loads (as many hotels have started to do). Until we said something, he would simply straighten and turn down the bed linens every day. If this is Celebrity policy -- and not simply a lax steward -- then Celebrity should do what hotels are doing, which is to give guests a card that they can put on the bed whenever they think the bed linens should be washed. As for our steward himself, he had a knack of showing up at exactly the wrong times (when we were showering or changing for dinner) every day, even though we did these things at the same time every day. It became annoying. That said, our junior steward who took care of our bathroom was great; he always did a good job! Actually, the stewards in the next corridor (8109-8195) were equally gracious. They remembered us even though we weren't their guests! They were far more welcoming than our steward and even remembered that one member of our party had an injury. On the other hand, our steward did little more than ask us to rate him highly on our comment card. GYM The equipment is new and identical to those aboard the other Solstice-class ships. There's a good range of 15-16 weight machines and two full rows of treadmills looking out on the starboard side. There is only a couple of low bicycles, so it was harder to snag one of these. We went 3-4 times during the cruise; always nice. DISEMBARKATION One thing we learned from our prior sailings: if you don't have much luggage, it is FAR better to disembark yourself rather than use the Celebrity luggage tags. Since we disembarked in another EU country, we did not have to pass through customs; that also made things easier. Our disembarkation from the Eclipse in Miami last year was a 5-hour disaster! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Overall the Reflection is a beautiful ship as are her sisters. Celebrity had taken feedback from the previous editions and tried to improve the design. There are some major and minor changes from the earlier versions of the S-Class ships ... Read More
Overall the Reflection is a beautiful ship as are her sisters. Celebrity had taken feedback from the previous editions and tried to improve the design. There are some major and minor changes from the earlier versions of the S-Class ships and most for the better. While they added more rooms and therefore increased the capacity of the ship it did not feel any more crowded than previous S-Class ships. I suspect that on Caribbean runs when everyone is by the pool there may be some more issues, but on a Med cruise there was plenty of room in the buffet for lunch, the specialty dining rooms for dinner and the bars never felt over crowded. THE GOOD: The bar staff are super friendly across the ship and we had hours of fun at the Martini Bar watching them perform and at the Sunset bar wrapped in blankets as it was a November. The team at the Cafe on deck 5 was on the ball and worked hard. If you have never been to Lawn Club Grill...GO...it is a fun, relaxed backyard atmosphere. You make your own flat bread, grill your own meat and interact with the chefs while getting a cooking lesson. If you are looking for pretentious, white glove, kiss your butt service then stick with Murano and Tuscan. If you want a fun dinner with a great group, Lawn Club Grill is the place to be. Most of the team on the Reflection was also on the Silhouette when I sailed her and they remembered me so it felt like coming home when I walked in. Chef Webb gave me a big ol' Jamaican hug and my favorite waiter Allan was there to get me all set up. Jordan is the Maitre D' at LCG and in my opinion one of the best Maitre D's in the cruise industry. The LCG is his vision and passion and it shows. Qsine is also a really fun place to eat...but eat with friends as it is impossible to really savor the options if you are just 2. They also have a more laid back, but still fine dining atmosphere coupled with unique tapas style food from around the globe. Murano and Tuscan are also great places for a romantic dinner with great food and generally good service (although they try too hard to get that "excellent" score on the feedback form and it shows...it is all they really care about which is a shame). They are definitely worth a visit. Just a note, I did not eat in the MDR as I was in specialty dining all cruise so I cannot comment on it. Solarium pool area is warm and the pool is heated so it was pleasant to swim even if it was November. Very relaxing place to just lie down and watch the "water dance and light show" that goes on all day. You can meditate there and just waste away hours relaxing. In my opinion, the best indoor pool on a cruise ship for relaxing and floating. THE BAD: From a service point of view they admittedly really disappointed me. The majority of the staff were super friendly as we have come to expect from Celebrity but