Celebrity Reflection Cruise Ship Review                                                                                                         


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Celebrity Reflection Cruise Review

We just got back from a wonderful cruise on board the new Celebrity Reflection. This cruise vacation happened at lightning speed. Because of work commitments my wife was asked to take some of her vacation days within a week so we started planning our cruise vacation.

On Friday we checked out some cruise options and sent an email to our cruise consultant Ken asking him to see what he could find. He recommended a Celebrity cruise on board the new Reflection cruise ship. He must have read our minds because that was our first choice while surfing the internet for possibilities.

This particular cruise had a couple of very good “perks”. First, a balcony stateroom (always our choice) was the same price as an interior stateroom. Along with that much reduced stateroom price Celebrity had a promotion called “1, 2, 3, Go”.

The promotion gave us the option of choosing one of three different perks. One option was paid ship gratuities. The second was a three hundred dollar on-board credit. The third (and our choice) was a standard beverage package.

This package gave us unlimited drinks including beer to $5.00 per beer, wine and alcohol to $8.00 per drink, soft drinks and bottled water and specialty coffees from the coffee shop. We are not big drinkers but thought that this would allow us to experience a few things that we might not try otherwise.

First let me say that this is our first cruise with Celebrity.


Ship Stats

  • Year built 2012

  • Passengers 3,046 – 3,655

  • Cabins 1,523

  • Length 1,047 feet

  • Beam 123 feet

  • Speed 24 knots

  • Crew 1,000

Grand Foyer

On boarding the ship we entered into the “Grand Foyer” which was the bottom of an Atrium that was open all the way to the top of the ship. This area also had the glass elevators which looked down onto the foyer.

The foyer and open area above was the most exquisite of this type of area we had seen in all of the ships that we have vacationed on. We spent more time here and took more pictures here than anywhere else on the ship.

Throughout the cruise we enjoyed great music from bands and entertainers in the grand foyer area. The music was the best of any that we have experienced on our cruises to date. The genres were quite varied and it seemed that it didn’t matter what we were listening to we enjoyed it immensely – not the norm for us. We even danced more here than we did on any other ship in all of the venues combined.

It was cool to see all of the floors (which all had open areas to look into the atrium) with people standing around the rails watching and listening to the entertainers. From the bottom you looked up and there were people all around (it seemed) on every floor – what a great area.


Balcony Stateroom

From the Grand Foyer we checked out our balcony stateroom. It never ceases to amaze us how they can pack so much space into a small room. In the room we had a large double bed, sofa, desk with chair, a mini fridge, safe, bank of drawers, large flat screen TV, night tables and an overhead storage area at the head of the bed.

The closet in this stateroom was beside the bed and at the end of the bathroom. No more fighting with someone accessing the closet being in the way as someone else is trying to get to the door. There was ample room and hangers in the closet with two pull-down clothes rods so that you could have double-decker hanging for shirts etc.

The bathroom again was very well organized. To look at it, it might seem tight for space. But once you were in there everything was right at your fingertips. They have made great use of all available space in the bathroom. There were open shelves, shelves behind doors and even a bank of drawers. The shower stall seemed a little longer than the usual 30”x30” units we have experienced.

The balcony was quite spacious when compared to many of the balconies that we have had in the past. There were two comfortable high-backed web chairs that reclined. As well we had a table – a REAL table that we could dine on – not just a little low patio type table. The only downside to this balcony was that we could not look straight down at the water because the life boats were directly below.


Oceanview Cafe

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.


Main Diningroom

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.


Alternate Diningrooms

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.

Sun Decks

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!


Common Areas

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.


The Drink Package

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 quite enjoyed.

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 Crew

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 conversation.



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?

Browse through some of the other informative cruise pages.  Check out the great deals on our Discount Cruises page.  Then book your cruise on-line and get excited!.

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