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My partner and myself, both in our 60s, flew from Manchester to Rome and had a private taxi pickup to Civitavecchia, arriving at the port at about 1.00pm. We have cruised with Celebrity on four previous occasions, and have always enjoyed the experience. Our first cruise was on the Constellation and we have always considered it the benchmark for other ships. Our first experience at the Reflection was of having to queue outside in the very hot sun with our luggage to go through the embarkation procedure. We, along with most other passengers, had been travelling since very early in the morning and this did not make us feel like welcome guests of Celebrity. We had a balcony stateroom on deck 6 (6301) and it was adequate for our needs. We hardly used the balcony as we are not sunbathers, but it was nice to be able to see something of the ports of call from there. Our steward did a good job of keeping our room in order and clean. The robes have seen better days and seem to only come in one size, and I think slippers should also be provided. The stateroom was quiet except when the ship was docking (which was usually in the early hours of the morning), when there was no chance of sleeping because of the engine vibration. This is very annoying if you are not planning on an early trip ashore, and we never felt we had enough sleep, because the vibrations when the ship is docking make sleep impossible. We had a classic drinks package included in the cost of our cruise, and we were asked if we would like to upgrade this at the check-in desk on our first day, but we elected not to. This was the only time we were asked, so we did not experience the constant upselling other reviewers have described. We felt the classic package met our requirements as we are not big drinkers. We enjoyed the freedom to drop in to Café al Bacio and have a nice coffee and pastry when we returned from a day in port. We mainly used either the Compass bar in the main Grand Foyer, or the Ensemble lounge for cocktails before dinner. Service in both was always speedy and friendly, but we would have liked to be able to consult a cocktail menu, as we are not usually cocktail drinkers, and do not know the names of many. The experience in both was to some extent spoilt by loud music which made talking difficult, and we found the Ensemble lounge dark as the heavy drapes are closed even during daylight hours. We found the music in public areas extremely intrusive, and some of the musicians were not very good (Ryan). Music is very much an individual taste so it should not be foisted on us. Some of the music played in Ocean View restaurant we found excruciating. The air conditioning in some of the public areas is far too cold and results in a major contrast with the port temperatures when you return from a shore day. Both my partner and I suffered severe colds on our cruise which I believe to have been caused by the air conditioning. We mainly ate in the Ocean View restaurant for breakfast and late afternoon snacks, and the Opus dining room for evening meals. There was never a problem finding a seat in the Ocean View, which we have experienced in buffet restaurants on other cruises, and the staff were usually quick to clear tables. Food choice at breakfast was good, but repetitive, and began to pall by the end of the cruise, and we found the location of certain items a bit confusing. The timing of afternoon tea (starting at 4.00 pm) is too late. We had opted for Select dining in the Opus restaurant, and it worked well except on the formal nights, when we had to wait for a table, but not too long. The staff at the table allocation desk work very well for the main part, but we did have a problem one night when we were sent to the wrong table. The restaurant manager quickly resolved the problem, however. The food choice in the Opus dining room should be extended and alternative sauces offered eg a fish dish came with a curry sauce, but I do not like curry and was not offered an alternative when I told our waiter of this. The dessert selection seemed very limited. Having said that the food was generally excellent and there was always something to our taste to choose from. The service from the food and wine waiters was excellent. Hand hygiene has always been strictly enforced on other cruises we have been on but it was hit and miss both on re-entering the ship from port and entering dining rooms - we did not witness it ourselves but were told by other passengers that some people simply walked past the hygiene stations or staff offering hand cleanser and were never challenged. I realise that ship staff will be unwilling to challenge a passenger but on an issue of such importance they should be empowered to do so. Probably the most serious issue we experienced concerned the tendering of passengers to Santorini and Mykonos, using local boats. Safety did not seem