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My wife and I are in our sixties. We often travel with another couple of the same age, but have also cruised alone or in larger groups. We have taken in excess of fifteen cruises, trying to cruise about once a year. Celebrity is our cruise line of choice (we are elite members of the Captains Club), but we have also gone on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess. We choose our cruises based on: itinerary, price (including perks offered), dates and then cruise line. Our most recent cruise was on the Celebrity Reflection (our first time on the ship), sailing out of Fort Lauderdale on February 19 to the Southern Caribbean. Parking -- We parked our car at the long term parking provided at the Embassy Suits near the port. If you pre-pay the parking it comes out to a little more than $7.00 per day as compared to the $19.00 per day if you park at the port. It is not necessary to stay at the Embassy to park in their lot and they provide a free shuttle service to the port and back. All went smoothly with the parking and we would recommend this service. Embarkation at the ship also went smoothly. We arrived at our designated time of 12:00PM and were through security, checked in and on the ship within twenty minutes and enjoying our traditional beer at the bar at the back of the boat shortly thereafter. (The champagne welcome is still provided by Celebrity and to us it is one of the things that starts the cruise off right). Our stateroom (veranda on deck 8) was ready by 1:00PM and our luggage arrived at our stateroom by 3. The stateroom was comfortable and provided plenty of room for my wife to store all of her things. I, on the other hand, was left to store my things in the over the bed cabinets that are difficult to get to. This was not a surprise to us as we had traveled on the Silhouette a few years ago and did not consider this inconvenience a game breaker when booking this cruise. The cabin décor is neither pleasing or not pleasing. Celebrity could do better. Our cabin steward, Lawry, provided outstanding service in spite of being overworked. He had fourteen cabins to service and Celebrity has eliminated the assistant Cabin Stewards in most of the ship. (We rewarded him throughout the cruise above and beyond what we were being charged for gratuities by Celebrity and he deserved every penny of it). Dining -- We enjoy the ambiance and attention provided when dining on a cruise ship as it is very different from what we typically experience in our everyday lives. We had chosen the Select Dining option and reserved our dining times before the cruise. On our first night we had an outstanding wait staff, but our table was in a corner in the upper deck of the dining room where we could not enjoy the beauty of the room. The following night we asked to be seated in a place nearer the center of the room. We were placed in another area that was away from any view and our wait staff forgot about us after they served the main course. We then spoke to the Maitre d' with a "very friendly handshake" and he moved us to the second seating for traditional dining in an area they refer to as "Central Park." It made all the difference as each night was a true joy speaking with our waiters, Batiz and Renil, our sommelier, Vemba and our bar server, Maralia. The food was very good to outstanding throughout the cruise as no one in our group had any complaints about anything we ordered. We went to the Murano Restaurant ($50.00 pp) one evening and enjoyed it. However, since our last time on a Celebrity ship, 2015, it appeared that the available choices on the menu had become very limited and specials had been eliminated. The service was good, but we felt a little hurried and it was clear they needed the table by a specific time. I had the Chateaubriand, which was good, but not as good as the steak served in the main dining room on the next to last day of the cruise. My wife and I shared the desert sampler and were disappointed as it was not nearly as good as the last time we had tried it on another ship. We don't think we would do the Murano again. We ate lunch at the Lawn Club Grill ($15.00pp) one day and totally enjoyed it. We each tried a different specialty burger and everyone was pleased with their choice. We all shared a chocolate chip cookie with ice cream for desert (they are suppose to be made for one person, but none of us were up to the challenge) and it left a lasting impression that we will try to replicate with dinner guests at home. We would definitely try the Lawn Club Grill again. We all had the Classic Drink Package as a perk and it worked out fine for us as most of what anyone one wanted was available with that package. A very good change that Celebrity has made is that if you order something above what is available with the classic package you are charged the difference between the $9.00 maximum of the classic package and the cost of the drink. My wife found a liking for a Cucumber Collins at a cost of $11.00. We were charged the $2.00 difference rather than $11.00 as was their policy on our last cruise with Celebrity. Entertainment and Clubs -- The entertainment on a cruise ship does not rank high on our list of priorities when on a cruise as we are amused by almost anything. With that said, there are a few things that have opportunities for improvement in this area. First, the comedian, who was very good and probably the best entertainment provided during the cruise, played on the last night of the cruise when many people are packing to leave. As a result he played to a theater that was less than half full. Second, the production shows as performed by the Celebrity Singers and Dancers were enjoyed by half of our group and not understood by the other half. We all agreed that they did try hard. As for the clubs, we never found a club that drew us there because of a great atmosphere. The Celebrity Band was good as were the Cardinals, their all purpose band. However, they played most of the time in the ships foyer which has too much going on to be considered a good club or a good place to dance. The one place we have really enjoyed on past Celebrity cruises was Michael's Club. However that is now only available to those in Suites or Elite Plus and higher Captains Club Members. The fact that whenever we would go past the place it was either empty or had only a few people in it does not sit well with many people, including the members of our group. Miscellaneous items -- The Pool. On one sea day I was able to find one chair at the pool that had no indication of being reserved. While I sat there for about two hours, the six chairs around me remained unoccupied. Every other day, every pool chair was taken but only about fifty percent of them were actually occupied. This is a continual problem on all cruise ships and there appears to be no solution the industry is actually willing to develop. The music -- Hey Celebrity, when you are cruising in the Caribbean Sea it would be nice to hear some Caribbean music once in a while. Violin and cello concertos don't set the mood very well. Disembarkation went smoothly. We waited in the Tuscan Grill, the Elite Captains Club Lounge, and waited until about 9:15 for our number to be called. Once it was called we walked off the ship quickly, got a porter immediately and were quickly through customs and on our way to pick up our car. We were on the road home by 10:00! Overall we had a great time on this cruise. It is unfortunate to see the little cost cutting things that Celebrity is making as losing those little things will eventually have a big effect on the cruise line. However, that time hasn't come yet as Celebrity is still a bit above most of the rest.