there were a few cranks on board (Tuscan Grill assistant Maitre D' was horrible and her boss, the Maitre D', was so fake in his attempts to be pleasant to cover for her that and avoid a poor rating on the evaluation sheet that it just pissed me off even more). The Spa personnel spend most of their time pushing products even after you ask them not to. So after burning $200 on a massage or facial, you end up leaving more wound up than when you came in. When we complained, the spa manager actually defended their aggressive sales practices and said it was for "our own good" that they push these products!!??!! So avoid the spa unless you like a 1hr sales pitch that you "pay for". We were in a sky suite which comes with butler service and regrettably our butler was having a bad cruise. I must preamble that we have stayed in the sky suites many times before so we know what to expect. He constantly made mistakes with our breakfast order, forgot to bring utensils and napkins and often needed to be asked twice to get things done. He was friendly enough, just not on the ball. It was the little details that were missing. We had wine delivered to our room as a bon voyage gift, but there were no wine glasses stocked in our bar (or any glasses for that matter). We were never asked if we wanted canapes in the evening and none were ever delivered (I could have asked but honestly forgot...although it should have been an automatic thing to deliver). Our balcony was never cleaned so salt built up on everything until I had enough and cleaned it myself and then complained (this too should be an automatic thing). On our final day they started cleaning our room the night before. We came in from dinner to discover that our closet was cleaned out and reset (this was a problem as we had personal items in there that were taken away...and eventually pulled out of the ship's trash after we called the butler to complain...again). Embarkation was a nightmare and the worst I have ever had. There was one person to direct 3000 guests who all seemed to arrive at the same time and she was overwhelmed. Her reaction was to make people go and sit in a separate room until the lines cleared out instead of actually directing us to the right line. Some people actually sat there for 2 hours until they got fed up and left the room only to discover than the lines had since cleared out and the ship nearly fully boarded. I ignored the directives to sit down and found my line. It took about 45 minutes to check in as there were only 2 people checking in our line...yet 6 to 8 in all the others. Not sure how they figured that one out. The next day when we returned to the ship we were met with a very long line on the pier to re-board. We waited 50 minutes in line to go through the port security check (x-ray and metal detector) and then were asked to line up once more on the ship to again go through an x-ray and metal detector. What was the point of that? You leave one check point; walk in a secured zone and on the ship into another check point. Then there was the "explosion" on day 4. We all heard a loud boom while having diner and the ship shook for about 5 seconds. We were puzzled but figured it was thunder as we were sailing through a storm. We missed a port of call due to the explosion that was explained away as a "false alarm" and that the engineers felt it was a faulty alarm...but in case, they were operating at half speed as a precaution until they can check it out. As a result our itinerary had to be modified due to the reduced speed. Turns out it took 8 days, a technical team from Celebrity to fly to the ship, spare parts and much explaining that everything is ok by the Captain to fix this "false alarm" that shook the ship with a loud boom. Just admit it, your engine or your propeller assembly blew up (not literally but you know what I mean). We have 4 of them so no big deal. Next time be honest and tell us. Finally, as Elite members were invited to various cocktails as an appreciation for our loyalty. I stopped going after 3 nights as the wait staff was useless and ignored us, never smiled and just hid in the corners and talked to each other. I had to run after them to get a drink and they never bothered to ask if I wanted another when they came to clean the table off with their nice frowns. When you combine the mis-adventures in our stateroom, the spa, the mystery explosion, and bad appreciation cocktails our overall experience fell well short of what we know Celebrity can do. I believe that they will fix these hiccups with time, but until then, I will probably stick with the other S-Class ships that in my opinion offered better overall service and quality. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Having wanted to try the solstice class ships and take a westbound transatlantic and sail a new ship - November 2012 offered us all three of our wishes in one trip. We used the Celebrity Choice Air services which was great and quite ... Read More