to be a major concern, and we were given no instructions on what to do in the event of a capsize, something which seemed to be very likely at Mykonos where the sea was very rough. If there were any buoyancy vests available no-one told us where they were or how to use them (in stark contrast to the emergency drill we attended on the ship on our first day of the cruise). Passengers were allowed to stand which could have resulted in injury to themselves or others if they had lost their balance in the rough seas. The timing of port arrivals was in some cases unsatisfactory, and this was especially so in Santorini where disembarkation was delayed by the need for tendering, resulting in very little time in port. This was exacerbated by the fact that there were other cruise ships' passengers in port at the same time which resulted in very long queues/delays for the cable car to Fira. We opted to take the boat trip to Oiea rather than spend ages waiting for the cable car but there was not much there. We caught a bus back to Fira and then had to wait about an hour for the cable car down to the port. Some people took the stairs down but we had heard that they are quite hazardous because of the donkey droppings making them slippery. Mykonos was very windy, and also very crowded. We had to catch shuttle buses from the port at Souda to Chania and these took almost an hour in the morning (less on the return journey but we had to allow at least an hour to be sure of getting back for "all aboard"). We had to be on board by 3.30pm so had very little time to explore Chania, which is a very attractive place. A more trivial but nevertheless irritating issue was the fact that we had to pay for the shuttle bus - if Celebrity are unable to dock at the town they advertise on the itinerary they should at least ensure that they provide free transport. In Athens we had to use public transport from the port at Piraeus, which was hit and miss in terms of the timetable. Athens is attractive but spoiled by the graffiti which seems to be everywhere in the town centre. Fortunately it does not yet affect the ancient monuments, but it makes you wonder why the Greeks seem to have no civic pride. I am not interested in the history of other countries but no-one could fail to be impressed by the sheer scale of the Parthenon. It is a shame though that the Greeks have decided to restore it - I would much rather see it in its ruined state and without the scaffolding. A major problem when you are in an unfamiliar town is finding toilets, so thank goodness for Marks and Spencer, and the tourist information office near the entrance to the Acropolis.. We were in Kusadasi on Sunday, and it was very quiet, but we enjoyed our visit. One of the attractions listed in the Celebrity information sheet for Bodrum was the tomb of Helicarnassus which was stated to be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. My partner was keen to visit it, and it took some finding. It was therefore very disappointing that the site is closed on Monday, the day that Celebrity took us there. Since this cruise has been operating for some time I would have expected that this would have come to light before now! We have been to Turkey several times and have been put off by the constant hassling of tourists, but we did not have much of this in either Kusadasi or Bodrum, so may consider returning for a land-based holiday. Naples does not have a lot for tourists, and it was a mistake not going on a trip to Sorrento or Pompeii. Our cruise finished with two days in Rome staying at the ESH hotel. The hotel was modern and clean. We arrived at about 10.00am and did not expect to be able to get in to our room, but it was ready and it made our first day so much more enjoyable than it could have been. Thank you ESH. The hotel has a good bus service into Rome which only takes about 20 minutes, so we spent the afternoon sightseeing. Our second day in Rome was a bit of a washout as there was a thunderstorm. There are not many places to go to get out of the rain in central Rome so we got on a hop on hop off tour bus at the Coliseum, intending to just sit out the storm, but it lasted the whole of the afternoon so we were trapped and ended up going right round Rome twice! We did not avoid the rain entirely either as those buses are not very waterproof, so we still got wet. On our first evening we ate at a local restaurant called Arturo's which has excellent reviews on Trip Advisor but it did not live up to its billing. I have posted my own review so will not add to it here. All things considered we enjoyed our cruise and will probably cruise with Celebrity again, but I do think they need to improve their customer relations to the same standard as the staff on the ships. I sent an e-mail questionnaire when we returned home, which I completed. I sent a fairly detailed critique of the cruise, but did not even receive an acknowledgement.