Great cruise despite Celebrity's cost cutting

Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review by finsup01

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
My wife and I are in our sixties. We often travel with another couple of the same age, but have also cruised alone or in larger groups. We have taken in excess of fifteen cruises, trying to cruise about once a year. Celebrity is our cruise line of choice (we are elite members of the Captains Club), but we have also gone on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Princess. We choose our cruises based on: itinerary, price (including perks offered), dates and then cruise line. Our most recent cruise was on the Celebrity Reflection (our first time on the ship), sailing out of Fort Lauderdale on February 19 to the Southern Caribbean.

Parking -- We parked our car at the long term parking provided at the Embassy Suits near the port. If you pre-pay the parking it comes out to a little more than $7.00 per day as compared to the $19.00 per day if you park at the port. It is not necessary to stay at the Embassy to park in their lot and they provide a free shuttle service to the port and back. All went smoothly with the parking and we would recommend this service.

Embarkation at the ship also went smoothly. We arrived at our designated time of 12:00PM and were through security, checked in and on the ship within twenty minutes and enjoying our traditional beer at the bar at the back of the boat shortly thereafter. (The champagne welcome is still provided by Celebrity and to us it is one of the things that starts the cruise off right).

Our stateroom (veranda on deck 8) was ready by 1:00PM and our luggage arrived at our stateroom by 3. The stateroom was comfortable and provided plenty of room for my wife to store all of her things. I, on the other hand, was left to store my things in the over the bed cabinets that are difficult to get to. This was not a surprise to us as we had traveled on the Silhouette a few years ago and did not consider this inconvenience a game breaker when booking this cruise. The cabin décor is neither pleasing or not pleasing. Celebrity could do better. Our cabin steward, Lawry, provided outstanding service in spite of being overworked. He had fourteen cabins to service and Celebrity has eliminated the assistant Cabin Stewards in most of the ship. (We rewarded him throughout the cruise above and beyond what we were being charged for gratuities by Celebrity and he deserved every penny of it).

Dining -- We enjoy the ambiance and attention provided when dining on a cruise ship as it is very different from what we typically experience in our everyday lives. We had chosen the Select Dining option and reserved our dining times before the cruise. On our first night we had an outstanding wait staff, but our table was in a corner in the upper deck of the dining room where we could not enjoy the beauty of the room. The following night we asked to be seated in a place nearer the center of the room. We were placed in another area that was away from any view and our wait staff forgot about us after they served the main course. We then spoke to the Maitre d' with a "very friendly handshake" and he moved us to the second seating for traditional dining in an area they refer to as "Central Park." It made all the difference as each night was a true joy speaking with our waiters, Batiz and Renil, our sommelier, Vemba and our bar server, Maralia. The food was very good to outstanding throughout the cruise as no one in our group had any complaints about anything we ordered.

