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This was our 13th cruise together, and first with Celebrity. We have cruised on the “Big Three” up until now. Not only was this our first Celebrity cruise, but at a 10 day voyage this has also been our longest. We are Florida residents and drove to Ft. Lauderdale for our cruise; thus we did not participate in any hotel, air, or any other activities before embarkation. The Reflection happened to be in drydock the week before this cruise. So as one would expect, the ship was immaculate. All the furnishings, carpet, and all other surfaces were in pristine condition. The ship was just beautiful, and the artwork ranging from interesting to beautiful only enhanced the atmosphere. The Lawn Club provided a somewhat unique atmosphere, although the grass was in bad shape. We sailed in January, so I’ll blame the weather for that one. As far as shipboard activities, we must say we found ourselves with more down time than we have experienced before. Typically we have to debate on what activity to participate in on a cruise. With this trip, we had hours with little planned. This isn’t to say there was nothing to do, just not for our age group and interests. We tried to make all the trivia sessions, but found them to be very challenging. We play trivia frequently at home as well as on cruises, and we usually do very well. This time, we were embarrassed. However, the staff (Charlotte) noticed this reaction in us and took the time to stop us and ask if she could change anything to make our experience better. This is a level of service not found in cruises past, and a credit to the cruise line. We did however really enjoy the Silent Disco, as well as Coca Cola tasting, and other games. We blew a few bucks in the casino, which was a pretty standard experience. Bingo was also there, although we played only once. Regarding service, I can sum this up in a single sentence: The best we have ever had. From John our cabin steward, Gede in Sushi on Five, Jayson in the Opus dining room, Charlotte in the entertainment staff, and Martin our cruise director, the service we experienced was outstanding. Just about every crew member we interacted with or even just passed in the corridors was smiling, friendly, and went out of their way to make sure we were enjoying ourselves. This level of service we rarely find on land, to say nothing about past cruises. We had some wonderful shore excursions during our cruise. In Antigua, we did the Stingray interaction tour, and were amazed. The stingrays got up to 5 feet across, and it was awesome to have them swimming around our legs and come up to us for food. The staff did a great job in teaching us how to safely interact with them. In Barbados we did the turtle and shipwreck snorkel. We saw the rear end of a turtle as we got in the water, and that was it as far as turtles. Can’t control wildlife, but at least the shipwreck was interesting to see. The crew on the boat tour we used was some of the best we ever had. Very friendly, talkative, and fun. We even skipped the beach part of the excursion to sit on board, drink delicious rum punch, and talk about their country. In St. Lucia we chose the Marigot Bay on your own tour. We should’ve known that a $35 shore excursion would be a disappointment. We found ourselves between closed shops and a beach that we couldn’t use chairs or anything else without paying for it because it belonged to an unaffiliated resort. In St. Kitts we took the Jungle Tour and Beach. This tour is NOT to be missed! Greg, who owned the tour company, was our guide in an open air off road vehicle. We went up into the mountains for fabulous views, stunning picture opportunities, a sampling of local rum punches, followed by an hour stop at a beach resort. Greg was extremely knowledgeable and really made the tour outstanding for us. Lastly, in St. Thomas we participated in the Discover Scuba Diving excursion. If you have never tried scuba and are interested, this is a great way to try it without too much stress. You get a safety briefing followed by practice with some safety drills (regulator recovery and mask clearing), and then it is off for a 30 or so minute dive at approximately 40 feet deep around a ship wreck. The staff did a great job, and we had a blast. However, we both had a hard time with the masks, so you may want to bring your own if you have one. Lastly we participated in the behind the scenes tour on our last sea day. We have done this type of tour before on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. This tour has been our least favorite, unfortunately. We visited the bridge, engine control room, MDR galley, and the laundry facilities. We passed by the captain and cruise director as we approached the bridge. Why not have one of them on hand for photos or a Q&A session in the bridge? On a prior tour we had our picture taken at the ship controls next to the captain. It is still one of my favorite cruise pictures, and I wished we could have a similar experience. Our tour guide mentioned other areas on board (crew bar, crew mess, etc) that we didn’t visit. Why not? Additionally, on other tours, we were given lanyards with “behind the scenes” on it, as well as tote bags showing that we took the tour. On this tour, we got a smile and a thank you. With how well everything else was done on this cruise, I was surprised that the tour was as bland as it was. At $100 each and a group