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1,863 Celebrity Reflection Cruise Reviews

I have never cruised before, so all my star comparisons are with ground. Public spaces--Functionally they were excellent except pool area was small and extremely crowded on sea days. Decor was modern--Nice finishes and fixtures, but art ... Read More
I have never cruised before, so all my star comparisons are with ground. Public spaces--Functionally they were excellent except pool area was small and extremely crowded on sea days. Decor was modern--Nice finishes and fixtures, but art and "whimsy" often pretty dumb. Main dining room looked like a high school prom with a Jetson's theme, but you got used to it. Overall feeling was closer to a convention hotel than the Broadmoor. Rooms--Small but okay for 2 because of balcony. Had to run extension cord across room to get plug in by bed. Good bed. Slept very well. Service--Great. Only weakness was pool area understaffed. Food--Excellent. Main dining room offered a big variety of 3 and 4 star dishes. Buffet had good selection of more basic items for breakfast, lunch and snacks. Room service breakfast was really convenient. Entertainment---varied in quality from 2 to 4 star. Heavy on music. Lots of nice small music acts performing at various times throughout ship. Shore excursions--did private except for Naples. Had unused credit so took Pompeii On Your Own. Very nice bus. Guide didn't provide much information in bus or handouts. This caused a problem because Pompeii signage is really bad and they don't give you a map. Had to wait 30 minutes in line to get tickets, but amount of time at sight was extended, so somewhat rushed through site. Experience with private tours much better. Particularly recommend Ephesus Shuttle and Sicilylife. Overall--very nice way to see lots of sights. Much more convenient than changing hotels all the time. More restful travel than train or plane, plus some really pretty views from ship. Would do again if I liked itinerary.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
Ship was, as expected, new, modern and beautiful, although the amount of rolling surprised me for such a new ship. The service was impeccable from start to finish. Everyone was professional and friendly. Our cabin attendants, Sunil and ... Read More
Ship was, as expected, new, modern and beautiful, although the amount of rolling surprised me for such a new ship. The service was impeccable from start to finish. Everyone was professional and friendly. Our cabin attendants, Sunil and Henry were exceptional. We saw them in passing through the hallways and the room was always very clean. Great job, guys! Port and shore excursions are not really my thing but I must comment. GF went into San Juan and shopped (which I strongly dislike) for a few hours so I am glad I stayed on the ship and got my drink on. In St. Thomas, Magen's Bay and The Mountain Top (Oy Vey, the fumes from the various trucks were horrible) were overly crowded, even unpleasant at times. The beach at MB was still good, though. Cabin (2A verandah) was tight,but very ergonomic. Bathroom/shower also good. We had a couple of issues with the rubber strip causing a loud whistle sound (even when we closed the sliding door tight) and an obnoxious clicking sound coming from the ceiling of the cabin every time the ship rolled, which was really bad coming back from St. Maarten. Speaking of St. Maarten, I will NEVER go there again. Took the water taxi to Great Bay Beach where the hawkers/hustlers verbally "assaulted" everyone in sight for one reason or another. Very obnoxious and over the top. Same with the shops as you walked along the streets. Once again, will never go back there unless it is to a private resort. And the fact the chairs were lined up side by side, along the entire beach was a huge turn off. Ate mostly at the Oceanview cafe and the food was very good. We had the Classic drink package and were very satisfied with it. The Rondell Sheridan comedy show was very funny. My 4th cruise and an over all good time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We are a married couple, who has sailed on many Transatlantic cruises previously. Pre-cruise: We flew from Scandinavia to Rome, one day before the cruise. We stayed at the 4* San Giorgio Hotel in Civitavecchia. We had booked the ... Read More
We are a married couple, who has sailed on many Transatlantic cruises previously. Pre-cruise: We flew from Scandinavia to Rome, one day before the cruise. We stayed at the 4* San Giorgio Hotel in Civitavecchia. We had booked the hotel’s Gold Package, which included shuttle service from the Fiumicino Airport to the hotel - dinner in the evening, breakfast the next day, and shuttle service to Reflection. We will choose the hotel’s Gold Package again, if we later should sail on a cruise out of Civitavecchia. The only problem we had, was that there unfortunately was very difficult to find the meeting point for the hotel's shuttle driver, inside the informed terminal at the Airport! Embarkation: Went quickly. We went to the check-in counter for Elite Members. The Ship: The Reflection is really a beautiful ship! Cabin info: Our Sunset veranda was large and very nice. Captains Club: Because of the large number of Elite and above members on this cruise, we got three free drink coupons each, to use daily in most bars around the ship, between 5-7 pm Dining: With two exceptions, we ate our dinners in the MDR, with Select Dining. As with our previous cruise with Equionx, waiters were very busy. We think in general it is very disappointing that a Premium Cruise Line like Celebrity, not are being able to offer better Select Dining Service, than we also on this Celebrity cruise experienced. Most waiter team, had all too many passengers to operate. We find it a little strange that with our many cruises with Royal Caribbean's My Time Dining, we have in most cases received better and more personal MTD-service, than with Select Dining. One thing we also found very disappointing, was that no napkins were folded in a decorative way. On the contrary, there were several times badly ironed napkins at our table. The sommeliers in the MDR did a good job. (As opposed to our last cruise with Equionx in the Mediterranean, where a large part of the passengers had received a beverage package included in the cruise fare. For that reason, the sommelier service was inadequate). The hostesses on the portside on deck 4 in the Opus dining room, was nice and also effective in assigning dinner tables. The food was generally good. We ate breakfast and lunch in the Oceanview buffet restaurant. It always had a good selection of foods. Although we only ate dinner once in the Oceanview, we were very impressed with the wide variety of dishes! Specialty restaurant: We ate one dinner in Tuscan Grill. The food and waiter service was good, but the sommelier was not particularly pleasant. Unlike Transatlantic cruises with RCI, food was never prepared and served on pool deck at lunchtime on sea days. Entertainment: Of course, a lot of entertainment. We think most of the live music was good. However, as on RCI-ships, we no longer go to see the production shows. We are quite tired to experience that most of the music/songs presented, is not original, but only "luck a like" music/songs. The reason for this is probably copyright issues/costs for RCCL. We are also very tired of hearing the high screaming voices of the Celebrity lead singers in the show productions. General: The majority of the crew we met, were friendly. The ship is in an excellent condition. Also on this Transatlantic cruise, there were many chair hogs. One thing that also irritates us, is that some passengers also reserve loungers beside himself, for not getting people close to him. For a selfishness! Disembarkation: As usual upon arrival to the United States, disembarkation took a long time. But it was well organized by Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Embarkation in Barcelona was the best of any cruise we have taken. We arrived at the terminal by taxi about an hour after the first passengers could board, our baggage was immediately taken away by a porter, we went straight to the area ... Read More