We went to the Murano Restaurant ($50.00 pp) one evening and enjoyed it. However, since our last time on a Celebrity ship, 2015, it appeared that the available choices on the menu had become very limited and specials had been eliminated. The service was good, but we felt a little hurried and it was clear they needed the table by a specific time. I had the Chateaubriand, which was good, but not as good as the steak served in the main dining room on the next to last day of the cruise. My wife and I shared the desert sampler and were disappointed as it was not nearly as good as the last time we had tried it on another ship. We don't think we would do the Murano again.

We ate lunch at the Lawn Club Grill ($15.00pp) one day and totally enjoyed it. We each tried a different specialty burger and everyone was pleased with their choice. We all shared a chocolate chip cookie with ice cream for desert (they are suppose to be made for one person, but none of us were up to the challenge) and it left a lasting impression that we will try to replicate with dinner guests at home. We would definitely try the Lawn Club Grill again.

We all had the Classic Drink Package as a perk and it worked out fine for us as most of what anyone one wanted was available with that package. A very good change that Celebrity has made is that if you order something above what is available with the classic package you are charged the difference between the $9.00 maximum of the classic package and the cost of the drink. My wife found a liking for a Cucumber Collins at a cost of $11.00. We were charged the $2.00 difference rather than $11.00 as was their policy on our last cruise with Celebrity.

Entertainment and Clubs -- The entertainment on a cruise ship does not rank high on our list of priorities when on a cruise as we are amused by almost anything. With that said, there are a few things that have opportunities for improvement in this area. First, the comedian, who was very good and probably the best entertainment provided during the cruise, played on the last night of the cruise when many people are packing to leave. As a result he played to a theater that was less than half full. Second, the production shows as performed by the Celebrity Singers and Dancers were enjoyed by half of our group and not understood by the other half. We all agreed that they did try hard.

As for the clubs, we never found a club that drew us there because of a great atmosphere. The Celebrity Band was good as were the Cardinals, their all purpose band. However, they played most of the time in the ships foyer which has too much going on to be considered a good club or a good place to dance. The one place we have really enjoyed on past Celebrity cruises was Michael's Club. However that is now only available to those in Suites or Elite Plus and higher Captains Club Members. The fact that whenever we would go past the place it was either empty or had only a few people in it does not sit well with many people, including the members of our group.

Miscellaneous items -- The Pool. On one sea day I was able to find one chair at the pool that had no indication of being reserved. While I sat there for about two hours, the six chairs around me remained unoccupied. Every other day, every pool chair was taken but only about fifty percent of them were actually occupied. This is a continual problem on all cruise ships and there appears to be no solution the industry is actually willing to develop.

The music -- Hey Celebrity, when you are cruising in the Caribbean Sea it would be nice to hear some Caribbean music once in a while. Violin and cello concertos don't set the mood very well.

Disembarkation went smoothly. We waited in the Tuscan Grill, the Elite Captains Club Lounge, and waited until about 9:15 for our number to be called. Once it was called we walked off the ship quickly, got a porter immediately and were quickly through customs and on our way to pick up our car. We were on the road home by 10:00!

Overall we had a great time on this cruise. It is unfortunate to see the little cost cutting things that Celebrity is making as losing those little things will eventually have a big effect on the cruise line. However, that time hasn't come yet as Celebrity is still a bit above most of the rest.
finsup01’s Full Rating Summary
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Sunset Cruise
    Took the sunset cruise the day we pulled into port. The ship was nice, the crew was friendly and the drinks were cold. And the sunset was beautiful!

    The next day we took a taxi to the beach by the hotels where we were charged $10.00 per chair for some very old chairs and $25.00 for an umbrella that is mandatory considering the sun. The water was warm but full of seaweed. We were charged $1.00 each time we needed to use the restroom. Will try going to Baby Beach at the other end of the Island if we visit again.
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  • Snorkeling
    Went to the Spice Beach Club/Eden Beach. The place was crowded and the snorkeling was not that good as the currents were strong and the entrance and exit over the reef was difficult due to the old worn steps on the dock.
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  • Horse Carriage Tour
    Enjoyed the visit and was glad we traveled to Cartagena, once. The people were friendly, but the street venders made it impossible to enjoy the tour for very long. We were constantly having to get away from people trying to sell us something, and some of it was very nice. However, if you took money out of your pocket you would be hounded by even more venders.
    View All 36 Horse Carriage Tour Reviews
  • Beach
    Took a tour of the Island and then a beach break at Mamboo Beach. The beach was crowded but the Beach Club is big enough to handle the big crowds without people feelings cramped. Curacao is a hidden gem and Mamboo Beach is one of the jewels.
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