of 20, that’s a lot of profit that really should be used to make the tour more rewarding. We were in cabin 9101, a balcony cabin at the very front of the ship. The cabin was nicely laid out, although we found storage space to be somewhat lacking. The room was well maintained however, a credit to our cabin steward. The TV is on a swivel to make it easier to see from the bed, but the swivel didn’t remain stationary and would move during rough seas. So every few seconds it would slide from side to side, making it kind of difficult to watch. The balcony was bigger than on other ships, and had plenty of space to stretch out after a great breakfast or while reading. The biggest complaint about our cabin would be the lack of outlets at the bedsides. We found the food on Celebrity Reflection to be outstanding. We ate at The Opus Dining Room (the MDR) several times, and were very pleased. The sommelier made rounds just after being seated and the dinner service was wonderful. Wine was refilled without request, and our servers were great. One “formal” night we had lobster tail, a treat I always look forward to. Our server Agus offered to bring me two. I have asked on prior cruises for one plate, one set of sides, and two lobster tails; every time before I was told they couldn’t and was brought another plate, making dinner longer for us and ultimately a waste of food because I just wanted the extra tail. Agus knew what I wanted without asking. All the food we had in the MDR was wonderful. I was also surprised at the quality of food in the Oceanview Café, the ship’s buffet. Lots of variety and everything was delicious. It never felt overly crowded there, and fining seats wasn’t a hassle. We also made reservations for the Lawn Club Grill, and had a great time. We chose to cook our own steaks, and were given guidance and tips by the venue chef. He was lots of fun, and the pizza and steaks were amazing. We not only enjoyed fantastic food, but had a lot of fun as well. On our second sea day we had lunch in Sushi on Five. Gede was our server, and he was excellent. You could tell he took pride in his job performance, and he provided information on how each dish was prepared for us. The sushi was excellent! On the downside, we were disappointed with the Mast Grill, which has burger and hot dogs. They advertise “to order” burgers, but both times I ate there my burger came out of a giant pan of prepared meat patties on top of the grill. The fries were acceptable, but this was otherwise a disappointment. As far as bars, the drinks were pretty good. Of special note is the Martini Bar. I’m not one to regularly order a martini, but it only took one to get me hooked. I returned several times, and had some wonderful drinks. Not only are the martinis delicious, but the staff can put on a great show. This bar was usually crowded, and a fun place to be. Also not to be missed as other reviewers have said is the Sunset bar, especially when sailing away from a port. The staff cranks out drinks quickly, and this makes for a fun place to hang out before dinner. We traveled by ourselves, so I can’t respond regarding the kids activities. However, we did note that there were very few children under the age of 18 on board. I heard a crew member saying that there were fewer than 20 children onboard. If you are traveling with little ones who are looking to make friends as my nephews do during the kids activities, this may not be the smartest choice. Regarding the entertainment, we found the Reflection offered a variety of acts that were wonderful. From comedians to magic, from vocalists to a hypnotist show, and not forgetting the rock band, Celebrity brought us some outstanding entertainment. The production shows were also entertaining, although we more enjoyed the guest acts. We looked forward to the entertainment each night, and planned our nightly itinerary ensuring we caught each one. Disembarkation was a breeze. We always do the express process, carrying off our own luggage so we can get home sooner to see the fur kids. There were plenty of staff on hand to facilitate this process, and we went from cabin to car in under 30 minutes. To summarize, we had a great trip. As this is our first venture into a premium cruise line, I can say that Celebrity made the extra expense well worth it. The food was the best I have had on a cruise ship, and the level of service will be very difficult to beat. The ship was simply beautiful, and we had some unforgettable shore excursions. My fiancée enjoyed herself too, but was disappointed in the lack of activities on sea days. She doesn’t enjoy sitting by the pool people watching, or gazing at the ocean while listening to some great music. If you are the type like her and expect belly flop competitions, hairy chest battles, or towel animal making classes, this might not be the cruise line for you. Despite the fact that regarding age we were most certainly in the minority (both under 40, we were called “kids” and the jokes by other guests even started in the embarkation line!), our fellow passengers were a lot of fun. I think we’ve chatted with more people on this ship that we didn’t book with than on all other cruises combined. While the boat was relatively quiet after 11 PM on most nights, the Silent Disco was some of the most fun we’ve had at sea. Those folks were rockin’ well past our bedtime. We will certainly sail with Celebrity again, and I am already excited about it.