Having wanted to try the solstice class ships and take a westbound transatlantic and sail a new ship - November 2012 offered us all three of our wishes in one trip. We used the Celebrity Choice Air services which was great and quite reasonable. We saved almost $1000 per person doing this. We booked in July of 2011 taking advantage of a $250 discount offered to past passengers. Then in the summer of 2012 , the line offered reduced rates to veterans so we able to upgrade and get an additional $300 off our fare. From July of 2011 until the cruise we had a very active and large CC thread and booked many activities, transportation and excursions with folks on the site. It was great! We flew into Barcelona the day before the cruise and stayed at a lovely 4 star hotel we have stayed in before. Unfortunately, while waiting in our hotel lobby for transport to the ship, a thief made off with my husband's carry on bag. He got nothing of real value but sure inconvenienced my husband as his meds were in the bag. Fortunately, he had packed spare in his large bag. So beware as pickpockets and thieves are the main occupation in this city.we talked to people who fared far worse than us losing jewelry, passports, credit cards, etc. They are really slick and good over there. Check in at the port was horrendous with long lines that took forever before we reached the counter - and they had plenty of agents. Not sure what the solution is. Once on board, we stepped into a gorgeous ship. Our veranda stateroom was really nice - very large, lots of storage, oh so comfortable bed, and a shower to die for in the very roomy bathroom. I mean curved shower doors and a shower you could actually move around in with room to spare. The balcony was nice and large with lovely comfy chairs and a table. And of course, everything was new! We had assigned seating for dinner and requested a table for four - and got it. The service was wonderful and the food outstanding. The "available any time" menu was one of the best I've experienced. The buffet area knocked our socks off. Oh my gosh - it was one of the largest I have ever seen. There were so many stations with so many great selections to choose from and the food was excellent - and you never felt crowded or crushed by a sea of other passengers shoving their way into a line. So nice! One day I asked the head chef up there for mashed potatoes - next day there they were. The ship was so beautiful with many nice public areas to hang out in - one more interesting than the next. There was a lovely promenade deck we could walk every morning, lots of seating on the pool deck so never a problem to find a spot to light for the day. Of course, this was late fall in Europe and the Atlantic so the pool wasn't as big a draw as if we were in the Caribbean. The covered pool was always in use and was a really comfortable and pretty spot. Lots of funky seating! One of our favorite spots was the Sunset Bar up top at the back of the ship. The view was great and this afforded our smoking friends a beautiful place to sit and smoke - and drink. The waiters up there were terrific. We were on first name basis after one day. Every afternoon the ship had beer and specialty drinks at discounted rates. This is also the area where the lawns are located and actually it was nice having some grass on the ship. It was very well maintained and quite green and interesting to watch how they watered and mowed it. They had different lawn activities every day which were a lot of fun. The specialty restaurants were numerous and offered a great selection although we did not eat in them as we were very happy with our main dining room food. We've done it before on other ships and it is just too much food for us. Other folks who did eat in them said the food was magnificent. The entertainment was top notch and one show was better than the next. I thought the theater was laid out very nicely with easy viewing from most spots. The casino was a nice, typical ship casino that enjoyed taking your money rather than you winning any. I didn't notice the smoke being a problem there. Because there were so many repeat cruisers on this trip, they didn't have a captain's cocktail party but gave us drink vouchers - which was really nice because we could go to any bar and get what we wanted with actual alcohol in the drinks. Also, they offered a fill the laundry bag for $20 which was nice since they don't offer passenger laundromats on their ships. That helps with lighter packing on a two week trip. The only real negative was the fact that one of the pods that helped drive the ship appeared to be in nonworking order and despite many attempts to fix it, it would have to wait until Miami. This caused the ship to be able to go at only 17 knots so the Canary Islands were eliminated from our itinerary (of course, this is the one we wanted to see the most). We were given a very generous shipboard credit for this. The crossing was smooth as silk and we had a wonderful time despite the extra sea days. All in all, it was a wonderful cruise on a beautiful ship with a great staff and we would sail on this ship or one of her sister ships again with no hesitation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
