Celebrity Reflection Review
We are a couple in our 70s, departing February 2020 for 11 nights in the western Caribbean after a 5 night stay in Ft. Lauderdale. This was our 3d ocean cruise. We chose this itinerary because of the length and the places we had not visited before. We booked in December and the room choice was limited. We chose an ocean view room on deck 3, midship, no veranda. Overall, we had a wonderful time on the Celebrity cruise, and would recommend it.
Short summary of impressions:
Room – standard room, very well-designed storage, though the large cabinet over the bed requires a tall person. We did not hang out in the room very much since there are so many other places and activities. Did not really miss the veranda. Some sway noticeable on several at-sea days when one could see the ocean swells and white caps. The room was quiet with a decently functioning temperature control. The service in the room was super – it seemed as if the bathroom was cleaned up every time we were out, and our room attendant was truly gracious.
Ft. Lauderdale – We stayed at the Hyatt Place near the airport and ship terminal for 5 nights ahead of the cruise to increase our time in the sun. There was plenty to do in the Lauderdale area to keep us busy for 5 days, and I would especially recommend Hollywood beach – a beautiful, wide beach with a lively promenade. Lauderdale was a good choice for this trip, but will likely stay elsewhere, for variety, on another occasion.
Colon Panama – We were not interested in the Celebrity excursions and might have taken a taxi to the canal expansion visitor center, but were warned against doing so by the excursion staff. Friends of ours had done that in 2019, and it appeared entirely possible.
Costa Maya – We had booked a Celebrity excursion to a Mayan ruin, but a taxi driver protest action blocked the passengers from perhaps 5 large cruise ships from leaving the terminal. This was the one instance in which Celebrity’s passenger support was lacking; there was no Celebrity excursion staff at the tour departure site to tell us what was going on as we waited. In other situations, Celebrity’s logistics and passenger herding was exemplary.
Cozumel – We took a taxi to Paradise Beach, a club like affair that provided chairs and umbrellas for a modest fee. We had a pleasant 4 hours lounging on the beach, using the pool and having lunch brought from the bar. This is a well-organized place even if the beach itself is not so beautiful.
Overall, our Caribbean beach experiences on this cruise suggest that one must get some distance away from the ship terminal to find a beautiful beach. The terminal areas have plenty of shopping and restaurants geared to passengers, but are not meant for relaxing. Generally, a taxi was needed to get into the town or to a beach.