Our first Celebrity cruise was a great experience

Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review by vilmer80

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2018
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean View with Verandah
This was our 13th cruise together, and first with Celebrity. We have cruised on the “Big Three” up until now. Not only was this our first Celebrity cruise, but at a 10 day voyage this has also been our longest. We are Florida residents and drove to Ft. Lauderdale for our cruise; thus we did not participate in any hotel, air, or any other activities before embarkation.

The Reflection happened to be in drydock the week before this cruise. So as one would expect, the ship was immaculate. All the furnishings, carpet, and all other surfaces were in pristine condition. The ship was just beautiful, and the artwork ranging from interesting to beautiful only enhanced the atmosphere. The Lawn Club provided a somewhat unique atmosphere, although the grass was in bad shape. We sailed in January, so I’ll blame the weather for that one.

As far as shipboard activities, we must say we found ourselves with more down time than we have experienced before. Typically we have to debate on what activity to participate in on a cruise. With this trip, we had hours with little planned. This isn’t to say there was nothing to do, just not for our age group and interests. We tried to make all the trivia sessions, but found them to be very challenging. We play trivia frequently at home as well as on cruises, and we usually do very well. This time, we were embarrassed. However, the staff (Charlotte) noticed this reaction in us and took the time to stop us and ask if she could change anything to make our experience better. This is a level of service not found in cruises past, and a credit to the cruise line. We did however really enjoy the Silent Disco, as well as Coca Cola tasting, and other games. We blew a few bucks in the casino, which was a pretty standard experience. Bingo was also there, although we played only once.

Regarding service, I can sum this up in a single sentence: The best we have ever had. From John our cabin steward, Gede in Sushi on Five, Jayson in the Opus dining room, Charlotte in the entertainment staff, and Martin our cruise director, the service we experienced was outstanding. Just about every crew member we interacted with or even just passed in the corridors was smiling, friendly, and went out of their way to make sure we were enjoying ourselves. This level of service we rarely find on land, to say nothing about past cruises.

We had some wonderful shore excursions during our cruise. In Antigua, we did the Stingray interaction tour, and were amazed. The stingrays got up to 5 feet across, and it was awesome to have them swimming around our legs and come up to us for food. The staff did a great job in teaching us how to safely interact with them. In Barbados we did the turtle and shipwreck snorkel. We saw the rear end of a turtle as we got in the water, and that was it as far as turtles. Can’t control wildlife, but at least the shipwreck was interesting to see. The crew on the boat tour we used was some of the best we ever had. Very friendly, talkative, and fun. We even skipped the beach part of the excursion to sit on board, drink delicious rum punch, and talk about their country. In St. Lucia we chose the Marigot Bay on your own tour. We should’ve known that a $35 shore excursion would be a disappointment. We found ourselves between closed shops and a beach that we couldn’t use chairs or anything else without paying for it because it belonged to an unaffiliated resort. In St. Kitts we took the Jungle Tour and Beach. This tour is NOT to be missed! Greg, who owned the tour company, was our guide in an open air off road vehicle. We went up into the mountains for fabulous views, stunning picture opportunities, a sampling of local rum punches, followed by an hour stop at a beach resort. Greg was extremely knowledgeable and really made the tour outstanding for us. Lastly, in St. Thomas we participated in the Discover Scuba Diving excursion. If you have never tried scuba and are interested, this is a great way to try it without too much stress. You get a safety briefing followed by practice with some safety drills (regulator recovery and mask clearing), and then it is off for a 30 or so minute dive at approximately 40 feet deep around a ship wreck. The staff did a great job, and we had a blast. However, we both had a hard time with the masks, so you may want to bring your own if you have one. Lastly we participated in the behind the scenes tour on our last sea day. We have done this type of tour before on Carnival and Royal Caribbean. This tour has been our least favorite, unfortunately. We visited the bridge, engine control room, MDR galley, and the laundry facilities. We passed by the captain and cruise director as we approached the bridge. Why not have one of them on hand for photos or a Q&A session in the bridge? On a prior tour we had our picture taken at the ship controls next to the captain. It is still one of my favorite cruise pictures, and I wished we could have a similar experience. Our tour guide mentioned other areas on board (crew bar, crew mess, etc) that we didn’t visit. Why not? Additionally, on other tours, we were given lanyards with “behind the scenes” on it, as well as tote bags showing that we took the tour. On this tour, we got a smile and a thank you. With how well everything else was done on this cruise, I was surprised that the tour was as bland as it was. At $100 each and a group of 20, that’s a lot of profit that really should be used to make the tour more rewarding.