I should start by saying I wanted to love Reflection. After all, it's a bigger version of my favourite ship, Celebrity Eclipse. But bigger negatively impacted the experience in a few critical ways. See below for more. Embarkation: ... Read More
I should start by saying I wanted to love Reflection. After all, it's a bigger version of my favourite ship, Celebrity Eclipse. But bigger negatively impacted the experience in a few critical ways. See below for more. Embarkation: When I say WORST EVER, I really mean it. And that includes the spring break-time Carnival cruise I took a long time ago with a ton of very drunk people in line for an hour. This was an hour and a half in a hot, airless line, with no information and no Celebrity staff there to help sort the lines out. Lines were not logically placed and as a result, people were quite confused and embarkation took an hour and a half from the time we got inside the hall. CRAZY. And not a good way to start a cruise. Cabin: AQ is same as the Eclipse/Equinox, just with different artwork on the walls. A few changes - they've changed the drawers, so there are 3 instead of 5 (making two much deeper, but not as useful for two people sharing). They've changed the bedside tables and those are much more useful now as they're closed cubes (my stuff forever fell off the old gray ones). And in the bathroom, there is no glass door on the chest anymore - it's now open. They've replaced the hairdryer model, making it easier to use. Otherwise, amenities are similar to other AQ rooms on the fleet. Room Steward was Ozy and was the best we've had to date. Social areas: The biggest impact to social areas has been in the Sky Lounge, which was made much smaller to accommodate the Reflection suites. IMHO, this was a poor decision. It makes the Sky Lounge much, much smaller and rather than all those lovely windows, it's only got windows on two sides - and feels claustrophobic. On the plus side, there seems to be no more smoking in Sky, which is a plus. Captain's Club: On our cruise, we had nearly 2000 captains club members (inclusive of high-level RCCL). Because of the huge numbers of cruisers combined with the tinyness of Sky, the usual Elite drinks hour was modified significantly. Now, we could go to most any bar, using a ticket/voucher system, 3 per person per day. That seemed like a good idea at first, but quickly we realised that we missed the opportunity to socialise with other Elite members - and every bar was packed beyond belief as a result of all these people with free vouchers. I heard non-Elite members complaining about it as well. The morning Elite breakfast was as always fantastic - they have sorted out previous issues with not enough wait staff present and got some tremendously personable staffers to handle those activities. Evica was a particular standout - cheery smile and attitude every single day. Kudos to Chandru, who dealt with all of this crazyness - and the sheer volume presented - with aplomb and grace. He worked hard to make everyone feel welcome and special - which was no mean feat given the restrictions imposed on this cruise with space and the number of cruisers he needed to touch. Restaurants: We usually eat in Blu, but the additional influx due to the AQ suites meant the restaurant was PACKED every night. Even with an early eating time, it was almost impossible to get a good table unless you showed up at 5:30p. The waitstaff was impeccable - kudos to Marina and to Jose in particular, and Johnnie is as debonair a maitre d' as you could ask for. Murano: as always, my favourite experience. Fantastic food, and Mariyana was easily the best server I've had anywhere in any restaurant in the world. She made it an outstanding experience. Tuscan Grille: We'd given up on this after the past few cruises of mediocre food. Exec Chef Alana has changed things on this ship and really taken the level of food up a notch and Tuscan was no different. The Porch: Would benefit from some additional "meal" salads such as cobb or nicoise - that said, it was the ONLY place to get potato chips on the entire ship and a relatively sane haven during lunchtimes, and the food was good. Try the carrot cake cupcake. Mast Grill: Menu continues to shrink here. This cruise saw the removal of onion rings. BOOOO. But awesome cheeseburgers, and