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Just returned from the Reflection (21st Aug sailing), sailed with Celebrity last time, previous to that have taken 5 Royal Caribbean cruises. Last time we really preferred Celebrity to Royal Caribbean, this time not so sure. There are some great parts to the cruise, the staff are great, service is excellent and the cabin was 1st class - cleanliness spot on. The captain was out and about which is great. We purchased the premium drink package and before boarding I was expecting it to be difficult to get drinks when you want them (bases on previous comments on this site). The reality was that we only ever waited seconds to be served and around the pool there were plenty of waiters asking to take orders, so great value. Sunbeds - I was expecting there being a challenge getting 4 beds together, so long as you were on deck at 10am (at sea days) no problem at all. On port days you can take your pick of sunbeds and there are plenty of towels available for use. The adult pool is very good as well. My 2 son's (21 & 18) used the Gym every day and said it was great, they too had a drinks package and made full use of it - the staff were great with them. Christopher at the Martini Bar was especially good. Embarkation at Rome was fantastic, 10 mins and we were on the ship...spot on! To be fair dis-embarkation was very efficient as well. There are some really, really poor parts to this cruise - in the main the entertainment. It really does feel that a lot of cost has been taken out of the Cruise Directors budget. The shows in the main theatre were poor to say the least, previous cruises always had good quality variety acts - not on the reflection! That said there was plenty of music around the bars in the evening. The "grasstonbury" on the lawn was ok and the staff worked hard on this. But when you sit back and consider the investment in entertainment its clear that savings have been made. The timings of the shows penalises the last dinner sitting as they started at 9.15, just as our starters where being served...what ever happened to the tradition of a 10.30/10.45pm show escapes me. Food - the buffet was excellent, great choice and quality. The main dining room was ok, on the whole but food lacked flavour and the potions are small, and I mean small! Speciality dining - BEWARE! DO NOT BOOK BEFORE BOARDING!! We did and as an example paid $45 dollars each x 4 for one restaurant only to have one of the main dining room waiters offer it us at $30. We booked Qzine on board and was able to negotiate a 20% discount on the cover price. This feels like customers are being cheated - not a great tactic from Celebrity. We didn't take any paid trips as the price in my opinion is too high, many guests made their own arrangements but as we have been to many of the ports before we got off for a stroll and then enjoyed an empty ship. I would not recommend anyone pays $39 for the cruise review DVD, watched it last night and it is appalling and again I feel like I have been cheated. It contains 95% library footage and almost laughably it covers ships other than the reflection. I feel so strongly about this that I am writing to request a refund....most of the footage can be downloaded from YouTube for free. Looking to next years holiday we are really inclined not to cruise as we cant help but feel that costs are being taken out to compensate for booking offers ( free grats. drinks packages etc). My final observation relates to the silly, stupid touches applied for Suite+ guests. The most ridiculous one is the little red carpet (1m sq) at the ship re-entry point, basically suite guests walk across that and then queue at the ID point with everyone else. I never saw anyone use it...I would be too embarrassed. In my opinion all customers are important, in my case I booked a balcony and a cabin at the front with window - total cost was 50% more than a couple/family taking a suite, so pound for pound I spend more but the red carpet gives the impression that there are 2 classes of travellers...this is 2015 not the 1900's. Same goes for the theatre suite+ guests have a roped our area (Red rope on gold posts of course!) with 2 "bouncers" to ensure those 2nd class customers don't mix with the elite...silly, silly, silly. Anyway off to the carpet shop to but a red rug for my front door. It may sound like we didn't enjoy our cruise - we did on the whole but it just missed our delivering on some key aspects for us.

Some parts great, some parts poor

Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review by garytoner

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Just returned from the Reflection (21st Aug sailing), sailed with Celebrity last time, previous to that have taken 5 Royal Caribbean cruises. Last time we really preferred Celebrity to Royal Caribbean, this time not so sure.