We were in cabin 9101, a balcony cabin at the very front of the ship. The cabin was nicely laid out, although we found storage space to be somewhat lacking. The room was well maintained however, a credit to our cabin steward. The TV is on a swivel to make it easier to see from the bed, but the swivel didn’t remain stationary and would move during rough seas. So every few seconds it would slide from side to side, making it kind of difficult to watch. The balcony was bigger than on other ships, and had plenty of space to stretch out after a great breakfast or while reading. The biggest complaint about our cabin would be the lack of outlets at the bedsides.

We found the food on Celebrity Reflection to be outstanding. We ate at The Opus Dining Room (the MDR) several times, and were very pleased. The sommelier made rounds just after being seated and the dinner service was wonderful. Wine was refilled without request, and our servers were great. One “formal” night we had lobster tail, a treat I always look forward to. Our server Agus offered to bring me two. I have asked on prior cruises for one plate, one set of sides, and two lobster tails; every time before I was told they couldn’t and was brought another plate, making dinner longer for us and ultimately a waste of food because I just wanted the extra tail. Agus knew what I wanted without asking. All the food we had in the MDR was wonderful. I was also surprised at the quality of food in the Oceanview Café, the ship’s buffet. Lots of variety and everything was delicious. It never felt overly crowded there, and fining seats wasn’t a hassle. We also made reservations for the Lawn Club Grill, and had a great time. We chose to cook our own steaks, and were given guidance and tips by the venue chef. He was lots of fun, and the pizza and steaks were amazing. We not only enjoyed fantastic food, but had a lot of fun as well. On our second sea day we had lunch in Sushi on Five. Gede was our server, and he was excellent. You could tell he took pride in his job performance, and he provided information on how each dish was prepared for us. The sushi was excellent! On the downside, we were disappointed with the Mast Grill, which has burger and hot dogs. They advertise “to order” burgers, but both times I ate there my burger came out of a giant pan of prepared meat patties on top of the grill. The fries were acceptable, but this was otherwise a disappointment. As far as bars, the drinks were pretty good. Of special note is the Martini Bar. I’m not one to regularly order a martini, but it only took one to get me hooked. I returned several times, and had some wonderful drinks. Not only are the martinis delicious, but the staff can put on a great show. This bar was usually crowded, and a fun place to be. Also not to be missed as other reviewers have said is the Sunset bar, especially when sailing away from a port. The staff cranks out drinks quickly, and this makes for a fun place to hang out before dinner.

We traveled by ourselves, so I can’t respond regarding the kids activities. However, we did note that there were very few children under the age of 18 on board. I heard a crew member saying that there were fewer than 20 children onboard. If you are traveling with little ones who are looking to make friends as my nephews do during the kids activities, this may not be the smartest choice.

Regarding the entertainment, we found the Reflection offered a variety of acts that were wonderful. From comedians to magic, from vocalists to a hypnotist show, and not forgetting the rock band, Celebrity brought us some outstanding entertainment. The production shows were also entertaining, although we more enjoyed the guest acts. We looked forward to the entertainment each night, and planned our nightly itinerary ensuring we caught each one.

Disembarkation was a breeze. We always do the express process, carrying off our own luggage so we can get home sooner to see the fur kids. There were plenty of staff on hand to facilitate this process, and we went from cabin to car in under 30 minutes.

