We went on this one week Caribbean cruise as part of an included charter flight package from Canada at a very attractive price. Picked an upgraded cabin at the rear of the ship.We were part of a group of 8.
The design of the ship is like a high end hotel with lots of dark wood etc. In the evening the centre atrium seems like a night club- rather dark.
The dining room is very large with 2 story height and seating on 2 levels. Impressive look.
We have travelled a great deal on the Princess larger ships so we inevitably made some comparisons.
The things we liked were:
- Meals and service in the main dining room were excellent.
Cabin design was excellent with a deep balcony and a love seat in each cabin. Storage space and closet space however was much less than we get on Princess.
The things that we didn't like were:
1. We are non smokers. The Sunset bar at the top rear of the ship is beautiful, but we gave up on sitting there. There is an artificial line down the centre of the ship that one side is smoking and one side non smoking. So when sitting in the bar, you may be as little as 10 ft way from a large group of smokers. Even when we tried to sit further away from the centre line, we often found that there was so much smoke smell drifting our way, we eventually gave up on using this bar ( too bad). on the pool deck, the area beside the bar is also designated smoking so all the tables there are taken up with smokers and even when waiting for a drink, it is pretty strong.
2. On Princess, the deck loungers are typically arranged in sets of 2 with a small table in between for drinks, etc. On the Reflection, to increase capacity around the pool areas, there are no tables and the loungers are squeezed against each other with no room between. When you want to get on your pool lounger, you have to crawl on from the end. You cannot put your drink on the ground beside you since the loungers were generally touching. On the upper seating area around the pool, the running track goes right by the ends of your loungers so joggers have to run right by the end of the loungers and you have to be careful when getting off them.
3. We felt that on port days , if you didn't go ashore or were back early and didn't want to be outside at the pool, there were virtually no activities available. When we returned early from port ( at about 2:30), on the lower areas of the ship, virtually all the bars were closed and it took us about 45 minutes to locate one where we could get a beer. This is totally different on Princess where both for food and bar service and activities, it seems there is always something going on in the Atrium ( or Piazza as they call it).
4. Up on the pool deck, we were not impressed with the bar staff.
With some exceptions, we did not find them to be particularly friendly or attentive.
5. The buffet was not well designed for flow and there were many lineups at certain stations and a lot of cutting in and some conflict. Also when the formal lunch time ended, there was a very minimal section open with very limited selection. On Princess, it always seems there is plentiful selection at all times of day. Service on the back open deck was terrible and we complained about it.
6 As a design note, I don't get the big lawn. It seems very wasted space. Most of the time, there were notes not to walk on it.
In general, we decided we would not return to a cruise on Celebrity .