Embarkation in Barcelona was the best of any cruise we have taken. We arrived at the terminal by taxi about an hour after the first passengers could board, our baggage was immediately taken away by a porter, we went straight to the area designated for our deck, checked in and were on board within about 15 minutes. We went to our stateroom, met our room attendants, had lunch and by that time our bags had arrived. All very efficient and hassle-free. Our stateroom was what you would expect on a brand new ship. Clean, reasonably spacious and kept immaculate by the two attendants. They were very friendly, never intrusive and seemed to know whenever we left our stateroom for breakfast as by the time we returned the bed was made and the cabin tidied. We love the concept of no fixed seating/sittings in the dining room and would generally arrive for dinner at about 7.30 pm and on only one occasion had to wait for a table. Food in the main dining room was good but certainly not great and there was not enough variety. Nowhere near the standard of a good restaurant on shore. Did not live up to the expectations we had after reading other reviews by Celebrity passengers. One major fault with the dining room was the dim lighting. It became a joke as people would use the torches on their cell phones in order to be able to read the menu. I don't expect a restaurant to be brightly lit but surely you should be able to see to read the menu. We tried the specialty restaurants and again, although the food was good it was not exceptional and certainly did not live up to the hype. For most of our shore excursions (including some we did with fellow Cruise Critic members) we used private tour guides and these were excellent. We took two organised by the ship and both were frustrating in that fellow passengers would arrive back at the bus up to 20 minutes late. This meant that on one tour we actually had to miss one of our stops. I know this is not the ship's fault but surely something can be done to avoid this. Maybe make an announcement that if you are late returning to the bus it will leave and you will be required to make your own way back to the ship. Entertainment on the cruise was hit and miss. The Filipino group was excellent and we listened to them every night. Other shows were in the main not great and it was evident that other passengers felt the same way as on quite a few occasions you would see people leaving the theatre after 5-10 minutes. Disembarkation in Venice was swift with no problems. Once outside the terminal, however, it was a different story. It was raining and there was no shelter as we waited with dozens of others to get the one shuttle to the area where you could get a water taxi to your hotel. As seems to be the case in these situations, people were jumping the queue and pushing their way onto the shuttle each time it arrived. When we finally arrived at the water taxi area it was quite chaotic with people lined up to buy tickets and then not sure where to go after that. Not a good end to the cruise. In all, we enjoyed the cruise but had expected more. We found the experience no better than the other cruise lines we've cruised with and will probably only choose Celebrity again if there is an itinerary we find particularly attractive. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
The Celebrity Reflection is a beautiful ship and the staff was really wonderful - always pleasant and helpful. As others have reviewed, although this was widely touted as an inaugural cruise - so many times by the cruise director. It ... Read More
The Celebrity Reflection is a beautiful ship and the staff was really wonderful - always pleasant and helpful. As others have reviewed, although this was widely touted as an inaugural cruise - so many times by the cruise director. It created high expectations for something special - unfortunately, that was not the case. I selected this cruise not for the fact that it was an inaugural cruise, but because of the itinerary. Thank goodness because if it had not been mentioned so many times that it was an inaugural cruise - I would never have known it. Food - we ate breakfast and lunch in the Cafe on the 14th floor. The food was OK to good; service very good. Everyone was constantly hustling to clear tables and offer coffee or juice. Although there were many stations with lots of food - we tended to eat the same everyday - that was our choice. Nothing outstanding - but then how special can you make an omelet and bacon? Some of the desserts however were very good. Dinner was in the Opus main dining area. The food was very good and the service also exceptional - very attentive. Service - as mentioned - everyone very friendly and attentive. These guys and gals really work hard and deserve every tip they get and more. Although we prepaid gratuities we supplemented them as well. This applies to food service and cabin service. Our room was cleaned/ straightened every day - as expected; we were always greeted with a smile from our attendant. Entertainment - OK to so-so. Several of the acts I thought would have been better suited on a smaller stage - not the main stage. A magician - really??? you couldn't even see the card tricks he was doing with or without the camera and large screen used to show his tricks. The fiddler who played mostly blue grass and Celtic tunes??? Really??? Not exactly mainstream. He was obviously talented - when he played classical tunes they were excellent. I've been on non-inaugural cruises where I thought the entertainment was of higher quality. Maybe it was my expectations that were set too high. Excursions - I try to arrange for excursions thru private companies because those offered by the cruise ship tends to be expensive and attended by large groups. I ended up signing up for 3 of the cruise line's excursions because I couldn't find a private excursion: canal cruise in Bruges, city tour of Vigo, and another city tour. I hope they fixed the problem with their registration system on the TV - the information was all wrong. They itinerary was showing a 12 night cruise - not the 9 night cruise we were on. I never could register for any of the excursions via the system even after calling the desk several