Celebrity Reflection Eastern Med Cruise Departing 29th August, 2016

Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review by Cereocker

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2016
  • Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean View with Verandah (partially obstructed view)
My partner and myself, both in our 60s, flew from Manchester to Rome and had a private taxi pickup to Civitavecchia, arriving at the port at about 1.00pm.

We have cruised with Celebrity on four previous occasions, and have always enjoyed the experience. Our first cruise was on the Constellation and we have always considered it the benchmark for other ships.

Our first experience at the Reflection was of having to queue outside in the very hot sun with our luggage to go through the embarkation procedure. We, along with most other passengers, had been travelling since very early in the morning and this did not make us feel like welcome guests of Celebrity.

We had a balcony stateroom on deck 6 (6301) and it was adequate for our needs. We hardly used the balcony as we are not sunbathers, but it was nice to be able to see something of the ports of call from there. Our steward did a good job of keeping our room in order and clean. The robes have seen better days and seem to only come in one size, and I think slippers should also be provided. The stateroom was quiet except when the ship was docking (which was usually in the early hours of the morning), when there was no chance of sleeping because of the engine vibration. This is very annoying if you are not planning on an early trip ashore, and we never felt we had enough sleep, because the vibrations when the ship is docking make sleep impossible.

We had a classic drinks package included in the cost of our cruise, and we were asked if we would like to upgrade this at the check-in desk on our first day, but we elected not to. This was the only time we were asked, so we did not experience the constant upselling other reviewers have described.

We felt the classic package met our requirements as we are not big drinkers. We enjoyed the freedom to drop in to Café al Bacio and have a nice coffee and pastry when we returned from a day in port. We mainly used either the Compass bar in the main Grand Foyer, or the Ensemble lounge for cocktails before dinner. Service in both was always speedy and friendly, but we would have liked to be able to consult a cocktail menu, as we are not usually cocktail drinkers, and do not know the names of many.

The experience in both was to some extent spoilt by loud music which made talking difficult, and we found the Ensemble lounge dark as the heavy drapes are closed even during daylight hours.

We found the music in public areas extremely intrusive, and some of the musicians were not very good (Ryan). Music is very much an individual taste so it should not be foisted on us. Some of the music played in Ocean View restaurant we found excruciating.

The air conditioning in some of the public areas is far too cold and results in a major contrast with the port temperatures when you return from a shore day. Both my partner and I suffered severe colds on our cruise which I believe to have been caused by the air conditioning.

We mainly ate in the Ocean View restaurant for breakfast and late afternoon snacks, and the Opus dining room for evening meals. There was never a problem finding a seat in the Ocean View, which we have experienced in buffet restaurants on other cruises, and the staff were usually quick to clear tables. Food choice at breakfast was good, but repetitive, and began to pall by the end of the cruise, and we found the location of certain items a bit confusing. The timing of afternoon tea (starting at 4.00 pm) is too late.

We had opted for Select dining in the Opus restaurant, and it worked well except on the formal nights, when we had to wait for a table, but not too long. The staff at the table allocation desk work very well for the main part, but we did have a problem one night when we were sent to the wrong table. The restaurant manager quickly resolved the problem, however.

The food choice in the Opus dining room should be extended and alternative sauces offered eg a fish dish came with a curry sauce, but I do not like curry and was not offered an alternative when I told our waiter of this. The dessert selection seemed very limited. Having said that the food was generally excellent and there was always something to our taste to choose from. The service from the food and wine waiters was excellent.

Hand hygiene has always been strictly enforced on other cruises we have been on but it was hit and miss both on re-entering the ship from port and entering dining rooms - we did not witness it ourselves but were told by other passengers that some people simply walked past the hygiene stations or staff offering hand cleanser and were never challenged. I realise that ship staff will be unwilling to challenge a passenger but on an issue of such importance they should be empowered to do so.

