Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review by alanccrx
- Sail Date: January 2013
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
In thinking back over the trip I have mixed feelings about the ship and the sailing. We booked an Aqua Suite which is not a full suite but a "mini-suite". That being said, the cabin itself was quite comfortable with lots and lots of storage space. "Relection" is a real attractive ship with many many pluses. There are however, several areas that clearly need attention and correction. Going on the ship was somewhat difficult as we arrived at 12:45 PM and some of the sign in staff decided to either leave or go out to lunch so that all of the windows were not fully staffed. Going thru "security" proved to be a problem for me as my carry-on bag was opened and great attention was paid to a four oz. bottle of Witch Hazel. "Security" staff told me that they thought the Witch Hazel lokked like a bottle of "Jack Daniels" in the X-Ray. (Huh?)...
Celebrity has staffed "Reflection" with some experienced crew from their other ships which is good. However, it appears that some new employees really need more "seasoning" and experience in dealing with guests. Some crew members have no idea how to talk to or deal with ship guests.
During the mandadated ship safety drill one crew member asked us if we knew where we were going. When I said yes, he "demanded" to see my sea pass card to see if I was going to the correct station. Not a great way to talk to a guest.
We dined in "Blu" for all of our breakfast and for five dinners. We were quite lucky to see a waiter who had served us a year and a half ago. He remembered us and the service we received was just outstanding!. Thank you to "Dr. V" for making our trip so enjoyable. The food is "Blu" was fine except for the last night. For some strange reason the last night's dinner was just poor!
We dined in both the "Tuscon Grill" and "Murano" and found the meals and service well worth the upcharge. If you on saiing on this ship do not miss the opportunity to dine in these venues.
As mentioned by other reviewers, docking in San Juan is late in the afternoon, so many shore excursions were cancelled. As to the other Ports visited, namely St. Marten and St. Kitts, my suggestion is NOT to go on the shore excursions. Not much to see in St. Martin except to shop and the same for St. Kitts. In addition, the travel "buses" are small, crowed with little leg room. and AC units functioning at a minimum of life support. Save your money by not going on them!
"Reflection" has established the "Alcove" area on Deck 15. These are "private" Cabana-like areas with seating for four and at rented on "at-sea" days for $149.00 per day. SAVE YOUR MONEY !! A complete waste! We rented them for 3 days... The first day "Jesse" was the attendent and he has perfected the art and science of avoiding poor service by giving NO SERVICE.
We asked him to lower the canopy and he refused by saying it was too windy. He brought us a ice bucket with a large bottle of "Evian" and left, never to be seen again. We asked for more cushions in the cabana and he responded by saying that there were no more cushions available! To be completely fair, there is a telephone in the cabana which you can use to call for "service" but he never responded. The second day at sea, "Christian" was the attendent. He was somewhat better then "Jesse". He brought a bottle on "Evian", no ice bucket, but also informed us that the $149.00 price tag of the Cabana came with a fruit and cheese tray and when we wanted it we should call him and he would bring it.
Later we called him and asked him he could bring us two Hot Dogs and he stated that he "does not bring food". For the record the "Mast Grill", for Hot dogs also is on Deck 15. Christian did bring us the fruit and cheese tray upon request. The last day we had "Jessie" once again. This time he did lower, with some reluctance, the canapy annd he did bring the bottle of "Evian" in an ice bucket. He then was seen seen again... no fruit and cheese tray for us this time!
Next to the last day there is a really nice Brunch served in the main dining room. It is done quite nicely and an excellent selection of food.
The shows are typical cruise ship shows and unless you really are "starved" for live entertainment, you can pass these by easily with no great loss.
I would be remiss if I did not call attention to the last night on the ship. We returned to the room at 9:30 PM to find that the mini-bar had been locked, the fruit bowl content's not refreshed or replaced, and all napkins and silverware removed from the cabin. Very very tacky Celebrity!
Disembarkation is another area that needs review. Celebrity states that there will be groups of 50-80 passengers leaving at one time. Not true!
As we were returning from breakfast at "Blu" on Deck 5, passengers with their bags were coming in from the other direction with their bags. To say that this was a somewhat hectic situation is an understatement. Given that many passengers are senior citizens the opportunity for an accident is really great.
We left from the main ding room are and there was well over 300 in the group. Leaving the ship and retrieving our luggage proved an exercise in frustration and endurance. There was well over 800 people trying to get their bags from the baggage carousel at the same time. Unbelievable! After clearing customs, the number of available stevedores were very limited. Employees from the Port of Miami and stevedores are yelling " move, move, no stopping, move.,...". A scene to remember and experience to say the least! Poor show guys!
Obviously the crew needs more training and closer observation by senior managers. I don't expect perfection in an imperfect world but given the cost of the weeks cruise (over $ 4800 for the two of us ), I would expect better!
I paid for 7 nights of service and received only six nights of same..Would I sail on "Celebrity" again.... Reflecting on the entire sailing, my answer is a "maybe" but not for a while... My suggestion to others is wait a while until all of the kinks are worked out.