times - they tried fixing it but never got it right. Because of that I was closed out of several excursions. I tried the desk but the lines were always very long. I finally managed to sign up with the help of one of the staff. The guides were below average in that they were not that knowledgeable and with the large group it was always difficult to hear. The excursion to the Alahambra that I arranged thru a private company was very good - I would highly recommend them. Shopping on board - There was very limited time to shop off ship so I thought about buying a hand decorated ornament. When I asked the attendant to confirm that it was hand made locally - she said - yes, in Turkey. I thought it was odd that they would have a large selection of souvenirs from Turkey and not Spain. Turkey was not on the itinerary. Very strange. I guess if I want a souvenir from Spain I need to take the Greece/Turkey cruise?? Overall, even though it rained every day we enjoyed the cruise. Thinking back - we probably would have thought it was an exceptional cruise except we were told over and over again that "this was special" - "this was an inaugural cruise". It was a very nice cruise, unfortunately nothing really special. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
This pre inaugral cruise on Reflection was a competition prize offered by Celebrity and won through Cruise Critic. We were extremely excited to be one of the first to be sailing on this brand new ship and accepted that the format would be ... Read More
This pre inaugral cruise on Reflection was a competition prize offered by Celebrity and won through Cruise Critic. We were extremely excited to be one of the first to be sailing on this brand new ship and accepted that the format would be short and maybe all the features would not be up and running - how wrong we were with regard to the latter. This two day cruise was primarily an advertising event for the world's press and travel agents. Although there were ships tours and lots of filming for both sectors this was not intrusive and did not spoil our enjoyment... in fact because of this there were many sections of the ship, eg suites, all categories of stateroom and parts of the spa and gym which the mere mortal would not normallly see were thrown open to us. Travel and embarkation: Celebrity flew us from Heathrow to Amsterdam where we joined people from all corners of the world and all boarded coaches bound for Eemshaven, a tiny industrial port about 3.5 hours from Amsterdam where we would first set eyes on this beautiful ship and step aboard. Amsterdam airport was chaotic and the Celebrity staff were not easy to find but eventually we joined the rugby scrum and pushed our way onto one of the many coaches provided. Celebrity had provided everyone with a bag full of sandwiches and other goodies to get us through the journey, well done celebrity such a good touch. We stopped about 50 minutes away from the port to have a comfort break, free tea and coffee and to stretch our legs. This is the first time we realised not everything was going quite to plan, the coaches were being held at this point for longer than scheduled as the embarkation process at Eeemshaven was proving more difficult then anticipated. We continued about about half an hour late and once we got to the port were held outside for a further 20 minutes or so. Once we got into the check in marquee it took about 45 minutes to get through and actually onto the ship. We were weary when we got on board but did we think it was worth it? You bet! If we had paid for the cruise we may have felt a bit grumpy, but this was free and I am sure Celebrity learnt a few lessons when it comes to trying to get a couple of thousand multi-national people through a small tent at the same time and using just one onboard X-ray machine. We stepped aboard to the accustomed glass of bubbly at about 5 pm and after dropping off our bags dashed to the muster drill which had just started. This was run very professionally by the crew, however we were very unhappy that this was held even though all passengers were not on the ship. It was announced that all passengers were present but when we returned to our cabin we watched at least 4 more coaches drop off their passengers so we were aware that at least 200 people who sailed with us did not take part in the drill. In our view this is unforgiveable and indicated that schedule was more important to Celebrity than passenger safety. Reflection herself ... she is stunningly beautiful, but we are Solstice Class fans! The finish is luxurious, the staff at all levels are hard working and charming, the food and drink exceptional. We were allocated an Aqua Class stateroom which was exactly as you would expect on all S Class ships, so no surprises there. Changes... There is one extra deck of staterooms. The theatre is larger and on 3 levels, still sumptuous with plenty of leg room and great line of sight. The Sky Lounge has been reduced by about half in size to make room for suites... hope the sound proofing is good because the Sky Lounge is now being used as a disco venue and Quasar no longer exists. The Quasar area has now been changed into conference rooms. Team Earth is now a quiet area called the Hideaway where you can get coffee etc. The Porch, an eatery with yummy pastries and panninis can be found at the edge of the lawn along with several cabanas which can be hired for $99 per port day and $125 per sea day for 4 people, for this you get your own area with picnic and drinks... you only get to look out on others sitting on the lawn not the ocean and others can spread their rugs right in front of you ... not sure it does it for me. Michaels Bar is a lot bigger, no longer a snug gentlemans club type venue, shame, more a themed pub. Old favourites Comfortingly Tuscan, Qsine, Murano, Bistro on 5, Cafe Al Bacio, the Mast Grill, Ocean View and all the expected Bars are all still there and the main dining room on Reflection is called Opus and is beautiful. One change which is welcome is the chairs in the MDR, they are the same design as on other S Class ships but they weigh so much less, yeah, you can go to dinner without the risk of getting a hernia. The Fitness Centre is bigger and offers lots more than before, a private gym area where you can hire your own personal trainer, spinning type cycle exercise classes and other specialised fitness training sessions which I cannot quite remember, by this point in the tour my head was spinning. The spa and the treatments on offer have been expanded. The solarium was its usual haven of serenity with pool, saunas and lovely healthy food. On this cruise we were so lucky to find that everything was non-chargeable. We tried a little bit of everything, cocktails, wines, coffees. The shows were not only professional but exceptional. We saw Peter Martin(?) who is a Juggler, we weren't sure if this would be our thing. A shame he was so undersold! Yes he could Juggle ... amazing! He is also a very funny comedian, how we laughed. Nick Weir is the Entertainment Director, he usually starts off the new ships, we have seen him before when Eclipse was launched. As before he is slick, professional and very fond of his own voice. The general ship acts were to a really high standard. Disembarkation This went really smoothly in Amsterdam where we were boarded onto coaches for the 30 minute drive back to the airport. We absolutely loved this short cruise on Reflection. We can only extend our thanks to Celebrity and Cruise Critic for giving us this amazing opportunity to be one of the first to sail on her. Did we like Reflection? We loved her! Would we book a cruise on her? In a heart beat! Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We never booked so many excursions, but with an 11 port itinerary all in new places, we had to do it. As a result, we had less time than ever to enjoy the ship, and with some excursions being 10-11 hours, we were worn out! That said, we ... Read More