There are some great parts to the cruise, the staff are great, service is excellent and the cabin was 1st class - cleanliness spot on. The captain was out and about which is great. We purchased the premium drink package and before boarding I was expecting it to be difficult to get drinks when you want them (bases on previous comments on this site). The reality was that we only ever waited seconds to be served and around the pool there were plenty of waiters asking to take orders, so great value.

Sunbeds - I was expecting there being a challenge getting 4 beds together, so long as you were on deck at 10am (at sea days) no problem at all. On port days you can take your pick of sunbeds and there are plenty of towels available for use. The adult pool is very good as well.

My 2 son's (21 & 18) used the Gym every day and said it was great, they too had a drinks package and made full use of it - the staff were great with them. Christopher at the Martini Bar was especially good.

Embarkation at Rome was fantastic, 10 mins and we were on the ship...spot on! To be fair dis-embarkation was very efficient as well.

There are some really, really poor parts to this cruise - in the main the entertainment. It really does feel that a lot of cost has been taken out of the Cruise Directors budget. The shows in the main theatre were poor to say the least, previous cruises always had good quality variety acts - not on the reflection! That said there was plenty of music around the bars in the evening. The "grasstonbury" on the lawn was ok and the staff worked hard on this. But when you sit back and consider the investment in entertainment its clear that savings have been made. The timings of the shows penalises the last dinner sitting as they started at 9.15, just as our starters where being served...what ever happened to the tradition of a 10.30/10.45pm show escapes me.

Food - the buffet was excellent, great choice and quality. The main dining room was ok, on the whole but food lacked flavour and the potions are small, and I mean small! Speciality dining - BEWARE! DO NOT BOOK BEFORE BOARDING!! We did and as an example paid $45 dollars each x 4 for one restaurant only to have one of the main dining room waiters offer it us at $30. We booked Qzine on board and was able to negotiate a 20% discount on the cover price. This feels like customers are being cheated - not a great tactic from Celebrity.

We didn't take any paid trips as the price in my opinion is too high, many guests made their own arrangements but as we have been to many of the ports before we got off for a stroll and then enjoyed an empty ship.

I would not recommend anyone pays $39 for the cruise review DVD, watched it last night and it is appalling and again I feel like I have been cheated. It contains 95% library footage and almost laughably it covers ships other than the reflection. I feel so strongly about this that I am writing to request a refund....most of the footage can be downloaded from YouTube for free.

Looking to next years holiday we are really inclined not to cruise as we cant help but feel that costs are being taken out to compensate for booking offers ( free grats. drinks packages etc).

My final observation relates to the silly, stupid touches applied for Suite+ guests. The most ridiculous one is the little red carpet (1m sq) at the ship re-entry point, basically suite guests walk across that and then queue at the ID point with everyone else. I never saw anyone use it...I would be too embarrassed. In my opinion all customers are important, in my case I booked a balcony and a cabin at the front with window - total cost was 50% more than a couple/family taking a suite, so pound for pound I spend more but the red carpet gives the impression that there are 2 classes of travellers...this is 2015 not the 1900's. Same goes for the theatre suite+ guests have a roped our area (Red rope on gold posts of course!) with 2 "bouncers" to ensure those 2nd class customers don't mix with the elite...silly, silly, silly. Anyway off to the carpet shop to but a red rug for my front door.

It may sound like we didn't enjoy our cruise - we did on the whole but it just missed our delivering on some key aspects for us.
garytoner’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean View with Verandah
Cabin 2B 7109
Cabin was great, plenty of room, loads of storage and very, very clean. One downside the noise when docking was horrendous. The severe shuddering when moving from port caused a bottle to fall off the TV cabinet. When anchoring it really does sound like an explosion, esp at 6am in the morning when in a deep sleep - boy does that wake you up! You did get used to it though and it wouldn't really put me off in the future as the big benefit is that you don't get noise from other people walking to their cabins - so swings and roundabouts.
Balcony size is very impressive.
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