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Our Celebrity Reflection Cruise Itinerary Review


We recently returned from a cruise on board the new Celebrity Reflection cruise ship. Our itinerary was perfect for this particular cruise as was the beautiful new cruise ship.

My wife was offered a new position from her boss. Before Carol was to take the new position her boss wanted her to take some of her accumulated vacation time. And we needed to act fast as the new job started in three weeks.

Fortunately our cruise consultant had the perfect answer and was able to put things together in a matter of hours. We were looking for a relaxing cruise with some sea days – especially on a new cruise ship. Celebrity Cruise lines was a great choice. Their attention to detail and service are impeccable.

Check out here for our review of the Celebrity Reflection.


Day of Embarkation

On the day of embarkation we were later getting to the ship than we had wanted. Our flight from Buffalo was delayed because of a snow storm that had roared through overnight. Fortunately we had stayed at the Sleep Inn at the Buffalo Airport. If we had not we not have made the plane at all.

Despite the little added stress created by our delay we were quite relaxed once on board the Reflection. The ship was gorgeous. The Grand Foyer area had a fantastic “wow” factor.

The rest of that day we checked out a few of the “important” areas – our stateroom, the buffet (we hadn’t eaten yet), the formal dining room, the internet café and more of the Grand Foyer. After a welcomed glass of wine, we were able to get cleaned up for dinner as our luggage had arrived.

Our table had seating for eight but there were only six of us. We are from Canada. There was a couple from Mexico and a couple from Russia. That made quite the interesting mealtimes. Fortunately our waiter spoke Spanish and his helper spoke Russian so they were able to interpret for us.

Because we had the late sitting at dinner we were usually pretty tired by the time dinner was finished. This night we were exhausted so we retired for the night.


Day One – Sea Day

Our first full day on board was a sea day. We particularly like to have a sea day at the start of the cruise so that we can get our bearings on board. There is so much to see and so many places to check out that it takes at least a day to know where you are and where you want to go.

This day was not a sunny warm day so we didn’t feel that we were missing any sun time while we explored. It appeared that we were not alone in our explorations. Many of the passengers were wandering around trying to find their “special” places.

We had a perk on this cruise that allowed us to have free standard drinks. That was great for exploring. The odd drink as we passed by a bar was appreciated.

There are a number of specialty dining restaurants on board the Celebrity Reflection. We checked them out to see what we might be missing if we didn’t opt for these pay-for restaurants.

We were impressed with the look of the Murano restaurant and the menu looked great. That would be one restaurant that we would have to try.

The steak house looked nice as well but we are not much for steak houses. The Tuscan Grille did not seem to have many intimate seating areas but we heard from others on board that the food was excellent. Other restaurants included the Lawn Club Grille, Bistro on Five, Qsine and Blu.

We were very impressed with the layout of the lido buffet. There were not long lines (except for perhaps the ice-cream line ;-) ) because the lines were actually triangles with access to all three sides. There were maybe six or so of these triangular serving stations along with a few straight lines. After suffering on other ships in the lido buffet this area was like heaven.

There was a burger joint on board that had great burgers and fries. It was very popular on sea days especially at lunch time.

The casino area was compact but seemed to be large enough for the guests that wanted to indulge. There were the usual number of bars and lounges on board each with its own atmosphere.

About four o’clock we headed to the buffet area. We grabbed a plate with some crackers and a selection of cheese, a glass of wine each and went back to our balcony stateroom for our “mandatory” quiet down-time. We have found that nothing is more relaxing – or enjoyable – as having this time to ourselves with a glass of fine wine.

Later in the afternoon/evening we got ourselves cleaned up for dinner. Tonight was the night we would enjoy a mouth-watering lobster dish in the Murano restaurant. The service was fabulous and the food was spectacular. Having the lobster prepared at the table was a bonus (we tried to remember the recipe used).

After dinner we enjoyed some time in the Grand Foyer area with its wonderful entertainers. We would do this often on this cruise - dancing to the music and appreciating the superb music.