We never booked so many excursions, but with an 11 port itinerary all in new places, we had to do it. As a result, we had less time than ever to enjoy the ship, and with some excursions being 10-11 hours, we were worn out! That said, we still enjoyed it immensely, but what I really wanted to post was information about our extra day in Venice after the cruise. I couldnt figure out how to put it in a more appropriate place on Cruise Critic. We originally were going to fly home the day we arrived in Venice, but wouldnt have seen Venice at all if we did. Hotels around St Mark's Square were very high priced, and from what we could find on line, we were afraid we would not be able to get a boat to the airport on time for an early flight. We booked Courtyard by Marriott near the airport and left the ship at 6:30AM, with an airport transfer booked on board for something like $34 each. The Service desk actually advised just taking a cab from the ship for less money, and we later met someone who did just that, taking the cab right to the Marriott for $45 with tip. The bus ride to the airport from the ship was less than half an hour...maybe 20 min. Our plan was to pick up the hotel phone in the airport and have the Marriott free shuttle come and get us. We in fact passed the Marriott on the way to the airport...about 5 minutes from the airport. In fact we could see the airport from the hotel. There was NO phone to call the hotel as I pictured, and there was noone at the Information desk, and after trying to call the hotel on an unfamiliar Italian phone with no success, we finally spoke to someone holding a Celebrity card, waiting for new arrivals transferring to the ship for the next cruise. She was very nice, but I misunderstood where she said to wait for the Marriott shuttle. To make a long story short, we spent 2 1/2 hours getting to the hotel instead of a half hour taxi ride. By 10:30 we had checked in early to our VERY nice room, and were standing across the street awaiting public bus No 5 to take us to the center where we transferred to a Vaporetto (public boat) that would take us down the Grand Canal through Venice to St Mark's Square. I forgot to mention that the hotel was a reasonable $147, booked on line before we left. Tickets for the bus were purchased in the hotel for something like $2.60 (not sure if that one was Euros) round trip. When we arrived at the other end of the bus 5 line, we were at the Grand Canal where we could get a Vaporetto ticket OR a "water taxi" which cost much more. The Vaporetto was 14 Eu round trip, so we got two 14 Eu tickets. You scan the tickets at a turnstyle and go through to the boat, BUT what we were not told was that one ticket was for both of us each way. By each scanning a ticket, we used up our return fare ...I felt this was an absolute scam! Regardless the ride down the Grand Canal was very interesting. We got off at the other end at st Mark's Square in pouring rain. We toured what we could of the square,but the tower and church were closed. The square was so flooded, we walked atop 4 ft wide platforms raised about two feet, with two way traffic hoping we wouldnt fall off! after visiting a few shops and making a few purchases, and eating in arestaurant off the square, we bought our return Valparetta ticket for another 14 eu and headed back. Although we didnt get to walk around much because of the rain, I was satisfied that I saw enough of venice, contrary to what my wife thinks! The bottom line...if you take a cruise ending in Venice, spend at least an extra day. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We had the pleasure of sailing on the 10/21-11/4 sailing from Barcelona to Venice. We had perfect weather and no troubles at all on this lovely new ship. If you're sallied on the s class, much less the silhouette; the Reflection feels ... Read More
We had the pleasure of sailing on the 10/21-11/4 sailing from Barcelona to Venice. We had perfect weather and no troubles at all on this lovely new ship. If you're sallied on the s class, much less the silhouette; the Reflection feels familiar and comfortable. We love the use of space for the lawn club grill and porch. The ship was a lovely home for the two week trip. We love the aft s1 suite that not only includes a large balcony but also,the side oversized porthole. More than enough storage space is nice. We did notice the hot water in the shower seemed weak, perhaps a new ship symptom. We enjoyed the mdr so much we even cancelled Tuscan grill. We had select dining and had dinner at the same table each night. While we enjoy the option of eating at whichever time we prefer, we like to have the same wait team throughout the trip. We had a good lunch at the porch. Well worth $5, same with bistro on 5. We had a wonderful dinner at murano. Lobster of course and rack of lamb. We ate the the lawn club grill for the first time. What a nice surprise! Relaxed atmosphere with current music was a nice change. The employees were really fun as it is an interactive environment. We were tired after touring all day so we watched as they prepared our flat breads and grilled our entree selections. Other passengers were doing it themselves and everyone was having a good time, No comments about entertainment as we enjoy the casino... Great staff there too! This was a very port intensive trip. The staff did a good job overall getting passengers on tours off the ship. We take shore sponsored tours. We appreciate never worrying about missing the ship due to some mishap ashore, especially in Europe. Because this was the second sailing of the new ship, many of the employees were pulled from other ships. It's always nice to,see familiar,, smiling faces! We felt the employees were so friendly and truly sincere in trying to please. The hotel manager is doing a great job as is the dining room staff. Celebrity continues to deliver a far superior mainstream cruise experience, the food and service set it apart along with the tasteful ship designs. Departing Venice from the ship was easy.... The airport was a mess!! Give yourself plenty of time... Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
After our first Celebrity cruise in 2011 on the Equinox, we quickly became Celebrity converts. While we still love to try different lines and ships, Celebrity is the first company we look to when booking. The Solstice Class ships are an ... Read More