I still wish they'd bring back the nachos. Bacio: Always good staff here and lovely coffees. The pastries are nice but don't taste as good as they look. :) Oceanview: Same as the other ships - but very ugly colour scheme. Artwork: More photography on this ship than previous cruises. HIDEOUS, AWFUL, DISTURBING video art outside of Blu. I had nightmares after I watched it all the way through. If you have kids, strongly suggest you not let them watch. Other artwork more pleasing, including the Roberto Cavalli-esque foyer on the way to the specialty restaurants. Celebrity Life: Great Zumba instructor for this cruise. Pool aerobics were a bit laughable - the sweet girl who led them obviously had no idea her land-based moves would never work in an aqua environment. Entertainment: I wish Celebrity would offer a better selection of TV channels and free-to-view movies. Even airplanes offer better?! Aqua Spa: Great improvement to numbers of beds in Persian Gardens. Good hair technicians (I got a colour and a keratin treatment). Disembarkation: Swift, but we were one of the first groups to go. Not sure how later groups fared as they for some reason unloaded ALL THE BAGS from all the groups onto the conveyor at 7:30 a so it was hard to find bags, to put it mildly, then - I can't imagine what it was like an hour later. Overall: Communication tends to be Celebrity's greatest flaw. Some more detailed conversation with us regarding the engine issue that caused us to miss a port (tenerife) would have been welcome - though they did the right thing and returned our port taxes. And the embarkation debacle should have been addressed.I do want to say that for the first time ever, we had a decent experience in Guest Relations with Jole - she was friendly, approachable and got things done. Great experience, staff even more friendly and lovely than previous ships - but I'll go back to my beloved Eclipse for my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
If it wasn't for the people I was with, I would have left this cruise mid-way and flown home. I would have had MORE fun! Let's start from the beginning... Firstly, I was traveling in a group of 6 people, ages 29-70. This ... Read More
If it wasn't for the people I was with, I would have left this cruise mid-way and flown home. I would have had MORE fun! Let's start from the beginning... Firstly, I was traveling in a group of 6 people, ages 29-70. This review is the experience we all had combined. 4 out of the 6 people were Elite members and have cruise a lot, the other 2 are fairly new to cruising. In this review, you will get all perspectives. Let's try to get some good things at least stated first.. Embarkation: This was pretty straightforward. We arrived in Venice, Italy, got to the port (via our own transportation) and it went FAIRLY smoothly. I say fairly because it looked pretty messed up in the other lines, but since I am an Elite member with Celebrity I was able to go in a separate line. The newbie to cruising wasn't sure what was going on, I think she assumed the chaos of people was normal. The Ship: This IS a gorgeous ship. Everything was clean from the cabins to the main areas and dining. The were sanitizing everything and even gave you sanitizing gel every time you entered the main casual dining upstairs. From artwork, to the shops, casino... just stunning. The Cabins: Gorgeous Cabins. We had a total of 3 cabins between the 6 of us. 2 SV categories (sunset veranda's at the back of the ship) and one Suite Category (also at the back of the ship). We liked these balcony rooms as we could see ourselves sailing away from the ports (for the most part) and could watch the sunsets from our balconies. The size of the room was fairly large compared to other cruises I have been on. There was no real storage space which I found odd. There was only one area with plugs, 2 outlets total. This also did not make sense! The bathroom definitely seemed bigger than any Royal Caribbean cruise I have been on (fyi i have been on every class ship on RCCL except the Oasis class). The Balcony was a decent size as well. For the most part, you have to remember you are on a ship, and you cannot expect huge staterooms without being in a suite. The suite that 2 of us had was beautiful! It was also situated at the back of the ship, and it was MUCH larger than the SV category. It also had its own butler that would always bring food, chocolates... anything that you really wanted. The bathrooms were also huge. The suite bathroom had an actual tub/shower combo that I have never seen before on a ship! Nice touch, especially the rain shower! One side note: Our Stateroom Attendant left our door open once to our stateroom which was unacceptable. He also left our Balcony door open TWICE... and the separation between my balcony and my neighbours was broken. This is