By Colleen McDaniel
Cruise Critic Senior Executive Editor
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Entertainment

Celebrity Reflection Entertainment & Activities

Theater

The production shows take place in the Reflection Theater, a lovely two-level venue befitting the big-time entertainment on stage. The seats are well spaced and comfortable, and they have great sight lines -- we didn't find a bad seat in the house.

The entertainment varies and includes big production shows, comedians, magicians, music and dance. "Reflection: The Show" is the highlight of the production shows. It features a combination of rock music and acrobatics and is entertaining -- and occasionally cringe-inducing with its feats of contortion -- from start to finish. Passengers usually have two opportunities to catch shows in the Reflection Theater each night.

Daily Fun

During the day entertainment includes games, dance lessons, enrichment lectures and music. Trivia abounds and Celebrity has teamed with Billboard, so, rather than the typical keychain, prizes might include gift cards to purchase music. A video arcade appeals as much to adults as it does children, and the sports courts regularly host basketball shootouts. Enrichment options include wine and spirits tastings, sushi-making and other culinary demonstrations, as well as digital camera and computer seminars. An entertaining "Top Chef at Sea" show gives passengers the chance to compete for prizes with the help of the ship's onboard chefs.

At Night

Most nights you'll find live music in several spots throughout the ship -- guitars and vocals or jazz in the Ensemble Lounge midship, while a DJ can often be found spinning dance music poolside or at the Sky Lounge, for example.

Because the ship has no official dance club (a la Quasar on its sister ships) those looking to bust a move have to look to the day's schedule to find the best spot. The Grand Foyer hosts a live band each evening which can be good or bad depending on your musical taste -- the sound travels throughout the ship's central area making it hard to escape if you're not a fan.

While venues around the atrium host music and entertainment of their own, don't be surprised at night if an impromptu show, with music and wild costumes, breaks out. Just don't expect it to appear on your Celebrity Today daily.

Movie buffs can catch feature films most nights in Celebrity Central, a secondary theater venue located on Deck 4. Films tend to be of the new-to-DVD variety. Celebrity Central also hosts events like game shows and bingo.

Reflection uses its Lawn Club to host Concerts on the Lawn, where passengers are provided with cheese, wine and blankets for sitting. Wine is available at standard prices, the cheese is free.

Of course there's always Fortune's Casino, which occupies the middle of Deck 4. Games include the typical cruise offerings: slots, blackjack and video poker. Players looking for Texas Hold'em action will find 2/5 no-limit options at scheduled times most days.

Celebrity Reflection Bars and Lounges

There is no shortage of places to raise a glass on Celebrity Reflection with a choice of almost a dozen bars ranging from cozy, clubby spaces to light-filled lounges with ocean views.

Passport Bar (Deck 3): This bar located on the same level as the guest relations and shore excursions desks is the perfect spot for people watching and catching the nightly entertainment in the Grand Foyer. Passport Bar has the longest operating hours with service available from 9 a.m. until late.

Cellar Masters (Deck 4): Rather than having to wait for a bartender, wine lovers can access an impressive array of wines from around the globe via automatic dispensers using a "wine card" which can be inserted to obtain a measured portion of one, two or four ounces. While there are hosted wine tastings during the day we missed having a bartender during the evening and, like most passengers on our sailing, tended to avoid this venue when it wasn't staffed.

Martini Bar (Deck 4): Order a couple of "flights" in the Martini Bar and you might see a spectacular show involving bottle-flipping, glass-stacking and the pouring of a dozen drinks at once. There's no guarantee you'll get the performance, but if you're interested your best bet is to place your order when the bar isn't too busy, perhaps after ordering a couple of rounds and dropping a generous tip. With its ice-covered surface and charismatic bartenders, the Martini Bar is one of the most popular onboard drinking venues.

Ensemble (Deck 5): With sultry lighting and comfortable seats, this bar located near the specialty restaurants on Deck 5 is a popular choice for pre-dinner drinks. It can be lively or quiet and romantic, depending on the time of day and the crowd.

Michael's Club (Deck 5): This clubby bar decked out in dark woods and plush seats is only open to Zenith members of the Captain's Club -- Celebrity's loyalty club -- and those staying in mid- and top-tier suites (Sky Suite and AquaClass Suite guests do not have access). A continental buffet breakfast is available each morning and pre-dinner drinks and tapas are served from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. There is also a dedicated concierge to help arrange specialty dining, shore excursions, and the like. The vibe depends largely on the type of suite passengers onboard with an atmosphere that could be anything from (almost too) quiet to loud and lively with a real party vibe. Michael's Club is available 24 hours a day but desk hours vary depending on the itinerary.

