|Celebrity Reflection Cruise Ship Review|
Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review
After checking out our stateroom we headed up to the buffet
for a bite. Again we were pleasantly surprised. The layout of the buffet was
fantastic! Small triangular islands meant that you did not have to line up
40 feet back and pass countless dishes of food that you were not interested
in. Each island had a small group of selections so that lines were extremely
limited. I think that the largest lineup I had was maybe three people (aside
from the ice-cream line of course ;-) ).
The food in the buffet as good as or better than the offerings on other cruises as well. And not having to stand in long lines with hot food that was rapidly cooling made dining here much better as well.
Next we decided to take a look at the dining room. WOW! The
main dining room on board was absolutely beautiful. Elegant. Classy. Just
the place that you would want to enjoy a scrumptious meal in. The wine
bottle tower of about 1,300 bottles at one end of the dining room was quite
interesting and added greatly to the décor.
Because we had booked so late we were relegated to the late dining which we found was almost too late at 8:30. 7:45 or 8:00 would be much better – at least for us. We discussed trying out the Celebrity Select Dining option on our next cruise (which we have already booked!).
We sat at a table for eight but only six of us were at dinner – a couple from Russia, a couple from Mexico and ourselves from Canada. What an international table.
Fortunately our table waiter spoke Spanish and his helper spoke Russian so they acted as interpreters when we needed them to.
We found that the food was better than many of the more recent cruises but still not like it was ten years ago. (On the discussion forums on-line many are putting this off to the fact that the cruise lines are adding more and more pay-for dining restaurants.
This brings us to the pay-dining restaurants where you will
pay extra to enjoy a meal. On board the Reflection there were six
restaurants where a fee applies. There is also a dining room that is
exclusive to the “AquaClass” guests only.
We went into all of the dining rooms for a peak. They were all themed differently and were quite nice. We decided on one evening to eat in the Murano restaurant. The food and service was impeccable. (We even tried to memorize the recipe for the lobster dish that was prepared at the table for us.)
In talking with a few other passengers on the ship we heard that the Tuscan Grille was also quite good. Unfortunately we did not hear from gusts that had tried out the other restaurants – Lawn Club Grille, Qsine, The Porch and the Bistro on Five.
We did have a burger and fries a couple of days for lunch from the Mast Grill. The burgers were mouth-watering with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. The fries were slightly spiced and were excellent as well.
Because our free drink package included the specialty coffees we tried out the Café al Bacio. Our favorite was the Caramel Macchioto (I hope that I spelled it right). We like the ones at Starbucks but these we liked even more. They were not nearly as sweet or strong so they made an excellent first-cup-of-the-day. And to top it off the café was one flight of stairs away from our stateroom!
There were numerous bars and lounges on-board as you would expect. I never seem to be able to keep straight which ones are open when. But that helps to keep you moving around the ship to see what is going on. We only listened to the entertainment a few times in the lounges as most of our time we spent listening in the Grand Foyer.
Because of our dining time and the great entertainers in the Grand Foyer we never saw one show in the Reflection Theater. That is a first for us because we usually enjoy the stage shows put on by the cruise ships in their theaters. Sorry folks. No reviews for the shows or theater.
On many cruises my wife religiously heads to the gym first thing in the morning. Again on this ship we never made to the gym except on the first day to check it out.
The sun decks on board the Reflection seemed to be loaded
with comfortable deck chairs and lounges. We seldom had a problem finding a
chair. The problem was finding a chair in the sun for Carol and one in the
shade for me next to it – lol.
We did find a great place for us down on deck 5 where there were some wooden lounges with thick foam pads. I could sit in the shade under the deck above while Carol could pull her chair out into the sun. A couple of times we had the area to ourselves. The only down side here was that you were removed from all of the action – which is sometimes not a down side.
We did see that the Pool Butlers were watching the deck chairs and if a towel was left on an unattended chair for any length of time they removed it so that others could use the chairs. Bravo!
The shops area on board was well laid out. On decks 4 and 5
were the standard shops and boutiques right adjacent the open foyer area.
The photo gallery was included in this area which I appreciate. On some
ships the photo area was located in other parts of the ship and sometimes
hard to find (without a map).
There was an area on the ship called The Hideaway. Although we did not make use of this area we enjoyed the view of it from the glass elevators and the floors across the open foyer area from it. There were lattice-enclosed love seat areas that looked like tree houses from across the grand foyer solarium– even on different levels.
The view of the Library area was again beautiful from the glass elevators and from across the open area. The glass elevators gave us some terrific views of the central area of the ship. You could see common areas form above, below and eye level. They were even used in some of the entertainment shows in the Grand Foyer as entertainers would dance and perform while travelling up or down. Even some guests entertained while dancing to the great music in the Foyer.
I thought that I should give our thoughts on the standard
drink package. First of all we are not big drinkers. We did have an extra
glass or two of wine each day. The specialty coffees as we said earlier were
If we had to purchase the drink package we would not. We couldn’t get the value out of it. You would need to have about eight or nine beers, glasses of wine or even more specialty coffees each day to recoup the cost of the package. We simply can’t do that.
However, as a free perk it was great. In fact we have decided to take advantage of the drink package perk again on our next cruise that we are planning. It seems a little more relaxing to not consider the cost of an extra drink of special coffee.
On another note we found that there were quite q few wine varieties that were $8.50. The cost included in the package was $8.00 of which there were fewer than the $8.50 varieties. Why not just have the package include the $8.50 varieties rather than do up paperwork for 50 cents (the difference between the package and those wines). I must say however that in a number of cases the crew members did wave the 50 cent extra charge.
The Reflection crew members weres all very professional
while still maintaining that approachable friendliness. The cabin staff and
dining room staff all seemed genuinely happy to see you each day. I can’t
say that any of them went out of their way to help us because everything
went so smoothly we didn’t require special help. We had no problems or
issues that needed attention. We have been on cruises in the past where the
crew members were more willing to spend a few minutes to engage in
As far as our itinerary goes this cruise fit the bill for
this vacation. We wanted something a little more relaxing and still managed
to hit a couple of very nice beaches. To see more about our ports of call
take a look at our Celebrity Reflection itinerary review.
As an overall rating for this cruise vacation we would place it at the top. Would we sail Celebrity again? Absolutely. In fact we are already planning our next vacation cruise with Celebrity. Care to join us?
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