UNACCEPTABLE. For a cruise that was on it's 3rd journey, I'm shocked the ship is falling apart. Entertainment: This cruise LACKED entertainment. Not only this, but it NEVER started on time. It was always about 10 minutes late. It was 14 days, where only 3 of the 14 days had actually good entertainment. The Magician (which i unfortunately personally missed out on for reasons you will find out later in the review), the Comedian, and the last dance show nearing the end of the cruise. The other dance shows and acts that we had were horrid. All 6 of us, along with a lot of people left the shows because they were too painful to sit through the full hour. Cruise Director: "Terrible" doesn't even seem to properly describe this cruise director. He was NEVER at the shows, NEVER had interaction with the passengers, NEVER around! One of us actually saw him walking on the ship, we said hello, he didn't even respond. He was rude, and all he cared about was being on his cell phone. He never once cared to interact with us passengers, nor even make himself visible at the shows at times! What exactly is his job again?? I'm sorry, does the Celebrity Cruise Director application require "good knowledge and use of cell phone and texting"? Because that's all I saw him do while I was running to a show. It was maybe 5 minutes after the show SHOULD have started (as I mentioned before, it started late, so i actually was perfectly fine coming in 5 minutes late) and walking towards the theatre I saw the Cruise Director on his phone (yet again) right outside. Well, would you believe that he didn't even come on stage that night to introduce the act? Nope! What the heck was he doing outside the theatre?! What the heck is his job? Captain: CLEARLY this captain has his own fan club... If you sat in on his little speech about his "saving of the passengers"...you could vomit. I personally watched this on TV as I had something else to attend to, but 3 of our party sat in so that when the q&a period came we could talk to the Captain about our problems. Let me first tell you what happened: On this cruise, while at dinner actually, we heard a loud bang/boom. The next day we found out that we were no longer going to our port of call because one of our engines stopped working. Well, first it was our engine, then it was our propeller, and then the Captain told us everything is fine (when clearly it wasn't because we never got to our ports on time!) Not only that, but there are advantages of having a cabin at the back of the ship... you can see if the engines are working! Well... one engine was working... the other one was fluttering. The Captain never updated us at all on what was going on, and he was never honest about the situation. SO... when this q&a opportunity came up, we had to ask what the heck was going on and why NOBODY would tell us the truth. He beat around the bush and didn't want to answer our question straight on. He is a TERRIBLE Captain. I don't care that he saved passengers, I care that I am not LIED to. That he tells us the TRUTH, and that he tells us what the heck is going on! He thinks he's all clever by using Ship terminology to try and say "I never said we had an engine problem!" ... yeah, well we aren't idiots, we can see the engines working or failing from our cabins.. BE HONEST! A full day would go by without even letting us know the progress of fixing the problems! This is NOT how you handle a situation like this. Not only that, but if we were in our staterooms we would have to run to the outside every time he would make any sort of announcement as he NEVER announced them in the Cabins. I mean... don't you think it's kind of important?! I never once was on a cruise ship where if there was a problem it wouldn't be announced in the cabins. If the cruise ship was sinking, would we have to run to open the cabin doors to hear the announcement as well? Just downright wrong. This Captain by far was NOT good. Continuing another little story that is related to this.... We stopped at Athens, Greece and were given an extended time there since we had "engine" problems. We were told to be back on the ship by midnight. Well, 4 of the 6 of us were out in Athens at night enjoying ourselves and at least getting a night experience there while we have the opportunity. We were very disappointed to have to be back by midnight as we did not want to leave. Well, the ship never left until 4AM! We went downstairs by 1:00am and asked what's going on!? We even called Guest Relations. Everyone said they could not tell us when we would be leaving. I did not have to end my fun time in Athens to be back on the ship to do nothing. At LEAST if you are going to leave later, give us the opportunity to stay later in Athens! The gangway was still out even at 2AM! They wouldn't let us off the ship, but yet they were letting other