To summarize, we had a great trip. As this is our first venture into a premium cruise line, I can say that Celebrity made the extra expense well worth it. The food was the best I have had on a cruise ship, and the level of service will be very difficult to beat. The ship was simply beautiful, and we had some unforgettable shore excursions. My fiancée enjoyed herself too, but was disappointed in the lack of activities on sea days. She doesn’t enjoy sitting by the pool people watching, or gazing at the ocean while listening to some great music. If you are the type like her and expect belly flop competitions, hairy chest battles, or towel animal making classes, this might not be the cruise line for you. Despite the fact that regarding age we were most certainly in the minority (both under 40, we were called “kids” and the jokes by other guests even started in the embarkation line!), our fellow passengers were a lot of fun. I think we’ve chatted with more people on this ship that we didn’t book with than on all other cruises combined. While the boat was relatively quiet after 11 PM on most nights, the Silent Disco was some of the most fun we’ve had at sea. Those folks were rockin’ well past our bedtime. We will certainly sail with Celebrity again, and I am already excited about it.
vilmer80’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean View with Verandah
Cabin 1B 9101
We were in cabin 9101, a balcony cabin at the very front of the ship. The cabin was nicely laid out, although we found storage space to be somewhat lacking. The room was well maintained however, a credit to our cabin steward. The TV is on a swivel to make it easier to see from the bed, but the swivel didn’t remain stationary and would move during rough seas. So every few seconds it would slide from side to side, making it kind of difficult to watch. The balcony was bigger than on other ships, and had plenty of space to stretch out after a great breakfast or while reading. The biggest complaint about our cabin would be the lack of outlets at the bedsides.
Panorama Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Antigua
    In Antigua, we did the Stingray interaction tour, and were amazed. The stingrays got up to 5 feet across, and it was awesome to have them swimming around our legs and come up to us for food. The staff did a great job in teaching us how to safely interact with them.
    View All 12,995 Antigua Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Antigua Cruise Port Review
  • Shipwreck Snorkel
    In Barbados we did the turtle and shipwreck snorkel. We saw the rear end of a turtle as we got in the water, and that was it as far as turtles. Can’t control wildlife, but at least the shipwreck was interesting to see. The crew on the boat tour we used was some of the best we ever had. Very friendly, talkative, and fun. We even skipped the beach part of the excursion to sit on board, drink delicious rum punch, and talk about their country.
    View All 33 Shipwreck Snorkel Reviews
  • Turtle Swim
    In Barbados we did the turtle and shipwreck snorkel. We saw the rear end of a turtle as we got in the water, and that was it as far as turtles. Can’t control wildlife, but at least the shipwreck was interesting to see. The crew on the boat tour we used was some of the best we ever had. Very friendly, talkative, and fun. We even skipped the beach part of the excursion to sit on board, drink delicious rum punch, and talk about their country.
    View All 87 Turtle Swim Reviews
  • Rainforest Tour
    . In St. Kitts we took the Jungle Tour and Beach. This tour is NOT to be missed! Greg, who owned the tour company, was our guide in an open air off road vehicle. We went up into the mountains for fabulous views, stunning picture opportunities, a sampling of local rum punches, followed by an hour stop at a beach resort. Greg was extremely knowledgeable and really made the tour outstanding for us. Don't miss this one!
    View All 39 Rainforest Tour Reviews
  • St. Lucia
    . In St. Lucia we chose the Marigot Bay on your own tour. We should’ve known that a $35 shore excursion would be a disappointment. We found ourselves between closed shops and a beach that we couldn’t use chairs or anything else without paying for it because it belonged to an unaffiliated resort. We ended up sitting at a bar, getting relatively slow service, although the drinks were good. If the beach was bigger and more accessible, and if the shops were open, it may have been a better experience.
    View All 12,995 St. Lucia Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's St. Lucia Cruise Port Review
  • Scuba - beginner
    In St. Thomas we participated in the Discover Scuba Diving excursion. If you have never tried scuba and are interested, this is a great way to try it without too much stress. You get a safety briefing followed by practice with some safety drills (regulator recovery and mask clearing), and then it is off for a 30 or so minute dive at approximately 40 feet deep around a ship wreck. The staff did a great job, and we had a blast. However, we both had a hard time with the masks, so you may want to bring your own if you have one.
    View All 27 Scuba - beginner Reviews