After our first Celebrity cruise in 2011 on the Equinox, we quickly became Celebrity converts. While we still love to try different lines and ships, Celebrity is the first company we look to when booking. The Solstice Class ships are an incredible blend of hip, modern styling and sophisticated, classic cruising. And Celebrity has continued that trend with their newest edition, the Celebrity Reflection. As soon as this inaugural cruise was available for booking, we knew we had to do it. Boarding in Amsterdam was seamless and within a few minutes, we found ourselves heading up to our Aqua Class room. We toured the ship, but were already familiar with the layout of this class of ship. It is very similar to the others, but with a little tweak here and there and some extra panache. There is some interesting art scattered around the ship, such as the live-action painting in the hallway outside of Blu. There wasn't much fanfare, considering that this was an inaugural voyage. We were a little disappointed that we didn't receive a certificate or something to indicate that we made this voyage. Upon departure from a rainy Amsterdam, there were hundreds of white and blue balloons released from the pier, which was nice. DINING: The main addition on this ship that we were intrigued by was the Lawn Club Grill. We opted to eat there the first night. It is a fun concept, that is interactive and lets you grill the food you choose. We didn't grill, but still enjoyed watching others. The servers were fun and friendly, but my chicken was almost raw inside. Don't know if we had a bad cook, or if this was indicative of some inaugural jitters. Thankfully, our further dining pursuits were much more fulfilling. Blu, reserved for Aqua Class guests, was fabulous as always. Andrea, the Maitre'D, deserves a raise for the genuine care and enthusiasm she gave. She remembered the names of all of her guests and was just amazing. We had great dinners there most nights. We also really enjoyed Qsine - again great food and fabulous servers, but it is meant for larger parties - we are just two and walked away ill. But that doesn't ever stop us for visiting Qsine on all our cruises! Tuscan Grill was good, with a great team working in there. Tuscan Grill is not my favorite on any Celebrity Ship, but it's always a solid selection of Italian favorites. We often ate in the Oceanview Cafe, which we felt was great for a buffet. We always found well-cooked, tasty options for breakfast and lunch. We are picky and always enjoyed this dining option. SERVICE: Celebrity employed a strong team on this cruise, with smiles, warm hospitality and genuine conversation - both from the front line employees and officers. We really enjoyed visiting each venue on the ship and interacting with the staff. We did experience one low point with the bartender at Molecular Bar. We don't have the drink package as we aren't big drinkers. However, the friends we were traveling with did have the drink package. One night, one of our friends ordered a cocktail from this bartender and didn't enjoy it. He said to me that it tasted funny and offered me a sip. I sipped it to verify that it wasn't that good. The bartender cut my friend off from ordering another drink at that point, saying that he broke the company's rule about buying a drink for someone who didn't have the drink package. We explained that I wasn't drinking the drink - just took one sip. He didn't care and reported my friend to the F&B Manager. I was shocked. This was outrageous behavior. It put a damper on what otherwise was a great cruise. SHIP: The ship is stunning! It is modern and fun and spacious and fabulous! Large, but not so large you feel like you are at a mall. There are very few crowds on this ship. The only time we experienced crowds was embarking the ship at each port. With a ship this size, they really should offer two entry points. One is not enough, as we often stood in long lines outside in the rain to board. Our favorite spot on this ship, as on the other Solstice Class ships, is the Solarium. We read, nap and just relax, watching the moodlit colors on the waterfall wall change. The layout of the ship is smart, with entertainment venues and dining venues generally clustered together. Our Aqua Class room was well-furnished and appointed, but with the lack of storage space we have come to expect on these ships. And best of all, we love Celebrity's smoke-free ships (especially after a recent cruise on Crystal which was smoke-filled). We had an amazing time on this inaugural cruise and can't wait for our next Celebrity adventure. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Recently came from the Celebrity Inaugural, expected more but was just average. Boarding from Amsterdam was busy, strange that they handed passengers numbers, ours being #3 while others in our group 8 and 12. We registered and got in the ... Read More
Recently came from the Celebrity Inaugural, expected more but was just average. Boarding from Amsterdam was busy, strange that they handed passengers numbers, ours being #3 while others in our group 8 and 12. We registered and got in the ship right away. Our friends in the other numbers were made to wait in lounge outside the ship which we found strange. We have been on Oasis and Allure and were able to board right away. Upon entering we were informed the rooms were not ready so we proceeded to the Oceanview Cafe- sleek, clean with good service. Food stations were well placed and spaced. We had a veranda stateroom which was a good size and a large washroom with toiletries. Due to the rainy weather we hardly used the balcony. Elevators were slow. There were no outlets in the washroom nor the side tables. Activities- Casino was great the first night but slots tightened as the days passed. The shows were mediocre from a rock-type one; acrobatic; 2 female singers; magician who did basic tricks one of our members already showed us in the dining room. They had an a capella group, 2 female violinists and a band on level 3 by the elevators. Bingo, game shows, dance classes, karaoke, trivia were so-so. The dancing with the stripes was great entertainment since they were funny with a Canadian winning it. It Excursions - horrible since it rained every day. The local guides gave us more information than we needed and should have considered that discomfort of the weather and should have put us in the buildings earlier if not faster. Tapas tour which consisted of visiting 3 tapas bars left us hungry and angry- the lack of food for the price charged. Paris stores were closed being a Sunday and the stores at Champs with 1 hour was not enough with the rain and all. A total waste of money. Also there was practically no time for shopping. Dining - We had early seating with a great waiter Gede, polished, polite and knew our preferences right away. Meals were good, nothing spectacular though. We tried Murano, great food, menu and service. Qsine, you order from an Ipad took forever for some dishes to arrive. The best was the angus burgers. Presentation was unique, but wished the other dished tasted better. Tuscan Grill had excellent steaks and sides. Champagne given free was already flat, too bad since I love champagne. The ship had a hideaway for reading, resting in the cocoon chairs. Apple store, Michael Kors, etc. Staff were still not informed as to where and what we had to ask several times/several guys. Disembarkation on your own not great since we did not know the gangway till we were assembled on level 4 and then had to go move and exit at level 5. Gratuities were automatically billed, unless you waived them by a certain date and you were given the envelopes. Overall, we expected a lot from an inaugural cruise and this one failed. Nothing special, no fireworks, no souvenirs, nothing. It was expensive and it did not equate to the cost. We were bored in between due to the lack of activities/amenities. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
