Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review by nb516090
- Sail Date: July 2017
- Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
- Cabin Type: AquaClass
We are late 40's and had always been a bit sceptical about cruising thinking it was for oldies. However, there is a mixed range of ages on the ship and a mixed range of entertainment but to our surprise most of the entertainment was perfect for us.
Getting on (embarking I think they call it) was a breeze. We arrived at port early (11:00) and our suitcases were whisked away and before we knew it we were sitting in the Oceanview cafe, beer in hand, 10 minutes later - no queuing whatsoever, amazing.
We did have a few waiters asking if we'd like to upgrade our drink package or book special restaurants on the 1st day but we politely declined and they left us alone. No hassle really.
We explored the ship a bit and by 1:30 our rooms were ready. Cases were also delivered quickly by about 3:00 I think.
Being our 1st cruise we worried about movement of the ship and seasickness. On Day 1 we didn't even realise we had left port it was so stable. In fact the entire cruise we virtually felt nothing, it was great.
Our room (cabin) was excellent. We were Aquaclass so got the welcome sparkling wine which was good and we enjoyed it one day on the spacious veranda. We also got canapes every afternoon and flavoured cold tea (not sure we would miss them if we didn't have them). The room was very spacious as far as we were concerned. Wardrobes and drawers were ample and we had a lot of stuff. The cases all fit under the bed. Bathroom is ample and shower was very good too. Room attendant Marites was very nice.
The muster drill thingy was a bit of a joke we thought - virtually no-one watched the James Bond style video, many talked through the whole thing meaning even if you did want to watch it was very difficult. Celebrity need to do something about that in my opinion.
FOOD & DRINK
Being in the Aquaclass we had Blu as our assigned restaurant. Before the cruise I had said we would book special restaurants for a couple of nights thinking eating in the same place each night would get tedious. How wrong was I. We ate breakfast and dinner in Blu every day (apart from 2 when we had a room service brekkie). The food was amazing, no need for special restaurants. Our waiters were fantastic as well. They continually brought me as much food as I desired, some days I had 2 starters, 2 mains and a double pudding. We cannot fault a single thing about the Blu restaurant. Special mention to Rolando and Rene although everyone was fantastic really.
Another favourite spot was the Cafe al Bacio. On the classic drink package all coffees and teas were included as well as the most excellent selection of cakes.
For a quick bite the Mast Grill is nice. McDonalds style burgers and nice hot dogs. I always went back for seconds.
We're not really buffet lovers but when we did go to the Oceanview a couple of times and the selection is vast and is very good too.
The spa cafe was also nice but we only went here once.
We did a galley tour and were surprised to find out that all breads are cooked from scratch on board. This made for some very fresh breads and pastries. Kitchens look so clean and well organised.
Our favourite bar was the Sunset. The lawn is a nice touch and was well utilised for french boules. We also liked the Ensemble for a drink before dinner and the Passport later in the evening after the show. We were always served quickly whatever bar we were in (which was all of them). We had the classic package and we do like a drink and this was fine for us.
The shows were generally good, I'm not a theatre person but my wife is. We walked out of 2 shows (the illusionist and a singer) but everything else was great - the Beatles tribute, Phil Collins tribute and Ukelele band were the stand outs. The waitress in the theatre got to know us and our routine and soon we turned up at the theatre and sh had reserved our usual seats and sat our usual drinks there, great service.
There always seemed to be something going on. There were 2 bands who normally played either the foyer or around the pool. There were singers and DJ's, violinists and duets in the Ensemble or the Sky lounge.
The bingo was a bit rubbish - too slow, expensive and full of annoying people from a particular country who seem to think the cruise revolves around them. Same goes for the quizzes - teams of up to 10 people from that same country (not saying where but somewhere between South America and Canada) acting as if they owned the cruise line. Didn't spoil anything for us to be honest but this same race did also think the lifts were reserved for them too. Maybe it was just a minority but thought I'd mention it.
The Silent Disco was great. So many people having fun. Take your headphones off every so often and listen to the ambient noise, it's so funny.
Karaoke was good but quite poorly attended.
We were invited to the helipad for sail away from Santorini. Not sure if everyone gets this perk but were thought it was a nice touch and enjoyed it very much.
There was also a lot going on in the foyer which isn't actually a big enough space for some of the things that happen there. Plus it's across from Guest Relations so god knows how the staff there can hear when clients visit them.
Not sure that the Gym falls under "Entertainment" but it was well equipped, easy to get on a machine and all in good working order. The Spa (included with Aquaclass) wasn't our thing but we went 1 day just to "do it".
Pools - we are not really sunbathers but spent some time around the main pools on port days. On sea days we didn't even try to get a sunbed as they all seemed to be reserved by breakfast time. The indoor solarium pool is usually quieter though and was very nice for swimming.
We did our own thing in most ports or a hop-on, hop-off bus if it was available. In Santorini we did a ships tour to Oia, a winery and then to Fira. This was very good with a fun tour guide. In Naples we went to Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano and Ravello. We booked this privately and I wasn't disappointed with this part of the world, it was beautiful. We also had 3 days in Rome after the cruise which was nice but beware of being ripped off by taxis and in bars/restaurants. Did a golf cart tour in Rome which was fantastic
Generally around the ship was buzzing but there were loads of quiet spaces to go if you wanted. It was a perfect mix. Everywhere was clean and almost brand new looking.
Getting off (disembarking) was just as easy as getting on. We put our cases out the night before, walked off the ship at 9:30 the following day and picked the luggage up, simples!
Now I'm back home and carrying a few more pounds I have to say that I cannot see past Celebrity. Although we have not tried other cruise lines, for the quality and value for money I doubt if any other line can compete. I will be back, hopefully sooner rather than later.
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