We had an absolutely wonderful time on our Western Mediterranean cruise on board the Reflection! It was my husband's first cruise on Celebrity (and only second cruise overall), and we took the trip to celebrate our milestone birthdays this year along with our anniversary.
We flew into Rome 3 days before embarkation to explore the city, which was wonderful but simply not enough time to see all Rome had to offer! We took a train from Rome Termini to Civitavecchia, which was very easy and convenient. We didn't see signs for where to catch a bus to the port, so after about 10-15 minutes of walking we caught a free shuttle that took us over to another shuttle that took us to the ship. Embarkation was a breeze, and within about 15 minutes we were on board with champagne in our hands (a wonderful welcome to a Celebrity cruise!)
The ship is in great shape, well decorated, and it seemed it was constantly being cleaned all over. There were no shortage of friendly workers able to offer a hand at every turn. Our balcony cabin was larger than expected, and we had plenty of space to enjoy the next 11 days.
Cabin was well-appointed with a ton of storage space and a large bathroom. Balcony was private and quiet.
Spending time in Rome is a must! We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the city, with tours to the Vatican and Colosseum, and only wished we had more time to see even more!
Taking the train to the towns in Cinque Terre was very easy, and we hiked the trail from Monterosso to Vernazza. Word of caution- part of the trail was closed, so we had to hike a much more difficult trail than we had planned on, and weren't prepared for the difficulty level. The views were worth it though!
On the first, we took the metro to hit all of Barcelona's major sites as we had pre-purchased tickets to La Sagrada Familia and Park Guell. If you plan to visit these sites- pre-purchasing tickets is recommended as they limit entrances and were sold out for most of the morning/afternoon.
We hiked the Mediterranean steps up to the top of the rock, wonderful views (although it was a bit cloudy the day we were there) and interesting stories about how the British have defended Gibraltar over the years.
It was great to be able to walk right into the city center from the ship, lots of shopping and restaurants. We needed a low key day on this port-intensive cruise and Cartagena was perfect for this.
We rented a scooter and drove all around the island! Great way to see Ibiza!