We've been on the Eclipse several times. This ship took all the good and tweaked some areas to make it even better. THE STAFF: Every morning ALL the cabin support staff (and especially our own) smiled and wished us a 'good ... Read More
We've been on the Eclipse several times. This ship took all the good and tweaked some areas to make it even better. THE STAFF: Every morning ALL the cabin support staff (and especially our own) smiled and wished us a 'good morning' and a 'good day'. Even the service engineers were terrific that way as well as all the dining staff. The cabin support staff never intruded to do their jobs and waited until we were out of the room to clean up. This was such a contrast to our last cruise on Oceania where the cabin steward never introduced herself and almost all the support staff was surly and unhelpful. FOOD: We love eating in Blu, but it's nice to take a break. We noticed a fabulous deal to try the other restaurants (50% off if signing for four different meals). Since we met several people not in AQ, this was a great idea. We tried them all on this trip. Our favorite was the new Lawn Club Grill upstairs on 15. Qsine is odd and none of us cared for it. Murano is a nice atmosphere and great service, but the food & menu choices are just ok. Tuscan Grill is good but too much food (no, that's not a joke, it become almost unappetizing). We also went to Bistro on 5 for lunch and we like it a lot. (no chance to try the Patio on 15, skipped the pool grill, missed the gelato). We don't care for the Cafe on 14. Have yet to have a good meal there. Walked out of the big buffet -- such a feeding frenzy. We ate upstairs where it was quiet. Complaints (very few) A laundry would be nice or a reasonable fee for a 'bag' of laundry (like socks and underwear). Some of the art installations were too weird (like in the corridor near Michael's Club with ringing bells and hard to look at walls) that we had to see daily. Also, there is an optical wall next to Qsine that can make you seasick (go figure). Why are they still having those rip-off art auctions? Would be nice to have better shopping options with much better pricing. OVERALL: This was an A+ experience. Never would have known that the ship was only a few weeks old. No excuses, just done very well.PORT: Slovenia A private tour. This is a real gem and we would love to return and maybe do an entire Dalmation coast tour. This is how Europe was 40 plus years ago. Less tourists and great architecture and interesting places to visit. PORT: Venice No tours. It was raining and cold. Not the ship's fault but we had great weather until Venice and then it turned into winter with flooding. Plus way too many tourists. Ships beginning and ending there makes for twice the traffic. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Being this was our second cruise my spouse and myself looked at our first cruise on Celebrity with an open mind. Cruise Critic was invaluable (we originally booked an Aqua stateroom and upgraded to a suite 2 weeks prior because of the ... Read More
Being this was our second cruise my spouse and myself looked at our first cruise on Celebrity with an open mind. Cruise Critic was invaluable (we originally booked an Aqua stateroom and upgraded to a suite 2 weeks prior because of the Cruise Critic boards). Preferred boarding in Amsterdam around 1 pm with a 4:30 pm sail time. But we we had to go to the Oceanview Cafe or explore the top deck until later because "the room was not ready". First paying passengers and the room was not ready? I guess they just wanted us to explore. The ship was beautiful and based on discussions with other passengers that view was shared. We purchased some shore excursions and travelled independently on some of the ports. Our suite was 2163 and near the port side main bank of elevators. I was concerned about some noise from entertainment noise from the open areas and noise from the elevators. None whatsoever. Being on deck 12 I had concerns on overhead noise from the common area deck above us. None whatsoever. The "European style" butler service just means a single point of contact for you. Our butler was great but over the last couple of days seemed to appear fewer times. Room servicing was fast and fantastic. The interactive television allowed you to catch some of the lectures if you had other plans. Your wallet cars sea pass has your emergency muster location (ours was 1A but our back of cabin door muster card had 4E. Quite confusing and the emergency muster drill had you muster by groups near the theater and then walked to the muster station. Celebrity might want to review that process. The suite is about 1/3 larger than a stateroom. Extra floor space and storage (big closets). The bathroom was the best. Whirlpool tub and a shower tower. Fantastic amenities. Great to relax in after a day of excursions. Hot water available immediately. The restaurants available for us as suite passengers were outstanding. The Blu and the steakhouse provided outstanding service and food. I don't know what priority disembarkation meant, but we left we everybody else so I didn't I didn't see it. Overall, I thought it was a little overpriced if you paid the posted rate but paying a $150 per person differential to upgrade made it well worth the effort. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
DH and I landed at AMS around 8 a.m., local time. We gathered our 3 bags of luggage and caught a taxi to the port. When we told the taxi driver we need to go to the port - that we were sailing on the Celebrity Reflection, he looked at us ... Read More
