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My husband and I traveled on Celebrity Reflection from Fort Lauderdale (April 13) to Civitavecchia. The vessel is reasonably elegant, our stateroom was comfortable with a large balcony, the room attendant was attentive, and the food was on a par with that of other ships that we have been on. However, our cruise was irredeemably marred by a number of unfortunate experiences and poor arrangements. The pre-departure safety drill was a farce. Instead of any kind of lifeboat drill, we were herded into the theater, while our traveling companions and too many others were packed into an overcrowded restaurant. There we were shown a long and gimmicky video; any safety points it was attempting to convey were lost in a attempt to make it “entertaining”. In a true emergency there would have been mass chaos. The so-called Ports of Call talk was a blatant sales pitch for the shore excursions. On other cruise lines there has usually been a representative to give port information (such as location of ATMs, internet access, public toilets, TI office, local transport, sights of interest, etc) to passengers visiting the destination on their own. Not so this time. The salesman knew none of this and was obviously uninterested in finding out. Maps were only provided as an opportunity to advertise favored shops. The tendering arrangement in Ajaccio was a complete shambles. I was at the dock 3 hours before we were due back on board as I thought the boats would not be crowded then, but I had to wait TWO HOURS in the hot sunshine before I could get on a tender. Inexcusable! When I finally got back to my cabin, I heard part of the captain's announcement about a free drink by way of an apology. However, when we asked at dinner for our free drink it was immediately apparent that the tight restrictions made this yet another hollow offer. Some of the problems were trivial but annoying – for example, receiving recorded phone messages urging us to make reservations for the paid restaurants. We come on cruises precisely to escape such irritants as robocalls. Others appeared trivial but indicated a breakdown in communications and customer service. None by itself would be enough to generate a negative review, but like the Chinese water torture, the accumulation became significant.After the cruise I submitted a detailed report to Celebrity Customer Service, which apparently fell into a black hole; it took substantial prodding on my part to elicit a late and grudging apology. The disappointments continued to the bitter end. The muddled scrum at Civitavecchia and the lack of information about the shuttle buses was a depressing finale to what could have been a wonderful cruise. There were just too many mistakes and black marks. It would take a great deal for us to travel with Celebrity again. Jill and Allen Rose

Too many problems spoiled our cruise

Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review by jillrose

Trip Details
My husband and I traveled on Celebrity Reflection from Fort Lauderdale (April 13) to Civitavecchia. The vessel is reasonably elegant, our stateroom was comfortable with a large balcony, the room attendant was attentive, and the food was on a par with that of other ships that we have been on. However, our cruise was irredeemably marred by a number of unfortunate experiences and poor arrangements.

The pre-departure safety drill was a farce. Instead of any kind of lifeboat drill, we were herded into the theater, while our traveling companions and too many others were packed into an overcrowded restaurant. There we were shown a long and gimmicky video; any safety points it was attempting to convey were lost in a attempt to make it “entertaining”. In a true emergency there would have been mass chaos.

The so-called Ports of Call talk was a blatant sales pitch for the shore excursions. On other cruise lines there has usually been a representative to give port information (such as location of ATMs, internet access, public toilets, TI office, local transport, sights of interest, etc) to passengers visiting the destination on their own. Not so this time. The salesman knew none of this and was obviously uninterested in finding out. Maps were only provided as an opportunity to advertise favored shops.

The tendering arrangement in Ajaccio was a complete shambles. I was at the dock 3 hours before we were due back on board as I thought the boats would not be crowded then, but I had to wait TWO HOURS in the hot sunshine before I could get on a tender. Inexcusable! When I finally got back to my cabin, I heard part of the captain's announcement about a free drink by way of an apology. However, when we asked at dinner for our free drink it was immediately apparent that the tight restrictions made this yet another hollow offer.

Some of the problems were trivial but annoying – for example, receiving recorded phone messages urging us to make reservations for the paid restaurants. We come on cruises precisely to escape such irritants as robocalls. Others appeared trivial but indicated a breakdown in communications and customer service. None by itself would be enough to generate a negative review, but like the Chinese water torture, the accumulation became significant.After the cruise I submitted a detailed report to Celebrity Customer Service, which apparently fell into a black hole; it took substantial prodding on my part to elicit a late and grudging apology.

The disappointments continued to the bitter end. The muddled scrum at Civitavecchia and the lack of information about the shuttle buses was a depressing finale to what could have been a wonderful cruise. There were just too many mistakes and black marks. It would take a great deal for us to travel with Celebrity again.

Jill and Allen Rose
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