This was our second cruise on the Celebrity Reflection but our first Transatlantic crossing. We were in a balcony cabin on Deck 8. The ship itself is already several years old but it could have been brand new; it is very well kept and spotlessly clean. Because it was a 14 night cruise in October, the passengers seemed to be mostly retired, in their 60s and older. There were virtually no children aboard. (That’s not a complaint.)
As you might expect on a Celebrity cruise, the crew could not have been friendlier, more helpful or more gracious, whether at the popular Martini Bar or select dining in the Opus restaurant on Deck 4, or the Oceanview Cafe on Deck 14, or the Fitness Center on Deck 12, the places I frequented the most. The service was superb. Our cabin steward was beyond superb. The food was not simply good, it was very good. At many meals it was nothing short of spectacular. Say what you will about Celebrity, you will not leave their ships hungry.
Also, in a very generous gesture, and as a reflection (so to speak) of Celebrity’s appreciation for returning customers like us, as Captain’s Club members with Elite status Celebrity bought us drinks every night until 7:30 PM (except for the evening of embarkation), so my bar bill was very low.
In the very subjective category of theatrical entertainment, I do not give Celebrity high marks. My wife and her girlfriend went to all the performances and were not terribly impressed. I went to three shows featuring comedians; only two were funny.
We had dined in most of the specialty for-fee restaurants before, but they are now outrageously expensive and in my opinion not worth the price, certainly not when compared to the plentiful and multiple very high quality “for-free” dining venues.
At the beginning of the cruise the ship stopped in the Spanish ports of Barcelona, Cartagena and Malaga. We were blessed with beautiful weather and had booked half-day tours through Celebrity which we found informative and fairly priced with guides who were interesting and easy to understand. It rained during our final stop in Tenerife and Celebrity was kind enough to refund a portion of the supposedly scenic excursion cost.
The weather during the crossing was generally good with only two instances of rough seas. The temperatures were cool and comfortable until we neared the Florida heat the last two days of the cruise.
Because there are plenty of sea days on a crossing, my wife, the Queen of Mah Jongg, was able to find a group of girls and played with them every afternoon. I occupied myself with a good book and time in the gym, but the cruise director did a fine job of organizing all kinds of activities for passengers with other interests.
The bottom line is that we loved this cruise so much that while on board we booked another crossing for next year, leaving from Barcelona exactly a year to the day after this cruise ended in Ft. Lauderdale. We even reserved the same cabin, and asked Celebrity to simply let us keep our clothes in our closet and drawers so packing for next year will be easier. That’s a joke, by the way, but the rest of my review is serious and sincere.