DH and I landed at AMS around 8 a.m., local time. We gathered our 3 bags of luggage and caught a taxi to the port. When we told the taxi driver we need to go to the port - that we were sailing on the Celebrity Reflection, he looked at us dumbfounded and said he needed an address to put into his GPS. First time that has ever happened to us! Anyway, after a few wrong turns and us craning our necks to see the ship so we could direct him, we arrived. (58 euros) (Should have taken the train from AMS to the port - station was just across the street. Since it was a rainy day, we decided to just wait at the port to board. We got through the check-in line quickly, but then had to wait about 30-40 min to go through security, etc. Boarding went smoothly. We boarded around 11:30 a.m.. We looked around a bit and then went to Oceanview Cafe for lunch. It was very crowded, but no more than usual on the day of embarkation. Since it was cool and rainy no one was taking advantage of the seating outside. The food in the Oceanview was very good - about the same as the other Solstice class cruises we have been on. We then walked around the ship a bit to see the changes. The number of tiled chairs in the Persian Garden have doubled. The also have added a hamam (sp?) room and a "cold" room. Of course, they still have the showers and traditional sauna rooms. The Relaxation Room is the same. They have moved some of the atrium rooms around and added others. There is now a "Hideaway" room for reading. Looked like a nice space and usually had coffee available. They have also added a dedicated "Future Cruise" section on the 12th deck (Captains Club is still on deck 5). No more Quasar as it is now a space that is used for purposes similar to Celebrity Central - games/talks, etc. The Mast Bar at the aft of the ship has changed quite a bit. The spiral stairway on the aft has been moved and the space has been taken over by the bar (which was moved away from the wall). We took advantage of a price drop and moved from an Aqua Class cabin to an Aqua Class Suite (2152 starboard-hump. The AC Suite was very nice. Since we have not sailed in a suite before, I am not sure how to describe the size, but I think it is about the same size as an Sky Suite S2. The bathroom has a tub/shower combination, with the tub having jacuzzi jets - very nice! The bathroom has a set of drawers as well as storage behind two side mirrors. There was a hair dryer in the bathroom and one in the desk drawer. There was also a magnified make-up mirror in the desk drawer. There are two large closets. One side of one of the closets contains the safe and has shelves. There are also two large credenzas (one with a desk setup in the middle, and the other with the frig in the middle). We only used about 2/3 of the storage for our 9-day cruise. The sofa covering is now cloth instead of the white leather (?) -- great change in my opinion - much more comfortable. No over the bed storage - at least in our cabin. The light switch has been redone, making it a lot easier to use also. The decorating scheme is soft browns - very tasteful. We do not go to many of the shows (only a few minutes here and there), so I will not review the entertainment. We did enjoy the live music groups, especially the guitarist (Ang), the female blues singer (Mazzy?), and the group Revelations. I've seen a lot of posts about the music being loud on the Solstice ships. The music did seem too loud at times -especially at the Mast Bar, Martini Bar and Blu. Not a deal-breaker - just annoying. We did not participate in many of the planned activities (DH did take 2 watercolor classes that he enjoyed). The card room looked busy most of the time, and there was a room for playing ping-pong on deck 15, I believe. We experienced excellent service from our cabin steward and butler. Every request was promptly handled. The service in Blu and Murano seemed very rushed. Was really surprised by Murano. The food was good, but in our opinion, not any better than in Blu. Tuscan Grille was wonderful (the mac and cheese is to die for) and we tried Qsine for the first time, which was a lot of fun as we were with a large group. As most others have said, you are served a huge amount of food. The officers and other ship employees seen around the ship were very friendly, almost always greeting us with a smile and a nice comment. The captain actually came to our Connections party and posed for pictures. Debarkation was a breeze in Barcelona. We had an early flight so we kept our luggage with us and walked off the ship with no one in line. No customs at the port so we were in a cab and at the airport in less than 30 minutes. In summary, we thought the Reflection was a beautiful ship and liked most of the changes. We think the Aqua Class suites are a great addition. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
For over 10 years we have carried umbrellas without ever having to use them. The Reflection Inaugural Cruise was a 12 day package with two nights in Amsterdam and two nights in Barcelona. This was our 17th cruise and it had a wonderful ... Read More
For over 10 years we have carried umbrellas without ever having to use them. The Reflection Inaugural Cruise was a 12 day package with two nights in Amsterdam and two nights in Barcelona. This was our 17th cruise and it had a wonderful itinerary. Unfortunately it rained for 12 of the 14 days ! The Celebrity Reflection is a delightful ship. Boarding in Amsterdam left a lot to be desired. We boarded the Oasis of of the Sea with it's 5,000 passengers within 5 minutes. This time, after waiting in long lines to register, we waited to board the ship until our group number 11 was called. It took over an hour to board the ship. Cabin was typical. Beds we great and the towels were new. Tried to use the veranda but damp, wet weather made it useless. The "Apple" Flat screen television was informative. Slightly rough seas in the Atlantic may have bothered some. Our excursion to the Beaches of Normandy was amazing. This was the only time the rain was fitting. Our guide was very informative. At our dinner table were three couples from the UK. They were great fun and really made for a wonderful dinner time. We had the late seating. Juan was our server and was wonderful. The shows were fine. The entertainers really give it their all. It was a shame we couldn't sit on the top deck. At times the pool looked like a wave pool as the water splashed to and fro. There was a lot of security. When coming back on board we had to pass through port security and then again security as we entered the ship. They take our security very serious. The casino was typical of ship casinos ... more than enough machines and many card tables. It was possible to play on the crap table without a problem. Lots of places for reading. The Hide-away had coffee. The Internet room is also an Apple Store ! Actually the wi-fi worked better than we have experienced on many other ships. We were able to use our i-pads in our cabin to get our e-mail. There was nothing that could be done about the weather. The ship is great. The service is great. If you like cruising, the Reflection is one more fun ship to consider. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
The ship is stunning, as always. But the new Reflection suite shower makes her look lopsided. It sticks out like Finding Nemo's little flipper....we did not get to see inside of this new suite though much to our disappointment. We did ... Read More
