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

Good ship, ports - not so much

Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review by susanross

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2020
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean View with Verandah 2B

We are a couple in our 60’s. We cruise once a year. We do not use the pools, fitness room, spa or bars so have no comment on these areas. (Yes, I know, what do these people do? We read, socialize and eat and eat and eat. We are boring.)

Tip: Celebrity Cruises caters to an older crowd. The longer the cruise, the older the guests. I bet the average age on our 11 day cruise was 75.

Fort Lauderdale: We stayed at The Holiday Inn Express near the port. The price includes a buffet breakfast. Our room in the new tower was very nice. (Make sure you get a room in the NEW tower.) We like this location because it is close to restaurants, a dollar store, Walgreens and about a 15-20min walk to the water taxi (beside the Hilton Hotel).

Tip: If you have time, I would suggest taking the water taxi. It’s pricey, around $25-$30. We didn’t go this year (thanks to my husband who insisted on a marathon walk instead) so I’m not certain about the exact price. (I did get to go to a multimillion dollar open house by chance though, which was neat, and met an adorable teeny Yorkie rescue dog at the beach.) The water taxi takes you all around Fort Lauderdale and you can go off and on as much as you want. They also tell you quirky stories about the people living in the houses on the canal. And one of the stops has The Cheesecake Factory. I love their chocolate mousse cheesecake.

Embarkation: This was a breeze. Then we waited in the Oceanview Cafe for our room to be ready.

Ship: The Reflection is a nicely laid out ship with two exceptions. The smoking area was by the track, not the best decision for people trying to keep healthy. And the library was not enclosed, so at night you had loud music while trying to read. The decor, minus some of the “art” displayed (a cushion painted silver- really?) was nice.

I found the shops too upscale. Only one shop suited our budget. A general store with books, magazines, toiletries, etc. would be nice.

Dining Room: We only ate in the dining room (anytime dining) twice this cruise. The food was fine but not to our tastes most nights and it was REALLY loud.

Tip: We strongly recommend ‘anytime dining’ because it gives you flexibility regarding both the time you eat and who you eat with.

Oceanview Cafe: We ate most of our meals in the Oceanview Cafe which had lots of variety. The food was good but the desserts, not so much.

Tip: How not to gain too much weight (and you WILL gain weight.)

Take mini-portions to find out what you like and don’t like. Then go back for your favourites.

Take the stairs. (We gained less than 5 lbs.)

Shows: Dan Wilson, a comedian, was hilarious the first night. The R rated show the next evening was not. December ’63 played Franki Valli and The Four Seasons’ songs, and Lance Lipinsky and his band played 50’s and 60’s songs. Both bands were great. Lipinsky’s fingers literally flew across the keyboard. The rest of the shows, with the exception of the magician, Matt Johnson, were fair to good. (Who shows a video during a 45 minute live show?! He was reliving he greatest escape. If I wanted to see it, I could have looked it up on YouTube.)

The Celebrity performers performed some wonderful acrobatics and sang well but the shows’ storylines were lame.

Tip: If you want to be part of the show sit in the first row. Otherwise DON’T.

Sea days: As usual, they were not entertaining. Aside from a DNA forensic lecturer and some lectures about the ports, they had multiple daily talks to push merchandise. Surely they could have some more speakers about various topics. I’m sure there are lots of people cruising that would be happy to give informal talks (including me).

Debarkation: This was awful. It took forever to get off the ship and out of the port.

Ports: I do not like the West Caribbean. This is our second time being there and I liked it less than the first time. (We went back due to the length and timing of the cruise.) See below for details.

Tips:

Forgo the expensive WIFI service on the ship and use the WIFI in the ports. Sometimes it’s free; sometimes you need to buy something at a cafe.

Please refrain from taking excursions that abuse animals. Dolphin swims, horse buggy rides, elephant rides, monkey/donkey photoshoots are examples of activities that abuse animals. Animals do not exist solely for our entertainment and should be well cared for and treated with respect. Wild animals should not be captive unless injured.


susanross's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean View with Verandah 2B

Our balcony room was clean and spacious (for a cabin) but the storage was not great and much of it was over the bed. This meant climbing on the bed to get your clothes (my husband had those cubbies).

Since most of the cruisers were elderly, I’m not sure who thought this was a good idea.There were areas that more storage shelves could have been placed. It’s too bad they didn’t take advantage of them.

Our room steward, Nanda, was wonderful. We were on the odd # side of the ship (port? starboard?) so our balcony was mainly in the shade, which we like.

Tips:

You can tip your room steward/waiter using your credit on the ship. It’s a good way to use your remaining credit.

There is a laundry special towards the end of the cruise.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)

We stayed at The Holiday Inn Express near the port. The price includes a buffet breakfast. Our room in the new tower was very nice. (Make sure you get a room in the NEW tower.) We like this location because it is close to restaurants, a dollar store, Walgreens and about a 15-20min walk to the water taxi (beside the Hilton Hotel).

Tip: If you have time, I would suggest taking the water taxi. It’s pricey, around $25-$30. We didn’t go this year (thanks to my husband who insisted on a marathon walk instead) so I’m not certain about the exact price. (I did get to go to a multimillion dollar open house by chance though, which was neat, and met an adorable teeny Yorkie rescue dog at the beach.) The water taxi takes you all around Fort Lauderdale and you can go off and on as much as you want. They also tell you quirky stories about the people living in the houses on the canal. And one of the stops has The Cheesecake Factory. I love their chocolate mousse cheesecake.

We took a tour with “Dora the Explorer” tour company. I’d rate it a 3/5. The tour guide, Josie, and driver were very nice but the tour was so-so. Part of it was walking around Cartagena where you were accosted by people selling stuff constantly. They would not take “no” for an answer. The city itself was quite pretty. The stores looked very nice but we were not given time to go in them.

Walking distance from the ship there is a wonderful aviary. If I had known, I would have just spent my time there.

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Colon (Cristobal)

It was strongly recommended that you NOT walk around the city as it is unsafe. As we had no excursions planned, we just got off the ship to the port area to use the WIFI.

Puerto Limon

We were supposed to go on our much anticipated (and sole) excursion to the Botanical Gardens and a wildlife refuge. It was to be the highlight of our cruise (at least for me).This was cancelled at the last minute due to lack of participation. I was very disappointed and feel that Celebrity should have made up the difference so the people who were booked could go. At least there were numerous kiosks in the port so I had fun shopping, much to my husband’s chagrin.

Costa Maya

The taxis were on strike and blockaded the port so no one could go in or out which meant there were no excursions. Inside the port area (shops cater solely to people from the ships) it was packed since three ships were docked. The ship behind us heard about the situation and just sailed by. Wise move.

Cozumel

I remember really liking this city years ago. This time, I didn’t. There were very pushy sales people. No shuttle was provided, so to get into town, you had to take an $8.00 cab ($16 round trip).


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susanross
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