Molecular Bar (Deck 5): Known for its creative drinks at sea (think avocado margaritas and dry ice cocktails) this bar was very quiet on our cruise. It will soon be rebranded to World Class Bar, offering craft cocktails, as can be found on sister ships such as Equinox.

Pool Bar (Deck 14): This bar serves wine, beer and cocktails, as well as soft drinks in a poolside setting (weather permitting).

Mast Bar (Deck 14): Overlooking the Pool Deck, this bar serves the same drinks as the Pool Bar below. Smoking is allowed.

Sky Lounge (Deck 14): Whether the bar is open or closed, this lounge area with floor-to-ceiling windows and panoramic ocean views is the place to be. During the day it is a blissfully quiet spot to curl up in a comfy seat and read; after the bar opens it takes on a livelier vibe, especially after 10 p.m. when the dance floor attracts a decent crowd.

Sunset Bar (Deck 15): With its fun lighted stools and killer aft location, this bar is a favorite at night when you can settle in for some cocktails and an unparalleled view of the sun setting over the sea. You'll also fight for a seat there during sailaways.

Celebrity Reflection Outside Recreation

Pools

The adults-only Solarium on Deck 14 houses two hot tubs and a pool beneath an expansive glass cover, which allows in the sun without the sunburn. The area offers a tranquil escape with a dancing fountain, soothing music and grand-scale art. Clamshell seating for two and cushy loungers make the spot perfect for Kindle time or an afternoon nap.

The main pool area, located midship, has two pools and four hot tubs, with cushioned loungers, including the class's signature two-person poolside beds. The Pool Bar is nearby for libations and passengers craving burgers can head up the stairs to Deck 15's Mast Grill.

Recreation

Most of the outdoor recreation can be found around The Lawn Club located on Deck 15. While still a public space, it also has eight for-fee alcoves available ($69 on port days, $149 on sea days), which cut into the lawn space available for everyone else. They also break up the space, making the area feel less park-like and, frankly, less special than the original wide-open design on the early ships in the Solstice class. Near the Sunset Bar on Deck 15 you will find a bocce court and forward on the same deck, a basketball court.

Sun Decks

Around the pool you will find the two-person poolside beds that are a signature of all Solstice-class ships as well as loungers spaced around the same area. For additional sunbathing space, the sun deck at the front of Deck 16 rarely gets crowded, even on sea days. You can also grab a towel and relax on the Lawn Club's lawn although it can feel like you have an audience as the alcoves face inwards rather than towards the sea.

Celebrity Reflection Services

Passport Bar and the guest relations and shore excursions desks are located on Deck 3. Future Cruise Sales is on Deck 5, midships, where the Captain's Club was previously located.

Most of the action on Reflection takes place on Decks 4 and 5, where you'll find the main dining room, a number of bars and alternative restaurants, the theater, conference room, casino, shops, art gallery, photo gallery, coffee shop and gelateria. Some of the most interesting design choices are on display on Deck 5, where you'll walk through the intriguing Celestial Garden, a floor-to-ceiling experience from Miami artist Carlos Betancourt. It's visually stunning, though we're still perplexed by the bell that dings as you walk through.

Reflection's iLounge, where passengers can access the Internet, take classes and purchase shiny new Apple products for fair prices, is located on Deck 6. It acts as an Internet cafe but you can also log-in to personal devices via Wi-Fi. Internet access is steep at 75 cents a minute but packages are available: 49 minutes for $24.95, 90 minutes for $49.95, 208 minutes for $99.95, 555 minutes for $199.95 or 1,666 minutes for $399.95. While some computer classes are free of charge, others have fees, so ask before you attend.

The Hideaway, which spans Decks 7 and 8, is a whimsical and busy space that has comfy chairs and pods that offer a quiet retreat. The two-deck design is reminiscent of trees, with nests "hanging" from the higher deck. You can grab a cup of self-serve coffee there. Game On, the ship's card and game room, is on Deck 9, where traditional games like Scrabble can be played electronically. The library is on Decks 10 and 11. Reflection doesn't offer a self-service laundry facility. Captain's Club has recently moved to Deck 12.