The ship is stunning, as always. But the new Reflection suite shower makes her look lopsided. It sticks out like Finding Nemo's little flipper....we did not get to see inside of this new suite though much to our disappointment. We did see the other new suites. The Signature suite was nice, but had absolutely no dresser space -for items such as a latpop. Bathroom with view through to bedroom -with glass that goes opaque at the touch of a switch. The new AQ suites seemed identical to the Sky Suite - with the exception of the shower. The shower heads in the cabins are now adjustable on a bar to move up and down and with an adjustable head. Interconnecting cabins now connect via a door in the wall as opposed to the outer lobby system used on the other s-class ships. Other changes - the new aft Sunset Bar now has comfortable seating, in a rich purple colour -making it look rather Moroccan or Indian. The bar is now in the middle of the area. There is a slope leading into Ocean View now. We wonder how wheel chairs will cope. We also noticed other slopes when walking around the ship. Sky lounge is a lovely blue and taupe colour but half the size as has been mentioned. The washrooms are now also included within the Sky lounge (but not shown on the deck plans!) We wonder where they will put the 1000+ Elite members that they have on some crossings with such a reduced space? Mr Bayley did say in his Building Bridges talk that there will be changes to the tiers within the next 6 months though. Also the most expensive rooms on the ship are just the other side of the wall to the Sky lounge. We hope they invested in good quality soundproofing; as there is no more Quasar Disco and the nightly disco will now also be held in the Sky lounge. With the additional deck the lay out is slightly different - you walk straight from the Solarium into the Sky lounge,where as on the other s-class ships it is a natural flow from the Solarium to the Spa area. Quasar is now a dedicated conference facility with it's own galley. There is a new bar in the area outside (by Celebrity Central). Molecular Bar is twice the size. The lovely huge hammocks by the entrance to the Solarium are no more. There appeared to be more Cabanas by the Lawn Club. Wish they would get rid of them. No one uses them. Persian Gardens is extended with 16 beds and new rooms - a grotto with infrared heat; a cold room, a hamman and an aromatherapy room. A day pass is $35. The gym has also expanded with a private training gym for $45ph and a Flywheel room - where you cycle in the dark for $25ph Opus dining room is a soft taupe colour too - it feels much 'warmer'. There is a new Game On room where there are table computer games, and the Future Sales consultants are in a new area above the Library. The tree has grown metal roots... As it was a preview sailing there were several travel partners on board. The ship was jumpin'. The music was loud throughout..... Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
First let me say that we are not big time cruisers & did not choose this cruise for the ship. We looked at the itinerary & it fit in well with our pre-cruise travels by leaving Amsterdam on a Friday. The ship is beautiful & ... Read More
First let me say that we are not big time cruisers & did not choose this cruise for the ship. We looked at the itinerary & it fit in well with our pre-cruise travels by leaving Amsterdam on a Friday. The ship is beautiful & brand new, so what's to complain about? Although physically the ship is ready, there were some techinal issues,confusion about policy with the staff, & very busy elevators. Certainly not a deal breaker & expected by us as this was the crews first group of passengers. Also very wet & rainy weather throughout this cruise put additional pressure on all the indoor public areas.( very crowded at times) The only sunny & nice day was the last at sea Saturday October 20th 2012. At this time time the outdoor areas filled fast & gave an oppertunity to explore the entire ship. This vessel offers many amenities, unfortunately we choose not to use them.( personal choice) Embarkation: Just okay. Seems people were excited to get on board & arrived early. The process was smooth but could have gone faster. Once onboard we were greeted warmly & proceeded to our stateroom to drop off the carry-on lugguage & begin exploring the ship. Cabin: Larger than I remember & laid out well. Did not get to use our veranda much due to the weather. It was standard size with a table & 2 chairs. The bathroom is great with a round enclosed shower. Lots of room with plenty of hot water & pressure. Housekeeping: Just plain excellent. We had the best cabin attendant & always available to ensure your needs. Always had a nice bucket of ice waiting for us at 4;30pm each day. Dining Room: Nicely appointed. The food was good & some meals excellent. Again we had an exceptional waiter who knew our needs & also provided great subjections. This really helped to make our trip better. Entertainment Very subjective. Thought the 2 production were just okay. The other entertainment kinda what you would expect. Did not feel like there was any special for this inaugural sailing. The theatre is very nice & seemed to have enough seats for everyone. (maybe they enlarged it on this vessel) Activities: Although there is a full list of things to do on sea days, nothing was that exciting. We found few things of interest for us. We did notice the game room was busy most of the time & the library is beautiful. Again these days were very crowded becuase of the weather conditions. I did notice what I thought to be a lack of live music in the public areas throuthout the day. Futher only counted 3 pianos on the entire ship. Of course they sat idle most of the time. It was also curious how the cruise director made such a big deal about inaugural sailing,you are the first customers/passengers on this sailing,a unique experience, yet nothing special was done. There was no gift for purchase or otherwise from Celebrity for this sailing. Many passengers were very disappointed.(it would have nice to have something to remember this event from the ship) Excursions: We did 4 ship & 1 private shore excursion on this sailing. Again alot of people to move, however Celebrity did a good job. Somewhat disappointed with all the excursions. Bad weather played a large role, umbrellas everywhere,one really bad local guide,nowhere to shop as stores were closed at the end of the tour due to Spanish Siesta,& few oppertunities to try the local cusine. My poor picture taking skills are really noticable because of the conditions. Finally the Celebrity tours we were on provided no headsets.Everyone tried to huddle around the guide to hear the information.(how do you get close with 25 plus people & umbreallas in your way?) For the high costs of these trips, Celebrity should have done a better job with their guides & vendors. Summary: The ship is great & the crew/staff tried really hard to make all the passengers happy. For us it was just too many people & alot pushing & shoving. (you know who you are) There was a good mix of people, Europeans,North Americans,Asians,Great Britain & Australians. This made for us lively conversations & a good exchange of ideas. One problem we encountered was in Cellar Masters The machines were not working properly at all times. Therefore unable to get your choice of wine by the glass without assistance. Many times no one was in the Cellar to help. We purchased a $100 wine card & ended up using 50% of it. Often forced to go to bar & purchase their limited choices.(kinda defeats the purpose Cellar Masters).Will we go on another solistice ship? Unlikely. The overall experience was good, however we will be more careful in choosing our next Celebrity Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
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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