We chose Celebrity Reflection because it fit into our time frame and went to many sites that we wanted to see. The ship is very new and it great condition. The service was excellent. We were hesitant to pay the extra money for concierge level but were glad we did. Our concierge, Aldin, made sure we had everything we needed and even arranged for a special dinner for us. Some other things you get with concierge level are a bottle of champagne, hors d'oeuvres every afternoon, free shoe shines, and special help with anything you need.
We were also invited to stand on the helicopter pad to enjoy our sail away from Barcelona.
Before our cruise, I read some negative reviews about the entertainment. I'm not sure what those people were watching but I thought the entertainment was excellent. Our favorites were Jon Courtenay who did a comedy/piano show, Raegar (who did a rock & Roll/country show), and the aerialist show. But all of the shows with the Reflection singers and dancers were great too.
We thoroughly enjoyed our dining every night. We dined at the 6:00 seating in the Opus dining room. Our waiter and assistant waiter, Carlos and Saude, were very attentive and had great recommendations on what to eat. Carlos always gave me an extra scoop of sorbet for dessert. Compared to other cruises we have taken, I will say the food seemed to be a step up. One night, we dined in the Tuscan Grill which is at the very back of the ship. We had a table on the window which was great. The food and service were excellent. If you don't mind paying a surcharge for dining in a specialty restaurant, i highly recommend it.
For breakfast, we always dined in the Oceanview Cafe. You can get anything you want here including eggs made to order. For lunch on days at sea we often ate at the AquaSpa cafe by the adult pool. There aren't that many selections but it's a great place to get chicken salad, tuna salad, wraps or other selections. Then, of course you have to go to the ice cream/sorbet bar in the Oceanview Cafe for your dessert.
If you really like to play a lot of games, you won't find as many as you would on a cruise line such as Carnival. But I enjoyed all of the activities they had such as trivia, bocce ball, archery, pool games, and a nightly game at 8:00 before the last show. Nacho, Brittany, and Roxstar did a great job of keeping the games fun for the participants and spectators. They made my trip even more fun and all knew me by name. And don't miss the crew vs guests volleyball game.
We took several excursions that we arranged through the ship and others we didn't so I will review a few below:
Livorno, Italy - we took a full day trip to Cinque Terre. We enjoyed the trip and Cinque Terre is a beautiful place. But there are a couple of things that could be improved. First, our bus stopped at a truck stop halfway there so everyone could go to the bathroom. But there were other tour buses there and only a small bathroom so it took over thirty minutes. If they had buses with a toilet, this could be avoided. Or stagger the buses. Second, to get to Cinque Terre, you take the public ferry from Portovenere. That means you stop at each of the 5 towns while people unload and load. So you spend a great deal of time sitting on the boat while this happens. There were so many people from the ship on these ferries, you would think they could charter one for everyone and not stop in each town. Once you reach the final site, Monterosso, you have a couple of hours to sightsee see or relax. Try the Cinque Terre wine (yes that's what it's called). It's very good with a Four Stations (Quattro Stagioni) pizza at Trattoria Il Piccolo Diavolo in Monterosso.
Nice, France - We took a full day winery tour and were very disappointed. This tour was over $300 per person so were were expecting a lot. We expected to be taken to a winery where we would see vineyards and learn about wine making. The winery had a nice view from the balcony but the winery itself was a disappointment. There was no vineyard. We basically went in a garage where they had tanks of wine. It was impossible to hear our guide because of the workers making noise. After this we went to a small porch where we tasted 3 wines and had snacks which we had to share with the dozens of flies. We left the winery and went to the Old Nice where we had lunch at Le Grand Balcon. The lunch was a set menu for everyone so were served things that we would not have otherwise ordered. All you had to do was look around at the half eaten plates of food to see that most people did not enjoy their lunch. This tour was certainly not worth the money.
Barcelona, Spain - we did not book a tour through the ship for Barcelona. We took a taxi straight from the ship to Sagrada Familia where we had bought tickets in advance through their website. Later we toured the Catedral de Barcelona which was amazing as well. We bought walk up tickets and had no line. Make sure you go to the roof for some great views. That evening, we watched a Flamenco show at Tablao Flamenco and enjoyed that. Again, we had made a reservation in advance. We weren't interested in a fancy flamenco show where we would have to go back to the ship and change into nice clothes so this was perfect for us.
Gibraltar - we did a 1.5 hour taxi tour which was okay but not that great. We wanted to do the 3 hour tour but it was full. St. Michael's Cave was great and we got a good overview of Gibraltar. Ape's Den was a disappointment because there was only one ape sitting on a truck. After the tour, we walked over to the cable car and rode to the top. I wish we had done that first. There were incredible views at the top and plenty of apes. Later we walked through the botanical gardens which was free the day we were there. if you want a nice souvenir of Gibraltar, visit Gibraltar Crystal where they have beautiful glass ornaments. We finished off our day with a drink on the water. Skip all of the bars in Old Town. Walk over to Ocean Village where there are several bar and restaurants right on the water. We had delicious drinks at the Bridge Bar & Grill.
Malaga - we pre-arranged a Segway tour through Segway Malaga. I highly recommend the 2 hour tour because it gives you a great overview of the city. Don't be afraid, I had never ridden one and I caught on in less than a minute. And I'm 62. Afterwards, make sure you visit Alcazaba. Very interesting place, the price is right, and there is a great snack bar near the top with a surprisingly good menu. We had a pitcher of sangria and a pizza while sitting at a table overlooking the city. Very nice city.
Cartagena - No need to book a tour here. You walk right off the ship into the town. Make your way to the Concepcion Castle tour. You can buy tickets to take the elevator up or just walk it. On the floor above the elevator is a old fallout shelter that was really interesting. We only found it because we asked where the bathroom was before we went up the lift. I recommend buying the multi-attraction ticket so you can see the Roman theater and other sites also. The Roman theater was incredible, especially considering it was buried under the earth until just recently. Later, we had our requisite pitcher of sangria at a sidewalk cafe. Very interesting city.
Ibiza - we booked a jeep tour through the ship and this was our favorite excursion, but it's not for the faint of heart. You take a convoy of jeeps to some incredibly beautiful sites. Part of the trip is on dirt roads through the countryside which is where the fun comes in. It's like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. It's dusty and thrilling. Later, you stop for an hour or so at a nice beach. I didn't see anyone on the tour actually get in the water but it's a nice place to relax, enjoy the sites, and have a pitcher of sangria. One word of advice. If you have a small bladder, I recommend going to the bathroom nature style on the first stop because there's not another stop for over an hour.
All in all, this was a great cruise and I highly recommend it.
Our cabin seemed smaller than what we have experienced on other ships. The couch took up a good deal of the room. It would be nice if you could choose a room without a couch/bed if there are only two of you. I will say our cabin was kept impeccably clean by our cabin steward Sheryll and she even decorated our bed with a swan and rose petals on our anniversary. I would recommend getting a cabin one floor lower, though, because we could sometimes hear noise in the cafeteria above us.