Probably the most serious issue we experienced concerned the tendering of passengers to Santorini and Mykonos, using local boats. Safety did not seem to be a major concern, and we were given no instructions on what to do in the event of a capsize, something which seemed to be very likely at Mykonos where the sea was very rough. If there were any buoyancy vests available no-one told us where they were or how to use them (in stark contrast to the emergency drill we attended on the ship on our first day of the cruise). Passengers were allowed to stand which could have resulted in injury to themselves or others if they had lost their balance in the rough seas.

The timing of port arrivals was in some cases unsatisfactory, and this was especially so in Santorini where disembarkation was delayed by the need for tendering, resulting in very little time in port. This was exacerbated by the fact that there were other cruise ships' passengers in port at the same time which resulted in very long queues/delays for the cable car to Fira.

We opted to take the boat trip to Oiea rather than spend ages waiting for the cable car but there was not much there. We caught a bus back to Fira and then had to wait about an hour for the cable car down to the port. Some people took the stairs down but we had heard that they are quite hazardous because of the donkey droppings making them slippery.

Mykonos was very windy, and also very crowded.

We had to catch shuttle buses from the port at Souda to Chania and these took almost an hour in the morning (less on the return journey but we had to allow at least an hour to be sure of getting back for "all aboard"). We had to be on board by 3.30pm so had very little time to explore Chania, which is a very attractive place. A more trivial but nevertheless irritating issue was the fact that we had to pay for the shuttle bus - if Celebrity are unable to dock at the town they advertise on the itinerary they should at least ensure that they provide free transport.

In Athens we had to use public transport from the port at Piraeus, which was hit and miss in terms of the timetable. Athens is attractive but spoiled by the graffiti which seems to be everywhere in the town centre. Fortunately it does not yet affect the ancient monuments, but it makes you wonder why the Greeks seem to have no civic pride. I am not interested in the history of other countries but no-one could fail to be impressed by the sheer scale of the Parthenon. It is a shame though that the Greeks have decided to restore it - I would much rather see it in its ruined state and without the scaffolding. A major problem when you are in an unfamiliar town is finding toilets, so thank goodness for Marks and Spencer, and the tourist information office near the entrance to the Acropolis..

We were in Kusadasi on Sunday, and it was very quiet, but we enjoyed our visit.

One of the attractions listed in the Celebrity information sheet for Bodrum was the tomb of Helicarnassus which was stated to be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. My partner was keen to visit it, and it took some finding. It was therefore very disappointing that the site is closed on Monday, the day that Celebrity took us there. Since this cruise has been operating for some time I would have expected that this would have come to light before now!

We have been to Turkey several times and have been put off by the constant hassling of tourists, but we did not have much of this in either Kusadasi or Bodrum, so may consider returning for a land-based holiday.

Naples does not have a lot for tourists, and it was a mistake not going on a trip to Sorrento or Pompeii.

Our cruise finished with two days in Rome staying at the ESH hotel. The hotel was modern and clean. We arrived at about 10.00am and did not expect to be able to get in to our room, but it was ready and it made our first day so much more enjoyable than it could have been. Thank you ESH. The hotel has a good bus service into Rome which only takes about 20 minutes, so we spent the afternoon sightseeing.

Our second day in Rome was a bit of a washout as there was a thunderstorm. There are not many places to go to get out of the rain in central Rome so we got on a hop on hop off tour bus at the Coliseum, intending to just sit out the storm, but it lasted the whole of the afternoon so we were trapped and ended up going right round Rome twice! We did not avoid the rain entirely either as those buses are not very waterproof, so we still got wet. On our first evening we ate at a local restaurant called Arturo's which has excellent reviews on Trip Advisor but it did not live up to its billing. I have posted my own review so will not add to it here.

All things considered we enjoyed our cruise and will probably cruise with Celebrity again, but I do think they need to improve their customer relations to the same standard as the staff on the ships. I sent an e-mail questionnaire when we returned home, which I completed. I sent a fairly detailed critique of the cruise, but did not even receive an acknowledgement.
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