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Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,874 Reviews

Pleasant family Christmas cruise

Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review by ceebc

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2018
  • Destination: the Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean View with Verandah 1A

Family Christmas together. First cruise for my husband and I, but Grandma and my brother's family had both cruised several times before.

Embarkation was dismal - standing in line for 3 hours facing armed security guards, with no explanation given until after we finally boarded. (The explanation eventually given was that the 30-mph winds were too high to safely deploy the gangplank. I think Celebrity needs a stronger gangplank.) Debarkation also much slower than expected: from on-line research, we though we would be able to just walk off since we were carrying our bags, but there was a huge lineup and it took about 45 minutes to get off the ship and another half hour to get through customs.

Once on the ship, things improved a lot! We had a terrific cabin steward and good dining experiences in the main dining room. We were doing "anytime" dining and ended up never needing to make a reservation - there was only one night when we had to wait longer than 5 minutes. Excellent gym facilities, although very busy. Bought one Pilates class and it was excellent, although pricey. The ship is beautiful and well maintained, and although full there were always places to sit and relax. We had 3 cabins in a row and had the dividers removed between the verandahs, so had some good quality family time together out there.

It would have been nice to have some useful shops on board e.g. cruisewear, last-minute Christmas gifts. Instead it was pretty much all diamonds and watches. Hard to imagine they do a good business.

The internet packages were ridiculously expensive, so we went without for a week, which was kind of refreshing. A "classic" beverage package came with our booking, and that turned out to be just right for us - we paid the difference when we occasionally wanted a more expensive glass of wine or cocktail.

Time in ports was too short. There was only time to hop off for 3-4 hours at each stop. We did manage to get quite a lot out of those 3-4 hours, at least in San Juan and Antigua, but it was a bit hectic. If I were cruising again I would look for longer times in port, and port days that are more spread out instead of bunched together.

Overall the cruise itself was a comfortable, enjoyable, and expensive experience. We may try it again sometime...

ceebc's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean View with Verandah 1A
Cabin 1A 9192

Up-to-date, comfortable cabin with an extra-large verandah perfect for relaxing. Our family had 3 cabins in a row and our steward removed the dividers between them, making it very convenient to visit with each other.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

The catamaran was very nice and it was a small group (7 people + 2 guides). The tour guides were ok but I had expected some commentary about the island and we had none. We had a very brief (30 minute) beach stop - just long enough to walk up and down the beach once. Not sure which beach it was, but it was about 10 feet from the airport.

Snorkelling was just ok - a few kinds of fish. The snorkel area was very crowded with a couple of other very large tours.

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San Juan

Had an enjoyable walk along the Paseo del Morro to the fort, visited with many cats and took sunset pictures along the way, and then came back along the field and strolled through Old San Juan (very crowded but festive), winding up with an excellent dinner at Princesa Gastrobar.

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