Celebrity Reflection Spa & Fitness

Spa

The spa, run by Canyon Ranch, offers treatments that range from teeth-whitening to acupuncture and Restylane skincare treatments, in addition to facials and massages. With therapists from around the world, specialist treatments such as Thai massage are of a particularly high standard on Reflection.

Services are discounted on port days but port pricing only lasts until 1 p.m., regardless of what time the ship sets sail. Teens aged from 13 to 15 have their own "Bliss" menu offering hair treatments such as "new you" ($109), "set the tone" spray tans ($99) and "clean and clear" facials ($145). Spa prices do not include a mandatory 18 percent service charge.

AquaClass and AquaSpa Suite passengers have free access to the Persian Garden, a serene space decorated in greens and whites. It includes heated ceramic tile loungers, an aroma steam room, and a scrub and salt bar. The Persian Garden on Reflection is 82 square meters larger than the same space on all other ships in the class. It includes six more heated beds, too. Access is $25 a day (sea days) or $19 (port days) for those who haven't booked AquaClass cabins.

Fitness

Reflection's fitness center and spa occupy the forward section of Deck 12. The fitness center features modern equipment, including the standard treadmills, stationary bikes and elliptical trainers, as well as resistance equipment and a solid selection of dumbbells. Classes include yoga, Zumba, boot camp, and two new-to-fleet options: TRX suspension training and Flywheel cycling. Fees are reasonable ($11 for 50 minutes) and classes fill up quickly, so if you have your heart set on a particular workout, sign up as soon as you get onboard.

Reflection's jogging track is on Deck 15 as is the basketball court which hosts regular tournaments for those who enjoy shooting hoops.

Celebrity Reflection For Kids

Celebrity doesn't have the huge waterslides, climbing walls or ropes courses other lines have, but that doesn't mean families won't enjoy Reflection. With dedicated staff who seem to genuinely enjoy what they do, your biggest problem could be convincing your kids to hang out with you instead of with their new found friends at one of the three spaces on Deck 15 dedicated exclusively to children.

Kids

ShipMates is designed for the youngest, ages three to five. Kids can participate in theme parties, treasure hunts, T-shirt-decorating, talent shows, arts and crafts, dancing, musical games, imagination play and interactive challenges, cartoon trivia, and ice cream and pizza parties. Children need to be toilet trained to participate. Babies and toddlers (aged six months to three years old) are permitted in the Fun Factory only with parental supervision. They do not need to be toilet trained to enjoy the facilities with their parents.

The Fun Factory is for those aged six to 11. Staff members divide the kids by age and encourage participation in age-appropriate activities. For children ages six to eight, activities include theme parties, relay races, arts and crafts, gaming, movies, ice cream and pizza parties, and interactive team-building games. Ages nine to 11 can participate in scavenger hunts, karaoke, talent shows, theme parties, T-shirt-decorating, sports activities, team challenges, movies, gaming and late-night pizza parties. Children aged nine and over can sign themselves in and out of the program with parental permission.

In-room baby-sitting for children 12 months and older is available for $19 per hour, for up to three children in the same family (but one parent needs to stay on the ship). Book at least 24 hours in advance if you would like to use this service.

Lunch and dinner sitting is available for $6 an hour per child for kids aged three to 11 (dinner is free on port days or when the ship is sailing prior to 2 p.m.) Children are taken to lunch or dinner by youth staff and then continue with the afternoon or evening program. Late-night group babysitting for the same age group is offered from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., also for $6 an hour. This slumber party is free on the last night of the sailing.

Teens

Teens have the XClub, which includes a dance club and coffee lounge for those aged 12 to 17. Teen activities include theme parties, scavenger hunts, pool Olympics, sports tournaments, team trivia, karaoke, gaming and fitness activities. Don't be surprised if you see aspiring teen film makers shooting footage around the ship using GoPros. It's part of iTake, an XClub video project which gives them a chance to plot, shoot and edit their own movie in the iLounge.

Celebrity Cruises has achieved the Autism Friendly Cruise Line status, having completed Autism Friendly Certification with Autism on the Seas. Reflection offers movies, games and activities that are suitable for kids with autism, as well as toys that can be borrowed for in-cabin use.

Celebrity Reflection Ship Stats

  • Crew: 1,255
  • Launched: October 2012
  • Decks: 13
  • Passengers: 3,046
  • Registry: Malta
  • CDC Score: 100

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