people on till 4AM. NOT RIGHT! They were not leaving on time for over half the trip. We would rush to be on time to find out we didn't need to stress ourselves out in the end. Shore Excursions: We had a HUGE problem here. We took the 4x4 jeep tour in Malta. What it says on the information sheet.. FALSE! It is ALL wrong. What a terrible terrible excursion. Do NOT at any cost take it! EVEN IF SOMEONE PAID YOU!!! It was a ride from hell. We were 6 people in back of a pick up truck that was driving at high speeds like a crazy mad man, i almost fell out of the truck! It was also cold and windy that day.. none of this was taken into consideration. I guess the drivers' lack of knowledge of how fast he was going (since his speedometer was broken and remained at 0) and his flapping of his door which never locked properly, and broken seat belt was his excuse?.. yeah. The driver could have spoken English.. that would have been nice. It literally was a 3 hour ride of sitting in a crazy mad man vehicle in the freezing cold. No guide was given on the tour as the driver shut off the radio with the only English speaking guide talking on it as apparently we eventually would "not be able to hear it anyways!" ... All the cars in this excursion had the same issues and when we went to celebrity shore excursions to complain, all we got was a half refund. NOT ACCEPTABLE. Like I said before, I wouldn't take this excursion if you paid me! Dining: The food - FABULOUS! I rarely find now a days that the food in the dining room is great, and this was just outstanding! I must commend that. We did have a few issues though. Firstly, the first day they screwed up our reservation and put all 6 of us at separate tables. This was not fixed much as they couldn't find us a table of 6. They decided to put us at select dining. Well, once we went to select dining, the first 2 days were terrible! We sat there for maybe an hour before we even got served or handed menus. When we complained for the 2nd time as we all were at this point very annoyed, they begged us to come one more night, told us they would switch our table and put us in good hands with another server. After this was done, we were treated AMAZINGLY. Our server, Melvyn, was just outstanding. We all could not have had a better experience with him. It was him who made us stay at select dining for the remainder of the cruise. There are no words to describe how great and attentive this man is. Spa: We used the hair salon and got manicures at the spa. The manicures I find are overpriced but they did a great job. I didn't use the hair salon personally, but the person in my group who did I believe liked it. Her normally curly hair looked amazingly straight. The one problem I encountered was that the lady was late to take me about 20 minutes for my appointment. Activities: Non-existent would be the appropriate way of describing activities. When we got stuck on the ship at an extra sea day because of our "engine" problems, we all dreaded it. There was nothing. Literally nothing! Aside from all of us being nauseous that day because the stabilizers were off and the ship was rocking like crazy, we had no activities to attend to and we all just sat miserably staring at each other upstairs at the 14th dining area. Bored. This was also the same for the other 2 sea days that were normally scheduled. I could not believe the lack of activities on this ship! Did they think the people on board were all in walkers and wheelchairs that no activities were scheduled? Do they think that people in their 50's, 60's and 70's just like to sit around and fall asleep? I can guarantee you that everyone in my group, ages 29-70 were ALL BORED. We begged for activities! Aside from the day we were all nauseous and terribly sick from the rocking we were all wanting to be a part of something! Overall, what made this trip remotely great was because of the people I was with. We had to make our own fun when the cruise did not offer us this is any way. Had all these problems never happened, this trip would have been superb. It's sad that there were these issues because this ship does have potential... it just really REALLY needs to improve in service, activities, the Captain, cruise director, and entertainment. I felt so bad when I heard the Transatlantic cruise (the one that followed ours) was missing the Canary Islands because of the still ongoing problem with the engines [that, may I say, the captain once told us the problem was fixed (lie!)] because this meant they would now have 9 days at sea instead of 7 days ... I would rather swim the transatlantic ocean than be on that ship for 9 sea days! What horror they must be encountering.. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
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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