We later tried our luck in the casino. Our luck was not necessarily good but we did have some fun.

Time to retire…


Day Two - San Juan, Puerto Rico

The cruise ship entered the harbor to San Juan around the point where the old fort and city walls are located. We had the opportunity to get some great shots and video of the fort from the decks of the ship – shots that one could ONLY get from a cruise ship.

We docked in San Juan at 3:00 p.m. We found this an unusual time for a docking. Arrival to most ports-of-call is often in the morning to allow as much day-time in the ports. There were, in this case, a number of cruise line shore excursions that extended into the evening. Our “all aboard” time was 9:45 p.m.

We decided to take a walk to the fort in Old San Juan. It was a very hot afternoon. The last stretch of our stroll to the fort afforded no shade. The views from the fort area were extraordinary. It was a wonderful afternoon wandering through the streets of Old San Juan.

When we returned to the ship we were quite ready for some refreshment and time to relax. After cleaning up for dinner we headed down to the Grand Foyer to listen (and dance) to what had become our favorite band D’Revelations. They were to perform twice this evening – just before our dinner seating and after we would finish.

It was an exceptionally quiet dinner at our table as we were the only ones there. You tend to feel pretty special when you are the only people seated at a table for eight with two waiters and a sommelier serving you!


Day Three – Philipsburg St. Maarten

Day three saw us at port in Philipsburg, St. Maarten. St. Maarten is one of our favorite islands. There are some beautiful beaches on St. Maarten/Saint Martin the small island that is jointly owned by France and the Netherland Antilles. A treaty signed more than 350 years ago divided the island in two.

We decided to spend the day at the beach that has been created right in Philipsburg. On our last visit here we saw for the first time the beginnings of the large beach area. It was nice to be able to get off the ship and walk to the beach with the town right there as well.

For $15.00 we were assigned two chairs, an umbrella and were given two drinks. The area was not as busy as I would have thought but the day was overcast then sunny then rainy then sunny then… Despite the rain and the cool water it was still wonderful floating around a couple of days after leaving two feet of snow.

We decided to wander through the streets of Philipsburg for some window shopping. It started to rain again so we ducked into a Casino that happened to be right in front of us. We invested a whole $5.00 and had some fun for over a half hour.

The day in St. Maarten was not as nice as we had hoped because of the weather but it at least it was not a complete washout.


Day Four – St. Kitts

Today would be the first time that we had been on the island of St. Kitts. We weren’t quite sure what to expect. We were told that the island was beautiful. However we had been also told that the island was very poor.

We chose a beach day excursion from the cruise line. Originally we had thought that we should take the narrow gauge train tour. Once at the beach we were very glad that we chose the beach tour.

Our group rode in a small bus through the countryside. Our driver was quite well informed and very interesting – and funny. We passed along narrow roads through the hills with steep cliffs and sharp turns. The landscape was incredible - lush, and yet rugged.

The beach that we were heading to was quite remote. From the shore it looked as though you could reach out and touch the sister island of Nevis. The water was wonderful and the sand was warm. It was a beautiful sunny day.

There was a photo shoot taking place on the beach. We recognized the model as one of the passengers on our cruise ship. What an idyllic location for a photo shoot.

We wandered up the beach to the end of the sand as we usually do when at the beach. Every few feet you get a different perspective of the panorama.

Our trip back to the ship was just as entertaining as our ride out - wonderful scenery and witty conversation with our driver.


Day Five and Day Six – Sea Days

The next two days were sea days for us. They were a welcomed relaxing time. We found a quiet area down on deck five that had wooden lounges with thick chair pads. We would enjoy this area when we wanted to get away from the bustle on the lido deck.

This area was on the opposite side of the cruise ship from our stateroom so we could get some sun – or shade – when we wanted it.

As far as itineraries go this cruise was extremely relaxing - two ports-of-call that we have enjoyed in the past, one beautiful new one and a few sea days on board the magnificent Celebrity Reflection.




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